Saturday, December 17, 2011

Last minute gifting

So I'm told this afternoon that we're having dinner with our friend and his three kids. We normally get the kids gifts, but hadn't thought that far ahead this year, and time is sneaking up on us. So I asked their dad what colors the girls liked, and made up these little pearl necklaces for them. One went to an eight year old, and the other went to a twelve year old. I thought it would be nice for them to have a little something to wear for special occasions.

Monday, December 12, 2011

There's still time...

to shop before Christmas! For all orders purchased from the United States, you have about a week left to buy from Peacock Tres Chic where we can be sure that it will arrive before Christmas. After that, you'll have to pay extra to upgrade to priority mail to get it in time.
International shipping has been a little slow lately, so I can't promise any orders will arrive in time for the big day.

If someone you love likes my shop, but you don't know which piece to buy them, I'll be more than happy to issue you a gift certificate in any amount you'd like, just contact me via Peacock Tres Chic on Etsy or at

Some new listings for your shopping pleasure, available at Peacock Tres Chic!

Happy holidays!!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

10 Dollar Earring Sale

Happy holidays!

$10 earrings are now at Peacock Tres Chic! Handmade, high quality stocking stuffers! And as always, the shipping is FREE to the U.S and $2 everywhere else! The earrings come in their own little box, with lovely padding and tied with a ribbon. Gift giving doesn't get much easier than this!

Pearl Snowflakes

Aged Brass Cross earrings

Ma Petite in Indian Pink


Ma Petite in Blue

Shimmering Snowflakes

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday Sale!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
Starting at midnight tonight, everything at Peacock Tres Chic is 30% off with coupon code BLK11 until Monday! Free shipping to the U.S. and $2 everywhere else!
After the sale, I'll be having a $10 earring sale, where I'll be listing a lot of earrings you haven't seen yet, all will be available for $10.
To get your purchases before Christmas, be sure to order before December 18th. Inernational orders can take longer this time of year, so for international orders allow lots of time for shipping, order before December 4th to be safe!

Happy shopping!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Back of Your Work and Adding Strength to Your Designs

There is a commmon fear in the back of a crafter's mind; What if it breaks? Is the glue going to hold? What if they drop it?
There's no certain answer, everyone treats their jewelry differently, there's no way you can know what the buyer is going to do with it. Once it's out of your hands, it's quite literally that; out of your hands.
There are countless jewelry crafting techniques out there. But personally I use an adhesive called E6000, that you can get at most hobby stores. Some people fear that this technique of gluing won't hold as strongly as a technique such as soldering or welding.
I once asked a professional with much more experience than myself, and she told me that she'd had more people tell her that their soldered jewelry broke than their jewelry adhered with E6000.
I have complete faith in this technique. I've made mistakes, or changed a design after it was together, and had to pry the project apart with two pairs of pliers and occasionally with the help of an exacto knife, to get the pieces apart after the glue had dried.
But I believe in order for the glue to do it's job properly, there needs to be a good amount of contact between the glue and both pieces of material that you're gluing. Occasionally, a design I'm in love with just doesn't have that. For example, my first image.

  • This necklace has little leafy filigree sticking out of the top. These pieces are tiny, and the way they're glued onto the main structure doesn't allow for a lot of contact between the two pieces. So in addition to gluing them to the main stamping, I've added a filigree to the back, which they are also glued to. Now that contact is twice as strong. When I add a piece to the back like this, I don't like to see it sticking out from the front. So for this particular piece, I've cut a few bits off of it so it can't be seen from the front.

  • The Night Flyer necklace was very similar, the stamping I have the bail attached to didn't have a lot of contact to be glued with, it's very open. So I've added a flat piece, which was intended to be a flat back setting, and I glued it to both the stamping and the wings. These settings come in all kinds of sizes, and also make wonderful foundations if you're layering a lot of things. Or if you've got a big mess in the back of a pendant, and you just want it hidden.

  • For this little winged pendant, I only wanted the wings and the heart stamping. I didn't want a lot of layers, I didn't want to see anything behind the wings. But agin I was gluing to a very open stamping, and that leaves very little contact between pieces to glue with. So in addition to attaching the wings to the heart stamping, I added a small filigree to the back, which is glued to both wings, and can't be seen from the front of the pendant. So I got the look I wanted, and was able to enforce the structure.

  • Westminster is a very simple pendant. The foundation stamping had a hole that was perfect for the pointed back of the rivoli crystal I used. The structure of this pendant is very sound, and I have no doubts about any point of contact where I had glued it. I added this perfectly sized round filigree to the back, purely for cosmetic purposes. Since there was a hole in the back of the foundation stamping, you could see the jumbled mess of the back of the stone, hollow filigree, and some glue. I chose to cover it up.

Notice how each of the pieces I used on the backs are facing out. Stampings and filigree are lovely in the front, and hollow in the back. Sure, you don't see the back of the pendant while it's being worn, but that little attention to detail by putting the lovely side out, shows that you take pride in your work and you have care for your customers. And I take care not to let any of the back piece show from the front of the pendant, so there's no reason not to have it pretty side out.

And Susan of once said that she had someone buy her work, for the simple reason that it was just as pretty from the back, as it was from the front. Sometimes it's the minor details that impress the most.

So there you have it. Adding to the the back of your work can reinforce the strength of your design, ease your concience, or simply add a finishing touch to impress.

Hope you learned something helpful!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

All the things a stamping can do

A stamping is a wonderful thing. For those of you who don't know what I mean by stamping, it's a component made with a press from a die, that's normally hallow on the back, light weight and relatively easy to bend and manipulate. The stampings I work with are brass, they're full of detail and perfect for jewelry making.

I can't speak for everyone, but I get mine exclusively from Vintage Jewelry Supplies.

When you look around at the handcrafted jewelry, on for example, you tend to notice a selection of works containing some of the same stampings you might be using. One of my favorites to work with is this fleur de lis stamp, available here. This piece is also available in sterling silver and copper plated.

This is the unadorned stamping. I've done some digging and came up with these pieces of work that contain this particular stamping, and I've compiled them all here to give you a look at how creativity and personal style play a role in turning this simple stamping into a work of art.

These first three pieces are my own creations. They're just a few of the necklaces I've made with this stamping, I have used it many more times, it's one of my favorite foundation pieces.

This cuff is the Valkyrie Battle Cuff by KCRlehrstudio. The flowing lines of the stamping work really well with the floral details in the many accompanying brass pieces.
This gothic style neovictorian necklace by cynthiscouture has a unique shape, with the wings adjoining the stamping perfectly at the bottom. Her work is often adorned with lots of shimmering crystals.
You have to look a little closer to find the stamping in Mermaid Treasure Figurehead by fellow Michigan artist and friend HarlequinRomantique. It's in there, buried amongst the serpentine art nouveau dolphins. I love the use of the stamping in this piece, because for me the stamping represents a sort of seaweed, which accompanies the dolphins perfectly.
Another friend shmai3 uses this piece in a very lovely little victorian inspired necklace called Beloved. The stamping serves as the foundation of a sort of flower garden, with accompanying birds and in a very victorian fashion, tied with a bow.
Alkazadesign uses the brass stamping in beautiful contrast with the deep sapphire gems. Once again the stamping is paired with floral components, but it's the first instance where I've seen the piece beautifully draped with chain. My last example for today is a steampunk approach by ValkyrieCouture. Paired with gears and a clock hand, and once again accompanied by a flower. It's barely visible, but it's an integral piece to this pendant.
So there's a small look into the many many uses of a single stamping in jewelry crafting. There are several stampings that I use, that are frequently used in other artist's designs, that may end up in another post, another day. =)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Winter inspirations

I've got winter on the brain today! I've listed a couple of my winter inspired pieces, I hope to have more on the way soon.
The butterfly features a vintage white frosted glass gem, and the snowflake in the second pendant is vintage also.

Available at Peacock Tres Chic.

So excited for the holidays!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Steam themed Halloween

Steampunk has been dominating the fantasy, gaming and larping communities at epic speed. I've always eyed the steampunk style, with victorian being my style foundation for nearly everything I make. I generally steered away from it, because I thought there was too much competition with the steampunk jewelry already being created. I wanted something unique, and there aren't a lot of steam variations you can do with jewelry.
But this year for Halloween I dove into my steampunk research. It all started with an ity-bity bomber jacket.
We fretted over what to dress our son as for his first Halloween, not having a lot of extra cash to splurge on a costume. Sure, it's cute to dress the little ones up before they have any say in what they want to be, but he's not actively trick-or-treating, he can only wear it once at the rate he grows, and nobody will see it but family. So spending a lot of cash was out.
Fortunately, last summer I had picked up the MOST adorable bomber jacket at a mom-2-mom sale for $2.50. It was too big then, I was just hoping it would fit him for the winter. It hit me one day, that the aviator look has a large influence on the steampunk style, and my husband and I could easily dress to match. I have a lot of victorian style clothing, and my dad has a lot of early 19th century costumes because he frequents the local reenactments.
So it was decided we'd go steampunk. Not that we have a lot to do on halloween this year, but there was a family party and there's a costume contest at a gaming store on Saturday. We've been working on accessorizing our rather plain costumes, and I hope to have pictures next week.
The jacket that started it all......
Just because I was researching...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

For the love of books

I haven't blogged in a while, and I thought I'd get back in gear by sharing a few of my favorite books from my antique book collection.
When I was a teenager I collected old books from yard sales and thrift shops. I'd always loved old things, vintage jewelry, antique furniture, vintage styles. But my love of old books started with the finding of this first book.
I can't recall my exact age, but I found this book in my grandfather's garage while the family and I were cleaning it out. My grandfather was what you might call a 'collector' or some might have referred to him as a 'hoarder'. It's all how you look at it.
This book, called 'The Lady's Book of Flowers and Poetry' first caught my attention with it's gorgeous gold inlay in black leather. Upon further inspection, the book became more and more marvelous.
The book was published in 1841 in New York.

Throughout the book there are hand painted flowers, with tissue paper insirted into the book's binding, I'm assuming, for the paint's preservation.

This book is somewhat of a family treasure. I'm actually a little surprised my mother trusted me with it's keeping, as young as I was. But I always had a respect for antiques, and I'm sure she knew I'd treasure it.

This next book was a very interesting find for me at the local salvation army thrift store. It's in german, so I can't even tell you the title. Within the first page, the name Dr. Martin Luther is mentioned, so it can be assumed that it's a bible adeptation, or Luther's teachings.

But I can tell you that it was published in St. Louis, MO in 1905. The embossed leather on this particular book is stunning.

The real treasure of this book was tucked safely within it's pages. The first, a frail and yellowed envelope addressed to Mrs. Anna Notting, Grandville, Michigan. The post mark for this letter was April 3, 1931. Inside is a lovely little Easter greeting card, signed simply, Jimmy.
Farther down the pages of the book, is another yellowed envelope. From the Zeeland Record Company in Zeeland, Michigan. Inside is a remittance form addressed to J. Bohl Sr. who lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It also has the date it was sent, Jan 1, 1932.
I have had this book for years, well over a decade, and I never even knew this next treasure was there. A n envelope in pretty rough shape, sent to Mr. John Bohl Sr in Grandville, Michigan on Jan 19th, 1925. Inside is a delicate little letter written on lined paper in faint pencil. I was able to read most of it.

"Dear father I will write

you a few lines we are

well and hope the same of

you Harold is going to

school every day he has not

missed a day yet

Enclosed you will find tax

receipt and check for 10.66

From y our son

John Bohl Jr"

He didn't use any punctuation in his writing, but instead used spaces where periods should be. I corrected a few spelling errors from the original.
The next book is a little on the newer side of the vintage books I tended to collect. Old Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender's Guide is a fascinating little book none the less. The first printing was in 1935 and the final printing for this book was 1941. In this guide is an alphabetical list of drinks, with the recipe.There were two sections of the book with full color pictures. At the end of the book was a fascinating guide to the various glasses used to mix the cocktails.
Another of my favorites is Agnes of Braunsberg. It's a daintly little book with a ragged fabric cover. It was published in New York, but unfortunately there's no date anywhere in the book.
But there is a faint little dedication in the front that reads

"Mathilda Ludwig
Perfect Attendance

4th Grade"

The handwriting is faint, but it's gorgeous! I envy the curvy scrollwork of penmanship of times long gone, when things like handwriting were appreciated.
This book has a lovely cross embossed in the cover, but again I can only assume it's a bible, because it's in German. It was published in Berlin in 1875. It has an unfortunate binding, what little of it is left.

The final book is also also in German, printed in Chicago in 1878. The gold embossed leather on this book is stunning, there appears to be a dragon at the end of the cross on the cover.

There were two little surprises hidden among the pages of this book. The first is a print out of a scripture, and the second is a painting. I'm not sure where the image might have come from, it seems to be printed on something that feels like magazine paper. It's really thin and glossy.

These have been just a few of my favorite books from a book case in my childhood home that I recently looted. I'd estimate it's not quite a quarter of the collection. I have an amazing old fully illustrated copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin that was given to me by my grandmother, and a couple old pocket bibles. I didn't grab those, I hope to have the entire book case back in my posession some day. It will have to wait until we have a larger living space.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A little something winter inspired

Expect to see more pearls for the winter season!

Sidonie on Etsy

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


The truth is, I haven't been me for over a year and a half now. Not the me that I spent my entire life building up to, the me that I could call myself proud to be. I used to know exactly who I was and what I wanted with my life.
My husband and I knew we wanted to have a baby, and couldn't have been more happy when we achieved that goal. I always just assumed that I could be me and just have a little one be there with me. I was mistaken.
I wouldn't trade my son for anything in the world. He makes my life worth living every day, and no matter what happened the day before, he smiles at me in the morning and bounces up and down in his crib in anticipation of me picking him up. And yesterday fades to a distant memory and it's all okay again.
Unfortunately other events, other circumstances, have changed me more than I could have ever forseen. First of all was being sick for eight months. I'm not exaggerating here, when I say I had morning sickness all day, every day, for about eight of my nine month pregnancy. I put my jewelry and my Etsy shop on hold. It was next to impossible to get motivated, much less create, anything under those circumstances.
I knew going into it that there was a possibility that I wouldn't lose the pregnancy weight. I accepted that, as I gained 55 pounds during the pregnancy. I didn't go out and spend a bunch of money on maternity clothes, but not a thing I owned pre pregnancy fit anymore. I toughed out being less than fashionable for several months until my son was born, and another several months after that. Fashion was always a large part of my personality. Boots, I really missed the boots. I lost some of the weight but there was still a lot left. Pre-pregnancy I completely under appreciated the ability to walk into a store, see something I like, and grab a small or medium and not even wonder if it would fit or not. I had no idea what size I was anymore, and trying stuff on only made me depressed.
Aside from not working on my jewelry for nine months, and not being able to wear any of the clothes I loved before I had my son, being a stay at home mom was a lot more work than I was prepared for. My husband goes to work, he goes out with his friends on his days off and partakes in his hobbies, and I stay home and be mom all day every day. As my son gets older he's harder to keep up with. He's crawling and standing, he's into everything he shouldn't be, and his basic needs are really demanding. I used to be able to squeeze in my jewelry while he played on the floor, but now I can't take my eyes off him. I can only work on my jewelry while my husband is home, and that's not often.
When I did have the rare time on my hands to work, I was getting inspiration in the wrong places. I was idolizing an artisan that inadvertantly took my work in the wrong direction. It wasn't me, it didn't represent me well. I had lost the sense of myself that made me love the jewelry I created.
So there I was. Completely lost.

But now that I know I've been lost, I can start to find my way back.
A few months ago I decided I was going to get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. Since June I've lost all but the last five pounds, and I'm wearing all my old clothes again.
I'm no longer idolizing anyone or anything, and I'm looking to myself for inspiration, to create jewelry as I used to, to create the things I love, the things that represent me as an artist, as a person.
My birthday is at the end of the month and I intend to replenish my wardrobe, I haven't been shopping for clothes since I got pregnant. It's my gift to myself, for my birthday to celebrate who I am, and to celebrate having lost the baby weight.
I still don't have a lot of time to work on my jewelry, but I've come to accept it. My son comes first, and if I have to squeeze in my hobby in ten minute intervals, or only on the days my husband is home, then so be it.
Fall is my favorite time of year, and I'm taking it all in. The leaves are gorgeous, the air is crisp, and the promise of holidays and good times with family are in my heart.
Not to mention, coats and fun warm weather accessories =)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Nymph's Chorus

Nymph's Chorus is slowly making it's way to Peacock Tres Chic. I've had an extremely busy weekend, and I haven't had as much time to get these little ladies listed as I would have liked. But there are a couple at the shop, and included in the listing is the free pair of matching earrings. The earrings are a limited time offer!

Geneve was purchased by a lovely regular shopper of mine. Thanks Amber! Hope you love her!

Bess will be available shortly!