Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My favorite way to spend the Holidays

Magical, excessive, extravagant, joyful, childlike! This is one of my favorite seasons of the year and the time reason happily deserts me .  I favor solidly pagan rituals and festivities over anything too overtly religious. Winter solstice, lightning of the tree at the village square, chestnuts roasted by our local monks, walks in the snow, banquets, elves, Good Old St Nicholas, mistletoe, candles, silver and gold, and loads and loads of gifts for everyone.

Reality suspended

Northern New England is snow country. My Christmases are always white. From the first snow fall on, I keep my cross country skis in the kitchen by the back door, ready to go for a quick sprint in the woods. Ahum, that would be Holiday fantasy #1 - between you and me, it never happens, lol...

Our barn in Winter

...not that it could not. The photo above shows you the barn on our property where my husband does his woodworking. Modeste Parisienne started there too but the saw dust inside was overwhelming . I now work on my creations somewhere else.

Les calissons de Provence

Fantasy #2 : eat, drink, be merry. Extravagant foods demand total surrender to conviviality. An iconic sweet at my house are the Calissons pictured above - a Provencal concoction of candied melon and almond paste, a recipe which comes down from the Middle Ages.

La Dinde de Noel aux marrons

Fantasy #3: extreme cooking! I promise myself every Holiday to roast a turkey or a goose in the fireplace. I kid you not, I have a recipe for this! However I will chicken out of that one again this year.

Lots and lots of gifts

Fantasy #4: a ridiculous amount of gifts. I am running out of little kids. Soon I will have to borrow some. Because the Holidays are all about the children and the child within us.

Modeste Parisienne Holiday Classics

Fantasy #5: this may sound odd but the Holiday season is for me about revisiting very classic shapes and designs. This may be because men prefer to buy what they understand best when shopping for the women in their lives. This is also the time when I offer more solid gold pieces or pieces in a silver and gold palette which are both the colors of the Holidays to me.

Dreamy frost

...and so many more fantasies...I can't wait to hear about yours!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Les Bijoux de Catherine ~ From my personal collection

 Selling my line of jewelry online has changed everything for me. I am still stunned by the ever expanding web of friendships that I have made there.

Some of them are with my clients. Our highly personal relations have blurred the traditional seller/buyer line. The give and take goes both ways for a mutually enriching experience.

Even more striking are the ties that developed with my fellow artisans. I am quite passionate about the creative process and appreciate all that goes into the creation of their pieces. I starting collecting - and of course wearing!- some of their beautiful jewels.

Here are a few samples...

A gorgeous Montana Agate ring from Black Daisy Designs. The pattern of the stone is absolutely striking!

One of several pairs from Emily Gray Jewels' signature Halo collection. I am still coveting hard one of Emily's large hip necklaces.

A favorite necklace from Sirpa K Jewelry which I wear very often. I love that its length allows me to just put it on and go, no fumbling with the clasp needed.

I enjoy wearing this exquisite pair from Edera Jewelry at night when the precious silver threads shimmer in the light. I love their intricate workmanship!

 This smaller necklace from Jewels by L designs  packs a punch! The focal was from Laura's personal collection and I am already plotting my next one.

And because one always needs a simple pair of pearl earrings, I recently treated myself to these cuties from Lee Ohio Designs' Fall collection - a perfect example that good design does not have to be complicated.

To be continued…