Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Eye Candy

Recently, my friend and neighbor, Renata de Dalmas, invited me over to play in her jewelry box.


Yet, this wasn't just ANY jewelry box. 

It was filled with treasures by Renata, a phenomenally talented jewelry designer, whose work has been featured in Vogue, Elle, W, InStyle, Marie Claire and O Magazine, just to name a few.



Renata opened up more than her jewelry box for me....read below!

Pretty Pink Tulips:
How would you describe your design style?
Renata:
Insired by old world designs found in ancient jewelry, architecture and spiritual motifs, but with clean, modern wearable sensibility.
Pretty Pink Tulips:
What led you to learn the trade of goldsmithing originally?
Renata:
I took goldsmithing classes for fun and I loved the entire process of melting gold and creating these one of a kind, handmade pieces.  At first I felt like they were like mini sculptures.

Pretty Pink Tulips:
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Renata:
From antique and royal jewelry, architectural motifs found throught the world, spiritual/religious symbols and nature.
Pretty Pink Tulips:
How have you seen yourself evolve? And where do you see yourself evolving in the future?
Renata:
I started working in 18-22 karat gold jewelry and every piece was an original -- completely hand made. Now that gold is very expensive ( 3 times higher than when I originally started), I have started working with silver and 18 karat gold and with vermeil (silver plated in 18 karat yellow gold) as well. Many of my pieces are now being cast. These changes have allowed me to enlarge my customer base, since pieces are more affordable.
Pretty Pink Tulips:
Who have you looked to for inspiration...not only for your jewelry, but in life?
Renata:
I am inspired by other goldsmiths, artists, designers and creative individuals who have brought beauty into this world on all different levels.

Pretty Pink Tulips:
What advice do you have for someone starting their own business, whether jewelry or some other creative endeavor?
Renata:
Get some practical work experience first in the industry. A lot of people say they have great ideas but few actually go out and make it a reality. It takes a lot of discipline and commitment to make a creative business work. You must really love what you do as well.

It is obvious that she does!!!

You can check out more of Renata's work on her website and at Peridot Fine Jewelry.

Renata, thank you for sharing your beautiful jewelry, and a few pearls of wisdom, too!!
xo, Elizabeth




Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Paris Diaries, Part 1:Luxembourg Gardens, the Louvre...and Little Boys

Now, that I'm back in the U.S.A. -- I really wish I could go back to Paris with all that I've learned. Paris is particularly welcoming to children. So, if you or someone you know is headed there, below are my tips for going as a family. 

Jardin du Luxembourg:
The best place to let you children run free and shake off some jet lag. We met my friend, Heather, there with 2 of her boys....the boys played on the playground and pushed sailboats in the pond.
Louvre:
One of the best tips we got was to reserve a private tour with a guide from Paris Muse. The benefits were many:

♥ We skipped the long lines
♥ Our guide led the boys on a "treasure hunt"...so they were completely engaged for the entire 2 hours
♥ We didn't just wander or get overwhelmed....and this museum is HUGE. They say that if you spent only 3 seconds in front of each piece in the Louvre, it would still take you 33 years to see it all.


Cafe Marly:
Although I had heard of Cafe Marly...I was shocked that it was so close. When you exit the pyramid, the restaurant is directly to your right. So, throughout our al fresco lunch, the pyramid was right behind us. Very cool!
Jardin des Tuileries:
After lunch, we walked through the Tuileries, which is the beautiful garden that links the Louvre to the plaze de la Concorde (the site of the guillotine during the French Revolution). The boys loved the in-ground trampolines and the carousel.
Angelina's:
Famous for their hot chocolate, Angelina's is near the end of the Jardin des Tuileries, on the Right Bank --- and was a fun reward for the boys, after all that walking.


Notre-Dame:
Having been to the top of the Eiffel Tower, the boys loved having a gargoyle's view of it from the top of Notre-Dame. What a magnificent architectural achievement!
Berthillon:
After touring Notre-Dame, we walked over to the small Ile de St. Louis for the famous Berthillon ice cream. Balancing a morning of history with an afternoon of fun, kept the boys engaged.
Musee Rodin:
The sculpture garden at the Rodin Museum is a must! It is gorgeous and enjoyable for adults and children. This was my favorite museum visit after the Louvre and the Musee L'Orangerie, where Monet's Water Lilies are displayed the way he originally intended.

Tulip Tip:
No matter what you're planning on seeing, save yourself from waiting in long lines (and trust me, there were some long lines at the Louvre, Musee D'Orsay & Musee de L'Orangerie) by getting a Museum Pass. It covers your museum entry fee (children are usually free) at almost every major site in Paris, but what you will most enjoy is a special, shorter que.

If you had a day in Paris, where would you go and what would you do?
xo, Elizabeth

ps: Paris Diaries, Part 2 - shopping, dining & evenings without children later this week.

Monday, June 28, 2010

TEN

I've been working with One Kings Lane on a special deal --- instead of advertising revenue, I asked what we could do for my readers.

Well, today, that idea goes live!

If you click through the OKL icon on my blog and sign up (it's free), you'll be given an automatic $10 credit!

For those of you not familiar with One Kings Lane, they offer online discounted sales of the world's top home decor brands. Here's a sampling:

Trowbridge
Christofle
Vera Wang Fine Papers
Bellora Bath
Juliska
Bunny Williams
Lulu DK
Bliss Studio

The credit will be good until August 10th! Spread the word, this offer is for EVERYONE!

Isn't it fun to pay things forward?
xo, Elizabeth

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Last Tango in Paris













Today is our last day in Paris. So, we are going to soak it up. Here is just a quick peek at some of what we've done so far. 

See you stateside!
xo, Elizabeth

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