Monday, December 27

Winter, winter...

Enjoying a cold winter here in France...
Summer colors dancing in my head as I imagine the new collection...
Feeling refreshed and energized...
{xoxo}

Friday, December 17

{ I wish you a Merry Christmas }

Hello everyone!

Christmas is fast approaching... 7 more days to enjoy decorating the house, baking and writing cards :)
While you are reading these words I'm most probably on my way to Switzerland. This year at last I get to spend Christmas with my parents and my little family ... it did not happen since 2005 and I am absolutely delighted to enjoy a snowy and cold Christmas!

So I am taking a little break from blogging... I have a few more posts coming up in the coming week though :)
I should be back to my regular posting in the second week of January with plenty more projects and ideas, and an {Interview with} post on January 14, 2011.




What are your plans for the coming few weeks? are you going back home, spending more time with your family or travelling to an exotic destination? 




Monday, December 13

Looking back at 2010... + surprise!

I like to look back at what has happened over the past year... this is something I am happy to do in December when the end of the year is getting closer... and when I have to write down the new year resolution list ;-)
I am proud to see what I have been doing with my little business, and I can't wait to start drawing plans for next year, and dream biG bIG BIG.

Nothing could have happened without YOU, so a big THANK YOU to you readers, family, friends or strangers... I hope to connect more with you all next year, learn more about you and your dreams and continue to share mine (of course, but is it the subject here?).

Creations by ECStudio over the past year...


Now the surprise: as you might know, my blog is getting revamped and I am proud to announce that I will be able to re-launch it before the end of the year! Isn't it time to celebrate now really? 
No?

I will hold a give away super soon, so stay tuned!


And by the way, we can easily keep in touch here and here, and if you want to know more about who I am and where I live, I blog about it here. Don't be shy!

xoxo
Marie


Thursday, December 9

With Christmas approaching...

... it's time for some shopping...

The little blue purse... a similar design is available in the shop now - US$25



Tuesday, December 7

Pretty in pink {NEW DESIGN}

One of the latest design at Etincelle Creative Studio :)
A little multi-function purse: as an evening purse to enhance your little black dress, or as a make up purse or why not keep in it your jewelry while travelling? If you have even more ideas on how to use it, please share!

The little pink purse... available in my Etsy shop soon - US$25


Friday, December 3

Gorgeous cushions

How gorgeous are these cushions? I am working on an Etsy treasury and I stumbled upon seller Bukhara from Uzbekistan. I totally wish one or two of these beauties would be on my "to be re-upholstered" couch next year!

My selection of Suzani cushions from Bukhara; starting from US$30.

What are you planning to do this weekend? Have you started your Christmas decoration? Is your tree up?
I am working my head off to do as many things as possible before taking off to... Switzerland! I am so happy to make it there and spend Christmas with my family. It did not happen since 2005!


Sage comme une image...

Naughty or nice?

 Red Apple illustration by Limoon, via L'Affiche Moderne
Photo of my daughter Chloe



Tuesday, November 30

GMK joyas - pieces available in Singapore!

Hi there!

I hope everyone had a good weekend, and that Thanksgiving's turkey was tasty :)
I haven't been posting much last week as one of my best friends was in town for a short while and we had to catch up on a lot of things - we see each other only every two years or so...

Anyway I had promised a post with pictures of the GMK jewelry pieces that I imported in Singapore for your guys to enjoy in a bit of shopping for Christmas...
Here we are: two beautiful pairs of earrings in silver, two rings and two necklaces made of lava beads (!) and seeds/ ceramic beads.


Ring on the left: silver, pink quartz, pearl, amethyst and black onyx - S$90
Ring on the right: silver, red ceramic bead, pearls, amethyst, black onyx, smoky quartz - S$90


Pair of earrings 1: silver, fire agate, brown and blue agate - S$65


Pair of earrings 2: silver, pearls, coral and turquoise - S$65


Seeds necklace: silver, lava beads and seeds - S$80


Ceramic beads necklace: silver, lava beads and ceramic beads - S$80


You can contact me if you are interested in any of the above pieces; starting tomorrow normal shipping is free anywhere in the world - Christmas is coming! Each piece comes nicely wrapped in an organza pouch. I can even mail it on your behalf to your friend or relative with a pretty card and your words in it :)

Have a good week gals!

Monday, November 22

{Interview with} Gara Martin Kraus of GMK

Hello everyone,

Today I am launching a new column that you will be able to follow monthly here on ECS. I want to introduce you my talented and creative friends whom I have studied with or met while travelling the world.

I am super happy to start with my fantastic friend Gara of GMK. We've known each other for eight years now, and it has been very interesting to see the paths we both took over the years. We met in 2002 in Florence (Italy) while studying jewelry design at Le Arti Orafe Jewelry School (which I highly recommend ).
I have very fond memories of this time filled with amazing people, good food and endless laughs.

Photo credit: Gara Martin Kraus


Gara had already in mind to create her own jewelry brand and she did so soon after finishing the course... 
I think she is better qualified to talk about her work and what inspire her as a jewelry designer:

Tell us a bit of your story: where are you coming from, places you have lived in, where are you currently living (and why), your studies etc…

Hi! My name is Gara Martin Kraus. I am Spanish and was born in Madrid in October 1977. I have been influenced at an early age by the great artists in my family coming from the Canary Island (Spain). As far as I can remember, I have always been interested in art, fashion and handmade things.
I got so inclined that I started studying jewelry and gemology (the study and science of gems) in Madrid in 1998 and I completed my studies with a course in jewelry design in Florence (Italy) at Le Arti Orafe Jewelry School in 2002.

Meanwhile I was making my very own pieces and experimenting new materials; finding my path and eventually discovering what truly inspires me.
Coming back from Italy I then decided to move back to where my ancestors were coming from: The Canary Islands and I set up my studio in Fuerteventura, a beautiful volcanic island with long sandy beaches and lots of volcanic rocks too!

Country town of Corralejo Pueblo - Fuerteventura - Canary Islands
Photo credit: Gara Martin Kraus

It truly inspires me to contemplate the island and its amazing landscapes (I am often feeling like I am moonscaping), the incredible light, the ocean, all textures and colors...
The Canary Islands, my roots. Volcano, magma, fire, water... are the essence of the islands and by extension the essence of my work.

Living by the sea... sand and volcanic rocks
Photo credit: Gara Martin Kraus

I am currently working on a special collection for the Christmas season with oversized pieces of jewelry, expressing the energy that fuses in Fuerteventura. Jewelry imagined for day and night, for fun and extraordinaire people!

Silver, lava, turquoise, coral, pink quartz
Photo credit: Gara Martin Kraus


Describe your creative process. What are you communicating through your jewelry? Where are you finding your inspiration?

The creative process is varied and very intense. Sometimes a simple stone, a particular shape or the metal itself can inspire me to create a piece or an entire collection. Some other time I have a design in mind and I start searching for the stones and various components.

I am filling up my sketchbooks with hundreds of drawings and sketches until I find what I need to develop an entire collection. I love to look for new stones with shapes and textures that work well with silver... In a sense I am in constant evolution myself!

Once I have a clear idea of what I want to create I start sculpting the metal with fire; I shape every piece with my hands, and embellish the metal with semi-precious gemstones (amethyst, agate, opal, turquoise, smoky quartz to name a few), raw material like lava and seeds, fabric, ceramic beads...
One the creation process is completed, it is time to care about packaging and presentation to the customer.

Gara making jewelry at a fair... silver rings of the Atomic Beauty collection
Photo credit: Gara Martin Kraus


 What are your favorite materials to work with?

 My favorite material is silver. I love the way it shines and the possibilities that it offers. 
 Lava stone represents is the heart of my inspiration. I adore natural stones! 

Atomic Beauty rings - Pink quartz, pearl, amethyst and black onyx for the ring on the left;
Red ceramic bead, pearls, amethyst, black onyx and smoky quartz for the ring on the right.
Styling & photography by Etincelle Creative Studio


What makes your jewelry so special?

GMK is an exclusive jewelry brand with an original and unique twist. I am creating contemporary jewelry pieces that are inspired by landscapes, textures and raw materials from the Canary Islands. 
My aim is to communicate all the energy and beauty from the islands in to each and every piece.

Pair of earrings with turquoise, pearl and coral - Atomic Beauty collection 
Styling & photography by Etincelle Creative Studio


Your wildest dreams are...

I would love to:
  •             Have my work recognized worldwide and give a new and audacious vision to the world of jewelry and accessories.
  •             Have my very own workshop  and develop a special relationship with my clients
  •             See the handmade movement flourish and more people to appreciate the quality of one’s creation and art 

Silver, lava and seeds necklace - Lanzarote collection
Styling & photography by Etincelle Creative Studio


Hobbies: what are you doing when you are not at your desk creating jewelry?

I love to take long walks on the beach with my dog. I like staring at the ocean for meditation and as a way to get inspiration flowing in. I love to listen to music, to go shopping...  and to surf the internet!

Playa de Jandia - Fuerteventura - Canary Islands
Photo credit: Gara Martin Kraus

Fashion magazines and fashion blogs are amazing sources of inspiration and allow me to keep focused on trends and stay informed of what is going on in the world while living in a stunning but quiet remote area.  


Ring from the Atomic Beauty collection 
in silver with pearl, pink quartz, black onyx and amethyst
Styling & photography by Etincelle Creative Studio


Thank you Gara for sharing  your story with us!

GMK's collections are available online: {website}{etsy shop} and you can become a fan and follow her on {Facebook} too.


I hope everyone enjoyed the interview, I would love to hear from you about it and about the new column too. I will post later today or tomorrow photos of the jewelry pieces that are available here in Singapore. I have sampled a few of them for you so contact me if you are interested!

Have a good week!


Saturday, November 20

{Christmas} in Black and Gold

Let's kick start the holiday season since everyone seems to be in the mood! I was feeling like black and gold yesterday when I curated this treasury and I am quite happy with  my selection  :)
Do you like to highlight a black outfit with golden jewelry?

 From top to bottom, left to right:
  

On an other topic, and since it is already Saturday - and raining, I have decided to start my Christmas decoration with my daughter including the tree and a wreath for our front door, and maybe garlands. 

Have you started anything? are you making decoration yourself? Nina from Stylizimo has prepared beautiful DIY projects for Christmas, I encourage you to have a look and try them on. I am tempted by the candles...

Candles decoration on Stylizimo blog - Photo credit: Nina Holst


Happy browsing everyone, and there is a wonderful weekend ahead of us, make the most of it!


Friday, November 19

Coming up on Monday...

Stay tuned everyone, I will introduce you to my friend Gara Martin Kraus, jewelry designer extraordinaire of GMK Joyas, through an interview and photos of her jewelry...

Rings of the Atomic Beauty collection by GMK Joyas - from left to right:
 silver ring with pink quartz, pearl, amethyst and black onyx,
silver ring with red ceramic bead, pearl, amethyst, black onyx and smoky quartz



Thursday, November 18

Pretty ways to display your earrings...

If you are like me and love cute dangling earrings, then you might be facing the question: what is the prettiest way to display them? A few months ago I have come up with a simple and easy way to do it, it takes minute to complete if you have everything in hand.

Basically I have used an Ikea frame and two bamboo sticks (the ones for cooking, yes). How simple is that?  I haven't planned for a DIY today, but if you would like it, I could prepare one. Just let me know!

A selection of my dangling earrings, pretty in their frame...


Bluebirdheaven on Etsy has come up with an amazing idea and I would love to own one of her jewelry display. Can you believe it is made of an antique printer drawer? it looks amazing, doesn't it? You can visit her shop, she has a couple of other options/ colors and you might suddenly feel the need of such display for your own jewelry. And what a pretty gift for Christmas!





I hope everyone is having a lovely week, I know I can't complain as things look pretty bright for me at the moment! xoxo



About displaying jewelry...

My dangling earrings on display


Hi there! I am preparing a post about how to display your earrings... stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 16

4 years ago today...


4 blissful years... Love you darling!



Tuesday, November 9

"Les Pastels" bags

The process of making this type of bag is a long and tedious one, but how enjoyable! I love choosing the color combination for each and every bag I make, and I especially enjoyed making these three bags as I only had one piece of each color (mint, bubble gum and a light yellow).

The central flowers are cut from a piece of Japanese fabric that I bought many years ago. Each bag has a different pattern as I hand cut and place the flowers following my own feelings. I then choose the color combination for each bag: the pom pom trim, and the two layers of lining (a mesh fabric and a silky lining). 
I like colors to clash and pop out!

Once this is done, I fix the flowers on the bags, then I am ready to start the embroidery work with the sequins, which can take me several hours to complete. Labor of love...
Then I sew the pom pom trim, the linings, and a new bag is born!

"Les Pastels" bags are unique pieces that will be available only once for sale... I wont replicate these color combinations in the future. 


Do you like the color combination of these three bags? Which one is your favorite?

Edit: oh shame, I forgot to give credits for the pictures! my awesome husband took all pictures of the bags, modeled by... me :)


Monday, November 8

Cooking up a storm...

... making the bags, organizing a photo shoot, selecting and editing the pictures, uploading them and writing the description of the bags... this is just a few things amongst 1000 that I have to do by the end of this month!

one of the new bags, on sale in the shop soon...


Sunday, November 7

My dolls...

... I started making the little dolls back in 2008... now two years later I am planning to stop. First were the Comfort Dolls (Zaza is the last one), then I came up with the Mini Me Dolls, smaller but as colorful and cute.
Things have changed in the past two years and I want to concentrate on making bags and jewelry, so my little dolls will have to finds new homes :)
They will still be available in my Etsy shop for the coming two weeks if you are tempted...

From top left, clockwise: Martha, Dina, Maya, Zaza

Au Revoir...


Thursday, November 4

Artist Amy Perrotti

I have been away for so long  although I have been constantly thinking about this blog and about you dear readers... I have been busy with some extra work, not much related to my actual activities though... which means I am still very much behind my schedule to introduce you the awesome work of my friend and my latest creations as well... arghh, perfection... I can't imagine presenting you half done projects, so I am afraid you will have to wait a tiny bit more...

In the meantime let me introduce you the colorful world of American artist Amy Perrotti!
Aren't these dolls just beautiful? my heart melts just looking at them :)

{ENJOY}

From top to bottom, clockwise: Chilean, Indian and Peruvian Matryoshka,


{HAPPY DEEPAVALI}


Tuesday, October 26

Stay tuned...


... as I have to introduce you to my talented friend Gara Martin Kraus from Spain... and to her gorgeous jewelry...

Bedroom randoms




Thursday, October 21

A little red bag...

I have lost count of all the bags I have made... but this little one was made to order, and I am very happy with the end result since it is not the shades of colors I am usually playing with.
What about you, are you taking custom orders? do you enjoy it and does it help you explore things that you are not familiar with?


I should tell you the story behind some of these photos as well... Yesterday I asked my 4 year old daughter Chloe to take the photos while I was modelling the bags. Of course I didn't let her use the best camera available, but only my old Sony Cyber-shot... I was not extremely happy with the end result and we ended up shooting only 2 bags out of 5. But after a bit of editing, I think the photos aren't that bad...

{Happy weekend}

Jewelry for Christmas...?

At the end it looks like I managed to put some things together when it comes to creating jewelry pieces in time for Christmas... hmmm, this is my inspiration, now I have to work on a first prototype...
Does it looks interesting? can you imagine what I have in mind? I hope to be able to show you something next week...

Lace, glass beads and sequins... time to play with some of my favorite materials... 

Tuesday, October 19

In another world...

Ahhh... these days when time is running away... so many things to do and so little time...
I still haven't taken photos of my bags and I still have one bag to complete (special order), I still haven't developed my jewelry line and made the new purses that should fill up my Etsy shop by now...

BUT I am working on the new look of my blog, and I feel that I have achieved a lot since September by following the Blogging Your Way e-course. Despite the obstacles I am more than ever decided to get somewhere and succeed in my goals...
Wish me good luck!


But I am digressing... Let me share some of my recent Etsy finds with you... I know the color palette is more S/S than F/W but while some of you guys will be in winter soon, others will enjoy the heat of summer... 
Here it is just hot hot hot... no break...


Thursday, October 14

Under the light


This is the last picture I am going to publish from Hoi An... I have practiced a bit of editing as learned in the Blogging Your Way e-course taken with Holly Becker from Decor 8 last month. The initial picture was taken without flash in an extremely dark room, and I am very pleased with the end result :)

What is your impression?

Wednesday, October 13

Wanders in Hoi An, Vietnam

Now that I am done with editing the pictures from my trip in Vietnam, let's share them with you... It was a pretty short trip (4 days) and travelling with two young kids have proved to be quite exhausting... but Hoi An is a real gem and it was well worth the burden! I have been absolutely stunned by the bold colors used for the buildings, interiors, clothing and other accessories.

 


I am fond of the bold colors Vietnamese people seems to favor for painting their walls. The pictures above were taken in the Moon Restaurant and Lounge, a gorgeous little place decorated with taste.

I had been impressed in Thailand by the craftsmanship and the obvious talent of Thais for design, but Vietnamese are as good!
Are these walls and furnitures inspiring you or do you usually opt for lower key hues?


Here are three addresses not to miss in Hoi An if you like Vietnamese food:
Moon Restaurant and Lounge
321 Nguyen Duy Hieu, Hoi An, Vietnam
(+84 510) 2241 396

Morning Glory (my favorite place in Hoi An)
106 Nguyen Thai Hoc St., Hoi An, Vietnam
(+84 510) 2241 555

The Light House
Cam Nam island, Hoi An, Vietnam
(+84 510) 2241 503


Vietnam is also renowned for its tailoring skills. We have tried Yali Couture which was recommended to us and haven't been disappointed:
Yaly Couture
47 Tran Phu St., Hoi An, Vietnam
(+84 510) 2222 580
ask for Gloria

Monday, October 11

Beautiful Vietnam

Back from Hoi An... amazing atmosphere and colors... 
... the food and people... 
... the handicrafts and the cultural and historical backgrounds...

Stay tuned, more photos to come once I am done with editing!


Tuesday, October 5

In my Etsy shop soon...

The Blogging Your Way e-course is over... and I am back working on my dear bags... I kind of missed it as I spent so many hours in front of the computer lately...
Here below are some goodies that will be in store as soon as we are back from our trip to Vietnam!

Available soon here

I am signing off for the week, but will be back with lots of beautiful pictures and eye candy from Hoi An!

Have a great week everyone,
xoxo

Friday, October 1

Look I desire {Anthropologie}

I love colors and I am not scared of mixing bold colors as shown in the image below from Anthropologie. I can picture myself in this pretty pair of shorts and gorgeous navy blue top... I might not opt for this type of shoes though... nowadays I find ballet flats or sandals much more comfortable!






































Shop this look and more at Anthropologie

Do you like shopping online for clothes? I know I can't as I am pretty scared to not fit in and I couldn't be bothered to return the stuff and order a different size. It might work if you perfectly what suits you (colors, shapes etc...) and if you have experienced a certain brand before.
Share with us your experience!

Wednesday, September 29

Inspiration :: Working from home

I am introducing today a new column where I am going to share with you my shopping {wish}list and how I manage to get THAT look within my {tiny} budget.

I have been facing a dilemma since working from home while also looking after my two children and juggling the different types of activities that rhythm my day.

How does one dress in this situation? To be honest I still haven't found the solution, and I am still looking at my wardrobe in despair every morning. I seem to have lots of clothes but unfortunately they are not working well together or they are too tight or... The truth is that I am missing the basics and I am on a mission to get them sooner rather than later!
Can you relate?

As many of you I am on a budget when it comes to shopping and I believe in shopping wisely.

::Tip:: Keep a {wish}list of items that are most needed in your wardrobe and update it regularly. You will then avoid buying impulsively clothes that you can't easily mix with each other (hmmm). And you will have a better control over your budget (re-hmmm).

Let's put together an easy look that would work in most situations.


Casual look #1

Blouse, cargo pants and flats by Anthropologie
Leaf earrings by Charmandchain *

The central piece is a delicate lilac blouse - inspired by this pretty column on Decor 8 by Leslie Shewring of Color Me Pretty.
Added to it, a soft cuff cargo pants, a pair of ballet flat and earrings that make a statement but don't overdo it.
Easy to wear, don't you think?

Another interesting topic is color analysis. My friend Kaho from Chuzai Living talks about her personal experience in this post and now I am seriously thinking to do it to understand which color works best for me :)


Have you ever done a personal color analysis? are you dressing up when working from home?


* For details about each item, please visit Casual look #1 on Polyvore.

Monday, September 27

{Net shopper bags}

I have so much to share with you, and so little time to do it... I have completed two new bags but still haven't had time to take decent pictures of them.
So today I just wanted to show the one I have done in the past in a little collage (that is also part of the homework I have to do for the BYW course).


Labor of Love available here

Do you have days or weeks when work is piling up high and time is running low? what are you doing in this situation?
I am drinking wine my friend... Bonne Nuit!

#4 Inspiration Board - BYW

Yet another inspiration board, this one created during the e-course Blogging Your Way to help us define what we want to talk about on our blog...
So here we are:


{accessories} {design} {styling} {arts and crafts} {beading and embroidery}
{little eye candy}

Are you inspired? is there anything else you would like me to talk about or share with you on this blog? something you would like to know about me, my life, my dreams?

Friday, September 24

#3 Inspiration board

Today I am in the mood for pretty, girly and cute little things... I am off doing some shopping for my kids :)

Oh Happy Day!

Edit: So I did some shopping last Friday, but I managed to find only clothes for Chloe... two T-shirts, two skirts and a pair of shorts...

Thursday, September 23

5 Easy Ways to {Decorate your Daughter's Room}

It has been a while since I wanted to share with you another hobby of mine...
I just love to spend time in my daughter's room, cleaning up her mess, displaying her toys, decorating her room, adding or withdrawing elements of decoration.
I don't do that on a weekly or even monthly basis, but rather every time I feel that there is too much clutter and that it doesn't "work" anymore.

Bedding set and canopy from Ikea; front pillows handmade by me;
two pillows with flowers applique from Tahiti :)


I did it last week and thus was ready to share my tips with you here. Five easy ways to pretty up your daughter's room at {almost} no cost:

  • Choose a nice bedding set whose colors will match the overall palette (no Princesses, Dora or other commercial stuff here)
Pillow details (handmade by me); the light garland is from Thailand,
the ABC poster from a little stationery shop
in Singapore cost only S$6; light from Ikea S$4.90

  • Make yourself some of the elements of the decoration: paper garlands, pillow cases ... and frame her artwork. Immediate results! If you don't know how to sew, or can't be bothered to make a paper garland, source them in your neighborhood (Chinatown everyone?) or online (Etsy) or even ask me for a tutorial...
Handmade pin dolls by Chloe and I; puppets from Peru;
garlands handmade by me with paper leftovers

Framed art and little paper dragon by Chloe;
paper pendant lamp from Ikea but decorated by me (works as a mobile, not a light)

  • Display her toys regularly instead of hiding them all in boxes, baskets etc... if you like a minimalist look, then hide the toys in wooden cases or woven baskets. No plastic boxes please! here in South East Asia it costs next to nothing to get beautifully handcrafted baskets (I am not referring to Ikea here, but rather to supporting local artisans).
Teatime for Barbies under a pink paper umbrella from Thailand

I also found that rotating and highlighting certain toys allows to re-discover her toys and play with all of them. Chloe {my nearly 4 year old daughter} doesn't get tired of "old toys".

Little dolls house in wood; decoration and furnishing in the process :)
Should I dare paint the house in white?

  • Arrange a reading corner/ nap corner with comfy pillows, a little mat etc... where your child {and yourself} will cool down and rest and enjoy story telling. Chloe loves book and I do read a lot to her. It is nice early in the afternoon when she is a bit tired to just lie down and read... and fall asleep if it is on the weekend!
Pillow case from Peru, rug from Ikea

  • Teach her to treasure her belongings. I would like to stress out this point as I see so many little kids not taking care of their toys, and worst their books (!!!). I am not buying loads of toys to my kids: quality and style is definitely taking over price and trend when I am in a toy store. And I do teach my daughter to look after each and every toy, book and gift.
Jewel box with a ballerina theme and music;
beautiful illustration is inspiration :)

I hope you enjoyed reading this post... it is an unusual topic here but since children's world has become a big part of my life I'd like to share it with you as well.

Chloe's room as it is today!

I would love to hear from you about your ongoing decoration projects and tips and how you keep your house clean and stylish with kids around! I have covered decorating a girl's room, now what about a boy's room? it seems entirely different to me and I am still in the process of understanding how boys play and live their lives... my son is only 7 months old!


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