Friday, December 10, 2010

J'adore Oscar of Nouveau Orleans.

This blog post is dedicated to the famous Oscar of New Orleans.   His booth is always surrounded by the prettiest French ladies, and everyone in Montbeliard says "bonjour" to him on the streets.  He is famous.  A few days ago I had the pleasure of watching him feed the animals at the "Mini Ferme".  Even the animals love Oscar!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Impromptu Concert

Ryan Brunet gives an impromptu concert for the folks at Soixante Six in Montbeliard.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Second Line in Montbeliard & other stuff

This was fun.

These are some freaky electronic polar bears.  Not very interesting but I felt the need to video tape them.

It is suppose to flood tomorrow.  Not quite sure what is going on.  I'm pretty sure it is no big deal. 
Je ne sais pas.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Louisiana Village - daytime pictures

The Louisiana Rum and Beer booth. Marjorie makes Vin Chaud (hot wine) in the
big metal pot. It is a combination of red wine, New Orleans Rum, and various
spices. Delicious!  Drink at least one a night to stay healthy.

Ryan Brunet and and some of  The Malfecteurs playing outside my booth. 
Phillipe (on the right) was nomiated for a Grammy the other day!
Louisiana state flags line the Cajun Village area

cool trees


Friday, December 3, 2010

poupee voodoo!

Poupee Voodoo!  My chalet neighbor, Annie, decided to sell these voodoo dolls so she could have some extra inventory.   Little did she know, they would be her best seller.  I hear people saying, "Poupee Voodoo!!!" all day.  One customer has come back several times, reporting to Annie how well the doll is working. 

I also have voodoo earrings, which I now call "poupee voodoo earrings".  I finally sold my first pair yesterday.   My other "hot" sellers are my alligator earrings (eye roll) and music note earrings.  People point at the Louisiana pendants and ask me, "Why did you cut out a boot?".  The crab and crawfish necklaces also seem to creep people out. 

The market has been really slow.  It supposedly picks up as it gets closer to Christmas.  It is somewhat excruciating sitting in the chalet all day in the freezing cold temperatures.  I just looked out the window, and the river is frozen, so I guess today will be another cold one. 

Here is a video of the musicians we are staying with.  They are all very awesome.  You may recognize some people in the background.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


This is Skippy.  He was my first sale of the day at 9:00.  He was extremely intoxicated.  He purchased a pair of alligator earrings.  He then approached Megan, and asked her to open the little bag so he could put them on.  This is what happened......

Saturday, November 27, 2010

more pics again

Just finished walking back from my first day of the market.   It snowed all night and the walk outside to the market was beautiful.  The market was kind of slow, probably because it was very cold and snowed almost all day.  It is suppose to be a little "warmer" tomorrow.   

The walk back to the apartments today was fun!  Well at least I thought it was fun.  The route home involves some hills and bridges.  People were slipping and sliding all over the place.  Someone slid backward down an icy hill (I will not mention their name for privacy purposes.).  No one was hurt. I thought it was really funny.   I was laughing so hard I almost didn't maket it up the hill myself.

I took pictures of the chalets today.

Annie with All Tied up and Edie Varnado with Camp Topisaw

Margo Rosa's Booth.  She is my neighbor and she is
really hilarious.  I have enjoyed meeting her.  She has
been doing Jazz Fest for a million years.

Joshua Lee, it is weird taking a picture of a photographer.

Oscar of New Orleans. He is famous.

Forrest working on the Montbeliard Sans Soucci Gallery.  Forrest speaks
French and he has really helped us communicate with the festival
coordinators.  He also likes playing in the snow.

Meghan Barra and her chalet.  I need to get
closer pictures of her work, because it is very beautiful.

Friday, November 26, 2010

More Pictures

It snowed last night, and all day today!

I scraped the snow off this sign.  While taking a picture of it.....

these friendly city workers wanted to be in the picture too. 
These are some of the guys that set up the millions of Xmas Lights all over the city.
The people of Montbeliard are very nice.

Today, I finished the interior of my chalet, but I still haven't put the
 jewelry on the  display fixtures yet.   It was a little difficult because
it was snowing so hard and I was accumulating rather large snow drifts
in my booth!  The festival starts tomorrow at 10:30AM, so I have to get up very 
early to catch up on some stuff.

 I also have to practice my numbers tonight, so I'm signing off!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

First few Days in Montbéliard

This will be very brief and informal for those of you wanting to see pics from MontbĂ©liard.  The last 3 days have been hectic and crazy (in a good way most of the time).  I am staying in a large apartment with several other artists, musicians, chefs, and festival coordinators.    The festival does not start until Saturday, so we have been unpacking, decorating and getting to know each other.  I have also been practicing my extremely bad French on the poor locals, when I get lost. 

Last night the cajun band arrived from Lafayette. They played in the dining room til 3am and it was very, very fun.

Yesterday I was assigned to my chalet, and today I began setting up the interior.
Here is a view from my apartment window, and a castle/museum that I pass on the way to the market.

more pictures coming soon

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

banners and stuff

One of our new banners for our upcoming holiday shows.  Still need to design at least two more.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

we have returned!

I just got back from AmericasMart.  Once again, a sucessful market.  Had a lot of fun hanging out with the lovely ladies of TracyJane Jewelry, opening new accounts and meeting new people.  I was able to view the newest collection of Maruca Design handbags.   The only bad part of my very first-ever speeding ticket in Alabama involving a cop that really could use some lessons in being POLITE!

Our online store is up and running again.  The next few months we will be processing orders, creating backstock for our upcoming Christmas shows, revamping our wholesale line sheets, preparing for the big jewelry adventure in France, and of course creating new necklaces, bracelets, and earrings for you to wear!

Today I designed this new point of sale peapod sign for my new and exisiting clients.  They are printing as I type, and will be laminted and shipped off tomorrow.   Peapod necklaces are now sold in almost 20 states, check my where to buy page for a store near you!  They are also avaiable online.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Custom Bridal Jewelry

cuthe stunning bride, photo by Genovese Photography
A few months back we had the pleasure of designing bridal jewelry for Becca's wedding.  Just got the pics from Genovese Photography and we love them!   If you need portraits or a wedding photographer in the future, you might want to check out his website.

And of course, if you need bridal jewelry, schedule a face-to-face, email or phone conultation with Beatrixbell Jewelry!

putting on the Beatrixbell Necklace,
photo by Genovese Photography
the bridal party, photo by Genovese Photography

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

more new items

We have been on a quest to find some unique fleur de lis designs, and I think we found them. These earrings feature gold filled french wires with antiqued vintage replica fleur de lis. The charms have been antiqued to create contrasting shades of gold. Charms hang about 1.5" in length. These earrings are available on our website under the Louisiane Collection, or you can view the entire collection of fleur de lis jewelry.
"valley" fleur de lis earrings
"lily" fleur de lis earrings
"plume" fleur de lis earrings


Friday, June 18, 2010

What to Look for When Buying Handmade Jewelry

This article is going to give you some pointers on what to look for when buying handmade jewelry, specifically strung jewelry.  When we say "strung jewelry" we mean beaded jewelry that has been strung on some sort of cord and affixed at the ends with crimp beads.

So many people these days are making jewelry....and why not?   But like any other art or craft, there is a certain amount of knowledge, skill and practice that any jewelry designer must master before they venture out into the craft or gift show scene. Unfortunately, many jewelry designers don't do this, and they end up selling sub par jewelry to the unassuming public.  Not cool.  After being in the gift show and craft circuit for 10 years, I have seen a lot of this.

So today, I'm going to give you some warning signs to look for in beaded jewelry.

Exhibit A 
Exhibit A displays the end of a necklace or bracelet.  Note the crimp bead is not folded over.  This is a sign of bad craftsmanship!  Crimp beads are always suppose to be folded over using a special pair of crimping pliers.  When a jewelry designer just smooshes it flat, a) it will have pointy edges that can annoy or scratch you and b) it puts too much pressure on the string which will eventually lead it to pop and break.  Exhibit A also shows a string sticking out.  The string should always be tucked into the bead and not exposed.  This too is scratchy and annoying against the skin.  These two details are small to the naked eye, but if you look for them, you will see them.

Exhibit B -  Beware of open jump rings!  These are the little circular hoops that make up part of the clasp on a bracelet or necklace.  You can either have open jump rings (pictured) or closed jump rings.  Open ones will work their way out of the string....duh!  There is a 100% chance this will happen due to the laws of physics.  The proper method is using a closed jump ring.  This is a soldered hoop in which the string cannot possible work its way out.  Many, many, many jewelry artists do not use closed jump rings.

Exhibit C displays too much slack in the cord.  This is a warning sign that your crimp bead was not attached properly, and your jewelry piece could be in the process of stretching to the point of popping.  It could also mean that piece was not given the proper amount of tension when attaching the clasp.   This too is bad craftsmanship.  You should never see exposed string.

EXHIBIT D This is the correct way to fold a crimp bead.  It should be folded, kind of like a taco.
EXHIBIT EExhibit E shows the correct use of a crimp bead (seen on left).  This necklace uses wire guards and crimp covers (the two little doo dads pictured in the middle).  Wire guards, also called wire protectors, are little things that protect the wire from scraping and rubbing against the clasp, therefore extending the life of the piece of jewelry.    This image also features crimp covers, which is a nice way of covering the crimp bead to give the piece a finished look.  Look for wire guards and crimp covers when shopping for handcrafted jewelry.  I would not pay top dollar for a necklace if it did not have these findings.

...and that concludes your tutorial on how to shop for handcrafted jewelry!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Upcoming Shows in the New Orleans area

As we transition to our impending move, we are starting to participate in more shows in the New Orleans area.  We are very excited to be participating in the Algiers Riverfest, April 17 & 18, and an outdoor shopping event at the Chenier in Mandeville this Sunday from 12-5.  Hoping for awesome Louisiana Spring weather....

We will also be in Lafayette for Festival International, April 24-26th.  Such a great festival, one of my favorites!   
You can also find our jewelry at The Villa in Mandeville, the exclusive carrier of Beatrixbell Jewelry on the North Shore and Teche Gifts, the exclusive carrier of Beatrixbell Jewelry in Lafayette.  They picked out some very cool pieces for the stores, so check it out!

Monday, March 1, 2010 - Only Handmade Art & Crafts

Check out my little shop on
I temporarily abandoned the shop during my busy holiday rush. Today I devoted a little time to it, and hopefully will continuously add things to it each week. I'm hoping to be able to add one-of-a-kind pieces, as soon as I relocate my studio. There are lots of international artists and craftspersons on this site....that's why I like it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Something Blue? No! Somthing GREEN!

We added a little chain to these
vintage crystals for an updated look.
Something we have been doing for years, before the whole green trend, is "reworking" vintage jewlery into updated pieces for the bride and bridal party.  Many brides have vintage jewelry pieces that have been handed down generations.  Some of the brides are ready for a modern twist on their old jewels!

My client Jamie brought me a georgeous vintage Swarovski triple strand necklace this summer.  However, the clasp was just downright gross.  It was literally turning green!  I helped her select a 24 karat gold clasp (I gave her tons of options in all styles and price ranges).  We then restrung the neckalce on high quality cord, attached the shiny new clasp and, voila!  An updated vintage necklace for the bride.

Another client, Amy, had an entire bag of broken vintage crystals from her great grandmother.  We sorted out the beads, selected some filler beads (similar beads that would match and compliment the vintage beads) and were able to create three matching necklaces and earrings for her and her 2 sisters.

Add a vintage pearl or crystal to
one of our many silver or gold filigrees.
There are so many options when it comes to these loose beads.  Don't throw them away or stick them in the back of your sock drawer!  You can string them back into their original style, add accent beads, wire wrap them, incorporate them into chain, cake pulls, beaded combs, or headpieces.

Not only is recycled jewelry green, but if it comes from someone you love, or was handed down through generations, it is so meaningful.  So let us turn it into something useable, functional, sturdy and lovely!

A personal friend of mine, Susan, made me cut apart her very
expensive cultured pearl knotted necklace. We incorporated it with
white gold chain and wire wrap. It transformed the necklace into
2 bracelets, one for her and one for her soon-to-be daughter-in-law. 
A completely different design, which was excatly what
she wanted!
You can either schedule a one-on-one consultation if you're local, or you can contact me for more information.  I have worked long distance with many brides.  As long as you know how to check your email and open image attachments you are good to go!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Coming to a city near you?

We are on track and shipping orders everyday.  Visit our where to buy page to find a stockist near you. 

Today we shipped orders to Patricia's in Collierville, TennesseeTake Me Home in Palos Park , IL, Flag Lady Gifts in Wayne, Pennsylvania, and Pursesnickety in Mansfield, Ohio.  Each of these stores will be carrying the ever popular Peapod Jewelry Collection, just in time for Valentine's day!  More stores to be listed soon! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Atlanta Update

It has been a long and amazing week, giving us a great kick-start for 2010!  We were able to open 28 accounts and will now be represented in 31 different galleries and gift shops accross the United States.  Visit the stockists page on our website to find out where to buy Beatrixbell Jewelry!   Back to the Red Stick tomorrow, then off we go to the studio to get some of these orders processed and shipped!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I made it to Atlanta. I am having a great time. The show officially starts tomorrow, and I have already met some fun and interesting people. Photos are not allowed at this show, but I was given permission to take some pictures of my booth. I feel lost in this overwhelmingly enormous amount of very cool stuff. This place is huge. Or should I say, these 3 buildings are huge!

A big shout out to Dave Gallent at Gumbo Good Photography who helped me photo edit my signs as well as print them out for me. I think they look great. Thanks Dave!

And for your viewing pleasures, here is a slideshow of the progression of my booth. 


Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Final Countdown!

I depart for my big Atlanta trip in exactly 6 days!  Things are finally coming together.  Just have to work out some last minute details.   And for your viewing pleasure, here is a tote bag that I will be sporting while I'm there.

Have a safe and exciting New Year's!