donderdag 30 september 2010

I used to be Russian

When I was a girl I had a beautifull wide red cotton skirt with richly colored decorated bands at the seam. It was made by the sisters of Casa Nova, a nunnery where my mother followed sewing classes. I felt like a gipsy in it.

I believe, if I had a previous live, I probably was russian. If there is one country to emigrate to it would be Russia for me. Then I would be a country woman. I would make clothes following old principles; simple patterns, lots of tissues of various patterns, lots of bright colours. And of course, all handmade!

It never came true. I’v never been in Russia. My longest eastern trip was to the Czech Republic. Beautifull though!

Yet I make colourfull jewels that show my liking for folklore. Can you imagine that I could not believe my eyes when I saw at Google:
I was very happy!

Parkwolf Jewels, see more/buy at

dinsdag 7 september 2010

Creepy Crawlers

This week I travelled to Lille for probably the largest flea market in Europe; la Braderie. Set in the very heart of Lille, over one million visitors swarm the streets to browse the never-ending stalls that line 200 km of pavements throughout old Lille.

I never have a purpose or a plan when I visit a flea market. An item just has to speak to me before I start a bidding. But after a few purchases a theme emerged; insects and other creepy crawlers. I scored at least 1 fly, 2 beetles, 3 salamanders and a spider. At home I found out that one of the brooches I bought is made of brass and two real insects; cetonia aurata, rose beetle or “gouden tor” in Dutch. And that in the late 1800’s, Darwin’s controversial theories on evolution and new botanical discoveries created a demand for jewelry made to look like animals or insects. Ladies would secure pieces of lace to their ensemble with a multitude of these small pins made to look like butterflies, housflies, beetles, etc.

I even read these beetles were kept alive. What to say about a report that I found on the internet by Abeo;

“I first saw a beetle brooch when I was in Mexico about 10 years ago. It was in a fine jewelry store in one of the shops in the city of Merida, Yucatan. The beetles are highly decorated with pieces of jade, gold, diamonds, silver etc... and they move so slowly that no one can really tell they are alive until they move a bit. They have a small chain that you attack on your clothes. They came with a little box you can store them in, you have to feed them so they won't die on you”

Hmmm, living jewelry, what to make of that?

Parkwolf Jewels, see more/buy at