Holiday Madness!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since this summer! The months have been flying by and we are now only ten days before Christmas. Where has the time gone? One thing is certain, the shop has never been so full of fabulous art, antiques, jewelry, found objects and all manner of curious treasures.

We have several featured artists this fall including Elena Wendelyn’s ceramics, Nancy Nelson’s elemental assemblages, Debbie Savar’s paintings and soy teacup candles and Karyn Porter’s paper artowk. I have also added my own paintings to the shop along with a huge range of jewelry for the holidays. We are fully stocked with Formulary 55’s fantastic soaps, candles, fizzies and hand creams.

Of course we are also happy to share a large collection of antiques from France including jewelry, antique natural history prints, Catholic iconography, jewelry boxes, enamelware and so much more. There is a little something for everyone on your list. I have been posting a daily shopping guide by theme on our Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Curious-Nest/137183043007939?pnref=story

I will attach pictures of some of the new pieces in the shop but the best thing is to pop by and see us in person! Our holiday hours this week are Wednesday – Saturday 11-6 Sunday 12-5 and we may also open Monday and Tuesday of next week…stay tuned. In the meantime, here are some images from the nest.

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Summer Hours

fourthofjuly

We just wanted to let you know about our summer hours. We will be closed this Thursday, July 3rd and Friday, July 4th for the Independence Day holiday. We will be back open this Saturday, July 5th  11-6 and Sunday, July 6th 12-5, for regular shop hours. In true French tradition, we close the month of August and re-open after Labor Day so make sure and stop by this July for all kinds of treasures!

 

I’m working on new summer jewels this week and we will also have a new arrival of antiques in time for Bastille Day. We have also been spending a great deal of time building our online presence with our Ebay (antiques and jewelry) , Etsy (jewelry and art) and The Curious Nest online stores. Have peek for those of you near or far.

 

We hope to see you soon, July is going to be a wonderfully busy month of new arrivals and celebration!

Spring Shipment from France!!!

Our spring shipments have arrived! Laurent has spent the last three weeks shopping for treasures in France and his work did not disappoint! So many wonderful and unique finds, it was gloriously overwhelming to open all the boxes. We will have treasures ready and waiting for you starting tomorrow and in the meantime, a sneak peek via pictures!

Some of my favorite things include the huge collection of antique medals, the art nouveau bronze and sterling finds (from platters to compacts), French enamelware, statuary, curiosities (mustache brush!), fabulous jewelry, Holy Relics, Italian triptychs, an unusual original Russian oil icon and so much more I hardly know where to start!

We will be hard at work putting everything out in the shop tomorrow and hope to see you all soon!cn01 cn02 cn03 cn04 cn05 cn06 cn07 cn08 cn09 cn10 cn11 cn12 cn13 cn14 cn15 cn16 cn17 cn18 cn19 cn20 cn21 cn22 cn23 cn24 cn25 cn26 cn27 cn28 cn29 cn30 cn31 cn32ment

Evolutionarium – Air

I’m very excited to announce the arrival of my latest 36 page, illustrated novella “Evolutionarium – Air”. I will be putting out the first editions tomorrow. The books are $7 each. The original drawings will also be available for purchase. I’ve created one-of-a-kind matts and frames for each of the drawings. The originals also have watercolor details. The 5×7 illustrations are $85 each and the 9×10 illustration is $140. Purchases of original art come with a complimentary copy of the book. You can also find the novella on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback.

Air is the first book in the Evolutionarium series of illustrated novellas.  Set in the not-so-distant future, the Great Change has left the world’s inhabitants struggling for elemental balance. Caged in an overpopulated apartment building, Jasper is a boy on the fringe of the flock. He spends his days obsessed with a microcosm of magpie treasures until one evening a winged shadow on the roof catches his eye. As a string of eerie events unfold, Jasper discovers his kindly neighbor Mrs. Harlow may be at the heart of an evolving mystery.

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March Art and Antiques

Just a quick update of some new things we got into the shop and some neighborhood happenings.

First, we have new elemental assemblages by Nancy Nelson! I love them all but my favorite is the long one because there is a bottle within a bottle. All her lovely details and thoughtful arrangement of elements make my heart sing. We hope you love them as much as we do.

Also new soap from Formulary 55! We will now be carrying Formulary 55 soap and hand cream along with Circle Creek Home soaps. It smells heavenly! My favorite is “Bonjour Monsieur” and “Sweet Pea and Clover”. We will also have new work by Karyn Porter in tomorrow including her bird and small Eiffel Tower cards and handmade journals.

As for my creations, I’m working on new woven gemstone flower jewelry, the lucky shamrock set is perfect for Spring. As well as a short, illustrated novella called “Evolutionarium” which will be out in April. The original drawings will be for sale in the shop along with the book. The third novel in the Winship series will be released in late May.

Laurent just added some fabulous French antiques to the shop! If you can’t make it in, some are also available on our online store as well as on Ebay http://www.ebay.com/sch/thecuriousnest/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from Though it is best to come peruse in person.

We are also very sad to say goodbye to our neighbors at “Planet Happy”. They will be closing their store at the end of the month and are currently having a liquidation sale with prices from 25-75% off everything. If you are looking for eco-friendly toys, books and more, do come by and take a peek at what they have before they close up. Their shop hours are the same as ours, Thursday-Sunday.

We hope to see you soon!

Faery Tale Collection

I finished a new collection of jewels just in time for Valentine’s Day! I’ve been working on these pieces for quite some time; collecting, sketching and weaving a bit of childhood magic into these pieces.

As many of you know, I’m a fan of all things Victorian/fairy/magical creature. Part of the collection is inspired by beloved characters (Rapunzel, Cinderella, Ozma, Beauty, Wendy and lessor known Grimm heroines), others will be what I call “faery tale relics” (a piece of a gnome’s hat persevered under glass, a shed fairy wing, a sliver of Pinocchio’s nose, a tooth from the Big Bad Wolf, pixie favors and more) as well as magical creatures themselves (unicorns, dragons, fairies and other critters).

It’s been awhile since I’ve been this inspired for one grouping of jewels! I will have them out in the shop tomorrow and hope they fill everyone with curiosity and joy. Also, though I imagine most of you already know this of me, this collection leans more to the Grimm’s side of things rather than, ahem, Disney…there may be a few impish surprises amongst the pretties!

Little Things

Little Things…

Recently my friend brought me two boxes of little things from her studio. Lisa Mei Ling Fong is a renowned assemblage artist, a lover of curious trinkets, a transformer of the mundane into the beautiful. It was overflow from her stock and she knew that I too have a love of odd little bits and pieces that speak of worlds waiting to be created. Butterfly cocoons in Tupperware, hinges from furniture run amuck, a fishing reel whose catch was long abandoned. I spent hours sorting through the possibilities each tiny object possessed, a little glow of joy growing in my heart with each discovery. What final metamorphoses would a broken butterfly wing endure? You will soon find out!

About a week later we brought a new artist’s work into the store. Nancy Nelson came to us with her latest creations, glass vials filled with little things found in nature. Each glass container is carefully aligned to create a collection of elemental artifacts. Vibrant plumage ignites visions of exotic birds in flight, tiny shark teeth transports one to deep waters; each combination a reminder of the beauty in the world. As we spoke about her inspiration, I could feel an instant kinship with both her and her art. Her eyes sparkled with delight as she explained the lovely contents of her creations. She too is a lover of little things. As I priced and hung her work, I couldn’t help but smile with contagious glee as another local artist, Marge Manwaring, came to mind.

A poetess is in her art bound by little things; words condensed in elegance to convey the most expansive subjects the universe holds true. In her collection of poems “What to Make of a Diminished Thing”, Marge crafts a microcosm of emotion on the page. Each word perfectly placed to stir feelings immeasurably. I am honored to have her books in the store as well this month; each comes with a handmade bookmark lovingly adorned with a little gumball machine charm.

As all these little things made their way into the shop, it seemed that February was destined to be an ode to the diminutive! The more I thought on it, the more perfect it all seemed for the smallest month. Also how lovely to give the gift of the world in a bottle or a beautifully bound book of poems to a Valentine! A little thing can speak volumes to the heart. It also speaks to the creator of those seemingly small relics. It tells them that the love they instill in each piece is a worthy endeavor. These little treasures are more than mere adornment; they are a love letter to the world and all things creative.

So if you are in search of the perfect little thing, do consider some of our new treasures. Wish bottles for a friend, a vial of elements for a lover, or a book of poems for the vibrant souls in your life are all waiting for you inside our tiny nest. Or a pair of earrings made with antique St. Therese medals, the patron saint of little things. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that have the most impact; a word of encouragement sends a ripple of hope into the world. A butterfly wing stirs a storm of imagination! We hope to see you soon and in the meantime, I wish you all little things filled with wonder and joy.

 

Wish Bottles

 An Orchestra of Wishes…

While contemplating what 2014 may hold for us, I found myself in the realm of wishes. Dreams, hopes, wishes are wonderfully intagible wisps that flutter into our hearts burning to be seized! They can be overwhelming in their intensity at times. In other moments, we search for them frantically, fearing they may be lost.

So I decided to create a physical vessel to hold wishes. Long a collector of antique bottles, the idea of a message sent out to sea appeared in the forefront of my mind. A collage of collected ornaments formed on each bottle, a starfish here…a key over there. Each one a keepsake to hold an orchestra of wishes.

When you feel the nagging sensation of a dream appear, tear a scrap of paper from the nearest reel. Scratch your hopes onto it with unabashed glee. Into the bottle it goes, either rolled into a perfect little paperolle or straight, so hints of words can be seen as reminders. I like to hang them in the window and watch the light shine through the wish bottle, reflecting lively shadows on sunny days.

At the end of the year, a bottle full of wishes awaits. You can give them as a gift! What is more precious that a whole year of your hopes and dreams? Or keep them as a reminder that your soul is very much alive with joy. Afterall, the granting of all your wishes is not what’s important; it’s the collecting of dreams that keeps the heart beating.

And while I’ll have these bottles for sale in the shop this week, you may also make your own! Granted, I would be honored if you chose one of mine but welcome the proliferation of wish keepers in all their variations. Mine range in price from $14-$32 dollars depending on the rarity of the bottle and its adornaments.

Wishing you all a year of abundant joy and dreams requited!

Places that Inspire

The precipice of the new year often leaves me nostalgic for moments passed. I like to reflect on the people, places and things that inspired us to be where we are at this time. We received news earlier in the month that one of our favorite customers passed away. The last time she visited we spoke at length with her and her husband about places to visit in France for their upcoming trip. It was a magical moment with kindred spirits! Beyond our need to make a living, it reminded me of one of the reasons I first wanted to open a store and the place that inspired it.

The first twinge of desire to open my own shop appeared when Laurent and I visited Rocamadour. We were still living in France at the time. I saw this little store and my heart nearly burst with joy! The crooked roof, the tiny door, all tucked into the rocks…sigh…even now, I sometimes imagine The Curious Nest in this tiny building. Sitting at the foot of the largest shrine to the Black Madonna, a place ancient and blessed.

Now I imagine our friend peering up at those same rocks, hand clasped with her beloved, soaking in all the mystery of Rocamadour. The reason I first wanted to open a store was to share with others the things and ideas that made my heart delight. Not just physical items but also the places they came from or the idea that sparked their creation. We’ve noticed more people coming to us asking about where we find things or what inspired a certain piece of artwork (be it jewelry, books or paintings). I think we’re all craving those moments of connection and inspiration in a world that often leaves us bogged down in the quagmire.

So this year, instead of simple shop updates, I will also be writing about places, people and ideas that inspire. For those of you who are too far to visit in person, I’m hoping the pictures and words will transport you to our little nest. For obvious reasons, to keep the nest open we must sell physical items. More importantly, to keep the desire alive in us we must continue to create those little moments of kindred appreciation of all things beautiful, curious and divine. I hope 2014 is a year of discovery and joy for all.

Holiday Hours!

Our little nest is sparkling with all manner of twinkle lights, snowflakes and crystals! We are also fully stocked with small locally made stocking stuffers to one of kind treasures. I even did a rack of necklaces and earrings with vintage findings (earrings $16 necklaces $18), sterling & gemstone earrings $24 and more. We also have lavender sachets, soap ($6 and $2 bars), soy teacup candles ($12-$16), handmade ornaments and other small treats. If you are interested in giving my books for the holidays, we have about a dozen copies of the first book left in stock and about 25 of book 2. They flew out the door last week!

To make it a bit easier to see us this week, we will be open Wed-Sat 11-6 Sun-Mon 12-5, closed Dec 24-25th to re-open for normal hours the last week in December. We will then close up for the first week in January. We hope to see you all soon!

 Happy Holidays!

 

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