Sunday, April 5, 2015

It all started like this...

One day, as I was wasting the usual hour or three on Pinterest, I stumbled upon THIS.

I love chatelaines. Chatelaines were a decorative piece, worn by women, from which lots of household items were hung. They were SUCH a delicate and ladylike way of carrying those things we forever need close at hand. Pencils, paper, scissors...just to name a few. 

This is actually a ladies watch but also classified as a chatelaine. It's home is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Made of gold, platinum and diamonds by Watchmaker Hippolyte T├ęterger of France, about 1880. The moment I saw this piece I fell HARD.

So hard, in fact, that I actually sat down and altered my zombie apocalypse plan. 

That's right, turns out I'm NOT heading down to the secret rendezvous point in SC to meet up with the rest of my family. I'm headed to the Met. I fully intend to liberate this piece and THEN I'll worry about meeting up with the rest. We all have our priorities. Even during the end of the world. 

Anyway, as I stared at this piece, I felt like there was something really familiar about it. Something that just kept niggling at me, and for the longest time, I couldn't figure out why.

I'm not sure why inspiration...or general 'crazy'...tends to hit during the wee hours of the morning, but it was around 3am when I woke up suddenly and got out of bed. Down to the craft room to my huge tool box filled with my beloved brass and, after a half hour of digging around, I had it. 

May I present my 'Ode to T├ęterger'

This pieces measures just under 7 inches tall and 3 inches at the widest part-the bottom Cherubim's outstretched arms.

I'm not sure if having all this brass and broken rhinestone jewelry is necessarily a 'plus', but I CAN say I was THRILLED with the way this turned out! I pieced everything together and used 18k gold spray paint to turn everything the same color gold. The cherubs at the bottom were originally silver and came with 2 arms...I had to amputate the inside ones to make it fit, but hey...they're CHERUBS! Aren't they, like, magic or something? So they can grow another!! Get over it!! 

Next, I took some broken rhinestone chains, a pin and a couple of links from a bracelet to use as the 'blingy' part. The large middle piece was actually this ugly finding/connector I came across that was really cheap and I snagged it ONLY because it was cheap. I just knew I'd never use it. Guess I was wrong, huh?

The rest was brass that I've been accumulating for quite awhile from my 'brass guy'. Who happens to be so ridiculously reasonable that I hate to share him...because what am I going to do when he sells out???? DANG. I hate doing this. But I've been asked so many times about the brass I use, and so in the spirit of sharing-as well as a 'ty' to Michael, my brass guy-I'll share it with you. 


If you're just starting out, buy the auctions where you buy 1/8 or 1/4 and get the same free. That's how I quickly built a collection and kept it inexpensive. Michael is also very generous and especially so to repeat customers. Truly a great guy.

Enough for tonight...there's wine to drink and this thing called 'dinner' my kids keep yelling for. Let me go see what THAT'S all about. Why can't they just eat Easter candy like the REST of the kids? Why this sudden demand for 'nutrition'???? 


UPDATE: To answer my friend and muse Lee Ann's question of what I do with these pieces, most reside with unsuspecting innocents who made the mistake of admiring my work. I figure it's good to remind people of the danger of saying they really like something. So be careful! Don't just admire things liberally, practice reserve...or you, too, could end up with some of my junk on your doorstep. You have been warned. ;)


  1. Holy cow, Carmen! That is an amazing replica! Very cool. I guess my question is, what will you do with it? How big is it? Do you have a room to collect your things? My brain doesn't get beyond paper, LOL. Have a great week!

  2. OMG looks like a stolen piece of jewellery from some ancient goddesses tomb.....sometimes I think you and I were partners in crime circa 1600AD. This is FABULOUS my friend.

  3. Lee Ann!! TY for asking! I'm updating it now with the info. As to where these things go, most of them get shipped to unsuspecting victims. Saying you like something of mine has far-reaching effects...just ask SCS user APandi, who made the mistake of complimenting my Putz house. That sucker was on its way to Denver before she hit enter. HAHAHAHAHA The rest my mother takes to display in her house...I don't keep anything here. When I send it on, the pictures and my memory always make it much better than in person, so I keep trying harder on subsequent pieces. By taking away an actual measure, it's my THEORY that I'll keep improving!!! And Susie...I'm willing to bet MONEY that you and I were involved in nefarious activities in a past life or two. I'm SURE of it!!! LOL

  4. Carmen, I have NO earthly idea WHAT you were in your PAST life, but I am MOST CERTAINLY enjoying whatever you are in THIS life! This is beautiful! (as you are). Not only are you UBER talented, but your humor and your blog posts always make me giggle..ok, wait, not giggle but BELLY laugh until it hits the front drawer of my desk.! Outstanding my friend...! XO