Slowly getting back to normal

Hmmmm. what have I been up to lately?

We’ve renovated our apartment with new flooring (beautiful dark oak boards), new cabinets in the living room (much-needed extra storage), a new bedroom wardrobe with sliding doors and improved storage, new bed and bedroom furniture, new curtains, new rugs, selling off lots of old furniture and stuff, making new terrariums…I am sure there is more.

On top of all that I have finished my first semester of post graduate studies. I really love the study and it’s great to see good marks and great feedback for all of the hard work.

I have been doing a lot of markets and had my best ever market on record two weeks ago.

I have been doing a bit less making than I would like but I am getting back into it now with a few new designs to list soon. I’ll also post pics of our renovations once the curtains go in and the new sofa arrives. I managed to buy a sofa that has to be custom made and will not be here till mid-August.

I mentioned a while back that I was working on a new pendant, fashioned from an old French button. Well here is the first saleable piece – I present….Crepsucule.


In English, ‘crepsucule’ translates to ‘twilight’, and what I love most about this adorable pendant is the little bats you can see flying in the sky above the lady, who is ‘twilight’. I have had the button cast in solid silver, added a bail and hand-finished it to give the illusion of a darkening night sky.

I noticed when I visited some of the cemeteries in Paris on recent travels that a lot of monuments had bats carved into the stone of the small buildings and headstones. Now it makes sense…crepsucule….

I used appropriately twilight-themed stones for this piece – black onyx and deep London blue topaz. The chain is antique French chain.

Also made for listing in my shop very soon is a pair of earrings made from solid silver charms (reproduced faithfully from the antique originals from my personal collection) and antique mother of pearl beads.


The charms are firstly, a fleur de lys link fashion from the link of an antique necklace, and pretty little flaming heart and pansy mini pendants. Very sweet, sentimental and unique. Exclusive to L’Atelier de Talaru.

I am very happy with how this necklace turned out. I had the parts sitting on my work desk for ages and I finally got the right combination to bring this lovely cherub powder compact pendant to life.


I love to use black pearls because they are so unusual but they can overshadow many designs unless your focal piece is as stunning as this brass compact locket.

What really makes this design pop, for me, is the luminous green garnets set just below the black pearls. They are one of my favourite stones, and represent a beguiling combination of colour, texture and organic goodness.

As I am good at doing, I did create a piece for myself in recent times. I tend to dwell on my own designs for ages – often holding onto the components for years until I get it just right. And with this necklace it all came together with the little book locket I bought recently.

I have only seen one other book locket like this, and it was one of the first things I sold in my supplies shop many years ago. When I saw another recently, I bought it to complete the design you see below.

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I also want to share a beautiful antique French silver cuff I added to my collection a few weeks back. This cuff is inspiration for a new lot of my own cuffs that I have been experimenting with. It’s the closest example of what I want to produce, but with my own collection of images drawn from early 19th century Neoclassical French Empire images. It all sounds rather complex, but I think the end result will be stunning. It’s just the method that I need to perfect. I am nearly there…


Finally, a necklace for my shop that is an example of what I love most about designing. The combination of elements from totally different and unrelated places, such as the sea and the land, and seeing them come together in harmony to make something that is ‘complete’.

This simple necklace is one that I cannot stop looking at. A simple gold filled chain, a South Sea pearl with golden tones, and a sage green agate pendant come together into a thing of beauty. This is one occasion when I can say that the photographs do not do it justice.DSC07263

3 responses to “Slowly getting back to normal

  • Deborah

    My view of your latest entry does not display the necklace you made for yourself. I am anxious to see it! I always love your work, Melanie, and just have to decide once and for all, which piece I must have! Deborah

    • Melanie Dooley

      Hi Deb, nice to hear from you! It’s odd that you can’t see the necklace. It’s the one with he round fleur de lys piece and the little book locket hanging below. If you still can’t see it I’ll fix it tomorrow. I’m making another like it for sale, but with a Paris book locket…might be ready tomorrow 🙂

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