Sparkling beauties, brocanting antique crystal bead chatons

Charlotte and I hit the French highway and embarked on our first 'ladies-only' adventure down to see my friend Corey Amaro. She is a wonderful supporter, listener, friend, fellow hoarder/collector and we spent hours with her talking silk, dreaming and scheming collaborations , drinking 'Wedding Imperial' Mariage Freres tea, sifting through antique limoges stamps, chandelier crystals, and lace.

And then just when I thought my brain was about to explode with the excitement of our afternoon, Corey reached for a stepladder, pulled down a dusty plastic bag and announced "Ah I think this will be something you might be able to use". She pulled out four battered, old, gorgeous, cardboard boxes 'dans leur jus', apparently she had bought the boxes on a whim as she just loved how they looked (so Corey) but it wasn't until later that she opened them to see what secrets they held. Corey did just that in front of me, she opened the first box and inside were stuffed little folder paper slips. The suspense nearly killed me as Corey carefully and slowly opened the first envelope, the tips of her fingers blackened with the dust and dirt from the old paper, my gut could just tell that something special was held within these old pieces of card.

Let their absolute sublimity wash over you!

She gave me one envelope after the next, amber, emerald, smoked topaz, marigold... each envelope contained different sizes of antique turn of the century chatons. I stopped breathing. I told Corey she had gone mad, absolutely mad to want to part with these.  Part of me cannot wait to get started in creating with these but another small part of me wants to wrap these up again and keep them hidden from time just as they were when Corey opened those envelopes for the first time.