Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Convenience of Customizing Your Wedding Ballet Flats

When it comes to weddings, being able to customize your accessories provides you with so much more flexibility and uniqueness  Nothing is more special than having something made just for you, in your color palette to match the rest of your wedding decor and your wedding setting.

Sol Bijou ballet flats are not only crafted in your wedding colors, which means selecting the fabrics and decorations you wish, but also, they are made in your size.  Commercial sizes not always provide brides with the proper fit.  To address this dilemma, I make my flats according to the unique measurements of each client and each foot.  Let's face it, our bodies are not completely symmetric.  In most cases, one foot is longer or wider than the other.

Being able to customize your ballet slippers allows you to have a pair of elegant wedding flats in any size and color. Tall brides no longer have to worry about not finding feminine, original and chic foot-wear.

After many years creating wedding accessories, I have come to learn that white and ivory are no longer customary wedding colors.  Today brides are very creative, bolder and more willing to break  past wedding "norms" and "traditions".  This is the case of Susan, who chose a beautiful and delicate wedding palette: white, mint, purple and lilac.  Susan approached me with a photo of her wedding bouquet.  She mentioned that her wedding "theme" revolved around the general look and shades of her bouquet, as such, she wanted a pair of comfortable wedding flats to match.  She knew she wanted her pair in white lace combined with mint, utilizing lilac and purple as accent colors.  Moreover, Susan suffers from Fibromyalgia.  A painful condition which calls for flexible and soft shoes, crafted in a comfortable size.  She was not prepared to sacrifice fashion, femininity and elegance.  The result: The pair of ballerina flats shown below crafted just for her (I am also showing her bouquet)

Alexa, on the other hand, was getting married in Aruba.  She wanted her flats to be made in a fabric that would capture the beach setting where the ceremony would take place.  I recommended linen for her shoes, as this fabric is breathable, fresh and its color reminds me of  the color of sand.  She provided me with a photo of her venue, as well as the beach where she would be tying the knot.  You can see for yourself, how unique her flats turned out!

Sophie, a bride from the UK, desired a pair of flats for each of her 4 bridesmaids. She provided me with a photo of  the dress she had selected for them.  As her own wedding dress was ivory, we came up with this pair of ballet flats which complimented her bridesmaids dresses beautifully!

Rhonda, a bride from Australia, dreamed of having a mint and blush wedding.  She provided me with plenty of photos which captured, not only her bridesmaids dresses, but also, her venue, cake, place setting, bouquet and boutonnieres.  I just LOVE this delicate color combination.  Here is her pair of ballet flats

Sonya was having a garden wedding.  She selected coral, ivory and turquoise for her wedding colors.  In fact, she provided me with a photo of the wedding bouquet she would be carrying, so that her ballet flats could be made to match it.  I just love how her pair of shoes turned out!

I take pride in the fact that I can match any shade of any color, as I strive to make your wedding as unique as you are.  You no longer have to settle for conventional, cookie-cutter flats!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

In no time flat- The birth of Sol Bijou Ballet Flats

It never ceases to surprise me how inspiration works.  You are in the midst of doing something, completely engaged in the activity, and all of the sudden an idea hits you like a lightening bolt.  I now recognize that feeling more easily than I used to.  That very familiar feeling.  The feeling of creativity. It is something one must act upon, and has to be done quickly...You see, you are "given" a very small window of opportunity. It is up to you to "take it or leave it" Just like a dream that is so real while we are asleep, and yet it seems to vanish once we awaken, creativity works the same way.  It does to me, anyway.  The longer I wait to carry out what my inspiration guides me to do, the more momentum the creative forces shed.  One of those moments was when I was inspired to come up with my first pair of wedding ballet flats.  It wasn't an easy task.  There was nothing out there quite like what I envisioned, so I proceeded to make a sketch of it. 

It took trial and error. Numerous sleepless nights, and endless brain-storming sessions to come up with a pair of ballet flats that would not only be pleasing to the eye, but also be comfortable to wear.  

I sold my first pair of ballet flats on Etsy back on August 14, 2011.  

It was a simple ivory satin pair. Dainty and feminine. It wasn't perfect, yet, the bride loved her flats.  Her feedback allowed me to continue improving them.  I invested numerous hours in order to come up with the right fit, the right design, the final master piece.  Have I accomplished perfection?  I believe so, and I am very proud of this long journey.

Today, I offer a HUGE variety of ballet flats, crafted in various fabrics, such as satin, lace, sequin, faux suede, cotton, velvet, to name a few. Plain designs, or designs with embellishments.

I custom-match wedding colors to ensure your flats are designed in your wedding palette. My ballet slippers are custom-made.  This ensures that the pair fits each of my clients like a "glove".  A pattern is created for each foot in order to achieve the perfect fit. 

Who purchases Sol Bijou ballet flats?  Brides who love comfort, impeccably-crafted shoes and aesthetics.  Many of my brides (like me) have one foot longer than the other, or a wide-shoe fit.  I have also encountered brides who have physical limitations, such as fibromyalgia or asymmetric feet who are unable to find a flexible, cushioned and soft pair elsewhere.

Imagine your bridesmaids wearing a unique pair of ballet flats that displays your preferred shades, beautifully made and decorated, in perfect sync with your wedding palette and decor....

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sol Bijou Introduces: Etsy Shop shufflestudio

Today the big spotlight is on an incredibly talented artist. She captivated my eyes with her vibrant colours, her imagination and her lively personality. Her name is Cara, the creative force behind "Shuffle Studio". This Etsy shop offers an array of gorgeous lampwork and blown glass beads.

Recently I commissioned Cara to create some custom pieces for one of my future projects. She was thrilled by the challenge, and very eager to fulfill my request. As she very well put it: "I love experimenting with glass, and custom orders allow me to do things I wouldn't think of". Soon you will be able to see her mini "master pieces" in my jewelry.

Below is a mini bio on Cara and some photos of her beautiful art. Thank you Cara for making this world a little brighter with your creations!!!

“When I was young I used to make jewelry and little crafty projects with my best friend (we would go to the local craft store and spend hours debating which supplies we HAD to have versus what we could afford) And that carried into a school career full of art classes and basically getting my hands into whatever type of art I could learn.

In college I saw myself as kind of an art groupie, no great drawing/ painting talents, average sculpting ability etc; and I wondered if I was one of those people who love art but weren't very gifted at creating it. However, one day on a jaunt to a local headshop with friends I met a glass artist who gave me a list of people who offered instruction in hot glass blowing.

I began taking classes in full scale glass blowing in Ann Arbor, MI at Baron Glassworks from the incomparable Annette Baron, and immediately found my niche in the art world. The best way to describe it is to say that working with molten glass made the voices in my head literally “shut up”. I was able to completely focus and give my entire being to the creation of something beautiful. And the lovely part about glass is that even the mistakes are very often gorgeous.

After 3 years of molten glass work I began to long for a way to work with glass that was closer to home, and I bought a starter kit and a copy of "Making Glass Beads" from a local stained glass supply house and taught myself to make lampwork beads. It was a nice way to keep my hand in the glass when I couldn't make the 3 hour trip to the studio.

My biggest challenge in glass is my literal mind. I love the abstract work of artists like Micheal Barley and Sarah Hornik, but when I make beads that are more free form, they never look right, I am happiest when creating my version of something I know and love, like the peacock bead series that I have been working on lately. My goal is to do more abstract work this year and not be so determined to achieve symmetry and "perfection".

Saturday, February 27, 2010

In my Eyes: The Perfect Marriage

I just posted on Etsy my newest creation. I consider it to be the perfect marriage between both my passions: Fabric and Wire-Wrapped gems.

"Breathless", as I named this mini-bib was created with rolled satin roses in shades of champagne and cream - these flowers are made by me, and have been embellished with an assortment of findings, pearls and rhinestones to complement the colour of the blooms. In order to create texture, I added silk flowers and tiny ribbon rosettes to the mix. Finally, I created "floral branches" by twisting non-tarnish silver artisan wire with quality faceted Fluorite marquise, faceted Kyanite briolettes, Rock Quartz briolettes, Swarovski Pearls, Moonstone and Rose Quartz. A feminine satin ribbon in lilac and champagne completes the look. Unfortunately, the pictures don't quite capture the detail and lustre of the stones, and the richness of this piece.

Spring is in the air!!!

Just found out that the necklace was just included in an Etsy Treasury - Check it out!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sol Bijou Introduces: Etsy Shop stucktogether

Once you find out what this shop is all about you will see how appropriate the name is!!!! Stuck Together – as her owner Wendy says – "is dedicated to the glory of the magnet”. Indeed, you will find the coolest, cutest magnets in a variety of colors and shapes, and if for some reason you can’t find what you are looking for, just ask Wendy!!

“My name is Wendy Parker and I am a single momma to an amazing four-year-old girl. We live happily in Apex, NC, just outside of Raleigh. I have always been a crafty person and have dabbled in various types of crafts for years. I recently opened a jewelry shop on etsy and made some glass pendants for that shop and really loved the process. Those pendants led me to making the magnet sets and I opened Stuck Together in January. I love looking for images and fun papers to use and get very excited when I find one that I know will look beautiful under glass. I try to create something for everyone because I think they make a universally fun and affordable gift”

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Learning New Tricks!

As much as I love working with wire, I am also very intrigued by fabric. So, slowly I have been immersing myself into a new world...Recently I created various types of Statement Necklaces - Last night I learnt a new technique: how to create fabric roses. I purchased a few yards of organza and ribbon - in serveral colours - and I let my imagination run wild. Below is yet a new style of Bibs. This time, I have incorporated some of my new roses, which I placed in the centre of the necklace. I have to admit that I am pretty happy with the outcome. There is more in the works...I have some night pieces, as well as bridal pieces waiting to be born!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sol Bijou Introduces: Etsy Shop sweetdixiedesigns

Today, I am excited to introduce to you Etsy shop: “Sweet Dixie Designs”. Jane’s hand-painted frames are unique, colorful and vibrant. The photos below speak for themselves. Thank you Jane for sharing your talent with us!

"I have always loved to doodle and draw. As a child all my mother had to do was give me crayons and paper and I was happy. After graduating from college with a degree in Textile Design I started painting furniture and home accessories that I sold at craft shows and also to local gift stores for a while. Then as I started having children I took some time off; finding time to paint was difficult with three children to care for. Now that they are older I found that I wanted to find my way back to painting and being creative again. I started painting my frames this fall, and became a seller on Etsy in November. My shop is called Sweet Dixie Designs, named after my fourth "child" Dixie, a retired racing greyhound. I love color and I am really enjoying the process of creating new patterns and combination's for my frames. I look forward to adding additional items to my collection as time goes on".