A toast to our sponsor, Barefoot Bling
Emily's Pick of the Day - Photography of Jenny Ebert & French Artist Marguerite K

Off the Shelf Review - French Inspired Jewelry by Kaari Meng


The story of how I came to purchase French-Inspired Jewelry by Kaari Meng ( 2007 Lark Books, $19.95, 143 pp., ISBN 13:978-1-60059-096-2) is not a very exciting one, but it can serve as a disclaimer for this and any other book review you’ll ever read by anyone. Forget what the reviewers say; phone a friend.

I first saw the lovely cover in a beading magazine, I believe. The cover art and jewelry alone motivated me to search out the book. Since I belong to three book clubs, naturally I looked there first to purchase. My Crafters’ Choice club offers reader reviews, so I checked those out.

What I found for both this and Meng’s other book, The French-Inspired Home (to be reviewed soon, because I ended up buying that, too!) was discouraging to say the least. Readers thought the pictures were stingy as well as directions and that the projects were not realistic.

Funny thing as I was about to put my plastic money away, one of my on-line jewelry friends blogged about this very book and said she couldn’t wait to read it. Now, mind you, this indicated she HAD NOT read it yet, but this is someone whose jewelry I covet (and purchase), whose style I admire and hence, whose opinion I trust. So I bought the book.

Am I glad I did! Nearly every spread has a full-page color photo on one side, so see what I mean about naysayers? Ask someone whose style and taste you emulate or admire. By the way, let me give a shout out to ‘that’ person for me Lorelei  . So what does all this chumminess have to do with vintage?

The book is chock full of new ideas for vintage finds, such as beads, buttons, lace, old photos, millinery, old labels, advertisements, playing cards, game pieces, fabric, maps, coins and more. That’s a lot of ideas for a $19.95 book-very reasonable, I think. It also addresses vintage colors, vintage findings, collecting and stringing.

And even better, the jewelry is not your run-of-the-mill charm bracelet and dangle earrings. There are tons of unusual pieces: hair combs, rosary, sash, cuff, headband and more.

The presentation alone gives many creative ideas for photographing, selling and displaying one’s wares, all in such a tres chic, tres Francais way. I even found the introduction charming and compelling.

The chapters are organized by theme such as La mer, Le Marche, Le Cirque and more. Just the eye candy in La Mer alone was enough to put me over the edge. I just cannot stop looking at this book! I don’t know what better endorsement I could give than that.

But remember, trust a friend not a reviewer. So, if Vintage Indie is your friend, you know what to do! And you don’t even have to thank us!

- Guest Author, Gina Smith

{All contributed content Gina Smith © Lilly*s of London*ish}



Bravo! This is one of my favorite books too! Gorgeous pictures and wonderful ideas on using vintage findings - I totally concur with this reveiwer's review. A perfect addition to your addiction with vintage inspired jewelry! And yes, I got the "French Inspired Home" book too - wonderful!

Great job!

Lori Eurto

Thanks for the Shout Out GINA! :)
Well- said review! This book is a gem. I have been drooling over the awesome photography alone! It's hard to believe one WOULDN'T be inspired after a flip through this book!

The comments to this entry are closed.