During the 1950’s arts and crafts were an integral part of everyday family life, especially in our home. My mother was an aspiring artist who studied to be a costume designer at the Wolfe School in Los Angeles, but her plans changed after WWII. While working as a secretary at KHJ radio station in Hollywood, she saved enough money to purchase a new Buick Special, which at the time had - to be ordered from my father’s family dealership in Saginaw. When she traveled to Michigan to pick up her beautiful pale yellow Buick convertible, she met my father who immediately fell in love her. The rest is history.
She never gave up her passion for art, so as a mother and role model she was creatively motivating to me in every way. Our home was filled with interesting art, antiques and recycled bits of creative materials - mother was always ready to provide ideas for another project. Because of her, we were never bored.
Some of my favorite memories were of making holiday ornaments from chicken eggs. This process began with poking a tiny hole at either end of the egg just large enough to blow the contents of the yolk out through one end. Many laughs were had as our faces turned red and eyes watered during this process. Next came the challenge of wrapping our eggs with little strips of velvet to cover the shell, then adding our recycled bits of trims and jewels to our unique works of art. These ornaments became the most prized decorations on our family Christmas tree.
After moving from New York where I studied at Parsons School of Design to Los Angeles in the early 1970’s, I continued to create the “egg ornaments”. While working as a home décor designer I discovered incredible sources for trims and findings - thus my simple little ornaments made with left over’s evolved into very elaborate works of art.
With hundreds of requests over the years to make them to offer them for sale, in 2008 I added them to my line and “Pasimenterie Ornaments” were born!
Favorite old things continue to inspire the collection - from ornate gilded architecture and embroidered silk textiles, to opulent decorative elements of the Belle Epoque period in Paris. Perhaps most inspiring of all is the hand embroidered ivory silk dress that was my mother’s, which came from a resale shop my grandmother had owned in Hollywood. With delicate beaded silk chenille butterflies and gold metallic embroidery - it is perhaps the prettiest dress I have ever seen. In my minds eye - can still see how beautiful she looked in it.
Every one of a kind Pasimenterie Ornament continues to be lovingly hand crafted here in my Michigan studio where I maintain an abundance of collected antique jewelry, beadwork, embroidery and trims perfect for layering upon on the foundation of plush silk velvet. These “tokens of love”, whether collected, or given as gifts - serve as a gentle Holiday reminder for all of us to stop for a moment, and remember to look with our hearts.
If you ask us how long it takes to make one of my ornaments, those who know me will give you the very same answer - a lifetime.