Sing A Christmas Song

Hi, my name is Susan. And I love Christmas music.

I'm probably the only person in all of New York City, if not the Tri-State area, nay, perhaps even the nation, who doesn't mind when commercial radio goes to an all-holiday-music-all-the-time format. Though I do object to jumping the gun and starting before Thanksgiving. I have some standards.

It started with Charles Brown's Merry Christmas Baby, a warm soulful groove that made me wish at the age of 16 that I knew a real man -- as opposed to high school boys, ugh -- who could whip out his guitar after decorating the tree and sing to me at midnight on Christmas Eve as we cuddled in front of the fireplace on an antique burgundy velvet couch.

Don't know why the antique burgundy velvet couch was important, but it was.

From there, it was a quick slide into various holiday soul stylings of James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Eartha Kitt, Etta James, Aretha Franklin....and then I discovered the truly estoeric stuff: jazz outakes, funky blues, lost pop. And I tumbled down the snow covered, jingle bell jangling rabbit hole that is Christmas music.

And the truth is, I'm no yuletide snob. I'm as likely to listen to Donny Hathaway's This Christmas as I am to Johnny Mathis singing Let It Snow, as I am to the ultra-sweet pop of The Carpenter's Christmas Waltz.

And then there's this:

It's not that I like NKTOB, or think they even know what funk is, much less a funky Christmas. But the sad fact is that because it is a Christmas song, I'm fascinated and somehow constitutionally incapable of not liking it from an anthropological point of view, if that makes any sense.

I could go on, but I think it's safe to say you understand the depth of my problem.

However, there is a bright, shining B-side to this discordant cloud of holiday sound. Namely, that I have discovered some really good music. Like this podcast from Daptone Records.

Get down with your bad Santa self, and have a happy holiday!


Nice Way to End My Adventures in Holiday Markets

This weekend I was at the Brooklyn Lyceum Holiday Craft Market, and it was wonderful! So many new customers, so many friends stopped by to say hello and to do a little holiday shopping. After slogging through this past month, with shows on Saturday and Sunday of every weekend, it was nice to have the final weekend be so successful and fun.

I also met lots of great people who make beautiful things and, like me, are continually adjusting the balance between their regular life and their artistic life (hi Brooklynometry!). If you have a moment, please take the time to visit their websites, and bookmark them for future birthday, anniversary, holiday or just-because gifts. Knowing that you can reliably count on the quality of the work, as well as it's originality, is worth the time it takes to check them out.

For anyone I missed, forgive me! My only excuse is end of the year fog. Here they are, in no particular order:

Alicia and Kristen, you had me in stitches all day long. A final shout out to my fam, who came by en masse to model just about every item on the table, and to my dear friend Lil' D, who so kindly provided many necessary union breaks.

Tomorrow is my last post before the New Year...I can't believe it's here so fast!


The Last Falling Leaf

There are very few leaves on the trees. Almost bare branches are dark against the pale wintry sky. And there, around her neck, quietly following a beautiful Indonesian Silver leaf are miniature globes of Rutilated Quartz, grey like a cloudy, autumn day with a nip of winter behind the dusk. It's the last glimpse of light from the handmade Sterling Silver s-clasp that makes him look, again.

Go Gorgeous.


The Third Falling Leaf

It was late. The afternoon had curled around the evening, and now it was even later than either of them could imagine. The air was ripe with the rich plummy scent of autumn. Tiny burgundy Garnets round her neck shone softly in the moonlight, anchored by the gleam of a single, Indonesian Silver leaf charm.

The promise between them lay cupped in his hand at the small of her back.


The Second Falling Leaf

Dusk falls fast, and everything turns the same color. No shadows, just the tawny softness of Smoky Quartz. A single Indonesian Silver leaf charm catches the moon coming over the evening's horizon. The magic hour, he called it.


The First Falling Leaf

This may seem obvious, but what I love most about making jewelry is the making jewelry part.

However, much to my surprise, at least half of my Persuede time is spent doing other things -- taking photos, posting photos, writing descriptions, sending emails, etc. It's not boring, but it's not always the most scintillating collection of tasks either. So sometimes I like to play and figure out a new way to make managing Persuede a little more interesting.

A few months ago, when we were still in the thick of autumn in New York, I made a series of necklaces called Falling Leaf. They're sweet and special in and of themselves, but then I had a brainstorm -- why not write a story to go with them? I'm not so confident of my story telling skills, but here is the first installment:

The First Falling Leaf

It's a road trip up north, on the winding highway, where the west wind blows the sunset across the windshield, one leaf at a time. Through the woods, a glimpse of the silver lake next to the cabin where they stay, together, wrapped in the scent of burning cedar logs and cider.

She won't want to take it off, the necklace with the colors of the hills in miniature faceted rounds of Carnelian. The single Indonesian Silver leaf that rests in the hollow of her neck. The curve of Sterling Silver at the clasp. She reminds him of autumn.

Go Gorgeous.


The Clock Is Ticking!

I don't know about you, but I still haven't completed all my holiday gift-buying. I think I've been waiting to see just how good it could get.

Well folks, the gift-buying has gotten pretty good.

This Saturday and Sunday, December 20th and 21st, from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. I'll be at the Brooklyn Lyceum Holiday Craft Market, mostly cause I love the poster.

Okay, so I'm not really at the market because I love the poster. I'm at this market because it's a cool indoor performance space -- it used to be venerable NYC Public Bath No. 7 and is now a unique arts event space on the National Register of Historic Places -- and there will be 67 vendors selling a wide range of wares: accessories, jewelry, art, clothing, cards, home goods, and other great stuff you've never dreamed of...

Plus, lot's of food vendors, drinks (shopping is always better with a little wine), a DJ and bathrooms. And did I mention it's super easy to get to?

I may just take up permanent residence.

Hope to see you there!

227 4th Avenue, between Union & President Streets

Park Slope, Brooklyn

Click here for a street map, showing the subway station too.

How to get there:
R train at Union St, in Park Slope.
The Lyceum is right atop the station.
15 minutes from Lower Manhattan! So easy.
Click here for a subway map



I was going to title this post "Tickled My Pickle," but decided against it at the last minute.

Thanks to Lil'D for the link!


Where to Find Persuede This Weekend

It's the last week of the St. Mark's Holiday Bazaar -- Christmas trees outside, personal adornment within. Saturday, December 13th, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Did I mention it's inside, warm and dry?

Plus, we're going for a second round of Be Charmed, hosted once again by Gumbo @ 493 Atlantic Avenue, between Third and Nevins avenues in Brooklyn. Persuede will be in the store Sunday, December 14th from 2 - 5 p.m. You can shop for everyone, from ages one to 101 in this truly charming boutique filled with handmade, locally produced clothing, artwork, jewelry, posters, knickknacks, music boxes, and more!

Custom made sterling silver and gemstone charm necklaces make a great gift for yourself and someone you love.

All necklaces are sterling silver and come in two sizes for children (14") and adults (18") with a stay-put sterling silver clasp and extension chain.

Make one for your self by picking your birthstone and the sterling silver charm of your choice. Or make a very special gift with a complimentary pair of necklaces for mothers and daughters, aunts and nieces, sisters, best friends and soul mates.

January = Garnet
February = Amethyst
March = Aquamarine
April = Clear Quartz
May = Emerald
June = Pearl
July = Carnelian
August = Peridot
September = Sapphire
October = Tourmaline
November = Citrine
December = Turquoise

One adult necklace, 18" = $60
One child necklace, 14" = $50
Buy a pair, get 10% off = $90 - $108

Go Gorgeous this holiday season, shop handmade!


Dirrrty Chocolate

So last Sunday, at the Gifted market, I'm walking around checking out all the cool vendors -- there was a pickle stand and some beautiful leather jewelry, cool ceramics, interesting hand knits -- and I come across this guy sitting in front of a large wooden bowl full of crumbs of chocolate.

Naturally, I had to try.

I mean, come on, only crumbs left? Had to be good. So I scraped a few up with a spoon and innocently popped it in my mouth.

All hell broke loose on my tongue.

Have you ever eaten anything that made you feel really naughty? I don't mean, oh, I-shouldn't-eat-this-pint-of-New-York-Super-Fudge-Chunk-by-myself-
all-in-one-sitting-while-watching-Real-Housewives-on-Bravo naughty. I mean, like uncomfortable-being-among-other-people-because-you-feel-like-
doing-it-in-your-head-while-trying-to-look-normal-and-not-blush naughty.

Yeah, it was like that.

This chocolate, called Fine And Raw (and believe me, that aptly describes the experience), is made in a super healthy way with silky coco butter and himalayan sea salt and all kinds of other super healthy stuff that you can't believe is in there cause it TASTES SO GOOD.

It's dark and silky smooth, with a savory, almost earthy bite mellowed by the faintest hint of something that reminds you of coconut, but doesn't taste like coconut.

What it does taste like is unprintable, but definitely worth experiencing.

It's expensive for chocolate, but not expensive as a special, unusual gift -- even for yourself.

Especially for yourself.



"Oh, my ways are strange ways and new ways and old ways,
And deep ways and steep ways and high ways and low,
I'm at home and at ease on a track that I know not,
And restless and lost on a road that I know."
-- Henry Lawson



Oh boy, things have been so crazy as of late, I haven't been able to keep up with my online friends. Between my 9 - 5 and Persuede, I'm busy almost round the clock. However, I promise to do better about staying in touch and sharing with you what catches my eye. In the meantime, should you be so inclined, take some time to visit with these fine folks who are on my regular reading list:

All Angel, All the Time
Already Pretty
Bean Collins
Charmed Silver Shoes
Croq Zine
It's My It List
Pickled Beef
The Insurgent Scrapbooker
(Into) the Fray
The {New New} - Independent Artists, Artisans



Sunday, December 7th from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. you'll find me and my cohort, Melody's Addiction, at Gifted, the holiday market sponsored by Time Out New York. TONY is teaming up with The Brooklyn Flea to bring you a curated mix of 40 distinctive vendors including yours truly, Persuede. Check out the historic Brooklyn Masonic Temple (across the street from the Flea) and get that unique affordable gift while supporting your neighbors.

Shop handmade this holiday season!

Last Chance to Let It Snow

This snowflake charm will be customized on a sterling silver necklace with the winner's choice of birthstones. Pick your own stone, or pick the stone of someone you love. This would make the perfect extra special gift this holiday season. Be Charmed for the Holidays.

Entries are due by 10 p.m. tonight...don't miss out!


Holiday Bazaar

Saturday, December 6, enjoy food, music, apple cider and savings on jewelry from Persuede at the historic St. Mark's Church Holiday Bazaar on 10th Street and 2nd Avenue in New York City from 12 - 8 p.m.

St. Mark's in the Bowery is one of the oldest churches in the city and is home to an exciting cultural center and performance space, including the New York Poetry Project, the Dan space Project, and the Ontological Theater-venue of the famous avant-garde writer/director, Richard Foreman.

Shop handmade for the holidays and Go Gorgeous!


Shop Local

Local Brooklyn merchants once again throw open their doors to stay open late and create a holiday atmosphere for Park Slope shoppers. Each participating business will
1). Stay open until 10pm, and
2). Offer some special promotion -- Could be a sale, could be a giveaway, raffle, carolers, snow machine (it's been done!), mulled wine, special hors d'oeuvres, etc. etc.
The list of participants grows daily!


The New New Giveaway - Let It Snow!

So guess who's providing the Monday giveaway over at TheNewNew?

Yup, c'est moi.

Each and every Monday stop by TheNewNew to enter to win something fabulous from members of The {NewNew} York Etsy team. This Monday they're giving away one of my snowflake charm necklaces, customized with the winner's choice of birth/gemstones. Pick your own stone, or pick the stone of someone you love. It makes a great extra special gift for the holidays.

Click here to enter to win!


Coming Up This Weekend...

It's baubles, bangles and dreams with Persuede all around the town!

First up is the venerable St. Marks Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, December 6th from 12 - 8 p.m. In addition to a world-class collection of artisans, there will be food, music, apple cider and more. The Bazaar is on 10th Street and 2nd Avenue in New York City in one of the oldest churches in the city with an exciting cultural center and performance space, including the New York Poetry Project, the Dan Space Project, and the Ontological Theater-venue of the famous avant-garde writer/director, Richard Foreman.

Sunday, December 7th from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. you'll find me and my cohort, Melody's Addiction, at Gifted, the holiday market sponsored by Time Out New York. TONY is teaming up with The Brooklyn Flea to bring you a curated mix of 40 distinctive vendors including yours truly, Persuede. Check out the historic Brooklyn Masonic Temple (across the street from the Flea) and get that unique affordable gift while supporting your neighbors. Among the eclectic gifts are antique and design objects, toys, delicious foodstuffs, handmade dolls and teddy bears, stationery, art, clothing, jewelry and more—all by top local makers and shops.

Dreaming of really winning this holiday season? Enter the Let It Snow Holiday Giveaway and win a Persuede sterling silver charm and gemstone necklace, customized just for you! Enter to win at http://thenewnew.blogspot.com/2008/12/let-it-snow.html

And finally, as always, you can shop online at persuede.etsy.com. Free shipping on all jewelry, including sale items -- up to 40% off! -- for the entire month of December.

Go Gorgeous this holiday season...and don't forget to shop handmade!

Starry Night...Astoria Bright Tonight!

RSVP to receive a free complimentary tote shopping bag to astoriafashion@gmail.com
or call 718-721-2299.


Shopping with a Purpose

Another post cribbed from my friends at TheNewNew.... check out these independent crafters and artisans for special sales with donations to a favorite cause. It's like getting two gifts for the price of one!

Shop Sammiegirl through Tuesday for 20% on all jewelry (with 10% donated to Darfur) and always free shipping!

CajaJewelry is offering 20% off all products (excluding custom orders) + free shipping and a free gift on orders of $75 and more with 10% of our sales donated to BARC animal shelter.