Blog posts tagged with 'jewels'

My love of string instruments began in 4th grade.  I had the opportunity to take violin lessons at school with Mr. Kantack and persuaded my parents to buy me a used violin. I was so excited! I sat in my chair with my music stand in front of me-- sheet music staring me in the face... I had no idea how to read it! Mr. Kantack wasn't very patient and so I made the decision to play the music by ear. It was easy for me and everything was going well until the day came that I didn't turn the song page at the right time and I was caught!  There was no flexibility or kindness on the part of Mr. Kantack, so I quietly put my instrument away and never went back to class.  Fortunately my love of the violin never left me.

This week in Paris, I learned that spring concerts were starting at the Sainte-Chapelle.  This intimate chapel is located inside the Palais de Justice and was built by King Louis IX.  It was finished on April 26, 1248 and since April 26th is my birthday, I decided this was my sign to attend a concert there! I chose the Vivaldi, Mozart, and Haydn concerts for violin, cello  and bass.  To say that this 1 hour music concert was wonderful, is an understatement. It was more a transportive experience-- The beauty of the gothic-style chapel, the expertise of the musicians (from the National Superior Conservatory of Music) and the charm of the notes written by their composers,  easily took me someplace far away from which I didn't want to return... There is something about the sound that comes off the strings that penetrates the heart more deeply than most instruments.  As the 18th century French writer Edmond de Goncourt once said: “A poet is a man who puts up a ladder to a star and climbs it while playing a violin.”

I watched the violin players mostly-- especially, the young woman in her pencil skirt and classic Louboutin black heels-- the red soles showing with each twist.  As she stood and played, I realized that the posture required to hold a violin is quite beautiful in and of itself.  Everything about this evening made me feel so alive!   I highly recommend the concerts at Sainte-Chapelle for your next visit to this City of light, poetry, music and romance! 

La Sainte-Chapelle: 8, Boulevard du Palais:

Have a glass of champagne at the Brasserie des Deux Palais (3, Boulevard du Palais) across the street before or after the performance

Concert website:


xx Carla



Last April, we realized a long time dream to buy a Paris apartment.  We closed escrow on my birthday and we floated on champagne bubbles for days and days after.  The process of purchasing real estate in France is not for the faint of heart  but I will spare you those stories for now.  There is a 16th century expression in French  Chercher Midi à quatorze heures which translates to  something like Looking for noon at two o'clock. It basically implies that you are making things more difficult than need be-- that you are attempting to accomplish the impossible.  I think that this expression speaks perfectly to the French real estate buying experience!  Let's just say we knew we were in for an adventure when, ironically,  the apartment that we loved was located on the rue du Cherche-Midi!  

So... off I go! I've packed my carry-on with few clothes and all of my favorite Camille K jewelry pieces!   I'll have 10 hours from San Francisco to Paris to enjoy  a good book -- The Swans of Fifth Avenue-- and to dream of all the things I want to do once there.  Watch your mailbox for my Letters from Paris-- I can't wait to share it all with you!  À bientôt! 

xx Carla 



My love affair with the City of Lights began early in my childhood when someone gave me a book called: France, Country of Delight: Paris and the Provinces. It came with color slides that I viewed on my Panorama illuminated viewer! It also came with a 33 record featuring Charles Boyer as tour guide. Between his French accent and a view of the City, I fell madly in love. 

I believe, that if we wish for something from a young age, and we continue to nourish it, we get closer to living it later on. My dream of Paris began with this book and was nourished by travelling to Paris in college and then marrying a Frenchman later on.  To live a dream is to live a life fulfilled!   After all this time, I can now call Paris my home...

As I gather my belongings together for this upcoming trip, it should come as no surprise that I start first with my jewelry.  You know that I love every piece of jewelry I make but sometimes I do play favorites!  I always take pieces from the Biltmore and Lucky Collections ( Click on your favorite piece for detailed information )-- Simply said, they just speak to me!  
Watch for the rest of jewelry I'm taking with me to be featured on next week's blog.  Then it's off to Paris where I'll be sending you Letters from Paris -- my insider view of this amazing City!


xx Carla 



In 1977, I lived in Madrid, Spain and studied at the Instituto de Cultura Hispanica for my college year abroad.  I wanted to be in a language immersion program and I wanted to live with a Spanish family. As an enthusiastic  20 year old, I wanted to speak, eat and dance my way through this special moment in my life.  I lived on the Calle Flor Baja, across the street from Bar Raul.  My roommate and I played Carole King, Carly Simon, and James Taylor music loud while we hung out our bedroom window flirting tirelessly with Raul! What a time it was...  My Señora's name was Carmen Fernández Lobo-- she had long black hair that she mostly secured in a bun, wore high-luster pearl earrings (my fascination with pearls started here!) and had many friends in high government places.  We developed a friendship over time and she taught me a lot about Spanish men, dry sherry, and making the famous tortilla Española!  I have made many versions of her tortilla over the years and  to add to the nostalgia of it all, I listen to "You're So Vain" dedicated to Raul or Paco de Lucía dedicated to Carmen.  




1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced thinly
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 
8 large organic eggs


        Preheat the broiler. Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Add the potato and onion slices, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the potatoes and onion are tender but not browned, about 15 minutes. Add a cover for faster cooking. When cooked, remove from heat.

        In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper.  

        Return the skillet to the heat. Add the egg mixture, spreading it out in an even layer to cover the potatoes. Cover and cook over low heat until the tortilla is set on the bottom and the edges, about 10 minutes.  Periodically, life the sides of the tortilla and let the runny egg fold under to cook.Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil 8 inches from the heat just until the top is set, about 1 minute longer. Set a large plate over the skillet and carefully invert the tortilla onto the plate. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature (can stand at room temp. for 3 hours).
Serve on top of sauteed spinach, kale and poblano peppers or serve just as it is and be sure to enjoy a glass of dry sherry!

xx Carla