Being a putterer, a person who likes to make stuff....I have discovered where some of the similarly afflicted hang out in Nice.
It is a crafters boutique franchised throughout France called La Droguerie http://www.ladroguerie.com/ In our town it is
29 rue de l'Hôtel des Postes 06000 NICE Tél: 04 93 04 51 47 Fax: 04 93 53 39 56 Heures d'ouverture: Du lundi au samedi de 10h00 à 19h00 La boutique restera ouverte le samedi 24 décembre 2011 et le samedi 31 décembre 2011à Nice
The shop carries buttons, ribbons, and all manner of beads, ropes, chain, baubles, etc for making your own jewelry or completing garments, as well as yarns for crocheting or knitting and fabric swatches for quilting. It does sound like a female domain but I have known men who knit and sew and certainly men who make jewelry albeit from more noble materials. One of my brothers can sew and make his own buttons if he feels like it.
It is sort of a mysterious system at the Droguerie. The store has its own designers who propose possible designs for their jewelry or knitted clothes etc but do not provide written directions. You are free to take a photo from their picture catalogue and free to ask plenty of questions but why make it too easy. This is France.
Of course you can come up with your own ideas. I often take apart necklaces or earrings that aren't quite right or have cheap elements that I don't like and reconstitute them with some of the extra elements I find at the boutique.
I found this chain in the boutique and redid these old style earrings.
I found these Eiffel towers stamped on abalone shell for 6 euros in a junk store and changed all the rest.
I added the tear drop part and glued on some rhinestones to match the original earring drops.
These chunks of raw coral came from a necklace that pinched my hair. I hate necklaces like that so I changed the necklace in the back and had some remaining chunks of "root" coral left. I had enough to make two pairs of earrings from elements I found in the "Droguerie" trove.
Here is a necklace I made using some of my pieces and some of theirs.
and here is one I made using their pieces but my idea.
The only drawback is the price of the elements that can be found cheaper in bulk online. To make a pair of earrings with just their elements costs about 15 to 23 euros. I find that expensive so I like to find my own elements as much as possible. But if you are addicted to making things, then it just seems the price to pay for some fun.
The best bargain for the jewelry maker is a pair of round "pince" for 4.30 euros at this boutique.
All the tools you will need are on sale in the shop for decent prices.
Of course, if you are good with needles or hook, there is a fine selection of yarns. The only thing that is missing is a knitting circle or class. But maybe that is an American concept.
Yes, from time to time , you will find me in a hallucinatory trance looking at the endless array of beads and dreaming up new designs. It is just one of my more innocent addictions. Let me know if you want to go together and I can get you started on the road to penury.