Ye-Ye Girl : Sylvie Vartan!


My first Ye-Ye girl to introduce to you all is the lovely Sylvie Vartan, an original Ye-Ye girl and first girl rocker of France.  Sylvie has a wonderful story of hardwork and dedication to her music which I am excited to share with you all!

Sylvie Vartan was born in August 1944 in Bulgaria.  As Bugaria was being invaded by soviets, the Vartan family of four had to move, first to Sofia and then emigrated to Paris, France.  Life as an immigrant was not an easy one. Sylvie had to work very hard to learn french at her grade school.  The first years in Paris were spent in a single cramped hotel room.

Sylvie’s older brother, Eddie Vartan, was seven years older than her.  While Sylvie was in highschool, Eddie worked as an artistic director for RCA.  When a singer he was working with, Frankie Jordan, needed a female vocalist on his new EP, Eddie Vartan suggested his own sister take the job!  Sylvie’s parents resisted this idea, but relented so that she could record her very first LP!  Crazily enough, her LP with Frankie was a hit and she became very popular! Eventually, the seventeen year old was given a deal with RCA and quit school to start her solo singing career.  Sylvie was featured in the very first issue of “Salut de Copains” magazine which often featured French Ye-Ye singers.  This feature spurred on her popularity even further!

sylvie-vartan-pop-fashion-5At a show, Sylvie’s brother Eddie introduced her to singer Johnny Halladay , the “french Elvis”, who was instantly smitten with young Sylvie.  Johnny continued to pursue Sylvie, but they kept their relationship very private.  One day, to everyone’s surprise,  they announced their engagement on the radio!  Sylvie and Johnny were France’s very favorite sweethearts.

sylvie-vartan-1sylvie-vartan-pop-fashion-7Sylvie released French covers of English songs and then later released her self-titled EP in 1962.  From 1962-1964 Sylvie traveled to New York City and Nashville, Tennessee where she recorded music with The Jordanaires (also famous for recording with Elvis Presley) Back in France, Sylvie played a show with the Beatles! Her fame brought her new opportunities.  Sylvie had worked in film in the past, but she was offered extraordinary roles to play in such films as Pierrot la Fou and Les Parpluies de Cherbourg!  Strangely, her agent declined the roles for Sylvie without letting her know, robbing her of incredible opportunity.  Sylvie was crushed.

In 1965, Sylvie and Johnny Halladay were married and came back to Europe from their honeymoon to give a special duet performance for Queen Elizabeth!  In 1966 Sylvie gave birth to her first child, David.

sylvie-vartan-3Through the late 60s Sylvie evolved her performace to include song and dance routines.  This style of performing was popular in the United States, but Sylvie trailblazed in France by learning to sing and dance at the same time! The French went crazy for her new direction and Sylvie morphed from a ye-ye girl into a bit of a rock-n-roll girl! Her voice had always been deeper than those of other Ye-Ye girls, and people loved the roughness to her voice.  Sylvie toured in Japan and Africa and recorded her hits in multiple languages.  She produced new EPs, many with songs featuring duets with her and Johnny.

sylvie-vartan-pop-fashion-3Sylvie and Johnny had a rocky future ahead of them, eventually divorcing in 1978.    The couple had spent years in the tabloids and this was the last time that rumors of their split would be in the papers.  Sylvie spent the 1980s performing in the USA, where people compared her to the likes of Cher and Liza Minelli.  She remarried again and lived a life of luxury in Beverly Hills, CA.  she continued to perform into the 2000′s and played special tribute concerts with her ex-husband Johnny.  She also played shows in her home country of Bulgaria and set up charities to assist children.

Beautiful Sylvie is still one of the most loved voices of France. Her hard-work has left an incredible collection of music to enjoy!

Read more about Sylvie Vartan!

Read more about French Ye-Ye Singers!


Hillside Craft Fair in Norco, CA !

Hillside-farms-craft-fair-make-and-do_edited-1I’ve been a busy busy bee as I prepare for my third ever craft fair at Hillside Farms!  Hillside Farms has two fairs a year, one in December and one in the Spring.  The historic farm is also a wedding venue! On Craft Fair days they sell the most delicious Snickerdoodle cookies ever. EVER.

This spring, I would love to have you visit me at the farm! The event starts at 10am and ends at 4pm on May 3rd and 4th.  I’ll have plenty of new foldover clutches, headbands, poesy-catchers and garlands!

Sorry for the lack of updates around here :) It’s great to be busy, but I miss my sweet little blog!  Remember, I’m also making updates at my intstagram @makedohandmade!

xo, Brittan


A Breif History of French Ye-Ye Pop Music!

post Here at Make + Do, I have a penchant for colorful and mod stars of the mid 20th century.  You may have noticed this in my daily photos of inspirational ladies of fashion on the Make + Do Facebook page!  While I try to share a variety of styles, I’m drawn again and again to the sweet styles of 1960′s french pop stars.  I honestly can’t remember when I first came into contact with the term “Ye-Ye”, but when I could put a name to this group of ladies who gave me so much inspiration, my brain felt a lot more organized and a bit smarter too.

sylvie-vartan-salut-des-copainsThe term “ye-ye” is supposedly derived from the french translation of “yeah! yeah!” and was a phrase often featured in the songs of french ye-ye singers.  In the late 1950′s, the radio show (and magazine) “Salut des Copains” (meaning” hey, friends!”) started to share a “sweetheart of the week” whose song would quickly catapult the teenage singer to her moment in the sun!  These girls were always in their mid to late teens.  The extreme naivete of these singers lent them a Lolita-esque quality as they sang (mostly) innocent songs with themes pertaining to love and their adolescent lives.

French ye-ye music had it’s hey-day in the 1960s-1970s and produced such famous names as Francoise Hardy, Sylvie Vartan, France Gall, Jane Birkin and, of course, my favorite Brigitte Bardot.  The women represented in the French Ye-Ye movement and the songs which were produced represent a political timeline of women’s liberation.  Studying this movement can lead you down a fascinating road of Sociological study! Check out this amazing article by Jean Emmanuel Deluxe on Ye-Ye Girls of the ’60s

francoise hardy_27 I’m super excited to declare this month “April in Paris” and share some French Ye-Ye pop-stars with you each week.  I also have a super simple frenchie DIY I have been hatching up to share. Hopefully, I can write up some fun fashion history posts swimming in my head and of course, I will be sharing Make+Do handmade updates as well!

xo, Brittan


Make + Do Shop Update – Modern Dream Catcher Wall Hangings!

poesy-catcher-pink-orange-final-2I promised to share these Poesy Dream Catchers after I had uploaded them to Etsy!  I came up with this idea with my momma.  I love all the modern wall hangings I see around the internet and wanted to come up with my own Make+Do twist on the idea.  This is a dream catcher of sorts with a thick muslin fringe.  Behind the fringe is a secret pocket to hold a Poesy of flowers!  This wall hanging can be a seasonal item just by switching out your flowers with the season. How neat is that?  I am in love with this  product and its versatility.

I’ve started to add little touches of Macrame to a few of the styles.  I love the natural white with the wooden beads.  It has such a relaxed look!  Please check out all the Poesy Dream Catcher colors and styles on the Make + Do etsy page!

Love to you, Brittan

poesy-catcher-pink-orange-ombre-final-1 poesy-catcher-fuschia-final-2poesy-catcher-white-macrame-final-1

A little April Giveaway!

headband-promo-imageHi There!

Just a little post to share a contest I am running on the Make+Do Facebook Page! Its very simple:

+Like the Make+Do Facebook Page (if you haven’t already) and tag FIVE friends (just five!!) who you think would love Make + Do too!  When you do this, you win a free headband of your choice in the available colors!

Its a simple way to help me out and spread more Make + Do love!

Love to you, and happy April!

xo, Brittan

Little Brown Bag, a Handmade Market

little-brown-bag-make-and-doToday was such a special day! I had a great time selling Make + Do wares at Little Brown Bag, A Handmade Market!  I met many wonderful people who were so encouraging in their compliments.  I always leave these events feeling so energized and renewed.  Getting face to face feedback is incredible and I often get new ideas for products from my customers!  Here are some detail shots of my booth!

Love to you all!

BIG PS! Check out my new Poesy Holders on my table! I’ll be sharing details of those soon!!


make-and-do-craft-fair-4 make-and-do-craft-fair-3 make-and-d0-craft-fair-2 little-brown-bag-make-and-do-5

Make + Do Journal No. 3 – One Thing at a Time.

one-thing-at-a-time-anthropologieBecca Stadtlander Notebook available at Anthropologie
When I reflect on “what I learned” through Make + Do these last few weeks, I actually was quite successful on paper.
+I was approached by the Lovely Sarah of Sassy Red Lipstick and co-hosted my very first giveaway! She was so graceful at showing me the ropes of sharing and marketing the giveaway. I’m so thankful for such genuine people on the internet and for the opportunity Sarah gave me to grow! Thanks girl! And Thank YOU to all who participated! Expect more fun giveaways in the future (like on Tuesday…haha!)
+I successfully mapped a new URL to this blog! I had my new url,, since Mid December of last year and only now was able to figure out how to link it up to my existing wordpress blog. For a while I was considering a Squarespace change, but I didn’t want to disrupt my blog growth at its tender stage (you see? Blogging is like attending to a garden! Haha!) So I am sticking to wordpress for the time being. This is my home, and I like it here.
+ I was able to pay for a spot at the Little Brown Bag, A Handmade Market with Make + Do earnings and have successfully prepped for the fair and built up inventory in the last few weeks! I’m publishing this before I see the results of my hard work for the fair, but honestly I’m always proud of myself when I take a risk and put my work out in the open.
So yes! Not a bad month of growth and firsts for Make + Do! But honest to goodness, this comes as such a shock to me because March was actually a really rough month for me, personally. I have mentioned before that Zachariah and I moved out of our sweet apartment just 6 months into our marriage to live with my in laws. Such a blessing when we most needed the help, but also a difficult change after living quite independently. Soon after the move from my beloved first apartment, my sweetheart left town to go play SXSW (South xSouthwest) with his band, Max and the Moon.
Without getting into too much detail: in the last few years, I’ve had on and off struggles with anxiety which sometimes I have trouble rising above. This turned out to be one of those times. For the duration of Zach being gone, my first goal was just survival. Holy crap, I was so lonely. My fear of being alone was, at times, debilitating. Honestly, such a bizarre trait in someone who spent her early twenties flying back and forth to Europe and across the US totally alone. Because my fears and anxieties came from imagined future events which would be harmful to me, it became apparent that I needed to exist in the present moment as much as possible. In other words, my motto was…
One thing at a time.
Some days, I can only do one thing. Quite often, that one thing is doing what would be most beneficial to the relationship I have with my God and with my family. Taking time each day to make sure I am moving, eating whole foods, getting sunlight and attending to my mental health are an equal priority for me.
Other days, I make a list of things to get done, prioritize and tell myself I don’t have to do anything on my list after the most important thing is done. If I have the mental capacity to do the next thing on the list, I do it. But I never think ahead. All I think is “one thing at a time”. If I can’t do anything else, I go home. If I’m already home, I go watch Hulu.
Through my first Make + Do giveaway, and staying accountable to Sarah, as well as prepping for the craft fair and being accountable to the financial investment I made in the fair, I often had to push myself to make sure I was being responsible with what I was being entrusted with. Instead of being overwhelmed with the amount of work which needed to be done, I reminded myself I only need to take care of “One thing at a time” to be successful.
I don’t know if any of you can relate to this. I know a lot of research has come out about how multitasking actually slows you down in your work and focusing on one thing at a time makes you more productive. This month wasn’t an experiment in this principal, it was honestly just survival. However, it must have worked to some degree because in retrospect, I was successful with Make + Do in March in spite of myself.
My journey to greater stability and mental health is not one I get into often, but I couldn’t really escape discussing it this month! I would love to hear your experiences with this topic. Perhaps you too have lived through a time of “overwhelm” Tell me your survival tactics for living a healthy AND productive life!
All my love, Brittan

New Gingham Headbands in the Make + Do Shop!



yellow-gingham-headband-bardot-inspired-2I’m pretty pleased with the happy new headbands in my etsy shop Make + Do!  I made a new batch in fun gingham fabric in red, black, pink and yellow! If you imagine yourself on a roadtrip, at the beach or on a picnic, I can guarantee you would look fabulous doing all of those things in a gingham headband!

I hope you are having a fabulous week! Love to you, my movers and shakers, makers + doers!

xo, Brittan

Ocean Side Style with Paloma Lisa Photography!

IMG_1889IMG_1915IMG_2003IMG_2057IMG_2067IMG_2086IMG_2097IMG_9552When you have a friend as talented as Paloma of Paloma Lisa Photography, having the opportunity to have her as the occasional personal photographer is one that needs to be taken advantage of! On this day, Paloma and I made our way to the beach in Encinitas, Ca.  I have to say it was one of the most beautiful days I have experienced in a long time, even for San Diego!  Apparently, a lot of other people felt the same way! I was a bundle of nerves when Paloma and I found as secluded of a place as we could to shoot these photos.  You just couldn’t escape the onlookers!

Luckily, Paloma is such a professional and I feel so relaxed with her when we get to work together.  I was quickly able to zone out everyone else and just enjoy the opportunity to take these photos with my friend!

Now for some simple “outfit details” My bathing suit top is J.Crew and my bottoms are American Apparel (and they are on sale!) ! Phew! That was easy! How do you feel about high-waisted bathing suits? I personally love the look and feel it is flattering to my curvy frame!  I never like the feeling of being totally uncovered on the beach, but I love two pieces.  I think high-waisted bottoms are a nice compromise!

I’m thrilled its now Spring and I have my longer days.  This is the time of year I feel most alive and like myself.  Are you taking advantage of the weather?  Is it crazy I ran around in my bathing suit in March?