October 2014 archive

My lucky finds

| Antique fair, Throwback Thursday, Vintage finds

Hello friends, as promised from the last post, I wanted to share what I ultimately brought home from the antique show. And this post even has a touch of Throwback Thursday to it too!

Despite wanting to carry home a bunch of those pretty compact cases, I was very reasonable in my purchases.  One find which I couldn’t leave behind was not even actively for sale. The dealer had actually bought the item for another dealer in the show but she was not completely convinced about taking it with her. Well, I had no problem taking it with me as this chain is an original Mirian Haskell chain necklace from the 40s! It is quite rare to find one of her chains as most of what is available are the more ornate and complicated necklaces. This one for all its apparent simplicity is really wonderfully made. Each link has a wonderful design that still looks as well made as the day it first made its appearance.

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Just look at the design of each link. I haven’t quite decided if this is going to the keep -for- me pile or to the work-pile.

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The second find took me completely by surprise.  But first a story… a few years back, at a small brocante in Paris, I came across someone selling trinkets and while most of the stuff for sale was not really antique or even vintage, there was one pendant that stood out from the rest.  It was this gorgeous violet glass pendant.  It was quite a big one, four inches long and beautiful with its carved surface.   It was also in impeccable condition, without a nick or scratch on it and the vendor had no idea where it was from and how it had come to him. As soon as got home, I did some research and found that it was Czech made and was probably from the 20s.  Its design was very typical of those times.  I was elated with this find and ended up making a long necklace with it.  And if I’m being perfectly honest, I sometimes regret that I sold the necklace.

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Fast forward to last weekend and this is what I see in one of the booths..

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Its the twin to my Parisian find! Except for the color, it is exactly the same, down to the bead cap!  I literally couldn’t believe my eyes.   That was probably the fastest sale ever made in that booth because I didn’t even stop to ask for the price or ask anything about it. I just said I was taking it!  After all, how could I not?

Czech pendants

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Some pretty things

| All things Antique, Antique fair

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Hello friends, how is your week coming along? I’ve been a bit neglectful because I’ve been somewhat preoccupied but to make up for it, I decided to share with you some of the interesting things I’ve seen at the last antique show I had the pleasure of attending.

I didn’t have a very long time to spend at the show. In fact I told myself I’d do a quick round and go. Of course I ended spending more time than I should because there were so many  things to look at. Not so much furniture and big antique pieces, but there were loads of beautiful jewelry and interesting curios and knick-knacks.

First thing that caught my eye were these gorgeous boxes and photograph albums (pictured above). They are celluloid covered boxes and were very much in vogue between 1893 and 1910. There’s something so lady like and delicate about them though I’d be hard pressed to know what I would do with them now.

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And just look at these pretty and unused powder puffs from Germany from the turn of the century. They were certainly the prettiest powder puffs I’ve ever seen and a far cry from the industrial ones they sell now  Honestly, I was tempted to bring home one for me. There is something so decadent about them don’t you think?

Then I saw one lady with her amazing collection of compact cases. In the early 20s up to the 30s, ladies didn’t carry around huge cavernous bags like we do now. They would swan about with their necessaries,(hence they were called necessaries)– and by this it meant powder and rouge and they came in these pretty designs and shapes.

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The lady whose booth I was in has been collecting them for the past 20 years and I have to say that her collection is pretty amazing. These two photos are but a fraction of what she has.  I just love them for no other reason than that they’re pretty and as someone once pointed out, it only takes three to make a collection.

Lest you think I only looked at all the girlie things I could look at, I did spend some time admiring some gorgeous Straffordshire and wouldn’t you know it, I was taken by that cute teapot lamp.  Oh wait, do these count as girlie things too?

IMG_7007.JPG Ultimately though, I came home with other things. And that dear friends, is the topic of the next blog post!

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Happy Friday!

| Friday links

Happy Friday friends! I’m closing the week with an appropriately punchy song to kick off the weekend.  Hope you have a wonderful one!

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Looking back

| Craft show

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Hello friends, for this Throwback Thursday post, I wanted to talk about one of the first shows I ever did.  This isn’t the first show I ever did because I didn’t even think to take pictures during that first show! This show was the second one I ever did and it was during the Salon du Vintage in Paris. I’ve always loved this Salon which brings together a big number of vintage sellers from all over Europe. That particular year, I thought to give it a try and to my surprise was able to get in. As you can imagine, I was super excited! It was such a major undertaking.  And so I set off the day of the show to set up only to realize how little prepared I really was.

I had at this point, bought my own table, instead of renting it like the first time (where the table rental cost me an arm and a leg) but in terms of display materials, everything was a hodge podge of various materials and colors. And as I didn’t have enough jewelry display stands, I just laid out all the necklaces on the table, which fortunately, at least had a table cloth!  It just looked so cobbled together and amateurish. The one thing that I did do right was to have an explanation of what the jewelry was about! Despite such an unpolished look, people seemed to like the jewelry I was doing. I’m proud to say that I did pretty well that weekend! Looking back now, I realize how lucky I was that day!

Its taken a lot of thinking and doing other shows and playing around with the stand to finally have a pretty and coherent looking booth stand.  The process of putting together my stand is a much faster and less stressful process since I now know what to do.  Knowing what to do with the physical space also allows me to think more about other aspects of the show such as more harmonious pairings and color groupings of the jewelry to better to present my work to the public.  Here is how my stand looks now..

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When I look at these two pictures now, I realize how far I’ve come since I started this adventure.  They are tangible proof of my progress.  And it encourages me to continue growing and doing better than ever!

 

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Adding to the bead box

| Beads

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Hello friends, today I thought I’d show you a couple of new additions to my bead box. I lucked out and found some beautiful specimens.  The beauty of Venetian trade beads is the wide variety of patterns and colors that were made for the trade.  Sometimes this variety makes it difficult to find matching pairs though those that are similar make harmonious enough pairs.  I’m quite happy with this group as it includes some uncommon and unusual beads, all of them dating back to the latter part of the 19th century to the early years of the 20th –two aventurine decorated trailed beads, a yellow striped tabular bead,  an elbow shaped red Chevron bead (a rare buy for me because I am not as familiar with these kinds of beads as I am with the others and there is unfortunately, a great proliferation of fake Chevrons!), a gorgeous millefiori with a gorgeous palette of canes and two pink eye beads. The last two beads with the stripes in the middle was a gift from the seller.
IMG_6979.JPGI think the bead pictured above might be my favorite among this bunch.  It would make for a wonderful pendant!

Before ending this post, I want to share a recent article I came across about Glass Making in Murano. Its quite an interesting read and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

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Relax, its the weekend

| Daily life

 

 

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Hello friends, due to technical difficulties, I haven’t been very present here. Technology, despite the big strides we’ve made, and all the good it has done, can still manage to throw a monkey wrench into our lives. When that does happen, it can be quite stressful. Luckily for us, there are other things in life, as we can see from this photo.
So, wherever you are, I wish you a peaceful and wonderful weekend!

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Too much of a good thing?

| Jewelry

Hello friends, how is your Monday so far?
Remember my red eye chain from the bead bonanza ? I was wondering what to do with it when I remembered that I have an eye tree charm that I got from Turkey. I guess I like this design very much because I’m thinking of putting them together.

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What do you think? Is it too much?

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Happy Friday

| Friday links

IMG_6826.JPGHappy Friday dear friends! I hope you have wonderful plans ahead of you.  I’ll see you back on Monday! But before leaving, I thought I’d share a few fun links…

The Nobel Prize Winners were just announced and the two winners are shining advocates for young people’s rights.  Read all about it here.

For fans of the late great Alexander McQueen, the Victoria and Albert is hosting a wonderful exhibition of his works.  The exhibit was first staged in New York’s Met Museum where it remains their most popular exhibit.  The British version will feature some 30 new garments that were not included in the Met exhibit. Definitely a must see for fashion lovers! Here is a sneak peek of the exhibit.

I just came across this fascinating story about one of the more famous jewels worn by Barbara Hutton who was once dubbed the Poor Little Rich girl.  Read all about the necklace in this wonderful post.

And finally, if you are a fan of Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings and you’re wondering what to read next, here are a few suggestions.

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Recent finds

| Beads, Vintage finds

IMG_6793.JPGHello friends, as promised from the last post, I wanted to share with you my finds from the Bead Bonanza.  There were a ton of beads but I wanted to focus just on the few stands selling old or vintage beads.  The first beads I found were a pair of silver enameled beads dating approximately back to the late 60s.  I loved their swirly pattern and the way they catch the light and how the pattern on each wasn’t identical. I can perfectly imagine turning these beads into earrings.

The next find came unexpectedly from a big bead store selling a huge selection of new beads. I was extremely tempted by all the beautiful Czech glass beads as well as Swarovski but alas, I had to pass on those beauties. Sometimes I have a hard time turning away from all the new glass beads because they are beautiful and perhaps I will incorporate them one day in my work, but for now, I’ve decided to work exclusively with old or vintage beads.  I was about to leave when I caught sight of a small tray filled with what looked like various charms and findings.  It was here that I struck gold because this was the vintage tray selection! I found a beautiful pendant, two pearl beaded beads and this steel cut buckle in this tray. The pendant and beads date back to the 50s and the buckle could be older and was made in France. I can’t wait to get to work on these!

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Just before leaving the booth, I spotted some of the chains they had for sale. One chain in particular caught my eye–a chain made of red evil eye charms.  Now, there’s nothing vintage about this chain and it isn’t even the traditional blue color of the talisman but I think its really pretty.  I bought some to experiment with though I can already tell that whatever I make with this chain will not be for sale.

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And finally we come to my most favorite purchase of the afternoon. One of the stands was selling a lifetime’s worth of beads and jewelry and one of the pieces for sale was this necklace with a fish tail pendant.  The seller didn’t have much much information about the necklace, other than the fact that it comes from Nagaland and we spent a good ten minutes trying to google some information about it.  Something about this necklace fascinates me no end.  I think it might be the unexpected combination of glass beads in such bright colors with a fish tail!  As soon as I got home, I dug out all my books on Southeast Asian jewelry but so far, I haven’t found any anything resembling my necklace. I’m intrigued enough by this necklace that I ordered a few books on the Naga culture from the library. I can’t wait to find out more about it. In the meantime, I have to find an outfit that goes with it!

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Bead Bonanza

| Bead adventures

 

IMG_6767-0.JPG Hello friends, I hope you all had a wonderful and restful weekend! The highlight of my weekend was the Bead Bonanza. This is a bi-annual event that gathers 50 or so bead dealers and you can absolutely geek out on anything and everything bead related.    There are literally piles and piles of all kinds and colors of beads.  If you are into beads and beadwork, this is definitely one event to attend.

Despite the profusion of beads, there aren’t a lot of stands carrying the older beads that I am perpetually looking for.  This time around, I was happily surprised because there were a few stands with some vintage and even older beads.  What was supposed to be a short visit (I told the family I would be there a maximum of one hour) turned into practically a whole day visit.

One stand caught my eye because of the many strands of coral and turquoise he was carrying. But he also had boxes full of vintage Afghanistan jewelry, some of which they had taken apart to sell as individual elements. These elements of traditional Afghan jewelry made mostly of silver and glass and a few with stones and corals, have a long and proud history and the antique versions of these jewelry sell easily for thousands of dollars.    It got me thinking about how I could possibly incorporate them in my own work.

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The next stand I visited is actually one of my favorite stands  and is one that carries a lot of old jewelry and old beads.  The beads and jewelry that I saw is now merely a fraction of what used to be a huge collection.  It belonged to an avid collector of beads and jewelry and her collection spans a period of easily 40 years.   She collected everything–from tribal jewelry from all over to antique stones to contemporary chevron beads from some of the best contemporary bead makers. She even collected some of the earliest editions of bead related journals!   When it was complete it must have been breathtaking. As it is now, it is still pretty impressive and I felt fortunate enough to see what is left of it.

Here are a few examples of her bead strands: mostly Venetians from the 19th century mixed with a few Bohemian made beads..

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It boggles my mind to imagine how much there must have been. Of course, I couldn’t resist the beads. The question was in fact more of how to restrain myself from blowing my entire budget on this one stand!

So friends, stay tuned, tomorrow I will share with you my finds from the Bead Bonanza!

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Its all about the bass

| Friday links

Have you heard this one? Its one of those catchy, irresistible tunes that have you humming along (almost) against yourself.  Its also currently the No.1 song and has even gone platinum! Of course, along with success, comes criticism that this song isn’t all that its message purports to be.  Have a listen and let me know what you think..

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

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