Hello friends, as you may have noticed, it’s been very quiet here in the blog and store front. Sometimes life takes over and work takes a backseat. However, I’m very happy to announce that I’m back! All the charms, findings and beads that have been sitting quietly on my desk, bidding their time, will finally have their chance to shine as new pieces.
What better start than this new necklace?
The star of this necklace is quite simply the French made enamel pendant that I found last year in Paris. It dates to the 1850s and has a very pretty design of blue and pink flowers.
As it is pretty enough to hang on its own, I left it like that for the longest time till I found these pretty Venetian beads with a strikingly similar color scheme. Even the design of the beads match the pendant. Coincidentally, the beads date back to the early 1900s as well. The beads and pendant seemed like a match made in heaven!
Going forward there will be a lot more new pieces coming. And I hope to unveil soon, a new and exciting line of pieces that I’ve never done yet! Stay tuned!
Hello friends, how is the start of your week? Over the weekend, I dropped by a local vintage show. And while there were a number of pretty things, nothing really caught my eye till almost the end.
It’s not a big thing but I was taken by this vintage earring case from the 60s. In fact the woman running the booth takes little forgotten objects, like this earring case, and refurbishes them to give them a second life. So this earring case is a little beat up but I like the idea of finding some use for it. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s perfect for storing little beads. I’m constantly dropping the small ones all over the floor and this container makes it easier to keep track of them.
Once, on a flea market jaunt in Paris, I found a small bag of vintage charms. It was a group of various charms with no apparent unifying theme. All I was told was that it had been part of a much bigger jar of charms and that over the years, people would buy one or two depending on what they were looking for. What was left when I finally came along included a seashell, a pair of scissors, a dog, some zodiac signs, an apple and a star. It’s a completely random group right?
And because of its randomness, I couldn’t see how I could make a charm bracelet out of it. After all, charm bracelets are supposed to tell something about the person wearing it right?
Today, I took out the bag and thought that I was going about it the wrong way. Instead of forcing a theme, I thought I’d just pick out the charms randomly and allow them to tell a story.
So this bracelet is my first attempt. It’s got a dog, a letter B, a pair of scissors and the bust of a young lady. I’m thinking this bracelet belongs to someone who likes dogs (kinda obvious?), and whose name starts with a B. Maybe this person sews a lot hence the scissors or maybe she’s a hair stylist. I haven’t quite figured out the bust. Seen this way, the charms aren’t so random anymore.
What do you think? Can you tell a story with this bracelet?
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.
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.
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.
Fast forward to last weekend and this is what I see in one of the booths..
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?
Hello 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!
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.
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!
Hello dear friends, I hope you had a wonderful and restful weekend! It was a pretty quiet one chez nous though I did manage to go to a flea market. Its been awhile since I did a flea market post and today, I thought I’d share with you some of the more interesting items that I saw.
The first item that caught my eye was this vintage Barbie board game from the 60s. I have never seen a Barbie board game before and this one was in wonderful condition. There are tokens for 4 players and the winner gets to be …drumroll please…Queen of the Prom!! It looked like a fun enough game and I hesitated long and hard about whether I should get it. Finally, I put it down because I kept thinking about the kind of message this kind of game would send to a little girl. Would it be a good or bad message? At the end of the day, its just a game and probably good for a laugh but I’ll leave this question to be answered by another…
I noticed that a number of booths were carrying commemorative pins such as this one and I loved how they’re packed individually. This booth had literally boxes and boxes of pins and it made me wonder how long they’d been collecting them?
Another seller I saw collects vintage linens, some of which date back to the early years of the 20th century. She had the brilliant idea of turning some of them into pretty little pouches. Made to keep your delicate little unmentionables, no two pouches were alike and they hark back to a more genteel time.
Funnily enough, I didn’t find anything beads or findings that I could really use for work. I did find these books though that are perfect for work. I am especially excited to dive into the book on American jewelry. Most of my jewelry library is concentrated on European jewelry so I’m certain that this new one will be an important one to fill gaps in my jewelry education. And yes, I bought a book on hankies, I couldn’t resist because I love hankies and who knew there would be a book on that! As for the lace book, how could I pass it up given that my last puchase was….. this beautiful handmade 1940s lace jacket. I had to have it even though it is probably the most impractical, most delicate thing I could add to my garde-robe.
No matter, its beauty justifies itself. Do you often get the impulse to buy something just because it is beautiful? Tell me I’m not alone.
Hello friends, how is the start of your week?
Last week, I finished a number of pieces using some trade beads (see post here). This week, I am inspired by these pretty French vintage charms from the 50s. I bought these in a Parisian brocante, and I’ve been hoarding them like a miser does with his gold. I would bring them out, admire them, then back into the bead box they go! There’s just something so charming and cheerful with them. But now, more than three years (I did say I was hoarding them!) after buying them, I’m finally ready to make something with them. Can’t wait to show you how they turn out!
Hello friends, how is the start of your week? I too, am back at my work desk, sorting out beads and things to make lovely new pieces. Today, I thought I’d show you what I have lined up . First up are these vintage charms that I think would make lovely focal pieces. The big cross is composed of lovely green glass and dates back to the 40s while the guilloche pendant is actually a small perfume dispenser from the late 30s. Aren’t they pretty? The enamel pair is a bit of a mystery. I haven’t quite figured out where it was made though it has a vaguely Asian air to it. I was quite attracted to it because of its lovely vibrant color. I’m thinking of making some simple earrings with them.
My week wouldn’t be complete of course without some beads! This group of four big beads are all from Murano, Italy and features their distinctive gold foil work. They date back to the 60s. Now I love gold foil beads but there’s something quite special about the black and white striped bead. This one is definitely a pendant don’t you think? And finally, some pretty pink beads that are going to be all dressed up with some gold bead caps. Perhaps there will be earrings from this group or a pendant. The possibilities are endless…
Its the weekend! Or almost!! What fun things have you got planned? Going around the stores, I noticed loads of Easter decorations. I suppose its not too early to get started on those preparing those adorable Easter baskets, bunnies included. For my part, I think I’m on the right track thanks to my find from yesterday’s shopping tour which you can read about here. I found these adorable vintage nesting eggs from Vintage Vogue and they’re perfect for an Easter Egg hunt!
So I thought I’d do a round up of interesting reads to share with you all on this rainy Friday…
Who likes Legos? If you are, check out the BrickBash…
Are you a beauty products fiend? There’s a new kid on the block, thanks to the arrival on the scene of an old Parisian brand– L’Officine Universelle Buly brand…
Interestingly enough, some folks prefer to look to Etsy for their beauty needs. If you are, then this is an interesting read from the New York Times…
Still on Etsy, there’s a great post on How To Use Instagram for Marketing. I wasn’t entirely convinced about Instagram but a friend of mine (thanks to D!) convinced me to try it and I love it! Its a wonderful way to visually share your world and its a great place to find inspiration. And now, a useful post for all business owners. Read it here.
Hope you have fun with these articles! Have a good weekend everyone!
Some pretty charms that are inspiring me right now as I work…
Hello friends, I was going to do a Wordless Wednesday post but decided to continue my theme from yesterday instead. I love this next find of mine. It’s a vintage wooden bag and what makes it nice is it’s decoupage front. I wish I could capture it better so you could see how much depth it has, it’s almost like a diorama. I love the 3D effect of the bag.
I was so curious about this bag and as it turns out, bags like this were really popular in the 50s till about the 70s and this particular scene is taken from the work of Anton Pieck. He was an early 20th century Dutch painter whose works were marked by its fairytale like quality.
Isn’t it really pretty?
Hello friends, it’s been awhile since I did a flea market finds post so today I thought I’d share some recent finds.
Recently, I’ve been super lucky to have found some wonderful vintage children’s books.
I found The Magic Garden and In The Nursery, books edited by Olive Dupre Miller from The Book House for Children. I didn’t know this company at all and it turns out that this company was founded by Ms. Miller who wanted to publish children’s books according to her strict standards. She wanted to provide the best literature for children which would help the child develop good values.
They contain gorgeous stories and rhymes and are beautifully illustrated. Even after all this time, the colors are still very vibrant and alive. Just look at these illustrations
I lucked out even more when I found a children’s book with decorations by Maurice Sendak. It’s called The Animal Family by Randall Jarrell and it was published in 1965. I don’t know this author and I’m really looking forward to reading this book! Here are some of Maurice Sendak’s illustrations..
Hello friends, after last weekend’s show I’m back on my desk, working on some new pieces. I’m excited about some vintage filigree findings and charms that I bought during my last trip in Paris. These date back to the 50s. I love filigree. There’s something timeless about them and I find them so delicate and ladylike as well. Can’t wait to see how they turn out.
I don’t know why but lately I have been finding some really pretty vintage flower pendants! I can’t wait to work on them! Going to try and get them ready for the big show tomorrow! Have a great weekend!
I was looking through my various bead boxes when I realized that I have a number of vintage pendants and charms. These pendants range from the 50s to the 70s and they’re each pretty in different ways. I’m quite excited to work on them this weekend and see how they turn out!
Happy weekend everyone !
Finally its Friday! I have a new stash of beads that need cleaning and sorting out and I’m pretty excited about what I’ll find!
Here’s to a great weekend!!
Hello friends, how is your weekend so far? I hope you are all enjoying it. Remember all those desk candidates that I wrote about here? Well, I’ve been keeping an eye out and yesterday I saw this one..
It is a vintage one from the 50s, maybe 60s and constructed completely out of wood. Its probably made out of ash hence the lighter, more golden color and it has acquired some nice patina. It still has its original handles and I like that there are drawers on each side. It has a big enough surface for me to work on my jewelry and the drawers are perfect for putting away the numerous bits and pieces that I constantly need.
Best of all the price was more than reasonable so I didn’t hesitate a second further. And so friends, my quest for a work desk is done and I can finally start making a nice work space for me.
Now if I could just find a chair to go with this table….
Yesterday I talked about visiting the Midlands Antique Fair and my search for a work table. Unfortunately I didn’t find a table but I didn’t come home empty-handed. I found myself purchasing some vintage frames. One is this really pretty pastel water-color from the 1930s. There is something so delicate about this one and I love how girly it is-the pretty pink dress, the handsome prince on the white horse. It might be a tad too retro since women have come a long way from the days of princes on white horses but that hasn’t stopped me from liking this painting nonetheless.
My other find consisted of two framed La Mode Illustree fashion plate engravings. La Mode Illustree was a fashion magazine that ran in the late 1900s and they featured the very latest in Victorian fashion and accessories. Each issue came with a fashion plate. I’ve long wanted something like this but I’ve always put off buying them. This time it seemed like the good time to buy them.
I especially like this one below. I love how the seated woman in blue has an air of purposeful calm while the other gazes straight back at the viewer. I like that they are wearing embroidered dresses and one seems to be working on a hat. La Mode Ilustree became very popular because it provided women with patterns they could use to make their own clothes. They featured the very latest in fashion from Paris. Women may have come a long way from those times but these magazines still provide us with a look into the latest fashions. Like it or not we still look at them to be inspired and to get ideas about what to wear.
Funnily enough this one is signed by Anais Toudouze who was one of the leading illustrators of the magazine. I have no idea the actual age or value of my engravings. I would say that they are framed reproductions from the 50s of the original 19th century engravings. But what if its an original?