Earlier this week it was very gloomy and dark. Now, I’m not a fan of dark and stormy so when I started work, I found myself gravitating towards some of my brighter beads. Something to beat away the gloom if you will. Of course once I started with this idea, I just kept going with it. Here’s what I’ve come up so far…
A simple necklace with a vibrant silver green foil bead with this deep flash of blue. This Bohemian bead dates back to the late 30s , early 40s. This piece is designed to stack happily with other necklaces already in your jewelry box. Or when you just want a hint of color.
For my next piece, I decided to make a bracelet. The bead I used here is deceptively simple looking. But look closely and there are swirls of aventurine hiding in its depths. This one is Venetian in origin and I’d say is early 1900s.
Making this bracelet, reminded me of another very special bead that I’ve had for awhile. An antique teeny tiny peacock eye glass bead from Venice. These beads get their name from their brilliant colors that resemble the plumage of a peacock. To make this bracelet even more special, I matched them with tiny antique coral beads.
Once I’d made the bracelets, I thought well, I might as well make some earrings to go with all these pieces. You can never go wrong with having a new pair or two.
This first pair is made with these really bright apple green Venetian silver foil beads from the 40s. They really are scrumptious looking!
And last but not the least is a really fun pair of dangling earrings made with vintage green and blue glass beads.
All these pieces will be coming soon in the eshop!! Drop me a line if you can’t wait!
Hello friends! Temperatures hit over the 90s this weekend and everyone was out enjoying the beautiful weather. And as summer is all about enjoying the outdoors, I’ve been making new pieces that are easy to wear, easy to layer and stack but still very pretty. As always these pieces are designed to slip right among those pieces you already have in your jewelry box.
This first piece features a wonderful mid 19th century Venetian trade bead on a silver chain. I love the summery colors of teal blue, yellow and green on this bead!
Nothing says classic more than pearls and this vintage French glass pearl is jazzed up with gold and silver decorative caps.
This necklace is perfect for adding just a touch of color to an all white outfit.
And finally, a necklace featuring a pretty early 20th century Venetian bead of sky blue and gold.
After I finished this pair I was left with two of these pink and silver foil beads. At first I thought I would make another pair of earrings but I wasn’t convinced by this idea. I want my jewelry to be unique and one of a kind so another pair just wouldn’t do.
So I put them away. Then I remembered that somewhere in my bead box was a lonesome silver foil bead that was the only one left after I finished a necklace. Now this little orphan bead is a really pretty bead with lots of silver foiling that has remained intact over the years. Just like the pink and silver beads, this one dates back to the early 1950s. In no time, this necklace was born…
I love how these lonesome one-of beads suddenly found themselves together to make a beautiful new piece.
And look how well the necklace goes with the earrings!
The earrings are now listed in the shop and the necklace will soon be added!
Hello friends, today I wanted to share with you a special piece that’s perfect for these hot summer days. I created this piece using a silver chain and the prettiest sky blue and white latticino Venetian beads dating back to the early 1900s. Latticino is a special Italian glassblowing technique using colored glass canes. The beads in this necklace features delicate white lines. Its a unique yet classic piece that would make a wonderful addition to your jewelry box! Get in touch with us to purchase this piece.
Today’s bead photo features all shades of blue. There are Venetian beads– trade beads, feather beads, fancy aventurrine striped beads, wedding cakes and a strand of Bohemian Russian blues. And the age of these beads range from the mid 1800s to the 1940s.
Happy Monday friends!! Hope your week is off to a lovely start. Valentine’s Day with its unabashedly romantic colors of pink and red inspired what I’m currently working on. Oh and the fact that I’m dreaming of spring!
I have these lovely vintage Venetian beads with the most luscious color combination of pink and green dots. I’ve been hoarding them (like a miser, I know) but I’m finally ready to show them off to the world. Anyway, I thought I’d experiment and make hoop earrings with them. I normally don’t make hoops but thought I’d give it a go with these beads.
I’m a bit worried that they’ll be too big. So I have to take them out for a trial run once I finish with them.
What do you think, too big or just right?
Hello friends, due to some special circumstances on the home front, I haven’t been as active here as I would like. Things are slowly (ever so slowly!) getting back to normal so I hope to be able to post more in the coming days!
To make up in small way for the silence, here is a recent piece I made featuring an uncommon tabular striped Venetian trade bead. I paired it with a vintage gold filled watch strap which was another lucky find for me.
I love how these two separate and distinctive elements work so well together!..Here’s another look at it…
I know that in Monday’s post, I said that wedding cake beads are one of my favorite beads but its really hard to actually choose just one favorite. I think it’ll be like asking which of your kids you prefer. So today, I’m featuring another bead that I’m pretty obsessed with. The pineapple bead, specifically the pink pineapple.
Isn’t that the funniest name for a bead? I think the name must have come about because of the cross-hatch of lines running throughout the bead as well as the many eyes that decorate it. It does do a good job of describing this bead. Now, my hands down preferred pineapple is of course the pink version. An antique dealer once told me that the early Venetian bead makers, skilled as they were in making beads, couldn’t make bright pink colored beads. This was just something they couldn’t do because at that time, synthetic dyes were unavailable and they had to make do with what was found in nature or that they could produce from natural substances. As such, all their pink colored beads were of the lighter hue. Any bright neon colored fuschia colored beads were of much much later production when synthetic chemicals were introduced.
Thus, the pink pineapples are thus one of the older beads in the Venetian catalog of beads. These ones that I have probably date back to the mid to late 1800s. They are increasingly more difficult to find and I lucked out because a collector consented to sell me some beads from her collection. I think I’m going to just enjoy them for a bit before trying to do anything with them.
Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these particular favorites of mine!
Hello friends, lat week I talked about my recent visit to the Puces de Vanves. Today, I want to share my finds from that visit. There were so many tempting things for sale but I decided to focus on things that I could use for work. It is after all the main reason why I was at the Puces. I think I was quite fortunate this time. I barely arrived when I found my first piece (pictured above). The seller had bought out someone’s metal stamping business and this piece was one of the last from that lot. While the design of this lady looks like it is from the early years of the 1900s, this piece was actually made in the 1960s. It is not that old but I love the design. And it even has the original tag from the business.
Another piece that I acquired dates back to almost the same period. This forget me not pendant made of little glass beads resembling turquoise and cut steel dates back to the early years of the 20th century. The necklace it probably came with is gone but I am happy to have this gorgeous statement piece.
A bit of walking brought me to my next find. A pair of gorgeous French made pendants from a much earlier period. The piece on the right dates back to the period of 1890 while the other pendant is dates back to the beginning of the 1900s. Both were fashioned by hand and the enamel work is in very fine condition. I’m very excited by these two and I can’t wait to work on them.
The next set of pieces are quite interesting too. These were made in the 1890s and they were designed to be either lockets or as ornaments for men’s watches. As these particular pieces weren’t lockets, they were most likely used for men’s watches. In those days, men used pocket watches and at one end of the chain, there used to hang decorative little pendants such as these. Most of these pendants were made out of a mixture of brass and copper hence their rosy color. This particular mix was first authorized for use in jewelry by King Louis XVI in 1785. Previously, it was forbidden by the king. I think they would make for great pendants!
And my next find also dates back to the same time frame. This tiny enameled piece used to belong to a bracelet but all the other pieces are now lost. I don’t quite know what to do with it yet, but I just couldn’t resist it. The enamel work on the piece is still intact and I love the little flower design.
Finally, just as I was about to head home, I found some gorgeous beads. Finding these beads just about completed my day. These are early Venetians from the beginning of the 1900s. Its been awhile since I found some gorgeous beads in an antique market so I just had to have them!
I’m quite happy to be back at my desk working away with these gorgeous new pieces!
Hello friends, I hope the weekend has been grand and you are all ready for another week! Do you ever wear red on Mondays? I don’t know where I picked it up from but I always try to wear something red on Monday in the belief that its gives me a powerful boost of energy. So what better way to wear red than with these new pieces from the Trade Bead Collection.
Trade bead is the name given to beads that were produced mostly in Venice but also in Czechoslovakia and Germany and were subsequently used for trade in the African continent. Venetian bead production started as early as the 17th (with some historians saying that it is possible it may have started in the 16th) but the exportation of beads was at its height in the 19th century. These beads were used as currency with different countries favoring one kind of bead design over the other.
These beads were first packed in Europe in barrels or crates for the long journey by sea then subsequently carried in camel caravans across the dusty deserts till they reached their final destination in the various African kingdoms. Some beads even made their way even further, traveling across the Pacific before landing in Asia.
I love working with these beads. They’ve travelled so far before coming into my hands. I imagine what stories they would tell if they could just talk. And I feel that its but another stop with me before they make their way once more into another person’s life.
I opened up my gift and was overjoyed with what I saw! This is a gorgeous and original necklace of pinched Venetian beads from the 40s/50s. They have aventurine swirls and the murrine canes that were used to create the bead form part of the designs. It even has that rare pinkish white color that I just love! This one is a keeper.
I have come across these kinds of beads once before but they were loose ones and I could only make this….with them