Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Vintage Delight

This adorable necklace was created as a result of several lucky finds. The first, of course, is that beautiful butterfly brooch. It is a 'Crown Trifari' piece , circa 1960, and a collector's item. Again, I decided to give it new life as a pendant. The necklace was created from beads that my Husband and his siblings played with 30 years ago. When my Mother-in-law heard that I was creating jewelry, and that I was looking to recycle older pieces, she went to the back of her closet and came back with an old, tin treasure chest. Over the next hour or so, we went through it and the family reminisced over the pieces they remembered. In the mix was a broken necklace with these delicious, green beads. The white milk glass beads are from another broken piece. Everything came together with lovely brass links, and the first person I showed it to, a dear friend of mine, bought it, and without hesitation. If it wasn't someone I held in such high esteem, I would not have sold it. Even now, I am having some regrets, being a bit of a vintage collector myself, with Trifari as my favorite pieces. So, now I am on the hunt to replace this beautiful brooch with a similar piece, even though my friend promised to return it to me when she tires of it, and that may take several years.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Wonderful Surprise


This beautiful leaf brooch came to me after a very lucky bid on Ebay. It was listed simply as 'Silver Leaf Brooch'. Once received, I closely inspected my new treasure, and what a treasure it turned out to be! It is signed Corocraft, and as with all items with that signature, it is beautifully made. The photos of this item do it no justice, it really must be held to be appreciated. I do not wear brooches very often, and if I do, they are small ones. I find that the clothes I wear are made out of materials that simply won't hold up to a brooch of this weight. So, I decided the brooch would become a pendant, and because it was in such beautiful condition, I could not alter it. Instead, I came up with a small, wire mechanism that just slips over the pin of the brooch...and Voila!...pendant. The necklace to showcase this piece had to be special. I had these beautiful vintage crystals that were on a very corroded chain, and when removed and relinked onto non-tarnish silver, they regained all their former beauty and then some. I made it long enough to create a double strand when worn, so that the leaf is completed framed with the crystals. This is one of those pieces that if it does not sell, a part of me will be quite relieved, and if it does, well, then I guess I'll have to go on the hunt again, for another beautiful treasure from our jewelry history.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Butterfly Garden

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I have a pile of jewelry, and when I say a pile, I mean, I could fill a small dresser. Most of it is quite old...30 years or more. A lot of it is broken, but still has some very nice, reusable parts. Some of it is in great condition, but has lost its sense of style. I have bought quite a bit of it from second-hand stores, garage sales, and such. But recently, friends and family have just been giving me their old jewelry, glad to not have to just throw it away. So, when I decide to create a piece from all the old stuff, I have my work cut out for me. I drag out a whole bunch of different pieces, see what compliments what...and then I start taking things apart and refashioning.
This lovely butterfly, was on a once gold-plated chain, a very plain, and small chain. I found her in a thrift shop in Regina, SK. She was in much better condition than the chain, and needed something new to showcase her loveliness. The silver ball with swirl links matched in their whimsy to the butterfly, and they also came out of an old chain. The 3 gold balls dangling beneath the butterfly, were also off a small chain that had seen better days, and they complimented the gold-tone on the butterfly just perfectly.
There you have it, a new piece fashioned out of 3 old ones, and all it took were some generous friends, a bit of thought, and some fine pliers.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Whimsical Wire Bracelet


I've only just started this new craft, and already it has led me to places I never intended. What began as just a bit of fun, has, in just a few short weeks, turned into a small business. With an online shop at Etsy, several pieces in a boutique here in town, and another request for my jewelry in a nearby town, I'm almost overwhelmed, very excited, but definitely feeling some pressure.
I'm starting this blog with the intention to tell people a bit more about where this jewelry is coming from. Not just what it is made from and its dimensions, but also the inspiration behind the pieces and the journey that some of these beads and stones have had.
This bracelet for instance, started with me sitting down with a pair of pliers and some wire, not having any end result in mind. I just started twisting and turning the wire, and when I had a design that I liked, I created more and made enough links to create a bracelet. Then I searched through my stash of beads and broken jewelry to see if I had anything on hand that would add to the piece. I came up with these little green, glass beauties. These are vintage beads that were found among other treasures in an old warehouse, supplies that were intended for jewelry, but instead ended up packed up and stacked in a corner to collect dust.
It will be fun to see where this new hobby will lead, and how this blog will develop, evolve and change. In my experience, my original ideas rarely end up where I imagined them to go in the first place.