Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Treasured Jewellery; Old and Made-New

I am so full of love for my favourite vintage almost-shiny things that I MUST share their stories with you. 

I emphasise 'stories' because that's what I love about old things; they have their own past, present and future often NOT akin to "manufactured in Asia, distributed to UK, sold in Workington Topshop last week"- though yesterday I did buy this adorable ring-bracelet (ringlet? racelet?! Sounds like an Ann Summers product) in Toppers after watching Great Expectations at the cinema with Pops. It made me happier than the film at least!

Below is a charm bracelet I've been working on and I love it so much I don't actually want to wear it in case I lose it! The chain itself was my Mum's from her 18th Birthday and I added to it some charms from my Great Aunty Margaret's charm bracelet, which mostly consisted of Canadian maple leaves due to her family in Ontario.

I have bought charms in New Zealand, Australia, Tokyo, England and both coasts of the US so far, and am always on the lookout for new ones to add!

Personal favourites so far include the acorn that opens to reveal a squirrel, the mini bible containing tiny printed pages and the statue of liberty- though the gramophone handle actually turns which is just DARLING too!

While in San Fran I dragged my friend to Treasure Island Flea Market to hunt for some treasure of our own and boy did I find some!

The pendant on the left is actually a clip-on earring that I've clipped to the central pearl on an old necklace, and the stone at the top is just threaded onto a gold chain so I have to make sure it doesn't flip over while I'm wearing it. Must fix that... Actually while I was in the Town Hall Antiques shop in Woburn Sands, Milton Keynes last week I got this matching brooch too (oh and if you're in the area, The Black Horse is delicious!).

The tiny cuckoo clock and the key I got in a 'thrift store' in upstate NY where I worked at camp. The woman who owned it was such a darling she gave me a discount on all the things I was buying including this sparkle-tastic embellished cape-top...

The feather earrings I made by just attaching the feathers I got at the flea market to earring hooks using little metal hoops like you find on the ends of necklaces, and I intend to give a pair to my Mum as a gift this Xmas.

I also made these cute-as-a-button earrings by super gluing some of my Gran's beloved button collection to flat-fronted earring backs I had in my old craft box (who am I kidding- one of the many craft boxes that litter my loft!) and gave two pairs of them to my lovely friends for their Birthdays last week. 

I have made loads of button earrings in the past, including the three heart-shaped pairs below I made at camp. The closest ones are actually copper shapes that I sanded and dusted with enamel then baked to set- gotta love Camp's Arts and Crafts department! The middle Cath Kidston buttons and the floral ones were sent to me in Birthday parcels from adoring friends whilst I was in the US- thanks guys! 

If you don't have any earring backs like I've used above you can use old earrings as long as they are flat-ish, I've used flowers and smileys before but the ones below were stuck to old heart studs. 

Back to Aunty Margaret's hand-me-down heirlooms now, just to show you my new favourite old rings...

...And some of my favourite vintage necklaces. This tiny locket was my Mum's from when she was a Bridesmaid and contains photos of her parents (my grandparents), and the larger one contains photos of my Grandad and his Mum <3

These final three tarnished treasures were my Grandma's- the bottom one being a gift my Grandad bought her for their wedding anniversary- they were married 56 years and had the kind of love that just doesn't seem to exist anymore. Watch this space for the love story of their lives that I must get round to writing one of these days... I am sure it would be better than the stories behind the items in my jewellery box!


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