Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I've Been a Crafty Lady!!

I have been having a blast lately getting to know a few new vintage jewelry creators by studying their work on Etsy, purchasing a few new/old items to either get organized or to create with, and organizing my work space.  In addition to that, I've been working on making my granddaughter some little cradle bedding (oh so cute!!) and decorating a little bag for my gift exchange at work tomorrow.  Here are the pics...

I absolutley LOVE this little metal cabinet that will house many treasures.  I lined the drawers with suede cloth and was amazed that I had picked almost the exact shade at the store before I even received the cabinet.  I ordered it from The Bountiful Bird on Etsy.  I see a few other metal boxes and such that I may have to get from that great shop in the future.  I really want to store my goodies in boxes, cabinets, etc., that have had a previous plastic cases for me.  At least that is my intention at this early juncture.  Isn't she a beauty???  She already houses some glass and crystal rosary beads I got from Bird Song Studio....also on Etsy.  Both of these Etsy shops have been added to my list of favorites.  I want them handy so I can visit them often!!   I already have a second order in with Bird Song Studio....such wonderful findings there!

As for the little bag I decorated for my office gift it is.  I took a plain brown sack and added a free downloadable Christmas picture, added a few stamps, a WISH ticket (for the receiver's special Christmas wish), a little funky ribbon, and some Distress Ink Vintage Photo stamp pad rubbed around a bit to give it an interesting look.  I topped it with a little ring tag that also got the Distress Ink treatment.  Add a pinecone ornament and a couple of vintage shoe buttons and it is complete.  Oh...and the gift...a wonderful big candle in a decorative sleeve.  Just what the receiver was hoping for (seriously...we had to submit a list of our five favorite things under $ was an awkward endeavor).  Hopefully my colleague will like her gift.  She will receive it tomorrow at our office luncheon.

Oh, and to add to this list of projects, I have been painting an old wicker and wood desk for my oldest granddaughter.  It is actually part of her birthday gift from last May that I am finally getting to (how bad is that??!!).  I am determined to give it to her before Christmas so she doesn't think it is part of her Christmas gift too.  I ordered a piece of glass for the top so she can slide photos of her and her friends.  She is nine.  I know she will love that part!!  Pictures to follow. I mentioned earlier, I have been so incredibly inspired by some new-to-me jewelry artists.  Please check out their shops and their incredible work.  I am awestruck by a few of their pieces.  You will love visiting Opaline 1214 and The French Circus.  Such talent, such artistry....I'm blown away!!

Did I really say "lastly?"  This is really my "And finally...."  I have a very special package arriving any day from my most favorite Christine Wallace.  I'll say no more until it arrives and I can share it with you up close and personal.  I'm doing a mini happy dance in the mere anticipation!!!

So that is all for this evening.  I have been enjoying a cooler evening in what we Floridians call winter.  The windows of the sunroom are open, the breeze is pretty strong out there, and the wind chime in the tree is singing to me.  Lovely.

Hope you are enjoying a lovely evening as well.  Until next we meet.....Carol

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Hunt

The hunt for cool vintage findings has started for the jewelry line I hope to create one day.  I scoured several yard/garage sales this past weekend, and I have a lot to learn.  Has it really been that long since I bargained for anything?  I found myself taking at face value the price either written or offered, and honestly did not even think to negotiate a lower price.  That, my friends, is the result of too many years of retail shopping!  I found one very cool item that I really loved.....a very old and very large silver framed charm.  The price was originally $300 (at a yard sale folks....really??) and the seller said I could have it for $100.  Still too rich for my blood.  My husband asked why I didn't offer her $25.  I have no idea why!  Because that was the price she told me it was, I guess. Then for the rest of the day I kicked myself for not at least trying to get a lower price.  And you can see that close to a week later, that piece is still haunting me.  Because the family was selling just about everything in preparation to move to Hawaii, they just might be out there again next weekend.  I think I will try to find them one more time to see if their prices are lower and if I can muster up the courage to offer a lower price. Wish me luck!

I did find a few lovelies though.  It is a start for what I hope will turn out to be a great collection of treasures and then incredible one-of-a-kind, wearable pieces of art.

Here is what I found...

I am not crazy about these porcelain beads, but I love the little
brass caps.  I'll be taking this completely apart so I can
look at it from a new standpoint.

I was thrilled to find these older rhinestone pieces.
Love the disco ball beads!!
While visiting my mother over the holidays and sharing this new venture with her, she was off to her bedroom to gather some old pieces.  Some of this stuff I haven't seen in years.  We had a great time reliving some of the treasures we found in her jewelry box.  I don't think she had even been in it in years.  But from that trip, she and my grandmother shared these items with me.  Yippee!!

What a great collection!  I'm so excited to add these
pieces.  Some will just be pieces of chain, while others
will be for their baubles.

I'll have to take some time to see if this awesome necklace
can be dismantled a bit so I can just use sections at a time.
I'm new at this, so the only way to see if it works is
just to try it....right??

I am so in love with this set!  However, it's days as a "set"
are over, baby!!

I have noticed that religious metals, rosaries, and crucifixes play a major role in many of the jewelry pieces I am loving these days.  I have my own collection of rosaries from growing up Catholic, and have acquired a few metals and such over the years as well.  I am really struggling with the taking apart of rosaries to use in my future pieces.  I know it is being done by others and honestly, I love the look.  I have asked a few people who know what a rosary is supposed to represent and mean, and I am getting a mixed bag of feedback.  Because I am using them in what I hope will be cherished pieces that ladies will hopefully wear in pride, I don't feel that I am being blasphemis.  One friend suggested I never take apart the ten bead section where one prays ten Hail Mary's, but otherwise did not feel it wrong to take apart the rest.  I think I can live with that.  I would love to have your input.  What is your opinion??  Please, please share it with me.  I really love the look these pieces add, but want to feel good in my heart about doing it.  I'm going to need your help though.

Here is my collection of rosaries and metals....

I love the back of this Virgin Mary piece. 
A little dap of "terra" from Jerusulem.
I've never seen that in a rosary before.
 And finally, here are a few of my own personal pieces that I've had on hand for awhile.

This pin is truly one of my favorite vintage pieces that I am hoping to include in a repurposed piece soon.  In fact, I love it so...I think I'll wear it to work tomorrow!!

 This old Paris souvenir bracelet is so very cool.  I picked it up at a local antique store a few years ago, but the clasp sticks so I don't really wear it.  However, it will really be beautiful taken apart and used in several pieces or a few in one Paris-themed piece.  Can't wait!!  Also included here are some of my Brownie and Girl Scout pins.  Not sure if I will use them, but thought their truly vintage look is great.  Did any of you feel what just happened????  I said something from my childhood is now considered "vintage." did that happen?  Also included here are two older cameos....will look lovely combined with some pearls I thinks. (Sorry for the sideways view here.)

As the weekend is fast approaching, I am already thinking of the neighborhoods I want to scour for new finds.  Then it is time to get my workspace organized.  I'll share that process with you also.  I feel I am ready to try a piece or two.  We'll see....

Wishing you all a wonderful rest of the week.....

P.S.  I forgot to mention....Adorn Me 2012 in Houston, TX at the end of February has been cancelled.  I am more than disappointed, but hope to go wherever it is in November.  Maybe I can find something similar to enjoy before then.