Aug 22, 2011

Back to School Vintage Basics!

The fall semester has just kicked off and I'm pysched to be heading back to campus!  Here are some vintage staples that can enhance your collegiate wardrobe...

Jul 4, 2011

Restoring Vintage Jewelry : Art Deco Earrings

Some jewelry hasn't led the best life.  Some jewelry has lived a little too much.  Take these earrings, for example...
Yuck! Vintage 1930s-40s Earrings with yellowed and gunky rhinestones and pearls...

Jun 27, 2011

Designer Costume Jewelry : Carnegie Hall of Jewels

Phenomenal Hattie Carnegie Necklace by LyndiLane on Etsy
Hattie Carnegie (15 March 1880 — 22 February 1956) was a fashion entrepreneur based in New York City from the 1920s to the 1960s. Hattie Carnegie was originally a milliner and owned a successful shop on East Tenth Street in New York named Carnegie - Ladies' Hatter.  Hattie Carnegie's colorful clothing and ultra-chic costume jewelry is highly sought after and fun to collect!

Jun 18, 2011

ENDED Blog Giveaway! Summer Bride Edition

Don't have diamonds?  Don't despair!

This month I am giving away a dazzling pair of EISENBERG rhinestone earrings!  These vintage jewels hail from the 1950s and sparkle with the intensity of diamonds.  These measure about 3/4" by a little over 1/2" and are sure to be noticed for that special occasion or wedding. More information on EISENBERG Jewelry...

Jun 8, 2011

Heirloom Bookmarks: Crafting 101 Easy To Make

I am always inspired by vintage bits and pieces.  Old lace, satin ribbon, broken bits of jewelry and forgotten lockets... Here's a great way to reuse those vintage trinkets to make unique and romantic bookmarks. 

Jun 1, 2011

June Blog Giveaway

I belong to this AMAZING team of vintage jewelry sellers on Etsy, the Ecochic Vintage Team...

Well we have done lost our minds, and are doing a blog giveaway hosted at EtsyFix.  The Prize? Atleast 30 shops on the Ecochic Team are offering up a $10 gift certificate to use in their shops! ONE LUCKY WINNER will be recieving a shopping spree, as the total worth of the prize is over $300!!

The blog giveaway starts JUNE 5th 2011, so scurry over to for all the details and to find out how you can enter to win this fantastic prize!!

While you are there you may want to enter one of the many other giveaways going on all the time, from tons of wonderful Etsy sellers!

a little etsy love

Please visit my shop on Etsy for great vintage jewelry finds!!

May 24, 2011

Super Rare Satsuma Samurai

Probably one of the coolest finds... A pair of Satsuma button earrings!  These in particular, are a rarity because of the motif and coloration.  Known as "immortal man", or a Samurai figure, with a black background.  Made around 1900-1920.

May 5, 2011

Vintage Designer Jewelry: spotlight on Chanel

“Jewelry should be viewed with innocence, with artlessness,
just as we enjoy the sight of an apple tree in blossom
at the side of the road as we speed past in a motor-car.”
---Coco Chanel

Chanel jewelry is timeless, classic, chic, and well, really expensive.  The name is synonomous with luxury.  Funny, really, when you consider that Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel began creating jewelry and clothes because she couldn't afford the high-end fashion of her early days.  Truly a rags, to bedsheets*, to riches story.

Apr 27, 2011

Bakelite Bangles Back with a Vengeance

Set of 5 Bakelite Cuffs by texjamma on Etsy

I LOVE Bakelite!  Who doesn't?  Well, my husband thinks it's silly to spend so much on "just plastic."  My favorite, and most wearable Bakelite pieces are bangle bracelets!  Clunky and cool, they look so great when you stack 'em up with a t-shirt and jeans, or pick a few to wear with a 1940's skirt and heels. 

Bakelite bangles are the epitome of Bombshell Betty, fun and flirty and oh-so-vintage...

Apr 18, 2011

It's Raining on Prom Night: Vintage 1950s Dresses that wow!

If I could travel back in time to 1999... My junior prom.  I wore a stupid pink dress from Macy's.  Sure, I though the dress was beautiful at the time, but when I look back at the pictures... that's just it, I threw them away years ago! Even though I had a blast at prom, the pictures were nothing short of boring and unmemorable.  If I had it all to do over again... same handsome date, same dinner plans, DIFFERENT DRESS!
Here are a  few vintage gowns that I would have loved!

Gorgeous 1950's Flocked Velvet Dress by TimelessVintageVixen

Apr 14, 2011

ENDED Blog Giveaway! Mother's Day Edition

Everyone's favorite lady is being celebrated on Sunday, May 8th this year!  That's right, it's time to show your mom how much you appreciate her :)  I like to take my mom out to brunch, and surprise her with a sappy card and a little vintage trinket!  In my experience, nothing goes better with Dim Sum than recieving an antique brooch or sparkly rhinestone bracelet...

Apr 13, 2011

Vintage Rhinestone Jewelry, Red Carpet Looks for A LOT Less

"I can't believe it's not Cartier!" 

Award Ceremony season just finished up for all the leading ladies of the red carpet.  Diamonds, of course, classically sprinkled the necklines, ears and wrists of the celebrities. 

Anne Hathaway with 105 carats of Cartier
A dazzling rhinestone set from Antiquesnoddities on Etsy for $75

Apr 7, 2011

Dress Clips: How to wear

Long legs, buxom busoms, and of course dress clips, good things come in pairs! They are a girls best friend.  I love 'em! I consider them more collectible and wearable than brooches... you can clip these little deco dazzlers just about anywhere!  

Clip over a chain for a unique art deco pendant...

Art Deco Dress Clip suspended on a chain by STLVintage
Darling 1930s dress clip by FreshyFig on Etsy (shown attached to chain for a stylish necklace!)

Dress clips were tremendously popular accessories in the 1920s through the 50's, and were artfully crafted by some of the top names associated with collecting costume jewelry.  Eisenberg, Polcini, Haskell, Staret, Trifari, Coro to name just a few.

Mar 29, 2011

Vintage Costume Jewelry: Coro-nation

Clover Duette 1930s by HatstoFlats on Etsy

Coro is the epitome of "the every woman's jewelry."  Chances are, you've come across many pieces of vintage Coro jewelry as a seller, a collector, or a casual jewelry shopper.  There is a rich history behind this long running company.  Dating back to 1901, the company was started by Emanuel Cohn and Carl Rosenberger and became "Coro" in 1943. In the late 30's, the company was the largest producer of costume jewelry in Rhode Island, employing over 3500 people!  Check out Coro History at illusion jewels! 

One of my favorite companies to research is Coro costume jewelry, I just love looking through all the jewelry patents available to accurately date my Coro jewelry.  There are so many jewelry patents from Coro available for viewing here.  I can lose hours perusing them! I love to create little "wish lists" based on some of the patents. 

Some of the earliest jewelry marketed by Coro are the duettes.  Later Trifari followed suit by patenting "Clip Mates" but Coro started it all with the separable dress clips/brooch convertables.  Often figural and elegant in nature, these deco-styled beauties reigned in the 30s and 40s as high-end fashion accessories.

Mar 20, 2011

Vintage Costume Jewelry: WEISS Beyond Your Years

This set has Eisenberg style "Icing" Available for purchase by AntiquingOnline

A popular signature among collectors, Weiss jewelry is beautiful, wearable and well made. The company was founded by designer Albert Weiss in 1942. Weiss worked for Coro before starting his own company, successful until they closed shop in 1971.

The signatures and marks used on jewelry changed very little over the years, so they are easily recognizable. That being said, some Weiss jewelry is unmarked, as it was made for department stores and sold with that store's labels and packaging.

You can see images of Weiss signatures, as well as the approximate dates of use here.

Some of my favorite pieces incorporate the Eisenberg style of pave "icing" or little curvy metal designs set with tiny clear rhinestones.  Like the fabulous smoke gray or "black diamond" parure pictured above...That bracelet is to die for!

Mar 8, 2011

A funny thing happened on the way to the antiques emporium...

Ok, so I'm a big fan of broadway. Wow, feels good to get that off my chest!

Signed KTF (Trifari) Dress Clips I found in Prescott

Here's a little story. A back and forth, if you will, with that special breed of loon you will most often encounter in an antique mall...
Prescott, Arizona is known for many things; they have the longest running Rodeo in the southwest, a few haunted hotels, many artsy folk, and a butt-load of antique shops. Most of these antique shops are lovely, and I have often lost hours scouring every nook and cranny for those special treasures. Most of the proprietors are equally lovely, and love to openly impart nuggets of wisdom to anyone who will stop and listen.

Mar 1, 2011

Art Deco Jewelry: girl, he is totally CZECH-in' you out...

Czechoslovakia was formed in 1918 and was divided into two seperate countries in the early 1990's.  The most popular Czech jewelry was produced in the 20's and 30's.  I believe there truly was no other country that so freely and expressively used colorful glass and beads to create the most dramatic pieces!  Intricate brass filigree stampings provided the backdrop to bezel and prong-set glass in the most captivating shades. 

Pieces are typically stamped "Czech" or "Czechoslavakia" on the findings (really tiny on the c-clasps) or on the back of pin hardware.  There is a lot of unsigned or "attributed" Czech jewelry as well.  Be sure to purchase from a reputable seller.  Look for original enameling and colorful and unusually cut stones and you won't be disappointed in owning this fabulous style of jewelry!

Here are some absolutely gorgeous examples of Czech jewelry from reputable sellers on Etsy.  All pieces are available for purchase, so click on the link below the pic to be directed to the listing!

This 1920's Czech necklace is edgy and sexy and very relevant in today's fashion.  SEE MORE

A beautiful example of enamel and floral motif... love those little brass flower settings!  BUY THIS PIECE!

This piece is just... WOW.  Elegant and timeless with a totally deco styling!  LOVE the emerald color!  This piece is priced to steal!  CHECK IT OUT HERE!!!

Here is a stunning example of filigree and color!! So pretty! YOU WANT IT, COME AND GET IT!

Ok... take a deep breath... this next necklace is absolutely and extraordinarily over-the-top Czech!!
This piece features super rare and stunning "robins egg" glass accented with deep blue lapis glass... and don't get me started on those fabulous dangles and brass filigree... let me pick my jaw up off the floor!  BUY THIS PIECE!!!

OK... one more...

This is a super rare Czech Egyptian Revival Parure!!! It is really hard to find a whole set, especially in this egyptian revival style!!! OMG, Just absolutely gorgeous.  YOU NEED TO SEE MORE!!

Etsy has so many different Czech pieces available, from brooches to bracelets, lavaliers and necklaces, from the super extravagant to the more dainty and understated "everyday wear" pieces.  Search "Ecochic Czech" to see all the Ecochic team has to offer!

Recommended reading... Fabulous Fakes by Carole Tanenbaum.  This book has the most stunning collection of jewelry, awesome info, and even more astounding photographs!  There are no values, but if you really love to look at amazing jewelry, this book will make you drool.. It's like a wish list for collectors!

If you enjoy my blog, please follow me! Feel free to convo me on etsy anytime. Check out my shop for plenty of vintage jewelry fit for the stars.

Feb 28, 2011

Vintage Costume Jewelry: Trifari Trifecta

We all love Trifari, who doesn't?  The company produced jewelry for every woman's taste, incorporating timeless beauty, sophistication and whimsy.

Here is a very brief history, followed by a few of my faves!  Some of these pieces are for sale on Etsy from my very lovely team members... so if you like, click the link below the photo to be directed to the shop!
Trifari was founded in  1918 by Gustavo Trifari and Leo Kraussman... joined by Carl Fishel in 1928.  The most popular and collectible pieces come from designers Alfred Philippe and Jim Katz.

Earlier pieces have patent numbers and many of the Trifari patents can be looked up in Google Patents, or Jim Katz Patent Site.

You can do some further research on Trifari signature marks at Illusion Jewels, one of my favorite go-to sites for costume jewelry marks!

A gorgeous Alfred Philippe creation... From a series of "halo" style rhinestones... I have matching earrings too! SECRET>>> I got this necklace for $1.00!!! Go me!

Alfred Philippe design... a poured glass bird brooch... BUY THIS PIECE!

Alfred Philippe design... from 1952! called "Promenade" What a steal... BUY THIS PIECE!
A super stunning Trifari bracelet! c. 1960's... BUY THIS PIECE NOW!
wow these are super fun! peacock earrings from the 1960s! BUY THESE BEAUTIES...

Gorgeous bakelite style Trifari piece with original tag... WANT TO SEE MORE?

OMG this is phenomenal! CLICK THIS TO VIEW THE DEETS!
Here is my Etsy Treasury.... With some stunning beauties.....

If you enjoy my blog, please follow me! Feel free to convo me on etsy anytime. Check out my shop for plenty of vintage jewelry fit for the stars.

Feb 25, 2011

My Eco-Friendly Obsession

Ok, so I might be trying to justify (to myself more than anyone) my ever-growing collection and obsession of vintage costume jewelry! I truly love it, and I love the connections that have grown with the women and men who also share my passion.

My first entry is dedicated to one such team of Etsy sellers, the Ecochic Vintage Team...

Buying vintage and recycled or "up cycled" goods is not only trendy, but good for the environment too!

Here are FIVE great reasons to buy vintage jewelry:

It's Green
Vintage pieces were created years ago with materials and energy that are long gone.  In the midst of our energy crisis, you can take a bit of comfort knowing that the vintage jewelry that is reused today represents trees that are left standing, minerals left in the ground and fuels that will not be burned.

Vintage Jewelry is typically constructed of better materials, better construction and better craftsmanship than most of what is manufactured today. Most often jewelry designers of yore sought out high quality glass rhinestones and expensive glass beads and faux pearls...high quality plastics, rhodium, silver and even gold plated metals... There's just such a wonderful and weighty feel to vintage costume jewelry!  Everything was made better to last longer. Purchasing a similar quality new today, would cost much more than buying vintage.

Buy it now and cash in later
Invest in vintage jewelry! Most vintage pieces will either retain their value or actually increase in value over time.  Most contemporary purchases today lose most of their value tomorrow, like driving a new car off the lot! Vintage pieces are relatively liquid and easy to sell.  This allows collectors to trade up as their tastes change over time.

Outside the box
Express your individuality with the unusual! You'll never be caught wearing the same thing as another gal at an event...  Even mixing in a few vintage pieces with your existing wardrobe can stimulate conversation and show others that you live outside the box.

History (aka Provenance)
Vintage jewelry has a history all of it's own... Ok, so maybe history was your least favorite subject in highschool, but I'm not taking about memorizing the dates and places of every battle that took place in the Civil War (kudos if you can do this!) I'm talking personal, intimate history. I like to imagine the lives of the women who owned it before me... Was it their favorite? Was it a gift from a lover? Is there a tragic or forbidden love triangle surrounding this piece, like the necklace from the movie "Titanic"? I may never actually know... but it is oh so fun to fantasize!

If you enjoy my blog, please follow me! Feel free to convo me on etsy anytime. Check out my shop for plenty of vintage jewelry fit for the stars.