Apr 2, 2009

The Joy of Vintage

Hello Everyone…I am back….

Vintage the fashion for today. Did you know that Carrie’s “Sex in the City” wardrobe consisted in a large part of vintage pieces found in the many NYC vintage and second hand stores?

One of my greatest pleasures is to browse and meander around antique and collectible stores, fairs, flea markets, tag sales and estate sales. What I am looking for is the odd piece that is in the jewelry “junk” pile. Many times, I have found that one-of-a-kind piece that will make a fabulous pendant. It might have been stickpin, but with a few adjustments with my tools it becomes a pendant. Or I could find an old necklace that is a bit dirty, but is made up of wonderful beads. I take it home cut the string, soak the beads in warm soapy water, dry them. They look like new and have that vintage feel. I then restring them, perhaps incorporating new beads. And voilá!! For just pennies I have created a beautiful new necklace without paying the price for new beads! The fun is in the search and find!

Don’t forget buttons…not only can they be used to make bracelets, they can also be incorporated into necklaces as well. You say how can that be done? Easy! Using memory wire and beads you can create a backing that will support the button so that it hangs flat on the necklace. This can be done with any button…so don’t be shy--use your buttons in your necklaces. In the sample I am showing with this article, I have used a Lucite, filigree, rhinestone button as a topper over the pendant. I incorporated onyx and rhinestone rondelles to really make it pop. I am including two other necklaces both using vintage, of course. The green is adorned with two Italian very old mille fiori…these beads are no longer made because the dye the bead makers were using were found to be toxic. Mille fiori beads are still made (mille fiori…meaning a thousand flowers), but using different dye and the newer ones just do not match the intensity if color. So, they were a great pleasure to find. The pink beaded necklace is from a circa 'fifties necklace. I took the old one apart, restrung it to this more updated version and incorporated some newer beads as well. The crystals are Swarovski and I got them for a song. I think I paid maybe three dollars for the original necklace.

Look for my next article…Bakelite and early plastic…what fun!