Wednesday 30 December 2009

Left Over Christmas Turkey - make a curry?

This year with the help of my husband, I made a turkey curry with the left overs. I used to do this but the last couple of years I have been unable to cook a full meal. But this year with the help of a chair and hubby cutting up the vegetables and lifting our heavy saucepans we managed.
We have a heavy cast iron set - after going through several cheap sets in our first few years of marriage. We splashed out on a set to last. These have now been going about 20 years!! But they are heavy and I have difficulty lifting them now.

Menu for a family of 4, I used 2 medium onions and 2 cloves of garlic both chopped up into small pieces. Cook in a large pan until soft using a splash of sunflower oil.  Have the heat on low to medium here.

Add 2 chopped peppers, I used a red and green one for the colours, rather than the flavour. Cook for a few minutes until soft.

Add one medium can of tomatoes and one can of water - just refill the tomatoes can for this. One squirt of tomato paste for extra tomato flavor. Then stir well and bring to the boil slowly. If you find that it goes a bit dry, you can always add more water at any point.

Add about 2 tablespoons of mild madras curry powder and 2 generous pinches of black pepper.

Now I love sultanas in stews and curries - so I added at least 2 hand fulls of dried sultanas.
My daughter came into the kitchen at that point and pulled a face - she is the only member of our family that does not like the sultanas - but my answer was that she could leave them at the side of her plate(which she did)

Then finally add some mushrooms chopped - use about 8 medium sized ones. Then the chopped turkey - what ever is left or or in our case about 1 and a half cup fulls.

As you can guess I rarely use measuring scales and just throw it in until it looks right - works for me but then I have been cooking like this for over 30 years!!

Serve after about 15 minutes or until the vegetable are all soft and cooked. I like this on plain boiled rice with a poppadom.

We all had a meal and a couple of us had another meal the next day - even with the usual moans from my teenager son about don't use too many vegetables; and my teenager daughter on sultanas - they didn't leave much.
The sultanas can be replaced with chopped apple or any other vegetable you like.

Don't have to think what to do with the left over Christmas pud this year as my lovely but slightly clumsy teenage daughter managed to knock it out of the fridge all over the floor!

On Jewels and Finery we will be reducing many items from now until the 4th January

Have a good New Year

Friday 25 December 2009

Happy Christmas 2009

Happy Christmas to family and friends. Have a great day
We are having all my family for Christmas dinner. Busy preparing the turkey, two lots of stuffing, sausages wrapped in bacon, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, parsnips with parmesan, sprouts, broccoli, carrots and gravy. With Christmas pudding and profiteroles, brandy sauce and custard. Washed down with wine - after this lot will just collapse in a heap!

Photos of our tree last night with all the family presents

Our fireplace. This year we had a new fire and a fire surround. So this year could decorate it. Used fir leaves and other floral bits from the garden to decorate. Lucky we have many different fir trees and conifers with many different colours and textures.


 Now just have to repaint the wall after a candle left a lovely black mark!!

Thursday 17 December 2009

Clothes Show 2009 NEC Birmingham Review

Every year my daughter and I with friends visit the Clothes Show at the NEC Birmingham.

It has taken me over a week to recover from the busy day but it was worth it.

If you like fashion, clothes buying, make up and shopping then a visit is a must.

The main fashion show in the large arena was very theatrical and Christmasy. Dancers and models took us through a winter wonderland themed show. This year with no designer backer there was few clothes modeled.
But the dancers whirled through many clothes changes to provide an entertaining performance.
However - not everyone was there to see the male dancer's bare chests and would have preferred more fashion with an idea on who the designers were. Being up the very back of the arena the large screen was necessary, but the camera man seemed to be very reluctant to actually use his camera and most of the time we could see only the small figures on stage.
In all I was disappointed at the show and felt they did not make a real effort!

However this year the clothes, make up, shoes and many other products on display had improved. Less tat - or what I call market clothes. More named stall that were selling many different ranges of fashion, as last year there were too many stalls selling the same.
The seventies influence was very evident in the clothing with a Bohemian and embellish flavour. Jewellery lent towards charm bracelets and very sparkling jewellery. The make up was excellent with many bargains available from Boujoir and Rimmel to name a couple of brand exhibitioners.
ASOS had a stall which was a bonus as they are Internet based, so a completely unique opportunity to see their range first hand.  

Jewels and Finery had been asked to have a stall in the vintage section, but the cost of the show and logistics were too expensive compared to potential profit generated. Also it would have been impossible to organize in the time for us with our other commitments and health problems. 

The vintage stalls were a mix of great clothes, bags and jewellery. Bit disappointed that the exhibitors did not label their goods, and so I had to keep trying to attract a busy stall holder to find out the cost. Also this was an ideal opportunity to market their main shop or market stall location, but the stalls that I visited had no marketing strategy. No bags with their name & location. No postcards or even leaflets to attract further custom. I did buy lots of vintage items to add to my collection however.

In all I was pleased with the items I brought and where else could you shop with so much choice under one roof.. Brought two new beaded bags that were in a vintage style. Also a sparkling ring for myself.

We will be back next year to the Clothes Show and maybe be able to watch more of the smaller shows. As it was we did not see everything and we arrived just after opening and left just before the close!


Thursday 3 December 2009

Christmas Party Time

It's December and we have been busy not only with our website but Christmas Fayre's and of course preparing for Christmas.
This year we will have all our family to Christmas dinner. We will just about get everyone seated around our table. Today we received our first Christmas card. But our problem this year is where will the tree go - since rearranging the living room fitting a six foot real Christmas tree in may be a problem?

Back to party time what sort of jewellery should you wear to what sort of occasion?

Any party that requires a party dress need a bit of sparkle. Try these vintage clip earrings from the fifties. Wear with a little black dress and maybe a sparkling matching bracelet. No other sparkling jewellery or you will look like the Christmas tree!

Vintage clip on diamante sparkling earrings

Out to dance the night away - then this vintage jewellery set is an original collection from a ballroom dancer in the seventies so  Strictly Come Dancing

Looking for something simpler to wear to a formal occasion, a dinner or a meal out with work colleagues?
This stylish and classical necklace from Sarah Coventry is easy to wear but looks special

Just having a Christmas evening out to the cinema or a pantomime?
Then brighten up your outdoor jacket, coat, hat or scarf with a bit of sparkle.
How about a contemporary steam punk style brooch?
Be different in a pair of boots with crystal clips these Gothic cross shoe or boot clips are new. Vintage costume jewellery of the future.
What ever your choice for that night out, enjoy yourself. Christmas is a time for family and friends. The most important things in life.

Thursday 26 November 2009

Christmas Fayres - Packwood & Sheldon

Angel earrings from Avon

Last Saturday was a busy day for Christmas Fayres. We couldn't have attended many more than the two that we did, as there were three Christmas Fayres locally - but all held at the same time. So it was physically impossible. So we choose our two favourite places to go to instead.

Packwood Christmas Fayre was held in the morning in the village hall. When we arrived it was already in full swing and bustling. Difficult to find a car parking space but at least the weather held and it was not raining.
Lots of stalls to choose from - raffles, tombola, books for children and adults. Toys and gifts tables, local history information, local church Christmas cards and information, house plants and bulbs, jams and cakes, just to name a few.
Very enjoyable and a great village atmosphere. Particularly liked the piano playing by the gentleman in the corner.

By the afternoon the weather had changed and as we headed to the hall next to St Giles church, in Sheldon, the heavens opened; and we were glad to get inside. Local events are always well attended at this hall and the queue was as expected. By the time we got inside, the hall was almost full. Tables of gifts, books, cakes, games and toys were already surrounded. Father Christmas for the children and so much more.
St Gile's Church is well worth a visit with its imposing architecture and its ornate entrance. We would have taken a photograph of the churches gate, but it was horrendous when we emerged from the hall. Raining and so very windy that we were unable to stop and take any pictures.Nice to see the Community police at this event discussing any problems and socializing with local residence.

Next week is busy again as more Christmas fayres are held. Go visit a Christmas fayre this week. Many are now being held in schools, churches and many community centres. Not only are they fun but you may find many great gifts for family and friends. You are also supporting local communities and raising funds for many good causes.

Our website Jewels and Finery has been very busy and we are nearly sold out of the vintage Christmas jewellery. We have added just a few more pieces of jewellery, in particular men's jewellery.

Cartwheel vintage cufflinks

Seventies Chunky Tri String Bead Necklace


Sunday 22 November 2009

Repairing Jewellery Part 1 - Enameling

This is part one of - Repairing vintage jewellery.
To start I thought I would look at re-enameling. Having a collection of jewellery that technically was okay but could not be used because it was worn - either the enamel or the plating. Also those pieces of vintage jewellery that were a bit boring and very tired looking.

Invested in a few small pots of enamel paint that is used for painting model cars, planes, soldiers, etc. Had a few puzzled looks from the numerous men who were browsing in the model section of the craft shop when buying!

So set to work and got carried away...

Here is a vintage brooch that I brought earlier this year for myself. The pearl bead at the front needed re- pearling and the green colour that someone had already repainted was a bit too green.

I am very pleased with my first attempt and will be wearing this garland brooch soon.

This brooch was just a bit tired, vintage filigree that was a dull gold colour. So repainted it with the enamel paint in a dark gold and added a bit of colour.

The vintage bangle above belonged to my grandmother. The silver coloured plating had worn badly. With the edges worn and the front part of the buckle black, really the bracelet was unusable. So I have given it a couple of coats of silver coloured enamel paint. The result above was far better than I had hoped for. Will be wearing this and see how the enamel stands up to being worn.

This was my favorite from all the jewellery that I painted. This seventies vintage bracelet was wearable, if you like the worn plate look and the stones also had been rubbed almost bare. Unfortunately I did not take a before photograph. I like bright colours and so first painted the whole bracelet in a dark gold colour. Just to give the bracelet an antiqued look. Then repainted the triangular stones in various bright colours as previously they were pastel tones. Even painted the chain and charm at the end. Will be wearing this vintage bracelet now.

This is just my first attempt and I am certainly no Picasso! But I love turning something that is unusable into a piece of jewellery that I can wear. All the above pieces I will be keeping for myself - although my daughter did say she liked the bracelet.....

Been busy this weekend visiting more Christmas fayres and will be bloging about them soon. Next repair will be replacing missing stones. So please bookmark.

Saturday 14 November 2009

Christmas Fayre - St Stephen's Coppice, Solihull

Yesterday' weather was awful, it rained most of the day and then was very heavy in the evening. But this did not dampen the number of visitors to the St Stephen's Christmas fayre in Coppice, Solihull.
The fayre was held in a large community hall, it never ceases to amaze me the work that goes into running and organising a fayre.I would like to congratulate the large army of volunteers that helped to make this fayre so successful.

On arriving it was a major feat to avoid the deep puddles formed on the car park surface and get into the hall relatively dry!
Inside the atmosphere was bustling, I almost got knocked over in the rush of children queueing up to visit Father Christmas. For just £1 the children could visit Father Christmas in his grotto and receive a small present. The children I saw were very excited and could not wait to see him.
The tables were well laid out with plenty of room to look. There were tables full of small inexpensive presents for adults and children. My eye was drawn to a small paper mache box, painted with bright colours and holly on the lid. I have no idea what I am going to do with it, but it just had to come home with me!

You could have a go at the tombola with its mountain of prizes to win. Try your luck to pick the tube with a bottle in - squash wasn't what one friend had in mind though!. Great fun with the lucky card game and many other stalls to participate in. There was a few hand knitted crafts - very tempted by the knitted tea cosies. Almost did not get past the large table filled with home made and brought cakes and jams.
We came away with a few books to read from the large book table, enough to keep me going for a couple of weeks anyhow.

The fayre is on today Saturday also so don't miss out if you live locally.

To get into the Christmas spirit - we still have a few pieces of vintage jewellery left with a Christmas theme.
Vintage and second hand Christmas jewellery

Also we have packs of Christmas themed charms for sale that will be ideal to make a Christmas charm bracelet.

Vintage modern charms for Christmas

Monday 9 November 2009

Support The Heritage Crafts of the UK

The Heritage Crafts Network

Over the last few years I have become increasingly worried that our heritage here in the UK is not being sustained. Our history, traditions and crafts have become threatened with progress and the decline of centres to practice.

It is one of the reasons that we sell various out of print books on crafts that may not be practiced by many people now and especially vintage childrens craft books.

Join the Heritage Crafts Association to support and promote our heritage before it is too late.

Saturday 7 November 2009

Christmas Fayre's have started

Hubby and I love browsing the Christmas Fayre's that are held in November and early December.

While I look for craft ideas and hand made Christmas presents, he looks for the jams, pickles and chutneys.

Today we went to our first fayre of the season held at the St Swithins House in Barston just outside Solihull.
It was an absolutely beautiful setting. Unfortunately I have no photographs to share as my memory card broke last night and as yet I have not brought another.

The fayre center was set in small cosy rooms with tables covered with crochet scarfs and corsages, knit wear, glass painted glass art, hand made cards. One large table full of dressed bears for all occasions. Cakes and biscuits, jams and pickles, Christmas hand made decorations and books.

Today was very sunny but extremely cold so the hot mulled wine and warm mince pie was very welcoming. Hubby had a cup of tea and the mince pie as he was driving. Thoroughly enjoyed whilst sitting at a very festive decorated table. Will be back to this fayre next year for sure, it was just so relaxing.

St Swithin's House has a fantastic embroidered and tapestry quilt displayed. Very unusual but beautifully designed, as it was a map of the area surrounded by embroidered or applique pictures of local buildings and farm animals. I really wished that I had brought a memory card and had taken my camera today.

Following our browse around the fayre, we took the opportunity to walk around the church and church yard. Such a beautiful setting in the countryside.

Christmas presents - yes found a lovely pot with a glittering frog on the top. Although not new it was so nice it will be a present for family member, someone who collects frogs. I suspect the glittering stones are Swarovski as they are very sparkly. Hubby came out with a home made jar of beetroot chutney.

Camera will be back for the next Christmas fayre due next week, as we start our annual tour around Solihull, Warwick and the West Midlands.

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Tidying Up Today

Finally got round to tidying up my corner by our bed. As an avid reader, within a short time my corner gets cluttered with piles of books and magazines.
But the real reason was to unearth my sewing box. When work was completed on our central heating in May, everything was hastily cleared out of the way and my sewing box was used as a side table instead of my actual side table that ended up where my sewing box should have been!

Just sorting through my old vintage sewing box (which must be from the fifties), I thought that with so many interesting vintage sewing equipment, I have acquired through the years I must show soon in this blog. So made a note to myself for future blogging and to get some photographs.

Found a book that I brought at a book sale earlier this year "Rose Buckner's book of HOMEMAKING"

Written in the fifties for women especially new brides, the complete instruction on how to create the perfect home, a happy husband and contented children. Love this book it takes you back to an era - before women went out to work and they had children and stayed at home, cooking, cleaning and darning socks!
In the sewing and Knitting hints were the following ideas:
  • Buttons will stay on longer if you rub your thread with beeswax before sewing
  • If you desire a decorative button for a blouse, belt or hat. Choose a large coloured button, then crochet around the button with coloured silks. to the required depth. 
  • Wooden buttons can be bought and painted to match any dress colour scheme
Large swirl buttons

And how about this for "Carrot sandwich spread"
Take equal quantities of mashed cooked carrots and mashed cooked apples and mix with a little marmalade.
Mmmmmmmm let you know!


Sunday 1 November 2009

Finding old Jewellery - What To Look For

When buying vintage costume jewellery, I would like to share with you what I look for in a piece before buying to wear.
First when browsing through a large selection - I pick up the piece that catches my eye most. It may be something I recognize, such as a known Exquisite or Miracle brooch or just jewellery that has caught my eye. I especially like bold glittering pieces or vintage plastic kitsch. Cameos, fantasy and animal designed jewellery; as well as filigree and the bright enameled pot metal jewellery from the thirties.

I study the front of the brooch or necklace, at this stage I am looking for any damage. Are all the stones present, is the clasp still there and can I see any parts missing?
Now my eyes are not what they used to be and although I use a jeweler's loop using a pocket magnifier is just as good for this stage. Have a good look at all the stones, sometimes small missing stones are difficult to see. Then look at the stones together - are they all matching and have any been replaced. Look around the jewellery are any parts missing such as an empty loop at the bottom of a brooch or missing links that have been repaired but visible on closer inspection. If a piece of vintage jewellery is enameled are there any chips, if so how much damage is there to the piece.  Does the surface have any scratches and has the plating worn to show the base metal beneath?

Mock pearl vintage necklaces are plentiful but extra care needs to be applied. Handling the beads will soon tell you how much cleaning need to be made before they can be worn or used for making jewellery. The only way I can describe faux pearl beads that need an awful lot of cleaning is sticky! The colour is also dull or sometimes a brown shade rather than the luster cream colour that they once were!
If the jewellery has mock pearl bead decoration - assess how much if any have the beads peeled. Once peeling starts, the beads can be difficult to clean or wear without additional peeling occurring. Peeling at the clasp is not as noticeable as if the beads on full view have peeled 
For necklaces and bracelets check the clasp are in good working order and are the stones or beads all there if the clasp is decorated . Apply gentle pressure (so as not to break the jewellery) to make sure it does not spring open, which will happen when worn if the clasp is faulty.

It is very important to view the back of the piece of jewellery. In the first instant you are looking for damage.
In a brooch - is the clasp present! Its surprising how many brooches I have seen that can not be worn!
Check the clasp locks correctly by opening and shutting the pin several times. Is there any other damage - such as a missing loop (some brooches can be converted to a necklace and sometimes the loop for this has broken off) If the stones have an open back - is the coating over the stone intact or scratched as this will effect the view from the front. Again how much wear is there to the plating and if there is can it be seen from the front?

One of the main reasons for checking the back of a piece of vintage jewellery is to see if it is marked. Obviously for gold and silver jewellery the hallmark should be present and readable. Do not take a dealers word that the jewellery is gold or silver. By law any reputable dealer will have had the piece hallmarked for resale or will not sell as gold or silver but gold coloured metal, etc and at a lower price. Take a look at reputable jewellery auction for many examples, at their descriptions for jewellery that probably is gold or silver but by law can not be sold as such here in the UK. For more information have a look at the Birmingham Assay Office's website

As a dealer of vintage and second hand costume jewellery I am more interested in the makers mark. The use of a jeweler's loop or magnifying glass is very handy here. 
The best website on the web for a huge range of international marks and their identification is Illusion Jewels
For identifying Juliana or D & E (DeLizza and Elster) jewellery visit Cranberry Manor's blog
Also now available are many books on Sarah Coventry/ Eammons and Avon vintage jewellery.

From the time I have picked up the piece of jewellery to completing an examination for condition and manufacturer, I will have already gauged the age of it. Already I have a previous blog on aurora borealis for dating and on our website Jewels and Finery many of the descriptions explain why the age is such.
Certain maker's and designer marks will also give an age estimate due to when they were in business, as well as information on when that jewellery was made from the different marks used in set years; and you may be lucky to find the actual year of production in books, catalogues and adverts.
This blog will over the next few months be looking at dating in more detail, so bookmark please.

Vintage costume jewellery is to be enjoyed and either worn, collected or displayed in the home. This blog has been written to assist you in choosing carefully.     


Saturday 24 October 2009

Halloween or Samhain & What to wear

Next week on the 31st October is the celebration of Halloween or Samhain.
Many religious traditions surrounds this ancient holiday

Vintage modern Kitsch necklace

For the Celts it meant the end of the harvest and the start of the dark winter days. Bonfires were lit and it was a time for celebration.

On October 31st the night is sacred to the departed spirits; and this one night allows spirits to wander freely, also fairies and other little people are about. But you have to remember that the devil and evil spirits are also free to roam the earth. The trick or treat custom is meant to placate these spirits. The wearing of costumes is to blend in with the spirits so as not to be harassed by them.

Vintage ebony ring

In the Christian tradition, it is the feast of All Hallows Eve and November 1st is All Saint's Day, with November 2nd as All Soul's day.

Flowers that are popular during this time is the marigold, celosia, amaranth, carnations and gladioli and were used in the feasts.

Magical flowers and plants are acacia (victory over death), apple (desire), calendula (proof against demons), chervil (communication with departed spirits), Elder (cursing and blessing), fox glove (fairy folk), Heal-All (bewitchment protection, juniper (proof against witches), nettle (banishment), rue (witches), violet (mortal love), willow (sorrow) and yew (death)

Mountain Ash Brooch by Exquisite (intellect, prudence)

Apples and pumpkins are plentiful this time of the year and were ideal to use in the feasts. Pumpkin being dual purpose and doubling as lanterns.

Vintage black heart bead necklace

Dress up this Halloween with black vintage jewellery and accessories more available at Jewels and Finery.

Monday 19 October 2009

Make a Rainbow by Patience Strong

Make a Rainbow

If your world looks gloomy and you're feeling grim and glum.
Make a rainbow for yourself, don't wait for one to come.
Don't sit watching at the window for the clouds to part.
There'll soon be a rainbow if you start one in your heart.

Take some lovely thoughts out of a poem or a prayer.
Turn it over in your mind and let it linger within,
and hold on to the magic word that lets the brightness in.

Work your own small miracle and make the dull day glow.
Put some sunshine into life and let the glory show.
Make a rainbow for yourself with colours brave and gay,
and underneath its golden arch your cares will fade away.
Patience Strong

Today found a book of poems by Patience Strong, this one just stood out and I thought I would share it with you.

It was such a glorious autumn day I went for a walk to the local shops. In the charity shop I picked up a few books and many laughs. Why one of the assistance was wearing a pair of bunny ears, I still do not know.

Our garden is slowly going to sleep for the winter. The hydrangeas are fading but the magic is still there. Caught this one little guy looking out through the foliage. The nights are drawing in as Halloween approaches. I do love this time of year.

Saturday 17 October 2009

My favorite Blogs - Vintage & Craft

The last week has been quite eventful. last Monday spent almost all day in hospital having MRI's on my brain and cervical spine. Followed by an afternoon of staring at a changing black and white screen of another VEP test.

My neurologist told me at my last visit he was looking for lesions. Its official, I have a blockage in the nerve of my right leg which makes the nerve transmit much slower than my left. Also low in Vitamin D, another surprise. Now have to chew great big chalky tablets, still, it could be worse - I might have been told to swallow them whole!!.

To add insult to injury, late Monday started to have a sore throat and flu symptoms....yes I have managed to get swine flu. Not as bad as the cold I had earlier in the year but getting fed up of having to take paracetamol every 4 hours when I start to ache & burn up. Taking Tamiflu, twice daily now. Feel I'm rattling just a tad with all these tablets.

But less of my ailments. Spent tonight reading some great blogs that I follow.

So I would like to just give 3 of my favourites:

Older Rose's blog is written by a lovely lady who if I had half her talent I would be so happy. She makes fantastic crazy quilts. Paints furniture and buttons, and has loads of animals.

Tied Up Memories
by Tracy G, has crafted some lovely jewellery. She also makes paper crafts for her Etsy shop.

And finally for tonight:-

Nostalgia at the stone house another talented lady. Using vintage fabrics, jewellery and furnishing, she creates such lovely dolls and handcrafted goods.

Saturday 10 October 2009

Read My Pins by Madeleine Albright review

read my pins book
If you have an interest in vintage jewellery or brooches and pins then this book is a must.

Read My Pins by Madeleine Albright - Stories from a diplomat's jewel box

Published earlier this year makes a fascinating read. Not being political at all, I brought this book purely for the information about her brooches (pins) and I was not disappointed.

The book has over 200 photographs of brooches or pins from ones that cost only a few dollars to ones produced by Cartier. Antique and vintage jewellery mixed with newer brooches. Unknown designers to ones from Trifari, Monet, Swarovski, Kenneth Jay Lane, Christian Dior, Ciner, Haskell and Lea Stein. A Brooch made from a piece of the Berlin wall mixed with campaign badges. With a comprehensive "Pindex" with small photographs of each brooch/pin with information at the back of the book.

Madeleine Albright the US former Secretary of State has loved jewellery for many years adding to her collection as time and money has allowed. Wearing brooches in her lapel of her jackets, she wore a snake brooch to a meeting with Iraqi officials The snake was in response to a poem published by the Saddam Hussein's government because she had dared to criticize him.
Following the meeting, the press picked up on the brooches message; and soon she began to use the jewellery as part of her diplomatic arsenal. With "Read my pins"

Her collection of pins are now on tour in The Museum of Arts and Design, in New York, USA. The collection is there from 30th September 2009 to 31st January 2010. The collection will then move to Washington DC in the summer of 2010 and to Indianapolis, Indiana in the autumn of 2010. It is due to also tour internationally. If it comes to the UK, I would be one of the first to go.

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Make Jewellery Issue 7

Jewels and Finery appeared in the Make Jewellery magazine issue 7.

Earlier this year we were asked to send a few samples for the magazine to photograph.
So we were delighted that we were given 3 separate mentions through out the magazine.
Since the magazine article we have sold many of our vintage beads, buttons and findings.
Now we are in the process of restocking.
Most of our packs are unique made up of antique, vintage or vintage modern items.
But you have to be quick as many sell out straight away!
Thank you to the magazine for the features. This issue is available in shops now and has instructions to make the glamorous necklace, bracelet and hair slide with vintage parts.

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Brooch pins - what message do they give?

Madeleine Albright the X- US secretary of state came to my notice recently; not because of her politics and successful career, but because of her love of jewellery especially brooches and pins.

She was once asked why she was wearing a snake brooch. She replied "because Saddam Hussein has just called me a snake"
Soon the world was looking at her huge collection of brooches and pins to guess her mood or that reflected what work she was doing at the time.

Most women usually match a brooch to the outfit or pick their favorite to wear. But this concept used by Madeleine to communicate a message is not new. For many years ancient civilizations wore jewellery that had a meaning. King Tutankhamun's bracelets, the ones found on his mummified arms had symbolic devices forming the principal decoration. Along with the gold inlay, coloured stones and glass. The eye of the sky and war god, Horus and the scarab beetle were the potent symbols used on most of his bracelets and bangles..
Victorians often gave Mizpah pins and love brooches to their loved ones. They were adored with initials and names, many had symbols to say - good luck, friendship or wedded bliss.

So tomorrow instead of wearing jewellery to look good, resurect the symbolic meaning and send out a powerful message instead.

Try a shield brooch for protection

A Russian floral brooch to give an aura of harmony.

Wear a lucky heather brooch to a job interview or to take a driving test.

Or this vintage Christmas brooch of a basket of flowers to get through a Christmas lunch with the dreaded in laws!!

Read My Pins is Madelineine Albright's autobigraphy. Haven't read this yet but intend to soon.

Next time you look at someone's brooch and think - has it a meaning.....

Tuesday 15 September 2009

Vintage Crochet Doily Patterns

Vintage soft furnishing patterns
This week we have added some vintage doily crochet patterns

Whilst adding the patterns that date from the fourties and fifties. We (my husband and I) were reminiscing that white or beige doilies were used extensively around our grandparents homes - but were not seen so much today

There are none on display in our home but confess I have kept a few that belonged to my grandmother tucked away in a draw. They are cream and pink small doilies used to cushion the dressing table set on her dressing table

This got me thinking that they have quite an old fashion feel when crocheted in white or beige, but what fun doilies would be in bright and vibrant or dark colours. I would like to see a crochet doily set worked in bright red yarn, sunshine yellow or royal blue. How about a black doily set or make them in a multi yarn colour containing silver or gold coloured thread!

With the wide range of yarns available today - doilies do not have to be boring or old fashion at all!

Tuesday 8 September 2009

Brooches - new to Jewels and Finery in the last few days

Vintage marcasite poodle dog brooch

Just a quick blog on the vintage brooches added to Jewels and Finery in the last few days.

Brooches are ideal to lift an outfit with very little effort. Add a vintage brooch to a jacket as traditionally worn. But wear one on a t-shirt or hat. Pin lots of brooches to a bag and then when it becomes colder fasten a brooch to a scarf. A vintage brooch can also be fastened to a headband (just make sure the brooch has a ball and clasp fastening for safety)

Vintage modern cameo brooch popular goddess

Wearing vintage brooches can transform an outfit into something unique and special.

We still have more vintage Christmas jewellery to add as well as many unique brooches. But you will find brooches - both vintage and vintage modern; with cameos, fifties poodle dog, flowers, Christmas themed and dolphins to name just a few.

Deer brooch mock marcasite by Charles Horner.

About Me

My photo
Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom
I preserve the past. Researching family and local history. Finding about mine and other people's ancestors, is just one of my passions. I also love vintage costume jewellery made here in the UK. I write about my finds and like to research.