Sunday 28 June 2009

Prom Night & Leaving School

When I left school, there was no special celebration. In fact most of us met at the local pub in the evening. In those days, age was not so much of an issue. If you looked 18 years old, you got served.

My daughter left school this year and we have had 6 months of prom preparation

First - the dress.

Hours spent on the internet looking at styles and colour. Her not me, I was looking at the cost and what was available where?
Then hours in the boutique, trying on many different dresses and styles. I knew as soon as she tried on her particular dress that was the one. The shop assistant firmly believed that girls going to their prom should be in a strapless, large skirted flouncy type. Not in a more grown up, slinky type that actually showed their figure. The flouncy type did not look quite right on my daughter and they were just too girlish on her. So much to the shop assistants dis-approval chose a slinky one.

Next - the shoes and bag
Both needed to be silver and glittery. Shoes chosen with the dress. The new bag from an Ebay business shop. The bag was excellent quality. But the shoes shed the diamantes. I spent the night before prom replacing and glueing them back.

Then you have the garments to create a flowing profile with no lumps or bumps. Not very flattering but necessary even if you are slim.


For prom lots of sparkling necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings. Rhinestones and crystals. Some girls wore tiaras and had glittering hair accessories. For my daughters style of dress a simple diamante bracelet, no necklace, ring and loads of earrings. I have lost count of how many she has acquired on her ears. But she had to wait until after her 16 birthday to have more than the first set of ear piercings.

The two weeks before-

Nails - manicured and polished the day before. Weeks of non nail biting but then fake nails are available

Hair - bit of a disaster this. She had a trial run the week before. Very poor styling and the hair only lasted about two hours before bits coming down and looking a mess. An expensive saloon that frankly was making money for poor quality of hair styles. So the main hair was canceled and luckily a friend's mothers sister stepped in and did a wonderful job.

Spray Tan - She looked rather orange when she had this done first but it mellowed in the wash. Leaving a golden tan that showed the open cut detail to the back of the dress just right

Make up - After the hair dressing fiasco, the make up was canceled as at the same place. So the friend's mother's sister's friend stepped in. Her make up looked very good. Just right and not too over the top

Almost there, but not forgetting the transport to the prom. Our suggestion of a bus or taxi did not go down well and they hired a pink American Cadillac.
Well what else do you go to the prom in mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Large limousines in all shapes and colours. English and American cars, sports cars of all styles. A fire engine and various vintage classic cars. Some came in the gleaming family cars. But dads had dressed for the part. No jeans or work suites, but evening dress were worn by many to chauffeur their daughter and friends to prom.

The boys also dressed up in suits. Many wore silk waistcoats and ties, co-ordinated to match their girls dress colour. Must admit they do scrub up well.

The night went well, it rained hard as usual, but it was warm. Crowds of parents, family and friend gathered to see them into the hotel for their prom. Photographs taken by the bucket load. My daughter and her friends met at a friend's house to catch the car and drive around for about half an hour before heading to the prom itself.

Now two days later, we as parents are just recovering as very tired.

Now what to do with the dress, shoes and accessories. Will she ever wear them again??

The photographs are of 4 very beautiful girls - Rachel, Emma, Elise and Charlotte as they dressed ready for the cadillac to arrive.

Saturday 13 June 2009

Thirties Enamel & Marcasite Jewellery

swallow brooch in enamel and marcasite

I have a collection of enamel vintage jewellery. Not only from the manufacturer Exquisite but many pot metal brooches from the thirties.
The thirties brooches hold many memories as they are from my grandmothers and elderly relatives - never to be parted with.

Pot metal is quite distinct in looks - a silvery pewter metal. Pot metal is made when a combination of metals were all mixed together. A form of today's recycling - mixing up what ever there was or left over. so nothing went to waste!

With the thirties came the advent of World War Two and the depression. Clothes were formal suits in quite somber colours. With little money women brightened up their outfits by wearing the colourful enamelled figural jewellery

Birds, flowers, dogs, cats, circus animals, bows and many more figurals of all sorts were used.

Jewels and Finery for antique and vintage jewellery from Victorian to yesterday

Saturday 6 June 2009

65th Anniversary D - Day Remembered

Listening to the service from Normandy France. We remember those that fought and some who lost their lives for the freedom we have today.

On this day our wish is to remember our great uncle

Frederick ward
1918 - 1944

Born in Doncaster
Lived in Solihull, UK for his last 10 years
His early life spent in Yorkshire, Shropshire and Stafford
Frederick served for the First Battalion Herefordshire Kings Shropshire Regiment
Surviving the Normandy Landing.
He returned to France and died on the 28th June 1944
Frederick now lies in the Banneville La Campagne War Cemetry

Our great uncle was 26 years of age

Friday 5 June 2009

New Look To Jewels and Finery

Czech Brightly Coloured Rhinestone Jewellery from the Thirties

Just a quick note
We have a new look to our site - Jewels and Finery

Updated vintage costume jewellery information especially the Exquisite and other British Designers; and added some new photographs
Take a quick look
Feedback very welcome

Cheers - have a good weekend
We hope it stops raining soon.....Good Old British Weather!!

Thursday 4 June 2009

June Roses and Romance

Roses are linked with love and romance.
Every Valentine's day red roses appear in abundance.
With roses starting to flower in June (here in the UK). Many a summer bride has a bouquet of roses in cream, red, yellow or what ever colour coordinates with their wedding scheme

The rose in the language of flowers much favored by the Victorians meaning "Love and joy; a paragon of virtue; beauty and fragrance; the queen of flowers; used to treat headaches, hysteria and other complaints"

Roses are depicted on fabrics, paintings and jewellery. In fact roses are timeless

Time of Roses

It was not in the winter
Our loving lot was cast;
It was the time of roses-
We plucked them as we passed!

That churlish season never frowned
On early lovers yet:
O no - the world was newly crowned
With flowers when first we met!

'Twas twilight, and I bade you go,
But still you held me fast;
It was the time of roses -
We plucked them as we passed!

Poem by THOMAS HOOD (1799 - 1845)

Roses remained popular through the Victorian era and beyond. Antique and vintage jewellery has reflected this. To wear a vintage brooch on a dress or bag always makes me think. Who wore this before and were they given this piece of jewellery by a loved one? Romantic fantasy I know, but it does not hurt!

Vintage rose necklace and earring set Golden rose bracelet by Sarah Coventry vintage rose buttons

Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you!

Tuesday 2 June 2009

Jewellery Glossary

Cabochon glass stone in this Hollywood brooch

Below are just a four common terms used to describe jewellery both fine and costume

Cabochon - A stone with a smooth curved, highly polished and unfaceted surface. The oldest form of gem cutting still in use today.

Cameo pendant from plastic

Cameo - A gem, hardstone, shell, plastic or other materials in which the upper section is carved or molded in relief whilst the lower serves as a background.

Filigree - Delicate metal wire designed into a complex repeating pattern.
Filigree design on this brooch

Marcasite - The trade name given to the tiny bright metallic stones called iron pyrites when used in jewellery.

Marcasite clip on earrings

All jewellery available at Jewels and Finery

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.