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.

Sunday 6 September 2009

New Autumn Review of jewellery on Jewels and Finery

As the summer fades and autumn approaches, Jewels and Finery have been very busy with organizing our website for the party and Christmas season.
Having read another blog by a competitor (who also sells vintage jewellery), we are also looking back over the last year and some of the vintage jewellery trends that we have seen.

Sparkling Victorian scatter pin

Last September Jewels and Finery had been online for about 4 months. Through out last year we expanded to sell vintage buttons and craft books. Lastly earlier this year we started our line in vintage patterns.

Every month we have been delighted to say that our visitors to our site and sales have increase. Antique and vintage jewellery, beads and buttons are selling well. With a slower selling trend on vintage books and patterns as expected.
Even in the quieter recession hit months of May, June and July of this year our sales grew. This August far from being a quiet month has been brilliant and we are looking foreward to September and onwards.

Vintage jewellery trends have seen a surge in vintage brooches and clip earrings.

Especially the filigree and brightly coloured glass brooches from the twenties and thirties. Scottish themed jewellery has also seen a revival, along with mock jade or real jade jewellery from the seventies. Sparkling vintage diamante brooches, necklaces and earrings have always been a favourite; and we have now sold out of vintage St Christopher pendants, that have been popular over the spring and summer. The vintage shoe clips and new shoe clips have also been very popular. Now we have only a few Gothic shoe/boot clips left. Vintage cameo jewellery of brooches, earrings and necklaces continue to retain their popularity.

Vintage cameo choker necklace

This autumn there seems to be a trend towards vintage dress clips and scarf clips. Also multi strand and long beaded necklaces.

Making jewellery and embellishment has meant a growth in the vintage beads, charms and findings that we sell. Vintage buttons now closely follow with more people turning to making their own clothes or re-fashioning vintage clothes. In fact we find it difficult to keep a high stock on Jewels and Finery as many of our packs sell out very quickly.

Vintage and second hand craft books had two areas of growing interest - soft furnishings and toy making. The recession has meant more people have not moved but redecorated their homes. Choosing to make many of the soft furnishings, because with the closure of many shops and stores, it has made it difficult to find furnishings suitable. Plus it is often cheaper and certainly more rewarding to make your own.

In vintage pattern section, jumpers, skirts, jackets and cardigans in Fair isle and Shetland styles are set to be big this autumn. Australia must also be having a cold spell as we have noticed thick jumper and jacket patterns are being most requested from there.

This autumn we are excited to be mentioned in an article on upcycling vintage jewellery and beads in a bead magazine. We will be posting this on our blog when published

Also launched last month a customer loyalty discount and a two monthly prize draw. The first winner will be announced next week in this blog and we are looking foreward to announcing many more special offers.

Rare vintage brooch by Miracle - Welsh dragon

Vintage craft book - spray and stitch soft furnishings

About Me

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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.