September 26, 2009

Vintage Jewelry Finds

I thought I'd talk today about incorporating vintage jewelry pieces into your creations.  I love vintage jewelry, always have.  Depending on the piece, sometimes, I can almost picture the person from days gone by who used to love it and wear it.  In my preliminary on line research I came across a jewelry blog called www.collectingvintagejewelry.blogspot.com.  It touts itself as a good resource for "Hot Trends, Designer Information and Jewelry Gossip" (whatever that is).  It also has a web store featuring many designers.  I looked at the vintage Sarah Coventry collection and it was really reasonably priced.  Problem is, my quest is to find out where to nab the stuff locally, not on line.  And I guess the type of pieces I'm looking for are the imperfect ones, the ones I won't feel so bad pulling apart and using for other creations.

A word to the wise about buying this stuff --check out every inch of it before buying it.  Case in point: Last weekend my family and I attended a local yearly "Barn Sale" run by three local churches.  It's a really big deal in the community.  Anyway, by the time we got to the jewelry section there wasn't much left.  My daughter found some cute clip-on earrings she ended up buying (3 pairs for $1.00!) and after much searching through the piles of zip-lock baggies I came up with two necklaces.  My other daughter found herself a necklace and we got, again, 3 necklaces for $1.00.  Not bad.

One was a pink pearl multi-strand necklace with a vintage clasp, adorned with pink pearls.  It reminded me of the clasps I used to see on my mother's necklaces.  The pearls looked more like plastic than glass (or God forbid real!) so I really wanted it for the clasp.  I pictured myself taking it off that necklace and using it on one of my original designs.  Unfortunately, when I got home and took the necklace out of the bag, it was clear that the clasp was broken!  I was really disappointed but I learned a good lesson --try before you buy.

In contrast, the other necklace was a nice surprise.  It was a silver plated chain with three silver hearts (charms!) that were very worn looking (can you say vintage?) along with three small freshwater pearls and two clear gems, all strategically placed.  It even had a tiny silver charm on the end of the chain with what looked like "AL" in script.  The other side of the charm was engraved with a bird in flight.  If this means anything to anyone, please comment and let me know.  I like it so much that I know I'll have a hard time taking it apart unless I can come up with a charm bracelet or necklace design that I feel it deserves.

So, where do you go for vintage jewelry finds?  Flea market, antique store, tag sale, church bazaar?  What kind of stuff are you finding there?  Please leave a comment and let me know.  And if you're in the suburban Chicago area I'd REALLY be interested in hearing where you go to find great vintage jewelry.

Well, I'm still sick so off to bed and more medication.  Tomorrow's Sunday and we know what that means....sunday school for all three kids.  And I'm a co-catechist in my son's kindergarten class.  Wish me luck. :)               

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