Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lucite, I love you

Art Deco jewelry doesn't get much better than this rhinestone studded lucite pendant. I wish I could find more like it. Can you imagine having one in red? Ivory? I wore it with my new, ruched maternity top from Isabella Oliver. The filigreed costume ring - one of the prettiest I've seen - is headed to the shop today. I'll spare you a baby bump picture this week but here's the report: I'm getting bigger!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A private concert

The other afternoon, I was working in my Jean Jean office and suddenly there was Beethoven playing outside! It turns out that the neighbor across the street (who I met very briefly last fall) plays and teaches piano. Well, lucky for me he had his windows and front door open and I got a private concert of Sonata #23, Appassionata. My favorite recording of the Beethoven sonatas are by Claudio Arrau. I like his recordings because sometimes you can hear him breathing on the track, like an athlete during a workout!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Parfumerie update

Today's shop update is full of soft pinks and concord purples. The colors make me think of a lovely parfumerie filled with tiny glass vials of eau de toilette and floral scented perfumes. These names are borrowed from my favorite perfume shop, Le Labo.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Art Deco nails

My friend Anne told me about this 1930s Art Deco "Moon" manicure and I decided to try it out. I think this was the third time in my life I painted my nails and it wasn't a graceful process. But I am pleased with the results! What do you think? Maybe something fun for a holiday party this year?

What are you up to this weekend? I'm headed to a wedding on this farm tomorrow and I'm very excited to see old friends, eat great food, do some pregnant-lady dancing, etc. I'll share photos next week. Also, I have a great shop update in the the works for Monday - pinks and purples! Bon weekend!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Locket giveaway

Cou cou! It's time for another little contest. This time I'm doing a giveaway over at Sandy à la mode. There is a sweet, brushed gold heart locket up for grabs, as well as a Jean Jean coupon code for 15% off the shop! You can find all the details in this giveaway post. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mourning locket mystère


Victorian mourning jewelry is what originally got me interested in vintage jewelry. Whenever I find a special piece at the right price, I grab it up. Like this locket I found earlier this summer! The animal symbolism was lost on me so I asked Hayden Peters for some expert advice. Mr. Peters keeps the excellent blog Art of Mourning, where he does thoughtful posts about mourning jewelry, photos, funeralia and other sentimental objects. I also chatted with some other mourning jewelry aficionados and this is what I learned.

The Forget-Me-Not symbolizes remembrance. The dog stands for fidelity and loyalty, always waiting for its owner. The cat is a little bit tricky. One person suggested that cats symbolize resurrection and rebirth in some societies. If that's the case here, then what does it mean that the woman is holding the cat and walking away from the dog? What do you think this scene is all about?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

For the crafty gal

This is such a cool idea from Oliva Manna. You can use these wooden templates to make your own envelopes out of any paper that you want! Heck, you could even use old sheet music or maps.

Olive Manna is my new addiction. I could check out right now with about thirty items.

Photo courtesy of Olive Manna

Monday, August 22, 2011

Transatlantic Update

This collection makes me think of traveling on an ocean liner! I imagine a ca. 1910 Transatlantic voyage with all the bells and whistles - leather upholstery in the First Class cabins, freshly painted, wind-whipped decks, a handsomely dressed crew, etc.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Two birds with one stone

This post has two purposes. First, to oblige my mom's request for a belly pic this week (hi mom!) and second, to show you this cameo locket. I found it in a dusty cigar box behind the desk of an antique booth in Iowa. I was sitting cross-legged on dirty, rough carpet, thirsty, sneezing, wondering if I should leave and then . . . there she was! A Victorian Revival celluloid/glass cameo mounted on an enameled frame. The enamel has wobbly, zebra-like stripes and gilt flourishes that look like parsley. There used to be seed pearls around the cameo but I don't really miss them. And the icing on the cake? There is a secret locket on the back. I'm keeping her for now.

Bon weekend! I'll see you on Monday for a big shop update.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Maternity shopping, 1983

I continue to find endless entertainment in my beat up copy of the 1983 JC Penney winter catalog. This time, since I've got a little lad coming in December, I flipped right to the maternity section to check out my options. Wow - they loved their jumpers and tunics back then! Because everything for sale here is basically a glorified muumuu, you can't even really tell these ladies are pregnant. Quite the opposite of today's maternity fashion, which is all about flaunting your bump!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Small and sweet

I am adding three tiny pendants to the shop this morning, one charm (far left) and two lockets. They are all so itty bitty! Also, they all have what appear to be their original chains - that almost never happens.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Frothy and light

This antique seed pearl necklace is really something. The torsade style chain, the festoon strands between the large pearl panels, the citrine clasp . . . the whole piece looks frothy and light. I'm a mess over here! How many pearls do you think are in this necklace?

Photos courtesy of Lang Antiques

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jean Jean Giveaway

The lovely Jen of Honey Kennedy is hosting me for a giveaway this week. It's a biggie - a $100 gift certificate to the shop! If you haven't already cast your entry, you can do it here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Old family photos of new babies

Top: Paternal Great grandma Mamie holding Grandpa Fred, 1906
Bottom: Paternal Grandpa Fred & Grandma Miriam holding my dad, 1943

Maternal Great-great grandma Ollie holding her first child, ca. 1903
Maternal Great grandpa Sam holding baby Frank w/ my grandma Velma squinting, ca. 1930

As you may already know, I am pretty serious about genealogy. Because of this I've become the keeper of many of my family photos. This is a great honor and huge pleasure for me, as you can imagine. Recently I've been looking through them, thinking about how many people - their lives, their hard work, their DNA, etc. - are going to be a part of our baby. When I found these photos - some of them over 100 years old - of my ancestors holding the family babies, I was especially moved. All of the people in these photos, except my Grandma Miriam who is almost 96, are gone now. I am glad that we will be adding a new branch to the family tree soon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One of these, s'il vous plaît

These thin wood pendant necklaces from snugstudio are so attractive. The colors remind me of the Southwest (stucco houses, aloe plants) and the wood looks crisp like a cracker! I also like how the necklaces are packaged against a backing that looks like graph paper.

Images courtesy of snugstudio

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pistachio necklace

Look it's my favorite nut! These brass or sterling silver pendants are cast from a real pistachio. Perfection. From Gold Teeth Brooklyn.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Shrimp hair

Yesterday I drove to Ann Arbor to take a friend out for a birthday lunch and run some errands. It was nice to have a day "out" in the world - sometimes working from home gets so lonely! I'm feeling some kicks from the lad these days which is pretty extraordinary. I think he must have long legs like his dad. Speaking of his dad, Mr. Jean Jean loves it when I do my hair like this. He calls it my "shrimp hair."

{dress} Odille from Anthropology, a gift from Lauren
{ring} my Ostby & Barton cameo, story here
{necklace} a sterling silver Bliss Brother's Co. locket w/a picture of a guy inside who looks exactly like a young Jeff Bridges