Monday, January 31, 2011

Victorians just wanna have fun

[ I hope all's (well) | via Erie Basin ]

[ Who the (devil) is this from? | via Clayton Antiques ]

[ Friend (ship) | via my jewelry box ]

I am super intrigued by Victorian intaglio seals. Sometimes they are made of semi precious stone (agate, carnelian, etc.) but more often you find them in glass. They are reverse carved with initials, images, or short messages and they were used to seal the wax on letters. The Victorians sometimes substituted images for part of the phrases. How witty! I just bought myself the Friend (ship) fob, which is now the oldest piece of jewelry that I own and certainly the most playful.

Friday, January 28, 2011

To be 30

I turn thirty on Sunday. I am OK with it and here is why |

1. Bottom line, I'm fortunate to be alive and celebrating another 365 days of life.
2. Most of the coolest women I know are in their 30s and I am happy to join their ranks.
3. I've been waiting 24 years for the Thirtysomething theme song to apply to me.
4. My mom was a cutie when she was 30 (above w/me) so I've got good genes.
5. I get to eat my favorite cake.
6. It seems that life is getting better as it goes on - marriage, friends, work, the whole bit.
7. I bought myself a "turning 30 dress" from Dear Golden Vintage.
8. If I am going to be an elite runner, this is supposedly the decade that it will happen for me.
9. I am planning a third decade dinner in the near future at this restaurant.
10. About two years ago, I saw my 30-something crisis waiting for me up ahead like a big, grabby monster. I changed some things in my life and jumped to a different path and I think I've managed to miss it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Le matin

Good morning! I realized yesterday that it's been a while since I've shown my face around here. So here I am, dressed for a day of work in what has kind of become my CA uniform - jeans, a comfy button down shirt, a cardigan and messy hair. Lately I've also been wearing my 1910s ring from Erie Basin and a rad photo locket with a fellow in a bowler hat. I need a name for him because right now I'm just calling him, "My guy." Suggestions welcome.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"We do our part"

While I was listing this beaded purse the other day I took a closer look at its tag. It has the letters "NRA" over a blue eagle and the slogan, "We do our part." I did a little research to learn that this tag dates the manufacture of the the purse precisely to the years 1933-1935 and indicates that it was made in the United States under the guidelines of FDR's National Recovery Administration. The NRA was one of FDR's many New Deal efforts intended to buoy the economy during the Great Depression.

Here is a promotional video (1933) about the NRA. Kind of made my throat tighten up.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The bee's knees

When I was in Iowa over Christmas I bought two great Art Deco pins from the same sweet lady. I think they are the bee's knees! The colors, the plastics, the old safety pins on the back . . . they seem so modern, yet they are 80 years old. That is the magic of a beautifully designed and crafted piece of jewelry: your grandma wanted to wear it, you want to wear it and I bet your granddaughter will want to wear it, too.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Perfect timing

I do believe I have found the largest barrette on the planet! We were getting along fine until I tried to put it in my hair for a photograph. It fell right out again and again - darn straight hair. A few minutes later, my dear friend Katrina swung by to drop something off. She has the prettiest, curliest hair in the land and it is always done in a cute up-do. I asked her to be my hair model and she obliged.

They go together

I found the purple pin almost a year ago and the orange one last month. Now that these 1920s cuties are reunited they can't bear the thought of being apart again! And so if you buy Mr. Purple, you will get Ms. Orange too. I'll send her along in your package for free.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spring stock

This is the first January of my life when I haven't been cold! The weather is incredibly mild here, so mild that I was able to do my photo shoot on the front porch yesterday! As I was editing the pictures afterward, I realized that the jewelry I pulled to stock the shop is decidedly Spring-y - lots of soft colors, small pins and floral motifs. They are a reflection of my state of mind.

Friday, January 21, 2011

On the way

Thank you for your comments and support these last few days during my Featured Seller adventure! It was a lot of fun and I am so happy to welcome a few new readers to the roll call (hi!). If you didn't get a chance to read my Etsy interview, you can find it here. If you purchased something from le shop in the last couple of days thank you! - your goodies are on their way to you as we speak.


Vintage + felt + homemade + hearts + beads + sequins = I adore this necklace. It is perfect for Valentine's Day!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

No regrets

Part of me wants to keep all of the jewelry that I find. No shop, no selling, just hoarding! Luckily, I am juuusst sensible enough to realize that would be like hoarding 1000s of shortbread cookies. There is no way I could eat 1000s of cookies by myself and it would just be a waste of butter and sugar. Similarly, there is no way that I can wear all of the jewelry I find. And so I happily (gratefully) send most of it off to live new lives with new girls.

That said, there is one thing that I regret selling. It was a little 1920s pin with clear glass that I sold to a lovely lady in the early days of Jean Jean Vintage. Nothing super fancy, just something that I loved. I've been looking for another one ever since and even managed to find the same pin in different colors. Then, last week, I found another one. What luck.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Beautiful backsides

The mid 1920s through the 1930s was a great time for bling. This was the era of the cocktail ring - large rings with showy stones, long faces, enamel and marcasite accents, etc. One thing I love about rings of this period are their backsides. Art Deco rings - real and costume - will usually have a roomy/puffy galleries, often decoratively engraved with geometric designs. Here are some pictures of the real thing (courtesy of A. Brandt and Son Antique and Estate Jewelry) as well as two pretty costume versions available at Jean Jean Vintage (the red and sterling ring is coming to the shop this afternoon!)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Who can resist

Who can resist a stern looking man with sad eyes and a superb mustache? This fine fellow, framed safely in his Victorian photo pin, just made a grand entrance in the shop where he is stealing the show.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Golden State headquarters

Jean Jean Vintage is comfortably settled in California now. The new headquarters are dangerously close to a number of purveyors of fine coffees, breads and cheeses. It is so easy to pop out for a treat in the morning/afternoon/evening. I might need one of you to monitor my movements via GPS for the next few months.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Have you ever?

Have you ever seen a fossilized Victorian beetle ring? Did you even know such a thing existed? I did not. Read more about it here.

Photographs courtesy of A. Brandt and Son.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Last leg

After almost three weeks on the road, Mr. Jean Jean Vintage and I are about to arrive in our new (temporary) digs. These last few days the driving has been spectacular. We especially enjoyed a little side trip we took into the Colorado National Monument yesterday. Although most of the park road was closed for the winter, we were still able to see a lot. There are trails all around the park and we are planning to hike a few on our way back through the area this summer. The colors will be very different then . . . I can't imagine they will be more beautiful than they are right now.