Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'd like the costume version of this

I'm generally not too excited about bracelets but this piece caught my eye. Wow! Now I 'm thinking that a faux pearl bracelet with a little rhinestone clasp could be a super versatile and extremely pretty addition to my jewelry box. Oh! - and I just learned that when several strands of pearls are twisted together it's called a torsade. What a great word.

Image courtesy of Hamilton Jewelers.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bon weekend!

Bon weekend everyone! Here are five things - big and small - that made me happy this week:

1. Two dear friends of mine had a baby last week and I'm still enjoying the aftereffects of that tremendously good news. I had fun picking out a sweet rattle from this company to send their way.

2. The first season of The Cosby Show. It first aired in the fall of 1984 and ran for eight seasons - this is some seriously great television. Check out this great picture of Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille from the Life Magazine archives.

3. This gadget! It seems it might be possible for me to make good espresso at home without spending a fortune on an espresso machine after all! Does anyone have one of these? I would love to hear about it if you do.

4. V-8 juice. It has long been my in-flight drink of choice (with ice, please) but lately I've been drinking it on the ground, too. This is a sign that that I am either a.) a great candidate for a fancy juicer or b.) getting old. P.S. These old V8 juice ads are a little creepy.

5. This post from the supremely talented Miss Moss. I mean geeeeesshh.

What made you happy this week?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lilac & Freesia

I'm really smitten with these two vintage leather and bead corsage pins. They are headed for the shop this morning.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Don't I know you from somewhere?

It is always fun when I recognize a piece of antique jewelry from an old ad, catalog or price guide. Here are two 1930s pins that I've now had the good fortune to see in print and in person! They are both going in the shop today.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm guilty

Sometimes when I find something really, really amazing I feel a little guilty. I sort of expect a knock at the door the next day from the Antiques Police. In the case of this purse, they might say something like, I'm sorry Ms. Duffelmeyer but we are going to have to confiscate that 1920s French cut steel beaded handbag that you acquired yesterday. It is just too cool for you. And I can't say that I would blame them. This purse - which is in mint condition - is off the bonkers chart. And yes, I scanned it!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


On my first day of Kindergarten I met a girl named Brenna. I thought she was the best thing around and we quickly became best friends. We've made it through twenty-five years of life together so far, including Middle School (which should really count double, don't you think?) Brenna is here for a visit this week and I'm so excited to host her. I don't think we'll go rollerskating, but you never know.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


When I couldn't sleep last night, I built myself an imaginary Saturday outfit and listened to the rain fall and fall and fall. Here's to hoping for a better night's sleep (or at least a nap!) today.

Imaginary outfit
skirt > Dear Golden Vintage
top > Greatest Friend
shoes > Lisazain
cape > Oma Vintage
necklace > the shop

Friday, February 18, 2011


I took the afternoon off yesterday and went to San Francisco. I fully intended to go to a museum but was instead drawn into Zara. And now I am seriously lovesick for that store. I ended up buying the first shirt because that color is so beautiful it makes my tongue numb. Blrrrggg. The leather jacket is next on my list. So by help I really mean, Please someone take me back to that store today and leave me there.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Put together

I always have jewelry parts lying about the office - lonely chains, clasps, and bails just waiting to come to the rescue of some piece of jewelry in need of slight repair. I was recently able to put a beautiful Art Deco earring bail to good use by pairing it with a beautiful aluminum and rhinestone pendant from Pinguim Vintage. I think they work very together very well! I wore the necklace along with my new favorite 1920s costume ring, found at the Alameda Point Antiques Fair a couple of weeks ago. I'm really loving light, dull metal (sometimes aluminum) jewelry and accessories like these lately.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I recently purchased a few prints of 1920s tobacco ads done by Ludwig Hohlwein, an artist known for helping to develop a style called plakastil - or poster style - at the turn of the century in Germany. I was really taken by these, with their bright watercolors, interesting shading, and hand-lettered text.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

As good as pickled plums

As it was with this pair, so these two - now reunited in the Jean Jean jewelry box - shall never part. I just stocked the pretty filigree pendant in the shop and if you give it a home, you'll get the pretty pin as a little extra. The color of the enamel and the "wrinkly" satin glass remind me of these - hence my name for the necklace!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A thankful heart

I'm so happy to be celebrating Valentine's Day with you this year. My heart is happier and fuller than ever and your readership and friendship is a big part of that - thank you! What are your plans today? I am going to buy myself a fancy coffee this afternoon and a bunch of these flowers for my office. There is a little flower shop that I pass every day on my way to the post office that I've been admiring for weeks - today I'm treating myself!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I need a chair

I need a chair to sit in while I look at these earrings. Can you believe they are from the 1870s? That is so much earlier than I would have supposed. Just imagine this Victorian jeweler saying to his colleague on the Friday walk home, "This next week I fancy I'll take a break from mourning jewelry and fashion some whimsical bird nest earrings with bitty eggs in them." Fantastic!

Images courtesy of The Three Graces.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Come calling

Calling card cases are remnants of the tradition of paying calls around town. Turning down one or another corner of a calling card indicated the specific reason for the call - congratulations, condolences, etc. A folded top left corner signaled that the caller had come in person. This particular case is sweet because there is one last card inside for Mrs. Effie Coolidge, done in an elegant hand on lovely card stock. Mrs. Coolidge probably carried this case at the turn of the century. Wouldn't you love to have a personalized calling or business card case? I would!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'm every girl

Confession: I feel badly for my jewelry because I'm not a fancy-dress-up lady. I don't have a closet full of amazing clothes worthy of the all beautiful accessories I've collected. I worry that my pretty things would be better off in a big city, going out to cocktail parties, jumping in cabs, and accessorizing with high heels. Sometimes I get intimidated by my nicest pieces and just avoid wearing them all together! But then I catch myself and remember my Jean Jean Vintage tagline: Vintage jewelry for every girl, every day. And I think to myself, "I am that girl!" The most important thing is to wear and enjoy what I have - who cares about the rest.

So yesterday I put on two pieces I've had squirreled away since I found them in January. I really like delicate 1930s necklaces (as you probably remember from this post) and the pale colors and wing shapes on this one sealed the deal for me. As for the ring, angel skin coral cameo + seed beads = love. I wore the necklace and ring all day, paired with my hum-drum tank tops and cardigan. We took photographs together, ran errands, made tea - nothing fancy, just another day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday chuckle

My friend Laura sent this card to me for my birthday and every time I look at it I laugh. Happy hump day everyone!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My heart = mush

Have you ever seen a piece of mourning jewelry so sweet and tender? The little white hair bows and the seed pearls are so lovely. It was made 220 years ago and it is in perfect condition. The price tag seems absolutely reasonable to me - $2400, or about $10 for each year it has survived.

Images courtesy of Mourning Glory Antiques & Jewelry.

Monday, February 7, 2011

May cause shortness of breath

I watched Gosford Park the other night for the first time. The 1930s costumes caused me severe shortness of breath for the duration of the film, with all the silky, pooling fabrics of the ladies' evening gowns, the plunging backs of the dresses, and the waved hair. And during the scene where Maggie Smith's character is ceremoniously putting on her jewelry before going down to dinner the first night, I made so much noise that Mr. Jean Jean had to ask me to keep it down.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekend hike

Just a few pictures to share with you from my hike in Tilden Park this weekend. Mr. Jean Jean Vintage and I had a great time. The weather was unbelievable - 73 degrees on February 5th. Now I understand why everyone loves this state.