Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Brooch sale!

All brooches, pins, clips, etc. are on sale today only! Please use the code PINIT31 at check out for 20% off your selection. There are almost forty pieces to choose from!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pretty green Monday

You will find these four beauties at the top of the shop today! Also, do you recognize that little Art Deco brooch? It has the same face as this ring from the Jean Jean "sold" archives. Cool!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Severen giggles

Here is some video of the lad in action, giggling and having fun yesterday with his Uncle Andy (my brother) and Auntie Annie. He would have liked to do this for at least ten more minutes, but my arms gave out! Hooray for family visits. They are the best.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Climbing rope bracelets

Is this bracelet dorky? I've lost all perspective. Maybe it is the inner 3rd grader in me that loves the wrap style and the colorful, woven pattern. Think friendship bracelets. Think snap bracelets. The clasp on this is really cool (stainless steel and magnetic), too. I love it and I can't take it off. Oh, and it glows in the dark. Help. Me. I might be buying a few more (including some chunkier ones) from this company.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dezeen watch store


Dezeen, the London based architecture and design blog, has a fantastic watch store. I love a good watch. Here are six of my favorites (images linked). Do you wear a watch? I always had one as a kid and I recently started wearing one again. It seems like watches are more of an accessory among my generation than anything these days, since most people use their phones to tell the time. But watches are so much prettier than phones! I am seriously thinking about putting that nude and pale pink beauty on my wishlist.

{Images via the Dezeen watch store}

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A pretty girl with cocktail rings . . . what more could you ask for?

This is Ingrid. She lives in Montreal (the city of my dreams). She gave a home to two of my favorite Jean Jean Vintage rings this past year and just sent some photos of them in action! It makes me so happy to see them enjoying life again. I asked her to write a little bio to go along with the photos and she kindly supplied a bilingual version, French/English. Merci Ingrid!

"Eternal witchy little girl and mother of an adorable child nicknamed « Cookie », I’ve always been haunted by the past, its stories and objects. When I was young I used to dig around my century old house in Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu to find some porcelain fragments and small animal bones. It’s no wonder therefore I chose to study Anthropology at University of Montréal to learn more about Archaeology ! The year after I graduated, I started working in an booking agency for Québec music artists and my music lover heart was filled! But I’ve been dreaming about giving vintage objects a new home for a while so I started collecting jewelry, clothing ans other accessories from the past so I could have my own Etsy boutique, les fantômes, which I hope will be online very soon!" 

"Éternelle fillette-sorcière et maman d’une adorable enfant surnommée « Cookie », je suis hantée par le passé, ses histoires et ses objets. Plus jeune, je fouillais les plates-bandes de ma maison centenaire à Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu à la recherche de fragments de porcelaine et d’ossements d’animaux et c’est donc tout naturellement que je me suis dirigée vers des études en anthropologie à l’Université de Montréal afin d’assouvir ma soif d’archéologie. Après mes études, je commence à travailler dans le milieu de la musique, une autre de mes passions, comme adjointe dans une agence de booking. Mais je caresse le rêve de donner une nouvelle maison aux objets vintage depuis longtemps et je commence ainsi à collectionner bijoux, vêtements et autres accessoires du passé dans le but de mettre en ligne ma propre boutique Etsy, les fantômes, qui devrait voir le jour sous peu!"

Monday, July 16, 2012

rings rings rings!

These six rings are headed to the shop today! Maybe one of them belongs on your finger? My favorite is the brass Art Deco ring.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Nine years ago

Mr. Jean Jean and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary yesterday! We got married when we were pretty young - I was twenty-two and Soren was twenty-four. We married two months after I graduated from college, on our college campus by one of our professors.

We didn't have much money or much time to plan (we were engaged for only 6 months), so we accomplished most everything with the help of friends and family. We made our own boutonniers and bouquets at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market the day before the wedding. My mother-in-law tailored and modified my grandmother Velma's 1950s wedding dress for me to wear and also made the bridesmaids dresses. My friend Katrina did my hair and make-up. My Hebrew teacher, who also happens to be a professional violinist, played this waltz for us during the ceremony. We had a homemade, family dinner at the home of Soren's parents instead of a catered meal. Friends provided jazz music and singing at the reception. My sisters-in-laws did the artwork for the programs and made our favors, which were rocks collected on the North Shore of Lake Superior stamped with our names and the date of our wedding.

I loved our wedding. It was a perfect representation of our lives, and the people that we loved, at that time. The best part of the whole day was a part of our ceremony that we did Quaker Meeting style, inviting people to stand up and say something if they wanted to. We didn't know if anyone would speak or, if they did, what they would say. There were a few moments of silence at the beginning but then, one by one, people spoke. What followed was unforgettable. Both our fathers said something, as did Soren's sister. My great-aunt Princetta talked about my grandparents, both gone, and how much they would have enjoyed the wedding and how special it was to see my grandma's dress again. Soren's uncle, poet Roy McBride, recited a poem for us. And Soren's grandma, who is about 5' tall and the mother of ten children, simply asked, "Has anyone told you that this is going to be hard?" and then sat back down.

I was thinking what she said yesterday, during what felt like a really long, really hard day. Soren and I had a big fight in the morning and, stubbornly, stayed mad. Our plans for an anniversary dinner turned into cheese and crackers at 9 PM. I went for a walk by myself. We fell into bed, exhausted by the pace of life. You get the idea. But it is OK. Bad days come with the territory. Happily, they are far outnumbered by good days, especially now that Severen is with us! I am grateful to have such a loving family. I hope we get to spend many, many more years together.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I splurged and bought myself a new piece of mourning jewelry. It is the darling of my collection now, and I think you can see why.  I am pretty sure it is the oldest piece of jewelry I own (1849), although I might have a couple other things that come close. I love the color of the hair, the beveled glass compartment, the acanthus leaves engraved around the border and the garter motif.

Every time I look at this brooch a wave of emotion comes over me. Whoever commissioned this back in the mid-1800s did so with a full, loving heart for someone.  What was the relationship between the person who gave the lock of hair and the wearer? A husband and wife? A mother and daughter? Impossible to know. What I do know is that other mourning pieces I own do not have the same effect on me. This piece is powerful and full of memory.

P.S. Do you see how the pin extends beyond the edge of the piece? And how the hinge is tube shaped? These are both clues that the piece is from the 1800s, since these characteristics fell out of style in the late Victorian period. If you see these elements on a brooch and the price and condition is right, grab it up!

P.P.S. I bought this on ebay. Usually, bidding on ebay for mourning pieces is very competitive and the prices go quite high. I don't stand a chance! But this was one of those "or best offer" deals that ended up working out. Pretty lucky.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Locket Lundi

Happy Monday! Here are a few new lockets for the shop.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Severen and I love this indestructible book, which was a thoughtful gift from a friend. It is totally baby-proof, washable, beautiful, and fun. We only have one right now, but I've been browsing the full selection and I think I'll get a couple more for us to enjoy.

What were your favorite books as a kid? Parents: What are your child's favorite reads now? These were some of my favorites when I was little (images linked):

Monday, July 2, 2012

Eszter Burghardt

These wooly landscapes from the artist Eszter Burghardt are incredible. When I first saw her stuff, particularly some of the compositions from her "Edible Vistas" series, I thought of the recent work of my friend Amy Sacksteder. I mentioned this to Amy and she told me that she actually knows Burghardt. They met in a residency program in Iceland in 2010. Amy later included some of Burghardt's work in a show she curated about the island late last year. Cool connections.

Photos via Eszter Burghardt {all images linked}