Monday, September 12, 2011

New Projects!

I always begin with a fabric flower - this purse has a section of a vintage bracelet in the center!
The flower is fabric and the center used to be a jet black brooch in another life!

Again, the flower is fabric and notice the vintage rhinestone bumblebee pin!

It's been quite awhile since I last posted anything on my blog but the minute summer seems to fade my creative juices seem to grab hold.  So here I am again ready to write about one of my latest projects.  I have been upcycling vintage purses--embellishing them with fabric flowers and vintage jewelry.  The jewelry is usually an old brooch, an odd earring, or a piece of broken necklace or bracelet.  Over the years I have amassed a huge collection of vintage jewelry which I now sell on Etsy and Ebay.  This involves cleaning and repairing it prior to offering it for sale.  After years of doing this, it has led to accumulating a tons of odd, mismatched, broken, bits and pieces that are just too beautiful to dispose of.  These are the pieces that I use to embellish the purses.  As you can see in the photos that I have shown here they add a lovely, old-fashioned, stylized look to each purse.  It also gives each one a unique, custom look.  Ahh...September I absolutely love it - the beginning of autumn and the start of another season of projects!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Three "R's"

Once upon a time the three "R's" stood for Reading, 'Riting and 'Rithmatic ..... but not anymore.  Now you will find that they stand for something that makes a lot more sense - Reduce, Repair, and Recycle!  It really is something that I have always believed in - especially when it comes to vintage clothing and jewelry.  There is nothing more satisfying to me than finding an old, broken, beaded necklace from 50 years ago and taking it apart, cleaning it and transforming it into something totally new.  It brings out my creative side which just seems to not get used as often as I would like it to.  It also allows me to use my imagination and I find that can be extremely satisfying after spending so many hours on the computer.  Lately I have tried to balance my life more evenly by including more creative time along with all the mundane daily tasks that can make the day fly by and truly bog me down.

One example is my "timeless bracelet".  I have always collected vintage watches.  Having an overflowing cigar box full of them - I decided to combine them with some old bracelets and hence--my "timeless bracelet" came to be.  I usually try to place at least one working watch (usually the middle one) in the finished product but not always.  It makes a nice gift for anyone that appreciates all things vintage.  I have also sold a few of them on ebay and on Etsy   However, once I spend the time creating something so special I find that I get more satisfaction out of giving them to friends as gifts as opposed to selling them......go figure!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Displaying My Collections!

It's funny how we seem to accumulate 'things' while traveling along the path of our lives.  A trinket we pick up at a thrift store, a gift from a dear friend, a memento left to us by a beloved relative....somehow 'things' just seem to move into our lives and pile up.  Then before we realize it we are swamped with loads of stuff.  In order to justify our 'stuff'' we sometimes call ourselves "collectors".  Makes us seems less messy and maybe just a teeny bit more important. However, at times our collections can get out of hand and we all need to find a way to take know clear out the clutter, get rid of the not so great pieces.  I always try to be as imaginative as possible when displaying my collections.  This means sorting through, repairing, cleaning  and selecting the finest items in them.  I know it is work but well worth the effort.  Respecting each and every piece is a part of respecting yourself and your just all somehow seems to go together.  Well, that is just what I recently did!  Ahhh, I just love the time retirement allows me.

The first thing that I dealt with was my collection of vintage "mothers pins".  My son has always given me a vintage "mothers pin" on Mothers Day and I had a sizable collection just sitting in my jewelry box.  I thought there must be a better way to display them so I could enjoy them on a daily basis.  The thought came to me that pinning them on to a pillow might just be the way to do it.....and I was correct!  It was simple to do - yet the effect was fantastic.  Once I did that I was really onward and upward!
Next I dug out my Christmas pin collection - pinned them on to an old heart shaped pillow that I had!  Cute, cute, cute!   There was no stopping me!

Last, but certainly not least, was my  "rhinestone brooch" collection.  The only difference was - I asked my very talented sister-in-law, Karen, to sew up a black velvet pillow to display this pin collection.  She is super talented on the sewing machine , whereas I can barely sew a button on.  The effect was stunning!  Much better than my picture shows. Now all three pillows are in my studio where I can see them  every day.  When the sun hits them the glitz and glam just bedazzles the eye and makes me very, very happy!

For any beginner collectors out there check out my brooches and pins on Etsy  I am sure you will find something to interest you and at a affordable price.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So What's Not To Love About Bakelite?

Bakelite-so what is not to love about Bakelite!  The colors, certainly not, because they are so delicious that they have names like apple juice and root beer.  The sound of it, oh no, for that is music to ones ears - like when the bangle bracelets "clunk" together.  Even the distinct that you know it like no other when you rub it between your hands on a hot summer day.  There is just nothing else like it.  Put it smack dab in the middle of a lot of lucite, acrylic, and/or plastic jewelry and it jumps right out at you.  Something about the deep richness of the colors and weight of the piece when you hold it tells you it is Bakelite.  

There is really nothing that compares to an early morning jaunt to a thrift store or a flea market and finding yourself in the midst of a counter or booth with  lots and lots of Bakelite jewelry.  The thrill of the hunt compares to nothing else.  The colors swim before your eyes as you scrutinize each and every one that speaks to you.  Oh yes, don't kid yourself they do, indeed, speak to you.  Calling your name softly -- telling you to take them home -- promising you that they are multi-functional because not only will they pretty up your person, they will also decorate your dresser when not decorating your wrist.  No matter that you tell them they are way too expensive - they just whisper back that you are actually saving money because next year they will only cost much, much more.  Haven't they faithfully gone up in price year after year.  Of course they have!  So what do you do - exactly what I do -- you go ahead and buy them.  The beautiful Bakelite - bracelets, earrings, brooches, buttons and whatever else appeals to you.  You bring it home and cherish it and look at it and just love it because after all what is there to not love about Bakelite!  

Bakelite in the 1930s!

This looks incredibly interesting...that is, if you speak German.

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Claim To Fame!

In my wildest dreams I never, ever thought I would be mentioned (or pictured) in a real, honest-to-goodness published book.....but I am!  Go just never know.  My claim to fame came to be like this--my son, John Bobey, who is a writer and lives in Manhattan, has a friend who just published a book.  It is titled "My Mom STYLE ICON" by Piper Weiss. She also is the author of   The book features beautiful, vintage photographs of moms in their younger days wearing the fashions that were popular at that particular time.  My son knew she was writing the book and called me and told me to send her some old photos - which I did.  Much to my surprise she ended up using four of the pictures in the book -- two of me alone and two of me with my son, John.  Unfreakin' believable! The book comes out in another week but my son got an advance copy which he sent to me and I am still in shock!  I guess like Andy Warhol said everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame and this is mine.  To be totally honest if anyone loves vintage give this book a read (and not just because I am in it), it is just fantastic.  I just love all things vintage and this book gives you an authentic look at the hairdos, clothes, cars, jewelry etc. back in the day.  Piper did a terrific book and I can't wait for her next one.....hmmmm, I have more pictures maybe she will do a volume II - just a thought!
My Mom, Style Icon


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