Skip navigation

Tag Archives: vintage

I think these are two of my most UNIQUE jewelry designs. For the first one, named “Put a Spell On You”, I used a fossil – pyrite on amazonite, found object –  a feather, vintage jewelry pieces – pocket watch case and crystals, and various other jewelry components. The second one also uses a vintage pocket watch case, this time in brass, with added vintage crystals, fleur-de-lis, and pearls. I named the second one, “Mardi Gras Mambo”. They both hang from simple leather cords with a vintage button closure.

Put a spell on You




Another great find at Goodwill!  Actually, I did not find this one – my shopping companion spotted this beauty. Fortunately, she decided against it, so it was mine for the taking. The label states “B. Altman & Co., Fifth Avenue, New York. B. Altman and Company department store New York location was in business from 1906 until 1989.

Fur stoles were meant to be worn with formal wear. They could be described as capelets or shawls. I decided to wear mine over my coat for added warmth with a casual ensemble of jeans, a silk tie front blouse, and leather riding boots.




“People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs.” ~ Alexei Sayle

This Christmas, I decided to make my gifts handmade. I had fun searching Pinterest for ideas on crafty presents. The few other gifts I purchased were thrifted from Goodwill.  My son’s girlfriend received two vintage purses, in almost mint condition I may add. I also found a couple of albums for my son, an LP and an old 45 by a jazz guitarist that he was not familiar with – and he has a really large collection of New Orleans jazz and blues artists.

My son’s girlfriend got this handstamped NOLA necklace. She is from New Orleans and that girl loves her city. She liked the little crown charm the best.

NOLA necklace

NOLA necklace

My sister received the wire-work camera pendant necklace. She is an avid photographer and is finishing her Graphic Design degree. I added her initials to the top to make it more personal.

Wire camera pendant necklace

Wire camera pendant necklace

Her husband got this handstamped luggage tag.

luggage tag

I made the vanilla brown sugar scrub for a family “dirty santa” get together. Oh, I also used a Pinterest recipe for yummy hot cocoa that was a hit that night.

scrub label



I can remember when I was younger and I frowned upon anything old or worn. As I have gotten older, I cherish old, vintage, worn, aged (whatever you want to call them) items.

I have used some vintage lace in some of my jewelry designs for accents but decided to make them the main component. I call this project, “faux gilded” because instead of dipping the lace in gold or silver metal, I used some craft supplies.

I cut the lace in various shapes depending on the size or pattern, painted them with metallic acrylic paint in gold and silver tones, and coated them with Mod Podge for added stiffness. After they dried, they took on a life of their own becoming bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings. I embellished them with ribbon or beads. I love how the paint brought out even more of the detail of the lace designs.

BTW: The term “gild the lily” means to apply unnecessary ornament;  to over embellish.

Contrary to popular belief, Shakespeare did not coin the term “gild the lily”. Below is the quote by Salisbury from King John, 1595:

Therefore, to be possess’d with double pomp,
To guard a title that was rich before,
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.

‘Gild the lily’ doesn’t appear in the original quotation. The term “paint the lily” was used in the 20th century, with the same meaning we now apply to “gild the lily”. Clearly, this is the correct quotation. The two versions coexisted for a time but “gild the lily” became the much more popular one.

I thought this an apt description considering that the vintage lace has such a beauty on its own…but I do like the extra embellishment.

The basis of this “Charming” bracelet is the vintage link bracelet I purchased a few weeks ago. I added an assortment of charms including a silhouette engraved with the name “Chancie”, a high school charm from 1982, and other gold toned dangles.




Vintage Bonwit Teller Jacket (front)

Okay, I have a confession to make. My favorite shopping place lately is not exactly a retail store per say. It is what is called a “thrift store”. Locally, we have two Goodwill locations that I frequent. This is the key to finding bargains and selection is to go often. I found out recently they now have an online shopping site too –

I have recently scored some really unique clothing/accessories for myself. I even found a cool vintage leather and suede purse for my son’s girlfriend. She is into vintage fashion, especially the mod style of dress that was popular in the 60’s which I think this purse will fit in well with.

I found a great vintage jacket for me as well. It appears to be a wool and is fitted with three quarter length sleeves. It does not have a tag with materials or care instructions but it does have the original “Bonwit Teller”  label as well as an “Oscar Beverly Hills” label,  which I guess is the designer.   Bonwit Teller & Co. was a department store  in New York City founded by Paul Bonwit in 1895 at Sixth Avenue and 18th Street. In 1897 Edmund D. Teller was admitted to the partnership and the store moved to 23rd Street, East of Sixth Avenue. Bonwit specialized in high-end women’s apparel.  The store was relocated many times and ownership changed hands. Eventually, other locations were opened.  It eventually closed in 1990.

Another intersting tidbit;  artist Andy Warhol designed window displays for Bonwit Teller.

Bonwit Teller

Bonwit Teller ad from Vogue 1963

Vintage Bonwit Teller Jacket (back)

Jade is an ornamental stone. The term jade is applied to two different rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals.Jadeite is composed of tightly packed microscopic crystals, and Nephrite is composed of extremely dense mineral fibers that are interlocked and very tough. Of the two jade forms, Nephrite is more softer and more prone to scratches, and Jadeite is not as dense and is more prone to chipping.

The English word ‘jade’ is derived from the Spanish term piedra de ijada or ‘loin stone’, from its reputed efficacy in curing ailments of the loins and kidneys. ‘Nephrite’ is derived from lapis nephriticus, the Latin version of the Spanish piedra de ijada.

Nephrite and Jadeite were used by people from the prehistoric for similar purposes. Both are about the same hardness as quartz, and they are exceptionally tough. They are beautifully coloured and can be delicately shaped. Thus it was not until the 19th century that a French mineralogist determined that “jade” was in fact two different materials.

 Nephrite can be found in a creamy white form as well as in a variety of green colors, whereas jadeite shows more color variations, including blue, lavender-mauve, pink, and emerald-green colours. Of the two, Jadeite is extremely rare and thus more valuable.

Jade is said to be a symbol of purity and serenity. Also, it is believed to radiate divine unconditional love and balance emotions.

I can’t verify these stones are jade, since they were salvaged from vintage jewelry parts, but I can attest to their beauty. The stones are smooth and a vivid green color.

Corset Necklace

Bohemian Rhapsody Necklace

Green Goddess Earrings

Ultimate Green Goddess Earrings

I learned a new word today…Upcycle. According to, to upcycle means to use ordinary objects to make something extraordinary and upcycling is the practice of converting waste materials into products of greater value. This is what I have been doing with various costume and vintage jewelry parts. I begin with a broken or “have not been worn in years” jewelry piece and dismantle it into usuable parts or cannibolize it. Then I take these various parts/pieces and new stones, wire, beads, etc. to create a totally new jewelry design.

The beaded chain, tassel, and link chain are vintage parts, all others are new

Wine Cork Necklaces aka "What to do with a cork collection?"

DREAM Necklace (vintage chandelier crystal, chain, jewelry piece)

Pillbox Necklace (Vintage pillbox and chain, leather, glass, pearls, button clasp)

Horseshoe Necklace (horseshoe shaped jewelry part with semi-precious stones/pearls, metal chain)

I have used various online photo sites, social media, and blogs for existing and potential customers to view jewelry designs. This has been an invaluable tool for others to be able to see the style and workmanship without physically getting close to the designs which is impossible with custom and sold items. Of course, trying the jewelry on –  feeling the temperature and textures of natural stones or seeing the twinkle of faceted crystals can only be accomplished by having the jewelry in your hands… or on your neck, wrist, or ears. I am currently working on my inaugural print catalog but of course there will also be an online version. The initial process started this past Monday with a professional photographing a model wearing various designs. Here is a sneak peek of my “Hardware Necklace” modeled by Serena with a closeup insert.

Photography by Sonny Monteleone

Vintage Jewelry Collection

I am a huge fan of vintage stuff, whether jewelry, clothing or accessories such as handbags.  It has been so much fun to take vintage jewelry parts and recycle them into new designs. Whether it is a brooch that makes a lovely accent for a new necklace or links to a bracelet that make dramatic earring drops.  The chandelier cystals afford so many possibilities in one-of-a- kind neckaces.  It is challenging to take these parts and repurpose them into new designs but very gratifying when it all comes together.

Vintage Flower Parts Earrings

Vintage Rhinestone Bar Bracelet with pearls/garnet

Vintage Chandelier Crystal Necklace
Fleur de lis Earrings


Black onyx beads

Vintage Brooch/Black Onyx Necklace and Earrings

Vintage Lace and Key Necklace