Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Old jewelry’ Category

Home of the Foxy Gentleman

I’m a year ’round lover of life, but the months from now through September tip the scale for me.  The above photo (titled “Home of the Foxy Gentleman” after the guy seated amongst the foxgloves, who fooled that stupid Jemina Puddleduck into letting him supervise her nest) shows one of many reasons why I love the seasons at hand.  Some other reasons are:  a deep tan on my body, soft breezes soughing, long days, short nights, and ice cream.  Of course ice cream can be had in all seasons, but it’s a lot more fun when it’s consumed outdoors!  (My opinion.)

Another BIG REASON for the tipped scale from now through Autumn is that Joe and I are now (a bit tardily this year) entering the RUMMAGE SEASON.  I think I hear clucking, snorting, and sneering from the crowd who believes that “downsizing” (HOW I DETEST THAT WORD!!!) is some kind of a spiritual exercise designated to win extra points.  Some can “downsize” graciously, and for valid reasons—while others say the word while rolling their eyes and aiming sanctimonius glances at Yours Truly!  Those “downsizers” are certain that I’m not in line for any points at all!  And I’m certain these misguided folks are missing out on the fun!!!  🙂

Having recently moved from a house (actually 2 houses) up north to a four-room condo Down Under (under Highway 10, not the Equator) Joe and I have found even more incentive to go rummaging.  We have MORE TIME without grass to mow, snow to blow, and garbage to escort to the town dump.  Bring on the YARD SALE signs and we are off and running.

So at the expense of clucks, snorts, and sneers (which fortunately I can’t really hear because I’m blogging on a computer not a phone) here is a picture of today’s bounty culled from a nearby small city—namely Waukesha, Wisconsin:

Rummage 5-24

Oh my!  A clump of birch trees which we’ll never need to water; a charming, mint condition McCoy pottery planter (“the real McCoy”, not one of those knock-offs); 6 ruby red Depression Glass mugs and 7 matching lunch plates with a measuring cup like those my Mother had; 2 pairs of sweet, girly toddler boots which should fit our great-granddaughter Mia next winter; a (tipped on its side) pewter covered bowl and 2 more ruby red mugs in front of the boots; a copper plated teakettle; a gorgeous orchid plant which—like the birch clump—I will never need to water; all flanked by a humungous acrylic painting (very beautiful!) supporting a vintage necklace with fake diamonds and pearls.  (At least I’m assuming the gems are fake.  Wow, if they are not!)

Behind the Yard Sale bounty is always the best part of the season—our live garden.  You are looking at creeping phlox, mertensia, and other treasures among the ubiquitous mint which will always assure me of having something green to look at.  From now through Autumn, that is.

Remember, we can’t take any of this with us!  That’s why we’re enjoying it now!!!  🙂

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I foresee a day coming when people will turn around and walk the other way when they see me approaching—for fear that I’ll corner them and start telling them about the Potato Chip Scarf.  They’ll say, “Yikes!  Here she comes, charging inexorably toward us with Potato Chips wound around her neck.”

Oh well, at the risk of driving non-knitting readers stark raving batty, I can’t resist posting my latest finished “masterpiece”—this time a Potato Chip not joined at the ends, so the curves and bends dangle and wave in the breeze.  A lampshade seemed like a suitable model. 

Obviously, when I latch on to a good thing, I just don’t let go.  Fashion scarves are so much fun, economical to make, and abounding in creative possibilities with all the gorgeous and funky yarns available.  I do not see any end in sight—except for that ultimate end!  I may very well have knitting needles in my hands and a ball of yarn dangling from me when the Lord takes me home!

Thinking of the scarves and shawls I hope to make, I recalled something from the 1940s which was “the latest thing” in the small town where I lived:  a lacy triangular scarf called a Fascinator.  These came in lovely pastel shades, and they were available at the dress shop in our town for the hefty price of $2.00 each.  Joe says that would be about $28.00 in today’s money.

I remember saving and saving to buy my sister, Ardis, a Fascinator for a Christmas gift.  I am not sure those small town doozeys were haute couture in Madison, where Ardis attended the University of Wisconsin.  But she was gracious about my gift, and I’m sure she loved the thought!  An 18 year old and a 10 year old are worlds apart in what they consider to be smart and chic apparel—at least that was the case back in 1943.

Just for fun, I looked up “Fascinator” on Wikipedia and learned the following:

“A fascinator is a headpiece, a style of millinery.  The word originally referred to a fine, lacy head covering akin to a shawl and made from wool or lace, but mostly feathers.  Today, a fascinator may be worn instead of a hat on occasions where hats were traditionally worn—such as weddings—or as an evening accessory, when it may be called a cocktail hat.  It is generally worn with fairly formal attire.

“A substantial fascinator is a fascinator of some size or bulk.  They have been mentioned in the press, due to Queen Elizabeth pronouncing new standards of dress required for entry to the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot.  In 2012 Royal Ascot announced that Women will have to wear hats, not fascinators, as part of a tightening of the dress code in Royal Ascot’s Royal Enclosure this summer.  In previous years, female racegoers were simply advised that ‘many ladies wear hats’.

“Bigger than a barette, modern fascinators are commonly made with feathers, flowers, or beads.  They attach to the hair by a comb, headband, or clip.  The fun, fanciful ornament is often embellished with crystals, beads, or loops of ribbon, and attaches via a comb or headband; some have a small, stiff, flat base that can be secured with bobby pins.  They are particularly popular at premium horse-racing events such as the Grand National, Kentucky, Derby, and the Melbourne Cup.  Brides may choose to wear them as an alternative to a bridal veil or hat, particularly if their gowns are non-traditional.”

So the 1940s lacy headgear sold in my small town dress shop was a replay of the age old Fascinator in one form.  I could easily knit something similar to what I remember giving my sister for Christmas.  But I have to admit that the spin-offs pictured above are also “fascinating” to me.  I probably would not wear one to church.  But I think it would be great fun to prance around at the local super market, or in my favorite antique malls, wearing a Fascinator that looks like a combination peacock in full dress and a hyper-active ceiling fan!

Margaret L. Been, ©2012

Read Full Post »

The maples and sumacs have shed their glory.  That riotous circus of color is over for another year, and the muted shades of the oak leaves remain.  The maples and sumacs catapulted me into action.  Now those subdued autumn oaks quiet my soul, as a prelude to the season of rest.

Oak leaves are the last to turn, and the last to fall.  Some will cling tenaciously to their branches until the new leaves bud out in the spring.  I rejoice in the mellow oaks as they reflect the hues of many things I love:  rusty iron, tarnished sterling, faded bronze, weathered copper, ancient pewter, muted gold, and my late autumn paint palette—purple magenta, alizarin crimson, burnt sienna, raw umber, Naples yellow, quinacridone gold. 

Yesterday Joe and I set out on country roads for an end-of-the-season visit to an antiques shop in a cozy barn, COUNTRY ECHOES.  The atmosphere of this shop induces euphoria.  Retro music plays softly in the background, and every display sparkles in the sunlight which filters through the barn windows.  There’s a tucked away section for country primitives, an area reminding me of my mother’s kitchen, and a Victorian parlor—replete with English and Bavarian china, and American pressed and patterned glass in jewel tones.  

The shop features cases of vintage brooches, necklaces, earrings (mostly the clip-on variety), rings, and bracelets.  Attempts at reproducing these beauties are rampant, and supposed “look alikes” may be found everywhere—from Walmart, to hospital gift shops and the finest goldsmith establishments.  But none of the new costume jewelry can begin to match the quaint, subdued beauty of the old stuff! 

Barring special pieces containing precious gems, vintage jewelry is still very reasonably priced.  This will continue until a new generation discovers that old can be lovelier than new in many instances.  Meanwhile, since the prices are moderate, I’m buying the vintage treasures—for myself as well as for kindred souls who also enjoy “old”.  If I have a “signature look”, it’s that of vintage jewelry—the kind my mother and grandmothers wore.

Vintage housewares, vintage table settings, vintage costume jewelry—reminiscent of late autumn, when our souls are stilled by the shades of vintage oaks! 

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

I am not alone in my passion for most things old!  Again, I recommend visiting my favorite kindred-spirited author and photographer via her inspiring books—especially FOR THE LOVE OF OLD by Mary Randolph Carter.

Read Full Post »