Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Cameron!

To our sweet, joyful, happy and much-loved son, Cameron Thomas: may you always have happiness, health, love, success and a blessed life full of all you can dream. Your presence in our lives has been such a blessing. You are always full of joy and so very eager to learn about the world around you. As your parents, we have loved experiencing the excitement all of the things that are brand new to you - for us, it is the opportuity to be "young again." Thank you for showing us that the best part about life, and all the things in it, is sometimes just being there to witness it.

You are much loved - always.

Love, Mommy & Daddy 9/25/09 on the occasion of your 1st birthday.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fast Forward

As a child, we so often are heard saying "I can't wait to be 16!" Our big moment seems to be being able to step into a car and zoom away without our parents. Then, of course we say "I can't wait to be 18!" That brief moment in time when your entire life is ahead of you. Perhaps you packed your bags and went off to college. Or moved to a small apartment and got your first job. Regardless, at 18, you were, legally, an adult...BUT...yet...there was one more big one. Oh, yeah. Next, we cry "I can't wait to be 21!" Legally able to consume an alcoholic beverage. That seems to be a rite of passage for so many young people. Funny though. I don't recall saying "I can't wait to be 25!". I'm quite certain I never shouted "I can't wait to be 30!". And I sure as heck never said "I can't wait to be 35!". Which beings me up to today. (yes, for all you who are paying attention, I just announced my age. Ahem.) Have you ever looked around and wondered what happened to your life? Not in a bad or dissatisfied way, but more like a "Wait a minute...I just finished high school yesterday and all of a sudden I am 35 and the years are just flying by" kind of a way? It is a little disconcerting to say the least. I have a wonderful many things to be
thankful for!
But I am a little down right now. Cameron turns 1 on Friday and while I am overjoyed, part of me is wondering where the time went? How did he get to be 1 so quickly? And if what my friends say is true, time is only going to seem to get faster. I don't like that. I want to put on the brakes. Slow it down. Stop and smell the roses. (bring on the Neil Diamond.) Maybe that's why I took 5 billion pictures this past year that I haven't put into an album - though I did buy some scrapbooking supplies so I could get started on said album. I guess that is life. But I would like to slow it down...a lot. I am spending the rest of the week gearing up for for Cameron's 1st Birthday. Darby and plan to take him to Liberty, NC for a big antique festival (assuming the rain holds out) on his actual birthday - Friday the 25th. What a birthday present! Just what every kid wants! We are having a small party at the house on Saturday - puppy dog theme - so that should be much fun! May you all have a good - and slow - week.
*Pictures taken in the Virginia mountains*

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

All That Glitters and a Frog

I am busy photographing jewelry - which I must say isn't the easiest thing in the world. In fact, my Facebook update about an hour ago went something along the lines of: "Laura is about tired of photographing jewelry. Zoom in, zoom out; snap, snap. Repeat a gazillion times!" However, it is very important to me for my online clientele to be able to see the jewelry they are contemplating in great detail. So I try to make sure I take clear, up-close pictures. I want them to have the sense of having handled the piece themselves. And sometimes the photography is relaxing. Last week I sure had some fun...see my post entitled "On Wings of Fancy." Here are a few things I am currently working on...they are all for sale in our Ruby Lane store!
Pictured above is a precious little frog by Robert Mandle - his company was founded in New York in 1956. Next we have a simply stunning demi-parure by Weiss. The "Weiss" company was founded in 1942 by Albert Weiss and ceased operations in 1971. The company is well known for their use of high quality Austrian rhinestones. These stones are an icy blue coated in aurora borealis. Depending on the light, they shimmer from blue to grey. Totally fabulous.
The next brooch is by "Judy Lee" and features faux pearls and green and clear rhinestones. The Judy Lee mark was used from 1949-1980; the jewelry was marketed through home parties. This brooch is circa 1960.

This next picture features a necklace by the "Selini" / "Selro" company whose jewelry was designed and manufactured by Paul Selenger. This particular piece is known as the "Warrior / Devil / Asian" man necklace; is circa 1960 and is extremely sought after. I was mightly pleased to track it down.
The purple and red brooch is by "Kramer of New York" and is totally amazing with its special-effect colored stones. Kramer of New York was founded by Louis Kramer in 1943 and went out of business around 1980. They were well known for their use of specialty stones such as those seen in this piece. I would date this particular piece to the late 1950's.
This next brooch is signed "Swarovski" and combines a beautiful color assortment of pink, dark purple, light purple, green and clear crystals to make a flower.
And this last piece is by the renowned fashion house of "Christian Dior". It features black enamel and clear rhinestones. Totally classy and understated elegance; circa 1980's.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

On Wings of Fancy

The sale of our main display case in our antique booth prompted me to do a "re-think" about the space that it was in. I don't have another display case to go in its place, and to be honest, after re-arranging the pieces that came out of the locked case, I realized that my remaining 2 cases, one locked, one unlocked, looked a lot better a bit crowded; with lots of little pretties gathered together. Soooo....for the time being I am going to put a white shelf in that has different size shelves and spaces and I am going to try a different look for a while. That being said, while I was pricing some of these items, I decided to take some pictures to share with you all. In this main photo at the top I would like to point out the fabulous butterfly painting in the gilt frame...I fell in love with this piece and knew it would be a focal point of a display in my booth. Actually, when I bought it, I thought I might keep it, but, such is the purchasing life of a dealer...Here we see a card of green glass buttons, some beautiful creamy mother of pearl buttons and a bling bling rhinestone button nestled in beside a wonderful Victorian bible we found late last year. We believe it to be true jet or gutta percha; unfortunately, I am not an expert in either material and the tests to determine them involove hot needles which I do NOT perform and will not purchase from any dealer who uses these tests either. However, it is a lovely little item and the back is etched with a ladies name; presumably the owners. And I just love the bulldog in the background! Look at his scrunched up face! He is so cute and Italian! Mi Amore!This picture shows a wonderful enameled mesh bag in beautiful teal, gold tone and creamy white. It is circa 1940 and is draped beside a modern Lenox crystal decanter...drape the bag over your arm and pour some course, you will also need the faux pearl, crystal and art glass necklace dangling around the neck of the decanter and spread out over the rose ball to complete your ensemble; but wait...the fabulous blue glass brooch by vintage designer BSK is definitely needed to complement the purse. There is also a cute little cigarette holder with a wonderful pink rhinestone capped lighter. I bet this could be re-purposed...a cell phone bag perhaps? Leave the lighter...the rhinestone is fabulous! Scattered throughout these pics are several small photos of people. I found a nice little stash of small photos and thought they would be fun to stick here and there in my vignettes. These brooches date to the turn of the century. They are made of mother of pearl and look so lovely in this old jewelry box. I have a friend who collects these old boxes with a passion...they are pretty cool, I must say - and I love the photo of the two guys peering out over the jewelry. Here is a close up of a resin-type bust of a woman done in Victorian style. Her bodice is - uh- rather on the low side. Perhaps she was on the make for a gentleman? I love the calling card pictured on the right..."Mrs. Dr. Whelpley". "Mrs. Dr" fabulous! I may have to see what Emily Post has to say about that. The white and black glass beads resting on the geode crystals are very pretty in their simplicity...the symbolism in black and white has always been a favorite of mine. This purse is a Dresden mesh by the renowned Whiting and Davis company. The lady in the photo would have been mighty proud to have carried it around I am sure. The colors in this Dresden have stayed vibrant except for a few areas near the frame. Dresden's are commonly thought of as impressionistic as many of them have flowers or trees in them. They often appear as washes of color. This last photo shows off several of the small pictures as well as a set of old red glass cuff links that I find very appealing and a wonderful black glass faceted dress clip. All these items are displayed on a fox fur collar. I cannot wait to get into the booth and set up some of these vignettes and see what they will look like for real. The pictures look great, but sometimes making it work in a booth is a little different! Hope everyone is enjoying the cooler weather!