Sunday, January 31, 2010

Winter Wonderland

IT FINALLY SNOWED IN RALEIGH! (of course, we got ice for hours too, but...IT SNOWED!) Everyone was excited to see the snow. Even the dog!

She has seen snow before but today she thought it necessary to bark at the tinkling ice. A lot. Peering out onto my deck, I discovered a genuine Snow Angel!

My Mom gave me this cement angel and I love that she has weathered - even the crack in her face looks just right. My St. Francis of Assisi is doing his job...except his bird food tray is full of snow!

Cameron enjoyed his breakfast with a snowy landscape. By that smile, I would say he is a happy boy!

We took Cameron outside all bundled up: fuzzy footed PJ's, fleece jacket, fleece mittens, fleece hat...and...Ziploc Bag booties!

Hey, they're waterproof and cheap! Don't you want a pair? I should take orders! Ha! And we were only outside for about 3 minutes. Cameron didn't know what to make of the snow.

He didn't seem to like it that much but I did take a few pics. Hope everyone is warm and happy!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Addictive Midwinter Beauties!

Contemporary Czechoslovakian runway jewelry by designer "Lilien". This demi-parure is breathtaking.
I have spent quite a bit of time recently going "hunting". Then thrill of the find is addictive. The addiction started many years ago when I first became interested in vintage jewelry.

Stunning "fringe bib" of clear rhinestones; leaf-shaped rhinestone pin.

I attended an auction and purchased a box lot of around 150 necklaces for about $30 (those were the days). I stayed up ALL NIGHT digging thru that lot of jewels and around 4AM found a rather sparkly pendant stamped 14k. The sparkles turned out to be diamonds, and while the value of such a pendant is small, the fire was lit! I had to find more treasures!

A glimpse into my treasure trove: Victorian buckles, Sterling, Charm Bracelets, Fine Faux Pearls, Turquoise....

But finding treasure requires knowledge. So many people sell jewelry, and so few know the first thing about it. And that is perfectly all right - I sell things out of my area of specialty as well. Sometimes it is fun to buy things on a whim.

Royal purple and clear rhinestones with a creamy faux pearl dangle. Earrings marked "France".

And lets face looks great in a shop and everyone loves to look at (and hopefully buy) jewelry.

Rasberry-colored glass stones dangle brooch, Judy Lee green & faux pearl pin, blue aurora borealis set by Weiss and some unsigned pieces.

So I began studying jewelry. And studying. And handling as many pieces as I could. I cannot fathom how many thousands of pieces I have handled in the last decade. I have probably read and re-read and re-read and re-read close to 100 books about jewelry.

Inverted set brilliantly cut blue brooch, contemporary red and clear rhinestone panda, pink rhinestone triangle....

Everything from styles, designers, manufacturing processes, gemstones, gold, when materials were used, collectibility, market analyses, trends influenced by royalty...and on...and on. I really wish there were some type of degree or certificate in vintage jewelry!

Can you even stand the aurora borealis play of colors in this fabulous fancy-cut glass cluster pin?

I thought I would share some photos with you all of some recent acquisitions and some photos taken of items in my booth at Antiques Emporium. We recently invested in some new display cases with halogen lighting. Wow....the jewelry truly shows its fire and brilliance in these new cases. Let's just hope they do their job and sell for me...haha....

The top of one of my display cases; I just LOVE that pink feather-bob hat!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just Browsing!

I admit it. I am one of those weird people who always says "No thank you, just browsing!" to the inevitable question posed by the salesperson: "May I help you with something?" Rather shamefacedly I also admit to getting slightly annoyed when I am asked this question more than once. By the third time I usually have several sarcastic remarks running thru my head. What part of "just browsing" don't you understand? (please note, my ever-so-Southern upbringing prevents me from being rude or voicing these little comments....I daresay if I did, my Mama would come down from heaven and give me a talkin' to). True, my browsing usually results in a purchase, but I normally do not need help finding something I came to purchase. When I need help, I know it, and usually ask for it right off the bat. And Lord help me there is something rather relaxing about being able to "just browse." No decisions, just lots of lovely things to remark upon - massive visual stimulation! Browsing is, at best, an excercise in creativity; at worst, a pleasant way to waste time. Your gaze lingers on a display of crisp linen napkins in silver rings, sparkling crystal and long waxy tapers as a centerpiece. Ideas start to churn...would it look right on the dining room table? Or maybe the tapers on the mantle and a big bowl of assorted silver napkin rings in the center of the table? And what type of wine would be served in those gorgeous cut crystal glasses? Browsing lets your mind have some play time...and I find I desperately need this time to appreciate beauty and let ideas run amok in my mind. Maybe that's why I resent someone asking me if they can help me. I know it is their job to do so, and an excercise in safety and customer service. But my answer shall remain steadfast: "No thank you - just browsing!"

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wishing you and yours the happiest of New Years!

Here's to a great 2010: may we all have health, family, friends, wealth, fun....and many exciting vintage finds!