Monday, January 31, 2011

Bejeweled crafts: Rhinestones add sparkle to your home's decor!

Placing jewelry around your home is a great way to display your favorite pieces, and once you get started, your creative juices will start flowing! In my last blog, I talked about hanging beads on pictures and pottery, and displaying your pretty rhinestone brooches. In this note, I’d like to talk about craft projects made with vintage jewelry bits and pieces. Keep in mind, you can do these projects for yourself, give them as gifts, or sell them for profit. Some of the artisan pieces I’ve seen go for high dollars, so not only is it FUN, it’s well worth the investment of your time!
Are you crafty?  I never thought I was the crafty type, but I've found that I really am; with jewelry!  There are limitless ways to used vintage jewelry bits to make beautiful items for your home.  A great place to find jewelry bits-n-pieces is garage sales, or on eBay. You can buy large lots of craft jewelry on eBay for relatively little money. You’ll want to look for rhinestones and beaded jewelry, if possible. Get your hot glue gun ready!

Christmas tree art is very popular. These are made with a collage of sparkly jewelry pieces arranged in the shape of a Christmas tree, and framed for hanging on the wall.  I've included a picture of one that was recently featured in the Winter issue of Costume Jewelry Collector's International magazine!  You can also adorn plain picture frames with jewelry bits. Buy frames at garage sales for pennies and turn them into beautiful works of art. Glue jewelry pieces all around the frame for a dramatic effect. The same goes for lamp shades. Place pieces around the top and bottom rims of the shade for an elegant look.

A favorite of mine is bejeweled jewelry boxes! You can go wild here, but I’ve included a picture of a simple trinket jar I’ve done. (It’s best to start with a small project until you get the hang of it.) This one cost under a dollar. I bought the vintage Avon jar at a thrift shop for fifty cents, and the rhinestone piece on top was a quarter. Isn’t it lovely?  Visit my eBay store for this type of craft jewelry.  I often have craft jewelry lots up for auction there!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Decorate your home with vintage jewelry!

It may sound strange, but decorating your home with pieces of pretty jewelry is a fabulous way to spice up your décor! 

A strand of vintage beads hugging a piece of pottery can create an eye-catching centerpiece. To dress up a clear vase, use colorful beads. If you have an ornate vase or a colorful piece of pottery, clear crystal faceted beads work well. Beads also add pizzazz to displayed photographs or a favorite picture hanging on the wall. If it’s a long strand, double it up and drape it over one corner. I like to use vintage beads because that’s what I collect, but new beads would work well, too!

A well-placed rhinestone brooch can add interest to an otherwise drab shelf. If placed right, it will give off a nice sparkle when you walk past. I use vintage brooches, but again, newer pieces can work just as well. There are some talented artisans out there who create fabulous pieces of jewelry, too. So when you’re shopping, don’t forget to look at jewelry as a home decorating idea!

I collect vintage beaded clip earrings. I arrange those in clusters, and a grouping like this gives a nice dramatic effect. I've included a photograph from inside my curio cabinet, and that shows part of my crystal jewelry and hat pin collections.  I acquire new pieces of vintage jewelry all the time, so I’m constantly changing my home's décor. Family and friends love to come over and see what pretty little things I have sparkling around the house. It’s lots of fun!

Visit my eBay eBay Store for lots, or collections of jewelry.  Or, come visit me on Ruby Lane for individual pieces of vintage jewelry.  And when you're shopping, remember to think of jewelry as a home decorating idea.  You'll never look at vintage jewelry the same!

Oh, one more thing before I sign off... The picture I've included here used to be my Logo.  Recently, my dear friend Linda Caricofe of RC Antiques on Ruby Lane designed my new logo!  Thanks a million, Linda!  I've gotten lots of nice comments on that logo... :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Another Day Of Jewelry Pickin’; Never Leave Home Without Your Loupe!

I always carry a loupe in my purse, and it sure came in handy this past weekend! I was to attend an open house party on Saturday afternoon at a friend’s home just over an hour’s drive away. Along the route there are four small towns, each with a thrift shop or secondhand store. Jewelry picking is my idea of a perfect Saturday morning. The first town along my route was Browerville, Minnesota and the first find of the day; a lovely vintage faux pearl choker for $1.00. What a way to start the day!

The second town I motored through was Long Prairie. There are two fun shops just across the street from each other, so this is always a fun stop. My second find of the day; a nice, heavy Sterling Silver bracelet for $1.50. This was nestled in a wicker basket among other inexpensive bracelets, so it was like finding a gold nugget in the mud! Very exciting. Although I could tell by the feel that this was not a cheap bracelet, I really needed my loupe to read the .925 and FAS markings.

Next was Sauk Centre, and another one of my favorite second hand stores. Third find of the day; A pair of vintage Renoir copper clip earrings for $2.50. Fantastic! My final destination was Osakis, and I had actually never stopped at the local thrift shop there, so this was a new experience. I was under a time crunch to get to the party on time, so I had to sort of whirl through, but I did find a gorgeous, heavy, vintage Crown Trifari link necklace for $1.00. What a fabulous find! I will definitely be making my way back to Osakis when I have more time to browse that shop!

I have two loupes; one stays home on my work table, and the other travels with me. That way, I always have a loupe wherever I am, and I can’t tell you how many times it has come in handy. Don’t leave home without your loupe! Oh, one more thing to share before I sign off; I actually wore that faux pearl choker I purchased in Browerville to my party that afternoon, and got lots of “OOs” and “Ahs” and “That is so gorgeous!”. If they only knew I snagged it at a thrift store for a buck….