A while back I confessed to having a giant stash of socks for which I had no excuse. Today I want to show you another stash, my beloved vintage buttons. When I’m designing jewelry, it’s important to me to have a variety of styles and types of findings and embellishments. My creative juices flow best when I experiment with all kinds of colors, shapes and eras.
Many of these chunky bright colored buttons have become rings and a few others became the centerpiece for a necklace or bracelet.
I love military inspired fashion and accessories and tend to go to my brass stash when designing in that style.
Ahhh my vintage whites. Need I say more?
This is probably not even one tenth of my collection (just ‘fessing up here).
The detail in vintage buttons is amazing to me. Whether Deco chic, retro funky, or vintage sweet all can find there way into a design in my studio.
I came across a pile of old faucets at the flea market last year, the kind that turn a garden hose on and off. I like to find things in quantity for jewelry making, and decided they would make some interesting pieces of spigot jewelry.
I took pictures of this necklace and a few other pieces back in December (hence, the Christmas décor in the background) and am just now getting it added to my website.
On another creative note, I would like to show you my new logo. I have a little problem sometimes being dis-satisfied with what I create, no matter how happy I am with it while working on it. I think this is due to a combination of being tired of looking at it, and being pretty self-critical. I have worked on my logo off and on for several months. You may remember me sharing some of my process in this post. I really wasn’t happy with it, so I put it on the shelf for a while. I wanted something cleaner, and came up with this simplified version.
I really am happy with it now, and it will work well for a watermark on my photos, as well as business cards, labels, etc.
Here it is in watermark form. The bowl of Spanish moss is a glimpse of what my next post will be about.
I just added a few pieces of jewelry to my shop and I wanted to give you a preview here. I have been embracing the colors of coral and turquoise a lot lately.
Here’s a cuff bracelet with a vintage metal hardware piece as the centerpiece. I added turquoise patina to bring out the amazing detail.
I was getting a sort of western vibe so I chose cowhide leather with brindle hair for the band.
As you probably know, I am very committed to reusing and reinventing pieces and parts, mostly vintage, to create new pieces that work in today’s design. Virtually all of my jewelry incorporates upcycled items, most of which had nothing to do with jewelry in their original state.
For this necklace I took belt loops from an old pair of blue jeans, overlaid them with vintage lace and formed them into a cross.
A vintage button and swirly coral glass beads add a pop of color.
I do love crosses!
Another material I love to use when designing is items found in nature. We have a lot of trees in our yard and have done a few projects using the wood from them. It’s not often you come across a branch that yields heart-shaped slices, so of course I was elated to find and use this one in my jewelry designs.
Mixing rustic with a bit of bling, I paired it with a glass crystal drop (also vintage)for a simple, natural necklace.
I’ll show you a more colorful version of the heart slice in my next studio share.
I love a good tunic. Tunics cover your bum when you are feeling modest.
A tunic is not quite a dress but a little more than just a top. They go perfectly with leggings which go perfectly with a no-jeans kind of day.
And tunics are great for showing off a long necklace.
I layered a lace top underneath the gray tunic to tie in with the lace of the necklace. My long necklace is one I created using a rusty piece of hardware as the base, covered in vintage lace and adorned with a chunky red vintage button. The small pop of red was enough color to keep my outfit from feeling drab and dreary like the winter days we’ve been having.
Wearing a tunic and leggings is much like wearing a dress and tights. Often times I feel like an occasion doesn’t quite call for a dress. When I want to wear something just a little more casual I pull out my tunic. Now that I have sung the praises of tunics, I think I need to get a couple more!
Everyone gets tired of their wardrobe from time to time. Clothing options can sometimes become boring for me even after it seems like I just shopped the mother lode. Right now I have other things I have to spend money on. Sigh. If I had Christmas money to spend right now, and I were going to do some clothes shopping, here are two outfits I would put right in my closet.
If you’re in the same boat ~ tired of your wardrobe, getting the itch to buy some new clothes but it’s not in the budget ~ allow me to share a tip I have used to reignite my enthusiasm for the clothing and accessories I have to work with. This is a great winter weekend project. You’ll need to allow about two hours (give or take) to do this exercise but it will be so worth it.
1. Pull out 4 or 5 of your favorite layering tops (underneath layer). Choose tops that have some kind of detail front and center like lace, shirring, cutouts, etc.
2. Pull out 4 or 5 top layer pieces > jackets, see-through tops, button-down shirts, low-cut tops, etc.
3. Decide if you want to put together dressy outfits or casual (or both) and choose 4 or 5 bottom pieces accordingly (pants, skirts, shorts, jeans).
4. Now comes the fun part. Take each top layer piece and pair it with any of the under layer pieces that coordinate in color or style, keeping them on the hangers or laying them down in sets.
5. Add a bottom layer piece to each paired combo.
6. This step is crucial and I urge you not to skip it: Try them on! Yes it will take time but think of it as a shopping trip. Combinations that look good on the hangers might not look great on you, and vice versa. Things like length of top, cling factor, fullness and structure dictate how they will fall and mesh together. This is where it takes patience but once you find a combo that works you’ll have an outfit that flatters and you will feel great in it.
7. In my experience, some pieces go with everything and some don’t work with anything. Those in the second category (I call them loners) are pieces that I either get rid of or, if it’s something I really love, make a note to find something to pair it with next time I go shopping.
8. This might be my favorite part of the whole process. Once you have decided what works together, lay out your winning outfits and go to your jewelry stash. Play around with different pieces, try out-of-the-box color combinations, layer up on necklaces and bracelets. Take a fresh look at your cache and use it to the fullest to bling up your outfit.
9. At this point in the process, it may be a good idea to take pictures of your outfits, because if you’re like me, once everything is back in the closet you’re likely to forget (or not see) the exact combinations you put together.
10. You will be amazed at the new outfits you discover if you think outside the box. Now you can look forward to the next event in your life, be it coffee with the girls, date night or Sunday church, knowing you will feel pulled together and polished.
Just because you don’t have any immediate plans to go on a shopping spree, that doesn’t mean you’ll never buy anything new again. With the eventual shopping splurge in mind, I created two shopping checklists ~ one for your clothing and one for your accessories ~ for you to print and keep handy to stay tuned in to your closet and accessory “inventory”.
Use this checklist to take inventory before you shop. Just write “Have” or “Need” in the spaces to help you decide what CLOTHING to buy.
Use this checklist to take inventory before you shop. Just write “Have” or “Need” in the spaces to help you decide what ACCESSORIES to buy.
Do you have any tips for overcoming boredom with your wardrobe? Do share!