Thursday, 13 February 2014

Vintage jewelry on Etsy

I was looking through the items in my shop on etsy today and I thought I have quite a lot of vintage jewelry so I thought nI would write a blog post about it.

I love vintage anything really though you wouldn't tell to look at me. I am not one of those chicks that looks as though she has just stepped out of a 1940's ad for washing detergent with perfectly rolled and curled hair, ample bosom and a  fabulous dress.

When I go to the brocantes and second hand markets I am always on the look out for something really cool from a bygone era. But as I am such a magpie I can't ( not allowed) to keep all of it. I get almost more pleasure hunting for others than I do myself.

So I thought I would share a few of the lovely vintage pieces I have found over the past few months.

This is a fabulous vintage millstone bracelet, also known as french bakelite or Galalith. It is a plastic that is made from milk solids and I believe originates from France. This bracelet has been made to mimic ivory with its wavy grain

This is a genuine bakelite bangle estimated from around the 1940's This butterscotch color is quite common but still really pretty. Though be aware that there are a lot of fakelites on the market apparently coming in from china, but mostly the more outlandish designs of the day, which are rarer. I am by no means a bakelite expert but be sure to look for signs of age, little nicks and scratches, if it is totally perfect perhaps you should be asking yourself some questions.

When I saw this one it was in a job lot with some other necklaces, I admit it wasn't love at first sight but it does look fabulous on.  I am estimating this to be a Murano piece. The long tubular beads have been hand blown and are exquisite. They are each different and are ever so slightly wobbly which I love. Murano glass comes from Italy and doesn't really refer to one maker but an area where a collective of glass and bead makers originate from.

Staying with Murano, here is another example. This type of bead is known as scottish agate as they have been made to resemble real stone. Scottish agate necklaces usually are seen with many different colored beads strung together, rarely just one color is found throughout the entire necklace. This is the only one I have ever come across like this with its tiny uniform sized beads that look like blood stones interspersed with small gold tone spacer beads which I believe also to be glass not metal as I had first thought. I think this would be 1920-1040c at a guess it is very long and would fit well with the era.

This is an example of the type of scottish agate more commonly found. As you can see there are many different colors strung together. I adore these beads the shape the finish and mostly the pattern as no two beads will ever be the same. I think the shape of the beads is so art deco and again each one is every so slightly different. I say these are more commonly found but I have to confess that these rectangle shaped beads are not as common as the ovals.

Moving on from Murano, I give you this little beauty. I know next to nothing about it other than it is a stunner! I bought it from someone who said it was bakelite, but after testing it with polish it did not pass the test. I think it is probably celluloid ( bakelite's predecessor ) or lucite. These beads are so much fun. it is clear that they have been hand carved as the spots on each bead are different sizes. I have searched and searched to find information or even a necklace that looks a bit like this one but to no avail. So my guess is 1940's-50's I can see this necklace on one of those buxom pin ups in her A line house dress making dinner for her husband.

All of these pieces can be found in my etsy store where I am struggling with my identity. Do I sell beads do I sell vintage? One day I will split them up but for the time being look in the vintage finds section for vintage otherwise it's beads. I hope you enjoyed my post if you love vintage jewelry please let me know what you think and if you have any information about my pieces that I have missed I would love to know more, so please comment.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Buying beads in Bangkok

So if you have read my last post you will know that I have not long returned from a trip to Thailand. I adore Thailand it's just so easy to navigate, with great food and great people and not to forget great shopping.

So if you are any kind of crafting magpie like myself and you have a trip to The great and awesome Bangkok here are a few tips.

Buying beads: There are 3-4 main places that I found.

1/ The weekend market section 24-26. This is great if you have limited time for shopping in bangkok as here is unfathomably the best place to shop in the world ever! For beads it's not bad. Set aside the whole day if not two and wear comfy shoes. If you like it buy it and if you really like it buy three as once you get back to the city shopping malls it's no where near as cheap. Sky train to Mo Chit station…follow the crowds!

2/ 555 Palladium world shopping Mall ( formally called the Pratunam center) It's right across the street from the platinum fashion mall. go to the basement floor and there is a plethora of bead shops selling mostly stone,crystal and pearl beads. Not so much glass or lamp work. This is where I bought most of my beads. I went specifically to Apple wholesale shop number 318-319

3/ Pahurat fabric market: You will find a number of shops selling mainly crystal and pearl beads here, I would go here specifically for beads but if you are wanting fabric too then why not! refer to my last post for details on how to get there.

4/ Charoen Krung rd (Ban Mo jewelry st) unfortunately I didn't get to go to Ban Mo as my feet were killing me and my husband was beginning to grumble. But we accidentally got off the boat a stop early so ended up having to walk a good stretch of Charoen Krung st and there were a lot of bead sellers though they looked more expensive and I did not go inside as I had already filled my boots at the palladium mall.

!6mm coin pearls from Palladium mall with the most fantastic rainbow shimmer i have ever seen.

14mm faceted red agate

here are just a few of the beads that I bought. if you are not going to Bangkok and really can't be bothered with traipsing round the markets check out my etsy store. or for French or European buyers look for samanthatenn on