jewelry

Holidays in recap, no such thing as too late!

This post is crazy late but oh well. Can't thrash myself too much for that or I really will never blog again. Who knows who reads these mutterings, anywho, right?
This year marked the first time I stayed in MN instead of traveling home to NJ and Philly. I gotta say, it was a little weird. Here is a view of walking into work Christmas week. Minneapolis is home to the great Skyway, a human habitrail... Usually hoppin' with people in the morning. Bustling along to work, furiously thumbing their smartphones. On this day, however, I saw exactly 2 people in the Skyway. I dub this season in the habitrail, the sky-pacalypse!


Outside of the working world, though, it was all twinkle lights, wrapping paper and cookie dough. The night we decorated the tree we snapped a few pictures and I have to say this one of the three of us is my most favorite of us ever. It’s pretty much how it feels when we are home together.

Christmas Eve the Pickle had neither school nor un-school coverage so we got to spend the day home in our pajamas. I tried in vain to work and found myself being pulled away from my laptop by an overexcited 5 year old many times. Go figure. It must have been a holiday or something…! We made two batches of chocolate chip cookies and holey moley I thought the spooning and baking would never end! The recipe made enormous batches. Next time we’ll know better. Batter. Dough.



It was my first year playing Santa and I only snagged this one shot of the wrapping paper bonanza. I loved her exclamations of, “He knew just what I wanted even if I didn’t write it down!” Yep, that Santa’s a sneaky one…







The New Year brought a new vintage hat, an airport visit with my Uncle Evan(!) and seeing in the change with a smashing of plates at a friends’ house. I won’t say that we were wild or unruly but I wouldn’t deny that alcohol may have made us more enthusiastic. My friend’s lady friend didn’t like those plates anyway and was happy to see them go. Hurrah! *smash



We rounded out the holiday season with a trip to Racine to see my dude’s family. I was enjoying the couch and the company too much to be snapping pictures the whole visit but I did happily snap this one of the Pickle and her cousin building one of the largest forts I have seen in all my fort building days. They told me it had two floors. And No Grownups. Except for a brief tour for daddy.






 










Some of my favorite bits included my first purple Bakelite, this stunning and large brooch from the Pickle and a necklace,  and my first ever Malco Modes petticoat! My mom also sent out a package with some very sweet, thoughtful treats. Watching my dude and the kiddo opening the packages was fun and the items she sent made me a little teary. She included a cast iron bottle opener she’d found with dad on their honeymoon antiquing trip, a maiden size Bakelite bracelet for the Pickle and a carved black bangle for me. Each item felt laden with sentiment and I missed her more than anything seeing each item emerge from the tissue.

It was a great holiday season and it was nice to have everyone trickle back in to work after the holidays wrapped. Now we’re looking forward to the end of the month when we depart for a two week adventure in… South Africa! So pumped! Capetown and an intrepid trek to Lesotho to visit the village where I served in the Peace Corps. Just days away. And I promise there will be more pictures when I get back!

xo,
Sarah


Burgeoning Bakelite bonanza

Like so many vintage-loving ladies (and gents!) I have a major heart-on for Bakelite. My collection has grown hugely this year and I thought it would be fun to share a few of the things I have found and the many ways I have seen Bakelite lovers store their stashes. 


My most recent finds are the unworn stacks in the upper left and lower right corners. This summer I discovered a vintage jewelry store called Ann & Jack's Vintage Jewelry in Hopkins (just west of Minneapolis) that has a great variety of vintage jewelry offerings. I brought little miss J last time and was so impressed with their store. They have a chest of treasures that your little ones can paw through and take a treat home for free! What a great way to help a mama out as she gets her oooh-sparkly fix!

Anywho, the most recent acquisitions are somewhat of a work in progress. The bangles in the lower right corner have some serious patina that I believe is hiding a light blue green (top) and a hot pink (middle). The bottom one might even have some strong blue streaks if I can get the layers worked down.

I am interested in learning more about how to restore the original colors and started off with Brasso. I'll also be looking to try Novus #3 and Turtlewax Chrome polish. I've heard good things. I'd love to hear if you have other suggestions!

When you start having a good sized collection you need to find a good way to keep all those beauties stored and displayed, too! 

On my Pinterest board Bangles, brooches and bags, oh my! I have saved lots of items that just make me go, "Ooooooooh...!" I've also started saving images of the different ways people store their bangles for your viewing pleasure. Here are a couple of my favorites!

                             

I started out with this sweet jewelry box my mother gave me years ago. It has a nice, deep bottom compartment that worked really well! You can see here, though that my collection was already bursting at the seams. Time to start looking for other, inspiring ideas!

This coke-bottle options is super neat. What a fun way to sort and store your bangles! Plus, don't you just envy a collection so broad, varied and extensive??? *sigh*

I like this idea a lot, too. A great, inexpensive way to store and display. Plus, moving your bangles off of your dresser or vanity is great for freeing up surface area! In this bangle-fan's blog she mentions the benefit of being able to swap out towel tubes when they get exhausted. I think that's pretty good but I know it would drive me batty to have to replace them and also to have to take the tube off every time I wanted to sort through the bangles. Which is why...

This is the method I love most! These bangles are not my own collection but are the same sort of storage I use. I have been extremely lucky to find a couple of these boxes at different flea markets. I have a silvery blue one that I snagged for $7 and a salmony pink one I scored for just $2! It was super dirty but has cleaned up rather well and I have been happy with it so far. 

I feel like I have seen and known about Bakelite all my life. All throughout my childhood I remember being dragged (hey, I wasn't always jazzed but I am so glad my parents made me do things that interested them, too) to flea markets all over the region. We went to antique stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. For several years in high school we hit up the Atlantique City Antique Show. It's a mega-huge gathering of small and big time dealers all gather under one roof. 

I remember seeing cases and cases stacked with Bakelite. Bangles, jewelry, phones, knives, etc, etc. These days, every Bakelite bauble I see is that much more precious and exciting to spot. I'd love to see shots of your own bangle storage and favorite bakelite pieces! Plus, I'm excited to share updates on the restoration process of my new bangles on Instagram. 

xo, 
Sarah