A blog about vintage fashion, vintage jewels and art.....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Flower Pins Lady

Stumbling upon new shops on Etsy is always great fun especially when the sellers specialise in something very particular. Meeting Janice Pope of Nana Joy proved to be a learning experience and a visual experience as well.....I mean take a look at these beauties!

Here is what Janice says......."I became fascinated with vintage jewelry about 10 years ago. I started out with rhinestone brooches and then stumbled into the enamel flowers just this past winter. We live in the Ohio Valley and we are known for long stretches of grey days. I'm okay without the sun as long as I have color in my life. The flowers added color and design that I need. Whimsey and fun is the bonus!

I'm 53 and I can remember seeing people wear the flower brooches when I was little. I was 10 in 1968, although I don't have any real experience with the 60's I can remember a lot of newscasts, fads and phrases. I was captivated by the "flower children" and the way the girls wore daisy wreathes in their hair. 

Turns out flower brooches came out in the 40's. Their popularity peeked in the 60's. For the most part they were tucked away by the early 70's and have just been reborn in popularity in the last year."

"I love God's creation all around me. I'm fascinated by how beautiful our world really is. The flowers are a reflection of His creativity."

"I have an immense collection of vintage costume jewelry. I am working towards having three Etsy sites, each with a different speciality. So yes, everyday I have on vintage pieces, but I mix it up. Today is definitely a flower day. I have a new Lisner flower in pink. It sure is a pretty little thing. I have to show it off!"

"In October of last year I retired from dog grooming and I was lost. I didn't have a clear direction as to what was next. My husband and I have owned businesses for the last 25 years. I don't think I know how to function without having a business. 
At Christmas I was choosing a variety of vintage brooches for myself and the business was born out of that. I was having a great time searching for the perfect next piece. I kept searching and purchasing and NanaJoy was born out of that. 

I love this new phase in my life. I continue to learn about the designers and their particular styles. I am learning that I love the full scope of vintage jewelry. I have a business I am actively a part of and there is a completeness in that for me."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Confessions of a Modern Seamstress

I recently interviewed a seamstress/dressmaker- thought I'd share the interview. Read all about it here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Yevonde, Beaton, Freud... all in Malta this month

 Madame Yevonde - 'Machine Worker in Summer' 1937
Permaprint dye-transfer from original negative.

In Malta until May 20, is an exhibition organised by the British Council to commemorate its 75th anniversary on the island. 'Thresholds' includes more than 50 works of British artists from the 20th Century to the present day. Amongst the artists whose works grace St James Cavalier Centre in Valletta are some rare and early pictures by Cecil Beaton, nudes by Gwen John, etchings by Lucian Freud, photographs by Madame Yevonde...... It is all curated by Paula Rego who searched the British Council Collection for the most significant pieces to show. The collection begun in the layte 1930s includes 8000+ artworks from all media, all aspects of British art and design of the 20th and 21st Centuries.

Cecil Beaton - 'My Sister Dressed as a Bridesmaid' 1920
Black and white photograph

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother Memories

Yesterday Mothers Day was celebrated here in Malta. And just last week I interviewed some personalities about their mums, getting inspiration from some pretty old pictures. Read more about it here

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Jewels on Auction

Over the past years, jewellery sold at auction has fetched exorbitant prices while attracting great public attention. Take for instance, last year’s sale of a collection of jewels owned by the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor, which collection fetched $116 million at a New York auction.  Or consider the 2010 sale of a set of jewels once owned by American socialite Wallis Simpson alias Duchess of Windsor - the woman for whom King Edward VIII abdicated from the British throne. Simpson’s collection fetched nearly $12.5 million at auction.

 In Malta, jewellery auctions are a rare event, but a forthcoming auction of unique and period jewellery, organised by 
Obelisk Auctions, will be held this month. The Obelisk Jewellery Department was recently introduced in order to further diversify the range of services provided by Obelisk Auctions. In view of the ongoing urge to melt down gold jewellery, which is allowing valuable artistic and rare pieces to be lost forever, Obelisk Auctions is striving to increase public awareness of the artistic and decorative qualities of all forms of jewellery. One tends to overlook the fact that jewellery in itself forms part of the minor arts and should be respected thus.

The forthcoming auction will be further enhanced by the presence of a very important painting by Jeronimo Jacinto de Espinosa (Concentaina, Alicante 1600 – Valencia 1667) Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness, oil on canvas. The painting was previously publicly exhibited at 2007 exhibition of ‘Caravaggio and Paintings of Realism in Malta' held at St John’s Co-Cathedral,Valletta, Malta.

The Auction also includes an outstanding collection of private entries including:17th & 18th C. Old Master Paintings – Rare 17th C. Maltese Furniture (published) & European Furniture - Silver& Gold Coins - China –Maiolica – Jewellery –- Silver – 17th C. Engravings Maps of Malta, Meltensia (out of print), a collection of 20th C. Masters of Maltese Modern Art including Paintings & Drawings,19th C. Maltese topographical paintings, Antiquities, Collectors Items & Works of Art.

Viewing: from Saturday 26th May 2012 till Wednesday 30th May 2012 from 10am till 8pm.
Auction: Thursday 31st May 2012 till , Saturday 2nd June 2012 at 2.30pm. 
Jewellery Auction on Monday 4th June at 2.30pm.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Embroidered Vintage

1920's English chemise style coat and dress set with a hand-embroidered Japanese inspired floral motif

There is something about embroidery which fascinates me. The fact that it is hand-made, timeless and adds to the prestige of the fabric it adorns, is one part of the fascination. There are varied types and categories of embroidery. 

The most commonly used is Free Embroidery which is worked over a traced or hot-iron transfer design or from stamped linen. In Free Embroidery, one finds Flat, Looped, Chained, Knotted, Composite, Couching, and Filling stitches. 

Then there is Counted Thread Embroidery which is worked by counting the threads of the fabric and embroidering each stitch over an exact number of threads. In this type of embroidery the fabric must be weave or canvas. Examples of typical techniques are the  Cross Stitch, Assisi, Hardanger, Drawn Thread, Drawn Fabric and Canvas Embroideries. Some Counted Thread stitches can also be used in Free Embroidery. 

Blackwork embroidery of the 1530s (left) and 1590s (right)

 Large towel or bed cover from Turkey, 19th century, linen, silk, gilt thread, plain and supplemental weave and embroidery. Located at Honolulu Academy of Arts.

Pair of woman’s bootsc. 1885 by F. Pinet of Paris.Silk, sueded leather, linen, kid leather. Located at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 

English woman posing for a portrait, wearing an embroidered jacket, 1910-1920. The woman wears a long, full skirt, with a matching long coat. The coat is embroidered around the cuffs, collar, waist, and along the side front opening. The woman wears a blouse with a very high neckline under the coat.