Monday, November 30, 2015

From Past To Pretty...Repurposing Old Vintage Jewelry

I love vintage jewelry, but some pieces just didn't stand the test of time. Old costume jewelry was not meant to last forever, it was made to replicate fine jewelry at an affordable price. Many pieces I get are broken, missing stones or just not wearable. Most of it ends up in the trash which is unfortunate. I like to take those pieces and transform them into something beautiful again and help keep less junk from piling up in landfills.

Recently, a friend of mine gave me a pile of broken pieces he had no use for. He said 'Here, make something out of this.' Challenge accepted! Here I will show you step by step how I took those broken pieces and made something completely different. 

So I started out with a pair of Coro earrings missing stones and had damaged faux pearls. A large rhinestone brooch that had the clasp broken off and the two layered pieces were loose. A huge gold tone god awful necklace with broken chains, an elastic rhinestone necklace with no clasp and a pair of gold tone hoop earrings. 


I started by cutting off the backs of the earrings. 


I then removed all of the stones and gave it a good brushing to remove all the residual glue. I always use a soft brush so I don't scratch the metal. 


I removed the stones from the brooch and brushed that as well. 


I popped them into the ultrasonic to shake loose all the extra junk. 


To fix the loose back on the brooch I used a punch to spread the metal then gave it a quick shot of solder to hold it firm. 



I harvested the rhinestones from the elastic necklace to replace the damaged faux pearls. (Ignore my hands, they get really gross when I work!)

I don't see a hand modeling contract in my future
I cleaned all the stones very gently with rubbing alcohol and a soft brush to remove any glue residue and to help them sit in the setting more securely. 

Shameless Target plug
Now all the pieces are clean and ready to be set. 


I have no idea what this thing is. I found it in my husbands model making stuff. I think it's a tiny foam paint applicator. I stuck a blob of beeswax on to the end so I can pick up the stones easily and place them in the setting without gluing my fingers together. (This happens quite often for me!)

I shall call you 'Weird Made Up Sticky Stone Setter'

I let the stones sit overnight to make sure the glue hardened and the stones were secure. Now we are ready for assembly!


I attached the filigree findings that were on the brooch to join the earrings and a section of the the hoop earrings to attach the chain. 


I added the final filigree finding to attach a tassel that I removed from the old necklace. 


Voilà! A brand new piece someone will love once again!


I hope you enjoyed my little peek of how I turn those old broken pieces into ones that can be worn again. Maybe you will be inspired to try it yourself. If you have questions about any techniques give me a shout, I would love to share with you! Let me know what you think and if you have any pieces you have created using old jewelry post them, I love to see other people's creativity!

Help save our environment and preserve the past. Turn those broken items into something special and save the earth at the same time!


Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Curse Of The West Bend Cake Pan....A Curiosity For The Collector Of The Strange And Unusual

*If you scare easily, click away now.* 
You have been warned. 

This is the story of the West Bend Cake Pan. A rare oddity sought after by many collectors. Please read the full disclosure before you make a final decision. If you would still like to possess this item you may find it for sale HERE.


Edna Heffelpoppin was taking a leisurely afternoon walk along a graveyard fence. She stumbled over something and looked down. She saw a beautiful West Bend Shape Cake bundt pan. 'This is perfect!' she thought. 'Now I can make a beautiful cake for my good friend Enid.' Edna took it home and made a lovely cake for Enid. The next morning Enid and Edna woke up with giant warts on their faces. Coincidence? Maybe.


Janet Saffenbocker bought this same bundt pan from a garage sale. It was 10.25" across and 4" high. Perfect size for her Christmas Jell-O mold. Janet went home and made her famous lime, cherry and jalapeño Jell-O topped with bacon bits. Her guests loved it. The next morning everyone who ate the
Jell-O woke up bald. Related perchance?


Robert Gobbelbobbin found a bundt pan in nice vintage condition with a slight patina and a small mark on the side in an abandoned lot. 'My wife would love to use this as part of her kitchen decor!' He took it home and his wife displayed it proudly. 2 days later frogs started coming out of all the faucets and filling their home. I don't think this is just happenstance.


Niki Patterson was shopping at a thrift store when she came across an awesome fluted/bundt pan. 'This is great! My son's birthday is coming up and I can make him a cool cake!' After baking the cake it fell apart because she doesn't follow directions well. Her son is now disappointed and has told all his friends on social media what a horrible cake his mom made. (This incident was actually caught on film)


She is now a social pariah and never leaves her home.

I did some online research and found that this pan was used by a coven of witches in Salem to bake their Cake Of Doom on All Hallows' Eve. They hexed the pan so any person who was not a witch would never benefit from the beautiful cakes it can make.

If you are interested, it comes with a Certificate Of Authenticity For Curses and Hexes written by a real witch doctor named Larry I met at a laundromat. He has confirmed my suspicion of the curse.

Buy this at your own risk!

I am not responsible for any harm that may come from using this pan. Larry told me if you go see him he can remove the curse. He lives in the basement of his mom's house.

Happy Halloween Everyone!


Friday, October 9, 2015

Grand Theft iPhone....And Other Stuff

This is Amelia Pond.


Lil' Bit
Chicken Butt- on account of the chicken on her butt


She looks like a cute, sweet little pup, but Amelia has a problem. She is a kleptomaniac. 


Pudding Cups




And, most recently, my iPhone. Anyone who has an iPhone knows you don't have to unlock it to take a pic. You just swipe the camera icon and the camera automatically opens. I guess Amelia wanted to get in on this whole Selfie craze. On 3 separate occasions she has taken quite a few selfies. 

The First Attempt

I guess she wasn't happy with it

The Second Attempt

Artistic, but not quite right

The Third Attempt

Much Better

Then of course she had to get a pic of my fat bum trying to get my phone back


Not my most flattering angle, but better than my drivers license photo. 

And finally she moved on to video. I guess she was hoping to claim her 15 minutes of fame. 


If you see this dog, please do not try to capture or subdue. Contact your local authorities.


Have your pets taken selfies? Photobombs? Or anything just too cute? Share them with me in the comments. I'm a sucker for cuteness!


Saturday, October 3, 2015

An Amazing Discovery For Bakelite Lovers!

I just read an amazing blog post from Angiezilla's Boutique. She stumbled across a new method of testing Bakelite. Most people test with 409, Simichrome or the hot pin test (NEVER DO THAT!). Turns out baking soda will give a positive result as well. It is quite easy. Just dampen a Q-Tip, dip it baking soda and rub gently for about 30 seconds. I put this to the test trying out different plastics. I used 2 items I knew were Bakelite and 2 that were not. And wouldn't you know it, it worked! By Jove, I think she has something! Check out the results below!

Apple Juice Bakelite hat pin tested positive

Cherry Red Lucite that could be mistaken as Bakelite tested negative 

1930's coffee pot with black Bakelite handle tested positive. Many people know black Bakelite frequently gives a false negative result using other methods so this is a fantastic find!

Apple Juice Lucite that can also be mistaken as Bakelite gave a negative result 

My verdict: This is a proven method. Baking soda is cheap and easily available unlike Simichrome and you don't risk the damage with 409 or the hot pin test (Did I mention to NEVER DO THAT?!) Not only did I get these results, many people have as well and shared it on her blog.

We should bow down to Angie and worship her for this amazing discovery! 

Or at least send her some brownies or something. 

Next time you are unsure if your item is Bakelite pull out that baking soda and test it. Then thank the stars for Angie's awesomeness! (Is the praise a bit too much?)

You can read the full article HERE and make sure to share this information with the world!


Friday, July 3, 2015

Oooohhhh....The 'R' Word!

A lot of vintage buffs cringe when you use the 'R' word. You know the one, the one that makes you want to cry when someone says the words 'chalk paint'. You guessed it, that word is REPURPOSED. It is a very hot topic in vintage circles and causes many a hot debate. Some items turn out beautiful while others, well, you just want to punch that person in the face. I have a few examples:

I found this awesome vintage Art Deco vanity at a thrift store. Made of solid oak with beautiful hand cut dovetails and a very large, round leaded glass mirror. 


WHY??? OH GOD WHY??? Someone decided it would be a 'great idea' to take this beautiful piece of handmade history and glob on 59 coats of white latex paint. To add injury to insult, they stenciled horrendous pink flowers all over it. I won't mention the string of plastic roses that were STAPLED around the gorgeous mirror. I had to rescue it! I have a lot of work ahead of me but I am determined to breathe life back into this beauty and find it a good home. 

I actually like repurposing vintage items if there is no use for them as they are. Giving broken items a makeover and not having them dumped into landfills is a win-win for everyone. I had a few items I got in a lot that didn't really have any use. A silver plated meat fork that had all the plate worn off the back with spots of rust and a silver plated sugar bowl missing the lid with a lot of the silver worn off. These items probably would have ended up in the trash taking up more precious land most of us are trying to save. Lucky for them they ended up in my hands. I turned these unwanted items into wearable pieces of art. 


I shaped the fork into an oval bangle, added a red carnelian cabochon I took from a broken necklace and created the bezel from reclaimed silver I took from a broken weighted sterling candle holder. 



I cut the bottom of the sugar bowl off and shaped it into a fluted cuff. I added some embellishments from scrap copper and a black onyx cabochon set in a copper bezel. A lot of the plate was worn so I incorporated that into the design. 

Repurposed items aren't always a tragedy. But, if I hear 'chalk paint' and 'vintage' in the same sentence, thems fightin' words!

Share your repurposed items with me, I would love to see how creative you can be!


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Well I Never! aka When Did People Become So Rude?

So it's snowing.....again. It's not like we haven't got enough already. I mean I only have 5 feet of it in my yard, I think we need about 5 more! I think it is making people cranky. Which brings me to the point of this entry. I have one question.....WHEN DID PEOPLE BECOME SO RUDE!?

I like to think of myself as a respectful, kind individual. Even when people are rude to me for no reason I tend to turn the other cheek. Most of the time. It's not worth getting all in a huffy because someone made a snide remark or gave you a dirty look. I like to live a peaceful life, it's just not worth the aggravation. But sometimes, just sometimes my buttons get pushed. I make the face and use the voice. If you don't know me, it's like a dog that's about to bite. And I know a lot about biting dogs, but that's another post altogether. My husband can see it a mile away and tends to walk, correction, run away from the havoc I'm about to wreak. Hang in there, there is a point to this story. In my adventures through the world of thrift shopping I have encountered many a rude person. Ladies who will grab a jewelry tray why you are looking through it. Reaching right into your face to grab something before you do. In my opinion, if they want it that bad they can have it. Only once have I used the look and voice that can melt your face like the lost ark. So let me tell you a story.....

Imagine if you will, a mild mannered woman browsing through a thrift store... (couldn't help the Twilight Zone intro) Anyway, I'm at my favorite Goodwill. Everyone has a favorite thrift store. I love this particular one. I know everyone by name and they all know me. I was even invited to one of the employees birthday parties.
There is one particular kid who I love talking to. I say kid because he is only 19. We will call him...ummm....Chuck Norris. (just to protect his privacy) We talk about music and art amongst other things. He's sharp and witty. I like that in a person. One evening Chuck Norris is checking me out at the register. I had quite a few treasures I had found so it was taking a bit of time. We were chatting as he was ringing me up. All of a sudden I hear a nasty voice behind me yell 'You need to hurry it up. This isn't a social visit. There are other people waiting!' I just looked at her and said 'he's still doing his job, it isn't a crime chatting with the customers.' Boy the glare I got! 'You don't need to stand there and give your life story!' I just smiled and Chuck Norris and I continued with our conversation, ignoring the daggers coming from her eyes. I finished paying and politely turned around and said 'I really hope you have a nice day'. That woman looked me dead in the eye and yelled 'BITE ME BITCH!' I had to laugh. I was in the Navy, I'm married to a sailor, I was a Derby Girl and owned a tattoo shop for 13 years. There was nothing anyone on this planet could say that would offend me. Hence the laughter. And the look on Chuck Norris's face was priceless! I took a few steps toward her and said in a very low and sinister voice 'You should be very careful about how you speak to people nowadays, you never know what that person is capable of.' Then I smiled, waved at the frozen, stunned Chuck Norris and made my merry way to my car (giggling as I went). I think that woman peed her pants a bit. I mean, I'm heavily tattooed so that instantly makes me a hooligan, riff raff, ex con or in a biker gang right? Of course I would never hurt someone, but sometimes people need a bit of a reality check. It actually was good advice if you think about it. Hopefully she will think twice before yelling profanity at strangers in public. It might actually get her hurt one day. So I guess what the point of all this is, don't be rude. Try to make the world a bit of a better place for everyone. Or I will get you.


Friday, January 16, 2015

The Darker Side Of Thrift Shopping

I LOVE  Goodwill! I find the most awesome things there! Everything from Waterford Crystal (which is a *heartbreaking* story. You can find it in a previous post HERE) But sometimes, you find things that are odd, creepy and downright horrific! I have compiled some examples of things I have actually seen that will make you say 'what in the *BLEEP* is that?!' 

Cat Butt
This is an actual salt shaker. The salt really does come out of his bum. I am actually bummed (get it? bummed?) I didn't buy this. It is quite the conversation starter. Who thought this was a good idea? Where are his back feet? What do you say at the dinner table? Please pass me the rump shaker? All I wanna do is zooma zoom zoom get the idea.

Come Get Some Candy Children
This bunny will apparently melt your face with his laser eyes. He is just so menacing. His little hand looks like he's saying 'I will get you!' *fist shake* Complete with the arched evil eyebrows and giant claws. Let's not overlook the one creepy one eyed clown-worm candle holder photo bomb. I think this should be the Easter version of Elf On A Shelf. He is always watching......

I Brought You These Flowers Now Give Me Your Brain
I still haven't figured out why there are so many bunnies at Goodwill. I took these photos in December. There wasn't even Easter stuff out. Honestly, I don't even know what this is. Googly eye zombie bunny bringing you dead droopy flowers? And what the heck is he made of? And is he part octopus? Is he supposed to have 8 legs? Why is his whisker punching him in the eye? So many questions.

Killer Clown
There are SO many things wrong with is picture I don't know where to start. Creepy dolls. They were everywhere. Laid out on the counters, on shelves and thrown in baskets. These are the stuff of nightmares. I honestly think someone thought 'Hey, this isn't creepy enough, let's thrown a clown in there. Now that is much better!' *shudder*

     Yup, that's a thing.

Do My Bidding
What. The. Eff. Excuse my language but really?! The only thing I can think of is Clown Slug. It will inch it's way toward you when you are sleeping leaving a trail of slime. It will then make it's way up your nose and implant itself into your brain using you as a host to do evil clown stuff. SOMEONE OWNED THIS! And even worse, someone designed this and made it a thing! One thing Goodwill is never short of is evil creepy clowns and bunnies. So, if you are even in the market for an evil clown or bunny you know just where to go.

These are just a few examples of what makes up Goodwill. I honestly think they should change their name to Evilwill. It would let people know what really goes on in there and scare them away. Then I can have all the good stuff to myself!

There are so many more! I would love it if you posted your own creepy finds in the comments! Let's see those terrifying clowns and bunnies!