What I Wore on Wednesday -- July 23, 2014

by mary July 30, 2014

On Wednesday July 23rd, I was in Wisconsin visiting my good friend, Pam.  After spending a day shopping in Sturgeon Bay, we went out for the evening to Red's Pub & Grill, where it was "Open Mic" night. 

Here we are before the musicians begin.  My Dorothea's Closet vintage outfit is a 1970's gauzy cotton top with crocheted trim along the neckline & at the cuffs that was made in India.  This shirt is so something I would have worn back in the 1970's & I love it!  These tops always required hand-washing -- I remember once putting one in the washing machine & it came out about the size that a doll would wear!

Here's Pam playing her guitar & singing -- later I joined her for "Blowin' in the Wind" & "Leaving on a Jet Plane".

With my 1970's top, I'm wearing 3 pieces of my hand-crafted jewelry. 

The necklace is made with an African trade bead, bone, brass & vintage chain.

The charm bracelet features 4 religious medals -- 3 dedicated to female saints & 2 of the Virgin Mary -- as well as coral gemstone beads.  Both the religious medals & the coral gemstones are said to provide a feeling of protection.

Lastly, the earrings are made from vintage buttons & chain.

To see more Dorothea's Closet Vintage clothing, check out the website at http://dorotheas-closet-vintage.myshopify.com.  To see more of my jewelry, go to http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.


Filed Under: What I Wore on Wednesday

Beaverdale Farmers Market - July 8, 2014

by mary July 27, 2014

July 8 was my 2nd time as an "occasional vendor" at the Beaverdale Farmers Market.

Like last month, it was a great evening with temps in the 70s!  My husband Steve helped me set up my tent & booth.

Here's a shot of the finished booth. 

My neighbor to the north was selling gourmet jams that she makes herself.

My neighbor to the south was a face painter -- It was really fun watching her work & the kids had a great time!

There are lots of great produce vendors at the Beaverdale Farmers Market -- One of my favorite has sort of a community garden right in Beaverdale.  They grow the best okra!

Steve's cousin Ken was there with his WhirlyThings & barn birds -- there was a great breeze that night so it was fun watching all the whirlythings spin!

The Beaverdale Farmers Market is an especially great place for families too.   People bring their kids & dogs & just enjoy the food & music & the games that the organizers provide!

Like last month, I had a lot of visitors to my booth, which was great fun!  I don't know about other Farmers Markets, but I'm enjoying doing Beaverdale's, & am looking forward to my next one on August 12!

For more information about the Beaverdale Farmers Market, go to http://beaverdalefarmersmarket.org/.


Filed Under: Shows


by mary July 23, 2014

Meet Elvira -- one of my favorite models!

I found Elvira at A Okay Antiques in Valley Junction, West Des Moines several years ago, & fell in love with her immediately!  I was especially taken by her patina, the way she held her arms out & the contrast of her creamy white head & red body. 

I named her Elvira after finding out it means "the white" & because it seemed to fit her.

I especially like using Elvira to display earrings!  Her outstretched arms & the gaps in her cape make her really versatile.

I also use her occasionally to display necklaces . . .

and charm bracelets . . .

When I bought Elvira, I wasn't thinking of her being as a model for my jewelry, but she's turned out to be one of my most hard-working!


Filed Under: Meet My Models

Treasure Hunting in Wisconsin - June 2014

by mary July 20, 2014

I took a trip to Wisconsin in June this year to do some camping & visit friends.  While there, I had the opportunity to do a little treasure hunting as well.

One of the first places I stopped after visiting my hometown of Menomonee Falls was Cedarburg, which is just a bit northeast of Menomonee Falls.  While there, I stopped in at The Gem Shop -- a great lapidary shop with some amazing beads & stones.

The staff there are super helpful as well.  Here are some of the beads & stones I picked up.  Right now, I'm working on a ring for the teardrop stone in the upper left in 2nd picture.

While in Cedarburg, I also stopped in this really fun vintage clothing shop, Dime a Dance, & found a fabulous 1940s hat & hat box!  I absolutely love the feathers & rhinestones on the hat!

After Cedarburg, my next stop was Kewaunee, which is just south of Door County, to visit a childhood friend for a couple of days.  During my stay, we stopped at a fun bead shop in Sturgeon Bay. 

One of the really cool things about this shop is that the owner has a large supply of new old stock (NOS) beads & charms, etc. from the 1940s through the 1970s.  Here are some of the things I picked up there.

I've already used 2 of the brass beads in a pair of earrings I made recently.

While in Sturgeon Bay, we also stopped at a fun antique shop, where I picked up some more letters to use in my jewelry displays.

Here's an example of how I use the letters to highlight a particular type of jewelry, like my "healing" or "inspiratu" charm bracelets.

I also found a really cool mannequin at the shop that I didn't buy -- and am kicking myself that I didn't get her.  She would make a great model for charm bracelets!  I'm thinking when I go back up to Kewaunee in July, I may have to visit the shop again & if she's still there, she may come home with me!

My next stop after Kewaunee was Black River Falls State Forest where we were camping.  We had a super group camp site & for the first time in 3 years, it didn't rain while we were there!  In addition to enjoying the beach & doing some hiking, we ended up going into the town of Black River Falls for a couple of hours one afternoon, where I found this cute little child's tablet in one of the town's antique shops.

I think it makes a fun background for jewelry -- especially pieces that use the old Scrabble tiles . . .

All in all, I had a great time camping & visiting friends, & found some great pieces to use in my jewelry making!


Filed Under: Treasure Hunting/Favorite Finds

What I Wore on Wednesday -- July 16, 2014

by mary July 16, 2014

Today's vintage outfit for Dorothea's Closet Vintage is from the 1950's -- another of my favorite decades!  The 50s were dominated by 2 main looks -- the full skirt introduced by Christian Dior in 1947 (think poodle skirt) & the straight or "wiggle" skirt.  This outfit, of course, fits in the first category.  The tucked-in blouse features a lace collar & lace trim down the front, with clear lucite & rhinestone buttons.  The pink & white striped circle skirt is made of satin & would be perfect with a crinoline underneath & saddle shoes for a sock hop/rock-&-roll look!

I've paired one of my repurposed Paris-themed charm bracelets & pink poodle earrings with my outfit.  Poodles were an especially popular emblem of the 1950's.

I made the charm bracelet with a link from a old broken souvenir bracelet, 2 vintage French coins that I drilled, several French charms (fleur de lis, Eiffel tower, wine bottle, & french poodle), as well as pink crystal & agate gemstones.  The little link to the poodle has "Paris" stamped in it.

I made the earrings from Cracker Jack/gumball charms from the 1950s/1960s & pink quartz gemstone beads.  I think they're kind of fun.

To see more of Dorothea's Closet Vintage clothing, check out the shop's website at http://dorotheasclosetvintage.myshopify.com.  To see more of my jewelry, go to http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.

As always, thanks for reading & for supporting small businesses!


Filed Under: What I Wore on Wednesday

33rd Annual Walnut AMVETS Antique Show

by mary July 13, 2014

Had a great time this year earlier in June at he 33rd Annual Walnut AMVETS Antique Show!  Last year it rained all 3 days, so we didn't go at all, which was really disappointing since it's one of my favorite outdoor antique shows.  This year, though, the weather was just about perfect!


I found several fun things to incorporate into my jewelry work -- including these vintage dice & fun old charms!

I also picked up some more old letters to use in my displays.  While I already have a pretty good selection of the old wooden Scrabble tiles, I've been looking for other letters to make it a bit more interesting & thought these did just the trick!

I thought several pieces in this set of "Continental molds" would make great pendants -- especially the horse, bunnies, cat & fish.  Am anxious to play around with these!

One of my more expensive finds was this collection of amber-colored chandelier pieces.  The dealer actually had more, but this was all I thought I could afford at the time.  I especially love the color & the different shapes!  In restrospect, I'm wondering if I shouldn't have picked up more of them.

And, I picked up a few pieces of vintage chain . . .

My last 2 finds I'll keep for me.  Steve said he would re-wire the duck light for me, so it could join my vintage Easter decorations next year.

And I just love my "new" Mr. Peanut charm bracelet!

All in all, we had a great time checking out people's booth & I was quite pleased with what we found!



Filed Under: Treasure Hunting/Favorite Finds

What I Wore On Wednesday -- July 9, 2014

by mary July 9, 2014

Today's vintage outfit for Dorothea's Closet Vintage is from the 1960's -- one of my favoriate decades!  It's a linen weave rayon sheath dress in a bright floral print that zips up the front & has 2 great hip pockets in the front, plus slits on each side of the hemline & a cord sash.  Like the 1920s, the "hourglass" figure of the earlier decade (in this case, the 1950s) was out & the "Twiggy" shape was in -- with A-line & straight boxy cut dresses.  Bright floral patterns, like the one on this dress, were also "in".  I picked this dress up at Dorothea's Closet Vintage here in Des Moines a month or so ago.

With my 1960s dress, I'm wearing 2 pieces of my hand-crafted jewelry -- a necklace & a charm bracelet.

I made the pendant for the necklace by wire-wrapping an African brade bead, bone bead, & brass piece.  The necklace is made from other brass pieces, chain from broken jewelry I've found at flea markets & garage sales, etc. (including cable, double link cable, & elongated cable); as well as black/gray marble & African bloodstone gemstones, bone, & African trade beads that I've wire-wrapped & interspersed throughout the chain.

The charm bracelet features 5 gemstones & 5 animal charms that represent the 5 elements/7 chakras of life force -- rhodonite & elephant for the earth element for grounding (root chakra), labradorite & bird for the air element to open the path to the spirit realm (third eye & crown chakras), tiger eye & lion for the fire element for energy (sacred hara & solar plexus chakras), aquamarine & dolphin for the water element for emotional balance (heart & throat chakras) & turquoise & butterfly for the storm element for transformation.

To see more Dorothea's Closet Vintage clothing, check out the website at http://dorotheas-closet-vintage.myshopify.com.  To see more of my jewelry, go to http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.

As always, thanks for reading & for supporting small business!


Filed Under: What I Wore on Wednesday

Good Guys 23rd Heartland Nationals -- Rat Fink, Rat Rods & More!

by mary July 6, 2014

Steve & I had a great time Friday, July 4 at the Good Guys hot rod & custom car show at the Iowa State Fairgrounds!  The weather was perfect -- and there were over 4200 custom cars & hot rods cruising & parked around the fairgrounds!  In fact, we had such a good time that we went back Sunday, July 6!

We've gotten especially fond of "rat rods" -- a hot rod or custom car that imitates or exaggerates the early hot rods of the 1940s - early 1960s, but generally is "unfinished".  Here are some of our favorites from this year's show. 

This first one has a Rat Fink type character for a shift.

I really like the hood ornament on this one!

This one has it's visor held on with a clothespin!

This next one has several rats both inside & outside the rat rod!

And here are 4 more we liked . . .

And this next one has a metal spider on the engine & spider webs on the wheels!

I like the flames & skull & crossbones on this one . . .

And on this one, I like the contrast between the custom painted top & grill & the rusted out rest of the rat rod!


And this next one has big bolts for really big external door hinges & an outdoor boat motor cover over the engine!

Some pretty amazing rat rods!

We also found a 1969 Mustang fastback -- which was my very first car!  My dad bought it new while I was in high school & sold it to me in 1974 when I moved to Iowa for my first post-college job.  The only difference is the color -- this one was red with black racing, while mine was maroon (& no racing stripes).  I sure do wish I still had that car!

We also saw 2 '57 Chevy trucks like ours -- one painted in the original green color.

The other one was "in process", like ours.

There's also a model car exhibit at the show -- Steve entered 2 dioramas -- the first is a reproduction he did of an old store display for Rat Fink. 

The 2nd features 2 slot cars he built -- Rat Fink in his Lotus & Mr. Gasser in his BRM.

So what does all of this have to do with jewelry??  Well, first it gave me an opportunity to wear the Rat Fink charm bracelet & earrings I made.

And, 2nd, I was able to purchase more Rat Fink charms -- a bit larger than those on the charm bracelet & earrings & in 6 different colors -- they'll be perfect for necklaces.

I also picked up 2 shirts to wear to the Good Guys & to go with my jewelry.

The Good Guys show is always one of our favorite events every summer -- and this one did not disappoint!


Filed Under: Treasure Hunting/Favorite Finds

What I Wore on Wednesday -- July 2, 2014

by mary July 2, 2014

I thought I'd try something different this week -- What I Wore on Wednesday.

I love vintage clothes & on Wednesdays I help out a friend who owns a vintage clothing shop -- Dorothea's Closet Vintage.  I always wear something vintage that I got from the shop when I'm there, & over the last year, have been posting "selfies" of what I wear on Facebook.

So today, I'm experimenting with a new blog post category - What I Wore on Wednesday.  In it, I'll post a picture & description of the vintage outfit I wore that day, as well as the piece of my jewelry that I wore to go with the vintage outfit.

In honor of the 4th of July being this week, I chose something red, white & blue to wear today -- this Wednesday's outfit is a fabulous dark blue & white polka dot silk faille dress with red lining & trim from the 1940s.  1940s fashion was influened heavily by the military with wider shoulders & shoulder padding introduced as women stepped into male roles in the workplace.

This next picture shows the wonderful red lining.

To go with this outfit, I've worn one of my necklaces that features red crystal beads & pearls.

I got the pendant for this necklace at a flea market -- I was attracted by both the image(s) & the patina.  For the chain, I used small sections of broken rosary & other chain, as well as vintage beads that I wire-wrapped & dangles from other necklaces that I'd picked up here & there.  One of the fun things about this necklace is that it can be worn with either side of the pendant showing.

Here's a shot of the entire necklace, as well as a close-up of the back side of the pendant.

To see more of Dorothea's Closet Vintage clothing, check out the shop's website at http://dorotheas-closet-vintage.myshopify.com.  To see more of my jewelry, go to http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.


Filed Under: What I Wore on Wednesday

About the author

Pauline's Jewelry Box was founded by Mary Nelson in 2012 in Des Moines, Iowa.  I chose the name Pauline's Jewelry Box because my mother's name was Pauline & I have many fond memories of looking through jewelry box & playing with her jewelry

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