What I Wore on Wednesday -- December 31, 2014, New Year's Eve

by mary December 31, 2014

Today's Dorothea's Closet Vintage outfit, in recognition that today is New Year's Eve, is a super fun 1960's gold lame' dress that I picked up at the shop earlier this season.

Lame' is a shiny fabric woven with metallic threads.  In the past, it was frequently used in costumes for science fiction movies & TV shows. 

I couldn't believe how long this dress had been in the shop without anyone buying it!  I think maybe the reason was that it was missing one of the lame' covered buttons on the skirt.  I just moved one the top button to the missing place on the skirt, & replaced the top button with a lucite & gold button from my "stash" of vintage buttons.  Now it looks like it could have been made that way!

With this dress, I decided to wear the Bakelite & gold ladybug necklace that Steve gave me for Christmas.  He picked it up at a local antique mall called "The Picker Knows".

And, I wore two pieces of jewelry that I made earlier this year -- first a pair of earrings made with vintage gold ball-chain dangles & jade gemstone beads.

And a bracelet made with vintage gold watches & fresh water pearls, & a heart charm -- a nod to "Father Time".  I got the watches from flea markets & garage sales.  None of them work, but that wasn't the point anyway!

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.

Thanks for reading & have a Happy New Year!

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Bakelite jewelry -- vintage & hand-crafted

by mary December 28, 2014

I love Bakelite! I'm always excited when I find a piece of Bakelite jewelry at a reasonable price or some Bakelite charms or buttons that I can use to make into a piece of jewelry!

According to one of my books on jewelry, "Plastic Jewelry", Leo Baekeland developed Bakelite & patented it in 1907.  At first, it was used primarily to insulate electrical goods, but later it was used for buttons & jewelry.  Although plastic jewelry was initially purchased & worn mainly by women looking for inexpensive colorful jewelry; it became more popular after 1925 when French designer Co-Co Chanel used it in her coutour collections.  Bakelite has also been used to make plastic chips.

Bakelite jewelry is quite collectable at the present time, & can be quite expensive.  As a result, I have been able to acquire only a small number of pieces -- but I do love each & every one of them!  I thought I would share a few of my favorite pieces, including some that are vintage & others that are hand-crafted using Bakelite chips, buttons or charms.

Here is a vintage necklace Bakelite cherry necklace.  The chain links & leaves are celluloid.  I can't remember for sure where I got this piece -- either an antique show or Dorothea's Closet Vintage.

And here's a pin with very similar Bakelite cherries & a Bakelite leaf.

And here is a necklace made by a friend, Cheryl Sassypants Morris, out of Bakelite chips & chain, & a mahjong tile. 

Here's one more vintage necklace -- a green Bakelite ladybug -- that my husband Steve gave me for Christmas this year!

I also have several Bakelite bracelets including this vintage bangle made of red Bakelite & wood that I picked up at Dorothea's Closet Vintage a year or so ago.

And this vintage bracelet made with butterscotch Bakelite, blue rhinestones & brass links that Steve got me for Christmas last year.

And here's a bracelet that I made using vintage Bakelite cowboy boot charms & wood & glass beads!

And, here are 2 pairs of hand-crafted earrings made with Bakelite.  I got the first at the Walt Johnson Antique Show at the state fairgrounds several years ago; they're made with Bakelite chips. 

And this pair I made from vintage Bakelite beads.  I really like how both pairs of earrings go with the Bakelite chip necklace!

This last is a card of Bakelite buttons that I got a year or so ago.  I still haven't decided exactly what I'll make with them -- perhaps a charm bracelet & maybe a pair of asymmetrical earrings . . .

I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of my Bakelite jewelry -- both original vintage & hand-crafted pieces!  And, as always thanks for reading & for supporting small businesses. 

And, to see more of my jewelry, check out my website at http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.

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Filed Under: Treasure Hunting/Favorite Finds

Amelia

by mary December 21, 2014

Meet Amelia, my newest model!

Amelia was an early Christmas gift from my good friend, Deb.  She's made of what seems almost like chain mail.  Initially, I thought I would clip jewelry to her metal framework, but I found these lovely vintage children's clothes at Dorothea's Closet Vintage -- I think they might even be Victorian.  They fit her perfectly, so I decided instead to dress her & use her to model necklaces.

She stands just about 3 feet tall, so will be perfect for standing on top of a table & adding height to my display.

Tonight, she's wearing a necklace I fabricated in one of my classes at the Des Moines Art Center, using agate & jasper gemstones that I set in copper sheet metal & wire.

Can't wait to have a chance to use Amelia in one of my next shows!

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What I Wore on Wednesday - December 17, 2014

by mary December 17, 2014

Today's Dorothea's Closet Vintage outfit is a 1960's red velvet wiggle dress & jacket -- perfect for the holidays!

Here's the dress without the jacket . . .

For those unfamiliar with wiggle dresses, a wiggle dress is a fitted dress that is narrower at the hem than at the hips.  The idea is that the dress keeps your knees close together, causing you to "wiggle" as you walk.  The style was pupular during the late 50s & early 60s.  Marilyn Monroe was problably the original & most iconic wearer of the wiggle dress.  Sophia Loren was also famous for wearing wiggle dresses.  Recently, they've become popular again because of the TV show, Mad Men.

Given the season, I decided to wear a Christmas charm bracelet & earrings.  I made the charm bracelet with Eppy gumball & other charms, and bells.

I made the earrings with the same bells, plus snowflakes & beads that look like Christmas balls.

I like the way both the charm bracelet & earrings have a holiday jingle when you move!

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.

And, as always, thanks for reading & for supporting small businesses!

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What I Wore on Wednesday - December 10, 2014

by mary December 10, 2014

Today's Dorothea's Closet Vintage outfit is a 1950's black chenille sweater & skirt set by the French Knitwear Co., trimmed with sequins, rhinestones, glass beads, pearls, & gold thread!  This is one of my favorite sweater/skirt sets!

Chenille, the French word for catepillar, is a type of yarn or fabric named after the unique process by which it is made, which involves twisting 3 pieces of yarn together.  It is said to have originated in France in the 18th century. 

I decided to wear two pieces of my hand-crafted jewelry with this outfit -- both made from vintage buttons.  The first piece is a charm bracelet made with an assortment of old buttons -- including brass, pearl, rhinestone, glass & plastic.

The second is a pair of earrings, also made from old buttons plus crystal beads & silver rings.

I got most of the buttons for the bracelet & earrings at Found Things, a fun shop in East Village here in Des Moines.

I thought it was especially cool how the buttons complemented the trim on the sweater!

To see more of Dorothea's Closet Vintage, check out the shop's website at http://do

rotheasclosetvintage.myshopify.com.  To see more of my jewelry, go to http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.

And, as always, thanks for reading & for supporting small businesses!

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Beaverdale Books Trunk Show - December 6, 2014

by mary December 7, 2014

I had a great time last night doing a small trunk show at Beaverdale Books during the annual Beaverdale Holiday Shop Hop! 

The Beaverdale Shop Hop is sponsored by the Beaverdale Neighborhood Association & the Beaverdale Betterment Coalition, & is designed to encourage residents & visitors to shop locally in our neighborhood.  During the Shop Hop, many of the local businesses offer treats & beverages & specials. 

Santa also visits several local shops -- including Beaverdale Books where he read a Christmas story to the children!

The kids had a great time listening to Santa read "The Night Before Christmas" & helping him read the last few lines!

Author Debra Engle was also at the Bookstore signing copies of her latest book, "The Only Little Prayer You Need".  Here's Debra taking a picture of Santa & his elf as they leave Beaverdale Books . . .

Deb was just across from me, so I had a great opportunity to visit with her & learn a bit more about her book.

And here's another shot of my set-up . . .

Lots of people stopped by the Bookstore during the Shop Hop & I had a fun time visiting with old friends & making new ones, & talking about my jewelry with folks that stopped by. 

I'm so grateful to Alice (the owner) for allowing me to participate in this annual event!

To see more of my jewelry, check out my website at http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.  And, as always, thanks for reading & for supporting small businesses!

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Filed Under: Shows

What I Wore on Wednesday - December 3, 2014

by mary December 3, 2014

Today's Dorothea's Closet Vintage outfit is a 1970s red, navy blue, brown & tan striped velour mini-dress/tunic by Jantzen.

Jantzen began in 1916 in Portland, Oregon as a swimwear company.  The brand logo featured the image of a young woman in a red bathing suit & swimcap in the diving position.

In the 1940s, Jantzen began offering sweaters & "activewear" in addition to swimwear; in the 1970s, they added cover-ups & other beachwear for vacations & weekends.

With the mini/tunic, I decided to wear three pieces of my jewelry -- first a necklace featuring a silvertone filigree pendant with a red rhinestone bead, as well as french-rope & rosary chain.

I also wore a fun charm bracelet & earrings made with vintage Bingo pieces that I picked up at the What Cheer Flea Market this summer & red beads to complement the red lettering on the Bingo tiles.  The bracelet also includes a red Cracker Jack/gumball good luck charm.

The game of Bingo can be traced back to an Italian lottery game played in 1530.  It was originally called "beano" when it came to the United States.  In 1929/1930, the Lowe company standardized the game & began producing it commercially as Bingo, although a number of other companies also produced the game.  I thought the Bingo pieces made really fun jewelry!

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!

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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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