Meet Lalani!

by mary February 23, 2015

Meet Lalani, my newest model!

I named her Lalani for 2 reasons -- first because I found her through the Facebook group "Ooh La La Vintage"; & second because I liked that the name Lalani is of Hawaiian origin & means "heavenly lei".

Here she is modeling an oriental-themed charm bracelet . . .

I made the charm bracelet using bone charms, oriental coins, & jade & coral gemstone beads.

And here she is modeling a necklace . . .

I especially like the bird pendant on this necklace, & the way the filigree piece hanging from it, the brass beads & the pearls complement the pendant.

When she's not modeling my jewelry, she sits on my dresser & holds the jewelry I've picked to wear for the next day.

To see more of my jewelry, check out my website at

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


Filed Under: Meet My Models


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!


Filed Under: Meet My Models


by mary September 7, 2014

Meet Bette Davis, another of my favorite models.

I found this little picture several years ago at a place called Found Things in East Village in Des Moines.  I've always enjoyed Bette Davis as an actress & loved this picture of her immediately -- both the picture itself, as well as the frame & matting around it.  Two of my favortite Bette Davis quotes are, "If you want a thing well done, get a couple of old broads to do it" & "Old age is no place for sissies". 

For several years, I've displayed it on my dresser.  Then, over the last year, I got to thinking that this picture might make a great model for jewelry.  See what you think . . .

Here she is modeling one of the necklaces I made recently.

And, here she is with a goldstone charm bracelet I made last winter. (Goldstone is a type of glittering glass gemstone made in a low oxygen reducing atmosphere.  It's often mistaken as a natural material.  The original manufacturing process was created in Venice in the 17th century.  Urban legend suggests that goldstone was an accidental discovery by Italian monks or the product of alchemy.)

Finally, here she is with a pair of earrings I made earlier with buttons I picked up at the What Cheer flea market this summer & new old stock (NOS) beads I found last summer at a bead shop in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

I think she adds a touch of class to all three types of jewelry!

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


Filed Under: Meet My Models | Treasure Hunting/Favorite Finds


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


by mary June 29, 2014

Meet another of my favorite models - Athena.

I found Athena years ago in a small antique shop in Onawa, Iowa that I used to stop in on my way home from Sioux City.  I thought she was absolutely beautiful -- with her arms stretched out & her arched back.  She looked so ethereal & graceful to me. I named her Athena (goddess of wisdom) because I thought the name suited her.

Athena was also somewhat expensive, though.  As a reault, I probably looked at her & thought about buying her a half dozen times before I finally broke down & decided she needed to come home with me.  The next time I drove through Onawa, the antique shop had closed & I was so glad I had bought her!

Here she is modeling a couple of necklaces for the website (

When she's not modeling jewelry, Athena stands on top of a cabinet in the living room that holds our audio-visual equipment, next to a vintage store displace for hair color.


Filed Under: Meet My Models

Meet Dinner for Two!

by mary May 26, 2014

Meet another of my favorite models -- Dinner for Two, one of the molded plastic Campus Cuties series introduced by the Marx Toy Company in 1964.  I picked Dinner for Two up at one of the monthly flea markets held at Iowa's State Fairgrounds.

Here she is modeling a pair of silver spiral & blue crystal earrings -- available on the website at

I love the fact that she's vintage & think she makes a great model for earrings in particular!

As always, thanks for reading & supporting small businesses!


Filed Under: Meet My Models

Introducing Charlotte

by mary April 26, 2014

I met Charlotte about a year ago at Funky Finds in Des Moines, although she wasn't Charlotte at the time.  (In fact, she wasn't Charlotte until I decided last night that that was the name that suited her).

At the time, I bought her thinking she would be a great way to display earrings or necklaces at shows.  When I got her home, though, I realized that my idea wasn't going to work -- there really wasn't any way to secure earrings or earring cards to her "ribs", you couldn't really see necklaces against her wicker body, & jewelry got tangled up in her "wickerness".

So, for a time, she sat on the cedar chest in our bedroom dressed on one of my vintage bed jackets & a vintage hat -- a nice addition to my other vintage ladies, but not what I originally envisioned.

Yesterday, I got another idea when I was looking at several pieces of vintage lingerie at Dorothea's Closet Vintage (also here in Des Moines) -- what if I dressed her in Victorian lace?  Just for fun, I brought home a 1920s chemise, an Edwardian sleeveless lace bodice, a Victorian corset cover, & a Victorian long sleeve lace bodice -- & then dressed her in layers.

I thought she looked lovely & very Victorian.  It was then I realized her name had to be Charlotte (after Charlotte Bronte)!

Here she is with 3 of my hand-crafted necklaces strung around her neck!  Now I can't wait to take her to a show


Filed Under: Meet My Models

introducing Marx campus cuties!

by mary April 21, 2014

I'd like you to meet 2 of my favorite models -- Lazy Afternoon & Nitey Nite!  Both were made by the Marx Toy Company in 1964.  After bringing out a line of 6 inch plastic army men in 1963, Marx introduced the "Campus Cuties" series in 1964 in order to appeal to girls.  Marx produced 2 series of Campus Cuties, with 8 figures in each series.  Lazy Afternoon & Nitey Nite are from the first series.  I picked up both at a flea market that's held monthly at our State Fair grounds.

Here's Lazy Afternoon sporting a charm bracelet with an Island theme that I made with vintage celluloid charms & vintage wooden beads!


And, here's Nitey Nite, all dolled up in a charm bracelet made with old Cracker Jack/Gumball scottie dog charms and red crystal beads that I picked up at a local bead show.  I'm especially fond of the little gray scottie with the rhinestone-studded collar!


I think these old Campus Cuties make especially good models for bracelets!

Thanks for reading!


Filed Under: Meet My Models

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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