Monday, May 30, 2011

jewelry roundup

Perhaps i've mentioned that i love jewelry.
Really, i do.
I love it.
And it doesn't matter to me whether it is "valuable" or not; in fact, i like to pay as little for things as possible. What matters to me when it comes to jewelry is that something is pretty or cool or different or makes a statement.
 I'm attracted to shiny objects like a magpie.
Since i have been compelled to share new pieces or handmade pieces or just pieces i like here in the Nikiverse in the past, i decided to do a little feature called The Jewelry Roundup every few weeks to highlight the fun things i've been doing with accessories.
Of course, i decided this back in like February and faithfully started taking pictures.
Then life got busy and the pictures sat.
And sat.
And sat.
Soooooo... this first one will be a bit longer than subsequent ones, i hope, and features pictures in the snow, in the sun and everything in between.

I've inherited some amazing vintage pins that are a bit larger than what i would normally wear on a shirt, like this great silver leaf. But it is just the right size to be a focal accessory to bring out the silver thread in a purple scarf when i use it as a ponytail holder.

I found this large, but delicate pearly and rhinestone flower spray for $4 and nestled it along an extra large open bun to go with a cream sweater.

More often than i might like to admit, my outfit choices are laundry dependant;
 one day the only shirt that both matched the pants i wanted to wear and was clean had a neckline that is a touch more plungee than i favor for work. This vintage red, white and blue enamel flower pin  normally only comes out for Fourth of July, but it was perfect to make the outfit appropriate for the office.
Plus it gave me a chance to wear this 9-strand bracelet of vintage angled beads that i recycled from a broken necklace.

some jewelry really is holiday specific
This key pin with its encased four-leaf clover comes out every March 17th.
no pinching please
 I'm not Irish or Catholic and i don't like beer -green or otherwise- so St Patrick's Day holds no special place in my heart, but there are those vicious pinchy pinchertons out there who are looking for people not wearing green, so this year i pinned my clover key across a braided bun.

While sorting through a 25 pound box of broken and discarded jewelry i came across this:
What in the world is that? The mid-tone floral cloisonne pegs it as being from the mid-80's and the curved clasp makes me think scarf pin, but i don't remember ever seeing anything like it before. I didn't want to get rid of it cause i have a shirt that is the exact same shade of purple as those flowers, but I wasn't really sure how i could wear it since i have no clue how it is intended to be worn and it is too small for the obvious use as a ponytail bob.

Inspired by the age of the piece i decided to pull back just the fronts of my hair into a side ponytail, side-sweeping my bangs along with it. It took several tries to get just the right amount of hair that the piece would hold and not slip.

I love repurposing items.

The team was going out to see TM Adam's band. I was wearing a black sweater with a red tank (yes, it was because that was what was clean) that just begged for some blingy interest. I have one of those hematite magnetic chains with red crystals that i'd never worn. I tried it as a bracelet and it looked good, but the only necklace that matched was a late 90's chain bib that looked dated instead of funky.
Switch up jewelry location:
it nicely cuffed over the sleeve
or fell over my hand while dancing

With that much going on at the throat and wrist i didn't want to wear any earrings,
but still wanted just a touch of color above the neck so among the messy loops of my pinned hair i tucked in a single vintage red crystal clip earring.

When using clip earrings as hair jewelry, i've always favored wearing both, but in the last few months i've noticed myself making different choices, using just one as an accent.

I couldn't really imagine how i'd use this single plain round gold clip from the 25 lb junk box so it was relegated to the To Be Altered pile; when i picked it up to rip off the clip i imagined using it on a scrapbook page to hold a swirl of fibers, like a button and said to myself Wouldn't it be cute if it looked like i had buttoned up my hair? Voila! 

Clip earring are so versatile and the vintage ones are gorgeous. I was wearing dark blue jeans with a lighter blue sweater and was able to find among my many, many clips a pair with the same shades of blue stones.
BONUS - i'd never worn them before
 I wasn't inspired to use them in my hair, but i'd remember when Grosgrain was doing tutorials on shoe sugar and thought i'd give it a shot. I clipped them at the edge of the strap on a pair of Mary Jane-ish flats and then did a few loops and knots with some heavy thread to make sure they'd would accidentally dislodge.

Pretty, easy and it made me smile all day even when my feet were tucked under my desk so i was the only one who knew they were there.

The truly great thing about jewelry is that it can alter a look or change an outfit easily and cheaply, especially when you are inventive. See this fabulous fore-finger ring? {side note: i love the look of a ring sitting between the first two knuckles, though i know some people really do not like it; i guess it is one of those things like cilantro or peas or monkeys - you either love it or hate it}

Notice how the stone is the exact same color as the sweater i am wearing? That, my friends, is a broken, discarded hoop earring from the junk box. Gorgeous, unique and less than 1 cent.
Unfortunately, we live in a disposable society. Well, unfortunate in general, but fortunate for me cause i will happily take others cast-offs and make them into something new. Sometimes, you don't even have to make any changes, cause the broken bits can add character.
This incredible vintage double-strand necklace is made of heavy, beautiful glass beads;. the darker pink glass stripe on some of them is the same color as a tank i own. I was able to add it to my collection for ONE DOLLAR because the awesome metal flower clasp has one petal missing.

Honestly, would you even have noticed the imperfection if i hadn't pointed it out? Deals like that make me smile cause i feel like i've saved a thing of beauty from certain doom, plus i get to pair this great necklace with the matching tank and a black cardigan.

And finally, for this inaugural installment of The Jewelry Roundup, i have pictures of me wearing an actual vintage hair clip. I put so many other things in my hair that were never intended to be there that when i spotted this amazing AB (aurora borealis) faceted crystal hair clip i snatched it up.
That was about 4 years ago. I was at a loss as to how to wear it. One day when my bangs had curled just right i wanted to pull back some of my hair away from my face and it was time for the hair clip's debut. I paired it with dangling teardrop AB crystal earrings to compliment a dark red sweater. 
phew... that was a lot of pictures of sparkles and hair for those of you who couldn't care less.
I hope to do a Roundup whenever i have 5 or 6 looks to share so that the posts won't be quite so long.
Stay tuned.


Michelle-Lemon Meringue said...

How do you take all of those fabulous pictures of the back of your head? And if it's not you taking them... how do you ask others to photograph your hair of vintage jewelry?

I want to know.

Niki said...

Michelle- i take most of the pics myself. It takes practice. Plus, i will take 10 pictures to just get 1that is usable.
I did a post about this before you started hanging out here, so you might wanna read it: