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Monday, July 20, 2009

Vintage Redesign Jewlery - August

This post will include vintage redesign jewelry that I've created from vintage jewelry, vintage found elements such as key holes, keys, buttons, etc. as well as unique vintage beads. When I create a piece of jewelry I try to make it something that is timeless and can be passed down to future generations. I hope you enjoy this post, as much as I enjoy creating these new creations.

Ornate Key Hole Necklace
(SOLD at "The French Flea" July sale)
I found this wonderful vintage brass key hole last month at a local barn/antique sale and knew I had to create a design around it. I went home and dug to through my extensive stash and low and behold I had this wonderful brass key buried in my container of keys. This was the beginning of my design. I also stumbled across the awesome vintage metal button which I also believe to be brass and had a ta dah moment. The Fleur d leis AB crystal drop was once sported as an earring in its before Gretchen days. This wonderful combination of elements than became the focal on this necklace.

A beautiful AB Crystal piece.

I just love this stash of tiny buttons I came across in one of my treasure hunts. I paired the focal pieces with these wonderful vintage champagne colored Swarovski crystals. These beads have been hoarded for many years waiting for the perfect project to introduce them into, and I felt this was the perfect necklace to use them in. There is nothing like vintage crystals vs. the new crystals that are sold today. The old ones had an element used in them that adds the extra sparkle that the new ones no longer can emulate. I adore using vintage Swarovski in my designs.
The vintage champagne Swarovski crystals than connect to a pearl chain as well as two other chains on either side to make up the main portion of the necklace. The final portion of both sides was created with a solid gold tone chain on either side. This necklace also has an adjustable closure that allows the owner to wear it different lengths.

This necklace was my favorite one I designed in early July and I had a hard time putting it on the Occasional sale. Now I know why. It was in hot pursuit by several ladies at the sale and the gal that purchased new she found a treasure. At Occasional sales shoppers learn the hard way, that most items are one-of-a-kind and you have to get there early and grab it if you love it.

Mixed Metals
(SOLD at "French Flea" July sale)
This is a gorgeous necklace in person and has a lot of sparkle that my camera didn't capture. I took these photos in a rush before bringing them to a 4 day sale.
This piece has wonderful sparkle, which isn't apparent on the photo. It was a vintage pin that has been created into a necklace focal.
Part way up the side of this necklace there are some wonderful treasures dangling together. A vintage skeleton key, vintage brass filigree flower, a vintage tassel and a new Vintaj gold tone bird. I love these little sparrow birds and they've become a trademark for my designs. I use them quite often and never tire of them. They flow beautifully with the vintage elements I typically use and give a rather delicate addition to the pieces they are showcased on.

This is the entire necklace in all of its details. There is a brass and silver portion that attaches to the focal and the dangling portion hang from and then a heavy silver double chain portion after that.

Golden Dreams
(SOLD - FF August)
Lovely vintage amber colored stone with a wonderfully detailed gold colored setting.
These vintage rectangular amber with white swirl beads have also been waiting for the perfect focal combination to be used with and this vintage piece is perfect for them. I just love how sometimes things work out like this.
I intended to keep the focal and these six wonderful vintage beads as the front and center on this design, so complimented it with a simple gold chain, as to not take away from the beauty of these vintage elements.
"The Nest"
I just love this piece. It was created with a very thick short choker length gold chain and a delicate pearl linked chain. The focal is a wonderful vintage chandelier connector that has been enhanced with a transposed robins nest on its back side. I've dropped a gorgeous delicate robins egg blue vintage bead from this Nest.
Again, the photos do not do this piece justice. It is wonderful in person and a very one-of-a-kind find you'll not see anywhere else. This would be ideal for any Moms out there that are keepers of their nests.
Update: neckalce was featured in the Star Tribune article on September 16th in their gallery of photos of my business in conjunction with the article they ran about my business as a jewelry designer.
This necklace would make a wonderful gift to any female family member, a best friend, or a a dear sister. It is created with a vintage chandelier prism.
Wonderful gold filigree settings with coral centers that create a flower effect make up one of the sides of this necklace design. The remaining side has two different types of gold chain creating its elements.
Detailed shot of the wonderful filigree flower section.
Overall necklace design.
"Keep America Free"
Love the liberty lady and all of her glory.
All of the vintage elements are so wonderful to design with.
This is a very fun and cool necklace that can be warmed everyday.
"Silver Cuff Bracelet"
(SOLD at "The French Flea" July sale)
Vintage paste style rhinestone shoe buckle is created into an ornate cuff style bracelet.
I love working with paste style jewelry. Each piece is so special and has its own vintage patina.
Back side of this bracelet shown.
The remaining portion of the bracelet was created with Sterling Silver wire that has been hand wire wrapped for a secure design that is sure to last for decades to come. The clear faceted crystals used are vintage, as is the disco ball and roundels. The Fleur d leis is a new Sterling Silver charm that has been added to give it a French flair.
"Time Flys By"
A vintage pocket watch face is the focal in this design along with a sparrow bird and a cool oval piece with pearls set into it. This has been attached to larger single pearl chains on each side and than connected to a smaller strand of pearls with chain for the remaining length of the chain part.
This view shows the entire necklace and all of the wonderful details it entails.
Pearls and all of their details.


  1. Girl, I love every single one of them!!! Great imagination you have there!! Tootles, Janna

  2. Thanks Janna for your sweet comment and encouragement. Its always so encouraging when people share their opinions with an artisian good or bad, as that can help us determine our direction.
    Enjoyed visiting your blog.

  3. Tell me...why don't I wear gold jewelry?! I love EVERYTHING! I need to re-think my wardrobe! Fabulous stuff, Gretchen! Hope you are having a nice summer @ the lake. Take care! Andrea

  4. I'm loving them all as usual, Gretchen. I do hope to see a few of your pieces in person next month.


  5. Thanks Andrea and Candy for your nice comments. I used to be a silver only gal until I started making the vintage redesigns Andrea. I just had to change my ways, as so many of the wonderful elements and chains are gold tone, and I fell in love with them. Now, I wear both. lol
    Candy it will be a blast next month having the honor of you visiting our "French Flea" shop and you will for sure need to check out my jewelry space there.
    Thanks girls for your comments-


I am so thankful you took the time to let me know what you think about what I write and for taking the time to share your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. :)

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