Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I've got a new Toy - Tweet clouds

Tweet Clouds are Fun and Whimsical

I have been learning a lot about the various social networking platforms since I started my website with my friend Linda.  The website is called Networking Tips 4U.  It has articles on all of the social sites such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Twitter is one of my favorites. It's not everyone's cup of tea but there is something very appealing to me about saying what I am thinking in no more than 140 characters.

Trying to stand out on Twitter is quite difficult. There are millions of tweets done every day.  I am always looking for something new and different with a creative edge to it to give my followers something they might want to retweet.

I just wrote an article for our networking site which talks about Tweet clouds.  Tweet clouds are small cloud shaped formations which contain the words you have used most in a time period.   You can read more about Tweet Clouds and how to make them on this page of our website.

Here is my latest one that I did for my jewelrylane twitter id.

I've been listing today and tweeted some of my latest listings so the materials and jewelry types are showing up in the cloud.

Here is another type of tweet cloud.  It shows not only my jewelry words, but also some gardening and networking words tool

I'm sort of artistic, so I have a fondness for the cloud shape but the other one appeals to me too...mostly because it is a teal color.  Which type of Tweet cloud do you prefer?   I'd love to hear from you in the comment section below.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Vintage Jewelry Designer - Who Am 1?

Time for some fun again. This is another in my ongoing guessing game blog about vintage jewelry designers. I'll give you some clues and pictures and you see if you can guess which designer it is. Ready?

Here are your clues:
  • Dates of operation were 1937-1966 in the US
  • Design Studio in Greenwich, New York
  • Born in the Spain
  • All Pieces hand crafted and unique
  • Jewelry shows artistic and cultural influences
  • Considered a master of Copper Jewelry
  • Pieces are very collectible
Here are two pictures of my designs:

I am considered a high end designer of copper jewelry. I returned to Spain in 1967 and continued making jewelry until my death in 1990. I am considered the star of the Modernist jewelry movement.

For more information and the answer to today's riddle, you can go to this designer page of the resource library on my website Vintage Jewelry Lane. (answer is also shown reading backwards at the bottom of this blog post.)

I'll be doing more of these riddles over the next weeks and months. Have fun with the series. ANSWER: (read it backwards): sejabeR

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Heart Stoppers - The Latest Heart Jewelry for Valentine's day

Have a Heart for Valentine's day

Valentine's day will be here before you know it.  It is a day to show your love in many ways.  How about one of these pieces of heart jewelry?

The heart has long been used as a symbol of the human spirit at its core.  At one time it was believed to be the seat of the human soul.  What better symbol is there to represent love?

In traditional art and folklore, the heart symbol has been a stylized design.  Normally, it is colored red, which suggest both blood and strong passion.  It is the most often seen symbol on Valentine's day cards, as well as those candy boxes that show up in the grocery stores this time of the year.

All of my shops have a lovely range of heart jewelry.  Here are some to tempt the romantic in you.

 From my Etsy store - this lovely heart shaped pin with a single red rhinestone accent.

This lovely pin from Vintage Jewelry Lane has a domed red center surrounded by hearts.

Pretty chunky charm bracelet with heart charms. Very chic!

These unusual earrings have a heart shape and are made from genuine butterfly wings! Very collectible!

For more heart jewelry, please visit Vintage Jewelry Lane.  Our main store has a wide range of heart jewelry in all styles.

What about you readers?  Do you find the heart your favorite symbol of romance, or do you prefer something else?  Please let us know in the comment section below.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Today's Jewelry Word - What is a Marcasite

 Gunmetal Gray Rhinestones - Marcasites

Have you ever seen jewelry which is covered in rhinestones that aren't exactly black or gray but have a gunmetal style of finish to them?  If you have, you are probably looking at a piece of jewelry with marcasites.

Marcasites are a type of stone, often used in sterling silver jewelry, and very often faceted.  This mineral has the same composition as pyrite (fool's Gold) but has a different chemical structure and color. It is a gunmetal gray color with a shiny finish and is inserted in the same was as a rhinestone is.

The stone sometimes acquires a multi-colored tarnish that is the result of oxidation. It can also have a luster and be opaque looking. Very occasionally, a sulfur smell is detectable.  Here is an example of a rough piece of marcasite:

 Photo credit: Geologynet

You may have heard of fool’s gold. Marcasite is the white form of fools gold. Marcasite jewelry was especially fashionable in Victorian times. Jewelers usually describe marcasite as a bronze or gunmetal color, and the designs often resemble an “Art Deco” period.

Some jewelry is described as being made of marcasites when in fact it is actually an imitation variety. In the real thing, the marcasites are individual pieces of gemstones set into small settings. In faux marcasites, they are made of small areas of metal made to give the impression of  the genuine stone.  Faux marcasite jewelry can be acquired for a much lesser price than real marcasite jewelry.

Here are a couple of examples of genuine marcasite jewelry. 

This last image is a Kenneth Lane for Avon piece with Faux marcasites.

What do you think of the look?  Do you prefer clear bright rhinestones or are marcasites something that is more your cup of tea?  I'd love to hear your comments below.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Inside the Jewelry Box - Volume 1

 A Peek Inside the Jewelry Box Reference Book

I am always looking for new and interesting reference books which deal with the topic of collecting vintage jewelry.  There are many of them out there, and I have written about some of my favorites in the past.

Inside the Jewelry Box, volume 1 is one that I have and would highly recommend.  It is especially helpful for those who are looking for information on some designers who aren't mentioned in the more widely known reference books.  Some designers not often mentioned who are featured in this book are Les Bernard, Louse of de Lillo, Claudette, Mazer Brothers and many others.

The book also features designers who are more well known but also very collectible, such as Hobé, Florenza, and Hattie Carnegie.

This book is based on the author's informative and interesting news columns that have run in antique publications across the country since 1997. These articles are presented here, along with photographs of hundreds of pieces of vintage costume jewelry with descriptions, designer names, and current collector values.

A section on costume jewelry on the Internet is also included, which profiles in detail, the best costume jewelery sites on the web, including biographies of each dealer and a synopsis of what makes the sites special. There are also hints for those wishing to sell their jewelry at auction. There are even vintage costume jewelry advertisements to add pizazz to the book.

 Finally, an informative section on where to buy replacement stones, how to restring beads and pearls, how to repair costume jewelry, and how to join vintage costume jewelry clubs rounds out the book. 2004 values.

The book is available from Amazon and other leading book dealers nation wide.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sensational Saturday Jewelry Styles

It is the weekend.  Time to head out for some well needed fun time at the mall.  Or better yet, why not save that time and see what is available online in the jewelry stores.  Then you can spend the rest of you weekend doing some other things you love to do.

Here are some of my Sensational Saturday jewelry specials.   All are limited to just one piece, so hurry to the website if they appeal to you. They won't last long at my competitive prices.

This pretty glass butterfly has been reduce to only $11.99.  What a sweet little critter.

"Strawberry Festival" By Sarah Coventry.  A lovely pin reduced to $19.99.

Millefiori Sterling Silver Blue earrings - reduced to $65.

Kenneth Jay Lane Unsigned Green Glass Butterfly pin - reduced to $32.

These are just a few of the current specials. You can view all the mark downs on the specials page at Vintage Jewelry Lane.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Renoir Jewelry Styles - Nature in Metal

I have spoken about the famous copper designer Jerry Fels who founded the  Renoir  line of copper jewelry before.  In my opinion, he is second only to the master Rebajes who preceded him.

Renoir copper designs are well known for styles which had a huge influence from nature.  Many styles of leaves and flowers and animals ended up as Renoir creations.

Early Renoir pieces - those made between 1948 and 1951 bear the signature "hand Made, Renoir of California."  Pieces made after this were marked simply "Renoir.":

In the spring of 1952, The Renoir of California line was expanded when Fels introduced the Matisse Ltd line . These are some of my personal favorites from the Renoir lines. They combine the traditional copper with hand fired enamel for some spectacular looks.

Renoir jewelry is very collectible, in part because of their beauty, but in large part because of the quality.  The pieces that I have in my collection look as good as they must have when they were made.

As was common during the mid 19th century, many Renoir pieces had names attached to them.  (Sarah Coventry is another jewelry design which used this technique extensively.)

Here are a few of my favorite Renoir and Matisse Renoir designs.  All are available from my Vintage Jewelry Lane website in the copper category.


Matisse Renoir white and tan copper leaf Pin - Book Piece Called "Leaf"

Renoir Gathered Genuine Copper Earrings

Matisse Renoir copper and  enamel pin and earrings set called "Leaflet"

Renoir mid century copper brooch called "Tulip."

One of my Favorites - Matisse necklace and earrings set in sea foam and copper, called "California Dreaming."  Very collectible set.

If you would like more information on Renoir designs, my favorite reference book is called Copper Art Jewelry, A different Lustre" by Matthew L.Burkholz and Linda Lichtenberg Kaplan.  It is available from Amazon and other leading book retailers.

Do you have a favorite copper jewelry designer, or do you also love Renoir pieces?  I'd love to hear from you in the comment section below.