Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Look What I Found. Wired Flowers from Vintage Japan

Aren't these beautiful?
These are hand wired vintage Japanese flowers, complete with crystal leaf beads.
I just love being in the business of searching out vintage components for Bumbershoot Designs and Supplies. I'm not much of a shopper in general, but oh, the pleasure of discovering yet another vintage treasure, each one so delightful and unique, and never to be made again...it's a fabulous treasure hunt that I get to go on every day. 

These flowers have sat on my work table for several days now, as I enjoy their presence and contemplate what their future looks like.
I recently received some vintage-style scent lockets, designed to look like vintage lockets with pierced fronts, to hold a piece of cotton or cloth daubed with perfume.  Ala Miriam Haskell, perhaps it is possible to wire these flowers onto such a locket.  Looks rather like a winged heart to me. What do you think?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday in Seattle. Picture and Quote for the Week, At the Edge of a Petal

Al's plum blossoms, across the street from our house at Greenlake, Seattle

It is at the edge of a petal that love waits.
~William Carlos Williams

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bumbershoot Designs and Supplies' New Website is Live!!!

You can now purchase our vintage supplies on our own website, http://www.bumbershootsupplies.com/!

I think it was in a newsletter last November that I said I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and that we would be providing our vintage supplies on our own website soon. Well, we finally made it. We went live on Tuesday, Mar 29, and everything is working very well.
We will continue to make our vintage supplies available at Bumbershoot Supplies on Etsy, of course. But I think there are numerous advantages to customers with the new website. Here are the top 10 benefits to you of our new website, in no particular order (with photos of some of the new products that have been added to Bumbershoot Supplies and Bumbershoot Designs this week):

1. You can purchase multiple lots of items without having to talk to me :)

2. Information about each item is organized to provide the age, country of origin, material, size, pieces per lot, so you can quickly see the pertinent statistics for each product.

3. There is a zoom feature so you can get really close to the products.

4. There is considerably more freedom in categorizing items, allowing us to place products into more than one category, if they reasonably fit in more than one category. I hope this will spark your creativity in terms of how to use our products and will help you more readily find the products you are interested in.

5. You can make a wish list.

6. There is a “new arrivals” section, where you can see all the products that have been added to the website in the previous 2 weeks. (Right now, everything is new since we just went live on Tuesday…)

7. The website collects together in one place all of our extra resources: the featured artist blog posts, the inspiration boards, the tutorials, our newsletter sign up and all of the past issues.

8. We can provide both designs and supplies in the same location, which I hope will provide inspiration in terms of how the supplies can be used. If you are interested in purchasing designs, maybe you will be tempted to try out a few of the supplies too. We will be adding my designs over the coming month or so.

9. We have more flexibility when it comes to coupon codes, which is good news for our newsletter subscribers.

10. We continue to be as easy to reach through this website as ever, you will be able to directly contact me using my email address.
I hope you will click on over to Bumbershoot Designs and Supplies and check it out! If you have any questions at any time, just let me know.

Until next time, wishing you a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Look What I Found. Vintage Japanese Handpainted Glass Bird Cabochon

This arrived in the mail today.  It is breathtaking. It is a vintage Japanese glass cabochon, with 2 tiny birds perched on flowering branches, all handpainted with incredible detail. It is quite dirty. I used a cotton swab dampened with water to clean around the paint, but after working with it, my guess is that the paint is pretty robust, so I'll clean a bit more agressively in the next pass. 

The backs of these cabochons were originally foiled in red, green and yellow, so the colors would have shown behind the birds like a glowing rainbow.  You can catch glimpses of that in this cabochon, but the foil is seriously damaged and is easily removed. The glass is frosted, so I think that if the foil is removed, the cabochon will still be quite beautiful, just a bit different from how it was originally intended to look.

One of the features of this cabochon that leaves me awestruck is the size. This cab is about 17mm or 5/8 inch long. The only word I seem to be able to come up with to describe the degree of detail, artistry and craftsmanship is "breathtaking".

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Heal. A Talisman Charm Necklace from Bumbershoot Designs

The story behind this necklace is that everyone in our family has been felled by the flu, first Emma, then Jim, then Eric. This is one nasty, nasty bug. I was the last hold out and went several days healthy while all around  me bodies were dropping like flies. I thought I was going to make it, and just to be sure, made this lovely necklace filled with healing thoughts and intentions, sort of a talisman.

Did my talisman prevent me from getting the flu?  Alas, I have fallen victim too, although I do seem to have a milder version than anyone else, and I am getting better faster.

Did my talisman help me to feel better? Yes, without a doubt!

Necklace features a lovely antiqued pewter charm from Green Girls Studio (front and back shown), a vintage rhinestone button, a pure white 1950's Japanese lampwork flower, all on a delicate gunmetal chain

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Vintage Design Inspiration Board #14 with Creativity Quote

An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one.
~Charles Horton Cooley

Inspiration Board #14 features:

vintage millinery leaf spray (Soviet Occupied Germany)
vintage glass mirror flower buttons (US Zone Occupied Germany)
vintage paper tag (West Germany)
vintage hand stamped brass charms (USA)
vintage lilac moonstone glass cabochons (West Germany)
vintage brass heart pendant (USA)
vintage cluny lace (USA)
vintage mother of pearl buttons (USA)
vintage peridot glass heart cabochons
vintage brooch with rhinestones
vintage ledger paper
vintage button card
hand dyed fabric
artist trading card (ATC)
antique embroidery floss
vintage linen tea towel
mounted on 9x6 inch gallery wrapped canvas base

Friday, March 11, 2011

New at Bumbershoot Supplies. Big Vintage Rhinestone Jewels and Some Cuba Pears

Just loaded up to Bumbershoot Supplies some gorgeous and large vintage rhinestone jewels. I have more to come, but here are just a few...

It's pretty exciting to find big rhinestones in wonderful condition, these are lovely. Still to come are 2 shades of sapphire ovals, a lighter rose octagon, and a ruby octagon. If you can't wait, just let me know and I'll make it a priority to photograph the ones you are interested in seeing.

And check out these vintage pear shaped rhinestones, also just listed. This type of 2 tone glass is sometimes called cuba glass. In this case, topaz is found in the center and sapphire around the outside. Cuba glass is from vintage West Germany and is no longer made. Becoming harder to find, we have some beautiful leaf cabochons and some navette rhinestones in this type of glass, with a few more items just waiting for their photos.

Until next time, wishing you a great weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Look What I Found. Fabulous Crystal Glass Comet Cabochon

Isn't this a wonderful piece of vintage costume jewelry glass?

It's clear glass with gold foiling on the back. The foiling is quite marked and aged, there's a fair bit missing around the edges. But like an old mirror, it still throws a lot of shine. 

I imagine this was originally intended as a focal piece around which to build a fabulous brooch or clip or necklace. In my ongoing research about the vintage supplies we offer at Bumbershoot Supplies, I've not located this piece yet.  But I'll keep looking...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Miriam Haskell Flower Cameo Cabochons at Bumbershoot Supplies

At Bumbershoot Supplies, we are very interested in the provenance and history of the vintage supplies we offer. For this reason, I am constantly researching our supplies to learn as much about them as I can. On the weekend, I was again reviewing one of my resources, this book...

And what did I find on page 353?

This signed Miriam Haskell pendant and earrings set. The pendant features a gorgeous vintage glass flower cameo cabochon. And guess what! We now carry these cabochons at Bumbershoot Supplies!

These are exquisite flower cabochons. They have a decal transfer expertly applied to white glass, and then white accents were hand painted on top of the decal. These truly beautiful pieces are in mint condition, and the delicate hand painting really elevates them to something special.

Many of the items we sell at Bumbershoot Supplies were sold to me as Miriam Haskell stock, especially our vintage glass pearls. But I hesitate to label them as Haskell unless I have further verification. So I'm really excited to be able to say that these flower cabochons are the same ones that the Miriam Haskell Company used in some of their designs.

Friday, March 4, 2011

New at Bumbershoot Supplies. Antique Bohemian Flower Cabochons and Their History

Words cannot describe how thrilled I am to be able to offer a limited number of these rare antique Czech glass flower cabochons, just arrived at Bumbershoot Supplies.

We have gorgeous ivory and pale beige-y pink in 2 sizes. These cabochons are truly a part of glass and costume jewelry history. The character of the glass is unlike anything I have seen before, the colors so delicate and yet rich at the same time, and the glass has a really gorgeous sheen.

These are so special, I want to share a bit of their history with you. Until WWII, the Gablonz area of Czechoslovakia was home to some of the finest glass artisans in the world. That is where these cabochons were made, back in the 1920's to 1930's. These cabochons, and many rhinestones also, are press molded, which means that molten glass is pressed between dies to create the shape. This was done by single glass artisans, just a few pieces at time. For these cabochons, intricately carved dies were used and the detail is magnificent and precise. The glass is pressed in what looks like big tongs and then the finished pieces are released. This may sound simple, but as I learned in Sibylle Jargstorf's book "Baubles, Buttons and Beads. The Heritage of Bohemia" success depends on many factors. First, you have to have a good die, so the collaboration between engravers and glass artists was important. Second, for the pressing, the glass must be at the correct temperature - too hot/soft or too cool/thick creates various problems. Temperature is also important in regards to color because with some colors of glass, the color changes with different temperatures. Also the die must be at the correct temperature. If it is too cold, minute surface cracks can appear on the cabochon or rhinestone. If the die is too hot, the glass will fuse to the metal and the stones or cabochons cannot be released from the mold. There are additional considerations when creating glass rhinestones, since those are faceted on both sides.  To get those beautiful facets on both sides requires an understanding of how the physics of gravity acts on cooling glass. 

For both cabochons and rhinestones, there may be many other steps after the piece is released from the mold, depending on the purpose and plans for the batch that is being made. These can include shearing to clean up the edges and facets, polishing of various sorts, beveling and foiling. All of these additional steps require the expertise of specialist artisans.

So, when I consider these vintage glass cabochons and our vintage rhinestones, I am truly in awe of the many steps involved and the many (unsung) artisans involved, all working together to bring these beautiful baubles to a finished state. I am so grateful to them for the beauty they have created and I am absolutely thrilled to have located these treasures to share with you.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One of My Favorite Artists Has a New Jewelry Design

You may have read about one of my favorite artists of all time, my daughter Emma, in this blog post.

She's at it again! She's taking a laboratory science class at college this quarter and in class they extracted some of their own DNA and captured it in this necklace.

Cool! It was a very simple process to extract this DNA - kitchen table science, there are lots of how tos available with a quick Google search. She extracted the DNA from cells from the inside of her cheek. The biggest issue is being sure to get enough cells to start with. What about a line of personalized jewelry where people send you cheek cells, the DNA is extracted and sent back to them in a glass vial necklace? The nerdy scientist in me is just thinking out loud here...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dots. Vintage Mother of Pearl Stud Earrings from Bumbershoot Designs

Many thanks to Chloe for featuring these earrings on her fashion and art blog sixthirtythree. The Dress of the Week theme this week is Dynamic Grooves. Check it out! It's a great dress!