Friday, September 30, 2011

Featured Artist: Christine Stoll of Kathy O Inspirations on Etsy

For this featured artist post, I’m delighted to share with you Christine Stoll’s beautiful jewelry designs. Christine is the designer-owner of Kathy O Inspirations on Etsy.

Christine is another neighbor of Bumbershoot Supplies, located in Bellevue, WA across Lake Washington from Seattle.

Here is her story: “After my Grandma Kathy passed away in 2005, I became the recipient of her amazing collection of beads. I left her house with two of her vintage suitcases filled with vintage and new beads, tools, and antique buttons....

She was a crafty woman – sewing, designing her own clothing patterns, silk screening, and, of course, beading. She began her obsession with beading in the mid-‘80s to early ‘90s. She loved to work with beads, especially freshwater rice pearls, crystals, and seed beads, creating fabulous works of art with her delicate and patient skills. I also received some wonderful pieces of costume and vintage jewelry from her personal collection – I have taken apart some of the jewelry to make new pieces.

Each piece of jewelry I create contains something repurposed, whether it's from Grandma Kathy's bead collection, my thrift store finds, found objects, and personal costume jewelry collection. I like to take pieces apart, using the beads and findings to create an updated look. My jewelry incorporates my love of vintage with a mix of modern – inspired by Grandma Kathy.”

It’s so much fun to visit Christine’s shop to see how she repurposes her Grandma Kathy’s treasures.  It’s extra special to know a bit about the story behind the vintage baubles.  You just know there’s a lot of love in these pieces.

I also want to share some of Christine’s found object jewelry, in particular how she re-imagines computer hard drive platter spacer rings and pairs them with crystals and other jewelry components.  What on earth is a platter spacer ring, you ask?  So did I! It turns out that the data in your computer’s hard drive are stored on something called a platter and if you have multiple platters in your computer, they are stacked, separated by spacer rings such as these that Christine uses in her designs.

I love it!  I hope you too will enjoy a visit to Kathy O Inspirations to view Christine’s designs and for a dose of inspiration from Grandma Kathy and Christine.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Featured Artist. Lauren Kelley of The Big Green Giraffe

I’m so happy to share with you the designs of Lauren Kelley, of The Big GreenGiraffe on Etsy. Lauren is one of Bumbershoot Supplies’ neighbors, being located just down the road from Seattle in lovely Puyallup, Washington.

Lauren’s designs and her shop presentation have a rain-washed fresh and clean look and feel, a look that beautifully showcases the vintage materials from which she derives her inspiration.

Lauren says: “Using recycled and vintage materials is really important to me. It means what you find in my shop is unique and special, and the process by which it was created wasn't wasteful… Being a responsible caretaker of our world while I create things for you to love and enjoy is very important to me.”

In addition to sharing Lauren’s lovely designs, I want to share her story of how her Etsy shop began.

In Lauren’s words: “For quite a while I have had this desire in my heart to start an Etsy shop, but simply hadn't found the gusto yet. I walked into a coffee shop one fateful Sunday in March in Chicago where my husband and I were visiting, ordered my coffee, and slipped it into my coffee sleeve that I made that I always keep in my purse. A girl behind the counter commented on how much she loved that I had my own sleeve, and I told her that I make them.

She asks, Do you have an Etsy shop? No, I say, but I should, shouldn't I? Yes, she says, and hands me cash and her card and becomes my first sale and overall encouragement to begin my Etsy adventure.”

Inspiring, yes?  I hope you will enjoy a visit to The Big Green Giraffe to enjoy Lauren’s designs and perhaps you will find a little something, as Lauren says “…to make you smile…to make you happy. That’s what I love.”

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bumbershoot Supplies Vintage Bead Giveaway with A Bead A Day

Want some free vintage beads and cabochons?  Head on over to A Bead A Day, Lisa Crone's bead blog.

Bumbershoot Supplies is sponsoring a giveaway on A Bead A Day of all the items you see in the photo above and below. Leave a comment on Lisa's blog so she knows you are interested. The winner will be selected Friday, Sept 24, 2011.
And while you are on Lisa's blog, I hope you will enjoy a look around and also check out her book, A Bead in Time: 35 Jewelry Projects Inspired by Slices of Life.

Our daughter Emma and I were inspired by all the amethyst and purple tones we saw in the fall fashion issue of Vogue magazine to curate a collection of amethyst vintage beauties, complemented by a selection of our vintage glass pearls. As a group, these beads and cabochons date from the 1930's to the 1950's. You can learn more about the history of the round amethyst sew ons here.

The winner will receive the beads shipped directly from Bumbershoot Supplies, with our standard shipping confirmation email, and a tracking number if you are in the US.  Of course, international participants are very welcome to participate too!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dating Antique Glass Buckles from Vintage Czechoslovakia

I have mentioned elsewhere how much I appreciate the intersection of history, art and artisan craftsmanship that is exemplified by vintage beads and components.  I do enjoy discovering as much as I can about the history of our vintage supplies. These particular vintage, actually antique, glass buckles took me on a journey to Eastern Europe, to Czechoslovakia and Bohemia over 90 years ago.
These buckles are marked M. C. S. R.  The “M” is larger than the “CSR”.  Hard to see, and to photograph, but it's there.
A bit of time spent researching the history of Czechoslovakia, specifically the many names this region of the world has held over time, and I learned that from 1920 – 1938 Czechoslovakia’s formal name was Czechoslovak Republic, with the acronym CSR.  Bingo! Perhaps the “M” stands for “manufactured”. It is distinctly not part of the acronym “CSR” because it was specifically made to be larger than those letters.
We have these buckles listed as being from the 1930’s, but in fact they may be as old as 1920. In general, we like to be conservative in our estimates when we date our vintage supplies.  So in many cases, such as these buckles, the age of a particular bead, button or cabochon may be older than the date we provide.  The Bumbershoot Supplies website,, is a good resource, because information there is formatted to provide you with the date and place of origin of each supply, as well as links to these types of history blog posts for individual items, as these posts are written. 
If you ever have questions about any of our supplies, certainly feel free to email me, Sharon at and  I’ll do my best to provide any information we may have.

Products related to this history can be found right here at Bumbershoot Supplies.