Monday, October 28, 2013

November's Birthstone: Topaz

Topaz Vintage Swarovski Crystal Rhinestone Navette.
November's birthstone is topaz.
The gemstone topaz comes in a couple of general color hues: "imperial" or "precious" topaz in shades of yellow, orange, and pink, and the blue topaz.  When it comes to vintage glass, generally the term "topaz" refers to the color of the glass, specifically the golden yellow shades and their variants.  We have a large collection of faux topaz glass at Bumbershoot Supplies and Bumbershoot Designs.

Dark Topaz Vintage Teardrop Rhinestone Earrings.
Light Topaz Vintage Swarovski Crystal Rose Montees.
Topaz Vintage Swarovski Crystal Diamond Shaped Rhinestones.
Real topaz gemstones are often mistaken with similarly colored quartz. Smokey topaz is often mislabeled quartz. In vintage glass, smokey topaz is a unique color that has been made into many spectacular cabochons and rhinestones.

Smoked Topaz Vintage Glass Cabochons.
Light Smoked Topaz Vintage Swarovski Octagon Rhinestones.
Smoked Topaz Vintage Deco Glass Rectangles.
Sometimes we'll come across vintage glass labeled as "Madeira" topaz; so named for it's deep reddish tones, reminiscent of the wine. Madeira topaz is a color unique to vintage glass stones - it is not an official color of topaz gemstones. 

Madeira Topaz Vintage Octagon Rhinestone.
Madeira Topaz Vintage Swarovski Rhinestones.
Madeira Topaz Vintage Swarovski Rhinestones. 

Topaz is Utah's state gemstone and blue topaz is the state gemstone for Texas. Topaz has been said to be a symbol of friendship. 

Topaz Vintage Swarovski Crystal Rhinestone Earrings.
Blue and Topaz Vintage Rhinestone Necklace with Dragonfly.
In 1870 Tiffany & Co. published a birthstone poem in one of their pamphlets. The poem for November goes: 
"Who first comes to this world below
In dreary November's fog and snow, 
Should prize the topaz amber hue, 
Emblem of friends and lovers true."

Topaz with Aurora Borealis Coating Vintage Swarovski Octagon Rhinestones.
For friendly inspiration, we invite you to browse our vintage faux topaz collections!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Featured Artist: Gesine of GesineArt - The Purple Bumblebee on Artfire

Our latest featured artist is the multi-talented Gesine of GesineArt-The Purple Bumblebee!
Gesine's designs caught my eye because of their interesting use of layers of filigrees, rhinestones, cabochons and beads.

A lot of Gesine's jewelry is inspired by Victorian motifs and old European royalty. Gesine says she creates "Unique pieces reminiscent of the Renaissance and Victorian times, with a playful twist of fairytales, fables, heraldry and nature themes".

This demi-parure is inspired by a necklace worn by Queen Anne of Austria.

This necklace is inspired by Victorian poet Lord Tennyson's poem "The Lady of Shalott". Just look at the layers!
"Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott."

Not only is Gesine a talented jewelry maker, she also creates gorgeous hand painted ornaments.

This ornament has beautiful bleeding hearts, a favorite flower of ours that is currently blooming here in the Pacific Northwest.
We hope you'll enjoy a visit over to Gesine's Artfire Store, to be inspired by Gesine's designs and their unique stories. Gesine only makes 2 of each of her designs, so perhaps you may find a unique holiday gift or a treasure for yourself!


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Book Review: Liberace Extravaganza!

Our latest addition to our bookshelf came about when we purchased thousands of vintage rhinestones from long time Las Vegas costumer Jan Jewett. She and Connie Furr Soloman wrote this book, Liberace Extravaganza! and Jan was kind enough to provide us with a signed copy.
Authorized by the Liberace Foundation, this book explores not only Liberace's life story, but the people and clothes that helped him craft his signature image. In fact, you might want to skip to the back of the book when you first get your hands on it. It is there you will find spectacular full page close ups of his costumes, organized by the decade during which the costume was created and worn. Thousands and thousands of rhinestones, sequins, glass and acrylic pearls, seed beads, mirrored cabochons, and crystal beads adorn everything from boots to lace cuffs.
Once you're done oohing and aahing, be sure to go back to the beginning of the book and read about the lives of the people who made it all happen.
Similar to when we visited Mary Wilson's Supremes costume exhibit, it is exciting to see some of the beautiful items we stock at Bumbershoot Supplies in action in these outlandishly marvelous clothes. This book is a phenomenal inspiration for anyone who loves costuming or beading or who just loves rhinestones, glitter and glam.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bumbershoot Designs and Supplies October 2013 Special for Newsletter Subscribers

Autumn leaves OR jack-o-lanterns and Halloween bats, free with purchase!
This October we couldn't decide which vintage cabochons to give our newsletter subscribers, so we're giving them their choice! If you can't wait for Halloween, then you might choose the vintage foil backed smilin' jack-o-lanterns and fanged bats. Or perhaps you love how autumn turns the leaves into shades like our vintage ruby and topaz cabochons.

Our newsletter subscribers can choose one of these samplers, free with any purchase at Bumbershoot Supplies or Bumbershoot Designs.  See your October 1 and October 15 newsletters for details and the coupon code.

Also, don't forget your 1-time free shipping offer that you received when you signed up for our newsletter.

And YES, you can combine specials. So you can have the vintage cabochons of your choice, plus the free shipping code you received upon signing up for the newsletter in the same order!

Not yet a newsletter subscriber? You can read past issues and you can sign up right here and get your free shipping and vintage cabochon sampler at your next purchase!