Thanks for all your kind comments on my china cabinet! I am still livin' for and lovin' it, but it was great to hear feedback from you guys. I'm working my way backwards in terms of what I got at the flea market this weekend--these finds were actually from Friday. I almost never go to the flea market on its first day, but I happened to have the afternoon off and was curious to see what kinds of things are there when everybody else is at work. Turns out, about half the vendors, and a lot of curious people who also don't have work on Friday. About half as many stalls were set up as they would be on Saturday, but I think that was more owing to the crazy unpredictable weather this spring has sprung on us than any particular trend in flea market set ups.
Anyway! Look what I got:
This charm bracelet was in the Antiques Alley building in a booth that always has the most amazing, ENORMOUS vintage costume brooches and necklaces, and is ALWAYS running a 50%-60% off sale. Which means that the prices are already marked as about twice what they should be, but hey, I like even the illusion of a bargain. And with the prices half off, how was I going to ignore it! Plus, the guy running it was super nice. This bracelet was marker $40, so ended up being $16 (not bad, not bad!). I passed on another bracelet with buckle-sized scenes of Paris on it (too corroded, and it was $10 more), but that old "TREAT. YO. SELF." weekend voice whispered in my ear and I bought it. Look at all the crazy little charms, too! I have five or six charm bracelets, but never one where the charms are so densely packed they jingle loudly as you type or adjust your glasses. I love that sound!!
Closeups of some of the charms:
There are thirteen in all (lucky me), and include in this photo a sterling collie dog, a globe-like bauble, a shriner's fez, a round pendant marked "I Love You", this weird Santa medallion, and a lady Mason's Eastern Star charm dated "11-16-76" on the back (I guess her initiation date ? Or when she married a Mason? Who can say?). The shriner hat and the dog were the main reasons I was sold on the bracelet, besides its bargain basement price. I couldn't find anything with a similar number of charms and of this quality for under $35, so maybe the booth guy's original price wasn't far off the mark! Because I can't add, I was in the throes of misery for a good twenty minutes after buying this as I thought the price on it was $35 and that I had overpaid by two bucks...later in the car, trying on my trinket, I saw the $40 price tag and went "OH, duh, that price was correct." Why do I always think people are out to gyp me? The high anxiety of second hand buying sometimes wreaks a little havoc on my delicate psyche. Being a pennypincher, I am ALWAYS on the lookout for how I could miscalculate and not have the bought the right thing for the right price! C'est la guerre, I guess!
The charm with the monogram almost looks like a little "L" and a big "H", doesn't it? Which would be my initials now that I'm married! Upon further inspection, though, it looks like it might be a "LFC" instead (Bob Barker sad trombone music). There's the outline of possible a school house? Two, count 'em TWO horse charms, a round charm marked "Popp's Ferry School 1966-1969", a Beta Sigma Phi key charm, and a graduate's cap. Popp's Ferry is an elementary school in Biloxi, MS, which makes me wonder if it was once a high school, or if the person who had this charm bracelet taught there rather than attended that school from 1966-1969 (that would make the school house make sense, too!). I'm trying to decide if I want to detach some of these charms and add some of my own, or just keep the crazy kit and caboodle as it is. For now, I am so enjoying rattling around the library with these tinny little clankers on my wrist!
Earring wise, I bought these four pair for $2 apiece, and aren't I pleased with myself:
SO! MIDECENTURY! I dug through a tray in one of the sheds for a good ten minutes comparing ones I liked and picking through ones I didn't, but all of them were great, really. The ones in the bottom right hand corner are my favorite because I think the black and the little atomic-ish rhinestones will go well with practically anything, but I've only worn the gold and the pearl-and-rhinestone ones so far (the latter I have on at work today, along with the charm bracelet...blinging it OUT). The best though, is that the earrings in the upper left hand corner are part of a set with a necklace, which put me out a whopping six additional dollars...so for eight bucks, I got a bonafide set of aurora borealis costume jewelery! Take a look at this bizarre Instagram selfie I took after the flea, doesn't it look like something arty from an old Life magazine circa 1968? All I need is a black light poster behind me and the words "THINK" or some such in bold print at the bottom:
I have been looking for a set like this for awhile now-- I have a pair of heavy clip-on earrings that are a cluster of these kind of rainbow-stones, but it wasn't until I spent some time window shopping on ebay that I learned there's a term for this kind of rhinestone, which is "aurora borealis" (after the northern lights). Also, I learned that I was not going to be able to buy these online-- any time a seller knows the name of something they're selling (ie "Paul McCobb designed design" or "Vintage Schiaparelli MARKED earrings"), you know that drives the price up by about TWICE. And if you can't search by what it's actually called, it's like finding a needle in a haystack to grab something you want for a price you can afford! You can read more about the history of the jewelry treatment process (which involved Christian Dior going to Swarovski crystals to create something, well, "new" to go with his New Look designs in the early 1950's) here and here-- I was fascinated by the back story on how these gorgeous things came into being! And now I can wear them with a little bit more knowledge in my head about them, which you know just feeds my nerdy little heart. :)
Bonus: photo of my shadow and my dad's shadow across this old Pepsi-promotional restaurant sign... I would like a fifty cent "milk shak", but no slaw, thank you. I liked the letters (and the missing ones, too!) as much as the sign itself:
Ok, ok, enough about me-- how about you? Do you collect costume jewelry of a particular kind, or are you like me where anything goes as far as whatever your magpie eye spies goes into the collection? What's the best "score" you've made recently? Are you more into bracelets, necklaces, or earrings? I feel like earrings and bracelets are far easier to wear for me than necklaces, but it changes, and Lord knows I will not pass up a good bargain on a good piece no matter what my inclinations.
Gotta get back to work, but have a great Tuesday, and we'll talk tomorrow! Take care of yourselves, and I'll see you then!