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Friday, April 25, 2008

I Love Lucy (and vintage jewels!)

Looks like Lucy, but it's not! I was perusing the May issue of Country Home Magazine when I came across an advertisement for Armstrong laminate flooring. What caught my eye was not the Lucy look alike, but the gorgeously large vintage rhinestone brooch! Here's a closeup shot:When I was in Arcola, Illinois shopping with my sister 2 weeks ago, I found a beautiful brooch look alike at an antique shop. My generous sister purchased it and other vintage pieces for me! Here is a photo of my brooch look alike:I'm hoping my treasure is a Weiss brooch. Albert Weiss was a jewelry designer in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. The Weiss Company was founded in NYC in 1942 and closed its doors in 1971. The company offered high quality costume jewelry with Austrian rhinestones of the highest quality and clarity. Weiss jewelry is highly sought after by many collectors today.If a jewel is marked Weiss on the back, it may or may not be indicative of an authentic Weiss piece. There was a period of time when many designers did not mark their pieces. In fact, a majority of vintage, especially antique (pre-1930) pieces are unsigned. My brooch is not marked Weiss, but I'm hoping mine is one of those unsigned pieces! Here's a quick tutorial on how to spot authentic Weiss jewelry:
  1. Authentic Weiss jewelry has a smooth rhodium plated back which is quite pretty. A fake Weiss piece has a textured back which is not as appealing to the eye. Here are 2 photos of the back of my unsigned brooch:
2. Buy from only reputable dealers. If the dealer has a large stock of Weiss pieces with several of an identical piece, buy elsewhere. Weiss pieces are hard to come by, so if a dealer has a large quantity in pristine condition, the pieces were probably mass produced after 1971 when Weiss stopped production.I purchased my brooch from a reputable dealer in Chicago who had only one other Weiss piece for sale. My sister bought that one for me also! It is a smaller brooch, but it is marked Weiss, has the smooth rhodium plated back and it's brilliance is almost blinding! Here are some photos:I hope you enjoyed "Vintage Weiss 101" in a nutshell. More vintage jewels to come! Ladies, look through your old jewelry before you sell them in your next yard sale. You may have some Weiss definitely worth keeping!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Second Best Way to Enjoy Desserts!

Let's join Cielo at her Dessert Carnival!

Here's how it works:
  1. Leave a comment and your link on Cielo's blog.
  2. Send photos of your dessert to Cielo via email.
  3. Copy and paste the above image on your blog
  4. On April 30, log onto Cielo's blog and enjoy the fun!
My dessert entry is nothing fancy, but something tasty: APPLE PIE!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Shabby Chic Revised

SHABBY CHIC. It's a household name among decorators. We know and love the look. We aspire to it. We never tire of it. WE LOVE IT!

When asked what is my decorating style I tire of saying, "Shabby Chic." Am I alone? I wish I could be more creative in my response.
While reading an article in the April issue of House Beautiful, I was enlightened! The article describes with eloquent detail, famous furniture collections and their designers. Here are a few:

Tailored, imaginative riffs on the past with a jolt of now.

Understated glamour.

A fresh breath of Zen.

Stately reproductions with archival detail.

Warm modernism with sexy curves.

Loose adaptations of English Country.

High-style pieces with all the social graces for a new generation.

Urbane glamour, nipped and tucked in all the right places.

A memoir in wood --sun-baked, generous and quintessentially Tuscan.

Neoclassical style with lean, modern manners.

Beautifully crafted, modern forms infused with the richest materials.

Impeccable, always surprising pieces from the arbiter of domestic perfection.

I'm longing for a descriptive phrase for shabby chic. Any ideas? Here are some of mine:

A feminine palette of pink charm.

Pink sophistication with dash of whimsy.

Fabulous and functional, yet dainty and sweet.

(Only one expression can describe this: Ahhhhh....)

Comfort at it's finest hour.

Cottage charm and refined sophistication.

Endearing details with roses for the final blush.

A romantic white palette with a touch of pink.

A bed of roses rooted in a pretty pink palette.

What is your best descriptive phrase for "Shabby Chic?"

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thank You, Debbie Kay!

Thank you, Debbie Kay, for visiting me! I had much fun chatting and laughing while sipping java together! You can imagine my delight when I saw you opening my front gate with a beautiful pink gift bag on your arm! How did you know that I love anything PINK?!
The silk florals and vase are perfect! The pink and green rose fabric is gorgeous! I love the pink paisley tissue packs, too! Thank you for my gifts!

Debbie Kay is a customer and fellow blogger. "Meeting" others on websites and blogs is enjoyable, but definitely no match to meeting face to face. My visit with Debbie Kay is proof! You can visit her at My Vintage Daydreams!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thank You, TC!

TC, thank you SO MUCH for my planter! This beautiful planter arrived one day outside of my garage. It's not a resin replica, but the real thing (100% cement!) I practically broke my back trying to move it! I can't believe you and Melonie transported it to my home! My new planter blends in nicely with the rest of my garden photos on Flickr!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, TC!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

If I Were a Jewel. . . .

JEWEL OF THE MONTHIf I were a jewel, I would be a PINK DIAMOND!

The thought of jewels came to me when Sandy at My Lu La Belles graciously asked me to be her April JEWEL OF THE MONTH! Sandy features our humble pink abode on video! Thank you, Sandy! When you have time to browse, visit Sandy's blog and website. She creates the most exquisite vintage jewel photo frames I have ever seen AND other beautiful treasures!

If you were a jewel, what would you be?