The Women’s Travel Fest

I’ve always loved seeking out antique markets while traveling but when I started going on buying trips for my antique jewelry business a few years ago this became the focus of my travels, and finding great markets became critically important. Unfortunately, I found much of the information online and in guidebooks to be poor.  So I decided to fill that vacuum and share my discoveries on this blog and make it a resource for antique dealers, collectors, and travelers with a love of antiques. read more

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Building a Library of Jewelry Books: Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, and Jugendstil

art nouveauThe turn of the 20th century saw an explosion of new design movements throughout the world.  These movements go by different names in different countries:  Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, Jugendstil, Secessionist, Wiener Werkstatte, Sconvirke.  These movements also coincide with, or overlap, the Edwardian era which is named for the reign of King Edward VII in England (1901-1910).

art nouveau
Skonvirk Brooch

With the exception of Edwardian jewelry with its delicate tracery of diamonds and platinum, the other design movements are often characterized by the minimal use of precious materials; the emphasis instead is on flowing lines (sometimes contrasted with hard-edged geometry), color, and symbolism.  There are several excellent books on jewelry of this era: read more

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Antiquing in Florida: Summary Post

I’ve written several blog posts about antiquing in Florida and have created this post as a summary with links to all of the posts. I’ve also taken this as an opportunity to update some information in posts that were written last year.

Antiquing in Florida:  Antique Row, West Palm Beach
antique row
D. Brett Benson  Jewelry
Antiquing In Florida:  Palm Beach
Deja Vu
Deja Vu
Antiquing in Florida: Thrift Shops of Palm Beach County
Thrift shop
Palm Beach Gardens Goodwill
Antiquing in Florida:  Lake Worth
BKG Antique Mall
BKG Antique Mall
Antiquing in Florida:  Mount Dora
Mount Dora
Renninger’s Extravaganza
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Links From Around the Web: the Jewelry of Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey
Lady Violet’s Russian-inspired Tiara

There’s a fun article in the most recent newsletter of the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) about the jewelry created for the TV show Downton Abbey.  The article includes an interview with Andrew Prince, the jewelry designer for the show, where he discusses the historical precedents and inspirations for the jewelry and features lots of tiaras and hair jewelry.   Make sure to click on the the text at the bottom of each photo in the slide show to get detailed info about each piece shown: read more

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Antiquing in Florida: Mount Dora

Three times a year Mount Dora, Florida becomes a major destination for antique-lovers.  This is when Renninger’s, the famed Pennsylvania antique show promoter, hold their Extravaganzas.

Renninger’s Extravaganza

Taking place in November, January, and February, Renninger’s Mount Dora Extravaganzas live up to their name with about 800 dealers from all over the country selling vintage and antique wares.  The Extravaganzas go on rain or shine; while not as pleasant in the rain, many of the dealers are set up in indoor spaces and covered sheds making it possible to get some serious antiquing done even when it’s raining (and being Florida, the rain usually passes quickly).  It’s also fairly spread out with some booths climbing a gentle hill, so be prepared for a lot of walking. read more

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Francesca Pastine: Totem

My friend Francesca Pastine is a talented artist whose creativity never fails to amaze me.  Whether she is working in a conventional medium like oil paint, or less conventional media, she manages to produce work that is both beautiful and meaningful. For several years she has been working on a series called the Artforum Excavations.  In these works she cuts and folds Artforum magazines and transforms them into art objects.

Her earliest works in this series remind me of topographic maps, with hills and valleys carved from the pages of the magazine. read more

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Adventures in Canning: Spicy Pickled Carrots

carrotsThis post was written by my friend Amy with whom I have been doing cooking projects, at times on a monthly basis, for about five years.  At the time we were participating in the Tigress Can Jam, a year-long (2010) food blogger’s challenge, with me as a non-blogging participant.  Some of the participants have gone on to food blogging fame and successful cookbook-writing careers including Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars, Kate Payne of the Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking,  and Ashley English of Small Measure. read more

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Building a Library of Jewelry Books: Victorian

Victorian
Victorian Pearl Pendant

During the Victorian era (1837-1901) a series of major inventions, discoveries, and movements influenced the design of jewelry.  The industrial revolution allowed jewelry to be manufactured at lower cost and in greater quantities than ever before, and thus become available to a wider segment of the population.  In the mid-19th century, after 200 years of isolation, foreign merchant ships began to visit Japan and Japanese design had a major impact on jewelry and the decorative arts in the latter half of the 19th century.  In the 1870’s diamonds were discovered in South Africa and this, combined with the invention of a torch hot enough to work platinum, greatly affected the look of jewelry for the next several decades.  On the other hand, the Arts and Crafts movement arose as a reaction to the industrial revolution, and looked back toward a romanticized view of the middle ages (this will be the subject of its own blog post). read more

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Collecting Without Clutter

Collecting
Vintage earrings, mirror, tray and dresser

When friends from the vintage world visit my house for the first time a comment that I frequently hear is “It’s so uncluttered”.  And it’s true:  while I’m in no way a minimalist, I don’t like clutter.  However that doesn’t mean that I don’t like collecting, in fact I collect a wide range of stuff:  jewelry, clothing, furniture, art, ceramics, glass, textiles, rugs and more.  However, I consider myself a collector with a lower case “c”: I don’t collect systematically, I just collect what I like and use.  Here are some of my tips for how to collect what you love, yet limit and contain the clutter. read more

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Notes from Around the Web: Women and Fashion in WWI

WWI
Pre-war dress

The Kent State Museum contains an important collection of fashion and mounts exhibits with the goal of understanding world cultures through lens of fashion, textiles, and related arts.

WWI
Dress from 1918 with Shorter Silhouette


Their current exhibit (through July 5, 2015) is The Great War:  Women and Fashion in a World at War about changes in women’s fashions in response to WWI. The exhibit curator has produced a series of four 3-4 minute videos that show how women’s fashions changed in response to changes in women’s roles during the war and availability of materials: read more

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For Lovers of Antique Jewelry and Traveling the World to Find It