Tag Archives: mirror locket

There’s a reason why…

…I haven’t written much lately. It’s because I have:

  1. finished a job
  2. packed up our house
  3. sold our house
  4. moved interstate
  5. unpacked our house
  6. bought a car
  7. found a new job
  8. started working in a new job.

Today was the first day since I arrived here in Brisbane a few weeks ago that I’ve had a moment to stop and relax (though I spent the day doing last year’s tax return). The reason for this lull? A cyclone has been lurking up further north, which sent two days of torrential rain down our way. You can’t really go anywhere unless you want to get drenched or slip off the road.

That does not mean I haven’t stopped making things. Au contraire. The local post office doesn’t know what has hit it, with all my parcels of treasures coming in from France and around the world. Here is some of what I’ve made.

Joan of Arc Necklace 1

Antique Assemblage Necklace featuring a rare Joan of Arc book locket, Lorraine cross, medal, antique mother of pearl rosary beads and antique chain.

I’ve been collecting Joan of Arc bits and pieces for over a year new. They are hard to come by and this necklace is chock full of very rare pieces. In particular, the book locket that is the centrepiece is quite a rare design. The photos inside are in great condition and they portray the life of this revered and popular French saint.

Joan of Arc book locket

I made another Joan of Arc piece, this time a more simple necklace that features a beautiful rosary chain with hand cut beads, little medallions and a lovely Joan of Arc mirror locket.

Joan of Arc Mirror locket necklace

The centrepiece was once a brooch and features a blue enamelled brooch that has the Lorraine cross and two griffins either side. A lovely, ornate piece. Here’s a close-up of the mirror locket.

Joan of Arc mirror locket

Spoon Earrings

And what about these delightful spoon earrings? I originally bought the spoons thinking that they were full size, and I was going to cut the tops off to use in an earring design. When they arrived I found that they were quite small – salt spoons. So I kept them intact and used them in this design with a simple embellishment of garnets and pearls. Here’s a closeup of the tops:

Spoon earrings detail

I absolutely love this sweet necklace. The chain is very ornate but quite dainty. An original photo brooch has been featured as the centrepiece, and the necklace also includes the original fob and clasps from the chain.

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Paris!

Ha! No, I am not going to Paris. I wish I was but my wings are clipped for now since I left my last job – the one that allowed me the chance to travel a bit during work trips. But what I have been doing is working on some of my personal Paris souvenir pieces and finally putting them into a design.

I had two special pieces that were laying around gathering dust – not a good thing for such rare and beautiful collectible treasures. So I set about making two necklaces with these lovelies. The two pieces in question are an early 1900s Paris souvenir mirror pendant, and a carnet de bal from the same era. I know they are from the same era because they have the same decoration on the front. You see this design on a lot of souvenir pieces – pill boxes, book lockets, mirror lockets, carnets des bals and brooches.

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The necklace pictured above is the mirror locket design. I made the chain by hand linking a favourite combination of gemstones and colours – green chrysoprase, silver pyrite and pearls. There is some very pretty antique chain in this design as well. I love the link above the pendant – it is from an old Paris souvenir bracelet and is quite unusual. I’ve not seen one in exactly that design before. It’s a fairly long necklace but is pictured double wrapped so you can see the back of the neck section and chain as well.

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The other necklace, pictured above, features a French carnet de bal and a handmade chain comprising a beautiful selection of gemstones – white topaz, orange chalcedony, blue apatite and pearls. I made the chain months ago and never attached it to anything. When I decided to use the carnet de bal on a necklace I found this chain again and thought it would make the perfect match to this pendant.

I’ve not been entirely selfish with my making this week. There are a few new things already listed in my shop and a few more to go in soon. A recent favourite design is this bird necklace. I used a mid-century celluloid bird for the pendant and combined it with a vintage rhinestone bow and lovely shabby, chippy old glass pearls. There is a feeling of faded grandeur about this design. I love it! But I won’t keep it.

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I also made a longer glass pearl necklace with this delightful Marie Antoinette brass stamping. I believe it would have originally been used on a belt or coat buckle. Now it makes an elegant focal point for this design that also features old cut glass beads, lovely vintage brass beads, glass pearl chain and glass rosary chain.

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Finally, here is a very special pair of earrings. They were months in the making because I waited to find two identical buttons for this design. Yes, they are buttons! They are Art Nouveau era, so they date to the turn of the century 1900. The design is very fine and detailed and is typically ‘nouveau’. To bring some spring colour into the design I used lush pink sapphires and green apatite. They’re not cheap, but they are absolutely one-of-a-kind and incredibly beautiful.

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Spring Cleaning

To say I am spring cleaning is very much wishful thinking because we are still in the thick of winter. But we felt like a bit of a tidy up and reorganisation of the living room. As I was doing this I came across some things I have scattered around the room that I thought would be nice to photograph.

This Michael Cutlip original sits on a shelf above the kitchen sink. I really love the colours and naivety of the piece.

And a reminder of what’s most important in life.

A part of my collection of Clarice Cliff Art Deco ceramics. I love the shapes.

How’s this great old fan? We found it at the Camberwell Market. It was dirty and oily and dusty and when we cleaned it up and did some research we found out that it is a rare industrial age (1920s) fan which if working can sell for close to $1,000. We just love the shape and style of it – it’s very heavy.

When I was in my teens I used to save up my pocket money and go trawling through the big old antique markets that used to be on the outskirts of the city centre. They are now long gone and I often think about some of the great things I should have bought but never did. I did have a thing for old books, and here are some that I still have.

And here is one old book serving as a prop for my newest design – an Edwardian carved bone mirror locket long necklace. The locket is of exceptional quality and was quite expensive to buy, so the price of this piece is also relatively high. The chain is of hand-linked gemstones – orange garnet and black spinel. It’s a lovely, stately piece reminescent of Downton Abbey.


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