..........a blog about food, travel, gardening, and living the good life in Arizona.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I love blue and white...

...in flow blue china and blue willow plates and toille and decorative tiles and Monet dinnerware (they all remind me of France). So when I saw these blue and white carpet balls at the auction, I knew they had to be mine. Lucky for me no one else was loving blue and white that day so I bought the entire dozen for $2.00. This winter I'll display them in a white lotus-leaf bowl or maybe this orange basket. In the Spring, I'll add some fresh lemons... love blue, white and yellow together, a sweet mix.

As to what they really are... I had no idea beyond a faded memory of seeing them in decorating magazines nestled in baskets and bowls, just for nice. It was only after researching them that I learned they actually had a purpose way back when. In the Victorian parlor, refined ladies and gentlemen would arrange the balls like pins across the carpet for indoor bowling.... thus, carpet balls came to be. Actually sounds more like indoor bocce ball, but hey, I don't argue with experts. Mine are ceramic reproductions, of course... the original ones were made of glazed hard-fired clay decorated in a variety of colors, often in plaids and stripes (not the chintz patterns like mine). So just in case you ever run across one or two at a thrift shop or auction, snap them up, they're worth around $100.00 a piece in good condition. And if you find a blue and white one, let me know.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Vintage Bling!

My treasure trove of vintage jewelry was a Christmas gift from my son-in-law who refurbishes foreclosed and abandoned properties in Denver, CO. This stuffed jewelry box along with some beautiful vintage linens and aprons were in a box he had tossed in the dumpster during his cleanup. Out of nowhere, a vintage angel (or deva) tapped him on the shoulder and reminded him of his MIL's love of all things vintage. {thank you deva} He retrieved the box and gave it to me... one of the best presents ever! In my box of vintage treasures: a copper bracelet and earring set, signed Renoir; a jet bead and rhinestone necklace and earring set, signed Vendome; a great hippy coin necklace; a silver filigree bracelet; a pair of poodle scatter pins; a 14K gold Abon glove clip; a silver cuff bracelet (I wear this all the time now); and the best for last, a one-inch wide rhinestone bracelet, signed Weiss.

Sympathetic collectors can surely understand why I haven't posted anything lately... I've been researching all this jewelry and trying to figure out what I've got here. It's been so fun, but time consuming! Alas, some of these pieces are destined for ebay and etsy soon (sometime soon) and a few I'll keep and wear... often thinking about the woman who bought or was gifted this jewelry. Did she buy that rhinestone bracelet for a special occasion or was it a gift from her husband or lover? And what about that hippy necklace and the hand-painted souvenir bracelet from somewhere? Vintage jewelry has so many stories to tell....