Friday, 19 December 2014

Earrings Everyday - December

Breaking Wave is an anamorphic kinetic sculpture created for Biogen-Idec's new headquarters in Cambridge, MA. The sculpture was created by Plebian Design and Hypersonic.

As you can see from the above picture, this month's 'We're All Ears' inspiration comes from a video clip of the creation of an anamorphic kinetic sculpture - it's just too clever for words! wee brain simplified this right down to focus on the idea of kinetic movement. I forged some silver hoops and inter linked them so that they can slide through each other.  To mimic the balls used in the video I wire wrapped on a couple of tiny copper beads and I also oxidised the silver slightly for a more gunmetal look.  I might just wear these this weekend, hoop earrings always put me in a party mood...

'kinetic' hoops

I hope you all have a wonderful Festive Season ...but don't go away just yet, click here to get back to Earrings Everyday to enjoy more creations inspired by this months sculptural science kind of theme....xx

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Grey Stormy Days

We're apparently being 'weather bombed' at the moment here in the UK.  It's not really so bad here as we are in a sheltered bay but I hate stretches of days like this when the sky and sea are grey and the wind whistles non stop around the house.

grey, grey and more grey

 At least someone has got the right idea....

Cats have a natural ability to cope with cold weather!

So as I'm stuck indoors and still in my pyjamas (OK, I'm procrastinating about writing up the Christmas cards), I made a wee collage of things from Etsy I hope Santa brings me....

My Christmas List

I hope he gets my letter in time...xx

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Vintage Jewellery Finds (Nov 14)

So...this week I have some items of vintage jewellery to show you. First is this very pretty little enamel blue bird holding a little diamante in it's beak.  The C clasp is a clue to it's age and dates it to pre 1950's.  Just to keep your attention here's some wee snippets of information for you: the bluebird is a nautical symbol for good luck and it is universally accepted that the bluebird symbolises cheerfullness, prosperity and good health.  In Korea they have a myth that the bluebird is sent to flutter round humans and report back to the gods - hence the saying 'a little bird told me....'  Good to know eh?

Blue bird brooch
I'm really rather pleased with this next one.  It's a sterling silver bar brooch designed by Thomas L Mott from around the 1930's.  It's a lovely Art Deco style (I am not an expert on jewellery by the way) with a green glass, faux jade 'flower'. I am particularly fond of the abstract leaves and may have to incorporate that idea into my own jewelry if I ever make anything again. Pretty...

Art Deco Style Brooch designed by Thomas L Mott

And lookee here...a thistle....which of course I'm fond of because I'm Scottish!   This one was designed by Ward Brothers who were popular makers of good quality 20th century costume jewellery and of course Scottish too.  This one is sterling silver, it's very petite and I like that colour of glass.

Ward Brothers Thistle Brooch

Yes, of course I want to keep them all, especially after I came across this picture on Pinterest recently of a very cool lady wearing many brooches to adorn her vintage style outfit.   I was very taken with this idea, especially attaching one to the bottom of a garment and may have to adopt a similar look.  Anyhow after some investigation I learned that she is Julie Arkell a much esteemed UK folk artist.  I have now become a firm admirer of her quirky and fun designs (not just jewellery), each piece tells it's own story and the more you look, the more clever details emerge.   I couldn't find a link for her own website but did find this fun old BBC clip, click here to watch if you have time to browse! 
I would never have thought of pinning a brooch at the bottom of a garment....
 See you  soon...xx

Monday, 1 December 2014

Vintage Lace Hankerchiefs

I am currently rekindling an interest in sewing and as I have always had a soft spot for beautiful hand embroidered vintage linens, I was delighted when my brother brought me a box of vintage lace hankerchiefs.  Some of them are labelled as being the work of orphans from the Infant Jesus Society in India from the 1960's and others have tags to say that they are from the CSI Lace Industry in Nagercoil (also in India), a project to assist women and girls to stitch lace in their own homes.  The lace is beautiful although sadly the labels have been sewn on and have slightly damaged the centre of each hankie by leaving little holes.  I am in two minds whether to keep them and be unspeakably cruel by running them through a rolling mill to texture silver or put them in my shop in the hope that a lover of lace will buy them to cherish.....what do you think?

Infant Jesus Orphanage Society I.H. of M
Underneath the hankies, I found this little set of applique sew ons of the Three Bears eating their porridge.  I want to keep those too but I've no idea what I'd do with them.  That's the trouble with having a vintage shop, I want to keep it all - I think I'm in grave danger of becoming a hoarder!

Mamma Bear, Pappa Bear and Baby Bear

...and finally here is a selection of vintage detachable shirt collars.  Have a wee wander into Pinterest to see the crafting possibilities these have.  I am going to try and hunt down a couple of vintage leather collar boxes for them which would make them look lovely on display....

vintage detachable shirt collars

So...these are my finds for this week.  Until the next time....xx

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Hornsea Piggy Banks

Ok, I'm closing up shop for the run up to Christmas as I'm too busy with family stuff at this time of year, but I have loads of new lovelies to list starting on Boxing Day.  As I'm a nice person I'll let you have a sneaky peak over the next few weeks.   I'm changing the look of my shop a bit too by introducing some more of my own creations crafted from upcycled vintage items. It's not just jewellery...

First up, here are two couples.  I can never resist these little Hornsea piggy banks, although they are surprisingly small, they are full of character.  Here's an interesting fact for you:  although these piggies were designed by Hornsea and most likely by John Clappison, they did donate the moulds to a neighbouring factory (Scarborough Pottery) who then made them in different sizes and hand painted them in their own style.  I have only ever seen them listed as 'Hornsea' though so it's always a dilemma to know how to describe them without being misleading.

Hornsea Piggy Banks
I really love these little tinplate wind up toys especially the little bird.   I am wary of winding them up too far in case I break them but two twists of the key has set them both of for at least 10 seconds...the bird pecks and the duck swims (is it a duck or a goose?). The duck is marked on it's underside with Inakita, made in Japan.

Tinplate wind up birds

The little bird is so photogenic, with just enough tarnish to give him a wise and wordly air.  I am very tempted to keep him...

Sorry about the dark photos but although it's mid morning, it is one of those typical drizzly damp Scottish days with very little light getting through.  I managed to spot one patch of sun out at sea!!

Check back in a few days to see what's coming next...xx

Friday, 21 November 2014

We're All Ears - November


Hello, it's been a while!  Sorry to confuse everyone, I'm signing in as FionasGotVintage rather than FishyMoonDesigns for the time being. is my effort for this month based on the lovely animated clip and pictures above.  I drew my inspiration from the contrast between the earthy colours of the girl (actually I thought she was a boy!) and her surroundings, against the spiritual greys and whites of the mystical  creature.  I made highly polished silver circles to represent the whiteness of the 'dragon' and for contrast I used ceramic beads by Rey from Greybirdstudio who captures natural textures so well don't you think? They look like real timeworn pebbles.   I have also included african terracotta beads with a couple of tiny green amazonite and czech glass seed beads thrown into the mix too.   And look...I finally used thread! I have always greatly admired the way that many of the participants of this blog hop have used thread or fabrics in their designs but I've never been able to make it work for this month I moved out of my comfort wasn't so bad, I might even do it again sometime!

To get back to Earrings Everyday click here and for those of you across the pond who are enduring the terrible snowstorm we've been hearing about on the news - Stay Safe and Take Care!  Until the next time ...xx

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Cleaning up Vintage Eyeglass Frames

I scored a job lot of vintage eyeglasses this week.  Amongst them were some lovely cat eye styles.  They were all a bit grubby with green verdigris on the metal parts and the cases were really dusty and gritty too so I scoured the internet in search of some advice.  I opted to try this recipe and it worked really well, sorry I didn't think to take 'before' photos, but here are the 'afters'.....nice and shiny just like new again...

vintage cat eyes

By the way, it is possible to get your prescription lenses or clear plastic put into vintage frames
but you may have to ask around first as some of the chain opticians don't like to (no profit). There are online companies who specialise in this but expect to be asked to sign a waiver accepting the risk that the old plastic may have dried out with age and be at risk of cracking during the fitting process.  You should also bear in mind that vintage specs were made smaller than today's styles so always check your measurements from the supplier against one of your own pairs.  I found handy info on how to measure frames here.

To save you a journey round cyberspace here are the cleaning instructions I followed:
  1. Fill a bowl with warm water and add a dash of mild washing up liquid and 2 tsp of baking soda
  2. Swish it all up until it's foamy
  3. Soak the frames for a few minutes then dip a lint free soft cloth in the mixture and gently wash the frames.  Then take a cotton bud and/or an old toothbrush to gently clean the crevices.  The verdigris should come away easily.
  4. You can also leave them to soak overnight in the mixture and complete the cleaning process in the morning.  
  5. Always dry thoroughly but gently using a soft lint free cloth.
 If anyone has any other cleaning tips for eyeglasses feel free to chip in!  These ones are now available in my Etsy shop.... 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Little Birdie Goes to Hollywood (well almost)!

Those of you who visited me on my FishyMoonDesigns Blog may remember this little guy.....

Well, look what he's been up to....

I'm so proud of him...and Jess Thristan is definitely a singer to look out for!!


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Great Vintage Book Find - Advice For New Brides

The Brides Book by Dorothy Stote
I found this great book recently, it's from the 1930's and is an advice manual for new brides, as you can see Muriel likes it too.  It contains information on planning a wedding, setting up a new home, recipes and all manner of other things. What really caught my interest was the advertisements from that era many of which are lovely black and white and colour glossy photographs.  There is even a section at the back of the book which contains postcards for the bride to send off for more information to the manufacturers.  It really reflects the expectations of British middle class women from that era, even the language used is very correct.  It's a fabulous social history reference, written by Dorothy Stote who was a well known authoress on matters of fashion and interior decorating, even for men!  I'm on the hunt for more of her books but yikes, they are pricey, I think I got lucky.  Take a peek...  

some of the lovely adverts

...and below is sound advice ladies, you need to listen up.  This is clearly where I keep getting it wrong...

advice for the new bride

You can of course find this book in my etsy shop....

Thanks for visiting  xx

Tuesday, 30 September 2014


Hello and welcome to my new blog.  Some of you may have already visited me on my other blog FishyMoonDesigns.  Why am I here now?  Well my jewellery shop is temporarily closed and my organised mind found it too weird to blog about vintage stuff in my jewellery space. I'm still making jewellery but for now I am using vintage components or materials and upcycling them into more contemporary pieces. Like so...

Long Chain Pendants using Nuvo vintage charms

and so...
Upcycling vintage Nuvo charms
You can find them in the upcycled section of my vintage shop.  You may notice this lady in the background of many of my  photos.  This is Muriel, she's a little bit grubby, a bit worse for wear but still has a sweet expression.  She was rescued from Ebay but is settling in nicely...


....and this is Evie who was rescued about the same time (but not from Ebay).


She is settling in well too.  The rest of us in the house are a bit camera shy but that should bring you all up to speed for now.  Sorry, I'm not very 'wordy' but if you enjoy vintage then do keep stopping by to see what I've found....or made...