Monday, August 1, 2011

Beware of Small Shiny Objects

by Patty Lakinsmith

Over the weekend a friend and I attended an estate sale in Berkeley advertised by the local bead society as having a mother lode of bead, jewelry, and crafting supplies at rock bottom prices.   While I had no specific needs, there's always the chance that you're going to find one perfect thing that completes your creative vision.  You all know what that's about, right?  The incessant quest for small, shiny objects that can turn your home into a storage nightmare, and your wallet, well, let's not go there.  To be honest, it was a fine excuse just to spend some time with a dear friend in a cool town that I don't usually visit.

Due to some unfortunate navigational glitches (Ahem.  You'd think that at least one of the two people in the car would have been paying attention to signage.) we arrived a half an hour past the time that the sale was to have started, and I was concerned to see a line coming out the front door of the place and halfway down the block.

An hour later after meeting all of our line-mates and identifying each and every plant in the neighbor's front yard, we got in the house, which was a small victory itself.  The lady (or man, I guess) who lived here must have been a very ambitious jewelry and craftsperson given the amount of supplies that were still there even when we finally got inside.  There was an entire room filled with rubber stamps and paper craft supplies, a dining room filled with seed beads, vintage jewelry and parts, storage containers, and components of all types.

My haul from the estate sale.

OK, so you know I haven't been very quick to finish any of my meager beginner's seed bead projects, but I can't help myself from buying the colorful tiny beads.  I got a number of small bags of varying sizes of beads in some delicious colors, a $1 grab bag of parts, and some token type things that appear to be from cafeterias and arcade.  I got little tiny glass vials and magnets to stick on business cards (forgetting that I have a two-sided card), and a couple of rubber stamps and ink pads.

As I was checking out I spied something I have a weakness for - sparkly rhinestones.  Yeah, hard to believe, but this earthy California girl wants to buy a long black gown from the Goodwill, wash the chicken poop and bead release off her hands,  put on this cuff and go sip champagne somewhere, I guess.   But I love the vintage look (no markings, so I suspect it's some kind of cheap modern knock-off), the clasp and the safety chain detail, and the price was right.  I wish I knew more about vintage jewelry to know if this is old or not, and if so, what story it holds.

Ka-Bling!  Just add champagne.

Meanwhile in my studio I'm working on a custom bracelet order.  My client will add her own beads and charms to this handmade loop-in-loop chain, for which I still need to make a PMC clasp.  But her chain is done and shiny as can be, plus an extra I made, and I love the slinky, drap-ey weight of it in 16 gauge fine silver.  It's lovely enough to stand on its own, or hold your favorite beads and charms.  I'll do a post in the coming weeks on how to make this chain.

My trusty garden Gargoyle models the new chains.

Have you been distracted by any shiny objects lately?  Do tell!


Anonymous said...

Great post! Can't believe you found that stash of beads after waiting so long! I always wonder how in the world people can pass that stuff up!!!

MaCarroll Beads said...

Right at the moment I'm distracted by shiny objects amongst a major mess of glazing canister objects, followed by a computer and beat up bead racks.... Let's see.... we have a semi-shiny hammer, a rather dull looking dremel.... need I go further? I really should not be taking the time out to write on this shiny computer screen and get busy!!!! Great post..... It made me laugh! I love sales like that, but I'm rarely that lucky!

KayzKreationz said...

What a great day you must have had. And some wonderful finds, too. I'm distracted by about anything shiny. I keep telling myself "You don't need any more", but it never seems to work. :)

mairedodd said...

i have to say i have never been to an estate sale but am sure it would be a dangerous venture! your found bracelet and made bracelet are both beautiful... i think i might know of someone who could help you with the possible history of it...

Patty said...

Thank you, Mary Jane - that would be awesome!

Rachel Suntop said...

thanks so much for including my yarn in your beautiful blog today!

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