Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Georgian Jeweled Collet with Contemporary Style, Inspired by Anna Wintour

I didn't know anything about Anna Wintour until several months ago, when a dear customer requested a necklace much like one that she wore. This was one of the first sets of the Georgian Collet/ Anna Wintour inspired necklaces I ever created, in deep plum purple and citrine.

From what I've learned Anna Wintour is the Head of Vogue Magazine, and has a lovely collection of antique Georgian Collet and Edwardian jeweled necklaces that are much coveted by fashioistas and collectors all over the world.
I had no idea such necklaces even existed until I "googled" her name (after she was mentioned to me) and saw her in many different photographs, always wearing sometimes two or three of these jeweled gorgeous Georgian necklaces at a time. I set out to create the same look, without the same price tag...actual antique Georgian necklaces are upwards of 2,000.00.
I began receiving requests for other colors like peridot and aqua and pale different shapes. The most popular being the large octagon shape and the medium sized oval. They look smashing when worn together, and the color combinations I've seen from the requests by my Etsy customers have been amazing. I learn a lot from them!
peridot green vintage jewel collet style necklace
aquamarine, georgian necklace, anna wintour, sacred cake
aquamarine vintage jewels with antiqued brass settings
pale yellow, citrine, georgian, vintage, necklace, statement necklace
Pale Spring Yellow and Citrine
sapphire, georgian, necklace, anna wintour, sacred cake, jennifer valentine
Vintage Sapphire colored Rhinestones and Silver plated settings

So with a little bit of research, and a little bit of time. I've found out about the origins and prices of some of the real Georgian Collet necklaces, worn by real queens in real fairy tales...with prices that only queens could afford!

     I have really loved  creating these is a lot like playing dress up, no? My husband once told me, when I felt doubtful that jewelry was an "important" thing to create, that wearing jewelry is all about having FUN. I never thought of it that way really. Before I began making these sparkling jewel necklaces, jewelry was a bit more of a serious endeavor for me I guess...heavy with meaning and the resurrection of the old. I rather like his interpretation...I mean, the fun-ness of it...draping vintage jewels around your neck to add a little sparkle...a little fun going into getting dressed. For myself, I have chosen a lovely vintage pale pink called Rosaline (coming very soon to my ESTY shop.) I still love making the assemblage necklaces and earrings I am "known" for, and these vintage "bling" necklaces look quite lovely mixed with other typed of necklaces...particularly a longer chain style or even layers of pearls.
simple pale yellow and rosaline jewel necklace

pale yellow, citrine and grape

clear vintage rhinestones with silver settings

     I've been having lots of fun with color lately! These particular collet style necklaces are created to be worn just around the base of your neck, about 16-18". I make them 16" with a 2" extender. I am a larger gal, so a 17" looks just right for me. I am working on designs that can be worn much longer, soon to come! Do you have favorite color combinations you'd like to share? Do tell!

     In other news, I was quite surprised to see one of my assemblage necklaces published in the current issue of Jewelry Affaire Magazine. I feel so fortunate to be involved with such an amazing and creative publication. It is a wonderful magazine full of very talented jewelry artists and I am so honored to be included there. If you'd like a preview, you can find it here~

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. Thank you for your visit today!
Many Blessings to You and to Yours,
Jennifer Valentine of Sacred Cake

If you'd like to see more of these necklaces, click photo just above to be taken to my shop!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Free Victorian Photo booth Style Photographs for You

I recently came across these amazing photo booth style Victorian photographs that I wanted to share with you today. They are scanned at very high resolution, so you can make larger copies of the individual photographs to use in artwork and such. Some talented people use these for quilts by printing them out on fabric sheets made for the printer. I just thought these were to nifty to keep all to myself. Click on the images to make them larger. To download them, just right click on the image and choose "save".
original Victorian photo booth typed photos
Victorian photo booth typed photos (that I Touched up a bit)

All I know about these is that they are a bit rare. Smiling Victorian Women or any smiling Victorian  people in general in photographs were quite a rarity, because they had to hold very very still in order to make a clear photo. It is hard to hold a steady smile, I imagine.
The vintage and antique Cabinet photographs are my favorites. I wouldn't call myself an avid collector, but my husband and I both find it very difficult to pass up great old photos. Especially in pretty frames. Our living room walls are decorated with groupings of old framed photographs from different eras, around a central favorite gorgeous oil painting by the very talented Cathi Isza on Etsy.

some of our collection, and cathi's lovely landscape (ignore the tv, will ya?)


I know what you might be thinking. Let's just say I'm not a huge fan of the large black TV and we are looking for a way to disguise it...any ideas? I was thinking old wood frame pieces, but then they get in the way of the infrared sensor. I think sooner than later we will put it in a cabinet. I'm not a fan of TV's that "show". Neither is mom, so my her husband, Greg, actually made their TV so it rises out of an old organ!  I was truly amazed. He took the guts out of it, and put in one of those tv risers. It looks fantasic. Then the cable box and dvd player are on the bench underneath. Nifty idea huh?
ANYWAY, back to the story!
I touched up the second set of photographs above in case you wanted them that way. I didn't spend a whole lot of time, so they aren't perfect, but a bit better than the first set!
cute art quilt by Mary using a free image from my stash!
Hope you enjoy them. One of my favorite shops on Etsy uses my free vintage photos in her artwork... I love to see that! Visit Mary at KMHandyKrafts to see more.
If you'd like to see more free downloads from my blog, like the bird and others, just click here.
ALSO, if you need even more images to inspire you, look no further than The Graphics Fairy! Be prepared to be delighted and inspired by her amazing blog packed with all kinds of amazing antique and vintage images, antique postcards, labels, advertisements and more. I used her images to create my blog banner! (which needs a bit of a change, me thinks.)

Hope you all have a happy week! If you do happen to create something with my images, I'd love to see.
Many Blessings,
Jennifer Valentine of Sacred Cake

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

My Own Rhapsody in Blue

     I should probably pay more attention to color trends...I know about Pantone color forecasts for 2012-13 and fashion forecasts and jewelry trends. I look. But then I just keep making what appeals to me...and hope that it appeals to you as well. I go through what seems to be color spurts, mixed in with my desire to create pale, neutral, shabby jewelry for brides and bohemians alike. Sometimes it feels like a push or a pull to create a certain style, but I have many "facets" we all do I imagine.
     I make vintage jeweled necklaces and earrings for formal occasions, maybe because I dream of attending such fanciful places...and assemblage jewelry resurrected from old keys, religious medals, antiques, tattered remnants and worn out pearls. The sparkle and the shabby.
     The focus for me is on the "vintage" and "antique" part of it. I simply love the idea of resuscitating something old, and making it alive again...noticeable....relevant...seen...and loved again.
Maybe it is bit of what I think we as human beings need to be. Seen. Heard. Understood. Important. And most of all, loved.
    There are some that say that they can see the love I have for what I make in the photographs I take. These days, I don't do a lot of the editing and tweaking I used to do. I use my cheapy camera some old handwriten pages and I pick a window. I might sharpen them just a bit because I never use a tripod (terrible, I know, right?!) and hope that my hands aren't super shaky like they can be!
   I deeply want the love for what I make to flow to you, the wearer, or those inspired by my work. Each thing I make is so infused with it. I feel like I am somewhat of a conduit for God. For love. And this the way I spread God's love. Even if it is only to inspire someone with a color.
   There are times when a harsh voice comes into my head that says that what I do is silly. Irrelevant. Trite. Materialistic. Stupid. And who cares about jewelry when the world is falling in around us?
I push those thoughts away. Sometimes it is easier than others, because I do get discouraged. I replace them with the other voices that say that what I do makes sense. It IS relevant. That it isn't about materialism. That someday the bigger picture will be revealed... this gift, for whatever reason, was given to me at 41 years old. I'll be 43 this year. The passion I have for what I do is something that is hard to explain. I literally dream about it. My husband says I talk about it in my sleep. It consumes me. It brings me immeasurable joy. It is my solace. I am a woman consumed with a passion for something that I don't quite understand myself. I truly believe that it comes from a source outside of myself, that flows through me. A reason for being that will make a difference in the world, if even in the smallest ways, to change it for the better.
     I ask you today, what is the song of your heart? What is it that takes your breath away? What makes you loose track of absorbed that the world around what you are doing ceases to exist? For me, it is creating tangible pieces of love. The song of my heart, that I know, was orchestrated by God.
Why did it come to me at 41 and not 20? Maybe because I wasn't ready to listen...or maybe because I never took the time aside from raising my family to simply be still. The signs were there all along. It began with this~
(somehow I've been able to hold onto this pin for more than 30 years)

     It began with a sparkly vintage brooch given to me by my grandmother in my early teens, that I wore constantly throughout high school. But even before high school, I was making single earrings to wear from little antique pendants when I was 13 years old. This was in the early 80's when asymmetry was popular and I'd wear a pearl in one ear and a hand-made vintage dangle in the other. This passion has followed me my whole life, but the attention, the noticing, just wasn't there. The story didn't unfold until much later, for whatever divine reason, not until my 40's.
     Are there patterns and connections in your life that seem to have been there forever? I never thought there were any specific patterns in mine, until I got still and quiet and really thought about it.
Today, I invite you to find the time this week for stillness; for a bit of quiet. As a mother, as a small business owner, I know how very difficult that can be. Believe that the song of your heart is there.
Be still.
You will hear it.

See more of my work here, if you'd like~

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Shabby Chic Jewelry Storage and Display Idea

I guess because I make so much assemblage jewelry and collect quite a few different pieces and styles, I like to look at my treasures...I like to have them out so that at any time I walk by them in my bedroom I can gently brush the tips of my fingers along the bits and baubles...thinking of every sweet soul that created those bits of beauty from their deepest heart.

My wheel of goodness and joyful reminders of all of the dear people I've met along the way. So simple to make, and easy to use. I've been wanting to share this project with you forever. I clip earrings on the spokes and hang them on the hooks. This is also great for cuffs and rings.
This project is sooooo simple! I think finding the old carriage wheel might be the hardest part. I just happened upon it while out and about several years ago. I didn't know at the time what it would be. I just knew it would be useful and fun. Try looking on ebay, etsy, artfire, craigslist, or even call around to the old junk malls and antique stores.Once you find your old wheel, be sure it is the kind with the solid kind of tire, so your hooks stay in. Screw some larger than average sized cup hooks into the wheel at evenly spaced intervals. I dipped mine into a chemical called  "Novacan Black" to darken them a bit. And that's about it! I embellished the center part with a hunk of filigree and an old vintage brooch. Use E-6000 glue to glue anything on. Just sand each surface a bit before adhering, because most likely your surfaces will be rusty and such.

In case you were wondering who made some of the lovely pieces on my wheel, here is a little list of designers that I hope you will visit! They are all so talented and such sweet spirits.

* Colorful wire wrapped necklaces and birdy earrings are from dear Liz. Visit her shop here:
* Shabby tribal earrings and various necklaces with buttons and bits are made my Marina. Visit her shop here:
* Sweet  round broken china pink floral pin by sweet Lana, who makes the sweetest Marie Antoinette inspired things here:
*  Gorgeous pottery earrings by Michelle right here:
*  Favorite Queen Anne's Lace embroidered pendant necklace (not pictured because I was wearing it) made by dear heart Corrine at 
* Amazing leather, sterling and cross "faith" necklace by beautiful Nina right here:
* Large flower necklace, a gift from my daughter years ago.
* Super long antique hand knotted beaded jet necklace, a lucky find. (and a big fave)
*  Pale celluloid earrings, and long pale blue pearl and crystal earrings are by yours truly. You can find me here:

My wheel has gotten a bit messy now that I'm really lookin' at it! I hope this project gets your creative wheels spinning...
Think of the possibilities to use this idea for an old hunk of wood or cutting board, vintage cane, mirror frame...anything that can hold a cup hook!

AND as always, you can write me with any questions right here:
sacred_cake {at} yahoo [dot] com

Many Blessings to You and Yours,
Jennifer Valentine of Sacred Cake