Thursday, November 21, 2013

Addicted to Jewelry



My latest fix - necklaces with old religious medals.



There. I've said it. I am addicted to jewelry.

Now I need to clarify that statement. Not expensive diamonds and gold, but artist made pieces that are full of imagination and spirit. Vintage jewelry with a history and patina. Junk jewelry I find at thrift stores. Mingle it all together and you have what I call 'my style'. You also have my drug of choice. Buying jewelry calms me down when I am stressed. It is also my main distraction when I am writing late at night and need a break. At 2AM you'll find me sneaking up to Etsy to find my latest fix.

It is a relief to me that I have narrowed it down to jewelry. I became an antique dealer because I was addicted to huge old painted cupboards. You can't just toss those on a tray on your vanity and walk away. Then it was art...then it was vintage clothes...I have downsized my craziness to fit in my pocket. You know, that pocket that has no money in it, but is filled with beautiful things I love.

When I wrote my memoir "The Unfaithful Widow" my jewelry choice then was vintage turquoise Native American pieces. I found it didn't matter what I wore, everyone noticed my jewelry. I layered it around my neck and up my arms. There were two rings on each hand. I felt 'interesting' during a time I felt so alone. Wearing turquoise jewelry eased the word 'widow' that had become a part of my vocabulary.

My very first - and actually only - book club signing - the gals all wore turquoise jewelry in my honor. I stepped into their warm surroundings, soup simmering on the stove, wine punch in a bowl, and felt at home. Several of the members came up to me waving their arms to show turquoise bracelets. "We loved your chapter on Turquoise jewelry." Then I took off my coat and realized I was wearing only silver. My turquoise was piled up on the dresser at home. My mood that day called for vintage Mexican silver.

It seems my mood dictates many choices for me.

My latest passion  - crosses, and lots of them, dangling on silver chains and surrounded by vintage rhinestone necklaces. I wear 'dead people' around my neck as I was reminded by a group I had dinner with a few weeks ago. My latest purchase from Etsy arrived. An assemblage necklace with an 1800s tintype photo of an old woman, hair pulled back in a stern bun, and dressed in black. It was in a small antique gold frame circled with tiny rhinestones. I was ecstatic it arrived in time for my dinner adventure.

"Is that a relative you have around your neck?" I looked up from my shrimp salad confused. She pointed to my necklace. "That old woman in the frame."

I smiled and looked at the group. "No, it's a dead person I don't know." I suppose I got a bit of joy out of the moment. The young gal that ushered me to my table had complimented my necklace only minutes before. "It's so cool." My dinner companions looked at me with peculiar expressions. End of conversation.

I plan to wear another 'instant relative' - the more politically correct phrase, dead person is a bit gauche, to dinner tonight.

Sometimes I leave the house and am naked of jewelry. That is always a buying situation ready to happen. I will walk into my favorite thrift store, check out the jewelry counter, find an odd little piece for under $3, reach up and feel the empty spot right below my throat, and point to the case.
"Can I look at that piece please?"

Most likely I will leave wearing it.

A bit of a game, but easy-peasy, and inexpensive at best.

My choices are simply what I love at any given time. Not to impress, not to shock, but to feel good when I pull myself together. I love art in any form, and the pieces I buy now are one-of-a-kind visions of artists who love old things as much as I do. Or used bits and parts I may fashion into something.

I've made jewelry before and sold it in our Botanical Gardens gift shop. My back room is full of oddities ready for me to pick up and design again. Perhaps after the first of the year I will. It may be time to lighten my jewelry load! Right now I am too busy writing. I only have time to shop online at night.

In celebration of my upcoming release, "Danger In Her Words" I will offer a raffle of a naughty or nice piece of jewelry. Details are coming.

Some of my recent purchases below. Are you addicted to jewelry? If so, share your comments below and be entered in my give-a-way.