Monday, January 19, 2009

We Sell Seashells ...

We start planning our annual summer seaside collection early. Some of the items that will be offered this year include sculpted metal shorebirds and fish, wooden picket fence fish, seashells (the real things) and these sailboats, buoys and paddles.On the more elegant side, we will have some pewter sea stars and silver edged clam shells.
There's more, but you'll have to wait until summer to see the rest.

Elegant Table Art

The Elegant Table Art collection from artist Michael Michaud combines his love of nature and exceptional knowledge of precious metal casting to create wonderful giftware and tabletop items. This collection is part of a family manufacturing business that has been producing high quality jewelry and art objects for 35 years in Long Island, New York . We say with pride, Made in America.

The base metal used throughout the collection is primarily pewter in either its natural coloration or gold plated. Freshwater pearls, glass beads and semi precious stones are used on certain designs within the collection as well. Trinket boxes are perfect for pins, rings, coins or ... trinkets. The salts and spoons would make any hors d'oeuvres presentation special.

Another distinctive and elegant set of items are in an entirely different medium from a different part of the world. These crystal obelisks are fantastic!


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dining in Atlanta

While at the Gift Show in Atlanta, we stayed in the Buckhead district. We dined at a few wonderful restaurants for dinner and thought we would share our finds with you.

AJA is a new Asian Kitchen at 3500 Lenox Road in the Alliance Center. It recently opened -- in November 2008 -- in the spot previously occupied by Emeril's. Great modern Asian cuisine, including table-side dim sum and sushi. If you like it spicy, their hot and sour soup is great and they have some spicy hot fish in chili pepper sauce!

ARIA is an innovative restaurant that combines the freshness of nouvelle cuisine and the comfort of slow cooking. Located at 490 E Paces Ferry Rd NE, the dining room is like a large parlor in an old southern house.

ANIS Cafe & Bistro is country French at its finest. Unpretentious and a bit funky, Anis serves up delicious food and service. The specialties are Proven├žal versions of healthy Mediterranean cuisine. The old, country house at 2974 Grandview Ave NE has a shaded patio for outdoor summer dining -- it was a bit cold to try it the last couple of years for us, as we were there in January.

It's just a coincidence that the above all start with the letter "A". There were two others we also enjoyed: Pricci - upscale Italian - and Bluepointe - another Pan-Asian restaurant of note.

Bob Appetit!

Sachet Pillows with a Message Just for You


This display at the show stopped us! Bright and beautiful! And these are made right up the road from us in Palo Alto. These little sachet pillows are lightly scented and come with a decorative ribbon hanger and a little pewter charm. Great for hostess gifts, thank you's, I Love You's and more. And don't forget that Valentine's Day is Feb 14th.

Jewelry Prevents Headaches!!!!
Love the sentiment ... we have gorgeous vintage and handcrafted jewelry at Vintages.

Time for a Little Whimsy-doodles

Handcrafted figures seem to attract us. Here's several that we will be receiving soon.
Love these beach kids ... skinny legs and all. Ditto these sweet fabric dolls.
Hey diddle diddle
The cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed to see such sport
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Let's Get Framed

We like to keep things fresh and new at Vintages. The products we select for the shop change both annually and seasonally. For instance, every year we bring in a new line of frames. This year we spotted some different styles at the Atlanta Gift Show. The ones we have chosen are both traditional and modern. We will add some vintage ones into the mix as well.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New Website is now Online!


After years of procrastinating on this project, it is finally done. With the help of Aldene Gordon of Nicer Page Web Design we went live on the new website today. Let us know what you think.

New Products for Spring

We just got back from a week in Atlanta for the huge Atlanta Gift Show at The AmericasMart. We have some exciting new stuff coming in the next couple of months! While we always are on the lookout for that product with real WOW! response, we set our sites on a few specific themes. Of course, holiday items for Easter, Halloween and Christmas were in the mix -- except for Easter items, we won't get those until summer or so. We looked for handcrafted items, Made in America (when possible) always draws our interest and, for summer, beach and shell themes.

These fantastic wire birds caught our attention in a flash! This company has a myriad of products, Made in America and quite unique. I love their disclaimer on being patient for delivery. It's just part of the handcrafted product experience.

Kelly O’Neal and the Design Legacy team are artists, designers, and craftsmen. No claim is made to have magical powers to make product mystically appear from a pile of camel dung, or mythic mode of transport. In other words, our little fingers will move as fast as possible to get your order completed. Peak season orders may require time allowance for nervous breakdown by designer / artist. While we do our best to control our own psyche, we cannot control customs brokers no more than we can predict an end to plagues of locusts.

With the movement toward reusable bags in our area, we thought these canvas totes were perfect -- functional, great images and ecologically friendly as well.
Pearl hearts & stars are handcrafted and have that vintage look. The hand hooks are just plain cool! We couldn't resist.
I guess we had a bird theme going as well. These sleek little wooden blackbirds are hacked into shape using machetes -- ouch! These are made in Honduras, as are the leafy votive candle holders below.
Out of Mexico come these alluring faces. Drawn and painted on ceramic, there is something magical about the eyes.More new finds on my next blog.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hearts & Whimsies

While at the Scott Antique Market, we uncovered a talented young lady from Indiana who creates tin and crystal hearts, quatrefoils and whimsies. These are torch cut out of old tin ceiling tiles and decorated with chandelier crystals. Most still have remnants of the original paint.
These range in size from a few inches to about eight inches, and each has a nice ribbon attached for hanging. These are now available in our shop. The hearts are priced from $15.95 to $29.95. The quatrefoils and whimsies are a bit more.

Treasures from the Scott Atlanta Antique Market

While in Atlanta for the Gift Show, we took a day to scour the offerings at the Scott Antique Market. This monthly venue advertises over 2000 booths, so it's big. We found less this year than last, but still found some great items for the shop ... and a couple for our own collections. We still need to catalog these, then we will have them available in our shop. Some of them will make it to our online antique sales site as well.
This sparkling crystal crown drew our attention in a flash. The CDV album under it is in great condition.

Victorian jewelry is something we love to find, and we found some superb pieces.
What a wonderful selection of pins -- bar pins, watch pins and lingerie pins -- to add to our inventory. These are mostly gold-filled and all date from the late-1800s.
Here's a few more pins, some lovely lockets and a mid-century sterling bracelet. The two hand-painted ceramic pins are delicate and well-done.
This is a mixture of Art Deco era necklace chains, Art Nouveau pins, a superb micro-mosaic bar pin, and a turquoise bead clip with a gilt cameo.
I love estate silver items. The one on the left is an old card or cigarette case, and on the right is a small case possibly for ivory note pads. Both are from the Art Deco era. And I love the whimsical baby duck bib clips!
And finally, this nice collection of sterling pieces -- bracelets, a perfume bottle and a Celtic cross. In the middle is a wonderful snake bracelet.

Bella Cucina

For years now we have enjoyed the wonderful Italian cuisine cooked up by Bella Cucina. We have decided that now is the time to carry a selection of their delicious offerings. The Atlanta Gift Show gave us that opportunity, so we are now carrying these items:

Our personal favorite -- Artichoke Lemon Pesto.
This pesto is wonderful over simple steamed rice, tossed with your favorite pasta, or spread on a crostini. Top off a green salad with a dollop or two and kick it up a notch! Try it over chicken or pork chops, too! Great for entertaining or just for a quiet dinner for two.

A new item is a line of herb flavored salts. Since we stock a number of vintage salt dips and spoons, as well as new handcrafted salt sets, we thought these savory salts would be the perfect addition ... and they are!
There are six savory flavors -- Porcini & Parsley, Citrus & Fennel, Rosemary & Lavender, Oregano & Sage, Tuscan Rose & Peppercorn, and Calendula & Chives.

For the lovers of sweets, we are also stocking three citrus spreads -- Meyer Lemon, Key Lime and Blood Orange. These are not too sweet and are just as yummy for breakfast over toast, at lunch with tea or lemonade, or as dessert in a simple tart shell.
And the Bella Cucina Flatbread is ... spectacular!
The Bella Cucina has a number of recipes on their website. Check them out.

More items from the Atlanta Gift Show will be highlighted over the next few days. Until then -- buon appetito!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Jewels by Trifari


The 1940s and 1950s were the apex of glitzy rhinestone costume jewelry. Designers like the Mazer brothers, Eisenberg, Marcel Boucher and Weiss produced magnificent crystal brooches, necklaces and bracelets that graced both the housewives and movie stars of the era.

Trifari Advertisements from the 1950s

Coco Chanel popularized fashion jewelry in the 1920s. These started as copies and variants of her precious jewelry designs that had made her famous and grew into a category all their own – costume jewelry.

Others that made an early mark on the costume jewelry world were Miriam Haskell, whose hand crafted jewelry is highly collectible today, the Hobe brothers and Coro, whose many lines of jewels made it the largest costume jewelry maker in the world.

Maybe one of the most influential forces in the costume jewelry world, however, was Trifari. Founded in 1918 by Gustavo Trifari, Sr., and Leo Krussman, the duo added a third partner, Carl Fishel, in 1925. The resulting partnership was known as Trifari Krussman and Fishel -- better known simply as Trifari.

In 1930, Alfred Philippe joined Trifari as their Chief Designer. That’s when things really took off. Philippe introduced many design and quality innovations – invisible settings and Swarovski crystals – and design motifs that won the hearts and pocketbooks of women around the world.

Alfred Philippe Design Patents for Trifari 1940s

Here is a sampling of the Trifari Jewels that we have available at Vintages. Click on the photo for more information.
Trifari Blue Enamel & Crystal Set

Trifari 1950s Basket Brooch with Crystal Flowers

Trifari 1950s Enamel & Crystal Apple Brooch

Trifari 1940s Sterling & Crystal Flower Spray Brooch

Trifari 1950s White Enamel & Crystal Crown Crane Brooch

Trifari 1950s Crystal "Fruit Salad" Leaf Brooch

Trifari 1950s Red Crystal Necklace

Stunning Large Trifari 1960-ish Pendant Brooch with Icon Image

Trifari 1940s Ballet Dancer Ballerina Pin

Trifari 1940s Red Crystal Bow Brooch

In 1994 Trifari became part of the Monet Group, which in turn was bought by Liz Claiborne in 2000. Trifari still makes quality costume jewelry today, but its glory years were half a century ago.

Contemporary Trifari Jewelry
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