Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Colonial Peru Silver Frames

JUST IN ... four gorgeous Colonial Peruvian Sterling Silver frames. These fine works of art are made using thin sheets of silver that are formed using the age old repousse technique. The sheets are hand hammered into intricate patterns using handcrafted wooden molds. The silver is then attached to the frame backs which are made using native hardwoods. The result are these fantastic frames. 

We have four in stock ... the sizes we have are: 3" x 5" frame ($75), 3-1/2" x 5-1/2"  ($85), 6" x 8" ($145) and a large double 6" x 8" ($195). These are not yet online, but you can contact us for details and photos.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Happy New Year in Postcards

We love ephemera ... as we have said in the past. 
So here is Wishing You a 
Very Happy New Year

St. Louis, Missouri 1920
San Francisco, California 1090
Visalia, California 1916
Rockford, California 1915
Oklahoma 1914
Romania 1930

Hope you have a fantastic 2016

Sunday, December 20, 2015

DIY: Bind Your Own Book

Have you ever thought about making your own bound book from scratch? Here is your chance. In the spirit of handmade wares and a near-forgotten craft, this bookbinding kit not only offers a journal to fill with words and scribblings, but also teaches the art of bookbinding by hand.

The kit includes: 1 length of thread, 1 bookbinder's needle, 2 linen binding tapes, 10 4-page signatures (40 pages), 1 instruction booklet and 1 sheet of illustrated steps printed upon vintage paper which also serves as the inside wrapping. Final book measures 4-1/2 inches tall by 3 inches wide.

Glue is not included, but wheat paste is easily created by combining one part flour to four parts of hot water. Bleached flour is best to use. The sewing process of bookbinding is the first step to master in making a sound book and there is a nice video available below to illustrate how to make this book. 

We have these kits in stock priced at $32.95 each. Treat yourself to the fantastic experience of making a book yourself ... and then make it truly your own by capturing your personal thoughts, images, doodles and more!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

NEW at Lopaka ... Steampunk Watch Case Pendants

I got this inspiration recently to make jewelry from old watch parts. I know, it is nothing new ... steampunk has been around for a while ... but this is MY steampunk!

So I have made some pendants using watch cases, gears, dials, springs and the like. The old-fashioned ladies watch cases are so delicate that they lend themselves to elegant looking jewelry. These are available here in our Los Gatos Shop as well as on Lopaka Designs ... well-priced at $69.95 each.

Steampunk Pendant Necklace with Moon Face Dial

Steampunk Pendant Necklace with Gears, Springs and Parts

Steampunk Pendant Necklace with a Gruen Dial, Springs and Gears

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Antique Victorian Glue Pots for the Elegant Crafter

Love vanity jars ... crystal and sterling shining on a fancy vanity tray. Elegance! Well, the Victorians took such things seriously and even extended this concept to glue pots. That's right ... jars of glue that they used playing with their scrapbooks! Here are three lovely ones we just picked up. All are cut crystal and sterling silver and from the turn of the century.

 These are available in our shop and online. Priced at $95 each.

This pot is English - Birmingham 1898

This elaborately cut pot is from America - Whiting 1896

This beauty is also from England - London 1914

Saturday, December 12, 2015

San Jose's Electric Light Tower

A Century Ago San Jose's Famous Electric Tower Collapsed!

In May of 1881 J. J. Owen, editor of the San José Mercury, suggested a project to light up the city of San Jose and surrounding areas with lights attached to a gigantic 237-foot tower. On Dec 13th he saw the culmination of his bright idea with the lighting of the tower in the intersection of Santa Clara and Market Streets. While interesting and visually spectacular, the tower was a bust as far as illuminating the valley. But the tower was a landmark and brought folks into the little country town south of The City ... San Francisco. Unfortunately, the tower was damaged in an August storm in 1915 and collapsed in another storm on December 3rd 1915. Fortunately no-one was hurt ... except for some egos!

Here are a couple of postcards we have from 1911 with the famous San Jose Electric Tower on them. 

For more about the story of San Jose's Electric Light Tower see these two sites:
History San Jose
The Soft Underbelly of San Jose

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Letters to Santa from 1938

It is often heartwarming to read what children ask for from Santa ... while they want stuff for themselves ... they often ask Santa to bless friends and family as well. Read these two from Pennsylvania in 1938.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Gorgeous Flashy Antique French Crystal Necklace

We have this beautiful antique French necklace featuring a round medallion pendant with nice cut-work and a bunch of pink and green crystals surrounding a center pearl. It is pretty spectacular! The pendant hangs from a marcasite studded silver piece and is on a silver chain. The pendant has the old French 800 silver hallmark (1885-1910) and a maker’s mark (A/D). Offered in the shop and online ... ($195) ... great Christmas present!

Remember: We will gift wrap and can arrange shipping for you.

Mary Jo Matsumoto Handbags

These gorgeous little silk handbags are beautifully crafted with hand applied flowers, delicate embroidery and are enhanced with pearls and sequins.  These were made by Mary Jo Matsumoto, a fashion designer whose luxury products include handbags, fine jewelry, home furnishings and couture separates. Her designs have been worn by the super stars of the entertainment world, and have also appeared in  numerous style mags and on television shows, such as Oprah.

Our Mary Jo M handbags are just big enough for keys, cash and a lipstick.  Everything about these clutches is high quality -- from design, to materials, to workmanship.

We just have one each of these three handbags in the shop. Prices range from $155 to $195.  These are perfect Christmas gifts for the special lady in your life. For more information and photos check our online shop.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Beautiful Vintage Modernist Necklaces

We have just posted several vintage necklaces online. These are beautiful, mostly modernist pendants on delicate chains. Perfect for the upcoming Holiday Party ... or as a gift for someone special. Gold, silver, diamonds, pearls, emerald and opal pendants. Check them out online or in our shop.

Emerald set in 18K Gold ($245)
Lapis Lazuli set in Sterling Silver ($125)
Fiery Opal set in 18K Gold ($250)
Pearl and Diamonds set in 14K Gold ($195)
Freshwater Pearls and Diamonds set in 14K Gold ($245)
Black Hills Gold Pendant ($95)
 All of these pendants come with matched chain necklaces.
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