Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Vintage Valentine's Heart Necklace

Vintage Silver Heart Charm- Side A
I am a collector and lover of hearts.  I take pictures of things shaped like hearts, and notice them all around me.  And of course, I've acquired a lot of vintage heart charms and brooches and earrings and pins along the way. I've been picking them up for years and years at estate sales, flea markets, bead shops across the US, and even at some auctions. 

I just made this one of a kind, long necklace using a heart I just love.  I don't know what it's made of, but it's worn into it's age and has all sorts of textures and subtle colors to it.  Each side is different and beautiful.
Vintage Silver Heart Charm, Side B

I love that it's tattered and worn-  It looks like it's been through some things, and it's only gotten more charming because of it!  I love the "Side B" the best- I like how part of the silver has actually worn away and the pinkish clay or whatever it is, has come to the surface.

I used purple-ish pink-ish freshwater pearl beads because I thought their color was such a great compliment to the antique silver look of this heart.  It's a long necklace, so I wire wrapped a lot of those pearls.  I think they ended up sort of looking like old rosary beads.

The back half of the necklace is a repurposed silver chunky necklace I found at an estate sale recently.  It's got some texture to it as well, so it seemed the perfect compliment to the heart charm.

Vintage Silver Puffed Heart with "Rosary" Pearl Strand, and Textured Silver Chunky Chain
The necklace, like I said, is long.  It measures about 28 inches (71.12 cm) around, and falls about 5 inches above my belly button.  It's for sale in my Etsy shop today- Resparkable Vintage, for $55.  Click HERE to see more photos and a more detailed description if you're interested in purchasing!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Room By Emma Dognoghue

I just finished reading Room by Emma Donoghue.
Room by Emma Donoghue
It came out back in 2010, but somehow, I didn't hear about it until recently.

Lately, thanks to Serial, I've been listening to podcasts-A whole world of podcasts I'm only just now discovering!  One I'm really enjoying is the Slate Audio Book Club.  I had listened to a few episodes, of books I've already read.  These book reviews do contain spoilers, so it's important to have read the book before listing to the podcast.  I heard the very beginning of the episode where they discuss Room.  It sounded so interesting, I had to force myself to stop listening to the podcast, and get the book in my hands.

I read the book in about 3 days.  It's very hard to put down.

Although it's fiction, it certainly could be true.  It reminded me of the recent news story of Ariel Castro, who kidnapped 3 girls and held them captive for years.

In this story, Jack, who just turned 5, is our narrator.  He's lived with his mother in Room for his entire life.  His mother was kidnapped 7 years ago, where she and Jack have remained in captivity all this time.

His narration was a little annoying to me at first- disjointed sentences, incorrect grammar- the voice of a 5 year old that has never been in the world or around anyone but his mother.  But his perspective gave the story an innocence that made it bearable, unlike if it had been told by anyone other than a child.  For him, living in this Room is his normal.  He doesn't long for things he doesn't even know exist.  But the story doesn't remain in Room the entire time. (Thank God!) So it gets even more interesting...(I won't say more, because I don't want to spoil anything.)

Anyway, it's a great read, and not as painful to read as you might think.  Very powerful.

So check out the book, and then check out the podcast

Monday, January 26, 2015

Music Monday- Let Me Be There by Olivia Newton John

Let me just explain this choice for Music Monday, because without explanation, I realize it's a little worrisome.

I am currently downsizing my CD collection.  I'm loading them all onto my computer and only holding onto the ones I currently listen to in my car.  It's a huge endeavor.  And because so many of these CDs feel so nostalgic to me, it's going to take me a long time to finish what I've started.

When I was around 5 years old, I found this Olivia Newton-John 8 track tape lying around.  I fell in LOVE with Olivia.  She was (and still is) so pretty, seemed so sweet, and I just loved singing along to all of her catchy songs.  I still have cassette recordings of me singing lots of her songs from back in those days.  "I Honestly Love You" was my favorite one to sing because it was just so dramatic.  I made it sound like I was crying at the very last, "I honestly......"  Let me tell you, there wasn't a dry eye in the house when I sang that one! But my favorite song to just completely jam out to was this one, "Let Me Be There".  I guess it's why Olivia was classified as a country artist back in the 70s.  Like Keith Urban, she's probably one of the few Aussies to be a top selling country artist.

Although this Olivia CD isn't in my current rotation, I decided to put it in my car and listen to it the other day before dropping it off for donation. DON'T WORRY.  I've loaded it on my computer as well.  ;) But wow!  Driving around this weekend was sure a fun trip down memory lane with Olivia providing the soundtrack for my getting around town.

This video is great fun to watch her bopping around to her country hit, "Let Me Be There". Happy Music Monday. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Heast Castle- Shoes and Dresses!

This is the 3rd and final recap of our recent trip to California.

While we were on the "Upstairs Bedrooms" tour of the Hearst Castle, I started to notice several of the bedrooms had a dress laid across the bed, with shoes on the floor beside it.  It's funny, I seldom lay out clothes the night before, but for some reason, I laid out my outfit for our day at Hearst Castle!  I think I was worried we'd be in a hurry, and living out of a suitcase slows me down.  So, just like the like the ladies who visited Hearst back in the 30s and 40s, I too, laid out the next day's outfit. Coincidence?

I laughed when I saw the laid out ensemble the first time.  By about the 4th time, I decided I needed to start taking pictures.  I'm sad I didn't think to photograph all of them, but here's what I have:
All laid out- ready for the tomorrow!

Love this orange dress with little gold shoes.

A dress, a little jacket, a purse and shoes!  Laid out for the party!

My favorite ensemble- This one even had some jewelry laid out with it!

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Hearst Castle In San Simeon

And now for my part 2 of our California trip recap.  (See Part 1: Carmel HERE if you missed it.) We drove from Carmel to San Simeon, and drove up towards our hotel just as the sun was setting.  It made me realize how long it had been since I had actually watched a sunset.  I always am amazed how fast the sun goes down once it gets to a certain point! There's nothing like an ocean sunset. 
Ocean Sunset in San Simeon
We got to see Elephant Seals.  There was a large group of them the afternoon we drove in, and the next morning, we saw this one sunbathing solo on the beach.  What a life!
I think this Elephant Seal knows the secret to a good life!
After a long walk on the beach, we headed to the Hearst Castle, which was really the main reason we were in San Simeon.  I had gone when I was around 7 or 8- So it had been a long time.  But I remembered it pretty vividly because it made such impression. 

I took so many pictures, so I'll just post a small selection below.  Before taking the bus up to the castle, there's a little gift shop, and there's also this framed quote which made me laugh.  I think Mr. Hearst achieved his goal in building something that's "more comfortable" than a tent!
So THIS is why he had the Hearst Castle built!
This is one of my favorite pictures, and possibly my favorite view ever.  This is why Hearst wanted to build his house on this property, high up on the hill.
The view from the Hearst Castle
Everything is just breathtakingly gorgeous inside the castle.  The ceilings are so fancy.  Here are just a few examples...
This was a smoking room, so the ceiling is currently undergoing cleaning, which they said will take about 10 years!

This is the ceiling in my favorite bedroom in the Hearst Castle

I got dizzy looking up at all the exquisite ceilings Mr. Hearst had in his castle.

Ceiling in the main dining hall of Hearst Castle.

Another ornate ceiling in Hearst Castle.

Apparently this is the most expensive ceiling in the Hearst Castle- it came from Spain.

The doors (both exterior and interior) are pretty fancy too...
The front door of the Hearst Castle

Just a little side exterior door at Hearst Castle

Interior Door

Interior door- this is about as plane as they get inside the Hearst!

A door to my favorite bedroom in the Hearst Castle

My two favorite rooms, if I have to pick just two, are #1, this bedroom, where Hearsts' mistress, Marion Davies, liked to stay.  Above is the bedroom door, and below are pictures of inside the bedroom.
Marion's bed

The fanciest door in the bedroom!  JUST LOOK AT THAT!!!
#2 is, of course, the library.  Because if you read my blog, you know I love libraries.  William Randolf Hearst had a way better library than Dallas has...
The cozy little Hearst library
There is both a huge outdoor pool and a huge indoor pool.  The outdoor pool is drained of water currently because it has a leak that needs repair.  So it will be out of commission for a few years.  But the indoor pool is ready for swimming!  And I'm ready to jump in...
Wouldn't it be fun to do a cannonball into the Hearst pool?!?
I have ONE more series of pictures I want to post regarding the Hearst Castle, and the fashion of that era.  But I don't want to make this post too long, so I'll save it for the next one!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Carmel, Cali

Fermin and I just got back from such a fun, fast trip thru some of the best spots in California.  I flew into San Fran Thursday afternoon, and we flew out of LAX Sunday afternoon.  Needless to say, a lot of beautiful, sunny ground was covered. So although I won't share all my pictures, I'll share a few today, as a Part 1 in a two part series.

As soon as I landed, Fermin picked me up at the SF airport and we headed to one of our favorite areas- Carmel.  The door to this little shop in Carmel sums it up well...
Welcome to Heaven
Carmel IS heaven.  Great weather.  A beautiful dog friendly beach.  Gorgeous, and eclectic homes.  Tons of delicious restaurants. Cool boutiques and galleries.  And views...
Carmel- coastal

More of the coast in Carmel
Like I said, the homes in Carmel are eclectic.  Here in Dallas, sometimes when there's a modern house next to a traditional house, it looks out of place.  But in Carmel- it all works!  Probably because there is just so much variance in style.  And probably also because, hey! what doesn't look great in Carmel?
Probably my fav- a tree house house right along the beach in Carmel

A couple of contemporary homes- One mainly of glass, the other, brick and glass

Hacienda style house along the coast in Carmel
and another... stucco and tiled roof home right by the beach
See what I mean?  All beautiful, but all totally different.  I would move into any of them in a heartbeat if I could!

We stayed at La Playa Carmel.  And let me tell you!  January is a great time to go!  It's considered "off season" so rates are a steal.  The weather is perfect this time of year too, and the crowds are gone.  It couldn't have been more ideal.
ahhhh, feels like home

Cute bikes at out hotel to ride... Cute, but they need some Villy Custom bikes!

pretty little courtyard

from hotel, towards the back courtyard

from courtyard back to hotel

my favorite part of the lobby, the tiled stairway
At La Playa Carmel, they have free wine tastings at night, and after dinner, they serve warm cookies and milk.  How sweet is that?!

We spent our day in Carmel wandering around the shops, galleries and eating a really nice dinner.  If I lived in Carmel, this would be my church based on name alone.  The Church of the Wayfarer.  That's right, wayfarer! Wayfarer: n. A person who travels on foot.  They're speaking directly to me!
The Church of the Wayfarer in Carmal, California
In my next post, I'll tell you about the other highlights of our trip... Coming up: The Hearst Castle!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

1960s Earrings- Before and After Repurposing

I had these cute vintage pink thermoset and silver clip earrings for sale in my Resparkable Vintage shop for several months.  But as cute as they were, no one bought them. :(
1960s Pink Thermoset Clip Earrings
So, I decided to repurpose, or upcycle them into pierced earrings and see if that makes them a little more appealing.  Not that many people wear clip earrings anymore, so it makes sense to change them up.

First, I removed the clips and filed everything down smoothly at the back of the earring. 
Snipping, clipping and filing down the clips of the earrings...
Next, I was able to pair the earrings up with some vintage beads I ran across recently. The larger beads look like they have candy sprinkles on them. It was hard not to eat them while I was making the earrings!
Laying out my design plan for the upcycling the earrings.
I finished them off with some sterling silver ear wires, and voila!  A brand new pair of vintage earrings have a new life.
The finished product- Updated, repurposed and upcycled.... but their vintage charm remains.
I honestly think they're even prettier than they were originally.  Just a few subtle changes can make a big difference.

They're relisted in the Resparkable Vintage Etsy shop.  You can find them HERE, as well as other repurpursed vintage earrings HERE.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


I bought this years ago from a woman who was selling her handmade jewelry outside of a house on a home tour I was attending.  I was drawn not only to the words stamped on the copper pendant, but to the piece's imperfections.  I love that it's not a perfect rectangle, but that it's edges are a little jagged. I love that when people read it, it takes them a minute to read, due not only the small print,but also because the word "incredible" is split up in an unexpected way.  And I love the way the bezel around the green stone is a little mushed up, and how there's that random little hunk of silver in the bottom left corner of the pendant.

The things I love the most are never perfect.

Maybe that's why I'm such a lover of vintage jewelry and I choose to use it for my own imperfect jewelry designs.  Lots of times, there are missing stones, weird discolorations, and little bumps and bruises that have happened over the years. And for me, that's where the magic is!

I wish I knew who the woman who made this was so I could credit her- but all I can tell you is how much I love this piece of jewelry.  It reminds me that being perfect is something I never even want... but that still, I can do incredible things

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Setting New Year's Resolutions

I hope your 2015 is off to a great start!

As far as New Year's resolutions, well, I'm happy to report that so far, on this 6th day into the new year, I haven't broken any of mine.  But I haven't officially set my resolutions yet.  Some people think resolutions are waste of time.  But I think they're so important, that I've actually just procrastinated setting mine.  I want to really think mine through.  So although I have an idea of what my resolutions are, I want to get very clear on them before I set them into action.  I think clarity when setting any kind of goal is what makes the magic happen.

My sister recently recommended a book to me that I'm currently reading called, Attracting Perfect Customers by Stacy Hall and Jan Brogniaz.  I've only just started reading it, but so far, what I'm understanding is that in business (and life in general!) the more clear you are on who you are and what you want to provide for others, the more easily the right people can find you.  Sounds simple and obvious, huh?

So who am I?  And what's really important to me that I want to nurture and send out into the world?
Those are great question to think about.

So, that's what I'm mulling over this week.
I'm going to get really clear, and 2015 might be the best year ever!

New Year's Resolutions....coming soon!