Friday, December 30, 2011

Modern Uses for Vintage Jewelry

We all have boxes of jewelry inherited from family members including clip earrings, beads, old brooches, charm  bracelets and more.  While we may not be interested in wearing them as they were intended, this is certainly an option!  Layer the necklaces using two or three at a time for a new look or clip vintage earrings onto a chain for a unique pendant!  Clip vintage earrings to your shoes to decorate!  Clip vintage earrings or brooches to a metal barret to decorate your hair (I once had a young lady use brooches in this way to make a unique headpiece for her vintage style wedding!).

At Memories we receive piles and piles of great vintage jewelry that is no longer wanted and we have beautiful cases full of unique selections!  After working with the jewelry for a while, we have come up with some creative uses which may interest you.

It can certainly be taken apart and made into new and unique jewelry pieces if you have a knack for designing jewelry.  We have just such a customer who comes in from time to time looking for some unique find to add to his custom jewelry which he sells all over the country!  Various beads and pieces can be glued to wooden box tops, lamp shades, purses, picture frames and mirrors for a new and romantic look.

I have another customer who purchases large unique brooches and mounts them on velvet or some other elegant fabric and frames them and has them arranged in her bedroom.  She can then just unpin them and wear them as she desires.  Another way to use colorful brooches and clip earrings (with the clips removed) is to glue them to a background in the shape of a Christmas tree, frame and enjoy during the Christmas season.  Another customer has covered a dress form with elegant fabric and covered it with vintage jewelry for her dressing room - so elegant - and the jewelry can still be taken off and worn when desired. 

I went to the home of a customer one time and she had pretty rhinestone and angel pins placed all over her bathroom lace curtains!  Also, they can be used to decorate tie-backs for your drapes, hung from chandeliers, placed in your Christmas tree, pinned onto a scarf to hold it in place - so many uses other than the traditional and a wonderful way to treasure family keepsakes!

My Mother makes the most beautiful Christmas ball ornaments decorated with jewelry from our family or other jewelry she finds and beautiful tassels and trims to accessorize.  She has made 100's of these and each one is unique and a keepsake to hand down over the years.

So if you have that vintage jewelry collection from Gramma, be sure and don't just get rid of it - use one of these great ideas to put them to use.  Or bring them to Memories, and we will sell them for you to someone who is designing some new jewelry!  What's Old can be New Again!  And besides, recycling is the "in" thing these days!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas in My Hometown

Growing up in Henderson, KY, was a wonderful thing, and especially at Christmas!  I remember watching the Christmas parade downtown with my Daddy and almost crying with excitement when the bands marched by playing Christmas carols.  Later on in life, I got to be in that band marching down the street!  I remember shopping downtown in the evenings with the Christmas carols playing from the Salvation Army booth that was set up in front of J. C. Penneys with people on the loud speaker calling out your name and asking for donations for a good cause.  I remember living on my little street with all the neat little houses in a row with their Christmas trees in the windows with wonderful families inside celebrating being together!  I remember the Christmas Eve service at my church at 11 pm - it was a candlelight service and when it was over at midnight we all lit our candles, held them up and sang Joy to the World!  And what a joy it was to remember the birth of our Saviour in such a special way.

Now, after living away for many years, I am blessed to be able to return to my Hometown and experience all the wonderful things offered by a small town.  People smiling and wishing each other a Merry Christmas, families coming home for Christmas celebrations, little children laughing, and all the traditions and wonders of a small town Christmas.  I used to only dream of coming home for Christmas.  This morning I was thinking of this familiar song:

I'm dreaming tonight of a place I love
Even more than I usually do
And although I know it's a long road back
I promise you

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have some snow and mistletoe
And presents by the tree

Christmas eve will find you
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

Here's hoping that you are blessed to be celebrating Christmas with family and friends and continuing old fashioned traditions!  We may be living in a newer, faster paced world today than it was in our past, but we always keep coming back to the old traditions.  That is where we are most comfortable and happiest.  Merry Christmas from Memories Past and Present, wherever you are!  Share some of your childhood memories with us - we would love it!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Reflections of an Antique Dealer - Why Am I Doing This?

In the current society, we are surrounded by stuff - stuff that we have accumulated over the years, gifts received, treasures inherited, things we bought to decorate our homes, stuff we made such as needlepoint, painted items, cross stitch, and more - the list goes on and on!  Many people are coming to the realization that they don't need all this stuff around them - in fact, it only adds to the confusion of an already busy and rushed world.

But yet, here I sit in my antique/gift shop surrounded by thousands of treasures yet to be bought  and accumulated in different homes throughout this world.  People still like to give gifts and decorate their homes, but are a little more selective these days and want the item purchased to mean something.  Memories is full of such treasures waiting to be loved once again!  Everything here has a history and has been once loved!

Our treasures come from all types of circumstances and people.  Many items have been inherited and packed in boxes for years and never used, the person not even really knowing what they have.  We also help people who have parents or grandparents who have passed away and need help gleaning the treasures from their homes.  Some come from individuals who are downsizing or moving to assisted living and having to keep only their most treasured items and let go of the rest.  In many cases the transition of giving up these treasures is difficult and stressful.  That's where Memories comes in to help make it easier.  When I say we, and Memories, I mean myself - I am Memories and am very sensitive to people's feelings and anxieties.  It somehow seems easier to hand these treasures over to me to research and place in my beautiful store and find a new home for them, than to send it to an auction to be picked through by strangers who don't know or care where it comes from.

This is my specialty - making the transition easy for others if I can.  I lovingly arrange items in my store into beautiful displays so that someone else can discover them and take them home with them.  They know they are buying something once loved, and that makes it unique and more special in many ways.

At Memories, we are more than just another antique store - you can ask anyone who has ever entered the doors and they will tell you that it is just different from any other they have ever entered.  When I'm tired of being surrounded by stuff every day, and overwhelmed by all the pressures of trying to market my business and keep up with all the stuff coming in, I take a deep breath, look around and remember those who have brought me their treasures - and I am once again inspired.  It's a good life - being an antique store owner, helping others,  and being a friend to my clients and customers.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Vintage Teacup Collection Ideas

Have you been collecting beautiful vintage bone china teacups, or inherited such a collection?  You could use them with a different teacup at each place setting at your afternoon tea table, but besides having a lovely tea party for your lady friends, how else can they be used or displayed?  Here's some creative ideas for you!

Arrange in a grouping at your next gathering and light floating candles in them or place one at each place setting - this will show off the cup and saucer and also create a welcoming warm glow!  Make a small rose topiary by filling with a water filled oasis and moss and tying together a group of rosebuds in the center with a pretty ribbon - add a single rosebud in the saucer and you have an instant, beautiful arrangement for your table or desk. 

At Christmas try tying each teacup with a pretty ribbon onto a special Christmas tree, either in the dining room or kitchen - what a delight!  Display the saucers at the base of the tree.   Serve miniature iced cakes in a cup and saucer - what a delicate and delicious alternative to serving on a dessert plate!  Make a beautiful teacup bouquet at each place setting at your next dinner party!  Tie a teacup with pretty ribbon from each branch of your chandelier for a festive and delicate change!

Use your special teacups to treat your guests with an after dinner treat of tiramisu - a combination of ladyfingers, espresso, eggs, sugar, cream, liquer, and rich mascarpone cheese!  What a delight!  You can find a recipe on and prepare it ahead in individual teacups, refrigerated and ready to serve topped with whipped cream and cocoa!

Do you have other ideas?  This would be a great place to share them! 

If you don't have a collection of teacups and saucers, this would be a great time to start!  Either start a collection for a friend as a special gift and include teabags and a pretty teaspoon - or give to yourself!  At Memories we have quite a collection of teacups and saucers and demitasse cups and saucers with which to start your gift giving or collection!  Come check us out or go online to see what we have listed at

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Gifts on a Shoestring Budget

Christmas is here, and we are all considering what gifts to give our family and friends.  Money is short this year because the economy has been bad.  But we still want to give something special because, after all, this is the season of giving!

Instead of getting caught up in the rat race of finding bargains at the department stores, what color or size, or in trying to impress others with the brand name of a gift, consider giving a recycled treasure, a gift with meaning and given from the heart!

We all have accumulated so many things in our lives that we are overburdened by the sheer volume of stuff in our homes in the closets, display cases, cabinets, etc.   Who can use or even appreciate things when they have too many?  Be innovative with your gift giving this year and look outside the norm and consider recycled treasures, either from your own collection or from the collection inside an antique/vintage store which specializes in recycled treasures!

You could dress up an old doll of your own to give to your grandaughter (she will cherish having something that was yours) or give your grandson one of your favorite little toy metal cars or vintage train set that you have kept all your life.  Or maybe you have a favorite book that you have read that you can pass along to a friend, or perhaps find a copy to purchase for them.  If you have a teacup collection, or a crystal collection, ornament collection, or lighted Christmas village collection, etc. - part with some of it and help your child or grandchild start their own collection.  You can always consider giving a gift of your time - take a child to a movie or take your Mother to lunch or on a shopping trip.  There are so many ways to give that don't cost a lot - besides the gift is not meant to impress but to say "I love you" or "You are important to me".

Of course, at Memories this is what we specialize in - the recycling of treasures from the past.  Our store is filled to the brim with items that bring back memories of a cherished Grandmother and times and places of the past.  Consider giving the gift of "memories" by purchasing an item that reminds you of your past for a member of your family or a friend - they will cherish it and the memory forever.  The cost of an item is not what is important - it is what is in your heart when you select and give the gift.

"A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."  Proverbs 11:25

Give the gift of love and memories this year for Christmas - you will be blessed for it.  Take the time to browse you own home for special items that could be gifts, or stop by Memories and we will find the perfect treasure for you to pass along to your friends and family as a thoughtful reminder of your love for them.  Merry Christmas!

Update:  12/7/12 - It is a year later and these words still have great meaning.  But I have something new to add.  In early November, my little grandaughter (16 months) old was diagnosed with Acute Myeloma Leukemia and we have all gone into shock as a result.  Suddenly, all the things that were important in life paled in comparison to the importance of getting the proper treatment for her so that she can live the long and wonderful life that we had envisioned for her.  As a result, I have basically closed my store (except for brief openings) so that I can care for my 3 year old grandson while the parents are keeping watch over their daughter in the hospital - she will most probably be hospitalized for 6 months of treatment.  I have realized that of all the things I have to give, my love, encouragement, support and time are the most important.  So many friends and even strangers have stepped up to assist this family in any way they can, and it has overwhelmed us and humbled us in the process, to discover so many people with love in their hearts to share during this terrible time for us.  It has helped us to find the joy that is in each day, even with the tragedy that has fallen upon us.  Please remember in this time of Christmas giving, that the gift of your time is probably what people want and need the most.  Give of yourself this Christmas.