Thursday, October 29, 2009

How I First Fell in Love With Vintage Beads and Buttons

This is a little known story, well some of you know a bit, but not all. I started really thinking back about where/when I very first realized that I loved vintage beads & then it hit me, when I first saw them in a capacity that intrigued me.

I have a friend I've known since childhood, we grew up together & we have fallen in/out of touch over the years. For a time my friend Victoria had started making jewelry with another friend of hers & THAT was when it hit me! I don't even know if they realized what they had. But they had created the most gorgeous earrings with Swarovski rhinestone buttons. They were totally 80's glam... a blood red 16mm rivoli crystal encircled twice with much smaller clear rhinestones. They had the most beautiful red glass drops with rhinestone rondelles. They were exquisite! I envied how cool they were, I remember that now. I don't remember alot of their other work, but those earrings remain a vivid memory.

I believe my eldest daughter was 3 when that happened, so let's fast forward to 3 years later when we relocated from our cool northwest side 3-flat apartment in the city to the conservative, yet interesting Wheaton. I felt like I didn't "fit" here and was amazed to find someone else who seemed just as funky as myself walking on the playground. Janice had big red hair & wore cat eye sunglasses with a faux leopard coat & I knew we would be friends! I should step back & say that at some point during our time in Chicago I found my "inner vintage" & started collecting, among my treasures was a ball jar full of vintage beads that I vowed one day that I would do something with.

I started hanging out with Janice & learned that she was a jewelry artist who designed very fun & whimsical designs. She used a mixture of new & old components & her elements are dainty. I was so proud to show her my ball jar full of treasure and we started beading together. She showed me all the basics and would take my jewelry along with hers & sell it for me. Whenever I tell the story of how I started, I always mention that Janice inspired me to start.

There is more to this story, so stay tuned!


  1. so fun to read the " back stories" to where we are now!
    great job and keep up the fun!

  2. i love history! stories of beads and beaders alike. i'll be awaiting a continuation with bated breath... and yes, that phrase means "abated" breath, i hope i don't have to hold it too long...