Sunday, February 21, 2010

Treasure Hunting and Upcycling

One of my favorite recently-heard terms in the beading world is "upcycling" -- that is, recycling and reusing old jewelry bits and other fabulous stuff that can have a new life in wearable art. I really love the implication that you're not only giving something new life, but raising it to a new level. It's something I've dabbled a bit with in the past, but was itching to jump in on the action again.

So yesterday when I found myself with a little free time (okay, I should have done a few loads of laundry, but you understand) I went to a local antique mall and treasure hunted. There was some truly fabulous eye candy there, including several cases chock full of beautiful old rhinestone jewelry just screaming my name. I tried not to embarass myself by giggling like a kid in a candy shop, drooling excessively over the gorgeousness, or smacking my head into the glass trying to get a closer look. If only I had unlimited funds to answer the call....

But I did find some fun things that I can't wait to work into new pieces --

-- great leaf-shaped earrings with rhinestones and faux pearls, some rocking huge pierced silver earrings (nearly 2" in diameter and 3/4" high. Seriously, the woman who wore these originally must have been able to pick up radio signals from space with these babies!), and a lovely Victorian style silver, marcasite and black crystal necklace that was a steal at only $10. (I know! I was amazed, too!)

They'll probably have to live with me a while until they tell me exactly what they want to be in their next life, but rest assured that they'll show up here after their upcycling!

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