Tag Archive | #bringbackthebrooch

Upcycling – waste not want not

Upcycling has been something of a fashion in some circles for a while, but what is it?  On the face of it upcycling is simply making one new item out of one or more old items, and when it comes to jewellery this opens some really exciting prospects.

Upcycled jewellery ranges from that made by salvaging older unwanted or broken items of jewellery, such as these examples from one of my current favourites The Upcycle Jewellery Company:

Upcycle Bee

tinkerbell upcycle

But it often goes further – some of the most interesting pieces of upcycling we have seen are when jewellery is created from items that didn’t start out as jewellery:

This makes me smile because I had one of these at school...I would definitely get more use out of it as a piece of jewellery

This makes me smile because I had one of these at school…I would definitely get more use out of it as a piece of jewellery

…and if you’ve ever wondered what to do with those old keys you have loitering you definitely need to look at the Upcycle Jewellery Co website for inspiration!

These fabulous earrings by Urban Raven, who has some really creative uses for what some might think of as junk, are made from old Israeli telephone tokens:

upcycle urban raven

We also love her use of stamps, what a great way to make a unique and personalised piece of jewellery!

 stamp ring urban raven 

As a bit of a button fiend myself I was delighted to find Button Jewellery with their delicate yet eyecatching approach to jewellery

Bright rainbow button necklace

Including a fab way to #bringbackthebrooch:

Terracotta, Orange and Mustard Button Brooch

From the maker of the above also comes Unexpected Boutique with some serious statement necklaces!

beachcomber-necklace-2a   safety-pin-necklace-bust-new

 

 

Whilst these pieces look great they also are almost always pretty unique; even if you’re buying something from a maker who regularly makes the same or similar items they are ALWAYS going to be just a little bit different from the next piece, as is the joy of upcycling.  It’s also such a great way to remember that your junk can become something beautiful too, so maybe think on before you chuck it away!

 

We always love to hear from makers of unusual and upcycled pieces, do get in touch if you would like to feature on the blog!

 

 

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Remembrance Day – is it time to upgrade your poppy?

Ok so maybe the title doesn’t say it all, but as Remembrance Day approaches we wanted to tell you how you could support the excellent work of the Royal British Legion.  The Royal British Legion is the nation’s “custodian of remembrance” as well as doing impressive work to support existing and former members of the armed forces and their families.

Like me you may only start thinking about Remembrance Day once the poppies start appearing on your local high street or station, for a number of years now I have sought out the poppy pin badges which vary from year to year as a more permanent way of commemorating the annual events, as I find I can get away with wearing them for many months whereas my paper poppy seems to cause me nothing but trouble (I am too incompetent to manage to pin one on so they tend to loiter around buttonholes…)

It may seem a little early, but I want to give you the chance to explore what alternative ways of supporting the cause are on offer, particularly in this year, the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

Poppies have moved on a lot in recent years, and I’m not just talking pin badges and ceramic poppies at the Tower of London.  There’s an entire site dedicated to the poppy related accouterments produced in support of the Royal British Legion, from umbrellas to stationary, and (unsurprisingly since we’re talking about it on this blog!) jewellery.

The jewellery collections from the Poppy Shop span several ranges, and the variety available is immense, here are a few of our favourite items:

The real flower poppy heart range comprises a bangle, earrings and necklace made from real miniature poppies – we like these because the use of real flowers really interesting, it’s a trend that is becoming more and more popular and the variation of having a heart shaped feature on these is really nice.  It’s also a really nice way to wear the poppy, but would be suitable for the whole year round.

 

 

If you’re not such a fan of the heart they do similar designs in an oval shape on the website.

Ring

There are fabulous long drop earrings from the Falling Poppy collection,  they were created by British Royal Warrant holders, Toye, Kenning & Spencer, and at £10.49 they are an absolute bargain.  The matching necklace is under a tenner!  For a slightly more dramatic look though, we love the Poppy Cascade collection, these feature a similar design of poppy clustered with a silver poppy and an oak leaf.  Also created by Toye, Kenning and Spencer these have a longer drop (6cm) and are a real feature for any wardrobe.

 Falling necklace  Falling Earrings

For a more traditional approach to the poppy how about a Union Flag inspired poppy brooch.  You know we love a brooch and the personality in this one really shines out.

JW1091-Poppy-Collection-Union-Flag-Brooch

Finally a special mention for these First World War poppy cufflinks, because these really are an amazing piece of art.  To quote the website “they have been created from the solid brass of original artillery shell fuses found on First World War battlefields. The shells have been melted down and cast, using the traditional ‘lost wax’ method in which each and every poppy requires a wax version, into a hand sculpted poppy design.

The design is based on a 100 year old dried and flattened real poppy from Private Len Smith’s diary – Private Smith, a veteran who lived until 1974, plucked the poppy from No Man’s Land in 1915 and preserved it in his illustrated diary.”  There’s no point me trying to say anything as this speaks for itself – the ultimate form of upcycling, what a great way to Remember.  Additionally these are a beautiful, practical item which is sure to be good value for money at £79.99.

Poppy cufflinks

On the topic of cufflinks, do have a look at the fabulous spitfire cufflinks made from an actual spitfire…I kid you not, they are amazing.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this post, please do remember the purpose behind Remembrance Day and bear in mind that the Poppy Shop is the official online store for the Royal British Legion, all profits go to support the charity.  Delivery charges may apply, please see the website for details.

 

 

Simply charming…

We’re not sure what started it, but the upsurge in charm bracelets over the last few years has been astonishing.  Nearly every high street jeweller has brought out their own range, and some jewellers such as Pandora have based almost their entire business on the trend with over 600 individual charms available ranging in price from over £500 down to around £30.

Traditionally charm bracelets would be worn as a form of protection featuring amulets, and we’ll be talking about the history of charms in another post.  They have been in and out of fashion through the ages since ancient times, more recent fashion trends for charm bracelets followed the introduction of the iconic Tiffany charm bracelet in 1889, and during the second World War.  The idea was to  take the bracelet and embellish with charms personal to the wearer, they were traditionally bought on special occasions or given as gifts so the wearer would gradually build up a collection.  An example of an older charm bracelet and some of the charms is below:

 

Image

 

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The recent trend for charm bracelets has a different approach, with a tendency to feature bead like charms which are interchangeable even between brands which makes them really easy to individualise.  We’ve mentioned Pandora above, but Chamilia and Trollbeads are also popular brands.

There are still plenty of the more traditional style charm bracelets around.  Tiffany still make the more traditional style charms in a range of metals ranging in price from £1,825 to £65,  something to suit every price range!  However, we’ve also found that Etsy and Notonthehighstreet are great places to find the unusual, and unexpected when it comes to charms.  These tend to be pre-created themed charm bracelets, with themes as favourite films, pets, tv shows and hobbies which makes them a fantastic gift for anyone with a passion.  We also really love the quirky style of Aaron Basha and I have a personal favourite in these studded baby shoes.

We’ve also discovered a really unusual take on the charm trend too, with charms being added to more unusual items, such as these fantastic kilt pin brooches featuring charms from Hashtag Love on Etsy, we’ve picked a couple that might suit us to show you:

Hashtag Love - Etsy - Knitting charm brooch                 Hashtag Love - Etsy - wine charm brooch

 

These not only have the on trend charms, but stand out as a quirky and personal highly visible brooch which we love and is a great way to #bringbackthebrooch!

 

Flower power

Flowers are definitely the thing to be seen in this season, and with sales on at many high street stores there are bargains to be had, here are a few of our favourite flower bargains from Wallis:

 

IMAG2098   IMAG2099 (2)   Elsewhere on the High Street how about these cute flower studs for a subtle salute to the flower from Dorothy Perkins, and there are several pieces of flower jewellery on offer at H Samuels at the moment too (and there’s a sale on 😉 ).   If you’re feeling flush how about this amazing Tiffany rose gold and amethyst ring. Alternatively Van Cleef and Arples even have several floral collections, although the Socrate bouquet has to be my personal favourite. You could even branch into the world of jewellery incorporating real flowers with the fabulous Shrieking Violet

The stunning mix of real flowers with silver is emphasised even more in this beautiful (and adjustable) ring from the Purple Haze collection

Shrieking Violet butterfly pendant

Beautiful forget me nots in a butterfly pendant

Shrieking Violet Heart pendant

Mixed flower heart shaped pendant

We’re always proud to support the #bringbackthebrooch campaign championed by the fabulous Jewellery Cloud and here are a few choice flower pieces from them!

Brooch

For me this captures the season beautifully – look at those colours

With such great detail and bang on trend turquoise colours it’s hard to believe this wasn’t designed for this year

#bringbackthebrooch

Can I interest you in a dainty piece of art deco-esq bunch!