Fantasyland Memories

Here’s the ID bracelet mentioned previously in a post on things I wear that make me feel young. I made this bracelet when I was a teen, using the glass turquoise beads from a broken set of rosary beads and lettered beads I got from a shop on Long Island called Fantasyland. My mother shopped at Fantasyland for all her crafting needs—and it was one of my favorite places for tagging along. Mom went to the section with dried flowers and other materials for her wreath-making and flower-arranging; I went to the bead section and marveled at all the colors and varieties. On a counter in the jewelry section was a large fishbowl filled with hundreds of lettered beads and I remember digging for the letters in my name. The first bracelet I made was by stringing those lettered beads with colored plastic ones on elastic thread. Later I taught myself to cut and twist wire to make chains of beads (using rosary beads as my model), but the elastic bracelet was a hit with junior high friends who paid me to make them similar bracelets and necklaces. I was happy for my own reason to visit Fantasyland and to collect some cash for doing something that was so much fun. Making stuff, including jewelry, still ranks as one of my favorite activities. When I recently consolidated all my beads and jewelry-making materials in plastic bins, I found the pictured Fantasyland postcard and other beads acquired way back when—including the remaining beads from the rosary used to make the ID bracelet, which I put to use by making the dangly earrings seen to the right of the bracelet.

Grown Girls Dream of Unicorns, Too

Wise people say you should do what you love; for those in business, that translates to selling what you love. When I shipped this vintage unicorn locket/pendant to a buyer, I packed it up slowly, thinking a bit woefully about how I liked it enough to want to keep it. When I shop for my Etsy shop—for everything from vintage clothing, jewelry, and accessories to T-shirts I then remake into upcycled styles—I choose what I love. In the beginning, I wanted to keep it all. Now, I will sometimes get to the point of photographing an item when I reconsider—just for a moment or two. I paused with the unicorn pendant. A unicorn pendant! Of course, I’m happy to make a sale and excited that someone out there will wear it and treasure it. But I’m going to be on the lookout for another unicorn pendant to call my own.

Wearing Heart(s) Around My Neck

This gold “knock at my heart” charm was a gift from my father to my mother—he gave it to her when they were teenagers. All these years later, they’re happily married. Because two hearts are better than one, I’m wearing it today, on Valentine’s Day, layered with a costume heart brooch necklace with faux pearls and rhinestones. The brooch was found on one of my treasure-hunting missions for my Etsy shop. I tied the heart pin to a black jersey necklace (recycled material from an old T-shirt) and photographed it to sell it in the shop, but then I changed my mind and decided to keep it for myself. Love rules.

New MissStefanie Necklaces: Vintage, Upcycled, Valentines

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I’ve added upcycled and vintage necklaces to my MissStefanie Etsy shop.

Some are vintage, featuring brooches, clip-on earrings, pendants, or charms hanging from the necklace. Others are upcycled, with single or multiple pieces from thrift store jewelry on the necklace. Sometimes the necklace has a chain from a thrift store necklace, and other I make the necklace using recycled material from black T-shirts (softer than a leather necklace; other colors available upon request). The necklaces made with the T-shirt material are 22-24 inches in length, but can be adjusted to be shorter or longer. You can wear one or layer two or more. I photographed the necklaces with a white button-down shirt, to show how they look styled with a shirt; I usually wear mine with my usual uniform of a tank or T-shirt under a cardigan or jacket.

So, Valentine’s Day. A few necklaces have hearts, flowers, or bows. One has a heart and skull and another is a locket with flowers and a unicorn (a unicorn!). And here’s the thing about Valentine’s Day: it’s a Hallmark holiday, sure. But I’ve always loved little trinkets and started a tradition years ago of treating myself to something for Valentine’s Day. You can have someone special in your life or you can fly solo–but treating yourself is always a fine idea. Chocolate, check. A one-of-a-kind necklace in the $20 range? Check ’em out.

Mickey Mouse Watch (and Snoopy, Too)

I snapped this shot of a stylish girl at the Coachella Fest, wearing a Mickey Mouse watch. Last year, it was reported that cute and fashionable girls were wearing Mickey tees and sweatshirts. Then I saw that a designer had Mickey Mouse on his mind this year when he showed his collection on the runway during Paris Fashion Week. Some might argue that Mickey never goes out of style; I won’t disagree, but I’d like to make a case for Snoopy. After seeing the Mickey watch, I pulled out my childhood box and found my Snoopy watch. It needs a good cleaning but started ticking when I wound it up. I’m wondering about a new band but might just pair it with some bracelets.

Charmed, I’m Sure

I go through fashion phases and one involves wearing a plain black T-shirt or tank with a cardigan or jacket—complimented by a bold necklace. Perfect for this: some fun charms given to me by my mom, which I wear on roped chains or leather cords. Here’s a typewriter charm from mom I recently found at the bottom of my jewelry box. A friend told me that her son saw a typewriter in a shop window and asked about what it was. Before computers, kiddo. I’m sure he’s asked her about record players, too. To add to my collection, I’m searching on eBay for an old record player charm and found some adorable boom box ones. I see a boom box and I think of sitting on the front stoop at my friend Lisa’s house, blasting “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett until Lisa’s mother shouted from inside the house that we needed to turn down the volume. Oh, the good old days. I’m bidding on boom box and jukebox charms now…