I have always loved the idea of a good luck charm, even if I have not always been inclined to believe in luck or fate or things that cannot be explained by science. Still, I love charms and trinkets with a history, and my mother has passed on many charms from the jewelry box I loved to open and explore when I was a kid. This typewriter charm was one she received when working her first job; engraved on the back is the message, “Good luck from accounting.” I wore it recently for a job interview–and got the job. For as long as I can remember, my mom has been a confidence-booster, so it might be that I reached for the charm that day seeking luck. I’m glad I did.
I found these vintage rosary beads — with shamrocks on the wood beads! — at a thrift store last year and pulled ‘em out for St. Patrick’s Day.
My favorite vintage items are the ones that I’ve had before they were vintage. I’ve had this beach scene charm since I was a kid. Closing my eyes and picturing the beach is the trick I use to calm myself. This is like wearing my zen place around my neck.
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.
Looking at the contents of my mother’s jewelry box has always been a treat. Oooh, pretty jewelry. She’s got a minimalist style—her constants are her wedding ring and my grandmother’s diamond pendant necklace—so the other pieces only come out for occasions. I have always viewed the jewelry box as a treasure chest and especially love the charms, which she began collecting as a teen and wore on a chunky gold charm bracelet. She wears the bracelet occasionally now without the charms and recently asked me if I wanted any of them. (“You’ll get them eventually,” she said. “If you want them, you might as well take them now!”) It’s hard to pick favorites, but I might have to say it’s the gold charm affixed to a rectangular plate; it’s a heart with a banner that reads, “Knock at my heart.” My father gave this to my mother when they were still dating and the charm originally had a knocker on it that was removed by the jeweler when it was attached to the plate. This peaked my curiosity and a quick search on eBay brought me to a version of the original charm in silver. The knocker moves (it really knocks!). So now I’ve got both versions.
Oh, and one more thing: Both my parents asked about the “when they were still dating” mention. Well, they’re married now so they’re past the dating stage. But it’s definitely worth noting that they’re still married. Happily, too.