The other day Nad of HugsXHearts asked me exactly how many bracelets I have. I jokingly answered “ONE MILLION!” But then I started thinking about it. I might actually have one million bracelets. It’s more than a bit obscene. See the pic above? That’s them. About a million seems right, right? Anyway the thing with my collection is most all are gifts (one exception being the albatross ivory bangle). Each has a story and special significance. Most are from my dad and with his death I find even cooking the pasta from his pantry breaks my heart. I am foolishly sentimental with everything so I could never give away or sell any of my collection.
“But Margaret,” you might be saying, “I have definitely seen bracelets on your wrist that are not in that lot of one million bracelets.”
Well, you would be right. When I buy myself a bracelet (most always second hand) it is with the knowledge that I am the temporary guardian of it. It’s the capitalist in me, I suppose. I buy books with the intent to sell them back to the second hand store. Ditto clothing. Ditto jewelry. The great thing with owning a store, I can sell these items more easily than most people.
Also with a collection it somehow feels like cheating to just go out and buy an item. That makes it too easy. I have maybe 3 Hermes bangles that I bought for myself. Those 3 leave me with an empty feeling because there is no story to them.
Do you have a collection? What does it mean to you? How do you go about adding to it? I know Nad’s got some rings galore.
Apparently I thought it’d be a good idea to try this today.
Now, if you’ll excuse me so I can go and hide my face.
My last post (ahem…right here) showed off my recent accidental Goodwill find: an ivory bangle. As I mentioned in the post, this is a very complicated piece of jewelry and it has prompted me to do some research in deciding if I (likely) keep it. My honey and I brought it to our jeweler Isabella Hutten to confirm it’s ivory-ness. Which she did. It’s tricky to place a value on ivory because of the laws surrounding the sale of it in many states, the undesirable yet valuable nature of ivory, and the lack of comparable ivory items on the market. So I started googling ivory like jewelry.
It seems bone is the popular ivory looking material. I guess because it might be cow or horse. Basically a waste product in our meat eating economy. Like this second hand Chanel bangle. Yep I just called a Chanel bangle “waste product”… That is how we do! For seriousness tho the raw look of bone is highly popular. Bone, along with geodes, fossils, and skulls are definitely having a moment. In an odd way, most ivory is too polished looking to be fashionable.
The other big ivory-like material out there is acrylic resin. Handling my ivory bangle it feels and looks very much like a synthetic material. Maybe because I’m so accustomed to synthetics. The big difference in ivory is the very light cross hatching pattern. It is a tooth, afterall. It has some tiny natural rings and details. Like a tree pattern but much more delicate.
Anyway, I enjoy this research and reason to read about jewelry. My honey and I are staying in Lake Tahoe for the week to commune with the snow. Whenever we come up here I have the most challenging time packing. I’m all “Do people wear jeans in winter weather?” I can’t ever remember.
Our friends and their ridiculously cute 1.5 year old are staying with us at the cabin we rented. Most people come up here to ski, but I enjoy the hiking and snowshoeing. Bandit is all about the outdoors whereas Leroy likes to remind me that he is a Chihuahua.
Yep, this is how we do it with our visiting dog. (This is actually a pre-Tahoe shot- see my ivory bangle? Paired with the yellow enamel my brother gave me. Below is the legit Tahoe shot. You’ll note I finally decided people in the cold *do* wear jeans. Unfortunately I brought the pair with the fly that’s afraid of heights.)
Oh! Hey there! It’s been a while, right? December kills me every year. Those last 14 days leading up to Christmas is solely work and sleep, that’s it. I still have this weird hangover. But now it’s over and I’m wearing cozy pants! And a big sweater and my honey is making some coffee. But I have some crazy shit to tell you all.
First, some background. I started buying bracelets by the pound from Goodwill for the purpose of selling some jewelry at my shop (ok, really because I love bangles, duh, but selling is an added perk.) These Goodwill bracelet grab bags are a crap shoot. In one lot there were two pieces of Sterling Taxco stamped jewelry. But that kind of thing is balanced by a bunch of junk stuff I throw out, then there’s the in between fun and inexpensive costume jewelry. Each time I open my grabbag I’m hoping for Bakelite. Bakelite, for those who don’t know is a vintage type of resin/plastic jewelry that was very mod and popular in the 60s. The black rhinestone one on my wrist in the pic above is probably Bakelite.
So when this 👆showed up I was stoked. I thought it might be Bakelite. But you know what? This is not Bakelite. Guess WTF this treasure is?!?
Giant ass ivory bangle.
My picture makes my arm look deformed long, but you get the idea. This is a huge bangle that was part of my $20 for 10 lbs of bangles. Now the question is, what do I do with my new albatross? It’s gorgeous, it’s valuable, it’s impossible to sell and maybe even illegal for me to try. It represents the needless slaughter of one of my favorite animals (elephant). I’ve never seen anything like it before.
Today’s bangles include two XMas presents- the yellow enamel bangle was from one of my brothers, and the Hermès Colliers de Chien is from my honey. I cried when I opened it, I assumed with my dad’s death that was the end of the line for my Hermès bangle collection. But my honey! I love him. The rest of the bangles are Goodwill, black rhinestone square Bakelite, a red jeweled Indian bangle, black needlepoint bangle, Swarovski crystal bangle.