I don’t know when I started collecting antique purses.  I just know that somewhere in my late teens or early 20’s I bought one and my collection just kind of grew from there.  It’s not a huge collection, but I have some classics and a lot of memories.  Many of the memories come from the shopping excursions my mother and I took, and the many hours we spent in secondhand stores and wonderful antique galleries.  We hit the best places! Other memories come from the occasions that myself and others used these beautiful bags…

This is the most popular purse in my collection.  Several of my friends have borrowed it for their wedding day, as well as a couple of friends of my daughter for prom. It is patterned with sequins and crystals sewn on to it and is a lovely ivory shade, making it a perfect vintage accent.

Here’s another bridal/prom favorite. It is embroidered all over with white seed beads and sequins.

Here’s one that my mom gave me…I’m not sure where she got it from…probably on one of our shopping trips when I had already bought too much and couldn’t justify another antique purse!  It’s a really pretty lavendar and covered in seed beeds, although it really doesn’t show in the photograph.  It has an embellished lucite handle that is gorgeous.  I don’t know when I got custody of this purse, either, but that was probably my mom’s plan all along… 

While I love my huge purses, there is a part of me that wishes to be back in the time of elegance, when all a woman needed to carry was a lipstick and a handkerchief in a gorgeous purse like this.

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When I was first in college, I was bitten by the vintage clothing bug.  I frequented our local Goodwill store.  They had a wonderful “Antique and Vintage Clothing” rack, and I bought some fabulous things there.  I also picked up oodles of jewelry.  Most of it I wore, but some I just wanted to have. I didn’t know why, but I started collecting even broken pieces if they struck my fancy.  Maybe I had an inkling that one day I would make jewelry – I’m not sure – but for whatever reason I continued to collect it even after vintage clothing became trendy and the good stuff was always gone. 

 My mother and I went to a lot of garage sales in my young adult years.  I furnished my apartments with garage sale finds, and I also came back with any jewelry I could find.  When I had children and would scour the sales for deals on baby items, I would still come home with jewelry.

Is it any surprise then, that one day while I was reading a craft magazine I came across a design for a bracelet I knew I just had to try?  It showed how to make a name bracelet with letter cubes.  Perfect!  I had 4 nieces with unique names so they could never get anything ready-made in personalized items.  I loved giving handmade items for Christmas, so this seemed perfect.  I went to the craft store and bought what I needed.  What fun!  When I was done with the name bracelets I was having so much fun I decided to make mothers bracelets for my friends and sisters-in-law.  I was forever hooked.

 And the rest is history…well, my history, anyway!

I still have tons of old jewelry with a head full of ideas to make from it.  Part of me doesn’t want to take apart such vintage masterpieces, but the other part sees glorious new ideas made from these older, worn out baubles.  Hopefully I can find a way to blend the vintage with the new into unique ways that do justice to the pieces these once were.

The image is from Andrea Singarella at www.andreasingarella.com

 

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