The Upcycled Collection – Wedding and Special Occasion Statement Necklaces

One of my latest collections has been brewing in my mind for quite some time.

 

I’m sure most of us are at least vaguely aware of the wastefulness that occurs in today’s society, but it’s probably not something that is given too much thought on a daily basis. As a jewelry designer, I see “wasted” product every day that I work. Paper scraps from map cut-outs. Wire clippings from metalwork. Short segments of chain from a previously broken strand. It happens. I recycle as much of it as I possibly can, but in the back of my mind I knew that there is so much jewelry that’s tossed out, destined for the landfill without a second chance.

 

This got me thinking. Instead of continuously buying new materials, what else could I do?

 

Well, for starters,  I use vintage materials whenever I can. If I can re-purpose something that’s already been in existence for decades rather than buying brand new, then I do it. I’ve actually been doing that for a long time, but I felt like I needed to do something more.. challenging.

 

And thus, the Upcycled Collection was born!

 

 

To design this collection, I’ve spent many hours sourcing the perfect components: vintage brooches, beads and baubles; broken necklaces and bracelets destined for the landfill; strands of vintage pearls, chains and beads that need a little TLC..

 

 

The purpose of this collection was to utilize as many old/vintage components as possible without buying anything new. Now, I do have to use some newer pieces – such as jump-rings, beading wire, and other small (but essential) pieces to hold everything together – but the bulk of the designs are composed of vintage and re-purposed parts. Many of the parts I had were broken necklaces, half-length strands of chain that had broken in the middle, vintage pearl strands that weren’t all pretty. (Of course, I didn’t use any of the ones that couldn’t be made presentable with a good cleaning.)

 

In the necklace below, for example, I had four jumbo metal chain links that had been removed from an old broken necklace. These links were still in good usable condition, and were a great accent to this statement piece!

 

Multi Strand Statement Wedding Necklace, Vintage Flower Brooch

 

The next design also contains of my FAVORITE vintage brooches! This color orange is so unusual.. not quite orange, not quite salmon.. but something in between. You’ll notice the center of the daisy is composed of teeny tiny orange and yellow flowers, with orange rhinestone centers. Beautiful!

 

 

 

The vintage brooches in the majority of these designs are removable. I think they look fantastic on the necklace and really add the “oomph” factor, but they’re too pretty to remain static.. they are pinned in place, and can be taken off if you want to wear just the brooch and make a more subtle statement.

 

I’ll admit.. it’s been a little difficult to let some of these go. (Such as the PHENOMENAL vintage brooch in the first photo – gold filigree flowers with white enamel, blue and clear rhinestones.. that piece still had its original tags on it when I found it!) Not to mention this Coro brooch; I have a weakness for Coro brooches. Perhaps it’s the rhinestones. This brooch isn’t in perfect condition, but really adds a delicate femininity to the pearl necklace (all vintage pearl strands.) It needed a little TLC first, including a replacement of the center rhinestone. Still one of my favorite pieces, regardless.

 

 

I also made a couple of longer statement pieces that could be worn on everyday occasions, such as a day at the office or a day out with your friends. If you’re a more dramatic bride, you could wear them on your wedding day! The brooches are not removable on these two designs.

 

 

 

I may add a couple more pieces to the collection later on, but these are the designs currently available. Each necklace is absolutely one of a kind. You can view my current pieces on my website, http://www.victoriaallison.com/Upcycled-Collection-Wedding-and-Bridal-Jewelry-s/1827.htm.

 

Feel free to share your thoughts!

Summer 2012 Bridal Jewelry Collection

It’s almost summer, and that means that the Summer 2012 Bridal collection is now posted! Actually, that’s sort of half true… I have some designs up and ready, but will be adding more as the season progresses!

 

I’ve actually been mentally planning this collection for over a year, and “hoarding” vintage enamel flowers for quite some time. I’m pretty sure that’s a collection that will never stop growing. Here’s a snapshot I took of some of the smaller flowers a few months ago..

 

 

Aren’t they pretty? Some of them have already been used in the summer designs, some are still in queue. There’s also a whole separate pile of larger ones that I haven’t photographed, including some really gorgeous pieces I’ve found while out antiquing with my mom.

The summer collection is listed as bridal, but these designs really are suitable for other special occasions as well – perhaps worn by a guest at a wedding? Or even for your bridesmaids! Wouldn’t it be so pretty for each girl in the wedding party to be wearing a different piece from this collection? Each necklace features re-purposed vintage enamel flowers (brooches, earrings, etc.) and vintage milk glass beads. I just love vintage milk glass.. the beads are a beautiful bright white, and smooth to the touch.

 

Here’s a few images.. the full collection can be viewed and purchased through my website: http://www.victoriaallison.com/Upcycled-Collection-Wedding-and-Bridal-Jewelry-s/1827.htm

 

Bridal Statement Necklace – Double Strand Vintage Navy Blue Enamel Daisy Flower with Vintage White Milk Glass (A personal favorite!)

 

Bridal Statement Necklace – Vintage Peach and Green Enamel Flower with Vintage White Milk Glass and Gold Beads

 

Alternate view..

 

Bridal Statement Necklace – Double Layered Vintage Pink Enamel Rhinestone Flower with Vintage White Milk Glass

Alternate view..

 

Vintage Magenta Enamel Flower and Pearl Necklace with Vintage White Milk Glass

 

This necklace is actually a set, and comes with matching magenta pearl earrings on gold earring hooks!

Bridal Statement Necklace – Vintage Yellow White and Orange Enamel Flower Trio with Vintage White Milk Glass on Gold

These necklaces are so bright and cheery, they make me smile just to look at them. I hope they make you smile too! All of the prices and additional images are listed on my website.

Enjoy the weekend!

Patterson House Jewelry Inspiration

Last summer I visited the Ardenwood Historic Farm (and Patterson House, located on the property) in Fremont, CA. If you live in the bay area and haven’t been here yet, I recommend it! This place is pretty awesome. They have various gardens and animals (sheep, goats, etc.) as well as an on-site blacksmith. Throughout the year they hold various events and festivals, depending on the season. It’s a great place for kids, but I’m an adult (sans kids) and I had fun too.

 

The highlight for me was the gorgeous Victorian Patterson House, the focal point of the property. This home was built by George Patterson in the mid 1800s, and underwent various additions and renovations throughout the remainder of the century. Let me tell you – this place is GORGEOUS. They have a lot of the original furniture, which thankfully has stayed with the family, and the architecture of the building is just beautiful. Each room in the house has so many historical nooks and crannies, you could spend all day in there. I took a guided tour with a dear friend of mine, but to be honest, we ended up ‘lagging’ behind everyone else, because we couldn’t stop photographing everything we laid eyes on!

 

By the time we finished the house tour, I was inspired. I knew this house was going to be influential in my designs, especially for bridal. I already completed an entire Spring Bridal Collection based on this amazing Art Nouveau chandelier in one of the bedrooms:

 

Patterson House chandelier - by Victoria Camp

 

Stunning, isn’t it? It’s not only one of my favorite pieces from the home, but one of my favorite chandeliers of all time. Ever. Seriously.

 

Anyway, every time I look at the pictures from this home, I get inspired all over again. Here’s a few favorites that inspired some new pieces in my shop..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you see why I was inspired?

 

Here’s a couple of new designs I made based on my Patterson House guest bedroom inspiration..

 

 

White Rose White Pearls Bridal Necklace with Ribbon Tie - Victoria Camp Designs

White Rose White Pearls Bridal Necklace with Ribbon Tie (2) - Victoria Camp Designs

 http://www.etsy.com/listing/99495719/white-rose-and-white-pearl-ribbon

Peach Pink Rose White Pearls Locket Necklace - Victoria Camp Designs

 

Peach Pink Rose White Pearls Locket Necklace 2 - Victoria Camp Designs

http://www.etsy.com/listing/99494344/pink-rose-and-white-pearl-locket

That’s all for today. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Winter Bridal 2012 Photoshoot Sneak Preview

Wow – it’s been a busy September! I’ve been gearing up for the photo shoot for my Winter 2011/2012 Bridal line. I am SO very excited about this one!

The shoot will be held in the gorgeous lobby of the Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, CA. I won’t give away all of the details for the shoot and collection (I love the element of surprise!) but I thought I’d give you a little sneak preview of what has been keeping me so busy the past 4-6 weeks.

I had a very specific aesthetic in mind in both designing this collection and considering the styling options for the photo shoot. There are a lot of beautiful vintage rhinestone pieces and even more clear vintage glass beads, and I wanted to follow the same path of the vintage meets modern vibe. Admittedly, I have “perfectionist” tendencies, which can be both a blessing and a curse. In other words, I wanted the dress to be perfect for the shoot, too!

What’s a girl to do? Well, this girl happens to have a degree in fashion design and a “DIY” mentality to boot… can you guess where I’m going with this?

I designed and made a dress for the photo shoot! My actual model is built slightly different than the dress form, but we did some test fittings on her and it’s going to fit beautifully. (Despite how it may look on the dress form..)

Here’s a peek..

Bias cut slip dress - Victoria Camp Designs

There’s a low drop in the back, too, but you’ll have to wait for the photo shoot for additional views!

The majority of my Winter Bridal earrings are one of a kind (and I won’t model OOAK earrings on real people) so I made a couple pairs of earrings just for the shoot..

Bridal earrings - Victoria Camp Designs

I also envisioned a certain style of up-do for the model, and made some hair combs for her as well! She will wear either one depending on which necklace is being photographed at the moment. The comb on the bottom is made with a vintage rhinestone brooch, and the one on the top is made with freshwater pearls.

Hair combs - Victoria Camp Designs

Okay, I think that’s enough of a preview for now! Expect the full Winter Bridal line to be ready in early October. I will keep you posted!