Sunday, March 24, 2013

Flea Market Sunday

At least three weekends out of the month (and sometimes four), you will find me treasure hunting at one of my local flea markets.  There are plenty of great flea markets in Orange County, and among them, there are about 5 different markets that have become my favorite hot spots for finding vintage components for my jewelry designs.  Today I went to the Old Town Tustin flea market

I was excited about one vendor in particular (see photo above)......a man I have come to be friends with who has tables filled with hundreds and hundreds of assorted pieces of vintage jewelry. While there are plenty of vendors at this flea market who have beautiful jewelry to choose from, I get more excited about this particular vendor. Not only is there impressive volume, but it is all very reasonably priced. Most of his pieces are around $3 to $5 each. Now many people won't shop at his space because a lot of his jewelry is "as is".....meaning broken, missing rhinestones, missing a mate (lots of single earrings) etc.... But for someone like me who can (1) either repair the jewelry myself or (2) repurpose the "as is" piece in one of my jewelry designs, I get most excited about bargain hunting at this space.

Now to show you what pieces I came home with.  I have to admit, I bought more today than I ususally do.  And I didn't even visit every vendor, so I'm sure that there is much that I missed.  But when you've spent all your money, it's time to go home.  Above you will see three sterling silver pieces that I found which will each become the focal piece of one of my designs.  The two pieces on the left are lockets.   No, I didn't find these at the bargain tables....they were quite expensive to buy.   But sterling silver is my favorite metal to work with, and sometimes I pay good money for a nice focal piece. 

Above are some cameo pieces I found.  I can't resist a beautiful cameo!  Brooches I usually repurpose.  They become focal pieces in my necklace designs.  With earrings I will sometimes remove the clips or screws on the backs, and then with jump rings or wire, turn them in to a connector piece in my necklace "chain". 

Above are the plastic/celluloid pieces I found today.  The top piece is a belt buckle, the yellow flower was at one time an earring, the pink leaf was probably originally from a necklace, the turquoise blue flower circle is a brooch, and so is the piece on the bottom right.

Above are some faux pearl pieces.  Pearls have always been very popular with customers and I always try to snatch up pearl pieces when I find them reasonably.  All of these pieces I envisioned
being repurposed in different ways.

 Above are some fantastic metal bracelets.  I love bracelets that are "linked" together because that means you can easily take them apart.  One bracelet can break down into 5, 6, 7, or sometimes more pieces that you can potentially incorporate in to many of your designs.

 Above are the clear rhinestone pieces I found today.  The three teardrop pieces have loops at the top and bottom, so there are lots of possibilities there.  The suspended watch brooch was inexpensive for me to get because the watch is not working.  But I have plans to gut the watch (remove the mechanisms) and put something else very special in its place.  Then it will probably become the focal piece for a necklace.  The two pieces on the bottom are broken, but if you have great vision, you can find wonderful ways to incorporate them into your designs!

 Above are two souvenir pieces I bought.  The brooch/pendant combo on the left is a souvenir from Jerusalem.  The piece on the right is a souvenir from The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.  Both are going to become focals for necklace designs.

 Above is some novelty jewelry that I couldn't pass up.  My jewelry designs are not always elegant and glamorous.....they can sometimes be very kitschy and fun! 

Above are a couple of pieces that I bought purely for the vintage chain.  The top piece I will disassemble and have lots of great chain for many different designs.  The bottom piece is wonderful old brass chain that seems to get harder and harder to find nowadays.

 Above are some remaining random pieces from today's treasure hunting.  The hair comb I will repair and sell.  The other pieces will all get repurposed. 

Above are things that I never pass up!!  Broken vintage necklaces that have amazing glass beads!  I know how expensive it is to buy loose vintage glass beads on Etsy or eBay.  So when I see broken necklaces with killer beads (at a reasonable price) at the flea markets, I always snatch them up.  The beads here are from the 1920's to the 1950's.  All of these beads I would say are quite ordinary beads here.  Finding so many wonderful vintage glass beads in one place just made my day!

Now to get to the "drawing board" and do some designing!  In future posts, I will show you how I take some of these vintage pieces and give them new life.   Sometimes I feel a bit like Dr. Frankenstein.  ;-)

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