Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tiny Treasures

Tiny glass perfume bottle necklace with brass disk engraved number 52 and an antique master key with engraved lion on it.
Vintage Replique Glass Perfume Bottle Necklace.

Last month Fred and I spent a long weekend in one of our Favorite places, Rockport Massachusetts. We enjoyed perfect October weather, great seafood, tremendous views and Harborfest.

Among the many joys of Harborfest were the end of season Garage Sales.
I was lucky enough to find a handful of tiny Vintage perfume bottles that have since been turned into necklaces.
At the top of the page is a Replique by Raphael, Paris bottle circa 1961. I have combined it with an antique brass coat check disk with the number 35 and an old Master key with a lion on it. The bottle contains a secret message, a piece of amethyst, two Herkimer diamonds and the scent of Replique.

Travel to the Stars Perfume Bottle Necklace
The second tiny bottle was without its top so I carved a new one out of cork. The bottle contains a small scroll and tiny meteorite fragments. The bottle is adorned with a Master brand lion key and a game token of the Space Shuttle.

Dangerous Secrets Glass Perfume Bottle Necklace
This tall glass perfume bottle has a slightly mysterious attitude. In it you will find a secret message as well as a tiny rosary. Adorning it are a tiny lion key and a medal.

The FamiLee Jewels enjoy salvaging antique hardware and broken bits of vintage jewelry for our creations. It is our pleasure to reuse these beautiful pieces of the past. To see more of our jewelry in this style visit:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Holiday Shopping and Shipping Deadlines

Brown paper packages tied up with string.

Do you shop online or from Catalogs for Holiday gifts?

Do you ship brightly wrapped Holiday joy to those too far away to visit in person?

Here are some US shipping deadline dates to keep in mind:

  • December 3 Priority Mail International
  • December 11 Express Mail International
  • December 14 Parcel Post
  • December 17 Global Express Guaranteed (GXG)
  • December 20 First Class mail
  • December 21 Priority Mail Domestic
  • December 22 Express Mail Domestic
Get all of Your Favorite Things shipped on time.

Happy Holidays from The FamiLee Jewels.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Treasure from a Weekend in Rockport

Sandy beach glass with small pieces of driftwood, a feather and a shoe sole.
Bounty from Front beach
Seagull feather, soggy leather
Battered wood and
Broken shell.

Polished glass. once someones trash
delivered to shore
Is junk no more.

Sailboats at anchor in a quaint New England harbor on a sunny day.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Greening My Life #onesmallact at a Time

Fred's "new" hand pump
This weeks #onesmallact is one of my favorites. Shopping at flea markets, garage sales and antique stores.
It is a preferred activity for many reasons first being: The Thrill of the Hunt.
Yesterday morning Fred and I headed out (in the unreasonably cold for Cinco de Mayo weather) to a local Flea Market/Antique Show event to search for spoils. My goal was to find materials to use in my jewelry designs and Fred  was looking for tools. We both scored. I came away with a small bag of shiny rhinestones, pins, whistles, a tiny perfume bottle, 2 old brown baseballs and some old medals. They are all destined to become Salvaged Style.
Fred came away with an old water pump. It was once painted red and now has a fantastic worn patina. he also found an old bow saw, a hammer, a wooden barn pulley, and a wooden mallet.
Second reason: Hunters and Gatherers are great people. We ran into some old friends and met some interesting vendors with fabulous stories and a wealth of knowledge about their treasures. My favorite interaction of the day was with a very elderly woman selling items as Vintage as herself. She was not a casual person but very well dressed with perfect makeup, beautiful skin and her soft silver hair was pinned into a french twist. Even sitting on a bench covered with a blanket and fur lap robe she looked regal. I didn't want her to have to leave her warm nest to assist me so took the items I was interested in to her.  As I knelt beside her on the grass she inspected each one carefully, commented on it's provenance, and after a bit of discussion we came to a mutually agreeable price. She was delightful.
Treasures destined to become Salvaged Style.
Third reason: Why buy new when you can own something with History?   Do mother earth a favor and recycle a little. Old is charming, previously owned has a story to tell and  if you have enough imagination nothing is wasted. I talked to my Mom this morning and she told me how my brother and Sister-in-law found all new (to them) lawn furniture while garage sale shopping yesterday Way to go Tamie and Dave!
Bow Saw
It was a great morning. We were entertained by a well run event and interesting people, almost stuck to the budget ( the pump put us $20 over)  and we didn't get carried away with purchases that while great bargains, we had no need for in our home. Giant win.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Training Baseball

Yesterday we had the pleasure of seeing a Grapefruit League Spring training baseball game. The New York Yankees at the Washington Nationals in Melbourne, Florida. It was a beautiful sunny day, we saw Pineda pitch, and the Yankees won. Perfect afternoon! I was hoping that Fred would catch a baseball for my newest jewelry project (that is our game agreement I duck, he dives) but the ones that were hit in our direction didn't come close enough for him to get. I did locate some other old baseballs and have been working hard. The new jewelry will be available on our Etsy site in time for opening day.

- Bonnie, from my iPad

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spotlight on: Evon Cassier Bags

Today I received a lovely gift in the mail from Evon Cassier an Etsy artist and fellow member of Team EcoEtsy.  Our team had a Green Valentine Gift Exchange and I was the lucky recipient of one of Evon's Power Suit totes. 
Power Suit Tote by Evon Cassier

I have been aware of Evon's work for some time. She makes amazingly detailed bags out of recycled men's suits and sport coats.  I was originally drawn to the overnight bags that she makes out of discarded Firefighter turnout coats and quickly came to appreciate the detail in her designs.

My beautiful bag is made of a wool tweed  suit coat (size 42 regular according to the tag inside the pocket). It is a convenient 11 1/2 inches wide 12 inches tall and 5 inches deep. There are 2 pockets on the outside. They are the suits original outside pockets.   There are also 2 pockets on the inside. They are the suit jackets original lining.  There is a leather insert on the bottom for added strength. I am amazed at the artistry and detail in this bag. Even the buttons on the jacket sleeves have found a home.
Inside of the Power Suit bag

Evon is a talented seamstress as well as an imaginative recycler.This talented Etsy artist will also make a custom bag out of a coat or suit jacket that you provide. What a beautiful way to utilize a treasured article of clothing.  Imagine a bag made from the suit jacket your husband wore on the day you were married, or your fathers old  uniform. 

Background: The FamiLee Jewels is an ecofriendly business. We reuse old and unwanted materials in our jewelry designs and use packaging made of recycled materials in our presentation and shipping. Those practices have allowed me to join  Team EcoEtsy. We are a diverse group of and artisans and craftspeople drawn together by our desire to live a green lifestyle and to incorporate green practices into our businesses.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Big Waste: A Big Eye Opener

The Food Network offered up a special last weekend called The Big Waste.
In it celebrity chefs Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, Anne Burrell and Alex Guarnaschelli were charged with the task of creating a multicourse gourmet meal for 100 discerning guests using only food that was going to be sent to the trash.

The waste that they showcased was enormous and must be multiplied by most grocery stores, fish mongers, butchers, bakers, farms and food producers in the country.
Every Day Grocery stores discard many bags of less than perfect produce along with meat, deli and dairy products that are approaching their "use-by" date.

Some examples from the show: 
Meat ends (we are talking about $24/pound prosciutto) that had to much fat in them...became discards.
Oysters returned by a customer that ordered too many...couldn't be resold.
Cheese that had reached it's use by date...out the door.
Bruised tomatoes, peaches with a blemish and lumpy pumpkins all in the compost heap.
One produce farmer that was interviewed stated that 40% of his crop was "waste".
I was appalled by the waste that was brought to light. One of the most enlightening statements from the show was something to the effect of:  Americans through advertising have been taught to expect only perfection. We choose each piece individually for it's lack of blemishes. 
It was easy to be angry, to rage that "There are people starving in this country!" and "Somebody needs to do something?"
The Food Network is a lot of somebody's drawn together by their collective love for food and food preparation. The network used their platform to showcase a problem that many of us realized on some level but had not personally seen. 

I applaud the Food Network's decision. 
They have been slapped by many critics for using a "competition" format and for serving the dinner to "foodies" and not the hungry.  I say to them: This wasn't meant to be an obscure documentary and who better to present a problem to, than those who have  the power and connections to do something about it. 

Bottom line: A lot of waste was identified. Waste not because of wanton disregard of our resources but because of the way we think about our resources.
We as responsible consumers need to learn to use and appreciate food that we may previously identified as less than desirable. To rise to the challenge of finding a way to turn those foods into delicious meals.

We need to learn to cook what is locally available to us instead of planning a menu and then going shopping.
During the broadcast Chef Bobby Flay suggested to a restaurant supply butcher that he have occasional classes to discuss the use of less commonly used cuts and organ meats in order to elevate them to gourmet status.
A good suggestion and one that we can all benefit from. There are many food blogs and recipe web sites that are available online. One of my favorites is It is a user added and user rated recipes that are searchable by ingredient. As an example my refrigerator has leftover chicken and zucchini that needs to be used. AllRecipes gives me a choice of 82 recipes. I have the ingredients in the house to make 5 of them.
I can turn  leftover mixed vegetables into soup, curry or pot pie.
Cheese ends into enchiladas, risotto or breaded Parmesan chicken.
Stale Oreo's into cookie bark.

You get the idea, now use your imagination.......Hmmmm.....I wonder what I can do with that leftover Cabernet? :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It Isn't Easy Being Green

2012 will find me looking for more ways to lesson The FamiLee environmental impact. These lovely items by members of TeamEcoEtsy all support that goal.