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Entries in pearls (11)


Snowing for Christmas

Since we were speaking yesterday of gussying up shoes with clips, I thought I’d pull a pair from the archives where I did just that one Christmas. In 2009 I wore these red satin peeptoes festooned with vintage pearl clips to the family Christmas celebrations. Like silver stilettos, there are moments when even red satin heels need a little extra pizzazz. They look delightfully like snowballs, don’t you think?


Pearls of Wisdoom

Pearls are one of my favourite precious gems, and unfortunately pearls are fabled to bring tears. They certainly have in my case. I once was horror-stricken when the large Broome pearl fell out of my engagement ring – it was found, but the engagement was broken off (the right decision, it transpired). And now a couple of weeks ago I was devastated when I arrived home one day and discovered the mabé pearl in a favourite ring was smashed off!

Somehow it’s worse to find it half-smashed than lost altogether. In the latter case I might be able to console myself a little that some lucky person was enjoying it. Now, all I can imagine is that the fragments of pearl shell were crushed underfoot by some oblivious passer-by. Ironically, this ring was a gift from the same man, so perhaps it was doomed after all, though it took more than a decade for the day of its reckoning to come.

On Moh’s scale of hardness, pearls rate a 2.5–4.5 out of ten; next time, give me pure carbon, the hardest substance known to man. It just doesn’t have the same ring, though, does it?

Photo: November 2018


Knit One, Pearl Seven

I picked up this mohair beret at the start of spring last year from an op shop (thrift store). I am a sort of connoisseur of berets, and this mauve number was unlike any I already owned. Someone had clearly donated it because it was missing quite a number of the pearls decorating its top, so it was priced accordingly, but this I knew was an easy fix if I could find matching pearl beads.

The warm weather was coming up, and knowing I was unlikely to wear it for many months, the hat languished on the mending pile for some time before I attended to it. I found Swarovski pearls that matched closely enough, and one day on a mending frenzy, I finally attached them.

And voilà! Someone else did not make do, but I mended, and I now have a rather cute little hat to wear in the coming cold weather.

Photos: March 2018


Costume Pearls

I found these pearl-encrusted half-hoops a little while ago in an op shop but have not worn them yet as they are so extravagant. They are about 1cm wide by 4cm high, and there is nothing at all delicate about their design, which makes me think they must be brash 1980s pieces! Pearls are usually more refined, associated with debutantes and twin sets, but these Eighties numbers are bold and glitzy, which makes me suspect that I will keep these for costume wear only.

They do give me an idea, however, to make some traditional hoops threaded with seed pearls – something like these ones below from Sanctuary Jewellery on Etsy, only more spectacular – by which I mean much bigger!

Photo: Today

Small pearl hoops from Sanctuary Jewellery on Etsy


What I Actually Wore #114

Serial #: 0114
Date: 05/04/2013
Weather: 25°C / 77°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

I chuckle every time I open up the folder of one of these archival fashion shoots and see some outlandish outfit like this one. It’s so OTT! But I should reiterate at the time I was on a real Ballet Russes kick that year. That ballet company was famous for its extravagant and wildly colourful costumes, many of which featured a multitude of patterns.

I remember buying that Anthropologie cardigan new on eBay (and we still don’t have a brick-and-mortar store here in Australia). I deliberated for a long time because it was quite expensive, but I did love it. I’ve teamed it with a classic black and white striped t-shirt from Zara (bought in Portugal while on holiday to replace a previous iteration that just became too worn), and a vintage 1920s navy straw hat that has a striped effect by way of the velvet piping. There are pearls scattered over the hat too, and two little velvet bows at the back. I bought it on Etsy from an American seller.

Black patent T-bar heels (by Scooter, a brand that no longer seems to exist) and bag (vintage 60s), grey over-the-knee socks, and sterling silver and enamel earrings complete my accessories. I made the earrings myself, from small sterling silver ridged beads, and larger beads that are enamelled in blue with silver stars. The design is a variation on my favourite simple style of a dangling single round bead – I call them bauble earrings.

The effect of the whole outfit is quite doll-like, and far too cute for me to wear anything remotely resembling that these days. The cardigan has since been donated to charity, the linen skirt as well I think (or it may only have made it as far as a bag of prospective donations, in storage) and the shoes also wore out and were trashed. The other items I still own – a 50% retention rate is not too bad, I suppose.


T-Shirt: Zara
vintage 20s
hand-made by me
vintage 60s

Photos: April 2013