Pastel fans, you’re in for year of fantastically delicate hues! The Pantone Color Institute has announced that Rose Quartz and Serenity are sharing the title of 2016′s Color of the Year. These soft shades of pink and blue evoke the tranquility of nature, a calming sense of security and the sweet freedom of open personal expression. Such versatile colors are nicely complemented by warm neutrals and muted shades, and they make a fabulous canvas for styling a range of accessories. One simple way to enhance this pretty pastel palette: adorn yourself with the cool tones of silver jewelry. Enliven your wardrobe by styling silvertone baubles inspired by old fashioned designs, or make a curated chic statement with crystal vintage pieces boasting the endlessly appealing vibes of yesteryear. If you need further inspiration, we’ve prepared a photo style guide to spark some excitement for 2016′s fashion landscape.
The days are getting shorter, the temperature is getting colder and sweater season is upon us! While these cozy knits are often completely necessary for staying warm, they tend to present one bothersome problem: they can snag easily. This can make styling your favorite pieces of jewelry something of a hassle during the chilly months. Luckily, we here at Heirloom Finds have some tips for choosing pieces that reduce the risk of pulls, snags and loose stitches.
First and foremost, shirk the statement necklace and instead let a pair of vivacious earrings do the talking for you. Statement earrings positioned safely at your lobes won’t pose a threat to your threads. Our favorites for wintertime styling include crystal scrollwork dangles, dramatic black resin drops, Deco-inspired beauties and fanning rhinestone dazzlers.
If you simply must wear a necklace with your pullover or cardi, don’t fret! Not every necklace poses a risk to your knits. Opt for beads and smooth-surfaced pendants rather than crystal clusters and spiked metallics to avoid those snags. Consider, for example, a trendy floral beaded tassel, a bold simulated pearl number, a teardrop tassel pendant with a hammered finish or a chic combination of simulated pearls and sparkly crystal beads.
Wrists aren’t too problematic, provided you skip bulky stretch bracelets and troublesome mechanical clasps. Settle on cuffs, memory wire bangles and magnetic clasp bands instead. Your sweaters will thank you! Need some inspiration? Check out this imitation snakeskin statement cuff, shiny magnetic bangle, double simulated pear memory wire wrap and ultra-glitzy aurora borealis crystal spring coil bracelet.
These suggestions should see you well on your way to styling sweater friendly jewelry like a pro. If you want to bring some retro appeal to your look, consider also adding vintage brooches or sweater clips to your knitwear. They’re the classic accessories for winter apparel. Whatever baubles you choose, stay warm and stylish out there!
by Sarah Clark
If throwback fashion is kind of your thing, you’re in luck this season. Vintage vibes have overtaken the runway! We here at Heirloom Finds have been noticing that brooches have become especially prominent in this year’s fall fashion trends. If you’re looking for ways to rock these retro baubles while making a cutting-edge statement, we have some tips you’ll be dying to try!
Perhaps the most commonplace location for attaching a brooch is on a blazer. However, that doesn’t mean the look needs to be boring. Opt for something large, bright and eye-catching to enliven an otherwise demure lapel and attract compliments on your unique fashion sense.
If you’re not quite ready to go bold with your brooches, a more delicate alternative is to pair a romantic long-stemmed rose pin with a blush pink blazer. The resulting look is flirty, floral and feminine without being overly cloying.
Does your workday wardrobe include several collared blouses? Every one of those tops offers an opportunity to style a vintage pin. Simply attach a classically gorgeous brooch below the top button and go! It’s best to opt for smaller, lightweight pieces in these instances.
Trying to keep off the crisp autumn chill? You can easily rock a brooch while staying bundled up! Pick out a cozy blanket scarf, wrap it around you and attach a brooch to hold it in place. We’re sort of obsessed with the look of sparkling crystals against soft woven textiles.
The resurgence of the ruana this year provides yet another fantastic chance for rocking a brilliant brooch. Choose something bright, bold and metallic to fasten onto a fringed wrap. The ruana’s versatile nature is replete with potential with regard to pin placement.
If sweaters are more your scene, try fastening an eye-catching brooch onto a turtleneck collar. You couldn’t ask to look more fabulous while staying so warm! We prefer the appearance of a metallic flower pin against a darker knit for optimum autumn panache.
Don’t be afraid to wear more than one brooch at once! The clustered look is lovely when you have the right collection of pins. The possibilities here are limitless! A few flower pins, for example, turn a denim jacket into a backdrop for a lovely bouquet of beautiful blooms.
Think brooches are only for wearing below the shoulders? Think again! Any pin styled on a chic chapeau can make an incredibly gorgeous and wholly original statement. A band on a black floppy felt hat is the perfect place for fastening the prettiest brooch you own. You can also experiment in glamming up beanies, cloches and trilbies as well to curate a look that’s uniquely you.
If you have a hair tie, you have one more opportunity to show off a favorite brooch. A basic ponytail becomes something one-of-a-kind when you add a brooch to the back. Any hairstyle you choose, however, has creative potential for stunningly showcasing a pin.
These suggestions should have you well on your way to becoming a brooch styling expert. Enjoy finding your favorite way to wear these dazzlingly versatile accessories!
by Sarah Clark
We’ve been studying the runways, red carpets and fashion mags here at Heirloom Finds and have noticed an absolutely thrilling trend: statement earrings are in for Fall 2015! Our stellar selection of extraordinary ear candy offers something for nearly every fashionista who wants to stay current this season.
Are you dying to combine two of today’s trends while standing out from the crowd? A fabulous pair of tassel statement earrings fits the current fringe fascination and will catch eyes wherever they’re worn. From the office to the gala, these glorious goldtone earrings glam up demure autumn palettes while drawing much-deserved attention to your face.
If you find yourself unable to give up summer’s boho vibes, we have earrings that will let your free spirit shine without looking too festival chic. These brass-tone beauties are full of romantic bohemian attraction that’s perfect for apple picking, pumpkin carving, latte sipping and all your other autumn adventures.
To really amp up this season’s glamour game, try rocking some ultra-luxe antiqued goldtone earrings. These earrings’ modern design, fanning rhinestones and edgy finish make an extra bold statement you can’t help but covet.
The classic mottled brown hues of simulated tortoiseshell resin combined with glittering crystal accents are undeniably appealing paired with cardis, blazers and anything warm enough to keep brisk temperatures at bay.
Don’t overlook the vintage! We’ve noticed how retro-inspired accessories have been adorning couture and are so pleased to have a catalog filled with authentic vintage treasures. These earrings offer a gothic spin on the classic cameo and a linear filigree design that’s fashionably flattering. Looking for something else that’s still similarly unique? Peruse our extensive line of vintage earrings for more beautiful statement-makers.
Are you ready to get out there and get noticed this season? Simply slip on a favorite pair of statement earrings and go!
by Sarah Clark
Tired of your usual jewelry lineup and looking for something fresh to try? We here at Heirloom Finds have a look that’s fun to experiment with and easy to achieve. We give you: paired bracelets! Simply find two identical bracelets, slip one onto each wrist and voilà! You’ve crafted a statement look that will glam up nearly any ensemble. Need a little more inspiration? We’ve got you covered.
For formal attire, all you need are two sparkling rhinestone bracelets with an attractively ornate design. We’re definitely in love with how this blush pink dress plays perfectly with these Art Deco-inspired bands. The look is on-point for wedding couture, soirée ensembles and every outfit in need of some exquisite double shimmer.
Don’t be afraid to try styling multiple pairs of matching bracelets. We’ve combined clear crystal and white simulated pearl stretch bracelets together and found the look to be nothing short of fabulous. Their coordinating antiqued goldtone finish lends a timeless feel that’s ideal for evening wear.
If you prefer something a little more casual, try styling colorful crystal bracelets in a double arm party. The arrangement makes a wonderful addition to your go-to jeans and blouse combo! This look lets you rock favorite colors that fantastically fit your mood. We’re a little bit obsessed with this pink and black stretch bracelet mélange.
Something a little more daring but definitely striking is wearing bold cuffs over long sleeves. Such an eye-catching look makes an incredible statement your fashionable friends will envy. These polished goldtone cuffs create a vibe that’s perfect for fall when they’re combined with a chic marsala sweater.
This incredible style breathes new life into wardrobes, but it’s actually a rather old look. Wearing matching wide repoussé cuffs or wrap bracelets on both wrists was a major fashion fad during the Victorian era. The style also appears in the artwork of ancient Greek and Egyptian civilizations, among others. When you’re ready to rock your own take on this time-tested trend, rest assured that we have the bracelets you need to craft a matching double arm party that’s uniquely you!
by Sarah Clark
We’re all about fringe for fall this year here at Heirloom Finds. Tassels that combine attractively sweeping lengths, classically delicate vibes and edgy designs make the optimum autumn accessories. Their elongating effect is fantastically flattering and perfect for adding the ideal amount of flash to any ensemble.
One of our favorite aspects of tassels? They’re so incredibly versatile in their ability to transition from breezy bohemian to elegantly tailored with a simple change of outfit. And their swinging kinetic appeal is both entrancing and effortlessly fun!
We can’t help but notice that this season’s fashion landscape is full of retro-inspired clothing and baubles. Why not craft your own look using authentic vintage jewelry? The tassel pendants of yesteryear are definitely as admirable as they are today. Paired with a cozy pullover and jeans, the right vintage fringe necklace will add a brisk autumn vibe to your casual couture. If you need “something old” for an October wedding, our vintage catalog is replete with classic necklaces that fit well with bridal attire while staying true to the fall fringe trend.
Another thing we love about tassels is the fact that they come is such beautifully diverse styles. They are far from restricted to chain fringe and a metallic finish. Mixed media pieces composed of polished stones, leather and thread add artistically eclectic flair to fit your unique personality. How fabulous!
The timeless feel of the season’s fringe trend is simply irresistible, so make sure your autumn wardrobe is ready for an influx of beautiful tassel jewelry that’s easy to style and always on point. How do you plan on showing off your tassel necklaces, earrings and bracelets this fall?
by Sarah Clark
Perhaps you gasped at the title of this piece. After all, any serious vintage collector or fashionista knows you should leave vintage jewelry in its original state. Right?
In general, I agree with that rule and almost all of the vintage jewelry we offer at HeirloomFinds.com is in its original condition, just as we find it at estate sales and flea markets. We simply hand clean the surface and tighten jump rings and clasps as necessary.
However, as the buyer of all the vintage goodies that appear on the site, I will confess that there are occasions when nothing but a complete cleaning and restoration will save a tired piece of otherwise wonderful old jewelry.
I employ the 3 R’s when out shopping and sometimes actually buy less than perfect pieces. As I examine each piece of jewelry before buying, I ask myself where it falls on this scale:
- Resell – Yay! This item is beautiful, stylish, wearable and ready to offer on the site.
- Rubbish – Well, that one is obvious, right?
- Restore – I use this categorization infrequently, but I want to discuss that here.
When should you attempt to restore a piece of vintage jewelry? On rare occasions, you may find a mistreated or neglected piece of vintage jewelry that is so striking in its design or use of materials, so evocative of an era or a designer that you are driven to find a way to restore it and find it a new home.
I acquired the necklace pictured here in a box lot at a recent auction. It was so dingy at first that I really showed it no love. A second glance as I unpacked my treasures of the day revealed the true nature of this gem. Stunning pre-war style? Check! Quality materials? Check! All parts present, intact and working? Check!
This 1930’s Brass and Prystal Bakelite Drop Festoon Necklace was really showing its age in a bad way. The reverse of the book chain had green gunky tarnish and the Bakelite baubles were so dirty and oxidized that they appeared opaque. However, it had great “bones”.
Given the choice of leaving the piece dirty (and basically unwearable) or restoring it to something very close to its original condition, I chose the latter. Please note that the techniques used in this restoration project will not work with all vintage pieces. They do work very well with brass and Bakelite.
The required tools and materials are:
- Needle nose pliers
- Simichrome metal polish (truly the best for this task)
- Soft toothbrush
- Cotton swabs
- Soft cotton towel
- Rubber gloves (your mani will thank you)
Here’s how to do it:
- Carefully remove the transparent Bakelite heptahedron (yep, it’s a word) drops from the brass bead drops using the needle nose pliers. Place the original jump rings aside, as you will need to reuse them.
- Soak those Prystal drops in water with a few drops of dishwater, then gently scrub them with a soft toothbrush and rinse.
- Hand polish the Bakelite beads with a dab of Simichrome. Perhaps you have heard of testing Bakelite with Simichrome, but did you know that is also removes the surface oxidation, grime and scratches, revealing beautiful colors and a smoother finish?
- Carefully hand polish the brass chains and bead drops with Simichrome. This step takes patience, care and elbow grease. For the most tarnished or dirty areas, I found the toothbrush to be a very effective tool. Cotton swabs and toothpicks were also useful in crevices. I then polished the entire piece with a soft cotton cloth. Don’t forget to polish the jump rings as well.
- Reattach the Bakelite drops using the needle nose pliers.
- Marvel at the transformation. I confess that the necklace is not “like new.” No vintage Bakelite piece is ever truly in its original state, as the colors of the plastic change over the years. However, I love the way the Catalin Prystal and brass glow after the facelift.
As with any restoration project, remember to research the materials in your piece for the appropriate tools, chemical and techniques. Use care and clean/polish gently. Trust me, in the early days I had a few restoration fails that were heartbreaking, which led me to be more careful when studying materials and experimenting with other techniques.
by Jeanne Peters
Ah, summer. Parties, get-togethers, and family dinners are all a little more fun when you throw grilling into the works. You’re probably familiar with outdoor gathering invitations that state, “We’ll have the grill going, so bring your favorite grillable and a side and we’ll make it a potluck!”
If you’re following a vegetarian diet or simply want to try out meat-free options, don’t be tempted to show up to your next backyard party with a box of frozen veggie patties or a few faux hot dogs. The grill unfortunately does no favors for fake meat. It dries it out and renders it rubbery, and even wonderful homemade veggie patties tend to crumble and fall through the grates into the grill fire. These non-carnivorous options fare better when cooked in a skillet or baked in the oven.
Trendy cauliflower steaks, on the other hand, are delicious and satisfying, and they’re a great canvas for bold, grill-friendly flavors like the recipe below. Unlike veggie patties, a thick cross-section of cauliflower benefits from a good char on the grill. Bring along a bean salad like this one as a side to work in some extra protein.
Grilled Chipotle Lime Cauliflower Steaks
Adapted from Faith Durand, The Kitchn
Serves 4 to 6
You may need to cook your cauliflower steaks in two batches to ensure a good char. If you have a grilling basket, you can cut the cauliflower into 2-inch florets and grill those in the basket instead.
2 large heads cauliflower
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice and finely grated zest of 2 limes
2 cloves garlic, smashed into a paste or finely grated
1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
1 tablespoon paprika (unsmoked)
1-2 teaspoons chipotle powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, to serve
Remove the leaves on each cauliflower head and trim the stem end until you can set the cauliflower flat on the cutting board. Use a large, sharp knife to trim off the sides, then cut the cauliflower into 3 to 4 thick “steaks” about an inch thick.
Whisk the olive oil, lime juice, garlic and honey or agave syrup in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix the lime zest, paprika, chipotle and salt.
Heat a gas or charcoal grill to high. Brush each cauliflower steak all over with the olive oil mixture and sprinkle the top surfaces generously with the chipotle powder mixture. Place the seasoned sides down on the hot grill.
Cover the grill and cook for 3 to 6 minutes. Remove the lid and carefully flip the cauliflower. Cook covered for an additional 3 minutes or until done to your desired texture.
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve immediately with lime wedges on the side.
by Sara Bir
You probably already know how much we here at Heirloom Finds love jewelry. What you may not know is that many members of our staff are dedicated animal lovers and pet parents. This week, we asked the crew to submit photos and stories about their furbabies. Get ready for some heartwarming cuteness!
Tazzie and Gracie are the spoiled babies of Heirloom Finds owners Kim Williams and Jeanne Peters. Taz the Jack Russell Terrier (or as Jeanne calls him, “terrier of indeterminate origin”) was adopted from a neighbor about ten years ago, and Gracie the Boxer joined their home six years ago. The pair have since become unlikely albeit inseparable best friends and often accompany Kim and Jeanne to work at the HF offices. They spend most of their time sleeping on the job, with brief breaks for walks around the neighborhood and games of tug-of-war (which consists of Gracie dragging Taz around on the other end of a stuffed toy). Taz has a bossy personality and has never recognized that Gracie, who’s consistently gentle, is four times his size.
Marnie, also known as Marnieduke, is Order Fulfillment Specialist Fran William’s lab mix. She was adopted from the Human Society of Parkersburg when Fran and her husband Tom were mourning the loss of Bonkers, their wonderful dog of fifteen years who had recently died of renal failure. As it turns out, Marnie needed the Williams as much as they needed her. Today, Marnie is affectionate, ornery, goofy and simply adorable as she enjoys the puppyhood she missed before being adopted. Fran reports that this sweet dog gives her family laughter, joy and lots of loving kisses.
Operations Associate Sarah Cline is the proud mama of three furbabies! Her smallest is a black apple head Chihuahua named Dewey. A friend that was sick with cancer gave him to Sarah when he was a tiny puppy that fit in the palm of her hand. Molly, a tan and brown ShiChi puppy, and Chubby, her long-haired brother, are the children of Dewey and a shih tzu named Maggie. Dewey, Molly and Chubby love playing, barking, wrestling and being silly. They all have different personalities, with Molly being the troublemaker, Dewey playing the referee and Chubby charmingly copying everything Dewey does. Sarah and her husband love their dogs because they’re their best friends, and despite their orneriness always brighten the Clines’ day by just being there.
Data Specialist Joe Ryckebosch and First Blush blogger Sara Bir’s dog Scooter was about six years old when he was adopted from the Oregon Humane Society in Portland in 2007. Part Border Collie, part Jack Russell Terrier, Scooter is a loving, devoted pet who has always been bursting with highly focused energy. He’s slowed down quite a bit now that he’s older, but this extra sweet dog still enjoys long walks and chasing balls. Although he sometimes drives them batty, Scooter has become a valued part of his humans’ family. Joe, Sara and their daughter love how his companionship and open heart have brought them all closer together.
Copywriter Sarah Clark’s cat, Monk, was adopted as a seven-week-old semi-feral kitten two months ago. Although she had a reputation for being skittish and hissy at the Human Society of the Ohio Valley in Marietta, Ohio, the brownish-grey tabby calmed down shortly after arriving at her new home. She now divides her time between playing with the multitude of toys her human parents give her and napping on the first available lap she finds. Sarah is a lifelong cat lady at heart, and absolutely melts when Monk, named for her chipmunk-like markings and a 1960’s garage rock band, runs to greet her when she arrives home from work.
Heirloom Finds would like to warmly thank our local Humane Societies for all the important work they do for the community. Looking for a pet of your own? Your best friend just might be waiting for you at your local animal shelter.
by Sarah Clark
Just as jewelry accessorizes outfits, condiments can accessorize recipes. Around this time of summer when blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are abundant, a jar of lemon curd stashed in the fridge is the key to instantly dressing up quick and appealing fruit desserts.
Rich and tart lemon curd is the perfect foil for fresh and juicy berries, particularly blueberries. You can make up a batch using our favorite recipe below, or just buy a jar from the store. Once you have lemon curd on hand, you’ll keep discovering new uses for it. Here are some of our favorites:
- Serve it with freshly baked scones or biscuits.
- Whip heavy cream and fold in lemon curd; use as a filling for tarts, as in this recipe, or serve it in small dishes with berries and shortbread or wafer cookies on the side.
- Swirl it into the filling of your favorite cheesecake recipe right before baking.
- Layer it with whipped cream or yogurt and fruit for a classic fool.
- Use dabs of it as a filling for thumbprint cookies.
We’re currently adoring these impressive but easy no-bake lemon-ginger ice cream sandwiches. Crisp and spicy ginger cookies soften in the freezer and provide a contrast to a smooth filling of lemon curd folded with premium ice cream. The flavor is decadent, but the portion size is perfect for when you want a satisfyingly cool and sweet nibble.
Easy Lemon-Ginger Ice Cream Sandwiches
From Linda Faus, former test kitchen director for The Oregonian
Makes small 16 sandwiches
These cool and refreshing four-bite treats hit the spot. They make a wonderful sweet midday snack or light dessert.
- 1 pint premium vanilla ice cream, softened
- 1/2 cup lemon curd, storebought or homemade (see recipe below)
- 32 thin, crisp ginger cookies
In a medium bowl, beat the ice cream briskly with a sturdy wooden spoon until it is smooth. Return to the freezer for 15 minutes to firm.
Lay 16 cookies, bottom-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Using a small ice cream scoop, dole about 2 tablespoons of the ice cream mixture onto each cookie and top with the remaining 16 cookies, pressing to flatten slightly.
Clear out a space in the freezer where the sheet will lay flat. Freeze for at least 3 hours before serving. To freeze longer, wrap each sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and place carefully in a plastic freezer bag. Use within 2 weeks.
Adapted from Lynne Sampson for The Oregonian
Makes 1⅔ cups
It takes time to make lemon curd, but it can feel meditative to stand at the stove and stir. If you don’t anticipate using all of the lemon curd within a month, simply freeze half to use later.
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice
- Grated zest of 2 lemons
- 6 tablespoons butter
In a medium stainless steel, nonstick, or enameled saucepan, beat the eggs, yolks and sugar with a whisk until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest.
Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom and corners of the pan. The mixture will slowly turn more opaque and the spatula will start to make visible swaths through the mixture, 10 to 15 minutes. Keep stirring until the curd is as thick as sour cream and coats the spatula, 2 to 3 minutes more.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter until it melts and the curd is smooth. Pour into a medium bowl and lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the lemon curd to prevent a crust from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours before using. Store the lemon curd tightly sealed in the refrigerator for 1 month or in the freezer for up to 1 year.
by Sara Bir