Valentine’s Storytellers

February 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Vintage Enamel & Rosewood for February

This pretty little treasure pulls on my heart-strings for a number of reasons! This rather large locket came into my possession a few years back when living in Florida. It is the prime example of why artists (and treasure hunters alike) should frequent local thrift stores. Its lovely floral enamel finish tend to remind me of something akin to a Horocrux (for those of you familiar with Harry Potter). Or maybe it’s the clam shell hinge that is reminiscent of my Father’s and Grandfather’s old pocket-watches. I’ve always thought pocket-watches were such delightful objects! Even Alice’s White Rabbit carried his very own pocket-watch. . . But alas, it is not a pocket-watch, it is something equally intriguing. . . a locket!

Vintage Enamel Locket

Vintage Enamel Locket

Vintage Enamel Locket

Oh the Possibilities

The history of lockets dates all the way back to Victorian times, when they were often presented as gifts at funerals. Unlike modern lockets, funerary lockets usually held a lock of hair from the deceased loved one, often a widow. During later times lockets began to hold either a photograph of the deceased or a photograph of the person who gifted the locket. Thus lockets often fall into the category of “mourning jewelry”. Queen Victoria’s lockets were often created from a substance known as ‘Jet’; a type of petrified wood that is often confused with black glass or black Onyx. Over the years, Jet has been used for a variety of purposes, but its use in soothing the pain of a broken heart due to separation or loss of a loved one make it the perfect stone to use for mourning jewelry. This is also the reason lockets are generally worn around the neck; placed close to the heart to evoke healing properties. However, Queen Victoria’s lockets did not contain photographs. Instead, they were filled with small pillow-like cushions on which a few drops of perfume were placed (it wasn’t the most hygienic time period).

This particular locket seems to be made from brass and enamel. It has a very tight hinge/clasp at the top (rather than on the side) with an interesting crosshatching pattern in the brass on the reverse side. It opens and closes smoothly and the inside is pristine; lending to a multitude of ideas and possibilities. Although this little gem is quite pretty it definitely has a presence that resonates with any lover of vintage! There is a bit of dirt around the front inside edges on the enamel, but I tend to think it just adds character!

Rosewood Box

Renaissance Rosewood Box

Rosewood Box

Smells Delightful!

We travel to a different time period to hear the story behind our next trinket. During the Georgian time period or Renaissance time period, much like Queen Victoria, women began wearing Rosewood (and a variety of other lovely smelling potions) to make up for the fact that deodorant (as we know it) did not exist. Rosewood is known as a symbol of love. Its pungent sweet musky scent persists over many years. Due to it being a very strong and heavy wood, it was often used as a medium to create guitars and elaborately carved furniture. Having rose scented furniture would definitely cut down on the cost of candles and wall plug-ins used to deodorize a room! Rosewood is native to Brazil and is now endangered due to many deforestation projects.

I chose to feature this item in February not only because of Rosewood’s symbolic meaning, but for a few other reasons as well. If you look on the panels of the metal box encasing the piece of Rosewood, you may see a pattern of hearts. These holes allow the scent to escape its container and randomly fill the nostrils of its wearer! It’s a very pleasant scent and a nice surprise when it occasionally drifts up to greet you! The smell is rather relaxing and subtle. Hopefully it will remind you of fairy tales and medieval times; days that seem dreamlike in comparison to the present days full of hustle and bustle.



Storytellers, Tea Time, Sneak Peeks & Magpie Pics!. . .

January 31, 2011 § 2 Comments

This post may seem longer than usual and shorter on photos but I promise it contains useful and important information! After some thoughtful pondering and reflection, I came to the conclusion that MagpieTree was in desperate need of some structure. I wanted to ensure that you (my readers) were getting more than just sneak peaks into the studio and updates on new items (not that these things are not exciting)! But there needed to be something more; something appealing enough to warrant coming back over and over and over again to find new and interesting images and inspiration. I want my musings and creations to come to life; take on form and shape, sprout legs and crawl into the little recesses of my reader’s minds to start a little spark of creativity. If I am able, as an artist, to breathe life into the ideas of another creative individual, then I feel I have done my job as a creator. I believe in the power of Art and I believe it can make magical things happen! (Read on for further details)

Sketchbook Cover

MagpieTree will begin running a 4 week Schedule featuring 1 post per week. There will be 4 topics featured each month: Storytellers, Tea Time, (Sketchbook) Sneak Peeks and Magpie Pics.

Week 1: Storytellers

Over the years, I have collected a wide variety of interesting little trinkets (a behavior very typical of a Magpie)! These special objects (an antique pearl necklace clasp or a vintage enamel locket) have the ability to tell many tales. They speak words of past travels in antique shops and weave stories of past lives in foreign places. Sometimes they whisper secrets of their natural origin or heritage. Just as the stingy Magpie covets shiny baubles with plans to later weave them intricately into his nest, these trinkets carved out a little home in my heart, making them difficult to let go. After some soul-searching, I have come to the conclusion that these charming treasures deserve more permanent homes. During the 1st week of each month, I will feature images of a small collection of these Storytellers. The images will be of the items in their original state and each will be accompanied by a short story depicting the trinket’s origination and how it came to be in my possession. During the month, I will work diligently in transforming these trinkets into true Storytellers, using their individual descriptions and history to bring them to life as new creations. The photographs of the newly created pieces will be featured during Week 4 Magpie Pics!

Week 2: Tea Time

Join us for Tea Time every 2nd week of the month! During Tea Time you will come across a wide variety of topics. Anything from interviews with guest artists, info regarding eco-friendly living and any other topic that might be directly or tangentially related to a Magpie or a Tree will be fair game for discussion! I’m super excited about this Section and am open to ideas and suggestions of topics you might be interested in seeing featured during Tea Time. Feel free to send a message, comment or email to offer suggestions! I am looking forward to connecting with unique artists and individuals to create intriguing features that will build Tea Time into a complex community!

Week 3: Sneak Peeks

Sneak Peeks will be just that, a Sneak Peek into my personal sketchbook. Additional writings will NOT accompany these images. I would like you as the viewer to experience the images for yourself without my preconceived notions. Enjoy!

Week 4: Magpie Pics

During every 4th week I will present photographs of newly created Storytellers (first seen during Week 1) after being upcycled into new creations! I will also post images of any Custom Items that may have been created during the previous 3 weeks. I reserve the right to also include any inspirational images that I may have taken while out-and-about during the monthJ

Please do not let all of this information scare you. I assure you I will not flood your inbox with email reminders and repeat information (we all hate this). It is my oath to you to provide useful, creative, informational tidbits of Magpie Wisdom package it up with a bit of twine and send it on its pretty little way to you! I hope you enjoy the upcoming weeks. I look forward to any and all feedback that you have to offer. Thank you for your support and enthusiasm in being a part of my creative world!



happy 2011

January 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Welcome to the new MagpieTree!


November 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

I am creating this blog in hopes that my loving friends, family and supportive customers will follow me on my adventures of creating! I look

forward to sharing my experiences with all of you and giving you a little peak into my studio as I create new objects and trinkets for MagpieTree.

I will randomly be posting items of inspiration, photos of new creations and pics of me at work in the studio.

Please visit my Etsy site for new and exciting items for purchase.

I hope they bring their owners as much joy as they offered me while creating them!


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