Friday Flashbaxx: Everything Old is New Again

Today's trip back in time is a little different.  Two events, one recent and one from before I was born.  For me, a trip to a local shop specializing in vintage jewelry.  For someone else, someone I don't know, someone I can only dream up in my imagination, a trip to France.

I've always loved costume jewelry.  My grandmother -- my mother's mother -- was a tall, striking woman with red hair and more jewelry than anyone I'd ever met.  Most of my memories of time spent at her home in South Minneapolis involve four things: an herb and flower garden in the backyard; a totally awesome turquoise lava lamp; her black cat; and hours spent searching the drawers of her old-fashioned bureaus and the numerous jewelry boxes with velvety interiors and gold clasps, trying on her endless collection of sparkling costume jewelry.

When she died my sisters and I divided up the collection.  I wore that jewelry through high school and beyond -- recently when I resurrected a particularly dazzling set, my husband told me to tone it down.  Too much, he said.

The Grammy Collection

Lorinda Judge Ims, the owner of The Vintage Jewelry Collection, disagrees.  If you've got it, flaunt it!

Lorinda recently re-opened The Vintage Jewelry Collection in a new location, in Old Downtown Rogers, Minnesota.  It's a place of magic and dreams and sparkle.  And it's one of my favorite places ever.


Don't you think I need that butterfly pin (lower right)?

A few weeks ago, I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand re-opening of the store.  I allowed myself to choose one piece of jewelry and let me tell you, it was nearly impossible.  She's got an amazing collection from the last 150 years.  Many of the items are out of my price range, but I was thrilled to see the vast number of really affordable - and fabulous - items.

I settled on an unusual, unique piece, unlike anything I've seen or own - a vintage brass gilt and enamel bracelet with crests of French cities with the most gorgeous shade of blue.

I've never been to France, but someone in my imagination traveled there in the 1940s or 50s and returned home with this bracelet as a souvenir.  Or perhaps she was given the bracelet as a gift.  Of course there is a story behind this lovely piece.  I will never know the true story of its journey, but I can dream it.

So I'll switch Pandora over to Crooners Radio, lose myself in the music of the era, and write the story of a girl with a bracelet.

I can imagine her story, I can write it, I can wear it on my wrist.

Ooh la la!
Maybe I should read 

What unusual or unique places or things have inspired you?


  1. I love vintage jewellery. I don't personally own any, but every time I walk into an antique shop, I always find myself checking out the jewellery display. I especially love brooches. There are so many ways that you can where a brooch too.

    That bracelet you picked out is fantastic! I love the rampant lions. I have a rampant lion pewter kilt pin that I wear as a brooch. So gorgeous! :)

  2. That French bracelet is absolutely gorgeous! I am so jealous! Having a French Hubby, I hope he will someday be inspired to go back to his roots and take me along to France. :)

    Some of the jewelry in that tabletop display looks eerily familiar. I was fortunate to inherit a lot of my mother's/grandmothers' jewelry that no one else in the family really appreciated, probably because it was so sparkly and a little over the top, but I have worn so many of those pieces, especially the brooches. I also wear scarves like my mother often did, and use the brooches as scarf pins.

    Thanks for inspiring me to check out vintage jewelry stores again. :)

  3. What a great story you wrote about something so important in your childhood. I too have found memories of when my love and obsession first came to be. It was with a Grandmothers influence and I am now one of the Vintage Jewelry designers that sells and is teaching at this very show you featured. I too was at the Grand Opening ceremony. Thanks for sharing your post. So fun to read.
    Gretchen of
    Mimi-Toria's Designs

  4. I love the beautiful enamelled French gilt bracelet! I have a very similar French hallmarked silver bracelet with various French city crests. If you would like to see it you can find it here:

    I own an antique jewellery website and i'm always thrilled to find other pieces similar to those I sell!

    You can visit our website at

    Kind regards

    Catherine Gothard

  5. Sorry, the link to the bracelet is actually



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