Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'll give you some Family Jewels!*: Earrings Edition

As you have just witnessed, Laurie had her first "special trips" post this week (and what a special trip it was! Commune-run thrift stores? Bouncers with walkie-talkies? Cold Scientology-like follower/volunteers? I don't think there is a way to top that. Ever.) As we don't want to blow our special trips wad, I am trying my best to hold off on sharing the totally awesome finds I got this past weekend up in Washburn, WI.

This is not an easy feat.

But of course, it can (and will) be done. In the meantime, I've been thinking about the items I found, particularly a haul of crazy costume jewelry like I have never seen, that came from a recently deceased woman. This got me thinking about thrifted jewelry, and the weird stories and energy that come (or rather, don't come) with it.

Many of my favorite pieces of jewelry came from my mother or grandmother. It is, after all, pretty common place to pass important pieces of jewelry down through family lines (though, admittedly, most of my family jewels are costumey pieces that my mom wanted to get rid of to forget the 80's).

I like weird jewelry (I mean, come on, my engagement ring contains ivory (pre-illegal ivory trade ivory) and blue lapiz (and I can thank none other than Ms. Laurie Marman for helping Chris pick it out)), so you would think that thrifting would be a gold mine for such things. I have found, however, that good jewels are few and far between at thrift stores (perhaps due to the fact that most "real" jewelry either stays in the family, or is sold for better profits than what one gets from the tax deduction for donating). Still, by raking through my boxes and trays of jewelry, I ended up unearthing quite a collection of pieces I've thrifted throughout the years. Here are some of my favorites, starting with earrings!

Gray and White Striped Hoop Earrings

I love, love, love these white and gray striped earrings. The shape of the strange hoop, the colors, all of it. The only downside is that these are virtually impossible to wear while driving. One check of your blind spot and you have a (beautifully unique) earring flying across the car.

Tiger Earrings

I thought I was really going to up the ante when I got my first Minnesota drivers license by wearing these in the picture. What is more rad than a pair of screaming tiger earrings? Well, as it turns out, a lot, especially when you pair them with a terrible drunk bang job. I looked like a weird soccer mom.

Wooden Parrot Earrings

These parrot earrings are technically from a flea market. A birthday gift from my friend Lisa Luck, she and our friend Mandy picked them up on the way to her bachelorette party last year (which just happened to be on my birthday, which was actually awesome because it meant that I could party hard and dance to Warrant without having to plan an awkward get together where I make everyone give me attention). I like how one of them is missing its eyes. No eyed parrot—that can't make it easy to fly. Sad.

Wooden Elephant Earrings

As it turns out, the Halloween Bootique at Value Village isn't a gold mine just for weird clothes, it also is a great place to get strange (super cheap) jewelry like these wooden elephant earrings.

Wood and Gold Earrings

I am a huge fan of combining unlike materials in accessories. These wood block and gold dangly earrings are no exception. I love the different geometric shapes all partying together on one pair of earrings.

Stevie Nicks Sparkle Earrings

I can't remember exactly what thrift store I was at, or who I was with, when I got these sparkly earrings, but I do remember that the way my shopping partner convinced me to buy them was by telling me that they were "Stevie Nicks Coke Party Earrings." Sold.

Stay tuned for more fabulous thrifted jewels of my past—and present!

* I apologize for the title of this blog post. I find the term "family jewels" almost as revolting as the fact that Gene Simmons uses it in the title of his obnoxious reality television show. I mean, really, he is such an ass.


  1. Love, love, love the tigers.

  2. No big surprise that I have the same parrot earrings, thrifted from a special trip to Key West.