Mother and Daughter Journey Through Time with Vintage Jewelry

by Joan K. Levine.
( New York, New York USA)

1940s leather handbag, newly embellished with removable chain and 1940s brooch

1940s leather handbag, newly embellished with removable chain and 1940s brooch

The clicking sound of my mother’s high heels on the wood floor of her bedroom is a memory that stays embedded in my mind. I can still see the pale yellow pickled wood floor as I watched her move around on those heels.

She was beautiful. So glamorous. I knew that once her heels were on, next came the big decision, what jewelry would she wear with her already stunning outfit.

1950s crystal chandelier drops transformed into a necklace

1950s crystal chandelier drops transformed into a necklace

I would run down the hall to her bedroom in my pajamas, knock lightly and wait for her sweet voice to summon me in.

My dad was already dressed for their Saturday night outing, his beard groomed perfectly, always dressed to the nines.

I moved toward her walk in closet, trying so hard to contain my excitement; I picked out a pair of her designer heels and walked towards her jewelry chest, trying to balance on her heels.

And then my ritual would begin. I loved her brooches the best.

1920s brass brooch turned into a necklace

1920s brass brooch turned into a necklace

I carefully picked out each jeweled pin and placed them methodically on my pajama top. Each piece was unique, just like my mother and my memories of Saturday night dress up.

For me, jewelry was always magical. The more unique the piece, the less trendy and more special I would feel.

I often wonder why my mother was as patient with me as I picked through her collection to find just the right brooch that fit my mood.

My father waited until our ritual ended and I stood in front of her Chagall mirror in her heels and a myriad of pins carefully placed on my little girl pajama top.

Forty years later, my mother and I have taken our priceless memories and search for unique brooches and transform them into one of a kind necklaces.

Each piece has a life of its own. Our unity, creativity and love of design come from the bond and love of a mother daughter relationship.

1940s brooch became the focal for a choker of faceted chrysoprase

1940s brooch became the focal for a choker of faceted chrysoprase

I learned about style every time I heard my mother’s heels clicking on her wood floor of her pale yellow bedroom.

Opening her door was like entering a magical carnival. She made looking beautiful so effortless.

Enjoy our creations.

Joan K. Levine
JKL Vintage


Mama’s are Precious
by: Debi Woods

This story is so timely. Just this past thursday nite, I was helping mama pick out her Jewelry to take with her.
We are Native American, and mama was getting her regalia…aka..native dress’s.. and dance shawls together for a Pow-Wow this weekend. As she laid out her regalia, I was sorting thru her Jewelry, which hangs on a large rack on the wall which we have just made for her. I was telling mama how I loved this piece or I remembered when or whom she got it from.
I found this one piece I just fell in love with and said mama, this one is perfect for your new dress. Mama said, I have always loved this piece. I asked her where she got it from, and she looked at me, and then laughed… You made that piece for me when you was 16. Then she told me the story of her birthday party that year, and then I remembered. Now, not bragging, but that was one beautiful piece. Made me real proud to know I had made this for her. WOW… how mama’s can remember things we forget.
Of course we live just like any other family, no matter what the culture is, and I remember my mama dressing for the weekend outtings too. Her wearing her heels, putting on her jewelry, and she always smelled so sweet. I too got to play dress up before they left.
So thank you for this lovely story.
MAMA’S are so precious, and wise at that.
Mama said I have been trying to make jewelry since I was 6 years old. My Grandmama and mama taught me most of what I know.
PS… I am 56 and she still helps me…lol

Two Wonderful Stories
by: Patricia C Vener

What lovely stories! Is it ritual or beauty or some combination thereof that keeps such stories and their attendant emotions alive for us?

Jewelry and memories
by: Rena

Love both of your stories, Joan and Debi! Beautiful memories.

And Joan, I totally love the idea of embellishing that 1940s handbag with a vintage removable chain and brooch – it’s simply smashing!

Vintage Lover
by: Shelia

I love your story! I am glad to see a article on vintage jewelry. I hope to see more.

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