My maternal grandmother loved costume jewellery. Whenever I was at her house when I was little, she would let me sift through the necklaces and bracelets and clip on earrings and adorn myself however I chose. I would pile six necklaces on top of each other and put clip on earrings not only on my ears but in my hair as well, with bracelets laddering up both arms. I would put on one of her wide brimmed hats and one of her gaudily flowered dresses and prance around in my finery. But the real star of the show, as far as I was concerned, were the sparkling paste jewels I adored.
My mother is not a fan. Maybe it skips a generation? My daughters aren't big on sparkly stuff either.
In no particular order, here are some of my favourite pieces from my own collection of finery.
This necklace was a thrift-store find, and for $25, I could not walk away from it. There is one more loop on each side of the citrines surrounded by the white aurora boreallis square stones, and then it becomes a single strand of the white stones all the way to the clasp. It reminds me of a very similar piece my grandma had, except hers was blue instead of amber.
I bought this brooch, with matching earrings, from a school friend whose mother sold Avon when we were in grade school. I lost one of the earrings, sadly.
A friend bought this for me as a birthday gift, about fifteen years ago. She found it at at one of the stalls in Kensington Market.
I bought this brooch off ebay, many years ago now. The stones have a coating of blue aurora borealis, and the layers of stones make it easy for things to get caught on it. It's less green in real life, but I couldn't quite capture the colour. I don't wear it as often as some of my other brooches, but I always get compliments on it. At about four inches wide, it's pretty striking looking!
This is much more modern - the lilac is painted white over the metal, and the leaves are enamelled. I wear this all spring on a denim blazer with a pashmina.
I bought this peridot brooch off ebay as well - in fact, I think it was one of the very first things I ever bought online. The green is very fresh, and it sets off the aurora borealis stones so perfectly.
These earrings were a local thrift store find. They are clip on earrings, and they are very tight, so I don't wear them often, but after I photographed them, I found myself in front of the mirror, putting them in my hair and preening just a little.