Sunday, December 28, 2008

All Stitched Up

Everyone appreciates the thought put into a handmade, one-of-a-kind gift. This is a poncho I just finished knitting for my mother. It is a simple garter stitch.  The yarn changes colors throughout, creating a striped pattern.  I wove a strand of leather at the neck that tightens to give it shape.  A few months ago, my mom and I were shopping at one of my favorite boutiques. We both really liked a similar tubular sweater, which inspired this design of mine.   It didn't quite turn out the same, but even better.  

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hunting for Treasures

You ask, "where do I find vintage lockets?"  I buy them at estate sales and from antique jewelry dealers.  I always ask the seller about the history of the pieces and learn a lot from talking to them. Recently, while hunting for vintage treasures, I came across the most beautiful lockets that I have ever seen.  It is a rare Art Nouveau locket with a relief of a woman blowing bubbles.  I especially love how the bubbles are accented with jewels.       

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Vintage Purse Collection

This is my collection of vintage purses. Some were my grandma's and mother's. Those are very sentimental. The others I found at thrift stores. They are all unique and one of a kind. That to me is what makes them special.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Them Boots Are Made For Walking

Cowboy boots are symbolic of the Wild West and their designs take their inspiration from centuries of boot making.  Horseman wore boots to protect the inner calf from rubbing on the saddle and the outer calf from nettles and brambles.  The purpose of the stacked heel was to stabilize the foot in the stirrup. One of the most interesting things about vintage cowboy boots is that they were mostly custom made and nearly every pair is different. Here is my collection of vintage cowboy boots.  Like Cinderella, I hunt for a boot that fits. 

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Recycled Jewelry Pouches

In addition to recycling, it is important to not to waste materials. Instead of throwing away leftover fabric scraps, I save them to make jewelry pouches for every Vintage Rehab necklace and bracelet. Inside each one is a description of the piece and my business card.  

Friday, December 12, 2008

TOMS - Shoes for Tomorrow

Today, I bought a pair of shoes that are made of 67% hemp and 33% recycled plastic bottles.  Hemp is one of the strongest natural fibers in the world and can easily be grown without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. 

Also, "for every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need.  Since its beginning in May 2006, TOMS has given over 10,000 pairs of shoes to children in Argentina and 50,000 pairs in South Africa through the purchases of our caring customers.  In 2008 TOMS plans to give 200,000 pairs of shoes to children in need around the world." 

Instead of feeling guilty for buying another pair shoes that I definitely don't need, I can look down at my new TOMS and know that I did something positive for the environment and for poverty stricken children. For more information go to

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Flower to Brighten Your Day

Throughout the week, my friend goes to his neighborhood flower shop and saves the plants that are being thrown out.  They are still alive and some are still blooming.  I am surprised at all of the beautiful roses, lilies, orchids, and other flowers that are in the dumpster.  He gives them to friends and even strangers to brighten their days.  All of the larger plants and trees he keeps on his patio and nurtures them back to life.  I admire him for doing something everyday to contribute to a more beautiful, healthy environment.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Saving the Planet

Before you throw something away, think about where it is going to end up.  When it comes to garbage, we tend to treat it as out of sight, out of mind.  We set out our trash, someone comes and gets it, and it magically disappears!  Unfortunately, it doesn't really go away.  It becomes part of the wast stream and travels to its final resting place.   

Four basic options for waste are: 1) composting, 2) recycling, 3) incineration, 4) landfill. Composting is a critical step in reducing the volume of garbage needlessly sent to landfills for disposal.  Here is a guide to composting.  I am amazed by all of the things that can be recycled.  This is a good website to learn how commonly used goods and more obscure materials can be recycled.  Please help save the planet!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Unlocking Old Memories

I recently uncovered this vintage treasure at an estate sale. It is a Victorian locket from the 1900's. Inside is the original photo of a little girl that a woman once wore to remember a loved one.  What a beautiful keepsake.  The face of the locket has a unique basket weave and jeweled design.  I made a new chain for it with gold filled chain and wire wrapped vintage crystal beads throughout.  Check out the 1900's Jeweled Basket Weave Locket Necklace available for sale at my etsy store.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Handmade Jewelry Display

I needed a way to display my necklaces and bracelets on for trunk shows and didn't want to buy some expensive display or a cheap one that would reflect upon my jewelry design. So, I created this jewelry display with a scrap of wood, tree branch, and spray paint.  Most of these materials I found around my house and backyard.  The tree branch fits into a hole drilled in the wood base and comes apart for easy portability.  Best of all, it cost less than $10 to make.      

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Vintage Rehab Trunk Show

This past Thursday I hosted my 1st trunk show featuring one-of-a-kind vintage locket necklaces.  It was held at Shiki, a local Austin boutique where I consign some of my jewelry. 

My Vintage Rehab collection was displayed together for the first time.  I (a very modest designer) was in awe and so proud of all of my work.  The most rewarding part was telling people about the history of the antique lockets and other vintage finds.  

Everyone complimented my designs and best of all I sold a few pieces.  Being that the majority of my sales are online, I don't often get to meet my customers and see them try on their necklace.  This was a great experience and great marketing tool to continue on doing.  

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Keepsake Child's Locket Necklaces

My sister just gave birth to a baby girl named Emma Rose.  I am a proud aunt and can't wait to watch her grow up.  To remember this special moment, I created a locket necklace for her with a picture of her baby that she can wear close to her heart.  Also, I was inspired to create a new line of one-of-a-kind, vintage child's locket necklaces. What a perfect keepsake baby gift for a mother and child that will be passed on for generations!  

One of my favorite ones is the Vintage Child's Flower Heart Locket Necklace.  This vintage heart locket is embossed with a floral motif and now hangs on new chain accented with gold beads.  Please check out my new designs at!

Post-it Collage

My cousin studied for months for his BIG psychology exam. Post-its with facts covered on his test were tacts on every surface of his apartment to help him prepare. All of the colors, handwriting, and what they said inspired me to create a piece of art to hang in his office. First, I made a cardboard structure that folded like a fan.  Then, I glued each color post-it in vertical rows. This 3-D collage is designed so looking from the right side are rows of the darker colors and from the left are the light ones. I hope it reminds him of the great accomplishment in passing his test.  

Monday, July 21, 2008

1900's Scenic Locket Necklace

This an antique Victorian locket is etched with a scenic design and intricate metal work that attaches to the bale.  The necklaces is a new 14k gold filled chain accented with 12k gold plated vintage Swarovski crystals.  

Victorian is designation given to the period from approximately 1837, when Victoria became Queen of England, until 1901, when she died. This long period is divided into early (approx. 1840-1860), mid (approx. 1860-1880) and late (approx. 1880-1900), since it covers a wide span of time and a number of distinctive trends.  This period was preceded by the Georgian period, and succeeded by the Edwardian period after Victoria died in 1901, and her son Edward became king. 

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vintage Mother of Pearl Dove Pendant Necklace

I created this necklace with found vintage components.  The pendant is a mother of pearl dove that hands on a vintage brass bar link double strand chain with a rare, pink flower clasp.  The dove symbolizes the soul and the Holy Spirit.  It signifies peace, gentleness and purity.  In armory, the dove signifies loving constancy and peace.

Friday, July 18, 2008

1900's Jeweled Basket Weave Locket Necklace

1900's antique, Victorian Edwardian gold filled locket with a unique basket weave and jeweled design. The necklace is a new 14k gold filled chain with vintage clear crystal beads that accent the stones on the locket, and my signature cloisonne bead at the clasp.  

Edwardian refers to the period during the reign of Edward VII of England, but the style has it's beginnings during the final years of Victoria's reign, and continued until shortly before World War I when the more geometric influences later to be called Art Deco began to make headway.  In jewelry, this period was characterized by delicate filigree in white gold and platinum with diamonds and pearls predominating, and colored stones used less frequently, producing a light, monochromatic look.  Inside is an old photo of a special little girl that someone wore close to their heart.

1895 Art Nouveau Bird Locket Necklace

1895 Art Nouveau, gold filled locket is etched with a green stone in the center of a flower and a bird. Birds signify things of the intellect, understanding thoughts, ideas, reasonings, principles, consequently truths or falsity. The necklace is a new 14k gold filled chain, accented with vintage Swarovski green crystals, and my signature cloisonne bead at the clasp.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A New Rehab

This is an antique 1800's gold filled ornate Art Nouveau locket with crystal gems around an opal stone. I recently found this locket at an estate sale and rehabed it. Now, it hangs on a 14k gold filled chain accented with mother of pearl beads. Keep checking my etsy store for new items. 

Monday, May 19, 2008

Custom Jewelry Design

This is a custom order I just finished rehabing.  The buddha pendant and tigers eye stone once hung on a cheap chain with an unsecured clasp.  I made a new double chain necklace with a vintage gold filed chain and wire wrapped garnet beads to accent the pendant.  My customer loves it and wants me to fix up more of her jewelry.

Do you have a family heirloom, sentimental charm, or some other jewels laying around that you want to wear again or give to someone special.  I will custom design a piece for you.  Please contact me if you are interested and check out my Etsy store to see my other handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry designs at!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Mother's Day SALE: 15% off Vintage Locket Necklaces

Mother's Day is just around the corner.  A locket is not merely a piece of jewelry, but and heirloom, a keepsake, and a constant reminder of your loved ones.  Last year, my siblings and I gave my mom a locket necklace for Mother's Day, and put photos of us inside.  It is very sentimental to her and will likely be passed onto generations to come.  

Since then, I started collecting vintage lockets and reworking them into one-of-a-kind necklaces.  I hope you find the perfect Mother's Day gift. All heart lockets are 15% off until May 11th.  Please check out my shop:!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day - Recycled Gift Wrapping

I admit that I have a few strange habits one being collecting random things that I might later use somehow.  My stash came in handy when I was wrapping a present. I made a box out of cardboard, covered it with a wallpaper sample, and tied a lonely ribbon around it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A New Treasure for Rehab

This is a 1895-1935 Art Nouveau gold filled locket that I just bought from an antique dealer.  It is in perfect condition and has a unique shape unlike any of the lockets I have found.   Here is what it looks like before I rehab it.  I am going to add a beautiful gold filled chain, that looks antique and pairs well with the old locket, and clear vintage crystal beads to accent the center stone. Keep checking my store for new items!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lockets Like They Used to Make 'Em. Literally.

"As much as I don't love most keepsake jewelry, I absolutely adore vintage lockets. And if I miss anything about my younger, baby-less days it's the time I used to have to comb flea markets and tag sales for ye olde time-y jewelry on the weekends.

Hooray for Stacey Samuels who now does it for me.  Her company, Vintage Rehab, tracks down the most beautiful lockets, then fixes them up, adds fantastic chains and clasps, and turns them from someone's castoff into your own very fortunate find.  Check out her shop and you'll find goodies from a deco-era double heart necklace, to a 60's tortoise shell piece to really exquisite cloisonne flower lockets.

They are not cheap - prices range from about $130 to three times that.  An of course they're all one-of-a-kind.  So if you've got one in mind for a special mama this mother's day, grab it now.  It's not likely to end up in a flea market again any time soon." - Liz (

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

1940's Raised Heart Locket Necklace

This vintage heart locket is vermeils, sterling silver, plated with 12k gold, circa 1940's.  It has a unique engraved floral design around a raised silver heart.  The necklace is a new 14k gold filled chain accented with sterling silver, square beads.

The heart has long been used as a symbol to refer to the spiritual, emotional, moral, and in the past also intellectual core of human being.  As the heart was once widely believed to be the seat of the human mind, the word heart continues to be used poetically to refer to the soul, and stylized depictions of hearts are extremely prevalent symbols of representing love.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

1900's Slider Locket Necklace

This antique locket from the 1900's uniquely slides open and holds two photos.  The necklace is created with limited stock, vintage gold filled chain, and accented with 12k gold plated Swarovski crystals that are both no longer manufactured.  The locket necklace is handmade with love.  

Please check out my etsy store to see my other 0ne-of-a-kind designs at!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

1950's Coro Four Picture Locket Necklace

This is a Coro gold tone locket that springs open with three hinges, unfolding four photo frames.  Coro marketed this locket in the 1950's as the "Family Album Locket." The following slogan was used: "Just picture the pleasure of wearing such a treasure."  The necklace is made with vintage chain, that is no longer manufactured, woven with tan leather, and accented with a light blue crystal antique tie pin that functions as the clasp.  

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Vintage Crystal Layering Necklace

I design one-of-a-kind necklaces from chain, beads and component parts that was manufactured for CHANEL in the 1970's and 1980's.  This piece is created with three unique chains that are linked together with old chandelier crystals.  It can be worn long, doubled, or tripled around the neck and layered with one of my locket necklaces for many different looks.  Check out my shop to see all of my jewelry,!  Each one is handmade with love.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

1960's Amethyst Heart Locket Necklace

This is a 1960's amethyst and 14k gold filled, etched heart locket on a new 14k gold filled chain with vintage Swarovksi purple crystals.  

Amethysts are generally worn to make the wearer have an air of gentleness and amiability. Similarly, amethysts are still commonly believed to hold powers over dreams, peace, healing, love, courage, spiritual uplifting, psychism, protection against thieves, and general overall happiness.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Vintage 'J' Locket Necklace

This is an vintage gold filled, oval locket engraved with a 'J'.  The necklace is a four strand, rare vintage chain with an antique slide, and the clasp is part of an antique watch chain that hooks into a vintage heart charm.

This is a one-of-a-kind necklace that can not be reproduced since the materials are no longer made.  I reclaimed the chain from old vintage stock.  The clasp is part of an antique watch chain I scored at an estate sale, and the slide and heart charm are rare finds.  

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Vintage Blue Cloisonne Locket Necklace

This vintage cloisonne locket hangs from a very rare, 12k rolled gold plated watch chain with a unique clasp.  At one time, the swivel at the end of the chain held a watch.  

Blue flowers hold a special significance in the language of flowers.  They offer a cooling antidote to our over-stimulated lives and anxious days.  A color that is known to hold universal appeal, blue plays a significant role in many cultures' religious rituals and ceremonies.  It is said that the Western tradition of a bride wearing something blue is tied to the color's symbolism of faithfulness and loyalty.  In its dark, regal tones, blue can express trustworthiness, confidence, intelligence and unity, which explains why it's frequently the color of police uniforms, why the blue "power suit" is an icon of the business world and why winners of competitions receive blue ribbons.  And yet, in its softer hues, blue can embody the uplifting spirit of a sunny sky or soothing ocean- perhaps explaining why so many of us choose blue flowers when we want to send a message of calming beauty, tranquility and peace.

1800s Hair Locket Necklace

1800's oval, rose gold filled locket hangs form a gold and seed pearl ornament.  Necklace is a vintage gold filled watch chain with a rare heart slide with an opal stone. Inside the locket is a lock of hair from a loved one that someone held close to their heart.  The fashion of wearing a locket actually predates the invention of photography in 1839.  Early lockets were made to protect treasured keepsakes like a lock of hair from a loved one, hence the name locket.

Hair art was common throughout the Victorian era.  It was used for a variety of functions from recording family history to tokens of affection exchanged between lovers.  Naturally, hair art also became popular means to memorialize loved ones who had passed on.  Mourning jewelry created with hair was intensely popular because it did not violate the strict code of conduct Victorian society imposed upon the conduct and dress of grieving persons.  Now, hair art and hair jewelry is a collectible that may be worth a lot of money. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

1800's Egyptian Revival Heart Locket Necklace

This is an Egyptian Revival locket with a Nouveau etched design from the 1800's. Some historians argue that the heart shape originated with the Egyptian concept of the ab, "the heart...the source of good and evil within a person, the moral awareness and centre of thought that could leave the body at will, and live with the gods after death, or be eaten by Ammut as the final death if failed to weigh equally.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Locket for Wealth and Long Life

1960's gold filled, vintage locket with tortoise shell face hangs on a long vintage gold chain, that can be layered and worn many ways. The tortoise shell symbolism dates back to ancient times when the Chinese used the shell for divination.  It represents wealth and long life.

Vintage Yellow Rose Cloisonne Locket Necklace

This is a beautiful vintage cloisonne locket with a garden scene on milk white background.  It hangs on a vintage, double stranded, brass chain, woven with brown leather that attaches a vintage bead and old charm.  The yellow rose symbolizes joy, gladness, and friendship.  The butterfly's metamorphosis from a caterpillar and emergence from it's chrysalis symbolize rebirth and resurrection.  To the Chinese and Japanese the butterfly is a sign of both immortality and joy.  In Chinese are, butterflies combined with plum blossoms symbolize long life.

Friday, February 29, 2008

My First Sale!

My first sale is still a hazy dream come true.  This summer I began hunting for abandoned treasures, including antique lockets, old vintage Chanel chain, rare charms, chandelier crystals, watch chains and other resurrected finds.  I reworked them into one-of-a-kind necklaces and charm bracelets.  

One day one of my boyfriend's friends came over to our place to say hi.  She is a buyer for a retail chain store, Tyler's.  I showed her my designs and she insisted on buying this one.  It can be worn as a bracelet or necklace that wraps around twice. At the time I was still working on my Etsy store and had not finished photographing or pricing my pieces.  I was so thrilled that she love it so much that I gladly sold it to her.  

Soon after I launched my etsy store called Vintage Rehab,  I sold 6 items in the first month!    

Vintage Oriental Cloisonne Locket Necklace

This is a true Oriental cloisonne antique locket.  American and Continentals read from left to right, while other Ethnic cultures read from right to left.  This locket opens from the left side, which is the opposite of most lockets.  It hangs on a long vintage gold tone chain with a rare vintage flower clasp.  The necklace can be worn multiple ways by wrapping the chain around two or three times.

Engagement Present

Lockets are fascinating because they tell a story.  When you open the hinges of an old locket for the first time, a mystery is waiting to be discovered!  This is one of my favorite lockets that I reclaimed and added a chain accented with vintage gray crystals.  Inside are the original photos of a woman's husband and son who she must have loved dearly.  More so, it is special to me because a gentleman bought this necklace for his fiance as an engagement present.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Inside a Vintage Lockets

I reclaim vintage lockets and rework them into one-of-a-kind necklaces. Some of the lockets have the original photos inside.  I imagine who wore it and the meaning of the photos inside.  Not only are they all unique, but they each tell a story. Check out all of the lockets at www.!

Custom Toy Box

I love to design furniture and want to show off a toy box I made to match a little boys room.  If you are interested in ordering a custom designed toy box, please contact me. Handmade with love by Stacey Samuels.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Vintage Rehab Press Release

Vintage Rehab by Stacey Samuels
Fashion Jewelry Designer Breaks Ground on a Fresh Concept…

Vintage Rehab announced today that it has released the first of many rehab vintage jewelry designs by designer Stacey Samuels.  Vintage Rehab is creating a tradition of providing life and rejuvenation to heirloom pieces, transforming them into modern every day wearables. Stacey Samuels, an accomplished Interior Furniture Designer and experienced Marketing Veteran, started her jewelry business as an Estate Sale addict.

“I was looking for my niche within the custom jewelry business, so I began to attend estate sales and auctions. One thing that I noticed was that estate jewelry had lots of personality but there was something missing. Each piece I purchased seemed to scream out at me… please fix me up and give me life! So I did just that. Each piece I have created has great history, presence and has a distinctive heirloom quality. I give it even more life by choosing only the great pieces and doing a lot of work giving it layers and using only the highest quality resources.”

Vintage Rehab products are currently available online at www.vintagerehab,, an online handmade retail portal. Stacey plans to release a new website soon dedicated to Vintage Rehab designs with additional plans to expand her product line from vintage locket necklaces to layered necklaces and vintage charm bracelets (that convert to a layered necklace on the fly).