The quilts, my new wallet and the exhibition Second Lives: the Age-Old Art of Recycling Textiles at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. have me thinking about the ways in which living with antiques and crafts can be sound environmental choices and one of the oldest forms of “green living”. While I am not a jewelry designer by any means, I have been doing a bit of recycling myself these days, with bits of vintage coral from hair ornaments and obi belts and it is slowly turning into quite a little collection.

At every shrine sale or antiques show there are many dealers selling obidome, the jeweled ornament worn on the narrow obijime cord as an over belt on a kimono’s wide obi. They are often made with semi-precious stones such as jade, coral, amethyst and others, ivory, enamels and cloisonné, silver and other metals and even Bakelite.

Hairpins and combs also abound, with similar ornaments

In general, they are very expensive, so I don’t allow myself to buy any, especially since there is not much you can do with them and they don’t display easily. Nonetheless, I am a bit obsessed and have taken to buying little pieces of coral that I find, often lying at the bottom of a box. I’ve set myself a really low price ceiling and I stick to it!

The earrings were found as is, in their lovely vintage box, and they were a bargain I couldn’t walk away from, especially as I have such a fan fetish.

These beads were found together and I had a friend string them into a pretty necklace.

The coral daisy had a pierced hole at the top, so I used an O ring, given to me by the lovely ladies at Helen Ficalora jewelry to turn it into a pendant. As for the obidome, I am not sure what to do with it….

The silver mount on the back is almost as pretty as the flowers on the front. You can see it has 2 bands to string the obijime through.  Perhaps I should run a silken cord through it and turn it into a necklace?

Anyone have any other ideas?