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  • Writer's pictureJen

Inspired by Retro Renovation

For many years, I have followed Retro Renovation. When I first bought my 1926 bungalow, Pam's blog was one of the only sources I could find that had actually information about the good, the bad and the ugly of restoring an old home. As a child, I grew up with an old pink bathroom and RR's "Save the Pink Bathroom" campaign was definitely something I could get behind. Even though their focus is Post WW2/MCM, there are still so many applicable resources.

In the last legs of my kitchen remodel, with my house still a disaster, I was finding a hard time getting in to the holiday spirit, until I saw RR's Instagram post featuring a costume jewelry Christmas tree - #kitschmas.

Swoon. How I love costume jewelry art! And it reminded me of my own piece that I have - and had not put up for a few years. Not only was this piece fabulous, but all of the other Putz houses and vintage ornament wreath eye candy that is filling the Retro Renovation Instagram page are equally swoon-worthy. Definitely worth some afternoon scrolling.

When I got home from work that afternoon, I went to pull my own costume jewelry tree out of storage - and it did not disappoint. While not as elegant as the one above, it has its own quirks and a fabulous story that make me laugh.

I was gifted my work of art from my grandmother, who had won it as a raffle prize at a charity event. The evening raffle was full of wonderful prizes - jewelry, trips, luxury goods, and she was thrilled when her number was called. When she walked up to claim her prize, she was gifted with this:

The most magical Christmas decoration that I own | Photo Credit: Restoration Comedy

Not quite what she was expecting, but she had a good sense of humor about it. It had been made by an old nun (extra bonus). It came home and hung in the hallway for a few Christmases (it even lit up - until one year it started smoking and my uncle decided it would be best to cut the cord). After a few years of this ridiculous thing hanging in the hallway, the novelty had worn off and my grandmother was trying to figure out how to get rid of it. I jumped at the opportunity to take it home - to which my whole family thought I was nuts, and proudly displayed it in my old house. After doing some re-arranging in my current house, I am glad to have it back on the wall for the holidays.

Some of my favorite parts of my costume jewelry Christmas tree are the squadron of angels flying in perfect formation, the star that might actually be a UFO pulling the tree in with a force field and the nativity scene with only two wise men (the zombie lamb and Mary seem to have a bit of a guilty look on their face...I think they are hiding some information on what happened the third wise man). Aside from these goofy items, the jewelry and millinery pieces that are incorporated in are always fun to find. I love trying to find matching earrings or other interesting pieces are hidden throughout.

Hope this inspires you to put some old jewelry to use or maybe some other old collectibles (would love to make one of these with old house parts!).

Happy holidays!

PS - for those following along, that December 5 deadline did not happen. More on that later.

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