Cor Blimey! She’s a Blinder!

Set in 1919 England, with a story line centered on an Irish youth gang, it’s become a cult obsession.  It’s the show Peaky Blinders, in its fourth season on Netflix.

Peaky Blinders vintage fashion photoshoot. Thomas Shelby.

The show is undeniably male focused, as Thomas Shelby and the gang of Peaky men make up the Blinders.  Yet its the female characters that round out the story, and bring a fierce and strong set of voices.  In one of the most iconic scenes thus far, the women stroll arm-in-arm down the street in protest…adorned in absolutely stunning 1920’s clothing and jewels.

I’ve been obsessed with the show from the beginning, particularly the female fashion that evolves along with the show’s timeline.  Fueled by this obsession, Kylene Cleaver of Leave It To Me Photography and I set out to do a styled photo shoot inspired by the show.

With a cast of real people, genuine antique and period-accurate clothing and jewelry, and a setting and furniture to match, we recreated several scenes from the series and took creative liberty with others.  Sourcing for the vintage clothing and accessories came from a variety of places, including the Brimfield Antiques Show, Spake as a Child Vintage, and Briar Vintage.

peaky blinders Netflix show photoshoot

Peaky Blinders 1920's styled photoshoot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peaky Blinders 1920's styled photoshootPeaky Blinders photoshoot. 1920's styled photoshoot. 1920's clothing and jewelry.

 

We’re thrilled that Vintage Life Magazine found this photo shoot as inspiring as we did, covering it in a full two page spread!

Peaky Blinders photo shoot Vintage Life MagazinePeaky Blinders photo shoot Vintage Life MagazinePeaky Blinders photo shoot Vintage Life Magazine

We can’t wait to see what season 5 has in store for the Peaky clan!

Photo shoot details:

Photographer & ProducerLeave it to Me Photography

Jewelry & ProducerStacey Fay Designs

SettingStudio 239 in West Chester, PA

FurnitureModern Relics Rentals

Hair and MakeupHeather Vellner

Men’s ClothingBriar Vintage

StylingMain Line Fashionista

Additional AccessoriesSpake as a Child Vintage

 

Peaky Blinders 1920's styled photoshoot

We’re in Offbeat Bride! A Cake & Punch Wedding

Providing creative alternatives for independent brides, Offbeat Bride is one of the most well loved blogs and websites for brides who prefer to carve their own path.  So we couldn’t be more excited to be featured on the site, as they highlight a styled photoshoot we did around a Cake & Punch themed wedding.

offbeat bride floral flower hair

Our photoshoot was a nod to the 1950’s and 60’s trend of more simple “cake and punch” weddings, where receptions were small and centered around the gathering of family and just a bit of cake and drink.  Yet we gave it a modern edge with a bride adorned in tattoos and a floral fauxhawk, with a mix and match of estate and antique jewels.

cake and punch themed wedding offbeat bride

Head on over to Offbeat Bride to see the full set of inspiring photos!

Designer Spotlight in Main Line Fashionista

The Main Line, near Philadelphia, PA, has always been an epicenter of fashionable, influential women.  Whether tied to famous men or business owners in their own right, these women are among the best dressed in the country.

Ashley Meyers Main Line Fashionista

So how do they stay on top of the trends? Ashley Meyers, Main Line Fashionista, is one way!  Ashley, who grew up on the Main Line herself, is a down-to-earth and well dressed stylist, who provides closet edits, personal shopping, and overall style advice to women in the area.

With such a fashionable track record, I’m honored to be Ashley’s Designer Spotlight this month.   Read the article to learn more about my own story, including how I got started and what influenced me along the way.

We’re Featured in a National Gift Guide!

We’re so honored and pleased to announce that our handmade jewelry has been featured as a Top Holiday Pick in a national holiday gift guide!

Antique wax seal jewelry

Released by The Rising Tide Society and Honeybook, the guide features jewelry, pottery, cards and many other gifts which enable you to shop small and support the creative community this holiday season.  Our shop is listed among some of the best handmade shops in the country.

When you go to the guide, wait a moment for a pop-up that will offer you discounts on the vendors featured, including a 15% coupon for the Stacey Fay Designs website and Etsy shop!

 

Erin go Bragh wax seal necklace

handmade wax seal necklace packaging

This holiday season, be sure to shop the many wax seal jewelry pieces we have to offer, as well as our fun earrings and other handmade shop options.

Every item from the shop is beautifully packaged and perfect for gift giving.

The Story of a Divorce Ring

It’s an accepted norm in our society to commemorate happy occasions with jewelry – engagement rings, wedding bands, communion crosses, anniversaries, the list goes on.  This is of course important, yet, jewelry can be its most powerful at difficult times, as a point of remembrance, hope, or strength.  The Victorians knew this well, with their mourning jewelry, and many of those themes have been represented in our own wax seal jewelry for quite some time.  Yet, I longed for a way to create more significant life transition pieces, and the opportunity came recently when I co-created a piece of jewelry based around one woman’s story of divorce and single motherhood.  It’s the very first piece in our new Memoir Jewelry line.

Cynthia wanted a ring that would not only represent the strength of her struggle through divorce, but, most importantly, would symbolize the happiness and hope she has found through single motherhood and this new chapter in her life.

story of divorce ring

 

The design we created together has a North Star on the front of the ring (and corresponding pendant), and an engraved intaglio horse on the inside of the ring.  The North Star symbolizes hope and direction, and holds her son’s birthstone, citrine.  On the shoulders of the ring are Cynthia’s own birthstones, diamond.  The horse was intentionally engraved inside of the ring so that Cynthia can always remember her strength and story, but in a way that is known to her alone.

Divorce ring with intaglio horse and north star

Cynthia’s story is a powerful and inspiring one. Here she tells it in her own words:

 

Custom divorce ring with intaglio horse and north star

“At that time, it felt like it came out of nowhere, but looking back now – maybe it didn’t.  I suppose a little voice inside me suspected something for a while but that voice wasn’t loud enough to be heard, until “that” day. “That” day, the floor beneath me was yanked without a warning, my heart stopped beating, and my breath felt like it was stolen from me – much like my life as I knew it. “That” day, I woke up to what felt like someone else’s life and was forced to play a role that I didn’t understand, a role that didn’t belong to me, a role I didn’t want.  “That” day, I was left standing on my own, 30 years old with a six-month-old at hip and on my way to divorce.

The decision to go through a separation, and later a divorce, wasn’t one that was taken lightly nor was it made quickly. The days that followed were harsher than the last and the pain of separation was an unbearable grief to carry that weighted every step I took.  Loneliness, anger and despair took over every part of my life and pushed me down a dark hole that seemed impossible to crawl out of.  As if the inner battle wasn’t enough weight to carry, the pressures and stigma that still exist in society for single moms brings a shame that softens, yet hardens your heart – making you want to shrivel in its existence and hide from the world.

I spent days, weeks, months completely lost.  Trying to understand what happened.  Trying to find who I am and who I was, but the truth is, there’s no possible way to get back to who you were.  That kind of loss (or any kind of loss, really) enters your life and leaves you different than how it found you, but it’s what you do with your new self that will define what’s next for you.

The pain and pressures of being a single mom was (and sometimes still is) a weight that I carried on my shoulders each day, but nonetheless, I carried it!  Each day, I woke up, got dressed, grabbed the “weight of the world” and went about my business. With that weight I cried, scream, and yelled my way through the minutes and hours, but I showed up each day and rebuilt, loved, laughed, and grew.

Through that growth I also realized that regardless of what we go through – we shouldn’t go through it alone.  That growth granted me the ability to learn to ask for help from a village that surround and supported me even when anger blinded my way. This village consisted of my family and closets friends who supported my sorrows and my happiness.  They are the ones that steady the ground I walk on and hold me up when weakness wants to push me down.  Although they helped me built strength, it’s the healing of my heart that has lighted the weight I once carried.

They say that “time heals all” and although three years has passed, I don’t believe that time has done anything for me.  What continues to help me heal and what guides my way when I’m lost is the north star that shines where darkness once lingered.

story of a divorce ringIn life, a north star comes in different shapes, sizes, and even forms – but regardless, it stands with you and lights the dark sky, showing you the way, and my north start does just that.  My north star has come into my life in human form and at exactly at the time I needed it the most.  That bright star of mine lightens my load with laughter, warms my heart with his spoken words, and pulls me into hope as he holds my hand.

At the tender age of three, my son has been the north star that has guided my way.  He has shown me that with love, hope will come and healing will follow.  His unconditional love has taught me that I am enough and will always be enough – as long as I continue showing up to life.  And seeing him develop and thrive into the little person that he is has shown me that I am the kind of person that will make it because I’m the one to bet on.

So what happens now?   Am I “healed”?  No, but are any of us “healed?”  We all have different battles that break us and helps us find the inner strength we never knew we had in order to rebuild, only to break us down again later on. But our resilience is just one of the amazing qualities we have as human beings.  We all might be a little broken on the inside – but as Leonard Cohen once said “there is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

story of divorce ring

All photography copyright Kylene Cleaver

Wax Seals Get a New Look!

My wax seal jewelry line – necklaces that hold charms crafted from genuine antique stamps – remains among my most loved and bestselling jewelry that I sell.  Whether it’s their symbolism, delicate nature or intricate detail, there are seals which speak to every person.

Recently, I worked with Leave It To Me Photography to help capture the seals’ essence and appeal through gorgeous photos, many of new pieces in the line. We chose earthy and ethereal amethyst quartz for the backdrop.

Acceptance and eternal love necklace.
“With All Thy Faults I Love Thee Still” – perfect as a self-love talisman or a unique expression of love for another
Seize the day wax seal necklace
“Finem Respice” – Latin for “Consider the End” with an urn. A modern day memento mori piece.

Often my wax seal necklaces, given the age of the stamps that make them, can have historical meanings, such as seals focused on the mourning jewelry craze of the Victorian era, or ones that have weirdly sentimental phrases. Or sometimes the seals are just classic, with images or words that stand the romantic test of time. Flowers often convey specific meanings as well.

Handmade wax seal necklace
L’amour – love in French – with a wilting flower, symbolic of love eternal.
Handmade rose wax seal necklace
As classic as classic gets – a rose wax seal necklace
Clematis flower wax seal necklace
A clematis flower seal, symbolic of mental beauty and art

In many cases, and also in line with the Victorian way of life, stamps that sealed letters would speak to a common and prevalent issue – death.  Victorians weren’t shy about talking about death, and there were many Victorian art forms, small and large, which kept the reminder of death front and center.

Remembrance handmade wax seal necklace
“Tho Lost to Sight to Memory Dear” says it all.
Forget-me-not wax seal necklace
A forget-me-not-flower, the ultimate expression of everlasting love beyond death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many more seals, which will be featured on the blog in the future. See this website and our Etsy shop for all of our wax seal necklaces. Which piece speaks to you the most?