Lolly Earrings

Something sweet for you ears, these Lolly Earrings were a lot of fun to make! Both of the buttons I used in these earrings came from Rollo in Kobe. I chose the glossy blue buttons as a background because they look a lot like candy themselves. I've used this style of button before in some other jewellery pieces I've made (here and here). They're very versatile and their vibrant colours go well with different kinds of buttons.

I matched them with these cute red wrapped candies (I think they could be peppermints!) I love the way the colours both contrast and go together and the way the blue offsets the red. To make them into earrings, I had to cut the little loops off the backs of the lolly buttons first and then glue them onto the blue buttons. After that, I attached some metal plates for the earring hooks. 

A sweet shop in a little village in the Midlands, England 

These earrings make me think of kind of candy that you might find in an old fashioned sweet shop like strawberry creams, boiled sweets, aniseed balls and humbugs. I think there's something a little nostalgic about them!

Recently, I watched a really great short film by Martin Parr about Teddy Gray's - an old fashioned sweets factory and store that makes all of their lollies by hand - something that's pretty rare these days. There was something mesmerising about watching the workers create the candies by hand. Randomly, when I was making this post, I found a picture I took a few years earlier of a sweets shop in a small village in the Midlands in England. When I zoomed in on the candy jars, I noticed that they were actually from Teddy Gray's! Unfortunately I didn't buy any of their lollies while I was there but I'd love to go to their shop someday and try all of them!

Golden Week Earrings

Blue and gold antique buttons

This week was Golden Week here in Japan so it felt like the right time to make some colourful new earrings and enjoy the spring weather! Golden Week is just about the longest vacation period in Japan - there are four public holidays that fall within the same week so lots of people take some time off work, go travelling and enjoy the good weather.

I bought these blue and gold buttons at Rollo in Kobe last week. They're antiques from Holland and I love the turquoise/gold colour combination and the simple geometric design. The buttons are made of two parts that slot neatly together. The back piece is a gold plated metal disc with a hole cut out of the centre. The front part is made of moulded plastic and slots neatly into the hole in the metal piece. 

These earring were pretty easy and fun to make. All I needed was some gold plated brass wire which I threaded into the hooks at the back of the buttons. Then, using my pliers, I twisted the wire at the ends to secure them to the buttons. After that, I made some hand formed earring hooks to match. 

White Doves

These White Doves have become one of my favourite pairs of everyday earrings. The buttons are French antique from Rollo in Kobe. They're actually the same kind of buttons as I used in the Starlight Necklace only slightly smaller.

These buttons are great because they're so versatile. They make a good base to which I can add different parts to create a variety of accessories. The buttons come in a range of colours but so far, I've bought the hot pink, bright blue and lime green ones. I'd like to make a necklace using all three colours clustered together like pieces of candy.

For these earrings, I paired the pink buttons with some mother of pearl doves. The doves, also from Rollo, are new from Asia and are double sided so that I can have the birds facing each other. I like the symmetry and it looks to me like they're hanging out together! The doves look like they're been hand carved because they're all a slightly different shape. They even have tiny jet black eyes inset into the mother of pearl! I bought some rabbits and flowers too.

The earrings were very easy to make - I glued the doves to the buttons and then added some metal earring hook plates to the back. And voila!  These earrings are like little pops of colour that add some brightness to my day whenever I wear them.

Rollo - Kobe

Some of the buttons and goodies I bought from Rollo in Kobe

Rollo in Kobe

When I get the chance, I really love going on a day trip to Kobe. It takes about an hour and a half to get there by train from Nara (on the Kintetsu line) but you can stay on the same train for the whole journey. Kobe is a really beautiful city that sometimes gets overlooked by the more famous Kyoto and Osaka. It's actually a port town surrounded by the sea on one side and mountains on the other. The town centre, near Sannomiya Station is a busy place full of shops and department stores. There are some really long glass covered shopping arcades in this area so you could easily spend the entire day just shopping if you wanted to. I think the city has a relaxed vibe with a bit of an international feel to it too. 

There also happens to be a Rollo store in Kobe which is a big plus for me! The store is a little bit bigger than the one in Kyoto but they sell a similar range of antique and new buttons as well as jewellery parts and accessories. The shop is about a 10 minute walk from Sannomiya Station and is in one of the quieter backstreets. They have a giant button hanging outside the store! Here's a photo and a map.

Just around the corner from Rollo is RolloStock, a store that specialises in fabric, ribbon and all sorts of textile goodies. There's also some interesting shops and boutiques nearby selling clothes, accessories and home wares so it's quite fun to explore the area around the shop too. Here's a map showing where the stores are in relation to each other.

 

Brocantetit. Just around the corner from Rollo. 

The last time I was in Kobe, I also visited one of Rollo's related stores called Brocantetit. It's a little different in style to Rollo selling a variety of antique and vintage goods for the home as well as paper goods, some buttons and sewing items. I found these gorgeous moving type letters there. In the past, they would have been used in a printing press. (You can still see some ink stuck the W!) They're actually quite heavy to hold because they're made of steel. I'd love to make them into some kind of jewellery in the future so I'll have to put my thinking cap on! I also bought these small metal buttons with stamped lace detail. I think they'd make a cute pair of earrings or cuff links. What do you think?

For me, no trip to Kobe is complete without visiting one of the city's many cake shops! I really like the patisserie a la campagne. They have two stores around the corner from each other (here and here). We usually have to line up for a table, but the cake is definitely worth the wait!!!