Nostalgia - Stollwerck's Victoria

Some years ago when I still did the "Finds of the week" posts, I had some called "I'm a collector" in which I shared vintage items. Over time my collections have mostly stopped growing due to different reasons, but they are still there and still loved. I also have vintage items, some inherited, some gifts, some from fleamarkets, some more interesting than others. So I thought it could be fun to share some of them every, now and then and tell their story.

It has been 1 1/2 years since my last nostalgia post, then again I didn't blog much at all in that time.
Today, however, one of my little Steiff teddies told me a story. It seems he went for an adventure and found a large (compared to him) vending machine for chocolate and bonbons in the middle of nowhere!
Unfortunately, the machine was empty and little Teddy was quite disappointed. On the other hand, he had to admit that he hadn't any money on him, anyway, so how sorry would he have been if there had been chocolate but no way to get to it!

Let's take a closer look at this vending machine that Teddy found.
It's the "Victoria Spar-Automat" of the company Stollwerck.
Stollwerck, a manufacturer of chocolate, cocoa, and candy, was the first company to put up vending machines in Germany in 1887. Inspired by their great success, Stollwerck decided to have miniature versions of them produced after 1890 to teach children how to save and to give them an "incentive to diligence". The machines were produced by the company of Friedrich Anton Reiche which was also known for making chocolate molds (very collectible today).

How does the machine work?
"Victoria" has two chambers that could be filled up with sample boxes of "Chocolade" and "Bonbons".
The house has two chimneys aka coin slots, and depending on the chimney you put the 10 Pfennig coin in, you got chocolate or candy when pulling out the drawer.
The text says (in German it rhymes): "Save your money, my dear child, throw it in here quickly, everything you save is kept here for you."
The front also says: "Nibbledydee, nibbledyday, what is rattling into my little house?" which of course refers to the coins.

To refill the machine and get your saved money back out, you could unlock it on the side with a little key to allow you to lift off the back and roof.
I wonder how many parents refilled it themselves and how many let the children spend part of their savings on the refills to teach them the value of money.

From the above quote, you can easily tell that the machine is telling us the tale of Hansel and Gretel, with a little twist, however.
You can also see that Teddy has still been very careful not to get himself into trouble!

1. "Hansel and Grethel, lost and frightened, walked so long in the dark forest, finally stood in front of the sugar house, a wicked witch came out."

2. "The witch grabbed the children small, put them into the stable, bared her teeth and rejoiced, said: this will be a feast for me."

3. "It turned out differently than the old woman thought; when she heated up the oven, little Grethel grabbed the witch by the leg and quickly pushed her into the embers."

We know the tale that far, but now comes the Stollwerck twist.

4. "That's what the fairy tale tells you, Stollwerck sugar house here doesn't look so dangerous, no witch is looking out, either."

5. "A good old lady is looking out of the window, if you bring her a piece of money, she will always give you something sweet."

There's one of these machines in our local museum which I had been in love with since I was a small kid.
"Victoria" was produced around 1900 and is a desired collectible, but mine is missing the red bottom stand and has been attached to a metal/wood plate instead which made it affordable enough for me to have my dream of owning her come true.
Now if only Teddy could get his dream of "Chocolade" and "Bonbons" fulfilled, too ...


Tackle that stash - Peyote tube earrings

When going through the beads for my winged scarab, I found two tubes of Delica beads in my stash drawer. Both of them had been part of a surprise mix order. Whenever I put in a bead order, I can't resist putting one lot of these surprise mixes in my cart.
I may be getting some colors, shapes, or sizes of beads that leave me clueless for the moment, but it's always a nice challenge to use something I would never have thought of ordering, and some of those beads were just spot-on for projects of mine.

These particular tubes were size 10 and size 8 Delicas. I mostly use my Delicas for bead looming and it could have proved quite difficult to incorporate these bigger ones in an item, so I had to come up with something different and small.
What came to mind first were peyote tube earrings, but of course I would have to add something to the tubes, just plain - even if lustrous - white with a gold lining or red wouldn't be much fun.

So after making the tubes, I went through my stash one more time.
I love these tiny golden AB cubes, so much that I when I first discovered the tiny cubes, I got a whole bunch of them which I still haven't used up completely.
Their edges nestle up to the spaces between the Delicas perfectly.
Just two Swarovski crystals and some tiny seed beads and voilà, a beautiful pair of earrings!

As the red Delicas were smaller, they also needed smaller accents, but what?
That's when my eye fell on my little Steiff ladybug wool miniature (the yellow shine is from my daylight lamp, by the way, for real she is completely red). Perfect!
How do you like my ladybug earrings?


The winged scarab

Khepri was the god of the morning sun in ancient Egypt. He was believed to push the new-born sun across the sky in the shape of a scarab the way real scarab beetles roll balls of dung from which their young emerge.
Khepri was depicted either as a god with a human figure and a scarab face or simply the scarab itself.
This is of course only the short version of his story.

When I put a little sodalite cabochon on my backing, nothing could have been more far from my mind than Khepri. It had been supposed to be a little in between project, a small cab on a small piece of leftover backing, with a bezel and maybe some edging for a pendant or part of a ring.
My plans changed rather quickly, though, when I had chosen a combination of blue and gold for the bezel and added tiny golden beads which turned the humble sodalite in a kind of scarab.

It was then when I remembered the winged scarab and went to look for some beads that would work for the wings.
I don't often use bugles, but have some choice in different colors from ordering surprise or destash lots.
After exchanging the backing because my piece was much to small for the new idea, I had to decide how to shape the wings and if I wanted to add the morning sun. Just in time I remembered having red magnesite around which would work perfectly for the sun.
When I had finished scarab and sun,
I chose colors for the wings that reminded me of ancient Egypt, turquoise - shiny and matte with an AB finish - gold and purple.

The result was not at all what I had expected when randomly picking the sodalite from my stash.
Next - pendant or necklace? A bail seemed wrong, so it had to be a necklace, and if you have seen my last necklaces, you will have noticed that I love Herringbone ropes for my focal pieces. In this case, I added some dumortierite beads - for lack of lapislazuli.
I'm really happy with how this piece has turned out in the end!


Pirates of Swabia

I never heard of it before, but we must have pirates around here ;-)
How else would you explain this piece that is obviously a kind of pirate medaillon?
Okay, you caught me. This is my latest pendant. I have had the idea of combing a beaded component with bead embroidery for a few days, and I wanted to add one my crystal skulls to it.

After several failed attempts or experiments with size, colors, thread tension (I found out that I have trouble with the thread tension when being tense myself *eyeroll*) etc., things finally moved into the right direction.
I beaded a ring, attached it to the backing and added the skull in the center. Then I randomly filled the empty space in the center with differently sized and colored seed beads and sewed the edge of the beaded ring to the backing using purple coated hematite beads for just a touch of color.
Using varying techniques to create more than one level is giving the pendant more depth, I think.
As the colors are all quite dark, I chose silver for the edging and bail to lighten the look up a bit.

It may be worth to see how it looks if the colors are completely different. Now I wish I had got some golden skulls, so I could make a few "gold coins"! ;-)