Saturday, November 30, 2013

OTTBS challenge

I finally succeeded to finish something for a challenge, in this case organized by the excellent team of OTTBS (Operation Tackle That Beadstash), a Group of fun, positive and kind beaders. They have a Facebook page where I like to 'hang out' from time to time. They organize a theme-based challenge every month and the November's challenge was ''any film, no tricks''.

Gone with the Wind immediately came up in my mind, and looking at it, I knew what I wanted to make pretty quickly, but could not get to it until Friday 29, and due day was Saturday 30! Friday it went all wrong, wrong wrong, in particular the second earring - I finished it only at 3:30! They had to be finished, so that I could take pictures on Saturday!
So here are my “Scarlett” earrings. They are made with only one thread for the entire earring.

"Scarlett" - click for a larger picture
Inspiration is a pair worn by Scarlett together with her ‘Curtain Dress’. Since she has lost nearly everything during the war, I suppose that it is a favorite piece of hers which she kept as long as possible. I chose this pair because the bottom seems to have a feather, which is a nice wink to the title of the film. I also like the look of the bezel, simple yet sophisticated.

It is very probable that this jewelry was made by Joseff of Hollywood. I've never heard of him before.  While searching for more info about the jewelry worn in Gone with the Wind, I found out that he made an enourmous collection of ‘historically correct’ jewelry, with an antique matte gold finish that nobody has ever been able to copy.

Christmas tree of Joseff jewelry during a company holiday party.
Joan Castle Joseff on the left seems to fear that Shirley Jones
might really touch it. Photo courtesy Joseff of Hollywood
I liked the challenge of trying to make something which would look antique and the matte gold-lined Toho bead and matte crystal chatons are really looking ancient.
It was surprisingly difficult to find matching earwires. Gold and silver both took attention away from the discreet matte seed beads; bronze was too yellowish, copper too rose. I don't have lots of findings and spare parts like Joseff, so I took apart the hinged gun metal earwires from another pair, which ended up being a suitable addition.
Looking for more information about this man who made approx 90% of all the jewelry worn in films during the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood, it surprised me that his work is not in a museum like many costumes and gowns are. This is because he mostly rented the jewelry to the studios, and it remained in the hands of the family-run business. He was very famous, known as "Jeweller to the Stars". You can still hire jewelry for shows.
According to the International Business Times, the Harry Ransom Center acquired five dresses from the collection of Hollywood’s producer David O. Selznick in the early 1980s, amongst which the curtain dress, and intends to display them at an exhibit to mark the film’s 75th anniversary in 2014. Maybe the jewelry will be presented to the public, too.


  1. Very Interesting Cath, both the earrings and the story of Joseff!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed reading me and discovering this incredible designer.

  2. Lovely earrings Cath! The ear wires are perfect. :)Thank you for the information on Joseff.I love that picture of Shirley Jones! She has always been one of my favorites. :)

    1. Thank you very much! I love Shirley's smile on this picture, she is shining from inside.

  3. What a fantastic pair! I love them, Cath! And your research is fascinating, too - I had no idea one person made so much of the jewelry of the day!


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