Kate Roberts, an antiques dealer, loves vintage. Her passion turned personal when she created bejeweled Christmas trees, lit with the love she has for family.
I have admired vintage costume jewelry trees for years and was finally able to acquire one from the early 1960s ... and I knew I wanted to try making them. In 2018, my husband and I sadly lost three of our grandparents, and it was the nudge I needed. Through a number of inherited pieces, I was able to start creating and gift them to family members. It’s been a very meaningful way to help others remember loved ones.
I gifted this tree [pictured] to my mother after my grandmother passed away ... There are a number of grandma’s pieces included in the tree, as well as pieces my mother wore to each of her daughters’ weddings. I was also able to find vintage pieces [angels and dragonflies] that had symbolic meaning [to family members]. I love to create a story in every piece, so each trinket is truly curated for each tree I create.
This tree is the largest piece I have completed [taking 14 hours]. I prefer to not rush them, and I try to spread the time out over a few weeks. It’s not uncommon for me to move parts and pieces a number of times before I get it just right.
You will need more jewelry than you ever thought possible ... Layering is key. Start with textures, like beads and chains, and work your way up with the jewelry pieces that speak to you, so that they are the focus. And, of course, enjoy the process, especially if you get to work with jewelry from a loved one.