Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's up with those keys??

Some letter keys from vintage typewriters have an additional symbol shown -

How did this work on the old typewriters? If you have ever looked closely at most antique machines, you can see that each striker has the upper case and lower case version of each key - which version is typed depends on whether you are holding the Shift key.

But some typewriters had three markings - the upper case key (for instance, N) the lower case key (n) and a symbol or number - in this case, the colon or : key. For the capital N, hold down the CAP (capital) key. For the symbol, hold down the FIG (for figure) key.

Some keys had no letters but three symbols -

Of course, some typewriters used the opposite approach - the same symbol would be typed no matter where the typewriter's carriage was held. In that case, only one symbol was needed on the key -

The triple strikers can make for some fun keys - be sure to visit to see them all!

Friday, May 24, 2013

This time of year means the end of school - and time to look for presents for teachers, grads and dads. If you need an affordable teacher present, consider a pair of earrings - fractions for the math teacher, or punctuation symbols for the English teacher

For the grad or dad, consider a pair of personalized earrings or cufflinks:

Visit my shop at for more ideas.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Original Self-Starter

Most keys from vintage typewriters are instantly recognizable to today's keyboard users. We still use Tab, Backspace and Shift keys. And even though there isn't a Margin Release key anymore, we can understand what that old key was for.

But what the heck was the Self Starter? This lovely red key is only found on the rare typewriter. It's a popular key for making typewriter jewelry because of the "pop" of color it can give a bracelet. And we all want to be self starters, right?

The self starter key would automatically advance the typewriter carriage 5 spaces in order to indent a paragraph. It is sort of a shortcut Tab key. Here's an ad from 1916 for the Remington model that included the Self Starter key. The ad boasts:

"One touch on a Self Starter key and the carriage darts instantly and toes the mark at the correct starting point. It leaves nothing for the operator to do but just WRITE."

According to the ad, this will save the typist 4 seconds per paragraph! And we think we are time obsessed today!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Holiday Backlog

The cufflinks have become so popular - I stopped listing them on Etsy because I have such a large backlog! I want to make sure everyone gets their order in time for the holidays.

I am still listing custom earrings and bracelets for the next week. They are not as time consuming as the cufflinks and I can ship them in time for the 24th.

Here's a photo of my backlog of cufflinks and earrings as of December 3 (this doesn't include the bracelets in the works). If you ordered from Haute Keys after November 23rd, chances are your initials are shown here. :-)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What's That Sound?


What's with the bell on the old typewriters?

When a typist filled a line with words, she had to know when she was getting close to the edge of the paper. If she did not return the carriage (the round thing that looks like a rolling pin), her words would go to the very edge of the paper - or off the paper altogether!

The typist had to set the right margin tab - when her typing got close to the margin, the typewriter's bell would ring. This would let her know to finish up the final word of the line, then hit the carriage return lever.

And I mean hit! She had to push the carriage from left to right to start typing a new line.

The Margin Release Key - very popular for my vintage jewelry, by the way - allowed the typist to go past the stop, hopefully for just a few letters.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Etsy Treasury & Black Friday

This week has been crazy for Haute Keys - yesterday felt like Cyber Monday had already arrived! The monogram cufflinks and earrings seem to be the perfect present this season.

My cufflinks were featured in an Etsy Treasury - 'Dashing through the snow' created by 'IttyBittyBag'. Thanks also to 'S and O Productions' for highlighting the treasury on their blog.

And the week's activity will continue with the Etsy Black Friday sale - Haute Keys is offering 20 percent off all ready made bracelets!

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Studio

Here's my studio in action - the bracelet and cufflinks on the bench are custom orders I plan to finish this weekend. Usually there are 4 or 5 bracelets being assembled, but I just wrapped up several orders and will start some new items on Monday.

On the right is my Foredom drill - my "go to" tool for all my grinding and polishing needs. My "high tech" equipment includes toothpicks and painter's tape.

All the findings (chain, clasps, jumprings, etc.) are on the side table in easy reach. The drawers hold wire, crystals and stones for future projects.