Skeleton Lamp Shade: I Finally Found The Perfect Lightbulb!

About 31/2 years ago I cleaned up a thrifted lamp and DIY’d a skeleton shade for it. The skeleton shade was one of those projects I was dying to do, had so much fun with and today enjoy this little lamp’s industrial/steam punk presence as much as the day it all came together.

Here’s a look back at the lamp and shade when it was all done…


Finding the right bulb was a challenge, and in the end I settled on this 40W bulb.


I loved the way this large, round bulb looked as it provided the effect I was going for… but even this 40W was really too bright without a filter over the shade.


This meant actually using the lamp was a bit moot since it was too bright to look at without seeing spots long after turning away!

I never stopped keeping an eye out for the right lightbulb, and read about all kinds of wonderful options I could pursue online. Of course I never did, never quite got to it… until we visited Portland, Oregon this summer.

We stopped in at a store call Rejuvenation. If you’re into reclaimed, repurposed, vintage and vintage inspired decor, this is the store for you! It’s a modern blend of old and new, and then there is this whole back area of salvaged wares.

Hardware, tools, doorknobs…

Rejuvenation Portland, OR (2)

Signs, lighting…

Rejuvenation Portland, OR (1)

A decorator DIYer’s dream…

Rejuvenation Portland, OR (3)

You get the picture, and you know me by now. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven! Oh the things I could have brought home with me, and well, there was one thing I actually did!

I know you know where I ‘m going with this. We were talking about the perfect lightbulb for my skeleton shade, after all.

When I saw Rejuvenation’s incredible selection of bulbs, I was hoping to find a bulb that would be a good fit. And then I saw this 40w beauty and knew it was meant to be.

Source: Rejuvenation
Source: Rejuvenation

 The half gold top was both aesthetically and functionally perfect! It’s like this bulb was designed for our lamp.


No more seeing spots when glancing at the light!

Rejuvenation Light Bulb, Half Gold (2)

And what a perfect top to compliment this old thrifted gold lamp, don’t you think?


We are now using this lamp for its intended purpose, and it has finally become more than a conversation piece!

Would you have a skeleton lamp shade in your decor? What kind of lightbulb would you choose?

Thanks for stopping by!

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All photographs by Sheila Zeller unless otherwise indicated below image. Please link and credit if you choose to use.

5 Forgotten Bar Cart Essentials Every Bar Cart Must Have!

I was happy for another opportunity to create a style board for Chairish. My last board featured Chairish bar stools in a sleek vintage chic home bar setting… more on that here. This time it’s all about the essentials every bar cart owner must have! Well now, this is definitely a style board that makes me feel right at home.

Chairish provided these six bar carts to choose from, but definitely check out their bar cart section to see the full suite of options!

Brass Bar Carts

I opted to feature this 1940s solid brass beauty:

Sheila Zeller Interiors - Brass Bar Cart

I love the simplicity of this piece, it’s sleek lines and elegant oval shape. I am a weak-kneed fan of classic Hollywood glam, and just know this bar cart is dying to showcase some glamorous barware, sparkle and shine!

Instead of featuring typical barware basics for bar carts, I decided to highlight five essentials that are often overlooked. That’s right. These five little essentials can take your bar cart from ‘doing it right’ to down right cool-worthy (underscore)!

The 5 Forgotten Bar Cart Essentials

Here’s why and where you can shop to grab ’em quick:

1. Decanter Tags

Chalkboard Hang Tags - Sur La Table

I think you need at least one decanter if not three, to set the tone. They are showy and useful, but it sure helps to know what’s inside! Engraved silver decanter tags are super stunning and on my list of favourites for sure, but I’m all over these chalkboard labels. They let you change things up easy-peasy, and it doesn’t hurt that they are sleek in black but still keep things fun and light.

2. Cocktail Napkins

Georges Briard Cocktail Napkins - Poolhaus Vintage (Etsy)

Nothing serves a classic cocktail in a classic vintage coupe better than a beautiful napkin. We’re used to so many awesome paper choices, but why not go green on this? These vintage napkins are pure linen and designed by Mid Century great, Georges Briard. You know who Georges Briard is right?

3. Coasters

Black Lacquer Coasters - Chairish

No, not just any coasters! This brass bar cart is screaming for a touch of classic Hollywood Glam, and we have that in spades with these vintage black and gold lacquer coasters. And why coasters anyway? Well, they’re great for the stemless cocktail glasses, and they add a touch of cachet!

4. Cocktail Picks

BAR-4383 Cocktail Swords, Toledo (1)

If you’re going to serve a classic martini then you’ll need skewers for the 3 olives please! Actually, you will garnish many-a-cocktail and will be glad to have a swanky set of cocktail picks, or in this case vintage Toledo swords. Throw out the wooden toothpicks. There’s no place for them here!

5. Bottle Opener

Brass Crab Bottle Opener - Chairish

Your bar cart is a statement piece and it’s meant to pop. Well, that’s exactly what this brass crab will do. Who knew this shiny crustacean was actually a bottle opener in disguise?

You can go in many directions with your bar cart, there are just so many options and styles. But if you’re going with a brass bar cart like this you will want to stock up on glam barware basics, add a garnish and some splash with these forgotten essentials of the bar cart mix!
Bar Carts - 5 Forgotten Essentials
 And so… what’s next on your bar cart essential list? These Georges Briard cocktail napkins are definitely on mine! Update: I couldn’t resist!! Wanna see… click here!
 Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs for Chairish pieces taken from – click on product images for direct link to each source. Please link and credit if you choose to use!

Mid Century Modern Glass Top Coffee Table: Re-Staining Makeover

You might remember, in August I sourced this Mid Century glass top coffee table from Used Victoria. I wrote about the downsizing story behind it here.

Glass Top Table - Used Victoria Buy

My original plan was to paint this little table black – another display prop for Audrey Would! This turned into a re-staining project instead. I’ve never really tackled staining anything on my own and will admit I was a bit nervous.

From what I’ve read I know I should have stripped the old stain off first, but there were some pretty deep water stains to overcome so I went straight to sanding.

Mid Century Glass Top Table - Before (650) copy

If you want a great tutorial with some biodegradable product options for stripping old stain, check out my friend Shauna’s post here.

The sanding went fairly well and I was able to remove most signs of the water damage. I was left with the raw wood of the table looking like this:

Glass Top Table - Sanding - Sheila Zeller Interiors

After wiping away the sanding dust I applied Minwax® Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner with a foam brush. This conditioner penetrates the wood to help ensure an even stain, and I chose to use this because of the pre-existing water stains.

Because I wasn’t 100% sure of the wood (I think it’s Mahogany), and I wanted to reinforce the table’s Mid Century Modern roots, I chose Minwax ‘Gunstock 231’ for the stain colour. This stain has the orangey-red teak feel without being too strong in either direction.

Minwax Wood Stain 'Gunstock 231' Colour

I also applied the stain with a foam brush and then wiped it away with a lint-free cloth. I am so glad I used the conditioner first as the wood really soaked the stain up. Here you can see the stain applied to the shelf, legs and end pieces. The side pieces hadn’t yet been stained, and yes, I panicked at the bright orange of the shelf at first!

Applying Minwax Gunsmoke Stain - DIY Mid Century Coffee Table

Without the conditioner it would have been really hard to apply the stain evenly on this shelf. The darker sections you see in the shelf are actually the wood itself, not uneven stain. This shelf was really tricky to work with and I had to give some spots more layers of stain than others to get it looking even.

Minwas Gunsmoke Stain - DIY Mid Century Coffee Table - Drying

I think the legs are maybe a different type of wood than the rest of the table, because the grain of them is more porous and they took the stain to a darker colour than the rest. The shelf took the longest to dry of all the areas, but it also had more layers of stain applied than the rest. In the end I left the table alone for 2 days to fully dry before moving it into place.

To recap, here is the table ‘Before’:

Glass Top Table - Used Victoria Buy

And ‘After’ (without the glass because the stain was still not fully dry in spots):

Mid Century Glass Top Coffee Table - DIY Re-Staining - Reveal

I almost left this project too close to the wire. You see, we hosted a cocktail party on Saturday night and I wanted the table ready in time, which it was but with no days to spare!

Mid Century Glass Top Coffee Table - DIY Re-Staining - Reveal (1)

In the end I’m happy with how this table came out – it isn’t actually as orange as it looks here. What I feel good about is having honoured the roots of this little piece rather than painting it my go-to black.

New sofas are next. They’re on the way, but had no chance to join this party. They won’t be here for another month. In the meantime we borrowed our daughter’s to replace the milk crates for a place to sit 😉

How about you? Have you stained anything like this, and if you have what are your tips? What do you use for a finish?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!

Working With What You Have: Improvising a Pop-Up Booth Display

The Victoria Vintage Expo has come and gone for Audrey Would! , and I promised to share how our display island was created by working with pieces we already had – my favourite way to go! It was simple, seriously, but that’s often the case. Sometimes the hardest part is the vision.

This year the island display was created with these on-hand pieces:

  • 1 fold up TV table
  • 3 floor-standing vases
  • 4 ceramic tiles
  • Museum Putty
  • Tablecloths

Prop Collage - Display Stand

These items were chosen because of their varying heights. Displaying pieces at different levels helps them stand out, and for a display island it creates visual interest as a grouping.

Display DIY (2)

I bet you can guess where I’m going with the tiles!

Display DIY (6)

Because there was carpet in the booth space, also I placed one of the smaller tiles under the large vase for stability, and then used Museum Putty to secure the display-top tiles into place.

Prop Collage - Display Stand (2)

Have you ever used this putty? It’s really amazing, and what you see in the middle image is all you need, trust me. Once pressed into place, the tiles weren’t going anywhere!

I actually decided to flip the smaller vases over for better stability. With the tapered profile they were just a little too vulnerable to teetering if bumped, and because they are so much smaller than the large vase, I did not set them on tiles.

Display DIY (5)

With the tiles pushed snuggly together this part of the set up was a lot more stabilized.

Display DIY (7)

Tablecloths were used to pull it all together.


The plain black one was draped to the floor not only to hide the table legs, but to also visually blend the gaps between the props and create a unified presentation.

Display DIY (8)

The white tablecloth is a handmade vintage piece I picked up last year. I love the simple elegance of the candlewicking  and thought it was the perfect finishing touch to give the display some pop.

If you followed Audrey Would! leading up to the Vintage Expo then you might remember these Gifts to Go

Gifts to Go

They served a dual purpose. Vintage stemware was gift-boxed for sale, and these gift boxes became part of the display.

You can see how simple creating this island display was. It came down to improvising with things I already had on hand, but using them in a new way.

What do you think? Did it work?

Audrey Would Expo2015 - Gifts to Go Display

To see the full booth presentation, pop over to our blog at Audrey Would! If you are interested in a Gift-to-Go, they are available in our Stemware Collection at Audrey Would!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs taken by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!


Victoria Vintage Expo – Vancouver Island’s Hottest Vintage Event!

If you follow along then you know I’m planning and prepping Audrey Would!’s booth for the HOTTEST vintage event on Vancouver Island! You will find us at the Victoria Vintage Expo on Friday and Saturday, September 25-26. So excited!!

Victoria Vintage Expo 2015 Banner 976x380

This is the third year for the event, and we’re thrilled that it is also Audrey’s third year to participate. If you missed out last year, you can catch my wrap-up post here. Just a little taste of what to expect from Audrey Would!, top of the stairs in Booth #38! (Floor map of Booth locations here)

Find full EXPO details and more on Audrey Would! here.

Thanks for stopping by, can’t wait to see you there!

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A ‘Used Victoria’ Buy Made Me Pause and Reflect… Downsizing. What’s It All About?

As September kicks into high gear and the Victoria Vintage Expo draws near I have been shifting my focus to this year’s booth presentation. This has me clicking through the Used Victoria ads for potential DIY options.

And so I picked up this table… it caught my eye because of its lines and glass top.

Glass Top Table - Used Victoria Buy

It’s made of mahogany, and was crafted over 40 years ago.

My initial thought when I answered the ad was for a quick makeover, most likely my usual go-to black spray paint, maybe turquoise, gold or white, to become an Audrey Would! prop… and then I met the owner. If you’ve followed my blog over the years you will know how much the stories behind the pieces mean to me, and with this piece I inadvertently tripped upon a story about the journey of ‘life’.

You might want to sit with a cup of tea for this read.

An elderly gentleman answered my knock. Well, actually it was after I twice rang the doorbell and then looked for another door just in case. He apologized for not hearing the doorbell, said he and his wife didn’t hear so well anymore. He invited me in, and the home was clearly in the throes of being undone. I asked if he was moving, and “yes’ was his reply.

We made our way to this little table, which he showed to me with pride. I asked how old it was, and it was in this moment that I knew the little table was more than just a piece being moved on. The gentleman told me his son made the table in high school, and his son is now 58. He reflected that he thought his son had done a good job – the table was very solid and in good shape, you know. Then he shared how he and his wife have taken very good care of it over the years… all 40-plus years of its life… he said they kept plants on it and used doilies to protect it, and that they were very careful when they watered the plants not to get water on the wood… He said they had cleaned the glass, but I would probably have to clean it again.

And then he told me that he and his wife were moving into a Seniors’ home. They were downsizing and so things like this table their son had made had to go… I could see the struggle in his eyes, and I could hear it in his voice. Moving this table on was not easy to do, but it was just too big to fit this next phase of their life. He told me about when they first bought the house how they had added on and incorporated a crawl space. And that in this downsizing move he discovered old assorted scrap metal stored in the crawl space he’d forgotten all about… and how he took it to the scrap yard where they actually paid him to take it away! This made him chuckle. He marvelled at the huge weigh scale to weigh it all out, and how this big scale could weigh things right down to the size of a coffee can with precision… but he says, everything is electronic now-a-days. We laughed about how in the old days a scale used the slide and weights… 

We wrapped the table glass in a sheet I had brought, and he gently lifted it into my vehicle. I put the table in place, and he shifted my ‘in place’. Once he felt the table was a ‘secure’ load, we closed the hatch and money changed hands. He said again how his son had made the table and had done a good job, that the table had lasted all these years…

I promised him I would take very good care of the table, that I would give it a good home. And so… for now I will not be painting this table black or turquoise or white. I will not be adapting it for an Audrey prop at this year’s Vintage Expo. I will be giving it a light sanding and a fresh staining that brings out the mahogany red, and my Mr. and I have decided that we will be giving it pride of place in our home. Some things are meant to just be.

**UPDATE** The table has now been re-stained. Click here to see it pride-of-place in our home.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photograph courtesy of Used Victoria ad.

DIY Closet Touch-Ups. It’s In the Details!

Closet Touch Up Tips

If you follow me on Facebook, then you will have seen my post featuring this quick closet fix.DIY Closet Fix

Side note, ‘Before’ shot was taken during the day, ‘After’ was taken later in the evening – no flash was used in either shot. What a difference natural light makes to colour in photographs! The ‘Before’ shot is a lot more true to the actual colour, and a lot less grainy.

Back to the closet – I thought I could leave well enough alone once it was fixed, but I couldn’t. You see there were two spots randomly left unpainted – the edge of the deep, jut-out shelf, and the left inside panel where the closet rod hangs. I know me, these spots would drive me crazy, so that meant the painting had to be done.

The storage shed was full of touch-up paint when we arrived, and in my hunt this is the one that caught my eye.

Dried Up Paint

Well now!

Luckily I found more of this colour stashed in another spot – much newer and in great shape. Let the painting begin.

When I mentioned jut-out shelf, I wasn’t kidding. This is a pretty hazardous configuration and in anticipation of potential casualties, I added these felts to soften the blow corner. In a perfect world I would rip out this whole closet system and redesign it, but for now we are working with what is and tweaking where we can to get moved in and settled!

Master Closet - Shelf - Before

Master Closet - Shelf - After

I don’t have a ‘Before’ of the unpainted panel, but just picture raw plywood.

Another tweak I made was putting a white rod cover over the wooden rod. It’s something I do in all my closets whether the rods are metal or wood. I just find it brightens the closet up and helps the hangers slide. The same goes for shower bars. It’s amazing what a difference a rod cover can make, and for not a lot of money.

Here is the closet now, painted in full!

Closet Touch Up Tips

I also lined the floor where my bags are with a piece of plastic carpet protector. I had it on hand, it’s easy to cut to size and I was able to place the finished edge out.

My next mission is to replace all the plastic hangers with black velvet covered hangers. I’ve replaced half already, and I really like them. Clothes don’t slip off the hanger, and they take up a lot less room.

Tip: If you opt for these hangers just be careful where you buy them. There is definitely a difference in quality as the hanger hook tends to break off on the cheaper ones. In my experience, Costco’s are good, Wal-Mart’s are not!

How about you? Would you have done the painting, or would you have left it alone since it’s inside the closet? What kind of hangers do you like, and what makes or breaks a closet for you?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!

Our Move… Soaking up New Moments One Sweet Spot at a Time!

We have so many new moments to soak up and enjoy… and we’re doing the best we can!

Umbrella-Deck View

In just a little over a week we have enjoyed taking in so many new delights, and are completely smitten with our new neighbourhood.

Secret Garden - Phyllis Street

We love its small town style, the casual energy and laid back pace.

Dahlia Bouquets

We are especially delighted with the local grocery store. Pepper’s Grocery is its name, established in 1962. Their selection of locally grown, locally made is crazy stellar – so much packed in a very small space, and quality at every turn.

Peppers Collage

You can one-stop-shop here from the deli to the bakery to the floral selections, and of course, fresh seafood, dairy and meats.

Fresh Flowers

I just learned that Pepper’s has been the Gold Medal Winner for Best Grocery Store in BC & in Canada 2 years in a row. Wow!!

We’ve enjoyed Smuggler’s Cove Pub – it was our saviour for dinner the first few nights after our move.

Smuggler's Cove Pub

The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, and the food a tasty mix of modern and classic pub.

By now you know about our love of classic cocktails and our martini Fridays…


So you can imagine how happy my Mr. was to see Smuggler’s Cove Liquor Store standing out in the middle of Cadboro Bay Village. Not only does it have a selection of great stuff, but they will order in anything you like! Lord help our liquor budget.

Smuggler's Cove Liquor Store

On Friday nights roasted peanuts go hand-in-hand with our martini. They’re even served up in this vintage peanut dispenser guy. He’s a 1950s Nuss Wal Mid-Century piece from Germany, and he makes me smile every. single. time. 🙂  Love him!

Peanut Guy

So, we picked up our Friday night peanuts from For Good Measure where this little store stocked with premium bulk foods actually fresh-roasts their peanuts right on site!

For Good Measure Collage

Oh my, oh my, Friday nights!

The feeling of community and sense of trust is evident when you look around. Like the honour system of this little stand that catches my eye every time we drive by. It’s so cute and the fresh dahlias seem to sell out fast!

Honor Flower Stand

There are little stands tucked here and there as you go, and it’s such a great feeling to be immersed in this slower pace when you know the pulse of the city is barely 12 minutes away!

Phyllis Street Stand

Heart Pharmacy is where I will be mailing Audrey Would! parcels, and in fact just sent out Audrey’s first order from here!

Heart Pharmacy Collage

It actually made me feel happy emotional to be shipping an order this soon after the move, especially since this item was temporarily missing-in-action at the time! You see, all Audrey’s wares, with the help of my good friend Christine MacDonald, are carefully wrapped and packed in itemized boxes for the moment… 50 boxes, 50 full boxes stacked high and deep. And somehow I missed itemizing a few things like this piece.

Tantalus Decanter Caddy

It was eventually located in the 47th box on the second thorough search. So much for being organized and best laid plans!

We have tons to explore, so many new things to see and do… and we can’t wait, but right now we’re still unpacking and finding places to put things in this ‘new’ vintage home.

Painted Rocks

How about you? What do you love about where you live?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!




Empty Planters. What to Do?

Vintage Milk Crate Planters

We are in the middle of unpacking and box mayhem, but the urge to prettify spots of our outdoor living is tugging at me. Well actually it’s more like a pull, especially after reading Shauna’s post from Satori Design for Living featuring geraniums. I love geraniums – we understand each other, and so they grow! 😉

Just yesterday I moved our empty planters around that made the cut for the move.

Planter Prep

You might remember my vintage milk crates turned planters that I put together last year. If not, here’s a photo to see what I did.

Vintage Milk Crate Planters

We’re half way through this year’s summer season, so I’m not really sure what to do. I would love to quickly pot up some bright, colourful geraniums for a splash of outdoor cheer, but that wasn’t really on my task list.

Moving is hard work. It’s tiring and there’s so much to do. I find the biggest hurdle is prioritizing what to do. I love the possibilities of a new space, I feel energized and inspired, and just want to get started on all the fun stuff at once… but that doesn’t really unpack the boxes now does it?

What would you do? Would you pot up a few geraniums for what’s left of our summer, or would you opt out for the unpacked boxes lurking in every corner waiting for you?

Thanks for stopping by?

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!