NOVICA: Helping Artisans Around the World!

NOVICA is a leading fair trade artisan website working with National Geographic to help talented artisans around the world promote their work. I am a fan of collaborative efforts such as this, and was honored when NOVICA contacted me to do a product review on an artisan product of choice offered on their website.

With my love for the clean lines of classic Mid-Century Modern design, AND a husband who has an affection for the suave style of the Mid-Century cocktail era, these sleek cufflinks handcrafted by artist, Sarote Lochotinunt were a perfect fit!

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Sarote’s designs are predominantly for men, and he enjoys using natural materials in his work. He is known for his wood encased silver pieces, and works with Indian elm wood from the Circar Mountains.

This set of cufflinks is made of brushed satin sterling silver which encases pieces of the Indian elm wood. Each design has its own name, and these cufflinks are called ‘Naturally Rugged’.

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One of the things that intrigued me with Sarote’s encased wood pieces is the process he’s perfected for curing the wood. Because wood expands and contracts with the changing weather, Sarote had to figure out how to fix the wood permanently in the encasing.

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This led him to study how to bake the wood dry to prevent the expansion/shrinking obstacle. Once the wood is properly dried, Sarote uses a special glue and chisel to attach the wood to its silver encasing. In mastering this technique, Sarote now not only hand crafts his own designs, but he also works with clients to craft their custom designs for them.

I can attest to the quality of this process as there are no visible gaps or hairline cracks showing between the wood and the silver encasing on either one of these cufflinks!

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Everything about the craftsmanship of these cufflinks is exquisite, with the care and attention to detail being evident right down to the beautiful box they come in.

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Sarote is from Bangkok and he studied Metal Forming Process at the Industrial Engineering faculty in university. After working for a semi-industrial jewellery company for five years Sarote left to pursue his passion for creating jewellery, starting his own workshop at home. Today he has grown his business to employ an artisan family of 12!

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Visit Novica’s site {here}to see more of Sarote’s beautiful pieces, and {here} to learn a little more about artisan Sarote Lochotinun.Artist Sarote Lochotinunt

Thank you so much NOVICA for this opportunity – it was my pleasure to provide this review! And… I should also mention, the shipping time was incredible – I received my package just one day after making my selection!

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&wPS - NOVICA currently has a special on wood rings… click {here} to see what treasures await. ;-)

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




An Inspired Bloggers Get Together

I mentioned in my last post, my next stop was a bloggers gathering hosted by Heather from Inspire Me Heather. If you follow Heather’s blog, then you will know exactly what I mean when I say Heather is a true inspiration!

Have you met Heather? Let me introduce you.

Heather Inspired

Heather is a DIYer, a bee keeper (yes, you read that right!), a mom and wife, she has a job and writes an amazing blog that never seems to skip a beat.

When we arrived we were greeted by a lush setting that felt like we had traveled to another time and place.

Table Setting (2)

Heather’s spacious back yard is beautifully kept, and has neat features tucked here and there.

Hanging Chair

Off to one side was the bee hive I’ve been dying to see. If you want to learn more, check out Heather’s posts here and here.

Bee Hive

Heather did such a nice job with everything and made us feel completely at home…

She printed out recipes of each offering for us to keep.

Onion Dip Recipe

And adorned the table with these sweet vases of beautiful blooms picked from her own thriving Azalea bush.

I loved the perfectly sized serving ware Heather used for our delicious treats, and was especially smitten with these Pier 1 mini dessert flares filled with Caprese salad.

Caprese Salad

They reminded me of mini martini glasses, and I’m pretty sure you know where that concept leads with me… #Audrey Would! ;-)

Little mini spoons were part of the dessert flare set – so cute, and the perfect bite size option!


I have a secret thing for beverage dispensers like this, which was filled with a refreshing fruity, ice cold mix.

Punch Fountain

I keep thinking I need to add one of these to our collection of things for summer time fun in the sun!

I loved Heather’s white crate that she turned into the refreshment stand… 

Crate for Refreshment Stand

Such a good idea, wouldn’t you agree?

For all of you who read Heather’s blog, you will appreciate when I tell you she also gave us a sneak peek inside…

Heather Inspired Bloggers Gathering (2)

It was very, very cool to see so many of Heather’s projects we’ve read about come to life! It was so much fun to recognize this one and that one, and see them with our own eyes… but I’ll leave it to you to go to Heather’s blog and figure out which ones we might have seen!

As the evening drew to a close, and we were ready to toast to new friends…

Crate of Wine Glasses

Heather had one more surprise in store. She seriously thought of everything! Through the luck of the draw, each blogger left with a nice party surprise.

Like this set of outdoor lanterns Lorrie from Fabric Paper Thread won!


They are truly awesome little lanterns – battery operated, and believe it or not, they are super compact as well.

I was pretty excited with my prize, and have been dying to share – I know you DIYers will appreciate…

DIY Measuring Tape

An adhesive measuring tape – what a genius idea! Have you ever used one before? I can’t wait to give this a try!!

Heather is such a gracious host, and went above and beyond to ensure we enjoyed our time.

Heather Inspired Bloggers Gathering

I am grateful I was able to be a part of this evening, and that finally, after a few years of blogging friendship, Heather and I have gotten to meet! Would you believe me if I told you we only live an hour and half apart? That’s the nature of life and the beauty of blogging!

Thank you Heather for hosting this get-together. You truly inspire me!! :-)

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

Where I’ve Been From A Bird’s Eye View!

Yes, I’m back!

I stepped out for a bit, and basically these last 3 weeks have seen me as part of a team working behind the scenes for a client in preparation for a conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Our team was involved with public relations and event planning – lots and lots of long hours, late nights, and time away from  home. Rather than tell you all about it, I thought I would just share a few pics with you instead.

It all started here in Victoria.

Harbour Air

Harbour Air was my mode of transportation to and from Vancouver – I haven’t been on a float plane in at least 12 years! I’ve always enjoyed float planes.

I loved flying into Coal Harbour – the weather was amazing for each of my trips, and well… what can I say about this view?

Vancouver Sky Line

Vancouver is like a second home for me. I {heart} Vancouver! The glass walled building right on the water front is the new West Building of the VCC, and what felt like my home away from home for a week!

Well, that and my hotel. I have to say, staying where we stayed was a definite treat…

Ice Bucket

Complete with a chrome and leather clad ice bucket. Why, of course I appreciate… after all, we know Audrey Would! ;-)

And how about this urban view? With a corner window overlooking the city at night, to the left is Canada Place -Canada’s Pavilion for Expo ’86, now known as the East Building of the Vancouver Convention Centre.

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At the risk of dating myself, I worked at Expo ’86 fresh out of college, so this building holds a little nostalgia for me. Do you remember the 5 sails?

I couldn’t resist sending the next pic to my hubby since I knew he would enjoy this view of the Sears Tower, too!

Vancouver at night (3)

After long days and short nights, all our hard work came together for a rewarding end.

Sheila at VCC

Yes, the cocktail appies were A-MA-ZING! And notice the ‘green’ rooftop behind me? All part of the architectural plan!

Leaving Vancouver and another beautiful day for flying…

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Flying over Victoria and almost home!

Victoria from the air

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My next stop…

The Bloggers get-together at Heather’s from Inspire Me Heather. Will I see you there, too?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller; please credit and link if you choose to use!

Vintage Haddon Hall – Star of the Show!

I offered a little teaser on Instagram not too long ago… do you remember this?

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Just a quick snapshot of a vintage Haddon Hall coffee/tea set that came my way. Did you catch the post on the Ronson tabletop cigarette box? If not, you can see the very chic and glamorous Art Deco box here! This Haddon Hall set also came from our long time family friend.

In the meantime, here is a closer look at the Haddon Hall set.

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This is the underside of the serving tray. You can see the detail of the engraving, and hints of patina showing in places. I asked for your feedback on patina – should it be left intact, or polished away? The feedback was mixed with half of you liking the patina left as is, and the other half liking a shiny, polished finish.

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Tea & Coffee Pots, Haddon Hall Silver Plate, 5-pc

I’ve been dying to list this 5-piece coffee/tea set, but decided to wait for a special day, May 4th – the date of Audrey Hepburn’s birthday. Do you know Audrey would have been 85? I just think this set is so representative of the beauty and glamour our iconic Audrey was so well known for. Always beautiful, always elegant, and never overdone…

Coffee & Tea Service, Haddon Hall Silver Plate, 5-pc



What do you think? Does this set remind you of our leading lady?

I think, star of the show!

Thanks for stopping by!

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

Ronson Silver Plated Cigarette Box… Yes, Modern Audrey Would!

It’s not what you think!

I was so excited when a long time family friend offered Audrey Would! this silver plated Art Deco cigarette box. I love featuring unique pieces like, and of course, giving you first dibs to find them in the boutique!

Ronson 1940s Cigarette Box

This tabletop cigarette box was made by Ronson in the 1940s, and was a popular item for coffee tables back in the day when smoking and glam went hand-in-hand. We know things have changed a lot since then, so it was great fun envisioning a new use for this vintage piece in today’s setting. Here is just one way I think our Modern Audrey would put this Regency piece to use.

Ronson 1940s Cigarette Box (1)

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Ronson 1940s Cigarette Box (4d)

Ronson 1940s Cigarette Box (4c)

Ronson 1940s Cigarette Box (4b)

What do you think? Can you picture this piece on your vanity, too? How else do you think our Modern Audrey might integrate this beautiful piece?  I bet you have some great ideas of your own to share!

Thanks for stopping by!

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AudreyWould Web - Business Card - Smoke - Side 2-sz

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

Happy Earth Day… Where Are You Walking?

Today in honor of Earth Day I thought I would share a photo from our recent Seattle trip. Love these little pig brass hoof steps!

2014 - Earth Day - April 22

Let’s join the pigeon, and follow in the steps of the pig… why not walk instead of drive today in honor of Earth Day. Heck, why not walk every day that we can?

Happy Earth Day! Thanks for stopping by!!

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Photograph by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use! :-)

Votive Holder Becomes a Vase!

I’ve had this pretty cool set of  chunky glass votive holders for quite a few years now, but have stopped using them. In fact, I even set them aside to donate with my next thrifting purge.

Chunky Glass Votive Holder

I still actually quite like them, but you know how it is. Sometimes you just move on.

And I really had moved on… until I brought home a bunch of tulips the other day. I have vases, but I was feeling restless, and wanted a change.

For some reason these votive holders came to mind, and then it all fell into place.

Chunky Glass Votive Holder turned Vase

Sometimes it pays to think outside of the box!

Tulip Collage

An unexpected bonus – the inverted dip for the votive became a great stabilizer for holding the tulips upright and in place!

Tulips in Votive Holder

I have decided to keep them after all. Whether or not they’ll see candles again is hard to say, but I know they’ll see tulips again soon… I have three of these chunky vessels and I think a trio for Easter might be kind of nice!

How about you? Have you given something a new purpose lately? If so, what did you do?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller; Please link and credit if you choose to use! :-)

DIY Modernist Vase: Inspired by West Germany Matte White Porcelain c. 1960s

So you love Mid-Century vases – modernist – matte white porcelain, Kaiser, made in Germany circa 1960s. Are you okay with the ‘look for less’ concept? I am. You know I love my authentic MCM pieces, but I couldn’t resist this DIY temptation any longer!

I bought this vase a million years ago when Superstore was a new phenomenon and I was enamored with a $7.00 price tag.

Faux MCM Vase - Before

I never really loved the colour, but at the time it fit my decor. Shhhhh, hush with the gasps!

Well, all that has changed. My less-than-a-look has turned into a look-for-less by using up part cans of spray paint, first a primer and then a gloss.

Faux MCM Vase - In Progress Collage

If I wasn’t using up paint I had on hand I probably would have opted for matte instead of gloss, but in the end the high gloss isn’t so bad.

Faux MCM Vase - After

What do you think?

This is how the transformation looks from all sides…

Faux MCM Vase - After - All Sides Collage

Gallery style.

And from a distance in context…

Faux MCM Vase - In Context

I didn’t go out and buy anything for this makeover, and it took me about an hour from start to finish – most of that time was spent ‘watching the paint dry’ as they say!

I know the lines may not be exactly classic Mid-Century, but I’m okay with that for this faux variation.

How about you? What knockoffs have you DIYed lately?

Thanks for stopping by!

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

Fratelli Reguitti: Sometimes Major Changes Are Just Small Tweaks!

You might have seen this little teaser from the weekend…

Fratelli RegiuttiAre you wondering what it is?

This piece is not major in terms of its size or even addition to the actual decor, but it is a major piece when it comes down to function and feelin’ the love!

It is designed for, and destined to take care of scenarios like this… gotta love those cords!

Before the Valet (2a)

Anyone else out there appreciate? No, honey, I’m not throwing you under the bus! ;-)

You see, I am partly responsible…

A few years back in a moment of empathetic male camaraderie,  my Dad handed over his clothing valet to hubs. But somehow it ended up becoming a place to hang my grandmother’s quilt, and well, a DIY project for me! Hehem…

So lately I’ve sort of been keeping my eyes open for a replacement valet while on my treasure hunting rounds, and finally last week this 1950s Fratelli Regiutti option appeared!

Fratelli Regiutti Gentleman's Valet

Fratelli Regiutti, an Italian designer behind some well known 1950s furniture pieces including this gentleman’s valet, and variations of it. Don’t you love that, a gentleman’s valet? They were originally made to hang up suits. You can see from the teaser pic, how well made Regiutti valets are. All I really had to do was give this piece a wash-down, clean up the brass shoe rails, and wax the wood. This piece is not at risk of a makeover… for now.

Once in place, this is what happened to hub’s corner of the lair…

Fratelli Regiutti Gentleman's Valet

Yes, the boxes were hidden underneath! And, I promised not to ‘borrow’ this valet for any other use!

What small tweaks have you made that impact major change? Have you ever heard of Fratelli Reguitti? What do you think of his gentleman’s valet?

Thanks for stopping by!

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







Let’s Tumble Up for Saint Patrick’s Day!

Green happens to be one of my favorite colours, and for that reason I especially like Saint Patrick’s Day! Today, in light of Saint Paddy’s Day, I’m featuring this sweet green Art Deco piece from the Audrey Would! collection, and will show you how our modern Audrey might use it today!

This piece was made by the Dunbar Glass Co. out of West Virginia in the early 1930s-40s, and was called a  tumble up set. The small glass, known as the tumble, doubled as the lid. Today these sets are commonly referred to as bedside water carafes, and a hotel I recently stayed in actually had a set very similar to this one on each side of the bed!

Dunbar Glass Co - Green Glass Tumble Up Set

Dunbar Glass Co. was in business for 40 years, between 1913 and 1953. They began making household glassware in the 1920s; sadly the factory was later destroyed by fire, and as a result Dunbar glassware pieces are harder-to-find collectibles. This green tumble up set is one of Dunbar’s later pieces, but because of the fire is actually quite rare.

However, the more common tumble up sets were produced mainly in the 1930s and were typically made of pink Depression glass. These pink carafes usually had ridges around the body and base, with the tumbles matching the ridges in their design, like the set below.

Dunbar Glass Pink Tumble Up Set


The design was later modified as you can see here in the green set.

Art Deco Dunbar Glass Bedside Water Carafe - Green

Notice there are no ridges at the base of the carafe, they are around its neck instead, and the tumble is without ridges at all. The newer carafes also had a pouring lip shaped into their rim. But the key design modification was in how the tumble fit the carafe as a lid. In the earlier sets the tumble fit over the outside of the carafe’s neck, but with this carafe you can see the tumble fits inside. A definite improvement in the design, because the tumble could be replaced after use and the water would not roll down the outside! If you look back at the pink carafe notice the difference in the rim and the tumble lid?

I can see how useful a tumble up set might be for its intended purpose, but how about modern Audrey? How do you think she might use this Art Deco piece today?

This is what I see…

Dunbar Glass Co - Green Tumble Up Set

Yes, I think this little tumble up set would be perfect at a desk. In today’s modern world we spend a lot of time at our desks whether on the job or at home, and staying hydrated is key.

But we also have modern technology that doesn’t play well with water as a contact sport!

Dunbar Glass Co - Green Tumble Up Set

I think our modern Audrey can have both. She can have her technology and water at her fingertips, too. All she needs is a tumble up set like this!

Dunbar Glass Co - Green Tumble Up Set

What do you think? Is this something you might choose to use in your desktop routine? See listing details here for this vintage Dunbar tumble up!

And if you missed Audrey’s collection dedicated to all things green, here is another look…

Audrey Would! - Green Collection

May the luck of the Irish be with you!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, and thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller unless otherwise indicated. Please credit and link if you choose to use! :-)