San Francisco Vintage Just Around the Corner

If you’ve been following along then you know I’ve been having fun in the sun in San Francisco this past week. And I can tell you, I now know first-hand why Tony Bennett sang about leaving his heart in SF – yes, I have fallen in love, too!

Aside from atomic stars and bursts of the heart, one thing at the top of my bucket list was a little vintage shopping – are you surprised? Weirdly that proved to be a lot tougher than I thought – now I bet you really are surprised!

First, I ran into a lot of this…

Vintage Store Haight Ashbury - San Francisco I’m not kidding. Many of the vintage shops I set off to find ended up being closed, as in shut down, doors closed for good. #SoSad. The other truth is location. A lot of the shops were just too far out of reach geographically… but only for this trip ;-) . I also discovered that there are a lot of vintage clothing shops, amazing shops in fact, but not as many focussing on housewares and the treasures of Audrey Would!

On Monday, the last full day of our trip, that all changed. We were out having fun just exploring off the beaten track of the trolley cars and buzz of daily activity that you see below…

San Francisco Street Car

When I came upon this box on a little side street.

Zeller S - Box on SF Street

You might have seen my post on FB, but if you missed it - honestly I did not put this box here, did not label it with FRAGILE, and definitely did not write my name on it! Truly a sign of things meant to be. And that’s because…

When we turned the corner, there in front of us was a little vintage boutique trio – Molte Cose (C-window), Belle Cose (R-window), and the one that caught my eye, Bonhomie (L-window) - all in a row staring at me!

Bonhomie Vintage Boutique (2)

I have to preface, we have had a beyond incredible trip jam-packed with fun adventures, fab outings and memories we will cherish for a life-time, but is it wrong to say this little stumble was like finding 3 olives in my martini without asking?

The shops were filled with beautiful vintage pieces - clothing, housewares and ephemera, and yes Audrey savvy stuff! We wandered and soaked in the offerings as if in a daze, each pass spying yet another something ‘new’.

Bonhomie

There were so many pieces that caught my eye, but in the end I had to be street smart in terms of not only transporting amazing vintage goods, but also moving them across the border and factoring in DUTY fees! What I really loved about Bonhomie is its owner, Liesl (pictured above). When I asked if she would consider shipping the treasures I wanted to buy, she was so accommodating and willing to go the extra mile. That allowed me to pick up a few more pieces that would otherwise have stayed… and when packing up today, whew, am I ever glad she did!

So as I sit in the San Francisco Airport waiting for my home-bound plane, I close this trip with a, ‘See you soon San Francisco’, and ‘Thank you, Liesl and Bonhomie’ for being the treasure I was missing in my San Fran mix!

Have any of you been to San Francisco? Do you shop vintage, and if you do, what area should I be exploring next?

Thanks for stopping by!

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

 

‘Propping’ for Victoria Vintage Expo: A RetroTable Makeover

If you’ve been following along then you will remember all the DIYing that went into ‘propping’ for Audrey Would!’s booth at last year’s Victoria Vintage Expo. If you missed all the frenzy, there was…

(1) A pine bookcase that got Hollywood Glammed!

Pine Cabinet B&A

(2) A piano bench that jumped on the glam safari, too!

Piano Bench B&A

(3) And a little side table that was given a redo.

Side Table B&A

This year Audrey will be back, top of the stairs again in Booth #38, and will have one more DIY prop to introduce.

I paid $7.00 for this little table and all its well-loved retro beauty…

DIY Retro Table Makeover - Before

Then subjected it to the bliss of semi-gloss black paint!

DIY Retro Table Makeover - After

You will find this refreshed piece at the Vintage Fair among Audrey’s booth mix. This year we have a few layout tweaks along with all the sparkle and glam of last year’s look. To see where this mod table fits why not drop by?

Have you marked the dates? September 26 and 27 at the Crystal Gardens in Victoria – see you there!

Thanks for stopping by!

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

 

 

Audrey Is Attending! Will We See You There?

Yes, it’s that time again and Audrey Would! will be there!

This year’s Victoria Vintage Expo is taking place on Friday and Saturday, September 26-27 at the historic Crystal Gardens at 713 Douglas StreetFriday the doors open at 4:00 pm and are staying wide open for longer this year until 10:00 pm. Can we say, ‘excited much’?! On Saturday the doors open at 10:00 am and don’t close until 6:00 pm! Whew! I’m excited and I hope you are too! Will I see you there?

Victoria Vintage Expo 2014

So, I bet you are wondering what Audrey will feature this year? Well, I can tell you it will be more of the same, but this year there is a greater focus on the Art Deco era and all the Gatsby-like entertainment ware and paraphernalia that goes with it! So that means barware, tabletop pieces, and pretty much anything that sparkles and is Gatsby cool!

Here is a little glimpse of some vintage ‘Downton Abbey’ activity-inspired barware, but don’t worry, there is more sparkle and glam coming, too!

Glitz & Glam: After the Hunt

Drinkware
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Vintage bar tool
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Drinkware
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Bar tool
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Red shot glasses
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Wall art
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Fox hunting, pheasants and flasks! Fun, right?

What vintage treasures are you hoping to find? If you send me a message I might just have what you’re looking for, and will be sure to tuck those treasure aside!

Thanks for stopping by – I hope to see you at the Vintage Fair!

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

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!

 

 

 

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)

Ronson 1940s Cigarette Box (4)

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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Photographs 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! :-)

Mixing DIY and Vintage Glam for a Modern Vintage Look

The much anticipated VintAGEous Fair in Victoria has come and gone. It was a lot of fun and a successful day with a huge thank you to Sarah Rempel for her stellar organizing of the event, and to all the customers who stopped by!

In prepping for an event like this there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, and for me one of the things I focus on is presentation. How am I going to maximize my space, feature a variety of pieces AND keep them safely on display? This time around I decided to have some fun juxtaposing a rustic vintage look with the vintage glam of Audrey Would! Do you remember these pallets I posted on Facebook and Instagram?

Pallets

A super big thank you goes out to Leigh Davies for parting with them! Leigh had a plan for the pallets, but passed them on to me instead putting her own project on hold! I’m guessing the pallets had something to do with Mid-Island Ink Depot,  ‘the’ place to buy toner cartridges in the Cowichan Valley! Leigh is ‘Mrs. Ink’ in the mix of Chris and Leigh, Chris of course being Mr. Ink!

So the pallets…

I asked my Dad to turn them into rustic crates. My idea was to pack them with inventory selected for the fair, and then use them to display the pieces. When you’re in a limited footprint it’s important to utilize your vertical space, and in this case my footprint was a 6′ table, so I had to create my own verticle!

These are the first four crates. My Dad’s neighbour, Bryan came up with a few more pallets and that was enough for me to end up with seven crates!

DIY Crates from Pallets

I wanted reasonable gaps between each slat to allow a little light in. With presentation in mind I also toyed with giving each crate a sanding and watered down staining for a more weathered look, but decided to leave that for another time!

When I’m pulling inventory for a fair I always do a test-run set-up. I find this really helps me narrow down the pieces and once there, makes set-up go quickly and smoothly. In this case, because the crates are made with pallets, I had to figure out which ones ‘fit’ best together. They’re all ‘roughly’ the same, but some slats are a bit warped, others not perfectly square.

Here’s a little look at my ‘Operation Basement’ test-run! This is an 8′ table, so I’ve taped it off at 6′. The pieces off to the side are back-up pieces I selected to replace items as they sold.

Test-run Table Set-Up - VintAGEous Fair

Like any behind-the-scenes, you can see there’s a lot less glamour than meets the public eye! I think that’s part of the challenge – to envision each display regardless of its surroundings. At the fairs you have no control over the backdrop, so all you can do is focus on your own display.

Another thing I try to do is put out a good selection while still keeping it presented. Less is more as a general rule of thumb, but for fairs I pack more into the space than I normally would. I try to layer the pieces down and bring them out while staying focused on theme, visual interest and overall flow. I place sparkly pieces where they will catch and bounce the light, and with this display my hope was the pieces out front would draw the eye to what was displayed in the crates.

Display Collage

Remember I said you have no control over the backdrop of your space?

Display Set-Up - VintAGEous Fair

In this case my table was set up in the daycare area of the Fernwood Community Centre!

Another part of my presentation is to draw the eye up, and with this display I featured larger pieces with chrome, and stood a crystal tray behind the glasses for sparkle en mass! This is where having a sign also really helps!

Display Set-Up - VintAGEous Fair

Behind the sloped trim is actually an access ramp to the area, which worked well for where my table was placed. Everyone coming down the ramp was able to see my table, and I hope the shiny sign and sparkle of the pieces helped catch their eye!

Since the Oscars were hot on the heels of the fair, and by now you all know the inspiration behind ‘Audrey’, this was my center display.

Disply - Center Section - VintAGEous Fair

Audrey Hepburn with her Oscar for the leading role in Roman Holiday, her first Hollywood movie and first leading role! I featured the tall clear decanter with this display, because it reminded me of the Oscar Audrey is holding! Here Audrey is attending the 54th Oscars.

In keeping with the theme, this year we watched the 86th Oscars at home in vintage Audrey Would! style…

Audrey Would! - Vintage Pieces - 86th Oscars

  • Northern Divine caviar served in a classic bamboo stemmed coupe;
  • Prosecco in sleek vintage Czechoslovakian crystal coupes; and
  • Ceasar salad in the vintage Baribocraft bowls I featured here and here.

Simple and elegant at-home-chic. So much fun! There is something to be said for classic vintage, don’t you think?

If you weren’t able to attend the VintAGEous Fair, you will find many of the pieces I had there over at Audrey Would! I am working on listing more pieces for you to see, so  don’t hesitate to contact me if you are looking for something special, or saw a treasure you wished you’d picked up. I am always happy to help!

Thanks for stopping by!

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

Modern Audrey: Today’s Use for the Vintage Murano Glass Ashtray!

Murano glass is incredibly beautiful, and in its vintage day was often made into ashtrays. But with the glamour days of Lucky Strike long gone, the ashtray has been removed from pride of place in the home, and more often than not, stashed in a cupboard or thoughtlessly tossed away. I say, what a shame! What a shame to lose sight of the beauty within the object.

Murano glass is thick and masterfully crafted, the layers of colour so pretty…

Green Swirl Murano Glass Ashtray 1

I love the way light dances, bounces and sparkles as it brings exquisite pieces to life.

Green Swirl Murano Glass Ashtray 2

A flower bowl is just one way to transition vintage Murano art glass ashtrays into modern times. Other uses – a dip bowl, candy or nut dish, paperclip dish, kitchen scrubbie container, and if you’re gentle, it’s even great for a set of keys. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but Audrey Would! says you can! Find more details on this vintage beauty here.

How would you use this piece?

Thanks for stopping by!

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

 

Guest Post by Meghan Plowman from The Orchard: Tips for Decorating with Vintage Finds

Good morning and welcome to a special guest post feature!

Today I am really excited to introduce Meghan Plowman, lifestyle photographer and author of The Orchard blog! Meghan and I became virtually acquainted in a really neat kind of way… Believe it or not, I know Meghan’s aunt, Barb Nugent. Now having an acquaintance in common may not seem so unusual, except that Meghan lives in Perth, Australia… and as you know, I live on the west coast of Canada! Who knew our worlds would touch in this way? And for those of you living in the Cowichan Valley, you might know Barb, too. She’s a volunteer and fundraising organizer extraordinaire for our local Hospice Society – did you attend the recent fashion show fundraiser Barb organized?

From one thrifting vintage lover to another, thank you so much Meghan for being my guest today, and thank you Barb for the introduction!

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Hello readers! I am thrilled to be contributing to sZinteriors blog today. I’d like to share with you some images of my own styling work and some tips about decorating with vintage finds, and what to keep in mind when looking for items to decorate with.

I am a lifestyle photographer and stylist living and working in Perth, Western Australia. You can see more of the work I get up to over at The Orchard blog as well as my Facebook page.

I particularly love bringing a mix of items into my styling work and tend to lean upon my ever-growing props cupboard for inspiration and interesting additions to imagery. Quite often you’ll find me either in a vintage market or peeling through layers of verge side household piles!

This first example shows an image I was asked to put together that had a real Autumn story.

Autumn, Meghan Plowman Photograph

For the sake of putting together this vignette I brainstormed all of the things I love about Autumn including:

  • Cooking
  • Fallen leaves and spending time camping in nature
  • Hot drinks
  • Rustic, earthy colour and texture
  • Reading indoors

It’s my belief that you can find the perfect touches for little or next to no cost, sitting just outside your door or at your nearest thrift store. For example, I found the pine cone and leaves from my garden, used a bottle I found at a garage sale and a camping cup I managed to find on the side of the road.

Next, this Easter table setting was created to inspire readers to dress their table for the holiday.

Easter table, Meghan Plowman Photograph

My table was inspired by the florals, fruits and textures of the cooler months of Autumn (it’s Autumn here in the land of down under when we celebrate Easter!)

Some inexpensive and thrifty ideas for dressing a table for your next soiree:

  • Use butchers paper or left over fabric roll as a table runner
  •  Place brightly coloured fruits and vegetables as a centre piece or scattered along the centre of a table
  • Try a collection of glass jars in different heights and finishes for e.g. amber, frosted, textured, jars with labels or logos, grouped together with loose florals cut from the garden to create interest and an eclectic decoration.
  • Branches and twigs are an easy way to create height to a centre piece and act as a ‘tree’ for hanging decorations, name tags and sweets.
  • Add some quirkiness to your setting by adding a figurine or interesting knick knack. It will create a talking point for guests and makes things fun.

If you find yourself with a collection of seemingly unrelated finds that you are unsure what to do with, perhaps take a step back and look at what the items have in common visually, if anything.

  • Are they similar colours or textures?
  • Were they bought or found in the same location?
  • Do they tell a story, for e.g. are they items found at the beach or are they all travel mementos?
  • Can you create a visual story with the items?

The next two images show examples of how I grouped a mix of random, found objects together to create a story, one based on the idea of reading books in a cozy corner, the other a seaside tale. The reason these two work well is because I tied them together through their similar colour and textures.

Vintage Vignette, Meghan Plowman Photograph

Items I used for the first image:

  • A road side chair which we painted grey
  • A discarded old book with the pages carefully peeled away and taped to a wall to create a background texture
  • A stack of my favourite design books with the spines showing text
  • An ampersand gift tag to create drama and a focal point
  • A vintage camera –why not display your picture taking equipment?
  • A ball of garden twine, and
  • A favourite scarf

Vintage Vignette, Meghan Plowman Photograph

The second idea:

  • Thrift store found vases
  • Left over soft rope
  • Found twigs, feather and pine cones
  • Mixed teatowels and scraps of art canvas roll
  • Garlic peelings! – These create a lovely texture for still life
  • Scraps of fabric
  • Found bottles
  • Old book pages
  • Found sea urchin and shells

I hope I have given you a few ideas for decorating with old, found or simply scrap items you have lying around your home! I am a believer that beauty can be found in anything, it’s just keeping your eyes open to seeing it. I’d love to hear your ideas and feedback! I can be contacted through The Orchard blog.

Have Meghan’s tips enticed you to head out and see what treasures you can find? I bet you have a corner, a mantle, a wall, a porch, a __________ (you fill in the blank!) waiting to be freshly styled. I love the theme that it’s not necessarily what so much as how you choose to display your objects. Mixing up textures and telling a story is the key! If you get a chance, please pop over to The Orchard and introduce yourself! And if you check out Meghan’s Facebook page there’s a certain connection posted there to my post from yesterday! Do you think you can find it?  ;-)

Thank you once again Meghan, for sharing at sZinteriors today. :-)