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!

 

Victoria Vintage Expo 2014 Count Down

I’ve been counting down to the 2014 Victoria Vintage Expo for months now, and I can’t believe it’s a mere 2 days away! Have you marked your calendar yet for this 2-day event?

Victoria Vintage Expo 2014

 

All the boxes for Audrey Would!’s booth are packed and ready to go. I’m working away from home right now, but I’ll get back on Thursday with just enough time to load up the vehicle and be on my way.

This is a sneak peek at one of the door prizes you could have a chance to win if you join us on Friday night.

Audrey Would Door Prize

 

Are you up for entertaining your friends on a crisp, cool Fall eve?

You will find Audrey Would! in Booth #38 at the top of the stairs (map here). See you there!

Thanks for stopping by!

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‘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!

 

 

Basics for Entertaining Any Time, Any Day!

Just like keeping a pantry cupboard stocked with staples, there are a few things I believe you should have on hand for low-key entertaining. And by entertaining, I really do mean casual drop-ins, intimate gatherings, and just because!

  • Trays

Every cupboard needs at least one tray, and I recommend going with a classic in either silver or wood like this vintage Contempo Teak tray from Japan. Once you have this basic in place you can always add to and expand your options.

Contempo Teak Tray, Square, Black Enamel Back

 

  • Cheese Board

Whether you like cheese or not, let’s face it, cheese is a fundamental for almost every occasion. I bet your pantry is stocked with crackers, so take this one step further and add a cheese board to your cupboard essentials!

Karl Holmgaard Cheese Board & Glass Cover

This happens to be a 1950s-60s Mid-Century option made by Swedish  designer, Karl Holmberg. Yes, this would be a definite addition to your collection, but a vintage Baribocraft cheeseboard would be, too!

  • Condiment Utensils, aka Condiment Accompaniments

It’s all well and good to have great serving pieces, but don’t forget to add the finishing touch with out-of-the ordinary utensils like a few of the pieces in this wooden-handle vintage collection.

Wooden Handled Utensils (x4), Condiment Set
Included are a pair of sugar tongs, a medium-sized cocktail fork, cheese slicer and nutcrackers. Now, how much fun would setting out these pieces be?

  •  Teapot and Trimmings

Whether you drink tea or not, I bet you know others who do, and having a teapot on hand is a must.

Hornsea C&S & Tea Pot, Cobalt Blue

This vintage Hornsea trio makes a small adjustment to the standard t, s & c set, and has paired the sugar bowl with a milk pitcher instead. The pitcher is larger than a traditional creamer, which makes it a great piece to use for other purposes. I love this set!

  •  Salt, Pepper, Oil & Vinegar Dispensers

It goes without saying that at least one set of salt and pepper shakers is a predictable basic, but having a pair of oil and vinegar cruets is almost a second ‘must’.

Hornsea S&P, O&V Caddy, Cobalt Blue

Making your own vinaigrettes is such a nice way to dress a salad, and keeping the base ingredients handy ensures you will always be prepped. This 4-piece Hornsea set actually sits on a wooden tray. Pop over to the full listing to take a peek!

These are just a few of the basics, but if you would like to join me for a cup of tea, I bet we can come up with a few more!

The Basics...
What do you have in your cupboard that you wouldn’t want to live without?
Thanks for stopping by!
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Photographs and Polyvore Set by Sheila Zeller. Please credit and link if you choose to use!

Vintage Tumbler Caddy Set: All Crinkled Up!

Summer is definitely here – is anyone else melting?

This latest treasure find was just listed in Audrey Would! I am featuring it because it’s the perfect accessory for these crazy, hot days, and also because there is a little history behind the pattern name of the glasses.

GlassTumbler & Caddy Set, Anchor Hocking (2) 600

 

These glasses were made by Anchor Hocking in the mid-1960s. The pattern of this set is called Lido Glass, but the original pattern was introduced in 1959 as Milano Glass. Production of the Milano pattern spanned 1959 to 1963, and was only produced in Avocado Green and Crystal (clear).

Zanesville Mould Company, a new subsidiary of Anchor Hocking at the time, was assigned to making new Milano moulds to replace the old ones. As it turns out, the new moulds were quite different from the originals,  which resulted in the pattern name being changed to Lido Glass.

The two patterns are very similar, however the Milano pattern is more textured and the crinkle more defined. One way to tell a Lido piece from a Milano is that the Lido pattern does not extend right to the rim. Look closely at the glass below, and you will see a plain band around the rim where the pattern has stopped.

Tumbler & Caddy Set, Anchor Hocking (3) 600

Lido Glass, like Milano, was produced in Avocado Green and Crystal, but it was also produced in Honey Gold, Spicy Brown, Aquamarine, and Laser Blue.

Crinkle glassware was popular at the time, and there were other companies producing their variation of this prevalent pattern trend as well. Morgantown Glass Company was one, but their Crinkle line has a distinctly different look. The tumblers are less uniform, and the crinkle is not as pronounced. In order to respect copyright, I could not share an image with you, but this link will take you to one. Seneca Glass Company with their Driftwood Casual line was another, see image here.

So you can see it’s not always easy to tell one crinkle glass from the next, but now you have a few more tips to at least tell Milano and Lido apart from one another!

You know what I love most about this Lido crinkle glass set? It’s easy… just grab your caddy and go!

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! :-)

Iconic Jascha Brojdo… Georges Briard

This is an article re-post originally written for Audrey Would! back in August 2013. Now that Audrey related blog posts are featured here, I wanted to re-share, because I love the story behind this Mid-Century great, and his ornately detailed pieces.

You know a notable designer when you see one – that is, when you search for a photograph of him, and all that comes up, image after image, is his amazing work!

Jascha Brojdo. Do you know who I’m talking about?

Photograph of Georges Briard - Anthology House

{Source: Anthologie House}

That’s right. Georges Briard!

Georges Briard was born in the Ukraine in 1917 under the birth name of Jascha Brojdo. At the age of 20 he made his way from Poland to Chicago where he earned his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at the Art Institute of Chicago. Do you know he also studied at the University of Chicago?

Jascha, being fluent in several languages, also served for the US Army in WWII as a Russian translator. He was discharged in 1947, and that’s when his life took on the shape we now connect him to.

A known, or maybe lesser know fact, Georges was an artist first, a designer second, which was ultimately instrumental in his use of Brojdo vs. Briard. But first, how did Georges Briard even come to be? How did he get that name from Jascha Brojdo?

After Jascha was discharged from the army, by the 1950s he had started working in New York with Max Willie whom he met in art school. Jascha first hand painted blank trays, which quickly became a huge success. These trays were initially signed with ‘Brojdo’, but because they were such a success, Willie came up with a pseudonym to mark Brojdo’s commercial pieces, and save his personal last name for his paintings. This is when Georges Briard was born!

How the actual name, Georges Briard, was chosen is mildly amusing. Willie liked ‘Georges’ simply because it sounded very ‘French’, and Briard after the breed of dog he [Willie] had recently lost! No, we’re not making this up!

Georges Briard became most well known through the 1950s, 60s and 70s for his signature dishware and glassware, from basic pieces to gold plated serving dishes. He was behind some of the decorated pieces of companies like Libbey and Anchor Hocking, as he would buy them clear, add his artistry and sign off with his finishing touch.

Georges Briard was also known for his ornate barware pieces like you see here.

Briard Pieces

I am of course swooning, and so excited to currently have this collection available at Audrey Would! {Bar Tools} {Gold Filigree Ice Bucket} {Gold Filigree Highball Glasses}

Though he never did officially change his name, in spite of how or where Jascha Brojdo’s designer name came from, the bottom line is the 22k gold signature we have all come to know was, and still is his brand.

Georges Briard Gold Ice Bucket - 22k Gold Signature 

Jascha Brojdo died on July 30, 2005… Georges Briard lives on today!

I am happy to raise a glass in celebration of Jascha Brojdo yesterday, Georges Briard today. Will you join me?

Thanks for stopping by!

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

 

A New Site for Audrey Would!

After a little over a month of working it out, I am thrilled to say Audrey Would!‘s new site is live… just in time for Valentines Day! You can expect to see more classic, sleek and glam pieces like these!

Classic Bamboo Stemmed Coupes

There will inevitably be tweaks and things to fix along the way – I’m pretty sure that’s called ‘transition’. ;-) In the mean time I would love for you to stop by and take a peek. If you see anything askew, please let me know!

There is a lot more to come, but for now I hope you like what you see!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Bedroom Makeover Update

Well, I’ve been working away on our bedroom makeover (introduced here), until progress suddenly ground to a halt. A lot of the parts and pieces are collected, and some DIYing is underway, however this week I was bitten by a nasty cold… All.Week.Long. :-| So frustrating.

Here’s a little peek anyway.

This is part of the palette that was already in place, and won’t be changing (read more here, here, and here), so it became the jump-off.

Duvet, Drapes, Quilt Rack

You might remember an area rug was part of the new plan. These are the options within the rug budget that made the shortlist, and I’ve since chosen one.

Rug Potentials

Which one do you think I chose? I know, two very different textures, two very different looks!

And you might remember, I showed a long, low MCM dresser factored into the plan. Well, I kind of became a ‘Used Finds’ junkie, scouring the ads like a daily habit, week after week with little to no luck. And then finally one day, there it was!

Used Victoria - MCM Dresser, Mirror & Highboy

{Used Victoria}

A DIY option (at least for me), but definitely along the lines of what I had in mind. This came as a package deal with a mirror and a highboy, because the seller wouldn’t split the set apart. But for the price, it’s a deal that’s hard to beat since they are Honderich pieces c. 1960s, and nice thick walnut veneer.

TIP:

Did you know the veneer in older pieces is much thicker than now-a-days, therefore a better option to sand? And the base wood tends to be of a higher quality than what you get now. Something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a used find. I say, the older, the better!

Here’s a look at my workshop right now. Notice my other Used Find in the background? Hint: the doors are removed.

MCM Dressers & Cabinet Makeovers 033

Since so much of the space depends on the MCM dresser, I’ve been working on it first, even though I had the glass door cabinet before it.

The top is fully sanded and complete, and this is where I left off when the retched bug decided to take over. GRRRR. So frustrating. Oh, did I already say that?

MCM Dressers & Cabinet Makeovers 047

It feels like the cold is starting to break, so I’m hoping to get the sanding finished up this weekend. You can see I have the the finicky areas left, and I still have the drawer fronts to do. And I’m dying to get my hands on the other Used Finds cabinet, too! These pieces will have completely different finishes, and I can’t wait to get the pretty party started!

Are you working on any projects right now? Any makeovers to do?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller unless otherwise stated.

 

 

It’s All About Personal Taste!

Not too long ago a mid-century style vase caught my eye, but I decided to walk away. Good, right? Well you’d think, except I couldn’t let it go. I kept thinking about it and knew I’d be back in the area in a week… but would the vase?

Enter my friends the following week, and I near dragged them to the back of the thrift store where the vase had been… and as luck would have it, still was!

MCM Gray Glazed, Brown Ribbed Vase

Um, they weren’t so smitten. So I sent this pic to my hubs to get his reaction. Only, his response didn’t reach me in time. I paced, and contemplated, waited until I had to make a decision. Was it walk away for a second time, or buy it without hub’s feedback?

I bought, I left, and in came his response… always the way, isn’t it? Nope, he wasn’t sold, either. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it, just not all warm and fuzzy about it! Apparently I was in this one alone – my daughter flat out hated it, and another friend diplomatically withheld comment. ;-)

Well that was a month ago. Every day I look at this vase, and every day I still like it. Why? I don’t know, I just do. I’ve researched it, but can’t come up with much.

This vintage white glazed French jar and lid, c. 1940, was the closest I could find.

1st Dibs - White Glazed French Jar & Cover, c1940s

{1st Dibs}

1st Dibs - White Glazed French Jar & Cover, c.1940s

{1st Dibs}

Can you believe this piece is 4′-8″ tall x 34″ wide?

I’m certain my vase isn’t this vintage, but who knows, maybe this French jar was the inspiration piece!

Here’s the bottom of my vase.

MCM Gray Glazed, Brown Ribbed Vase Bottom

You’ll notice it doesn’t have any glaze on it, but do you see the etched mark? That’s likely the symbol of the artist. And the dark brownish marks indicate to me that this bottom was once covered in signature felt. You might remember my Royal Haeger vase with its signature felt bottom here. If I had to guess, I’d guess this vase is c.1970s, but if you know for sure, I’d love to hear from you!

To make a long story short, my vase is a great reminder of what’s important when you’re choosing pieces for your home. Never second guess what speaks to you. Surround yourself with things that draw you in, even if no-one else seems to see what you see. If you do this you’ll always feel at home in your home, and that’s what it’s all about!

Oh, and guess what was on the cover of my latest HGTV magazine?

HGTV Magazine Cover - April 2013

Do you see it? Not the same shape, not the same colour or finish… but don’t you think the ribbing suggests they could be relatives?

Maybe there’s someone out there who can see what I see in my beloved vase afterall!

Do you have anything in your collection that makes others roll their eyes? Well, that’s okay, just remember what happened to the Ugly Duckling!

Thanks for stopping by!

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BTW – this vase may or may not turn up in my bedroom makeover… but you’ll have to wait and see! :-)

I was featured over at Junkin Joes. Thanks Andrea!

Junkin Joe Linky Party - I Was Featured

Photographs by Sheila Zeller unless otherwise stated.