I am so happy to share that I am one of the makers featured in a book called Vintage Life. It is published by Janine Vangool, my flea market friend and editor-designer-extraordinaire who also creates Uppercase magazine, a quarterly for the ‘creative and curious’. This book Vintage Life is part of a larger series called Encyclopedia of Inspiration — other editions are about printmaking, ephemera and quilting. This book features individuals who have vintage style, artists who make things with vintage objects and those who have obsessively collected vintage items. I was thrilled when Janine invited me to submit to be part of this publication. Thanks Janine! Truly grateful for the opportunity to tell my story about my products and collection of vintage fine bone china saucers.
Flipping through the 448 pages, it feels so amazing to be featured alongside such talented woman who I have admired from afar: Fiona Richards of Cartolina, Kaari Meng of French General, Ki Nassauer of Junk Bonanza, Wendy Addison of Theatre of Dreams and Marcia Ceppos of Tinsel Trading, just to name a few. (I wrote a blog post about Tinsel Trading back in 2011 while it was still located in NYC) And what a treat to discover and appreciate other like-minded artists and makers.
Below I have incorporated a few of the quotes pulled from the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves ‘vintage’ and to see how creative individuals are living the Vintage Life. The book is printed in Canada and recommend ordering Vintage Life sooner than later, as Uppercase prints limited editions of the publication.
“My personal mantra is to only ever repurpose single saucers that are missing their matching cup. I rescue them from flea markets and thrift stores — found close to home and abroad. Many stunning saucers have been ‘inherited’ from the estates of other life-long collectors.”
“In my home studio, nearly 700 saucers are stacked neatly in the drawers and shelves of my French cabinet. Dating back 50 years or more, the saucers come from well-known English manufacturers: Royal Albert, Aynsely and Paragon to name a few. I’m always in awe of the stunning beauty and seemingly endless array of colours and different designs of china patterns. Saucers in pastel colours and intricate gold patterns catch my eye and heart the most.”
“I am in my happy place when I am designing new work — matching colourful satin ribbon to the saucers and seeing the personality of each piece come to life.”
“I’ve had to overcome some fear in regards to using large power tools. In making a ring holder, I use a tabletop drill press to create a small hole in the centre of the saucer. For most people, the idea of drilling through china is daunting and scary. But with patience and practice, I’ve learned that despite its dainty appearance, china is quite durable. After years of drilling holes through hundreds of saucers, I’ve also saved the little ‘donut holes’ of fine bone china. It is so interesting to capture just a few fragments of the manufacturers’ markings on the back of the saucer.”
Back in 2015, I participated in the Shabby Chic Mix & Match Design Challenge for Chairish, an online marketplace for vintage and used furniture. Chairish has now expanded with a sister website called DECASO, which features an ultra-curated selection of exceptional antique and designer furniture offered by the world’s most respected dealers.
To celebrate the launch of DECASO, I have accepted to participate in their Interior Design Bucket List Challenge. (Thanks for inviting me Gabrielle! ) The collections are definitely a lot more upscale and pricier (some items are out-of-this-world crazy expensive). So, I have been asked to pick my bucket list items from DECASO’S collection and put together my dream space. Uh…yeah! So with a virtual unlimited budget in hand — ta da — here is My Bucket List picks:
1 Sunburst Mirror2 Rosenthal Fornasetti Temi E Variazioni Motiv 5 Plate, 1980s 3 Porter Lamp by Stone and Sawyer 4 Antique French Louis XV Style Bergere Chair in Old Paint 5 Antique French Louis XVI Ebonized Mahogany 3 Over 3 Commode w/Marble 6 Regency Style Designer Taboret Bench by Randy Esada Designs 7 Two Spirited Carved Alabaster Cockatoos Perched on a Branch 8 Italian Neoclassical Gilt Tole and Crystal Chandelier
The inspiration and starting point for my dream space was the French Louis XVI commode. Isn’t it gorgeous? Very bold, but yet sleek and sophisticated for my girly taste. I must admit that in addition to my obsession with glass domes/cloches, my next home décor hoarding compulsion is anything in the shape of star/sunbursts. I just love the ‘celestial’ mirror. The Antique French Louis XV Style chair has a bit more ‘patina’ than I would like, but the colour of it is divine — like butterscotch or caramel, which I prefer to call ‘old gold’. I read somewhere in a decorating magazine that every room needs something whimsical and these cockatoos fit that perfectly.
Awww, now I wish my bucket list was ‘for real’. Thanks DECASO for letting me dream!
Fall is one of my favourite times of the year and it’s so easy and fun to decorate around the house. Bringing in aspects of nature like mini pumpkins, pinecones and wheat is both affordable and beautiful. Here are a few key ways that I decorated my house for Fall this year.
Set the Table On the quest for a table runner for quite awhile now, I finally found the perfect one made of a burlap material. Yay! It provides a neutral colour and brings in just a bit of texture to the table. For my tablescape, I gathered items that I already had tucked away, like the pinecones and mini quail egg nests and only needed to purchase the mini pumpkins. I added some tea light candles and the table was set for a warm and inviting dinner with my family.
I must confess, I have a fetish for urns of all sizes, and I was delighted to top these little white urns with mini pumpkins. I was only able to find a few white pumpkins so gold spray paint came to the rescue to glam up the orange pumpkins.
Do you have a box of dinnerware inherited from your family and buried in the garage for years? That was the case for me until I realized that the plates I received from my mom are ‘kind of cool’ after all. The white plates with the leafy band design feels very elegant and modern to me now. Wish I knew how old this pattern is, maybe from the 60’s or 70’s?
Decorate the Stairs If you don’t have a fireplace (like me) to display decorations, then an alternate area is the stairs. (Sorry, this might not be an option for those with small children and curious pets) Since I grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan, sheafs of wheat always remind me of the Fall harvest. The lit candles add such a wonderful glow and sparkle.
Create a Vignette Pulling together a few of my favourite things — a decorative pillow and faux-fur throw — I created a vignette on a bench next to the stairs with pumpkins and the sheaf of wheat. Makes for a cozy and inviting spot to sit and enjoy a cup of tea with a good book.
As a contributing maker to bemakeful.com, I was really excited participating in their next Makeful Challenge; decorating a cell phone case. Initially, I was not sure what I was going to do to transform a cell phone case.
I have always loved the patina of vintage skeleton keys; the ones pictured here are from my very own collection when I was pulling together inspiration for my wedding. So when I was rummaging through my dresser of crafting supplies, it sparked the idea when I found a stack of rub-on decals I had purchased from Michael’s craft store many years ago.
Using the decals of the vintage keys, I layered different sizes to look like a pile of keys. I love the contrast of the vintage look and feel of the etchings/illustrations against the modern-day technology of the iPhone. I am so happy with the results and I hope you like it too!
Materials & Tools • Various images of rub-on decals
• Popsicle stick
Plan design for inside clear plastic cell phone case.
Place decal artwork side down inside the cell phone case and using the popsicle stick, rub the decal onto the surface.
Step 3 Once layering multiple decals inside the clear cell phone case to the layout of your liking, pop the case onto your phone. You are now done and ready to show it off to the world.
As someone who adores fine French furnishings, I was thrilled to discover a curated online marketplace called The HighBoy for beautiful antiques, jewelry and fine art. Collaborating with hand-picked antique and fine art dealers across the United States (international shipping to Canada available upon request), The HighBoy is known for offering a huge selection of exceptional antiques with a range of styles and prices from all over the world. It’s amazing having the ability to search the website by category, style, origin, theme and price for that unique and coveted piece.
One of my favourite features of the site is shopping in the category Under $500. As like most fashionable and design-savvy ladies, I don’t always have a stockpile of funds to match my imagination and desires. But I am always sure to find a gem on The HighBoy that I would love to bring home with me that is affordable and won’t break the bank.
Here I have curated my own wish list of my favourite picks from The HighBoy. They have amazing tables/desks, armchairs and side tables to be discovered as well as lighting and decorative objects. All items were under my $500 range — except for the Secretaire Desk. A girl can dream big, right? Sadly, the Hollywood Regency round end table was already sold to another lucky soul. But I will be sure to check back to The HighBoy for more gorgeous vintage & antique finds.
As a bride-to-be myself, I had so much fun creating this chair banner craft for my wedding shower concept. As you may have noticed, I love absolutely everything pink and gold, but recently I have been finding myself appreciating the colour yellow. On a recent antiquing trip with my dear friend Jennifer of Tufts and Toile, I found the perfect pale yellow tablecloth to compliment my wedding shower tablescape, which was a great score that only cost $10. I can’t wait to have my very own wedding shower — to come one day
Materials • Various crafting card stock in complimentary colours and patterns (yellow & pink)
• Alphabet letters (spray painted gold)
• Foam adhesive circles
• Washi tape to coordinate with paper stock
• Seam binding ribbon
• Decorative flower
Measure and cut out ten rectangular cards in card stock of your choice that are 2 5/8″ wide x 3 3/4″ tall. You can use alternating paper designs for variety. Cut a triangular notch at the bottom of each card.
With the hole punch, create 2 holes at the top of each card on both the right and left side.
Arrange each letter of ‘Bride to Be’ on a separate card. You can either use glue to attach the letters to the cards. Or as I prefer, to use small foam adhesive circles that give dimension to the letters.
At the top of each card, lay a strip of washi tape and trim the ends on either side of the card.
Thread the seam binding through all of the holes in the cards to hang the banner.