All posts by Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Tulip 150 Handbag Signature Design to Celebrate Canada150 Milestone

Canada is a young nation relative to its peers (think of the other countries in G7, NATO, EU Zone, Commonwealth and so on). However, 150 years is still a significant birthday it was a milestone worth celebrating.

On July 1st, cities and towns across Canada celebrated with fireworks and live music. The 150 Tulip (or Maple Leaf Tulip) bloomed this Spring – One Tulip One Canada – in time for the annual tulip festival in Ottawa here. (Image credit above: Ottawa tourism)

Canadian designers are marking the year with signature pieces.

Tulip 150 Handbag Red Ostrich Leather

Designing Canada 150

Christine Vonbun’s birthplace is Austria, and where she earned her Master-Craftsman in Handbag Design. For several years now, Canada has been her home. Toronto, Ontario is a place that she enjoys for its ready access to natural beauty.

Tulip 150 Handbag Red Ostrich Leather

To recognise the significant 150th year of Canada’s confederation, Christine Vonbun designed the Tulip 150 handbag, the latest addition to her leather purse collection. This small bag makes a bold design statement to celebrate the milestone of Canada’s 150th birthday year.

Tulip 150 Handbag Red Ostrich Leather

This handbag made with neutral beige leather is the perfect “will go with anything” colour. However, Christine’s design is sensational with the striking black Italian leather bottom, and the red ostrich flower (tulip) appliqué adds that flash of colour that will make others notice.

For the full details on the limited edition Tulip 150 purse click here.

(Note: This sharp red tulip bag will only be available in 2017).

Canada150 in Kingston Discover How Iron Art is Celebrating

We asked Ontario designers Robert & Lisa Aucoin of Iron Art about their plans for July 1st, Canada’s birthday – Canada150.

With everything going on in the world, this celebration has made us think about how thankful we are to be in a country at peace, with freedoms other countries don’t have. There is so much beauty within one nation, and so unique from one coast to the other. You may never be able to explore it all. There is always something in nature to be inspired by as an artist in Canada.  We are thankful to be Canadian artists, living and working in this country.
How will you celebrate the holiday weekend?
We will be celebrating at an art show in Kingston Ontario, the former capital city. Every Canada Day we take part in the Artfest Kingston show which is full of fun for the entire family.  Artists from all over Ontario and beyond participate at the event.
Iron Art RAW COPPER INUKSHUK
What is your birthday gift to Canada?

As a Canadian symbol, I love the Inukshuk. I think it would make a great gift for anyone. I have also been making Canadian Maple Leafs (photo above) out of copper taken from the Parliament Building roof in Ottawa. If there were anything more fitting to give as a Canadian birthday gift, that would be it.

Shop the Iron Art leather and metal collection.

Canada150 – Canadian Designers Celebrate with Signature Designs

On July 1st, Canada will have at least 150 reasons to party. To celebrate the nation’s 150th birthday, we asked a few Canadian designers these two questions:

  1. What does Canada’s 150th birthday signify for you?
  2. If you were to give Canada a birthday gift, from your design collection, what would it be?

Canada's 150th Birthday Bucket Bag Wool Arctic White

GŌBLE

Based in London, Ontario, Cindy Goble’s luxury brand GŌBLE focuses on effortless and comfortable fashion for women. Goble learned to knit at an early age, taught by her mother. It is a skill that she has since shared with her daughter. Working only with top-quality wools, GŌBLE designs luxurious knitwear. The collection also includes a stunning range of silk scarves. Please read the full story about this designer here.

Cindy Goble:
I am proud and grateful to call this vast and diverse country my home. Both of my parents were European immigrants who found freedom, safety and success here in Canada. Creating a new life of choice in this country, my father became a hardworking, successful entrepreneur, and my mother a creative homemaker. They both inspired me to follow suit.

My parents took us on a road trip through the Canadian prairies and to the West Coast. Skiing the Rockies near Lake Louise in Alberta solidified my love for Canada. Venturing east through the Maritimes and out to the “Rock” opened my eyes to the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean and stunning Newfoundland landscapes.

Canada's 150th Birthday Infinity Shawl Wool Maritime Blue

My birthday gift to Canada is my Canadiana Collection – available only in 2017. Canadian travels were the inspiration for this GŌBLE Canadiana Collection, and I am proud to present four major Canadian landscapes the designs:

Arctic – snow and ice
Maritimes – lakes and oceans
Prairies – wheat fields
Rockies – rock and mountains

This special anniversary collection also addresses the diversity of the Canadian seasons. There are hand knits to comfort and keep us warm in winter. In warmer months, the soft, caress of luxury silk scarves adds a light touch. This capsule collection is my tribute to the country I love and call home – the true North, strong and free!

Canada's 150th Birthday Silk Print Scarves Inspired Canadian Landscape Arctic

Take advantage of a 15% discount on the entire Canadiana Collection from June 24-July 1st. Use coupon code GobleCanada150 at checkout and get free shipping in North America! Explore the GŌBLE collection here.

Canada's 150th Birthday Tulip 150 Purse Red Ostrich Leather

Christine VonBun Exotic Leathers

It was not a straight line. Christine VonBun relocated to Toronto, Ontario, via Cape Town, South Africa. She followed her dual passions for stunning landscapes and fashionable leather handbags. Read her fascinating backstory here.

Christine VonBun:
Canada150 is a significant year for all of us, but maybe even more so if you have selected Canada as the country where you want to live. I find it hard to believe that this country is so young. The town that I come from in Austria which is celebrating its 800th birthday this year. This Canadian anniversary is a major milestone in moving forward and adapting to the new challenges that this country encounters.

Compared to many populations, Canadians are fortunate to have access to so much untouched nature, water resources and open land close at hand. We must do more to protect our natural resources, make more conscious decisions and reduce our footprints.

We should all celebrate this national birthday and be thankful for what we have. This summer, our plan is to paddle our canoe in all those amazing parks, lakes and rivers as often as possible in awe of what’s around us.

Canada's 150th Birthday Tulip 150 Purse Red Ostrich Leather

I designed the Tulip 150 bag as a birthday gift to Canada. I think this purse has a fitting personality, a youthful look (150 years is relatively young) it is representative of the colours of our flag and of a flower which is very meaningful to this nation. The handbag’s black base is to signify that in a world which is in flux we should remain grounded. Besides, I think Canada looks great with a red tulip. Discover additional details on the Tulip 150 purse here.

Holiday discount offer: To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, Christine VonBun is offering 40% off any ostrich handbag (in stock) from now until July 1st. Take advantage of this fantastic offer and use coupon code Canada150Handbag at checkout. Here, is the link to her collection. Note: this offer does not include the Tulip 150 purse.

Canada's 150th Birthday Key to my Heart Beeswax Candle

Bees Wax Works

Jill Smith’s fascinating background includes the career transition from ballet dancer to Chandler. She works with pure 100% beeswax, which arrives in 45-pound blocks, to produce an exclusive collection of beautiful candles. Read her story here and about the art of chandlery here.

Jill Smith:
We will celebrate by a festive day at the Salts Spring Island local market that weekend and by spending time with friends. We plan to dress in red.

Canada's 150th Birthday Simple Fern Beeswax Candle

My birthday gift for Canada is the Simple Fern Candle. When we designed that candle, I wanted it to reflect the world we live in out here on the wild West Coast. These gentle twisting ferns grow in the ditches in our gulf islands. Inspirations are easy when we just pause and look around our beautiful country.

Canada's 150th Birthday Black and Gold Memory Necklace Anastassia Sel

Anastassia Sel

At nine years old, Anastassia Selezneva and her parents emigrated to Toronto, from the Russian city of Volgodonsk. She explained that from an early age artistic activities occupied her after-school hours. She experimented with ballet, piano and visual arts, but in the end, it is working with metals and gemstones where she finds the most inspiration. Read why this designer has her sights on New York’s fashion runways for her jewellery.

Anastassia Selezneva:
My birthday is also on July 1st, so Canada and I go way back (smile). It’s an exciting day and has always been my favourite holiday of the year. The weather is usually perfect, and we get to celebrate this beautiful country. This year is particularly special as I will visit Ottawa with my family who is coming from Belarus, for my wedding.

Canada's 150th Birthday Black and Gold Memory Necklace Anastassia Sel

My gift to Canada in recognition of 150-years is the Black and Gold Memory Necklace. Evocative of a gold nugget (or egg shape) this organic piece hangs on a long antique sterling silver chain. Throughout history, the egg has symbolised birth and rebirth. It seems relevant to give this symbol on Canada’s 150th.

Happy 150th Canada!

 

 

Leather Handbags Christine VonBun Shares her Design Story

One of our goals at Atelier is to communicate our designers’ artistic journeys. However, it’s even better when they share the design story behind their leather handbags.

Handbag Design Story Hope Ostrich blue leather

Holiday Discount

Before diving into this designer’s story, we want to make sure you don’t miss this generous offer.  To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, Christine VonBun is offering 40% off any ostrich handbag (in stock) from now until July 1st. Take advantage of this fantastic offer and use coupon code Canada150Handbag at checkout.

Handbag Design Story Ostrich Harper Blue Leather

Dedication

In our view, anyone who has chosen a creative path is brave, for many reasons. Work with raw materials is intensive and in some cases quite physical. Mastering a craft can often take years of trial and error.

Christine Vonbun Leather Handbag Design Story

Designers must first turn their creative vision into an attractive outcome. The Financial Times published an interesting article on “How artisans across the world are crafting a living” by Jonathon Foyle. The process of finding buyers for small production, handcrafted goods can be daunting. The potential sales channels are limited by available time. You will encounter artisans manning booths at craft markets, and in bricks and mortar retail outlets. On top of that they need to establish an online presence and dabble in the virtual world of social media.

Luxurious ostrich leather handbags

Christine VonBun works exclusively with high-quality leathers and speciality skins. VonBun trained in her native Austria and achieved a master craftsman certification in leather work. Her work in South Africa at a renowned design house gave her the confidence to create her line of handcrafted leather handbags. Spend a few minutes reading her designer backstory here and the detailed process required to fashion a leather purse here.

These luxury leather handbags are signature accessories, pieces that you will use for many years.

Christine Vonbun Leather Handbag Design Story

During the “Originals – The Spring Craft Sale” in Ottawa, Ontario, Christine VonBun was interviewed by CTV about her beautiful bags. Watch Christine share her design story with CTV here.

Bella Leather Handbag Morris B Design Story Christine Vonbun

Italian leather handbags

Christine VonBun’s Morris B collection is an Atelier exclusive.  Made with exquisite Italian leather these bags share the same details as her ostrich handbags. However, the price point is more affordable due to the relative ease of working with Italian leather vs. ostrich – explore the Morris B collection here.

Christine has to say about her Morris B Collection,

“User-friendly on-trend bags which work for the wearer from day to night. Uncomplicated, stylish with a twist of fun.”

To celebrate Canada Day on July 1st, Christine VonBun has designed an adorable purse she calls the Tulip 150. This small bag makes a bold design statement to commemorate the milestone of Canada’s 150th birthday. This sharp red tulip purse will only be available in 2017,  order your’s today. (Note: this handbag is not included in the Canada150Handbag offer)

Tulip 150 Leather Handbag Design Story Christine Vonbun

Iron Art the Design Story Behind is Launched by a Metal Candleholder

In 1993, Robert Aucoin designed and twisted five feet of metal into a flowing sculpture, The Ribbon Candleholder, it was a gift for his wife Lisa and the launch of their company – Iron Art. It is the couple’s shared passion for design details and converting basic materials (metal, leather and wood) into artwork.

Iron Art Candleholder Gift for Lisa

An artist for a lifetime

I started in the arts very young with doodles and cartoons. In public school, one of my teachers asked me to draw political cartoons for the local newspaper.

Iron Art Sketch NATHAN-FISHING

Robert Aucoin took graphic design and fine art studies at Durham College in Oshawa. His artistic learning did not end in college.  He has completed an extensive list of programs and workshops ranging from etching to business communications.

Iron Art Robert's 1st Etching

Where did your work start?

After studying graphic design, I worked freelancing as a portrait artist. Then I secured a role in a company that collaborated with Queen’s University to design, fabricate and weld all-terrain wheelchairs.

With this newly discovered passion for metal creations, I started Iron Art (in 1993) designing and hand forging functional furniture, tables, chandeliers and creating one-of-a-kind pieces.  Next year will be 25 years that Iron Art is in business.

Iron Art Designing legs for Chair

Most of what I do is custom. Therefore, almost everything I design requires a sketch or a working drawing before any welding. I can never say I’m a welder, or designer, or portrait artist. I get to do everything I love all the time, then move on to the next exciting project.

Can you share some of your commissions for clients and corporations?

When Roots opened their Home Stores in Toronto & SoHo, New York, I was asked to create their prototype lamps for the openings.

Iron Art Metal WOVEN BOWL and CHAIR

Iron Art Chandelier

The Woven Deck Chair (below) sits on the end of our dock.

Iron Art Hand Woven Metal Dock Chair

Is there one project that stands out for you?

The spiral staircase was one project that was particularly challenging, only because I’d never done one before.  I’m always looking forward to the next new challenge!

Iron Art Spiral Staircase Rail

How did you get into producing smaller items for fashion and home decor?

When my teenage kids were finding it hard to find unique belt buckles, I went into the studio to design and hand forged stainless steel belt buckles for them. Some belt buckles bronze or stainless steel accents, some are etched with custom designs, others are personalised with monograms. Smaller items such as belt buckles, pendants and cuffs are much easier to take to show and ship worldwide.

Gold-Heart-Stainless-Steel-Buckle-

At the time, I thought it was a unique idea to use an item that others may have discarded.  Lisa and I try to use reuse as much of our dropped metal as well as our leather scraps to create new and up-cycled items such as napkin rings, pendants and more.

Gold-Pendant-Neclace-red-Leather-Strap-Artist-Signed White-coloured-leather-napkin-rings

What other projects have you done with smaller fashion items?

Commissions have included, the Canadian and American 29ers Sailing Championship and the North American 29ers Sailing Championship belt buckles. The winners were thrilled that they could wear their medals (belt buckles) instead of a trophy on a shelf.

Recently, I was given a small piece of copper off the roof of the Canadian Parliament Building. I was commissioned to make leaves (from the copper) for Canada East Short Track Speed Skating Championships (photo below).

Iron Art Copper Leaves

Do you have a preferred metal?

I like working with stainless steel because it’s a clean metal. However, as an artist, every medium I work with is my favourite at the time that I am working with it.

What tools do you use for your work?

Typically, the anvil, hammer and welder are my go-to tools. I make lots of jigs and fixtures for one-of-a-kind pieces and will often have to make a tool for a particular job.

Iron Art Robert Aucoin's Selfie

Tell us about the local arts community?

We are members of the Kingston Arts Council collaborating with many artisans and designers in the Kingston area for years. Lisa works in close collaboration with the Kingston Public Market Board (Photography). We love being participating artisans at the Kingston Public Market, in the summer. It is a chance to meet tourists from all over the world as well as Kingstonians.

Explore the full Iron Art collection here.

 

5 Rules for Calgary Stampede Rodeo Fashion Style and Accessories

Rodeo fashion style did not exist in 1886, for Calgary’s first organised agricultural event – the Calgary and District Agricultural Society. It was 1912 when American Guy Weadick organised a livestock performance, a Wild West rodeo that morphed into today’s Calgary Stampede. This annual 10-day rodeo and festival is a magnet for international cowboys and cowgirls. For many, the Calgary Stampede embodies its tagline the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.”

Calgary Stampede Style Cowboy Denim

Outside of the rodeo arena, there are few rules during the Calgary Stampede (July 7-16, 2017). Work takes a backseat to pancake breakfasts, boozy lunches and line dancing. If you want to look the part, western attire is de rigour.

What are the rules for Calgary Stampede rodeo fashion style?

If you want to mimic authentic cowboy and cowgirl’s effortless fashion style, here are the five (5) wardrobe musts.

  1. Denim – Anyone who is riding a horse, bull or participating in a Stampede event will be in jeans. Clearly, this clothing selection is a practical choice when attempting to stay atop high-spirited livestock. However, these men and women typically establish their style with form fitting dark denim blues and blacks. For the spectators’ denim choices are not as prescribed. You can expect jeans of every colour, denim shorts, sundresses dresses of every length and a more than a few miniskirts. Fashion tip: white jeans are acceptable, but watch where you sit…just saying.

Calgary Stampede Style Cowboy Denim2. Boots – In the same vein as denim footwear choices around big animals and dusty arenas should never include open toed shoes or high-heals. Leather cowboy boots and lace-up ropers are the standard footwear options. Often these boots have been custom built for the owner and worn so many times that they fit better than slippers. Not planning to ride any livestock? Cowboy boots are still a practical footwear option in the event of rain (sadly that does happen), and in the beer tents where the dance floor can turn into a sticky mess. Read about Alberta Boot Company here and how you can order your pair of boots.

3. Cowboy Hat – The brimmed western hat serves a clear purpose for keeping the sun off the face and rain out of the wearer’s eyes. The bonus is almost everyone looks better in a cowboy hat. Your hat choices range from breathable straw to warm felt material. Read about the Smithbilt hat makers here.

Calgary Stampede Style Cowboy Hats4. Shirts and Tops – Western shirts are far from prescribed. Theses tops cover a broad gulf of styles including fringes, leather touches, beaded designs and much more.

Calgary Stampede Style Cowboy Shirts5. Belt Buckles – These are a status symbol of sorts. Any cowboy or cowgirl who has won a notable rodeo event proudly sports a large metal belt buckle commemorating the occasion. Bigger is considered better in the buckle department.

Western accessories for this year’s Calgary Stampede.

Designer Nancy Newman works with vintage fabrics, handwoven pieces of cotton and soft leathers to create gorgeous one-of-a-kind bucket bags. It is her finishing touches, the accents of nickel conchos and rivets that give these handbags an authentic western flavour. Giddy up cowgirl!

Black Leather Bucket Bag Nancy Newman

Step into your favourite jeans and finish the look with a hand cut leather belt (available in a range of colours) and a shiny belt buckle of your own. Designer Robert Aucoin at Iron Art makes these belts and buckles in Ontario.

Gold Heart Metal Belt Buckle Iron Art Pink Heart Metal Belt Buckle Iron Art

French Fashion Style How to Wear a Scarf like a Parisian

French women have a reputation for their understated fashion flair. Runway models and Paris Fashion Week aside, the image of a well-dressed Parisian woman is a combination of effortless make-up and that striking accessory.

French scarf fashion know how

 

Buying a new suit or coat is an investment in your wardrobe. Cost and practicality should determine that you want these pieces to last more than a single season. Sure, you expect styles to change after a few years, but given the expense of these items, you certainly hope to stretch their use longer than a few short months. A scarf is a wardrobe lifesaver that does not break the bank.

Silk Chiffon Scarf Accessories

According to silk fashion designer Léa Petitjean of Petitjean Paris

“Around your neck, your head, or even your bag handle, there are plenty of ways to wear it: there can be no limit to your creativity.”

A bright silk scarf adds softness and a flash of colour to any outfit. Versatile and easy to carry the lightweight scarf packs a fashion punch.

How do you tie those knots?

 

Check out the Petitjean Paris website to view images of the more common ways of tying a carré (square) scarf.

Fashion powerhouse Hermes developed a smartphone App to help guide you through options for tying silk knots. All you need is your phone and a scarf.

Designer scarves and shawls

 

Canadian artist Cindy Goble’s rectangular (20″ X 70″) silk scarf is available in six (6) colour options. Lightweight and elegant the chiffon fabric does not wrinkle or fade. The multi-hued tones in these Goble scarves allow you to mix and match with several outfits.

Silk Chiffon Scarf Cindy Goble Design

Also from the Goble collection is a large square scarf in 100% wool. These bright scarves will dress up a neutral outfit with a strong punch of colour. The oversized square scarf (53″ X 53″) is meant to be worn as a top layer – the statement piece.

Oversized Wool Scarf in Red Hot Colour

Handwoven Freedom Fringe Shawl is the knock-out wardrobe accessory that you can throw on as the sun sets. Cindy Goble designed these shawls with a rich combination of merino, alpaca, silk and mohair wools. Go ahead make some heads turn!

 

Freedom Fringe Hand Woven Shawl Wine Stain Colour

 

Weaver Morija Reeb loves working with silk. She tells us that there are always a few pieces on her loom at various stages of progression. Methodically woven by hand, her silk scarf is a timeless piece that is sure to be your favourite for years to come. Silk is like wool, warm in the winter and cool in the summer yet always soft against your skin. Explore Morija’s natural wild silk scarves here.

Morija Reeb wild silk scarf

Cashmere is luxurious. The ARTIGIANI MILANESI Maxi scarf is 220cm long 60cm wide. This wrap is a beautiful and luxurious scarf and shawl all-in-one. Weaved by hand on Bowen Island this Italian designed scarf will become a wardrobe essential. Although, the scarf is quite a good size the lightweight cashmere ensures it is not bulky. Order yours today.

Cashmere Maxi Shawl Artigani Milanesi

Visiting Canmore Project A Pop-Up is a Gallery of Canadian Designers this Summer

Bordered by the serrated granite spires of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Canmore, Alberta is a beacon for artistic souls. It is also a town where it can be hard to find parking on a summer weekend. And, the number of mountain bikes might just outnumber the rabbits (ok maybe not).

Project A Pop-up Canmore

Jade Ansley is a metalsmith and one of those artistic souls, with a big idea for Canmore’s Main Street this summer.

“Project A is a curated pop-up gallery dedicated to promoting the work of emerging artists and makers. The gallery aims to create relationships between the public, other galleries, and artists, to build their careers.”

Ansley’s is naturally artistic, her mother is an interior designer, and her father is in construction. She says, “I have been an artist since I was a small child and started my first ‘business’ at age seven.”

This Canmore native studied jewellery design at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design (NBCCD). In 2012, Ansley began the 3-year NBCCD program and achieved a diploma in Jewellery and Metal Arts. A graduate studies program followed, dedicated to business within the arts.

“The graduate program was the course that got me into curating and business – I ran my first Project A pop-up in Fredericton (photo below)  as my thesis. It was funded by the government of New Brunswick (Heritage and Culture office), and featured 19 graduates and current students at NBCCD.”

Project A Pop-up Fredericton

Project A – Canmore is a larger undertaking. Ansley is assuming the rental risk of a vacant retail space on Canmore’s main drag. Her vision is to entice locals and summer tourists into the pop-up store to view (and buy) the work of 40+ emerging Canadian designers. These artistic productions include jewellery, clothing, leather goods, textiles, furniture, pottery, sculptures and paintings.

Project A Pop-up Canmore Construction

Project A Pop-up Canmore Construction

The bright and lofty space is perfect for the gallery concept that Ansley hopes to create for her impressive list of artists and anyone who ventures inside.

Coast-to-coast collection of emerging designers

Nu Ceramics – Fredericton, NB (pottery for your daily rituals)
The Spinner Weaver – Saint Johns, NB ( fashion and home decor)
Cassandra Elizabeth – Toronto, ON (women’s clothing)
Christina Pupo – Toronto, ON (furniture design)
Uppdoo – Toronto, ON (leather handbags)
Co Create Co. – Edmonton, AB (home décor you can’t live without)
AdrianMartinus – Calgary, AB (woodwork)
Kerry Langlois – Canmore, AB (painter)
Jennifer Wharton – Fort Simpson, NWT (ceramics)
And many more…

Project A Pop-up Artists

Project A Pop-up Canmore Artists

The Project A Pop-up opens its doors at 709 Main Street (Canmore) on June 1st and will run until approximately September 30th. Watch for special events and promotions all summer.

Barbecue Season Entertaining Designs that Make Gearing-up Easy

It’s officially barbecue season!

In the Northern Hemisphere, the darker months of the year are finally behind us, and we can look forward to enjoying warm, bright evenings spent outside. Spring and summer months are the time to take advantage of relaxed entertaining and outdoor grilling. With school holidays around the corner, the annual rituals of opening cabins and cottages for the summer involves heavy lifting. Before the relaxation can begin, there are chores to be done that include docks, deck chairs, gardens and boat trailers.

Make entertaining easy this season

 

Consider easy food preparation and presentation with a new wooden serving board. Hand carved from Canadian hardwood and finished with food-safe beeswax & mineral oil paste these boards are versatile serving platters. These Schooner Lane Designs boards transition effortlessly from a chopping surface to an elegant serving tray.

Arrange a tempting pre-dinner snack for your guests on a wooden backdrop. All you need is a selection of cheese, cold cuts and some mixed antipasto to get the evening started.

Choose from one of several board sizes, shapes and wood types. Kathy at Schooner Lane Designs works with maple, black walnut and cherry.

Choose the long, narrow baguette style board for bread and cheese.

Schooner Lane wooden serving boards

For a contemporary variation select this angular version.

walnut and maple serving boards

Show your guests you love them with the heart handle board.

Bonus: These serving and chopping boards are available in a variety of sizes, and can be engraved to personalise your selection.

Heart Handle Hardwood Boards

What about the table?

Chartreuse coloured leather napkin rings

Add a touch of colour with leather napkin rings. Summer entertaining may mean there is no need for a formal table and often “come and get it” is how it rolls. Dress-up the evening with a set bright leather napkin rings. Each piece of leather is cut by hand and cross-stitched with a strong, waxed cord. These napkin rings by Iron Art are available in several leather colour options: chartreuse, blue, red, white, purple, orange, grey and pink. Sold in sets of four (4) choose your preferred colour here.

White coloured leather napkin rings

Are you looking for natural leather? The napkin rings are also available in five leather hues – explore the options here.

Long warm evenings call for a bit of romance once the sun finally sets. Chandler Jill Smith has created a group of beautiful 100% beeswax candles. Beeswax provides a long-lasting, bright light. Read about the benefits of beeswax over paraffin here.

The Simple Fern will burn for over 50 hours.

Simple Fern Beeswax Candle

Expect the Vintage Bee to last up to 30 hours.

Vintage Bee Beeswax Candle

The smaller Key to My Heart should burn brightly for over 15 hours.

Key to my Heart Beeswax Candle

Make a house a home – the cosy touches

Alpine-themed fabric tea towels and aprons are whimsical touches for your kitchen and make for excellent hostess gifts. Anouk works with fine European linen as the base for their naturally inspired designs. Find out why they use this durable linen here.

Enjoy your BBQ season!

Barbecue Season Entertaining

Fashion Know-How: Key Tips to Picking the Perfect Accessories

Early into my high school days, I discovered that there is a real talent in picking the perfect accessories.

In my view, I was unceremoniously moved from the local co-ed public school (read: where there were boys) and sent to an all-girls high school. Few people are truly confident entering Grade 9, and even fewer can pull-off a self-assured look wearing a blue tunic, grey knee socks and navy loafers

Certainly, not me!

Picking Perfect Accessories Cindy Goble Scarves

The theory behind a standard school uniform is that it takes the “what am I going to wear” decision making out of early mornings. The standard puts everyone on a level fashion playing field. However, even in those days, the trendy girls could assert their fashion style with accessories (as long they did not push the boundaries too far).

Picking Perfect Accessories Cindy Goble Scarves

Do you have a foundation wardrobe?

Fast forward to the working world realities of the morning rush, business travel and a limited shopping budget. This often translates into a wardrobe that gravitates towards the fundamentals. Weekday essentials might include a white blouse, a stylish black suit (or pants and a blazer) and a sensible pair of black heals. Evenings and weekends might mean dressing-up in that perfect little black dress or chilling out over a latte wearing your favourite pair of jeans.

Picking Perfect Accessories Morija Reeb earrings frost leaves

Fashion tips for picking perfect accessories:

Once you have built the foundation of your wardrobe, it’s time to project your style with the right accessories. Add a flash of colour over a neutral top with a scarf. Catch someone’s eye with the bling of a contemporary designer jewellery piece. Choose a bright handbag to carry the essentials or as a statement piece.

Picking Perfect Accessories Leather handbags Sophie Christine Vonbun

We have created a downloadable e-guide to help you pick the perfect accessories. This booklet will dispel some of the challenges behind selecting the perfect handbag and the “must have” jewellery.

Picking perfect accessories Black-Gold Memory Necklace Anastassia Sel

Is it time for a closet make-over?

Are you starting a new job?

Are you trying to cull an unwieldy wardrobe?

Sign-up for our newsletter here and we will send you the free e-guide for picking the perfect fashion accessories.

Share this with your friends on Pinterest:

Fashion Tips Picking Perfect Accessories Style Guide