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A Green Christmas

to 10px; WIDTH: 316px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Cue the Little Drummer Boy. My new friend Katie, author of Making this Home blog, has released her very first ebook and, like her, it rocks! Over the last few years, Katie has been consciously changing her holiday habits without wanting to take away from the season’s spirit. If you’ve read her blog, you’ve seen a few of the ways Katie lives green whilst sharing her ideas on how you too can do so. Her ebook follows this line of thinking, offering ideas for you and your family to create a holiday with a lot less consumerism and a whole lot of really fun DIY & green solutions.

Katie promises, “All of it is based on not changing the meaning of your holidays or the things you do. It’s about rethinking and creating even cooler (greener!) solutions to bring your family together.”

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 283px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />What this book will help you with this holiday season:
~ Repurposing & creating beautiful wrapping paper without purchasing brand new materials
~ Sending beautiful, eco-savvy cards and invitations
~ Hosting greener parties (while spending far less!)
~ Designing truly appreciated personal gifts that won’t break the bank or Mother Earth
~ Really, truly appreciating the greenest Christmas tree… and discovering if you’ve already got it
~ Decorating like an eco-diva – from handmade ornaments to updated decor and treasured keepsakes
~ Adding “green” to your yummy with simple tricks to green your baking
~ Wrapping up the holidays – from what to do with used cards to how to send the most beloved (cheap! green!) thank you notes
~ Spending less and embracing more

Purchase A Green Christmas here.

The book is organized by chapter and subchapter for quick and easy reading. Katie’s included pictures from her apartment, including a sneak peek at her solution to a Christmas tree! She also included an entire section of tutorials for crafts and computer tricks to make your holidays greener. The book is 37 pages long. For those of you who haven’t picked up your copy of A Green Christmas, there’s still plenty of time. The 37-page book includes a table of contents, a strong flow of content, and easy to follow instructions – all for $10.95.

Have a Green Christmas,

The Antiques Diva™
(seen right Chez Diva with Katie)

Amsterdam’s Best Kept Secret – Annette Brederode’s Open Door Days

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 269px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Over the past few years I’ve come to eagerly anticipate the arrival of postcards from Annette Brederode, announcing her twice-annual “Secret Sales” – known locally as “Open Door Days” in Amsterdam, where Annette literally throws open the doors to her private residence and lets you shop your heart out inside her living room. This is a woman with Style – and do note that is style with a capital “S”! She oozes good taste and then combines that flair with innovative and creative ideas, putting together eclectic finds and traditional French antiques in a manner that inspires! After a visit into her shop-in-her-home, you’ll want to go home yourself and redecorate. Apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way, for she (and her home) has been featured time and time again in Dutch decorating magazines! Her shop doesn’t have a store front and she doesn’t run a website or advertise. Instead her Secret Sales dates tend to be spread via word-of-mouth along with her twice-annual post-cards announcing the dates to former clients. This year’s post card (see image above) came with a note attached “No Old Shoes, Simply Antiques”, and the following explanation:

“Dear Diva,

This is my new invitation – I needed a break from my yearly beautiful cards picturing the things that I sell. This old shoe is over 100 years old. I found it in Italy and it symbolizes the beauty of things that we don’t throw away, but keep instead, until they themselves are antiques.
Warm Regards,

Annette Brederode
Lijnbaansgracht #56D

The sale takes place on the 3rd floor in an inconspicuous building. Ring the buzzer and climb the stairs for shopping paradise! When you’re finished here pop over to Johan de Feijters Secret Sale!

Dec 11-13, 2009

Loving the concept of appreciating the beauty in all things, I knew I had to share her words with you in addition to sharing some pics I took recently while visiting Annette Brederode’s private shop with Diva Clients. Mark your calendars for Dec 11-13, 2009. Should you miss the sale dates, do note that you can book a private appointment to visit Annette’s home/shop at your convenience!

A few items for sale Chez Brederode:

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This painted armoire has a patina like I’ve never seen before! And I love the long, rustic farm house table!

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You can’t help but wonder how far this funny little gnome has traveled!

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I considered buying these peacock feathers for my mother-in-law, but the real draw in this picture for me is the clustering of vintage and antique bird cages in the background. What unique décor!

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This “Koffie” canister would be adorable in my kitchen and the woven table takes me back to yesteryear, memories of summer wine and eating fresh strawberries off the bush!

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Here one of my clients is in a serious quandary – “Which should I buy?” she asked! My response: “Both!”

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That gnome keeps making an appearance. I love how light and airy this room is!

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Another Diva client pondered the “café au lait” bowls.

These pics are just the tip of the iceberg. Look back at some past Diva posts to see more of Annette’s sensational inventory!

Read This One: Brederode Secret Antiques

Or what about this one: Last Chance!

Happy Shopping!

The Antiques Diva™

Guest Blog: Lady Lotus – Are You Next on the Jewelry Chain?

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Dangling from my wrist these days is an amazing bracelet made from Euro coins. The gold and silver match everything and the piece is curious enough to evoke conversation, most of which start out by me proclaiming that the best part of living in an American university town is being surrounded by amazing local artists. One of my favorite designers, Danya Roselle, is the artist who crafted my new favorite piece.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />She normally provides the Euros, but in my case I gave her the ones I wanted because my husband and I had great fun picking them out on our recent trip to Paris. In the end, I settled on a 2 Euro France, flanked by 1 Euro Germany and Italy. The silver swirly bits are Danya’s own making and the bracelet was specifically crafted to fit my wrist. And all this for only $81. I normally wear the “back” side up so that I can see the country designs instead of the numbers, but it looks lovely both ways. And I also turn a deaf ear to anyone who mentions that defacing money is probably frowned upon … a benefit of living in the US is that hardly anyone knows what foreign money looks like!

When La Reine saw my bracelet, she immediately ordered one of her own. Are you next on the jewelry chain??

Happy Shopping!

Lady Lotus

Buying “notions” in Italy

to 10px; WIDTH: 312px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Call them notions, haberdashery, passementerie or passamaneria – whatever the language, whether British English, American, French or Italian, I love tassels, trims, tiebacks, cords and bows. They are small details that go almost unnoticed in homes yet make a significant difference in the decor. One doesn’t walk in a friend’s home and say “I love the trim on that chair and the tassels on those drapes!” but rather one walks into a house, commenting upon how finished and polished it is. Taking a seat, your guests will look around the room, a little bit envious, and sigh “You’ve thought of every last detail”.

to 10px; WIDTH: 259px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />The French say that passementerie adds that certain “je ne sais quoi” – the little something more that you can’t quite put your finger on but which differentiates the blasé from the va-va-voom. You might say it’s like putting a scarf on the room – that final, finishing touch.

“Scarf?” you ask. Every time I’m getting dressed and discover that I don’t look just right – that something is missing – I reach for an Hermès to drape over my shoulders or tie around my neck and suddenly the outfit, which I thought was already complete with pearls and cardigan, comes to life. Trims, tassels and notions work like a scarf when decorating your home. And while any scarf will do – I’ve plenty of silk swaths picked up here and there, scarves that caught my eye because they are pretty – my Hermès scarves are special. They’re in a class of their own. With tassels and trims it’s the same – they are the finishing touch and if they’re Italian they’re just a little bit more special.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Wherever you are in the world, you can walk into your local sewing shop and pick up something pretty and good quality, but the trims, tassels and notions in Italy have that same “je ne sais quoi” as Hermès. And just as you can buy Hermès in most major cities in the world, or online at any time, buying Hermès in Paris is special. If you shop in America, you’re buying haberdashery, but if you shop in Italy, you’re buying passamaneria – not just a household accessory, but an entire language, culture and romance.

to 10px; WIDTH: 289px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Part of the undefineable quality that gives Italian trims an emotional edge is the memory of you standing in a little passamaneria in a hidden alleyway in Italy wearing a stylish Hermès scarf (picked up on your last trip to Paris, bien sur) while speaking a foreign language, to/s1600-h/italian_flag.gif”>to/s200/italian_flag.gif” border=”0″ />smelling the Tripe vendor who has set up his cart just around the corner from the store and the slightly salty smell of the shop keeper who had been sitting on a little slatted chair in front of his shop soaking up the afternoon sun and watching the crowds go by until you wandered in through his door. You can still taste your afternoon gelato on your tongue and as you’re about to pull out the brightly colored European cash (for surely this small of a vendor doesn’t accept credit cards) a cat rubs against your legs, distracting you. A short Italian grandma comes out of the backroom, a room with a stairway that leads to an apartment over-head. She looks like she was born making cannoli. She says something you can’t understand and you smile as she bends over quickly as if she were 17 instead of 70, plopping her “gatto” named Pinnochio on the counter next to your purchase, tassels and trims, where he purrs expecting you to admire him as his owner rubs behind his ear. His paw reaches out to play with trim still dangling from the roll setting on the counter… much as you, back home after the trip, reach out to run your fingers through the silky strands of the tassel hanging from the lock on the top drawer of the dresser you inherited from your grandmother.

You’re not just buying tassels and trims, you’re buying a memory.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />A private memory that will take you on a voyage each time you sit in a chair you’ve embossed with a trim or open that drawer where you’ve hung a tassel. To everyone else, you’ve merely added an imperceptible detail that polishes your home, but you’ve bought a memory and as you sit drinking tea, chatting with a group of girlfriends you’ll run your finger over trim following the line of the chaise longue where you sit and you’ll smile, remembering a detail that no one else knows. It’s like wearing lingerie. Even if you’re wearing a conservative collar, buttoned up, prim and proper, no one but you knows you’re wearing La Perla underneath. You have a secret.

You’ve bought “notions” in Italy.

Stay Tuned Tomorrow and The Next Day for 2 Diva-scovery Addresses for your little black book!!


The Antiques Diva™

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Diva-scovery: Cocotte Antiquitaten – Stuttgart, Germany

to 10px; WIDTH: 273px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />All in-store photos courtesy of Cocotte’s website

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>While visiting friends in Stuttgart, Germany a few weeks ago, my husband and I stumbled into a sensational little antique shop on Katharinenstrasse called Cocotte Antiques – I think owner Steffen Vetter might have purchased the best of France and transferred it into his discrete little well-lit boutique, jam-packed with crystal chandeliers, sconces, antique furniture and object d’art.

to 10px; WIDTH: 339px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Founded in 2004, this store has acquired a cult following with collectors around the world. Steffen explains why so many people like his style and the items he offers for sale by writing:

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 280px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 322px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />”I suppose it’s because of my preference and my nose for things with an individual and unique aura. For me, to find such things is not just a kind of profession, it’s rather an art. And it’s much more an art to combine these pieces in a way that every object keeps its own personality and, additionally, enhances itself in the interaction with others. I love objects in which (their) history can be touched, and I love authentic pieces full of grown patina. You enjoy these items as well? May be we should know each other…”

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 283px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Know each other indeed – you’ll thank me for introducing you to today’s Diva-scovery – Cocotte Antiques!

Cocotte Antiquitäten
Katharinenstr. 35
70182 Stuttgart Germany
Phone: +49 (0)711 5532335

What is Diva-scovery?
A fabulous find or shopping discovery – be it an Antique Shop, Vintage or Home Decorating Store – that will entice diva’s on parade to stop, shop and drop some dough!

Do you have a Diva-scovery? Email The Antiques Diva™ at, giving all the details of your find: write a quick blurb telling about your Diva-scovery, the name of the store & their website, including address & phone number. Plus, include a link to your blog (if applicable) and a photo of yourself!

Happy Shopping! Tschüss!

The Antiques Diva™

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PAN Amsterdam

Earlier this week, I wrote giving you the dates and details for the upcoming PAN Amsterdam to be held Nov 23 – 30, 2008 at the RAI. For those of you who are not familiar with PAN Amsterdam, I thought you might enjoy reading a review written by an IWC Member who participated in the PAN Amsterdam Antiques Diva IWC Outing last year! So Ta Ta from me and Hello from Novella, an IWC Antiques Diva Participant!
IWC Member Novella writes:
top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>It was a cold autumn day in Amsterdam, but what better way to spend it than browsing indoors through PAN Amsterdam. Eight of us art & antiques loving IWC members met up at the RAI exhibition centre for a Diva’s Day Out! Thanks to the “Invitations” obtained by Antiques Diva Tour Guide Marlene we all obtained free entrance to the show – a savings of 12.50E per person!

This was my first visit with the Antiques Diva Group and it was great fun strolling around the hugely varied exhibits, sometimes with the others and sometimes taking time to view paintings alone, lost among classic fine art, modern art, early period furniture, ceramics, photographs, jewelry, sculptures and all the rest that remains a blur. Some of our group was very knowledgeable about antiques and also confident in approaching gallery owners and dealers asking for information and prices of pieces while others of us hadn’t a clue. Speaking of prices, it’s fun to go to PAN even if you know you can’t possibly afford the majority of the price tags for items at PAN! You learn so much and as The Antiques Diva always says, “Seeing fine art educates your eye so you appreciate quality when you see it. It’s like doing a wine tasting to educate the palette.”

I was bowled over by a modern painting by Karl Appel, entitled De Kat from the Jaski Gallery, but no price tag was listed on this one. Taking a cue from the Diva, I inquired with the smiling dealer as to its cost, “The Cat is 35,000E” he said and I retreated with grace to join the others.

Some of the galleries had made great efforts to provide atmosphere to enhance their exhibits, in particular Jan Roelofs Antiquairs specializing in early period furniture and object d’art. The lighting and setting worked to great effect setting off the beauty and mystery of the mainly 16 & 17th C Italian and Spanish furniture.

An exhibit of Russian early 20th C paintings also caught my eye. The paintings, and there were many, seemed so fresh and reasonably priced! They were the bargain at PAN! They were exhibited by the tory.html” target=”_blank”>Douwes Fine Art Gallery and I might just pop along the Spiegelkwartier later and have another browse with “intent” as a I have a large white wall crying out for some affordable art.

The Art Nouveau period was also featured at the show and I particularly liked the art glass such as Tiffany, Daum and Loetz. Absolutely exquisite! I realized quickly I wanted to start collecting pieces such as these.

The PAN Amsterdam fair is a great venue for antique and art novices and dealers alike. The bars and cafes, strategically situated down the center of the exhibition, buzzed with chatter and happy antiques diva’s exchanging views and making new friends in between sips of coffee or wine and cake! This is a cool place also for people and fashion watching… it’s not just the art that is on show but the guests as well! I look forward to my next Antiques Diva experience in January!

IWC Amsterdam Member

One Minute Diva – Del Mar, California

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>My friend Kelli at A Rendez Vous with Style wrote a diva-worthy blog this week on shopping at the chic and arty shops in Del Mar, California. My favorite among her selections was a sneak peek into a boutique called Bon Bon. Bon Bon offers an array of delightful comforts for your home including luxurious linens from Bella Notte, House Inc., and My Blankee. They have plump down-filled sofas and chairs, custom draperies and a fabulous selection of vintage chandeliers and custom lighting, not to mention oodles of statuary and iron garden elements! To read more diva-worthy shopping tips on the best boutiques in and around Del Mar, California, visit Kelli’s blog today!

The Antiques Diva™

One Minute Diva – NYC Antiques Fall Fair Calendar

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>If you’re going to be in NYC in the next month, take note: Roving Reporter La Reine has written in from the field to give Diva Readers a schedule of upcoming fairs and shows in the next four weeks! Don’t miss a Diva Worthy New York moment!

West Side Antiquarian Book & Ephemera* Fair
Friday, Oct 17 4-9pm
Admission $15
Saturday, October 18 9am-4pm
Admission $10
The Altaman Building
135 West 18th Street

Is anyone else clueless about the definition of the word “ephemera”? According to it is “items designed to be useful or important for only a short time, esp. pamphlets, notices, tickets, etc.”

The Modern Show 20th Century Art + Design
October 17-18-19
The Armory on Lexington Avenue @ 26th St
Friday & Saturday 11-7, Sunday 11am -5pm
Admission $15

Grammercy Park Antiques Show
October 24-25-26
The Armory on Lexington Avenue @26th St, NYC
Admission $15
Friday & Saturday 11am-7pm, Sunday 11am-5pm

The New York Antiques Show
Oct 31, Nov 1 & 2
Friday & Saturday 11am-7pm, Sunday 10am-5pm
Wallace Hall
at the Church of St Ignatious Loyola
980 Park Avenue at 84th St
Admission $15

The Pier Antiques Show
Nov 15 & 16
Piers 92 & 94
12th Avenue @ 52nd to 55th Sts
Admission $15
Pier 92: Sat 9am-6pm and Sun 11am -5pm
Pier 94: Sat 10am-6pm and Sun 10am-5pm

Thanks La Reine!

The Antiques Diva Does Ruby Lane

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>In yesterday’s blog highlighting Blandine Bayoux’s boutique, I mentioned that Antiques Diva™ Readers need not despair because Jolietrouvaille offers a wonderful assortment of antique French country “kitchenalia” online! Today, with that in mind, I want to take you on a stroll through the cobblestone streets of Ruby Lane. Here you can discover hundreds of independent shops showcasing quality antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry items from around the world. And you don’t even need to leave your armchair.

While it is nice to be able to travel to Paris to visit the twice annual tou/foire/jamb.htm” target=”_blank”>La Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambon, sometimes a diva must be practical. A trip to Paris merely to go antique shopping is many things, but practical isn’t one of them! When readers ask me for an online resource to go to for antique shopping, Ruby Lane is one of the first resources I think of! While eBay might be chock full of antiques for sale, Ruby Lane preselects their vendors, establishing relationships with the most compelling vendors around the globe. says, “Buying items from a Ruby Lane shop is similar to buying from a seller on Etsy: most store owners explain their selling and return or exchange policies, afford potential buyers the opportunity to ask questions before making a purchase; some even offers sales, coupons, or other purchase incentives; and many invite commissions for custom work.” The website is wonderfully organized by category or by newly arrived items. And their blog, Notes from The Lane, is also a great resource providing a framework of information on their items for sale. I’ve used their site as a resource so frequently; I’ve just added them as one of my “Diva Worthy Links”.

If you haven’t visited Ruby Lane, take a trip today to America’s best Antiques District! As always, tell them The Antiques Diva™ sent you!

Until next time, see you in “The Lanes”!

The Antiques Diva™

Reader Question – Brocante Temploux in Belgium

THE ANTIQUES DIVA™ TOURS – CLOSED FOR ANNUAL VACATION DURING AUGUST – REOPENS SEPTEMBER While my tour guides are taking a much needed holiday and I’m away for the month of August sipping champagne at sunset on a Mediterranean Cruise (after taking a driving tour of Italy), I haven’t forgotten you, my loyal readers, in my absence. August 2008 you’ll enjoy a multitude of guest blogs, pre-posted light blogs and miscellaneous reader questions. Don’t worry, I’ll be back with more great addresses and shopping tips this fall! All email inquiries or posted comments will be responded to come September!


Hello Antiques Diva,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I am an antiques dealer in Atlanta who currently buys stock in France. I would like to expand my buying area by including Belgium and hope that you can help me with this.

I am interested in attending one of the brocantes you listed in a recent blog — the Brocante Temploux 23-24 August, 2008. BY any chance do you know if there is shipping available?

Thank you for your help.

Antoinette from Atlanta


Hi Antoinette,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Sadly the fair coordinator, Luc Halleux, has explained that “With 1000 exposants and 150,000 visitors, we already have a lot of work. So we cannot organize any shipping and we do not have contact with any company to do it. Apologies and Best Regards!” Should you have any more questions, you can contact Luc directly at”>

Even though The Antiques Diva Exclusive Antique Shopping Tours of Holland, Belgium and France does not organize shipping, I didn’t want to leave you high & dry on this question so I put my Belgian Antiques Diva Tour Guide, Lucretia, to work searching for a solution! Her advice is that as Temploux is nearby Namur, your best bet might be using a shipping agent there to help orchestrate your overseas shipment. While The Antiques Diva™ Enterprises cannot make any official recommendations (as we haven’t tested these companies yet), we did find a few potentials for you to investigate.

One Entry is an interesting company which allows you to compare costs for a multitude of services – international shipping included. The website recommends a few vendors who are helping antique dealers by organizing overseas shipping. Antiques Carriers looked particularly interesting as did Belga Traders.

Last but not least, should you need antique shopping advice while in Belgium (or before going), please feel free to ask! The Antiques Diva Offices are closed the month of August but whenever possible we try to help and might be able to squeeze in a last minute appointment if you’re in jam!

To shop with a local on your arm while in Belgium, Lucretia’s fees are 25 Euros per hour + transport costs (i.e. fuel/train) or for a full day shopping service 140 Euros. Lucretia is Belgian, speaks English, French and Flemish fluently (as well as pretty good Italian & German) and is an expert at bargaining in all these languages! Her Masters is in Decorative Arts and she’s an absolute delight to shop with! You’d love her!

Good Luck with your shopping adventure!

All the best,

The Antiques Diva™

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