Blog

L.C. Van Houten

Jewelry for Bee Keepers, Farmers and Gardeners

Jewelry for Bee Keepers, Farmers and Gardeners

We get great feedback from beekeepers, farmers and gardeners about our silver and bronze bee jewelry. The Victorians LOVED botanical scenes and insect adornments. Honey bees and beehives, beetles and dragonflies, flowers and butterflies of all sorts were the subject of many buttons in the 1860s.  Here are a few of bee and insects from our button collection. Bees and insect are also the subject of several plates in our 1941 book, Button Classics, an encyclopedia and pricing guide. We have cast several of our most treasured bee and garden buttons in sterling silver - check out our bee and flower jewelry made...

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L.C. Van Houten

Women Entrepreneurs: The Creative Pursuit Collective

Women Entrepreneurs: The Creative Pursuit Collective

I'm part of a collective of women artisan business owners in the San Francisco Bay Area. We help motivate each other and share resources over a monthly shared meal. I think of Compass Rose Design as a family business more than a woman-owned business, since Johnny and I are equal partners in our work (and parenting.)  Connecting with these spectacular women has been powerful for my business and identity as a woman entrepreneur. We've just launched a Creative Pursuit Collective website if you'd like to check out six other handmade collections from bay area painters and jewelry designers.    You can...

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L.C. Van Houten

The Huik - Renaissance Dutch Cloak - Fashion meets proverb

The Huik - Renaissance Dutch Cloak - Fashion meets proverb

In the midst of looking at Pieter Breugel the Elder's 16th century proverb paintings, I fell into a fashion-related detour. The huyck or heuk or huik, was a cloak worn by women of the Lowlands when they went outside the home. The huik was a large rectangular woolen cloak fixed to a felted hat or duck-bill-like visor, first appearing in records around 1520. It makes sense as a garment for warmth, sun protection, and modesty. The ultimate wearable sun hat / blanket.  A woman from Bergen and a woman from Goes, 1520, by Albrecht Dürer Above and below, you can see several in...

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L.C. Van Houten

Jewelry for Gardeners

Jewelry for Gardeners

Our sturdy sterling silver Modern Heirlooms rings are perfect for gardeners. It wasn't our explicit goal to create more durable jewelry by working with precious metals and casting our antique buttons, but it's delightful to have sturdy but delicate-looking jewelry, that is waterproof! I love to garden but I hate gardening gloves and I never remember to take off my rings before I garden. I love the feeling of the dirt in my hands. I make jewelry that can go in the dirt and mud and wash off clean. Jewelry you can sleep or shower in. Jewelry that lets me easily wash off my toddler's...

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