Blog

L.C. Van Houten
Dutch Windows and Women Ancestors

Dutch Windows and Women Ancestors

The first time my mom took me to the Netherlands when I was about 9, I remember seeing cheerful geometric painted window coverings on quaint cottages and elegant town halls alike. When we build a garden shed, I convinced Johnny to paint them with a pattern I love.   Practically speaking, the thick wooden shutters provide protection from heavy weather, but they also provide a place to display information about geography and identity. Colors are associated with regional history and land ownership. Here is the set that inspired me: Here are some of the most common shapes, many of which...

Read more →


L.C. Van Houten
COMPASS ROSE COLLECTORS - Spring Photo Challenge!

COMPASS ROSE COLLECTORS - Spring Photo Challenge!

A few of you have been sending me photos of YOU wearing your Compass Rose Design jewelry - I LOVE IT! I've decided to make it official with a Photo Challenge! Winners receive a $50 gift card towards anything in the shop and we'll feature your image on our instagram, website or blog! Photos that showcase your style and our jewelry work best.    How to enter: Email me your photos or tag us on instagram @compassrosedesign and I'll pick 10 winners in early May. Photos must be high resolution - at least 2000 pixels. Tell me if you'd like your first name used or...

Read more →


L.C. Van Houten
Charm Bracelet Project

Charm Bracelet Project

This is one of my favorite antique treasures from my personal collection - it's full of Edwardian and Victorian pieces, and I think the memento mori charm may be even older.  From left to right: Victorian penny -  Goldstone heart charm -  Momento Mori charm with hanwriting fragment Sorority charm with pearl inlay Gold-filled heart charm Neoclassical watch seal fob with carnelian stone My daughter, Phoebe, almost five, really wanted to make her own so I turned her loose on the drawers and let her choose her own charms. If you have some basic beading equipment, you can make your own!...

Read more →


L.C. Van Houten
History Mystery: Miniature Portrait

History Mystery: Miniature Portrait

I am sorting the deep lovely corners of my studio and finding some hidden gems I forgot about. Today, I rediscovered this miniature painted portrait of a young woman with a pink rose headband, perhaps made from silk flowers.  Join me in the quest to find out more about this artifact!   The back says Gold-Filled, Germany and has a small diamond mark with the letters DLC or OLC. There is a signature on the left but I can't read it. Look at the exquisite and bold paint detail in her face and eyes.  I can't tell if it is...

Read more →