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L.C. Van Houten
Gift Guide for Maker Dads

Gift Guide for Maker Dads

We live in a time of fantastic and present dads - raising children who dream to be makers and astronauts and engineers AND who want to be nice people. Here are a few delightful handmade gifts to give to the creative dad in your life to say - hey, you are doing a good job.  All our vintage button pins are great for hats, lapels and bags - versatile gifts at a great price. Men love our bezel-set clockwork rings - custom made to size - or our selection of vintage button rings.  Our handmade cufflinks are a thoughtful way to accessorize the well-dressed man...

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L.C. Van Houten
Gifts for Tea Lovers - A Brief History of the Tea Caddy

Gifts for Tea Lovers - A Brief History of the Tea Caddy

I owe my love of history and tea to my mom. She was Dutch and inherited a daily tea habit and a love of special mugs, many with warming lids, tea pots and tea cozies. For my Dutch grandparents it was coffee time in the morning and tea time in the afternoon. There was a tea cabinet full of brightly colored tins illustrated with Golden Age Dutch paintings and tops that opened with a satisfying pop, freeing the aromas of earl grey or darjeeling from their secret insides.   Part of tea's early popularity was it's expense and rarity. From its first appearance in lands outside areas...

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L.C. Van Houten
What's under the water in an Amsterdam Canal?

What's under the water in an Amsterdam Canal?

Ever wondered what treasures lurk beneath the surface of the Amsterdam canals? When I lived in Amsterdam during graduate school, I used to wonder what artifacts, treasures and trash were below in the murky depths. Here's the view from outside my apartment on the Prinsengracht. Wonder no more. Johnny found this AMAZING Dutch websitewhere you can look at an interactive graphic of the thousands of interesting things found in Amsterdam Canals - categorized by item type (this means the french fry forks appear in neat rows next to the Medieval silverware) - follow the Rokin metro link.  You can zoom in and get the history and date...

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L.C. Van Houten
Behind the Scenes: Our Photoshoot in Golden Gate Park

Behind the Scenes: Our Photoshoot in Golden Gate Park

If we're going to be completely honest with each other, I should tell you that photoshoots and the fashion world in general totally freak me out. As a curvaceous woman who prefers history to publicity and making over social media, I sometimes find it odd that I run a fashion brand. Still, I need photos to show how amazing you can look and FEEL in our creations but I tend to find the whole thing from model selection, styling, outfits etc totally overwhelming. My inner third grader emerges and wants to hide - you know what it's like to feel out of your comfort zone.  My...

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