Pets who travel, hotel scenes, and new baubles!

In a cat’s eye, all things belong to cats. This could not be more true, according to George: the rescue kitten that I found on the streets of Dalmatia, abandoned by his mother when he was only a few weeks old. When I heard his little screams, my animal-loving heart broke, and I just had to take him home with me! Nine months have passed, and he has grown into a beautiful - but mischievous - kitty, which you have probably read about on my blog already.

Being the cheeky rascal that he is, he has taken it upon himself to totally redecorate our home. I am still trying to understand the ‘look’ he is going for, but it seems to involve lots of abstract scratches on our antique cupboards and on our wonderful raw wood kitchen cabinets… He also seems to know that I have always been inspired by fabrics and torn lace but I’m not sure how his ruining my perfectly fine, brand-new cotton sheets is supposed to help me with anything… He sometimes makes me want to pull out my hair, but I really do love him!

‌I had three pets before George: a tomcat named Pan, a Queen named Mi, and a handsome dog named Bungee, a cross between a Dachshund and a Yorkshire Terrier. Small dogs are normally not my thing, but I inherited him from my mum.

‌Pan was a white cat with green eyes, and when he was given to me, he was one and a half years old. Smart and curious, he definitely ruled the household, in the most charming way. It was quite something when he became a diabetic patient, and he lived for six more years with it as he really loved life. He was strong, and we were very close. Despite needing his medicine every 12 hours, I managed to give him a few good years, with the help of my friends and family.

My other cat Mi had a large belly and a sweet character, and had never been ill a day in her life. She was quite timid, even though I got her as a kitten, so I never really understood why. However, she blossomed after Pan’s passing, making it even more clear how much of a leader he actually was. Both cats passed away at our holiday house in the French Alps – Pan in the year 2005, at the age of 21 and a half years old, and Mi in 2008, and at the great age of 22 and a half!

‌My dog Bungee came into our lives in the year 2000 – I was living in Amsterdam with Pan and Mi, and working at my father’s wine company. My father taught upcoming sommeliers everything about wine, next to teaching courses to others and selling highly exclusive wines. You could say I’ve spent my youth in wine, so it was interesting to work with my father this closely. 

After my mother passed away that year, I inherited her puppy, who then joined my two cats – you can imagine that it was quite a struggle to get them to co-exist in peace, as this small but macho dog was trying to dominate everything. In the end, Pan did stay in charge, much to Bungee’s dissatisfaction…

As you know, my pets and I eventually ended up living in London, which was the best time. Living close to Hydepark, I would always take Bungee there for his daily walks. Because of his cuteness, I would sometimes end up talking for hours to strangers, and whenever we were close to Kensington Palace, tourists would stop us to take pictures of him.

When we drove to our holiday house near Lake Geneva from the U.K. which was a few times a year, we would often travel with our animals. On these thirteen-hour drives, either by taking the Euro channel or the ferry, Bungee would make matters worse, as he hated being in the car. This would result in heavy protest in the form of near-constant whining and barking that would stress everyone out, cats and humans alike! Even after 15 years, there was no improvement, even though I had tried everything that’s in the book – even consulting a dog therapist…

In ‌2016 Bungee passed away, at the unbelievable age of seventeen years and eight months, we were living in Rome at that time and we decided to not have any pets for a while. I tried to look on the bright side of this new chapter in my life: for the first time in so many years, we had the ability to travel in a more stress-free manner and with more freedom (do you know how hard it is to find a hotel that allows dogs and cats!?). I was not really actively looking for a new pet, as I wanted to finally travel long distances again.

It was a stroke of serendipity when I met little flea-ridden George last August. Having him in our lives meant that for the past few months, we have been staying home a lot. How could I possibly take this adventurous, energetic, little vandal with us in the car? Although, I did try…

Anyway, we had this trip to Denmark coming up, a visit to my godson, Carl Aksel – the son of one of my dearest friends Marianna, who I became good friends with while living in London. Taking George with us to Denmark seemed like a dramatic enterprise that neither my husband nor I felt like undertaking…

Luckily, our niece Tessa came to cat-sit George here in the Alps. Tessa loves animals and likes to spend time in the mountains, after having spent multiple months here with us before and during the pandemic, when she was working with me. You may recognise her face (and truly beautiful hands!) from my Instagram posts and the web shop listings. We always organise little shoots whenever we meet up, wherever we meet.

She kept me informed during our trip to Denmark, sending me photos of her and George snuggling on the sofa, while it was raining cats and dogs outside. I can tell that they have become the best of friends, how great!

When I came back home, it was time to change up the window display at the Kempinski Hotel, the wonderful five-star hotel in our village, where I’m displaying my jewels. Some colours remained, because I’ve used this special sustainable handwoven silk, which I would like to use for as long as possible. I just changed one plateau and added some chic cocktail glasses, given to me by my late father, years ago. These beautiful art deco champagne glasses look wonderful in the hotel, together with some cocktail equipment, as the showcase is located right next to the hotel bar – and safely tucked away from George’s grabby paws.

Did you know about Kempinski’s Ladies in Red? They are a special part of the concierge service, who wear jewellery that I have especially created for them, each piece with a stone found by me in our village in the Swiss alps.‌

Did you say Vogue? Well, yes, I have been featured in the latest Vogue. It's the Dutch version, but nevertheless, I'm happy with it. Do check out more features, and they can be found on the website under News.

More jewels? Of course and you might have seen some in photos in my last blog, and a few were put out live in my webshop, over the past weeks. Nevertheless, they deserve your attention if you like to keep up with my latest. 

Eesee, oh la la, so fine and so stylish. Made up with the mother stone of ruby and sapphire, I have used this deep aubergine to grey korund, next to a radiant blue opal! 

Dew, comes with a fresh and light appeal, and I love her elongated shape, as I followed her natural forms of this raw blue chalcedony. 

Damiane, is a beauty that I created in black and gold however, this black stone has a lot more on offer, as she is more than black having white veins all over her, which makes her much more interesting.  

Xene, deep dark burgundy in rose gold, perfect in size and so luscious.

Benesh, is made of bi-colour gold, mostly yellow, and a bit of rose gold and set with a wonderful lively raw Lapis Lazuli.

Danielis, is amazing too, in a size that's highly wearable, made in bi-colour gold too, on either side of this rare pink stone.

Dionee, in yellow gold and set with a vintage coral, is held into place by a bar, which is giving it, her own swag. Her fabulous size is to be worn all day. 

Leona, is currently in Amsterdam for a shoot, nevertheless, I wanted to give her the attention that she needs as well. She is pure and more simple in design, just like ring Dew, only she comes with a lovely warm glow agate. 

Beebee, is from the new 'Treats' series, where I refer to sweets... And this time around, I've created this lovely colourful ring around a vintage coral bead.

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