The name of the paint that I won on Iris' blog C-more makes me want to sing: ♪ Yellow Submarine! It's such a bold and vibrant color: perfect for a little spring project since the weather is so cold and grey. The door of our apartment had this weird lilac blueish color. I don't even remember where the paint came from:
By experience (our home has more than 30 doors) I know that painting a door takes more time than you'd think. Especially when you have paint that deserves to be applied perfectly well: like this beautiful satin finish Colora paint. So I started by sanding and priming like a PRO:
1 sanding /// 2 blue dust /// 3 priming /// 4 more priming
And then it was time to open the can:
Look at that color!
After 3 layers of yellow submarine paint, voilà: the final result! Merci Colora and Iris!
Now all I want to do is paint the other doors of our home in funky colors too! What about rainbow doors? Or ombre doors?
Buttercups & Pillows
After a tsunami of dandelions, we currently have a garden full of glossy buttercups.
I picked a few flowers for our living room... in the domoor they look pretty good!
The petals didn't drop by themselves...
Ehmmm... who's fond of buttercups?
(for the record: Wally also loves pillows and cardboard boxes)
Matisse cutting into color
Situated along the highway between our home in France and our family in Holland, is this lovely museum: the Musée Départemental Matisse. Both my husband and I are big afficionados of the work of Henri Matisse. Many years ago we visited his home in Nice (turned into a wonderful museum) as well as the famous Rosaire chapel in Vence, South of France. But, as Matisse was born in the North of France, we are lucky to be able to pop by the Matisse Museum in Le Cateau-Cambrésis every once in a while.
We went there last week and it was (again) such a breath of fresh air. The current exhibition shows Matisse's paper cut-outs that were not used in his finished works. I love the "perfect" proportions of these shapes in gouached paper and the book covers on show were also really awesome. Seeing Matisse's work always moves me: it has this rare quality and sensitive handwriting that really speaks to me. It's hard to capture it in words or photos: you should really see & feel for yourself :o)
Unfortunately no photography allowed at the exhibition (as opposed to the permanent collection) but these few phone pics will give you a little preview of what's there to see.
So next time you'll drive from Amsterdam to Paris or vice versa, make sure to stop by the Musée Matisse. It's worth it!
Musée Matisse /// Palais Fénelon /// 59360 Le Cateau-Cambrésis /// +33 (0)3 59 73 38 03
Open every day except Tuesday: 10AM - 6PM
Inside la Sucrerie
Last week I showed you some pictures of the Sugar Factory in Francières. The weather was rather gloomy and like for our first visit, I photographed in black & white. Today I'll take you inside where it's a little bit more colorful (but also colder than outside!).
I really liked the color of the walls in the factory's chapel. It looks rather contemporary, but old pictures of the chapel before the renovation, show exactly the same colored walls! The minty blue ( or how would you call this color? ) goes perfectly well with these tiles:
In the factory's school they used a slightly different shade of minty green/blue. I never knew it used to be such a fashionable color!
In the main factory, which now houses a permanent exhibition on today's agricultural industry in France, the architects cleverly re-used this color:
Minty green/blue, jungle green, toothpaste green, jade, aqua blue... What would you call this color?
Vitamin boost 2
It think I'm feeling it. After one week with a jet lagged feeling of Daylight Saving Time, I think I'm back on track. And I even experienced some spring cleaning urge!
As you may know I'm a fruitjunkie and love almost any fruit. So for some additional spring vitamins I turned 4 pink grapefruits from my favorite stall at the market into fresh juice.
The best feature of pink grapefruits is that it looks like they are blushing. I think it's so cute:
What are your healthy spring secrets?
Pantone Emerald or Saint Patrick's?
Without a doubt this was one of my favorite spaces in Stockholm: the children's workshop at the Arkitekturmuseet. It's bold, it's green and it smells like craft glue and linoleum. What more can you wish for?
Besides the supercool lampshades, I really like the chairs with one "ear" (or raised hand?):
My first internship ever was at a Museum in Denmark where I also got to work with the younger visitors in the workshop. We decorated the space with sketches and drawings, but it certainly didn't look as good as this one!
These kids are so lucky, don't you think?
My eye spotted lots of copper in Stockholm. It's such a trendy "color". Just before leaving for Sweden, I read this lovely style report on Modern Copper by Chloé Douglas on Rena Tom's blog. Maybe it unconsciously opened my eyes to copper?
Above the famous Tom Dixon suspensions at restaurant Hjerta. And there's copper on their bar as well:
And David Taylor's concrete & copper candle holders, spotted at Konsthantverkarna:
And more suspension lights in copper: these are called Levels by Form Us With Love and won the Form+1 Award for best new product at the Stockholm furniture fair.
I like the kitschy-ness of copper and think it's very 2013, although I don't think it would look good in my home. The only copper object I own, is a vintage pudding mold. Oh and my marriage is copper too, so we are pretty trendy! And you? Do you like copper?
A Bright Boost
While my part of the world is covered in snow, I long for sun and colors. Hope you need it too, because that's what I'll show you today: a few colorful snapshots from sunny Spain.
The end of the day in Muros...
Woooshhh, the wind blowing through the waves:
Feels good to get a bright boost, right? I'll be in Stockholm next week, so I better be prepared for more snow! Are you in need of some sun & colors too? Or are you more than happy with all the snow?
Bzzz Bzzz from Burgundy
If there would be one profession I would ever "consider", it would be beekeeper. Being surrounded by the zooming "bzzz" of my bees and eating honey, Royal Jelly & pollen every day sounds bliss. I would have to work hard, because from what I know, it's quite a lot of work to be a good beekeeper.
Of course I would also LOVE to design some pretty honey packaging for my honey! It's one of my dream assignments as a graphic designer.
Ever since watching "The secrets of the beehive" on France5, I have been spotting more & more beehives. And to my surprise many of the beehive boxes are multi colored! Another reason for me to love this profession!
On another beehive note: remember I went to The Hive last year? The Hive is a European blog conference and a truly buzzing place where bloggers meet, share and learn. Yesterday I bought my ticket for The Hive 2013 on May 25th and 26th in Berlin. Will I see you there?
A snow white recipe
After the past few hectic months, I wanted to create something quiet & soft. And delicious! When I stumbled upon this recipe by Lisa from MakeMyLemonade ( check her cute GIFs! ) I knew this was what I wanted. It's actually one of my favorite Vietnamese desserts with a twist. Very rich, soft and pretty. I just love the texture of tapioca pearls!
► You'll need:
200ml light coconut milk
3 tsp milk
100g tapioca pearls (at your Asian supermarket)
► Cook the tapioca pearls in water and stir until they become translucent. This took me so long! I read somewhere that you can also soak the pearls in water, so that's what I'll try next time. Sift the tapioca pearls and get rid of the sticky water mixture.
► Then cook the tapioca pearls in the milk and coconut milk for 3-4 minutes. Grate the ginger above the pan. Pour the tapioca milk over the sliced banana into your bowl or glass. Chill your dessert in the refrigerator before serving. Bon appétit!
Bowl & spoon by Ineke Hans for Royal VKB
I'm obsessed with this video...
I have a confession to make. I secretly looooove cheesy music.
Taste in music is so personal and reveals so much about your age & social culture, don't you think? I grew up in the nineties during the big boom of music videos and developed a decent taste in music. But some pulp slipped through though.
I simply cannot resist a big beat, skilled dancers and cool visuals. And when it comes as good as this one... right in the middle between Robin S. and Mc Hammer...
Since I've found this video of Tensnake ft. Syron on Happy Mundane ( Jon's TGISunday videos are awesome! ) I cannot stop watching & singing along... watch it here:
And you? Do you have a secret love for any cheesy kind of music?
This week was extremely busy and days are so short. Time for a vitamin boost! I blended a bunch of kiwis & two pears and added some water. I'm a true fruit junkie and this combination was pretty good. And healthy too!
In Antwerp we had lunch under a kiwi tree. Did you know kiwis grow like this? I didn't!
Would you live in a colored house?
Maybe it's because I grew up in a house with a bright red panel on the facade. Or because one of my favorite children's books told a story about a bunch of kids who painted their house in bright colors when their parents were on holiday. Anyway I'm always intrigued by colored houses. Why did someone choose to paint the shutters pink or green? Or blue?
Both pictures above were made in Bayonne, South East France. How typical to find the same grey sky and the colored houses close to home, in Beauvais!
Would you ever consider living in a colored house like these?
Sometimes you've had an intense week ( in a good way ) and there's nothing left to do than sharing some pictures of fishnets & ropes. Happy weekend!
Sucker for Succulents 3
My absolute favorite souvenir from a trip is a bunch of so-called "cuttings". I found these beautiful red agaves in the moorland between the ocean & mountains in Galicia. I also brought a tiny aloë vera, some succulent "flowers", palm tree seeds & a few cactus plants. I have no idea of their names, but I simply love their colors & shapes.
They will join my succulents collection in the winter garden & hopefully grow bigger and amaze me some more... What's your favorite souvenir?
One Bunting Away
Since like forever I love receiving snail mail. I've kept all the (love!)-letters & postcards I've ever received in big tins. What I like most is people's handwriting, it reveals so much!
I love sending snail mail too. If you follow me on Facebook you already know that I bought some colorful stamps in Portugal a few weeks ago: to send some holiday-love to my family & friends.
Yesterday I received a lovely postcard from Giova. She writes a crafty blog with her sister Gianni, who lives in NYC, One Bunting Away from Giova's hometown Amsterdam. We met in Berlin and spent quite some time sightseeing, street art spotting & talking and have been in touch ever since. Giova also has an elephant memory: she remembered I love Quentin Blake's work and sent me a limited edition Roald Dahl stamp: Charlie showing the golden ticket. Yihaah!
So these buntings ( from Bayonne ) are for you Giova!
I hope you're not getting bored by all the yellow I'm sharing this week? These pictures are from my typography hunt in Spain & Portugal. On a trip along the coast I spotted this beautiful "discoteca" sign, but didn't take a picture right away.
It was only until we drove back, that I saw the building attached to the sign had these amazing colors. Yellow/orange-ish. And look at that mint green & green K-sign in the alley. Such a weird combo! Would you ever consider painting your house yellow? Or any other bold color?
Guest blog on IKEA Family live
Yeah, this week is yellow week on my blog, as today my first blogpost goes live as a guest blogger for IKEA Family Live! It includes a delicious recipe by my lovely husband: a true surpRICE! Check it out here.
And there's more IKEA news, as you can now read our home story online too, with some additional pictures from our home. By the way it feels a little weird to see myself on the cover photo of the IKEA FAMILY LIVE Facebook page:
One of the best things about coming home after living 3 weeks out of a suitcase, is fresh laundry. Oh I love that smell! Although we already smelled it quite a few times in Spain & Portugal as people tend to dry their laundry outside.
It smells great and looks very pretty too. Photos were not enough, so I also made a little video:
A pool by the sea
Let's start off this week with some pure holiday bliss. Or well, attending a beach club near a beach is not my idea of the perfect holiday. But anyway, I was intrigued by this "pool by the sea", called the Club del Mar de San Amaro, which is a 77-year old beach club in A Coruña, Spain. My view from above totally reminds me of Gray Malin's À la piscine, à la plage series, don't you agree?
Inspired by this colorful installation of buoys in the garden of our little house in Galicia, we went beachcombing on the nearby beach. We found quite a lot of buoys which we turned into a little Chinese b(u)oy.
Part of our stash:
Look how cute he looks with his necklace:
Chasing the beach for buoys was great fun: it felt a bit like strolling through a flea market. Plus it tidied up the beach a tiny bit. Do you like chasing boys... ehm buoys?
Sucker for Succulents 2
When shooting our home for the Sapique Webisodes, I told Nick I absolutely wanted to film in the greenhouse. It's where I grow succulents, cactus plants, agaves, ferns & palm trees ( which I absolutely love ). While setting up the cameras & trying to find the right angles, Nick said it looked uninteresting on film. The collection of plants was all too green. Well, I like all these subtile colors. Do you?
I always choose color & shape over pattern. But a bold graphic pattern every once in a while, does make me very happy. Like this wall decoration at the Center of World Cultures Zuiderpershuis in Antwerp, Belgium. Isn't it pretty? And you? Do you like patterns?
Not far from Studio Sapique is this abandoned place: a former workshop building. It's rusty and partly overgrown by greenery. The workmen left their old shirts & boots in the lockers and since then it served as a temporary home for 3 homeless men. Sun & vegetation took over and transformed the rusty door into a colorful piece. I love the colors!
In collaboration with Found by James, Lex Pott created a series of 6 metal panels on which he applied a special recipe to provoke these "rusty colors" on purpose. A beautiful project that showcases the direct relationship between colour, material & information. Don't you love it?
Marimekko Helsinki map
Finland is placed very high on my places-I-want-to-visit wishlist. And not in the last place because of Marimekko. I remember my mother wearing a Marimekko shirt & skirt in the 80s. They were made with the softest jersey and had a timeless fit.
When in London I picked up a free copy of the Marimekko Helsinki map at the Marimekko store near Bond Street. I finally hang it on the wall last week because I really like it. It's a beautiful graphic drawing of Helsinki with a few pops of color:
The map takes you on a journey through the hometown of Marimekko: Helsinki. You can find the digital version of the map right here.
I paired the map with my Marimekko Räsymatto plate, Coca Cola & Comme des Garcons & Bomba energy drink bottles, a Chanel jewelry box and postcards by Julien Langendorff, Adrian Briscoe for Instilllife and Nathalie Gilles.
Some urban colors
Some urban colors to pimp up this grey & cold friday. Above: a two-headed fish in the making near the Canal Saint Martin, Paris.
Some poetry in Beauvais (Oise, France) by Ray Charles: Je suis aveugle mais construire plus malheureux que soi... j'aurai pu être noir.
Aloha my name is... lots of stickers outside Album Comics store near Saint Germain des Prés, Paris.
I love this stork! Boulevard Magenta, Paris.
Rendre à l'art la simplicité de ne pas l'être. Stencil by William Benhamou.
If you've ever been in France, you've seen a pharmacy, for sure. They are everywhere and their green neon cross signs light up most of the streets. There's even a law requiring to have one pharmacy open on sundays & holidays per neighbourhood.
The French tend to visit their pharmacy ever so often because their GP's just LOVE writing prescriptions. Or they just browse through the beauty related products most pharmacies are packed with (like the famous Embryolisse!). Personally I'm not very fond of visiting my pharmacy. It's filled with stuff I don't particularly need, most packaging is boring and I don't like the smell. But that could change in a flash if my pharmacie looks like this tomorrow:
This is such a clever and clean designed pharmacie. It couldn't be further opposite to the brown bottled pharmacies from ancient times. Marketing Jazz, the agency that created the concept for the Elsa Acosta Licensed Pharmacy in Santa Cruz de Tenerife did an excellent job. Many more photos on Retail Design Blog.
By the way did you know that if the green neon cross sign of a French pharmacy includes blue, it means they sell veterinary products as well?
Weekend tip: Le Bourget
You've climbed the Eiffel tower, visited le Palais de Tokyo, shopped at Merci, ate dozens of LaDurée (or Pierre Hermé) macarons and you just love Paris. But you like to do something else for a change?
One of my favorite museums is "La Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace" at Le Bourget, just outside Paris. It is one of the oldest aviation museums in the world (1919) and has prototypes of many French aircrafts including the super fast Concorde. I'm not extremely interested in all the aircrafts, but the beautiful old fashioned interior of the museum truly appeals to me. The floors are made of glossy linoleum and have beautiful & colorful graphic patterns.
It's a great place to go with kids of all ages because you can go from "just watching some airplanes" to learning in detail how mankind started trying & succeeding to fly. I like visiting the museum to enjoy its look & feel: industrial, colorful and very unique.
Oh and it's rarely very busy. And if it is, you won't notice, because this place is HUGE.
Have you ever been here?
My love for gradients (the kitchy-er the better) probably started in Art School. Painting good gradients with the perfect transition between two colors is very difficult & time consuming. It's also one of the reasons I absolutely love Adobe Illustrator (or Photoshop or even Indesign): it makes it so easy to create the perfect gradients.
When I look outside through the 3 m high frosted glass windows in our bathroom, this is what I see: gradients in many shades of blue, grey and green. All this depending on the weather of course.
If you want to indulge yourself with more color & gradients, have a look at Chloé's amazing design blog Plenty of Colour. One of my favorite websites ever.
Vintage Sapique 3
Studio Sapique counts 27 spaces, so when we determined their functions there just HAD to be room for a proper dressing. We dedicated an entire room to our wardrobe and started by using a mobile coat rack. But light & dust deteriorates clothing so fast, that we bought 3 huge Ikea closets which we customized with paint & winecorks as doorknobs. The 3 simple J-hooks are perfect for scarfs, belts & bags.
The dressing room used to have 2 orange and 1 dark brown wall which matched the dark brown plinths. I always dreamt of a lilac/grey dressing room and mixed the perfect color myself. Finally, when we redid the plaster ceilings and flooring, this perfect color disappeared under a fresh layer of white paint. As soon as I'll be fully motivated again, I'll paint it back to this beautiful lilac/grey color, as I liked it much better.
In the wallmounted wooden wine box (a super fast DIY storage idea!) lay these supercute geo earings by A Merry Mishap. I don't wear earrings (no ear holes) but I wear them on my shirt as tiny brooches. Aren't they cute?
With the beautiful desaturated Berlin photography of Sandra Juto in my head, I traveled to Berlin. The city turned out to be so much brighter than I thought it would be. So many colors everywhere! The amazing weather and creative conference absolutely helped a lot there too.
It appeared to me that somehow Berlin is to creatives, what LA is to actors. So many creative people everywhere, waiting for their 15 minutes of fame.
The city walls are covered with so much talent. Berlin street art is much more colorful than most things I see in Paris. And there is a lot MORE too.
The R.E.M. song Überlin was stuck in my head all weekend. The street art bunny appearing in the song's video was made by an artist called Roa. I stumbled upon his rats (see above) in the Prenzlauerberg district! Übercool!
Cranes without fuses
Our neighbors with the cool logo dismantled their main crane. Two workers were high up in the sky to remove the nails from part of the construction which was taken down by another crane. Without any safety fuses or ropes. Nothing! How brave!
(photos by Emilie Guelpa from Griottes)
JOELIX in Llamas Valley
Only 2 months ago I discovered the 1st English issue of this beautiful e-mag from Lithuania, called “Llamas’ Valley”. Which is about perfect places and imperfect people. Born in Lithuania, and now exploring the world. For the spring issue Llamas' Valley asked me to style one picture with a spring theme! It came out today and you'll find my contribution on page 18/19.
With some fresh hyacinth bulbs and daffodils imported from Holland, a bowl of eggs (how cliché!), a fluo pink tea towel by Hay, my favorite Marimekko Räsymatto plate, some freshly picked palm tree seeds from the South of France, my new Whistler tea pot from Alma Gémea (via Gosto) and a new photograph by my dad, I put together a pink composition.
Very honored to be featured in such a nice publication. Thanks Alge!
A colorful new year!
By the way i really appreciated the Parisian metro transmitting us their best wishes with a modified metro map billboard and some postcards. So much more fun than Dezeen's christmas card selection. But nothing beats Bembibre's calendar from Finland! I wish you all a very happy and colorful year!
Color me beautiful
Nuits de Feu in Chantilly
Favorite spot: A Cantina!