The number of times that we sighed and smelled wisteria during our Blago trip, were countless. I haven't seen any wisteria here in the Oise yet, but in Italy they were blooming on every street corner. And because unfortunately I cannot include perfumes on my blog (yet!), I tried to capture the purple flowering plant in images.
Eternal snow in Switzerland in the back and blooming wisteria in the foreground as seen from the Hermitage Santa Caterina del Sasso on the Lago Maggiore:
No doubt about it: we're in sunny Italy:
One day, my palm trees will be as high and pretty as these beauties:
The view from that boat must have been amazing:
By now, can you smell the wisteria? Is there any growing where you live?
Patterns in Milan
My five days in Italy with friends were bright and colorful, just like the tiles above at Temakinho in Milan. We walked for hours along several lakes, enjoyed the abundant sunshine, ate the most delicious Italian food, had many interesting conversations, laughed a lot, smelled the blooming wisteria on every street corner, got our design fix at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, had gelato only twice (!) and slept way too little. And what do bloggers do when they stumble upon patterned floors like this? They take a #fromwherewestand :
These amazing tiles made me wish I could run to Milan just to add another colorful picture to my IG running series ;)
These stars were a little bit more subtle:
Behind the scenes of this instagram picture with Deepa, Jillian and Kat:
And more pattern love near the Duomo, in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II:
Of course I took way too many pictures, so this week you'll be showered with a lot more Italy-love here on the blog. I hope you don't mind ;)
Five tips to keep running
Ten months ago I started running every other day and I still do. I never considered myself a sportswoman and when someone recently introduced me as "sporty", it made me laugh out loud. Me? But of course: my instagram feed is filled with pictures of my running kicks and I really run very often. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoy it and want to share some tips with you today to keep or start running.
► TIP 1 Start an Instagram series. My virtual cheerleaders are the best! And thinking about creating an image helps to focus on something else than minutes, speed, acceleration and personal records.
► TIP 2 Invest in good running shoes and don't succumb to cool brands or colors. I tried many "pretty" sneakers, but my Decathlon Kalenji shoes support my feet perfectly well. I wish they'd be prettier, but well... function over vanity ;)
► TIP 3 If you're a woman: invest in a good sports bra. I see so many runners with painfully bouncing breasts. Don't risk breast tissue damage and painful back & shoulders! I warmly recommend this Panache Sports bra (it comes in many cool colors too!)
► TIP 4 Find your rhythm. Don't compare yourself to marathon (or 5K/10K) runners and runners that overtake you. No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping the people on the couch. Also find a rhythm in your schedule. Maybe you like running before the world wakes up in the morning or just before dinner? I usually run during lunch breaks, which is easy as I work from home. But when I have meetings, I try to fit it in at another moment. Every other day works for me.
► TIP 5 Don't push too far. I once did and ended up with painful shinsplints (still recovering...). Simply enjoy being outside while improving your health. Don't feel like running today? Simply go for a short run and run a little longer next time.
And above all: enjoy! (and if running is not your thing: don't waste your time!)
You can collow my runs on instagram. And if you already do: thank you so much for the support! xx
My little Kickboy project
Finally I can share the result of my little painting adventure with you! Well it's a very small project, painting a Kickboy waste bin, but with 7 layers it took a while. First I applied two layers of primer, followed by the fun part: painting in color. The Eau de Nil or turquoise paint looked great in the can, but I absolutely hated the outcome: so green & flashy! And don't get me wrong: I love bright and bold colors, but this looked so wrong.
I decided to mix my own color but something went wrong with the paint (never mix acrylic & water based paints ;) ) so layer n°5 became all lumpy. In the end I used a white base coat and added some of the original turquoise paint. Our 15-year-old Wesco waste bin is now ice blue. A little bit pastel, but I think I like it!
And if you were curious: the rock 'n rucola is growing pretty well:
The pink glow comes from a bunch of tea towels (by Hay, Textiellab and Hema):
My favorite cactus plant needed a bigger planter, so I also painted two terracotta pots:
My husband, who's the chef in our home which means the kitchen is his domain, doesn't really "get" this new color, even though it's not even orange ;) So if he can't get used to it, I will add an 8th layer of paint. Easy peasy!
I wish you all a wonderful & sunny weekend! Can you believe it will be 20°C here in France tomorrow?
Flowerblog or not, I made these photos for my mom because she loves Hellebores and I love her. ♥
2 Anemone girls
It has been a while but #2flowergirls is back! This flower challenge by Elodie & Inga is always so much fun and really challenges me to play around with flowers. And it's also very nice to see all the other contributions on Pinterest. As you can see above, our cats are never far when I bring home new flowers. This month it's all about anemones, one of my favorite flowers I also recently used in a campaign for Fashion for Home.
Finding quality flowers here in my city isn't easy. Unfortunately I didn't have to time to drive to Argevil in Compiègne, where I'd be sure to find the most beautiful anemones ever. The only ones I could get my hands on were these: not perfect, not super fresh, but fragile and colorful:
In stead of vases I like reusing empty bottles: for example the three in the back used to contain some life-changing fluids. After 12 years of severe sneezing I feel like I can breathe normally again and it's great. The bonus is that these pharmacy bottles look pretty neat, I think. The Coca Cola bottle comes from Egypt.
Otta loves anemones too:
If you want to join and spread some anemone love, find out how right here. And of course, check out flower girls Elodie from Madame-Love and Inga from Glomerylane today for more anemones.
Eau de Nil
I love paint... and painting! And ever since the make-over of our yellow door, I'm dreaming of doors in all colors of the rainbow. But for now I'm only painting 1 kitchen accessory (and maybe more if I can't control myself...). For color inspiration I looked around our city. I love this bold green color, it's so vibrant:
Remember this color discussion? In the 50s a pale and blue version of the above color was used in many public buildings. I loved all your name suggestions for this very specific color: aqua, tooth paste green, linden, carta da zucchero, duck egg blue, emerald, sage green. But I think the best-fitting name was Eau de Nil, although the above color would be a perfect emerald right?
Somehow I also took quite a lot of pictures of blue & green shutters in the past few months:
Because our home loves bright colors so much, I decided upon this "updated" version of Eau de Nil, simply called bleu turquoise. I'll show you the results later this week, once the job is done!
What do you think? Do you like Emerald green or Turquoise?
Tina Frey Designs
I'm slightly embarrassed to still show you images from Maison & Objet, but this stand by Tina Frey Designs was too good not to share. So here we go!
Even though I love ceramics because of their human touch, I also like the rigid forms of artificial materials. I think Tina's designs have the best of both worlds: very human shapes in a solid substance: resin!
Blue, egg yolk, turquoise, grey and white are the new spring colors for Tina Frey's bowls, stools, dishes, vessels... and planters! As I'm currently obsessed by anything that holds my plants, this collection made me really happy. The resin material felt very sensual too.
All products are made of food safe resin and good to know: "Environmental and social responsibility are extremely important to us. Therefore, the company strives to create pieces that will last and is not a disposable commodity."
A fun little (personal) detail, is that the main material manufactured in the factory that is now our home, was resin. But I'm certain that the products produced here, were not as pretty as the ones by Tina Frey ;)
And a cute little detail:
I heart Hartô
The good thing about a grey and rainy Sunday in Paris? You can spend it at Maison & Objet and bring home an overdose of inspiration, lots of nice conversations with designers, many giggles with fellow bloggers and a full SD card with loads of images. That's exactly what I did ;)
One of my design crushes from M&O 2014 is called Hartô, a young French brand that creates clever & colorful furniture for happy homes. Even more than the designs themselves, the colors totally got me: bright, unexpected and inspiring. Oh and they also have a beautiful simple logo... that's how to win me over: bold colors & a beautiful logo. I'm easy ;)
Look at that minty blueish green... and deep raspberry red ♥
A cute little Hartô Honoré desk to work on, or write some snailmail:
Be prepared for more images from Maison & Objet in the next days... there's a lot more I want to share with you!
My favorite flowers of 2013
In 2013 I re-discovered the joy of having flowers at home, not in the last place through the fun monthly challenge by Elodie and Inga called #2flowergirls. Having flowers at home is always a little challenging with our flower eating cats, but it was worth the effort:
Colorful Gradient Berries /// Pretty dahlias for flower challenge #2flowergirls
Yellow daffodils from our garden /// Homegrown melon plant (that gave one single fruit!)
Red blossom in a measuring cup /// A colorful bouquet of hand picked flowers
Yayy! It's December! How do you like it so far? Here in the Oise it almost felt like we had the first sunshine in decades. Last week was so grey and dark: no wonder why they call it the dark days before Christmas. So in stead of decorating our home for the December festivities, we made a walk through the fields during the Golden Hour...
We didn't recognize these crops. Any suggestions? Potatoes maybe?
And then, the show was almost over...
Wish you all a wonderful and sunny week! I'm preparing a little giveaway that I think you will like, so you may want to check back later this week ;)
Oh and if you want to get into the mood for some REAL winter, I'd suggest to read the Winterharvest issue of Oh Marie! and watch the sneak preview of the upcoming sisterMAG xmas special... It makes me want to go ice skating right away!
My little pencil tip collection makes me happy. I've had them since I was 7 and even though these days I draw more with my Wacom pen than with color pencils, I still add all the broken pencil tips to my little silly collection.
When preparing my contribution to Gudy's wonderful series "What do bloggers collect?", I realized I collect lots of different things, without considering it to be real collections. I never think like a real collector: I really need that piece to complete my collection. Never. I rather enjoy having a few, than all of them.
And you? What do you collect? Anything as eclectic as the bloggers in Gudy's series?
Oh and in case you missed it, last month I guest blogged at Madame Love (with "artwork" I drew with the pencils above) and shared some happy home inspiration on Happy Interior Blog. I hope you like it :)
The colors of Antwerp
Our weekend in Antwerp was cold and foggy but also rather colorful! For the first time ever we visited the Botanical gardens with colorful sculptures:
The Fashion Museum, MoMu, celebrates its 50th birthday with an exhibition of graduation and recent work of students, including the famous Antwerp6+1. Happy birthday Dear Academie!
A = Antwerp
I loved these Fishbone side tables in glossy acrylic by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso, available at KaaiDesign:
Colorful streetart just across the street from Juliette (delicious vegetarian quiches, salads and pies!) and the brand new HAY store.
Oh and did you ever have Iranian food? If not, I can warmly recommend to book a table at Persepolis. Super friendly service and the food is sooo good.
Also check these Antwerp highlights from last year :)
My favorite Aire de Jugy
I love traveling in my own country. The Oise region is really nice, but nothing makes me happier than driving on the Autoroute du Soleil. Ohhh... the promise of sun, la mer and pine trees in the South of France... ♥
A break at one of the many rest areas along the road makes it even more fun and relaxing. Especially if you happen to stop at Aire de Jugy. Before reaching the aire de repos, located near Chalon-sur-Saône (in the Burgundy region between Dijon & Mâcon) there's little bit of suspense:
As a kid it was always such a joy to spot these fellows along the road. On our way to the Provence last month I couldn't help but stop to take a few playful pictures. Unfortunately most mushrooms are for kids only, but they look fantastic.
I can highly recommend to make a stopover at Aire de Jugy if you'll ever travel southbound, with or without kids!
There was one reason why I wanted to visit the Camargue region during our stay in the South of France: the color pink. Pink flamingos and pink salt flats. I had seen flamingos before and find them so elegant and gracious. And their color: wow! But in October many of them are already on their way to Africa so we only spotted a few smaller groups far far away. I watched them with binoculars and took a few pictures through their lenses with my camera. To my astonishment it worked:
A few miles later we spotted this one flamingo parading and showing off his (or her) beautiful feathers.
Our afternoon in the Camargue was lovely. When quiet we'd hear thousands of birds chirping and making all kinds of pretty (and weird!) sounds. The Camargue is a truly remarkable wetland area and Europe's largest river delta. If you're into horse riding (*hint hint* Rose!), this is THE place to mount a white Camargue horse and go for a ride.
In the south east of the Camargue, near Port Saint Louis, we visited the Salins de Giraud, the salt flats with their beautiful colors. Depending on the time of the year, the light and the amount of salt and halobacteria, the salt pans become pink, violet, red, yellow... or lilac:
I imagined it stronger, but it's nice and subtle. Isn't it pretty?
Fall colors in Roussillon
The best thing of a belated summer holiday, is that you have touristic places like the ochre quarries in Roussillon, all to yourself. You can just wander around and be amazed by the colors and textures without any distractions. And that's just what we did.
We both visited Roussillon several times before, but how can you not be blown away by the intensity of the colors? I thought my ugly hiking boots would become all red and yellow but the ochre powder is so fine and dusty it doesn't stick.
Next time I'd love to spend more time at the ochre conservatory and learn about ochre and other color pigments. Their program of color trainings looks pretty exciting! In art school I painted quite a lot with oil paint, pastels and acrylic, but never got to use any real pigments. It would be fun to give it a try some time...
Have you ever been to Roussillon? Did you like it?
2 Dahlia girls
My grandmother had dahlias in her garden (click here for a peek) and I think that's the only memory I have of these flowers. As a little girl I liked the colors but not their spikey petals. Through the #2flowergirls project I rediscovered them, not far from our home in one of the community gardens. Like in my grandma's garden, there was a small flower bed along the border of the garden with numerous kinds of colorful dahlias. Some even look a bit like bundled "rolled tongues". That made me smile :)
If you want to join and spread some dahlia love in October, it's easy: read more about it on Madame-Love and Glomerylane.
A few days ago on one of my runs, my eyes caught a glimpse of bright pink in the bushes along the path. Wow: gradient berries! Or what they are usually called: pokeweed or Phytolacca americana. Their pink stems are so bright, the calyces look like LEGO flowers and their berries have the most beautiful gradient colors, somewhere between lime green, bordeaux and dark plum.
I took (too many) photos and they all look extremely romantic. But who cares: sharing a bit of softness doesn't do any harm. Except these berries are very poisonous, so don't eat them!
Malmö Västra Hamnen
Let's go to Malmö today! After all, it's only a short ride over the Øresund bridge away from Copenhagen! Welcome to Sweden!
Both Elise and Sarah recommended me to visit the Western Harbour in Malmö: a modern part of the city which is becoming an example in urban planning, sustainability and environmentally-oriented development. So in stead of visiting the Castle and old city center, I made a walk through this neighborhood with lots of water, colorful architecture, a GREEN supermarket (so much better than our Biocoop or Naturalia!), schools, green oases, creative businesses, lots of space and of course: the sea!
The Eiffeltower of Malmö, the Malmö tower:
And there's the sea. Of course some courageous Swedes were preparing to take a plunge in the 16°C water ;)
The light of Copenhagen
What struck me most in Copenhagen were not the delicious Danish pastries, not the laid back people, not the view, not the beautiful ceramics, but the blue skies and bright light. They say the light in Venice - Italy is the best, but oh boy: Copenhagen your light is amazing! I kept looking up and taking pictures, so here is a selection. Wish you a wonderful & bright weekend!
On the right is the Black Diamond, the Royal Danish Library:
Remember this "g"?
A yellow surprise
Nothing makes me more curious in a city than open doors. I love peeking behind them to see what's going on: how people live, where they work and simply discover what's going on behind the pretty façades. When I spotted this classy grey staircase in the city center of Copenhagen, the bright yellow glow called my name. I had a look and took my most liked instagram picture. This yellow courtyard is such a perfect place for breakfast or a break from the city rush. Very invigorating, don't you think?
What about orange?
What about the color orange? Do you like it? I'm particularly biased. I guess it has to do with the country where I grew up: Holland. Once a year, on King's Day, the entire country turns orange. People dress in orange, eat orange pastries, drink orange beer and homes are decorated in orange. And if there's a football championship, everything becomes orange all over again. You get free orange goodies with your grocery purchases and any imaginable drink or snack comes in orange. Complete madness!
When I look around in our home I draw the conclusion that we don't own a single orange "thing", except 1 pair of scissors plus some oranges, carrots and apricots. We do have a lot of yellow and a lot of red. But we never mix the two into a bright sunny orange. Why? I guess my husband is to blame: he grew up in the 70s and has some kind of orange trauma. In one of our former homes I made us some orange curtains for the kitchen which gave a lovely warm hue to the room. He hated them so much that I took them down soon after. It's important that we both feel at home.
In art school I used to dress more colorful which provoked smiles all the time. Just like my current pink glasses do these days... Such a cliché, but I guess that's what bright colors do to people! Bruno Poirier, a French painter living in Paris, just loves wearing color and the most important color in his work is orange. I stumbled upon this video and think his dedication to one particular color is admirable. Beside the love for bright colors and paint, we also share the same birthday! Have a look for yourself:
And you? Do you like orange? Do you have any orange at home? Or maybe some neon orange accents?
first photo by me - the others are stills of the Let's Colour video about Bruno Poirier.
Dynamo @ Grand Palais Paris
Today I'm not sharing an exhibition you should visit too, because actually you can't. The Dynamo exhibition in the Grand Palais closed its doors last week. Before I visited, I read that you can devide the Parisians in 2 groups: the ones that had seen Dynamo and the ones that didn't. So I had to see it ;)
With an overdose of mirrors, (self) reflections, virtual illusions, it's obvious why the exhibition was such a huge success, in this era of instagram, tumblr and twitter. It was impressive to see that many visitors were overly enthusiastic about taking selfies (I'm a little guilty too...) and watched the exhibition through the lens of their phone. I agree with certain critics: the Dynamo exhibition was a bit Disneyland-ish, but there were many wonderful artworks to be admired and experienced as well. My favorites included work by Ann Veronica Janssens and Anish Kapoor.
This projection room, Slow Arc Inside a Cube (2009) by Conrad Shawcross, particularly turned my stomac upside down:
The RGB room was really awesome: Chromosaturation (1965) by Carloz Cruz Diez:
The lines and reflections of this artwork were static, but once you walked by they started swirling:
A detail of Transformation Instable Juxtaposition Superposition (1963-2011) by Francisco Sobrino:
I really enjoyed staring at this pattern, 4 Double Trames (1958) by François Morellet, it looks like dripping water in a puddle:
After well over 2 hours of color, light and movement in an amazing venue, the Grand Palais, it was time for ice cream. And some rest for the eyes!
By now you probably know that I have been discovering plenty of new things in my neighborhood during my runs. A few weeks ago, I ran across these amazing flower beds full of the most bright and colorful flowers. So rich & diverse that I couldn't stop taking pictures with my phone. Of course I had to come back with a proper camera. Only to find that the flowers were starting to fade. That's why I allowed myself to pick a little bouquet:
The person responsible for these flowers deserves kudos. I counted over twenty colors & varieties of cornflowers, daisies, poppies and gerberas! Also, I'd love to know where he/she got this flower mix: it would be so awesome to fill our entire garden with these beauties next summer! And create a true bee nirvana!
What are the rules for picking flowers in public spaces? Do you ever pick flowers outside your own home or garden? Do you feel guilty?
At the Paris Air Show
This weekend I spent some time in this male dominated environment called the Paris Air Show. Lots of state of the art aircrafts, engine noise and numerous drones, which I guess is the latest aeronautic hype. I was mostly drawn to the blue white and red smoke from the Patrouille de France team that performed above our heads. It had the same effect on me as fireworks... Woahhh!!! And it looks rather romantic too, don't you think?
The other day when we drove to Ermenonville for the Rose Days, I spotted this huge field of poppies. I asked my husband to pull over and jumped out of the car to snap a few pictures. Poppies are my absolute favorite flower: they seem to grow almost everywhere, are so floppy and fragile. I love poppies so much that I added a few fake ones to my wedding bouquet. And I still dream of the enormous field of poppies somewhere between here and Paris. A few years ago it was entirely red. I guess the farmer must have loved poppies as much as I do...
Have a wonderful weekend!
On the run
Recently I decided to start to run: I bought the most flashy running shoes (aqua + neon green anyone?), a simple outfit and the perfect sports bra. Today I went for my 6th run and I'm really enjoying it! Running every other day also means that I get to explore my vicinity extensively. I challenged myself to take at least one picture during each run that I'll post on Instagram. It motivates and helps me to see the beauty in my neighborhood.
This tiled wall was one of these things that I spotted while running. I came back with my camera and snapped a few pictures. Can you believe that I had never seen it before?
For any of you runners: is it really so addictive to run? I never thought it would be, but after a run I'm already looking forward to the next one. On twitter Johannes suggested that it's only in the first weeks... is it?
the colors of Berlin
While flipping through the photos I made in Berlin last week, I realized that:
► almost half of them included beautiful type... oops!
► I captured lots of blue skies... after a long dark winter, I guess that's what I needed
► Berlin is even greener than I remembered
► there was color everywhere, hence this post :o)
Vive la Différence
Hope you had a great weekend? Mine included lots of laughter, rain, German cupcakes, 6 different languages, too many LemonAids and meeting so many nice people in Berlin. All very very different, I loved that!
Speaking about different: Tina from Colourliving, who sadly couldn't make it to The Hive due to chaos at Heathrow, invited me to take part in her Vive la Différence series. So hop over to Colourliving to see what we created!
Today is also a very special day for me because 15 years ago I first met my husband! We won't be celebrating because I'm still in Berlin and he's in France, but it's a good excuse to have a frozen yogurt later today, don't you think?
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
palm tree love!