Golden Cheese cookies
I loved reading all your comments on my misfortune baking. It's so good to know that I'm not the only one who messes up simple recipes. And finally I made something edible that tasted good! Inspired by my bakerella sister's Pacman cheese cookies, I tried to make them last weekend. And everyone liked them! So here's the super easy recipe:
Mix 100gr cheese (whatever you have/like: I used gouda because we didn't have any parmesan as in the original recipe...), with 60gr melted butter and 125gr flour. Add some curry powder, a pinch of pepper and I also added a little salt. Knead little balls of the dough.
And roll these little balls in a tiny bowl with sesame seeds:
Then press them onto your baking mat and bake them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes at 180°C until they're golden brown.
A sunny Cinemagraph
As you can see, Rose really enjoyed the wonderful weather we had this weekend! A few hours later she (and me) looked more like a tomato... we didn't quite feel the power of the sun because there was a light breeze. The same breeze that is playing with her feather earrings :o)
I'm by far not a master of the cinemagraph, unlike Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg, but I really enjoy making these more sophisticated versions of the animated gif. It requires a few simple Photoshop skills, but you can also use an app like Echograph or Flixel (iphone) or Cinemagraph (nokia lumia).
If you want to make a cinemagraph using Photoshop, I have a few tips:
► use a tripod to shoot the video (I didn't and it made positioning the motion images more difficult and less precise)
► you'll need less video and layers than you'd think
► think before you start filming: think about details like the exact part you want to animate, the shadows, elements behind the moving part (like the necklace in my case) and light reflections
► the motion can be more subtile than you'd think
► open a cinemagraph by Jamie & Kevin or a gif by rrrrrrrroll in Photoshop and learn from watching the layers and their content
► this is a great cinemagraph tutorial, or this one in video
► and of course: have fun!
Happy Easter Weekend!
Through this quirky couple designed by Anna Sjons Nilsson*, I would like to wish you a very happy Easter weekend! What are you up to? Eating chocolate? Going on an Easter egg hunt? Sharing time with family, friends and pets?
*Spotted at the Konsthantverkarna boutique in Stockholm.
My sister decided to start sending me more snail mail. She told me I should write about it on my blog. So I will! Always listen to your little sister!
For Sistermail 2 I received a transparent envelope with puffy red hearts inside. And a freecard by Søstrene Grene, a famous Scandinavian chain store where they sell lots of "stuff". They have this thing called Sisterday, when you can apologize to your sister for things you did to her that you now regret. Well we don't really have regrets (do we, Djeenie?), but she "apologized" for the few missing hearts in the envelope. <3
In other good sister-news, my talented bakerella sister (remember her kanelbullar?) finally decided to share her recipes and food ideas online! She will be hosting dinner parties this summer and has lots of other delicious plans. You can check out her recipe for the best brownies in the world and more, right here or follow Chez Djeenie on twitter or facebook. If you don't speak Dutch, try using google translate. Bon appétit!
The worst cupcakes ever!
I'm a terrible bakerella: I can completely mess up ready-made cupcakes from a box. And that's exactly what happened with these raspberry cupcakes. The topping should have been pale pink, fluffy and tasty. I added some red food pigment because I thought that would be fun and used fromage blanc in stead of fromage frais... The cupcakes turned out acid & bright... and tasted absolutely awful!
Even the white chocolate on top didn't taste good. Does that ever happen to you too?
My sister decided to start sending me more snail mail. She told me I should write about it on my blog. So I will! Always listen to your little sister!
The first envelope she sent me, contained two cards: a Margiela perfume sample she picked up at Jones Arnhem and a Double Date card by ZTRDG to propose a double date to celebrate our 12 1/2th wedding anniversary.
ZTRDG is a Dutch initiative celebrating delicious seasonal recipes and stories about people that are passionate about fresh & beautiful food. Pretty awesome, right? Oh and if you like sending snail mail, check out The Flat Project on One Bunting Away with lots of cute snail mail DIYs!
Do you ever send your sister / brother / friend / family member a postcard? Or do you write each other letters?
Carrot cake in a jar
My bakerella sister gave me this carrot cake in a jar. I'm not very good at baking and easily screw up the simplest recipes. Last week I even failed to boil some eggs... I had the flu, so there was an excuse, but still. I really enjoy baking though! And I also like eating carrot cake :o)
► In the jar: nuts, 300g brown sugar, spices, 250g flower, baking powder.
► Additional ingredients: 100g melted butter, 200ml olive oil, 4 eggs, 300g grated carrots, 250g cream cheese, 100ml cream.
Simply chop 2/3 of the nuts and roast them in a frying pan. In a large bowl, beat together butter, olive oil, 250g brown sugar (keep 50g separate for the frosting) until a smooth mixture. Add the egg yolks, grated carrots, flower, baking powder, spices and roasted nuts. Beat egg white until stiff and add it to the dough.
Pour into some baking moulds. Bake in a preheated oven (150°C) for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
For the frosting: mix the cream cheese with the cream and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cakes and decorate with some nuts. Bon appétit!
These carrot cakes tasted pretty good, although I was very surprised that they are so rich! Lots of sugar & oil & butter & cream... but the perfect comfort food for these last snowy days of winter!
The heart shaped paper moulds are by HEMA.
A paper globe
This weekend I got the flue. After lots of sleep, painkillers and oranges, I felt a little better and made this paper globe. We saw several of these beautiful paper globes in Stockholm and when Elodie ( of the pretty flower & decoration blog Madame Love ) sent me a link to Joachimesque's Le Paper Globe, I couldn't wait to make one.
I have been dreaming of a white globe for a few years now, because I like the idea of coloring all the countries in the world that I've visited. Even though I have no particular intention of "coloring" the entire world ;o)
The nice thing about this globe is that you don't need any glue. It fits together perfectly. I didn't have any sturdy paper in stock and simply printed it on 90grams paper. And it worked!
You can find the template & assembling instructions of this globe right here.
Adeline Klam in Paris
Earlier this week I blogged on Jillian in Italy again while she is recovering from surgery on her hand. I'm introducing you to a super cute & welcoming boutique in Paris, called Adeline Klam. Check it out here!
Adeline Klam /// 54, Boulevard Richard Lenoir /// 75011 Paris /// +33 (0)1 48 07 20 88
Open every monday through saturday: 11AM – 7PM.
Een gelukkig nieuw jaar! Happy New Year!
It's one of my proudest projects: our family New Year's card. This year we're all posing with a wooden candle that was designed & handmade by my dad as a xmas gift. It's our 33rd card! View all our cards here!
My husband thought it was all a bit too cute:
2012 was a great year for traveling. We started the year in Bretagne and traveled by night train to Perpignan that same month. I was in London in march and went to Berlin in may where I met so many cool people at The Hive.
We also spent a few days in Provence. <3
I prepared for our trip to Spain & Portugal by looking back at previous travels to Sweden, Iceland (one two tree), Egypt, Norway, Corsica, Greece and Denmark.
In Portugal I made my first little video:
Of course I went to Holland several times, including a visit to Hello Etsy at PHE in Eindhoven. In november I spent a weekend in Antwerp and discovered the Verbeke Foundation.
On all of these travels I spotted tons of interesting letter signs & typography that I featured in the Typography of Travel series.
Closer to home I started "Styloise", to discover more about my home region, the Oise in France, through the eyes of its people. I met some very interesting people by doing this and am looking forward to meeting more fellow Isariens in 2013!
In springtime I styled an image for Llamas Valley and our home was the decor for a photoshoot. The result went live in october when our home was featured in IKEA family live magazine. A wonderful reward after years of hard work, which I "revisited" in my Vintage Sapique series.
I really enjoyed preparing more things in the kitchen and styling the (simple) desserts I made.
On a more personal note: my husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary and soon we will be 3 living at Studio Sapique, as Rose is coming to live with us for 6 months during her internship in Paris!
(click on the images to go to the related blogposts)
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
Our other xmas tree!
HO HO HO, Merry Christmas!
I hope you had a wonderful day with your family & friends & pets yesterday? What did you do together?
The wooden xmas tree you're looking at was handmade by my dad. I decorated it with some fresh pine tree branches from our "other" tree. I love it!
So many kids
One of the perks of december is a mailbox full of festive cards. For the 8th time in a row, my dad & I worked on the xmas cards for an elementary school in the Netherlands.
The challenge is to be as efficient as possible, because with 460 kids and always a few ill ones ( due to Sinterklaas stress ), we want to keep the number of photoshoots & hours of retouching as low as possible.
Our idea was simple: every class was separated in 4 small groups that used their hands & fingers to point out 2 0 1 3!
But the funny thing was that as soon as the cards were printed, the deaf children at school pointed out that the signs used by the kids, are not correct according to sign language. Why didn't we think of that?!?
Of course we did a new photoshoot for the inside of the card. Isn't it intruiging that the deaf kids' hands below are so much more expressive than those of the hearing kids above?
To see the previous cards we made, click here.
Guest blog on Jillian in Italy
Earlier this week I was invited by Jillian to guest blog at Jillian in Italy while she is recovering from surgery. I'm sharing my absolute favorite xmas recipe ( by my mom! ) so please check it out here!
Gift wrapping ideas for IKEA Family live
My new guest post at IKEA family live just went live. I'm sharing a few ideas about gift wrapping. Check it out here!
Muskhane in Paris
Sometimes you see a lovely design that reminds you of someone else. That happened to me last week when I was in Paris on my way to the Maison d'Anna G pop up store. I passed by this amazing shop window of Muskhane and then it hit me: the buntings! the craft! the colors! Totally Giova's style.
So hop over to One Bunting Away to see more of this beautiful Parisian shop window!
update: Giova went to check the store out herself. Check it out here!
I'm going nuts!
Today I'm going N U T S. Well not really... but the third Pixum poster on our kitchen door, says so! Every time I enter the kitchen, I can't help but think about "going nuts" or worse... a nuts candy bar.
It's nice to have a different poster on the kitchen door. The Faithless Outrospective poster hung here for quite a while...
Besides R E S T and S T A R and N U T S, I also photographed N E S T and N E A T:
What's your favorite poster?
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!
The second poster
After showing you the first poster R E S T it is time to reveal another star ehhh... poster I created with Pixum. This one is "starring" on the door of our cinema room, my favorite room in our home.
Both when taking the S T A R photo in the laboratory as well as the photos of the posters in our home, I had problems with the light. On the first day it was sunny & bright until an enormous cloud passed across the sun. And now that it's almost winter, the days are so short, that I had to hurry to make photos.
Some people asked me whether these neon signs actually still work. As you can see below, the original neon lamps are still inside, but they're all broken. But how cool would it be if this S T A R would actually light up?
And after R E S T and S T A R... any idea what's on the third poster?
When Pixum approached me to test one of their photo print products I immediately knew I wanted to make new posters for our home. I was inspired by the comments on this Vintage Sapique article about the restaurant letters we rescued from demolition. The signage letters are really big and we have very little walls, but there's always room for a poster!
I assembled the letters and made 3 four-letter words. The first word is easy: r e s t. It's perfect for our bedroom door. Or maybe I'll frame it and hang it in the guestroom with the real a t.
As a graphic designer I love well printed books, magazines & posters and so I was very curious about the quality of an online photo service like Pixum. Compared to the photos I uploaded, the final prints are a bit more dense and grey-ish. But the sharpness is pretty nice and the thick silk mat premium paper is truly beautiful. Uploading was really fast & easy and within a week the 3 posters were delivered in a sturdy tube. Merci Pixum!
Can you guess the other 2 words?
Robert's surpRICE pudding
When the IKEA Family Live team visited us in the early spring, my husband insisted on cooking for them. My husband is a very talented cook who never cooks by recipe, but always by flavor. This is why he rarely makes the same thing twice, so enjoy it while you can!
For the IKEA team he prepared 3 different dishes: a vegetarian dish, an Indonesian inspired dish with chicken & peanuts and a Mediterranean fish dish with pastis. For dessert he made a delicious rice pudding. IKEA convinced him to write down the recipe and so he did:
Robert's surpRICE pudding (serves 4)
Great for concluding an oriental dinner, easy to prepare (and you can prepare it way in advance).
2 cups rice (jasmin or basmati) ( serving a copious meal? Use only 1 cup of rice instead for smaller portions! )
2 mint leaves
1 tin coconut milk
This is how:
► Boil rice to about half the time normally required in plenty of water with the mint leaves
► Remove excess water and mint leaves ( don't leave them in, mint leaves actually taste horrible when cooked )
► Add coconut milk, vanilla essence, and ground red pepper
► Simmer whilst stirring until you get a porridge-like substance ( the pudding will thicken even more when cooling, don't cook it too thick or it will harden/dry out )
► Divide over 4 bowls and leave to cool ( if you happen to have any banana leaves lying around, serve on banana leaves instead! ). When cooled enough, place in the fridge until you wish to serve
► Before serving, sprinkle some ground red pepper on top, add 1-2 fresh mango slices on each bowl ( if you don't have fresh mango, any other oriental fruit will work, or mango jam )
Enjoy your surpRICE!
This recipe was published as a guest blog on the IKEA Family live blog. You can read it here.
Almost 2 months ago the first issue of Oh Marie! was launched. Oh Marie! is a new bilingual ( Dutch/English ) online magazine filled with beautiful photography, DIY’s, styling and vintage, all wrapped with a whimsical bow. Attendees of the launch received a piñata with a vintage gift + a little challenge: take a picture of the gift in your interior and pass it on to the next blogger. All items are part of the Fellowship of the Traveling Vintage Items.
For obvious reasons I was kind of hoping to receive the Eiffel tower, but somehow ended up with these 5 lace bobbins. As a non-crafter, I expected them to be bigger, more like a honey dipper or maracas. But of course they are tiny: they are used to create lace!
The lace bobbins traveled from Monique, to Nina, to Dee Amanda and as you read this, they are already on their way back to Holland. Astrid asked me if she could have them next: she is a little bit obsessed with lace bobbins because they remind her of ... well I don't really know, but I hope she will tell us soon!
And stay tuned as the next issue of Oh Marie! is due november 24th!
Kanelbullar by my sister
I'm very lucky to be surrounded by great cooks. My husband is a true Cordon Bleu as you say in French, my mom always spoils everyone with lovely meals & delicious pies. And my sister is a real Bakerella. She's the queen of the brownies ( hers are the BEST! ) but she also makes beautiful wedding cakes, yummy cookies & cakes and spicy fusion food.
My little sister loves sharing her edible happiness with others so when she made a bit too many kanelbullar last week, she decided to offer them to her neighbors through a Dutch food-sharing website called Thuis Afgehaald. The next day several people picked up a some delicious kanelbullar at her place. As we live far away I simply enjoyed following the process on Instagram. Swedish cinnamon rolls a.k.a. kanelbullar are one of my favorite treats, especially since we've been to Scandinavia. My sister's kanelbullar looked so good that I asked her to share the recipe today!
550 gr flour /// 10 gr dry yeast /// 50 gr sugar /// 10 gr salt /// 240 gr whole milk, luke warm /// 125 gr soft unsalted butter /// 2 big whipped eggs
60 gr unsalted melted butter /// 150 gr brown sugar /// 1 - 1½ tablespoon of cinnamon
Plus: 2 greased round cake tins of about 22cm in diameter
► Mix flour, yeast, suger and salt. Add the eggs and milk and stir until mixed. Knead into dough and add butter in 2 seperate times. Continue kneading for about 10 minutes until you have a smooth dough.
Let rise in a greased bowl until doubled (about 45-60 minutes). Lay the lump of dough on a greased workspace and get rid of any air in the dough. Leave it covered in foil for about 15 minutes and then roll out a large rectangle of 55x30 cm.
► Spread with butter. Mix the brown sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the buttered dough. Roll up into a big long roll. Firmly press and close the seam. Lay the dough roll on a cutting board with the seam to the bottom. Cut thick slices of +/- 1,5 cm and put them in a greased cake tin. Baste with melted butter.
► Let rise until doubled (about 45-60 minutes). Then bake the rolls in a preheated oven on 180°C for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool down for 10 minutes.
Serve & enjoy your kanelbullar!
New IKEA guest blog: my workplace
My second guest blog on IKEA family live just went live! It's about my workplace. Check it out here!
Remember how I told you I never ever win anything? Well my luck has changed! I won this beautiful orange Kaleido tray by HAY on Mrs D.'s blog Fair and Softly goes far.
The tray is currently on my desk, as seen in the photo above, before I'll take it to my friend's home in Paris. But the color is so pretty, that I may need to get one for myself as well! Merci Mrs D.!
Simply for the sake of Halloween, I made these prefab Bubble Gum cupcakes. They taste the way they look: extremely chemical. As an extra touch, I added 2 little selfmade cardboard bats on top.
In Belgium, on the way back home from Hello Etsy, I heard on AFN radio ( a tip if you like hilarious radio commercials! ) that you should keep your kids away from "suspicious unwrapped treats" at Halloween. So these cupcakes may be a little risky ;o)
Happy Halloween! Are you or your kids celebrating or dressing up? Or even trick or treating?
Hello Etsy @ Dutch Design Week
This saturday I attended Hello Etsy in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The worldwide marketplace of handmade goods organized this gathering around the theme of "Small Business In A Big World". I'm not a true crafter ( and don't have an Etsy shop ), but as a graphic designer I can very well relate to being a small business in a big world.
The venue was great: I had never visited Piet Hein Eek's studio / factory / store / gallery / restaurant / office before but was happily surprised. It's nice to know there is such a space at only 20 minutes from where I grew up!
Even though my pictures show lamp shades & empty spaces, the day was chockfull with great speakers and mingling amongst the enthusiastic audience.
It was lovely meeting Anastacia, Christine, Hanna, Philomeen, Diane, Kim, Miriam, Em, Giova, Thea, Yann, Marie, Anne, Anne, Rhiannon and so many more creative folks! Totally agree with Floris Dekker "Getting to meet each other is the most powerful thing".
While I'm off to explore all the blogs & Etsy shops by all the new people I've met, I can warmly recommend you to watch some of the talks online. You can find them here.
To win the latest copy of UPPERCASE magazine, head over to Philomeen or Giova for a giveaway!
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?
DIY ABC plate
Besides giftwrapping & the occasional project, I'm usually not a true crafter. But I recently bought this porcelain paint in black & red so I had to do something with it. As I love typography, I decided to make a simple ABC plate.
It's pretty easy. I used a small IKEA 365+ breakfast plate. The most difficult part is to get the 26 letters to fit in the circle. To make that easier, I printed a circle ABC ( download my pattern here! ), cut it out and used it as a guide. With a pencil I drew 2 circle guidelines on the plate.
Then I started painting. My brush was a bit too big & the paint too transparent. But with a few extra layers it turned out okay. After 35 minutes in the oven, the plate became dishwasher proof.
I also made a simple dotted plate. I think I like it even better.
Do you see what's written in RED?
Of course you can write anything you like: the name of a loved one, your favorite city... You can download my pattern here!
Bold Blackberry Popsicle
As I told you on monday, I was planning on turning the freshly picked blackberries into some delicious ice pops. And that's what I did. I kept aside a few blackberries for decoration & blended the others.
Blended blackberries have this amazing color:
I couldn't help myself & added something to the mixture: a hint of Eristoff Black ( wild berry vodka ), because it's so well color & taste-coordinated. And some orange juice for sweetness. Then poured it into the ice popsicle molds. A few hours later I had 4 yummy blackberry popsicles. I added a berry on top just for the fun of it. So easy & refreshing!
Once a week I try to go to the market for fresh fruit. I'm a fruitjunkie and love watching & eating seasonal fruits. On the market we have l'Homme des Fraises ( the Strawberry Man ) with lovely strawberries from Pontpoint, a nearby village. And there's the Melon Man who sells 2 cantaloupes for 3€. A few weeks ago, I told him it was too much. Too much for me to eat beside all the other fruits I already bought for the week. But he took it like: too expensive and said, well 1,50€ for 2 melons, what about that? An offer too good to refuse so I took them home. In stead of eating them as an appetizer with prosciutto, I turned them into some kind of sorbet ice.
Here is how:
Slice 2 cantaloupes into pieces (scoop out the seeds before!). Put them in a bowl and mix with a few tablespoons of cane sugar, two tablespoons of honey, some chopped fresh mint leaves, a hint of vodka and 2 cups of 0% yogurt. I wanted my ice to be bright orange, but of course the yogurt weakened the cantaloupe orange. I added a teaspoon of red food coloring powder but besides a spectacular blend in the first 5 seconds, it didn't really change the color.
Then chill this mixture in the fridge for a few hours and put it in the ice maker until the ice has your preferred texture. Serve with a few mint leaves on top. Bon appetit!
My personal chef ( a.k.a. my husband ) didn't like this ice cream at all. I must say he tasted 1 teaspoon while thinking he was having strawberry icecream, which makes the experience totally different, I think. He suggested to cook the mint leaves in water and add the minty water to the mixture instead of the chopped leaves. Fortunately our 3 guests liked it enough to finish their entire cup ;o)
A very special week
It was a very special week, exactly 12 years ago. We spent a lovely week with family and close friends, enjoying good food & wine, the beautiful Massif des Maures and each others company. At the end of the week, right after the Bastille Day festivities, we were married.
We rented a remote farm in the Massif des Maures ( South of France ), in a silent valley where the braying of donkeys woke us up every morning. A few hours before the ceremony, my father and I picked flowers for the wedding bouquet near the farm and added a few fake poppies. Simple, local and beautiful!
My husband and I didn't exchange official wedding gifts, but I wanted to give him a model of the cool & over-the-top car we owned at the time: a white Pontiac Trans Am ( yeah, Kitt from Knight Rider... ). I couldn't find any, so I crafted one myself on top of a toycar for kids, using self-drying clay, paint, tissue ( for the heart shaped balloons ) and some ribbons.
As you can see, he loved it:
Our wedding week was a very intimate, simple and beautiful celebration. Exactly the way we wanted it to be. But I never imagined it would be so awesome to still be married to this man 12 years later! Je t'aime Robey!
With high summer temperatures in mind, I tried to make a very refreshing treat: sorbet ice. For this ultra simple ( remember I never cook! ) and quite healthy recipe I used one very ripe Honeydew melon. Simply scoop out the seeds and spoon out the fruit.
Then mix this with a cup of water, two table spoons of vodka, some grinded black pepper and a hint of vanilla extract. Squeeze half a lemon and an entire orange into the mixture. Mix it with a hand mixer ( or a fancy KitchenAid! ), chill it in the fridge for a few hours and put it in the ice maker until your sorbet ice has the right texture. Enjoy!
Oh and if you'd like to see what Lein created inspired by my harvest-post, please like joelix.com on facebook.
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?
Time to Harvest
Time to harvest! My first batch of radishes was ready to be harvested. As well as some strawberries from the plant that survived the winter without any special care. Both the radishes and the strawberries taste so much better than the ones from the market or supermarket.
It may seem very boring, but nothing helps me better to calm down when I'm stressed than putting my hands in the ground, do some weeding and of course the harvesting! I hope the lettuce I'm growing right now, won't be eaten by any bunnies or snails… because there's a lot of it and it looks very very tasty!
Oh and have a look at the peonies my sister gave me last weekend! I almost prefer their withered shapes over the fresh flowers. The white peonies are holding on just fine and still look super fresh & funky.
Inspired by the delicious Good Q Frozen Yogurt I tasted in Berlin and the super hot weather here in France, I made my first strawberry frozen yogurt ice cream. A super simple recipe: mix 500gr strawberries with 300gr 0% yogurt, a little bit of milk, some sugar and vanilla extract. As this recipe contains very little cream, large ice cristals form when you put it in the freezer for too long. It tastes best right out of the ice cream maker. Serve a large scoop of Frozen Fraises with some fresh strawberries.
Bzzz bzzz from The Hive
This weekend I attended The Hive in Berlin, a European Blog Conference with speakers like Freunde von Freunden, Design Mom, sisterMAG, Zilverblauw, Prêt-A-Voyager, Hauptstadtmutti, Fryd + Design, Lost in Cheeseland, My Paradissi and many more.
Besides the interesting & inspiring talks, it meant lots of pretzels, colorful frocks, many cameras, tons of tweets & pregnant bellies (I loved @Überlin's tweet: RT if you're at #hive12 and you're *not* pregnant!), lots of stairs (4th floor venue), so many smiling faces, enthusiastic conversations…
…and lots of cool business cards! As a graphic designer, I was curious to see what others came up with and it turned out to be quite a colorful bunch. In Germany the idea of handing out business cards on social events like The Hive didn't seem very common. Some German bloggers told me they were a little surprised that others would expect them to hand out their card. Above are a few of the cards I collected.
Clockwise starting at CIAO: Reisefreunde, Just Pretty Things, Zilverblauw, Currystrumpet, Stadtgarten, Kristi Fuoco, Sozialhelden, Fräulein Text, KleiderKreisel, One Bunting Away, Almalu's Place, I'm with Leila, Funkytime, Tante Taart An and Circus Edgar, Jillian in Italy, The Girl at the Laundromat, Mat & Mi, and in the middle the cute dia slide by Vlogaboo.
The week before The Hive I made a bunch of new fresh cards. To me, good design is all about simplicity, so I just used some vintage sticker paper from Studio Sapique, a hole puncher and the sturdiest printable paper I could find to make my cards. Here is what they look like:
Most of all I like his style (his gift guides are great too!) and the way he writes&tweets about this project really inspires me.
And in case you want to do some crafting yourself (or with your kids) during the holidays, you should definitely take a look at the Minieco tutorials. They have some simple and colorful ideas with super easy PDF templates. The crackers and paper gems are my favorites. Love it!
Remember my obsession with honey and beekeeping? The talented folks at Kinfolk shot a beautiful video on honey harvesting. Yummy!
Wrap a gift
I still have a large stock of gift wrapping paper, but I really like the Triangle Mega paper by MiniMega Shop. The Cheeseburger wrapping paper by Cargo Collective is very clever too. Of course you can already "open" the Christmas calendar by Hanna Päivikki Konola.
We gathered the childrend in the shape of a star. Of course again it took quite some time, especially because we absolutely wanted to include all the children on the cards. In november a lot of kids are ill due to the Sinterklaas stress... so we had to leave blank spaces in the composition and add photos of those kids when they were fit again.
In 2007 we were wiser and took 1 photo per class and masked it with x-mas words and icons. The few children that were ill, were added later into the group photos.
2008: a new year: a new idea. We tried to create a lighted candle. The larger part of the group formed the candle, one of them was the candle wick and a few kids formed the flame. Again, one of the challenges was to limit the time needed to take the picture.
At first we thought it would be cool if the "candle wick kid" would be carried by the children of the candle and the flame. But the experience learned that it was safer & faster to lay him/her down on a table.
In 2009 it snowed on the x-mas card. The children were photographed in small groups of 6 or 7, catching invisible snowflakes. The snowflakes were added later on. The card was folded right through the snowy part.
This year we were inspired by the performance art called Mass Games, in which large numbers of people take part in a performance that emphasizes group dynamics rather than individual prowess. Our starting point was the typical school picture with 4 rows of children. All the children were holding a blank piece of paper on which we added 3D stars in post production.
What is almost just as cool about honey are the endless options for packaging designs. Designing anything "honey" is a graphic designers dream project. Or at least for me it is. Inspiration is everywhere: the hexagonal honeycombes, the bees themselves, the flying swarms, the honey's texture and it's rich colors... One of my alltime favorite honey designs is by Ah&Oh Studio for Babees.
This is why I am so excited about this amazing new short film series called Made by Hand. Their videos celebrate the people who make things by hand: sustainably, locally, and with a love for their craft. The inaugural film, in which they visit the Breuckelen Distilling Company, is excellent. Go watch it!
A surprising 2007
Faded & withered peonies