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!
Le Deun Luminaires
Last week I walked by the showroom of Le Deun Luminaires in Paris. I was hiding under my umbrella when these illuminated circles caught my eye. Wow!
I'm always a little annoyed when I see lightning shops that have all the their lights turned on. Such a waste of power! But when I read that Jean-Luc Le Deun, the designer of these beauties, only works with LED lamps, I felt more comfortable. And at the end of november we can all use a little extra light, right?
A selection of lamps is avalaible for sale here.
Le Deun Luminaires /// 18 rue Saint Gilles /// 75003 Paris /// +33 (0)1 55 28 50 61
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?
The Typography of Travel 9
Beautiful METAL / BRASS / GOLD / COPPER / ALUMINIUM typography spotted on some of my travels:
Casa Americana - Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Kasia Gasparski (goldsmit) - Copenhagen, Denmark
Bazar shop - A Coruña, Spain
Barbara jewellery shop - Bilbao, Spain
Tilbury - Burgos Spain
Gallaecia Petrea, Cidade da Cultura - Santiago de Compostela, Spain
@ Gran Hotel Domine - Bilbao Spain
Parking lot @ hotel Gran Teatro - Burgos, Spain
Casa Barros - A Coruña, Spain
Guggenheim Museum - Bilbao, Spain
To see more travel typography: part 1 and part 2 and part 3 and part 4 and part 5 and part 6 and part 7 and part 8!
More Verbeke Foundation
We felt extra lucky that the sun started to shine after leaving Antwerp ( at 20 minutes ) in the pouring rain. The autumn sun was just what we needed for a walk around the extensive park (12ha!) of the Verbeke Foundation, which is filled with creative buildings in reclaimed materials of all kinds. I showed you my favorite already, but here are some of the other creations you will find in the park:
Above: the exterior & inside of the observation tower in steel sheet metal.
Below: a former safety capsule now used as a "Capsule Hotel" by Denis Oudendijk.
Below the wooden "Dome" by Aenaes Wilder. The view from the inside is spectacular. I haven't done any research on the construction but I somehow hope the wooden beams keep in place under their own weight and that there is no invisible secret like nails or wire. ( update: there is... screws! )
The Verbeke Foundation also offers B&B opportunities. In the summer it must be amazing to sleep in one of the bubbles or even in the "campingflat": 4 tents on a scaffolding construction. The Blob VB3 below by dmvA Architects is beautiful from the inside:
Curious about the WEIRD things you can see inside the Verbeke Foundation? Check my Facebook page!
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?
Open Space @ Verbeke Foundation
After our sunday brunch in rainy Antwerp, we left for the Verbeke Foundation just outside the city. I was told it is a bit of a lugubrious art center and indeed certains pieces & rooms gave me the shivers. But overall it presents an unpolished view on contemporary art, which is rather refreshing.
Walking around the extensive park (12ha!) was lovely as it is filled with creative buildings in reclaimed materials of all kinds. Culture, nature and ecology go hand in hand at the Verbeke Foundation.
My favorite building in the Verbeke park was this structure by Jason van der Woude. He built it during his artist in residence program, in 2009-2010, out of leftover doors & windows from a renovation project in Breda (NL). It is called Open Space, Open Function and has no particular function. Read more about his adventure here.
You can't go wrong with a palm tree, at least in my world!
The squares of the windows recall a little bit of Mondrian, but mostly: they made me dream of replacing our damaged windows at Studio Sapique by a pattern like this! For many reasons that wouldn't be an option, but it would be so pretty!
So what do you think of this space? It has no particular function, but what would you use it for?
Hens and Roosters
The sound of hens immediately takes me back to the garden of my grandparents. My grandma used to keep hens in a shed and as a little girl I didn't dare to come anywhere near them: their feathers & unpredictability freaked me out. I know my grandma's hens were brown, but it's mostly their clucking sound that I recall. A continuous background noise while we picked dahlias or watched my grandma harvest some veggies. Or while we did the coolest thing in the garden: dig for pig bones that the former house owner, a butcher, threw in there. We were true archaeologists...
Even though the chickens at the Verbeke Foundation near Antwerp were predominantly roosters, their sound was somewhat familiar to my grandma's hens. But this time I did dare to approach the poultry. And snapped some pictures too!
(photos of me as a 2-year old in my grandparents garden, taken by my dad)
The gems of Antwerp
One month before Christmas means time for one of our family traditions: a weekend trip to Antwerp - Belgium for a full day of shopping (& eating), sunday brunch and a hint of culture.
During our shopping spree we visited some of my favorites, like Espoo ( Nordic interior design ), RA13 ( fashion design music books ), YOUR concept store, Elsa ( shoes ), Donum ( interior design ), but also a few new spots.
't Stad leest (Steenhouwersvest 16) was a new discovery: a unique bookshop with a beautiful selection of fiction & non-fiction, paper goods and children's books. A must visit if you're a book lover like me.
Tom Dixon's new showroom in the Kammenstraat is so pretty. Ace Lighting presents a very cool collection of lights by the world famous designer.
Don't judge a bookstore by its cover... Bacardi is celebrating 150 years of bringing people together by throwing 150 parties.
Check back soon as I'll show you around one of the weirdest museums just outside Antwerp...
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!
The Typography of Travel 8
Beautiful typography spotted on some of my travels:
El Patio bar - A Coru A Coru @ Gran Hotel Domine - Bilbao Spain
Beluga white bar - Burgos, Spain
Tilbury - Burgos Spain
Hair salon - Angoulême, France
Gestoria Arnedillo - Bilbao, Spain
Cultural Center - Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Parking lot @ hotel Gran Teatro - Burgos, Spain
To see more travel typography: part 1 and part 2 and part 3 and part 4 and part 5 and part 6 and part 7!
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!
Inside A Cidade da Cultura
After taking you for a drink at A Cantina & showing you the exterior of A Cidade da Cultura, today I'll take you inside the Galician museum. The current exhibition Gallaecia Petrea is about the presence of stone in the history of Galicia, from prehistory to today.
What struck me even more than the exhibition itself, was the organic interior of the building: it's huge! The way of presenting the works of art was splendid too: lots of wooden pallets were used. A beautiful & clever solution as it also smells really nice!
My favorite piece of art:
It's difficult to capture the dimension of the museum on photo ( I tried video! ). For art curators this must be heaven, it's so big, you can show huge master pieces & extensive collections here...
Brrr, this is when we looked down from the 3rd floor. Look at those tiny chairs on the right:
In one word, this site is impressive. Impressive in size, in detail, in finishing touches, in materials used... I warmly recommend you to visit A Cidade da Cultura if you're in the neighborhood ( near Santiago de Compostela, Spain ). In the years to come, the construction of the Cidade will continue in a slow pace because of the crisis. But I know I'll definitely be back once it's finished. And you?
Let's go to Stockholm!
A little unexpected I decided to plan a trip to Stockholm in a few months. I visited the Venice of the North last year during our Scandinavia roadtrip and dived back into my photos & notes to start a list of places I want to visit again. Days will be short & cold in February, so I hope there will be enough time & light. Here are some of my Stockholm favorites:
Konst-ig was probably my very favorite store in Stockholm. Besides selling a wonderful selection of art books, Konst-ig is also a great resource for bookproduction & distribution consultation. Their one-of-a-kind and out-of-print books are so amazing that you probably won't leave this store empty-handed.
It's almost a pity that we don't have a lot of rain where we live. Because I would absolutely consider a stylish Stutterheim raincoat. Their updated version of the traditional Swedish raincoat is so pretty! Plus the melancholic voice of their Fb page makes me chuckle every. single. time.
Last year we stayed in a lovely designy apartment in Bagarmossen ( located southeast of central Stockholm ) but the area I liked best was Söder. It's filled with lots of stylish Swedes with great haircuts: there's a hairdresser on every corner! So this is where I should get a new haircut: Swedish hairdressers seem to have more experience with cool short cuts for women than here in France, where a mayority of the women fancy long locks...
Other cool shops we visited last year: Acne, 6/5/4, Grandpa, Appartement, Scandinavian Design. We also stopped by the Moderna Museet.
On my wishlist are: • Lotta Agaton's shop • any Granit shop (loooooove them!) • a visit to the Stockholm archipelago.
Some great Stockholm resources: 25 Reasons to go to Stockholm by Condé Nast & Emmas Designblogg's Stockholm guide.
Have you ever been to Stockholm? Any places I should see or visit?
The Typography of Travel 7
Beautiful typography spotted on some of my travels:
Magazine kiosk - Burgos, Spain
Municipal Library - Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Nerua restaurant (restaurant of the Guggenheim museum) - Bilbao, Spain
Street Art - A Coruña, Spain
Biscuit shop - Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Gallaecia Petrea, Cidade da Cultura - Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Galicia Calidade bus - Vigos, Spain
Bar signage - A Coruña, Spain
LED installation by Jenny Holzer - Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain
To see more travel typography: part 1 and part 2 and part 3 and part 4 and part 5 and part 6!
Outside A Cidade da Cultura
It took me a while to sort out all the photos & videos I shot at A Cidade da Cultura, the City of Culture of Galicia. I already showed you some images of A Cantina and today I'll show you the exterior. Here we go!
Located on a small hill overlooking Santiago de Compostela, the Cidade is a huge cultural center for the province of Galicia. It was designed like a chopped off mountain top and is smooth & forrowed, much as a seashell, the age-old symbol of Santiago.
Peter Eisenman's "architectural extravagance" houses a library, archives, a museum, an art center, central services and of course a performing arts theater ( Björk performed here in june! ).
The use of local granite from Galicia was imposed to the architect. It contains so many different colors:
Many refer to the site as a ghosttown. And it's true that there were very little people when we visited. I liked that because it makes it easier to appreciate the buildings and interiors. It's also a little sad, because it means so much lost potential. But at the same time A Cidade is not nearly finished and still a huge excavation site, which makes me optimistic about future projects.
I also made a little wobbly video ( click here if the video doesn't show )
Check back soon as I'll take you inside the museum!
LEGO Lady Liberty
Waking up to thoughts of the US this morning. After Sandy I was almost worried about another disaster this week... but I'm glad it's not the case!
LEGO Lady Liberty has been keeping me company on my desk for the past few weeks. She's pretty cool right? Have you ever seen her "live"?
Vincent, a high school student from Précy sur Oise, was on his way to meet some friends when I bumped into him. He told me I found the right guy for getting to know all hotspots in the Oise, as he likes to hang out here a lot. His favorite place in the Oise is the city center of Saint-Just-en-Chaussée. And he loves drinking a beer or two at the Irish pub in Grandvilliers, called Le New Grange. Merci Vincent!
The apple tree
Our winter garden is not actually our "winter" garden. When I saw that temperatures would drop down to 2°C, I moved all my palm trees, agaves, succulents and aloë to heated rooms in the building. My beloved Elstar apple tree is now hibernating in our living room!
JOELIX in Butterzart magazine
Earlier this year I met Nina in Berlin when we both attended The Hive, a European Blog Conference. We immediately hit it off ( we talked for hours during the cocktail party! ) and have been in contact ever since. Nina writes a monthly magazine called Butterzart about kids fashion & lifestyle.
It's an honor to be invited by her today to Butterzart to tell you a little bit more about me & my blog in the column "Wer bloggt denn da?". You can read it HERE. It's in German, but you can read the English translation here.
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.!
@joelixjoelix on instagram