Painting our dining table and bar cart
One of the reasons I don't show our entire living room very often, is that our large dining table and bar cart were in bad shape. Well, their structure and quality are great, but the surface of the table top was dented and stained and the veneer was damaged on the edges. We bought the set, together with two smaller coffee tables for our first apartment in 1999. Even after almost two decades we still like the design and size, but I was dreaming of replacing the table top with something new. A huge piece of wood, or even better: a huge chunk of resin like in the work of Sabine Marcellis, or like this table by Dimore Studio. But then someone suggested to simply paint the table top in the mean time. And I liked that idea, so a few weeks ago I spent a few days sanding and painting with new colors from Dulux Valentine.
The aluminium colored base became green: a soft "Vert d'Eau" tint from the Crème de Couleur line. And for the table top I picked the Architecte "Blanc de Rose" paint with a velours matte finish. It turned out much lighter than I expected, but it's extra fresh and the table and bar cart look like new! It looks so much like the colors used at the Leon 16 B&B in Brussels, don't you think?
Before starting the paint job, I wondered if the powder coated base needed some kind of primer. But I was a little too impatient and decided to spend some extra time sanding it really throuroughly and then just go for it with thin layers of paint. I have no idea how durable it will be over time, but for now there are no chips and it looks really good. I particularly love the soft satin/matte finish of the Architecte paint on the surface of the table, it's not too matte, not too glossy and feels nice when you touch it.
Now that the table is so fresh and bright, the dining chairs look so yellow! We bought them at the same time as the table, so I think it's time for something new...
Have you ever tried painting a table? Or would you do it?
Full disclosure: the paint was provided free of charge by Dulux Valentine.
DIY lamp with a LED filament bulb
OK, so I made a DIY! It's been a while since I've actually made something with my own hands, but I judged this one was too easy not to try. I received one of the new LED filament bulbs from Plumen and it inspired me to turn it into a table lamp. Filament bulbs have been trendy for so many years now and even though I like their look, the fact that they consume so much energy always kept me from purchasing them for our home. This new Willow dimmable LED bulb from Plumen is an exception: it gives a super warm light (even warmer than a candle!) and is only 4.5 Watt.
It's a fresh and modern design and while going through my stash of plant pots, I noticed this bubbly speckled plant pot. Somehow it hit me that it could be the perfect "base" for a table lamp with the mushroom-shaped Willow. With a little bit of help from Robert, who always has the best tools for any kind of DIY project, I drilled a hole in the bottom of the pot. Then I screwed a simple lamp fitting through the hole and painted the pot and fitting with some leftover nail polish. Easy peasy and it looks surprisingly cool, I think! During the DIY process I captured a few steps to show you how it was done:
Voilà, my new table lamp!
On the left a peek of a neoprene cachepot from Pijama, a little thrifted bowl, a Coca Cola bottle from Egypt and some succulents in a vintage pot. The bench was handmade by my father as a gift last Christmas. By the way, the Pitaya cactus doesn't look very fresh in the middle, but as you can see its long arms are growing lots of new branches, I love it!
Full disclosure: this is not a sponsored blogpost, Plumen sent me the bulb to try and test, but didn't require a blogpost. I just felt inspired to make something nice with the bulb ;)
Klin d'oeil boutique & galerie in Paris
Once I found out talented duo heju was working on the new Klin d'oeil boutique & gallery in Paris, I couldn't wait to see it. I really love what they did at the courtyard of Les Petits Hauts (I blogged about that here), and the sneak peeks on Instagram with this fabulous Sudbury Yellow by Farrow & Ball made me happily walk to the 11th arrondissement in Paris. Let me take you on a little virtual visit, let's go:
For the past few years, Klin d'oeil has been "famous in Paris" for its creative pop-up events with many different designers and artists. They gathered a clan...I mean "Klin" of like-minded people that love handmade, contemporary design, great food and cool music. And that's exactly what you'll find at their new boutique & gallery! It's beautiful, cosy and refreshing.
Lampshades in colorful wool, inspired by Ana Kras:
Colorful ceramics, jewelry, bags and pouches by Studio Walkie Talkie and Atelier Dimanche, accessories, paper goods, cushions, vases, soaps by Le Baigneur, embroidered artwork by Sophie Bazin, post cards... and plants!
A cosy nook to hang out and relax:
Postcards withs lots of winks (clin d'oeil means wink in French) and risoprints by artist Lea Maupetit:
If you love color & plants & unique design goodies, this is the boutique to go:
*Wink wink* by Tapamtapam:
If you plan to visit the new Klin d'oeil boutique & galerie in the Rue Deguerry, it's hard to miss:
Klin d'oeil boutique & galerie /// 6, rue Deguerry /// 75011 Paris /// +33 1 77 15 22 30
Open every tuesday to saturday from 11AM to 7PM
Let's kiss under the mistletoe
One light string in our Euphorbia was our only Christmas decoration at home up until now. But I spotted "some" mistletoe in the tree in front of our home. For the first time there were berries in there and I couldn't resist to get a few. It took an hour to get the entire bush out of the tree, but it worked and now we have enough mistletoe to kiss under another branch every day in 2016. From a few smaller twigs I made two wreaths, one for our cinemaroom and another one on our yellow submarine door. So now... let's kiss!
While trying to get the mistletoe out of the tree (why do they always grow on the highest branches?!), I Snapchatted what I was doing. My friend Anne got me hooked to Snapchat, well it's a bit random, but some snaps are just hilarious. For example Damien Aresta, snapchatted a daily advent snap: every day he would take something out of his pocket. Unfortunately he quit... So if you are on Snapchat, let me know your name in the comments, so that I can follow you! (I'm joelixjoelix on Snapchat if you like to know).
Anyway, there is even more mistletoe outside:
And because mistletoe is a little cheesy, I even hung a few twigs above our bed too. Never enough plants and never enough kisses, right?!
For now I wish you some very wonderful (warm!) Christmas days surrounded by your loved ones. See you very soon! Because next week I'll be shooting our new bathroom, I can't wait to show you the final result. So yeah, hope to see you soon! Here on my blog or on Instagram, or maybe via Snapchat?
Snor Festival 2015
I can't remember the last festival I went to: the smell of beer, muddy grass fields and big crowds are not my idea of having a good time. Lucky me: the Snor Festival that I attended this weekend was different. Yes, there was beer (but also yummy smoothies!), a little bit of mud and lots of people, but there also were flowers, beautiful books, creative workshops and many blogger friends.
Book (and chocolate!) publisher Snor and Kirsten invited me and 14 Dutch bloggers to come and hang out at the Bloggerscafé, eat beautiful food by Madame Charlotte and enjoy the festival. It was super nice to catch up with lots of people, to finally meet so many "online" folks in person and spend a little bit more time with some of them too (wink wink Elvera and Marij!).
Next time I need a workshop on how to take pictures before a meal, in stead of "Oops, forgot to take a photo because I was talking too much". Well at least the flowers still look pretty:
Buntings, flowers, market stalls, handlettered signs and happy faces everywhere:
Anki and Casper from Zilverblauw also launched their first book at the Snor Festival. I've been reading their blog for years now and admire their just-do-it spirit and personal style. Anki wrote the book "Shoot, taking photos from the heart" about photography. Without the dull technical approach but with a lot of tips & tricks and inspiring images. Her love Casper made it all look beautiful and easy to read. The handlettering by Milou (in gold foil on the cover!) is really nice too. I love books that also look good in my interior ;)
For now Shoot is only available in Dutch, but I'm secretly hoping that Snor will translate the book into English, because I believe this is a book so many people need... and want!
Besides beautiful books, flowers and blogger fun, Snor and several creative enterpreneurs proposed tons of fun workshops, including this very Urban Jungle Bloggers-y workshop by Ingrid. She teached me how to knot a very simple plant hanger while we chatted about our travels.
The letter postcards were designed by famous Jessica Hische and are available here:
And another touch of green on the wall of this shed:
Thank you Snor, Kirsten, Zilverblauw, Madame Charlotte and all fellow bloggers for the lovely festival day! And thank you Anja and Anne for the sweet gift!
It probably shows that I'm craving a little summer holiday, right? This weekend I worked on a fun little challenge: pimp a deckchair with Out There Interiors! Our mission was to do "something" with the chair and my first idea was to turn it into a green seating. Of course I don't want anyone to sit on my cacti, but some soft & wild grass from our garden was a better idea.
The only thing missing is some sunshine.... and your vote! I hope you like my deckie, because when I win, I will donate my prize to the Kew Gardens Foundation. Kew is the world's most famous botanical garden with more than 250 years of history. I think it's important to help places like the Kew Gardens and the Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil to continue to do their fantastic work. Future generations deserve the same rich plant diversity as we do and there is still so much research to do to learn more about plants and the world.
You can vote for my deckie HERE and HERE. Merci beaucoup!!
A mini oasis with Tina Frey Designs
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may already know Tina Frey Designs. I first discovered the brand at Maison & Objet in Paris and completely fell for the sensual designs in resin and their handmade feel. This Spring they are launching a beautiful new Urban Garden Collection with planters and swings (!) in the same incredible resin they’re known for.
As an Urban Jungle Blogger with more than 150 plants, I'm always on the lookout for new planters for my every growing jungle. I particularly love the feel of this large bowl: it is handsculpted and I just cannot stop touching it. The size is perfect for several smaller plants that don't need a lot of depth, like succulents or cacti, my favorites! And the good thing is, you can "feel" this bowl too, as I am giving away the same large bowl to one lucky winner!
For this special project, I got myself a new little plant: a Lithops: a "living stone" succulent that, I think, looks a lot like Waldof (one of the old men) from The Muppet Show ;) Together with some homegrown succulents and cacti that I collected, I decided to turn the bowl into a little succulent garden.
This is how I created a mini oasis in this Tina Frey Designs bowl: a plastic liner (to avoid scratches from the pebbles), a layer of small pebbles for drainage, soil and plants. Easy peasy:
I've noticed that if you plant different succulents together in a bowl or plant pot, they tend to grow bigger. And it also looks so much cuter than just one lonely plant:
To win one Tina Frey Designs large bowl in white:
► Leave a comment below with your favorite item from the Tina Frey Designs shop.
► Not mandatory, but it would be nice if you'd follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin
► Visit Happy Interior Blog for an extra chance to win: Igor is giving away a beautiful hanging planter by Tina Frey Designs!
On April 27th I'll announce the winner. This giveaway is open worldwide. (Green) fingers crossed!
This giveaway is now closed. The winner of the large Tina Frey Designs bowl is Maria. She has been contacted by email. Thank you all for playing!
Of course you can also use the bowl for other stuff ;)
And if you can't wait to find out if you won in our giveaway, you can find this bowl and other resin beauties in the Tina Frey Designs shop.
It's one of these unwritten Dutch traditions to decorate your home for Christmas only after the Saint Nicholas celebrations. But my hands were itching last week (due to #UJBXMAS of course!) and I took out the lights, balls and Lego Advent calendar. And I kept my hands busy by cutting a few paper snowflakes and taping them to our yellow lampion lights.
After flowering my Clivia showed two big seed pods. I still have to check how to prepare them and grow new Clivia plants. Wouldn't it be nice to have new babies from a plant that is in my family for over 50 years?
I get a lot of questions about our yellow lampion lights, they are vintage Ilka Plast lamps and you can find them on eBay or Etsy sometimes. Every now and then I get completely bored with the lampions (when I see lamps like this!). It also happened a few weeks ago when one of the light bulbs died. I changed it for a new LED light and it was so much brighter that I decided to replace the other two bulbs too. It completely changed their color and I'm back in love ;)
And of course Wally checked out the snowflakes too, but he was more intrigued by the candlelight. No snowflakes missing... so far!
Up next is our wooden xmas tree and maybe I'll hang some light strings in the tree outside as well. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Did you start decorating your home yet? With a Christmas tree? Some plants or pine branches? A wreath? I want to see it! Tag your green festive instagram pictures with #UJBXMAS and #urbanjunglebloggers. Next Monday Igor and I will choose another winner that will be featured on our blog!
Our bathroom renovation #3
Oh yeah! Another bathroom renovation update, because things are slowly starting to look like a real bathroom! The plumbing is done, the walls are up and we even have two little circle windows! I think they are the coolest feature yet, not only because I love circles but even more so because they keep our bathroom light and bright.
It looks really narrow in the picture, but it's a rather spacious double shower (1meter wide x 2.4 meter deep):
And see: no more toilet! It moved to the separate toilet room behind the wall on the left! This weekend I filled and sanded the holes in the walls and of course Wally had to check it out:
There's still a lot of work to be done: new floors, tiling, a washer/dryer closet, wall finishes, painting... but this view is really inspiring:
Previous updates are here and here. Funny how quick you get used to a new layout, the old bathroom seems like ages ago... well it really is more than 5 months ago ;) bathroomrenovation
Our bathroom renovation #2
More than two months after the first update, it's time to show you some new images of our bathroom. Unfortunately the renovation was paused for more than four weeks due to illness, but we're back on track! I really like that with the new walls we're now aware of the real volumes of the bathroom. The double walk-in shower will be HUGE.
And some things never change: Wally still loves hanging out in the bathroom, although he's a little confused when a new wall is up ;)
In the shower, we decided to create an incorporated shelf, to avoid adding a shower caddy and still have enough room for shampoo... and maybe a plant?
Wally being his adorable and clumsy self:
As we are going for a clean & sleek look without visible wires or tubes, the new walls are like a 3D puzzle. The floor will also hide some drains and water tubes. And for the Restaurant letters I need electrity in the exact right place, because I'm replacing the old neon tubes with new lights!
And of course we're only wearing sexy glasses:
By the way, we're still not sure about the wall finishing. I checked for special bathroom paint which would be a nice option. But then: the guy at the store gave me a color book with 1200 colors. Which means the options are endless! So for now, I'll continue pinning ideas to my Pinterest board ;) bathroomrenovation
For more before & after pictures of the renovation of our home click here.
sugar free Rhubarb cake
Rhubarb always reminds me of the sugary rhubarb compote my mom used to make us as a kid. As we kind of banned sugar from our kitchen, I wondered what to make of these beautiful rhubarb stalks:
On Instagram, Jessica suggested to use agave syrup in stead of sugar, which worked like a charm. Just add some agave syrup and sucralose (50/50) and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the chopped rhubarb and stir on a low fire for 15 minutes.
In the meantime I prepared a simple dough: 200gr self-rising flour, 100gr butter, 2 eggs, a bit of sucralose and vanilla extract. By the time the dough was ready, the rhubarb looked pink and creamy:
I added 80% of the rhubarb to the dough mixture and baked 2 flat cakes in 15 minutes at 180°C. The last bit of rhubarb was used as a topping:
And actually, I was surprised by how nice and sweet it tasted. Not bad at all for a non bakerella ;) I added a Union Jack on top, because when you read this I'll be in a Eurostar between Paris and London to attend Blogtacular. It has been over 2 years since my last visit and I can't wait!
See you next week... and bon appétit!
Happy Easter! I wish you all a sunny and cosy Sunday with your loved ones. I know I'll be eating an extra egg today (without cactus of course) ;)
Urban Jungle Bloggers #7
Spring is officially here! And to celebrate it is in style, we Urban Jungle Bloggers style our green plants for Spring or Easter today.
For Igor and I, the most important thing about our green adventure, is to have fun. No pressure, not too many rules, we simply share our passion for greens with fellow bloggers and our readers. So in stead of a sophisticated spring look, I had tons of fun creating a nest and filling eggs with my smallest succulents, a tiny agave and a mini cactus.
I used my wooden handmade bowl because it has a perfect nest-shape. Then picked a few daffodils, Indian cress and daisies from our garden and ate quite a few eggs too ;) Which makes for a good day in my book: I love eggs.
By the way, growing seedlings in eggshells is also pretty eco-friendly and a cheap alternative when you want to growing some herbs in your window sill. Something I learned via our UJB Pinterest board ;)
The tiny agave below is almost two years old. I grew it from seeds and it's taking forever to become big & healthy but well... I think urban gardening is also about patience, right?
I hope you liked my little egg-styling. Now I can't wait to check out all the other Urban Jungle Bloggers contributions! You can follow along via this month's Facebook album and Pinterest board where we will link all blogposts, or on the bottom of this post.
Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series hosted by 2 bloggers: Igor (Happy Interior Blog) and Judith (JOELIX.com). Every month we share ideas to create an urban jungle through styling ideas, DIYs and green tips & tricks. You can find additional inspiration on our Urban Jungle Bloggers Pinterest board and keep up-to-date via our Facebook page. Want to join? Subscribe to our monthly topic newsletter or use #urbanjunglebloggers on twitter and instagram. Let's bring some green into our homes and blogs!
► For more stylings also check out: Fluxi on Tour /// 30s Magazine /// M I MA /// Look! Pimp your room /// One Bunting Away /// Ida Interior Lifestyle /// Neuerstoff /// Junifaden /// Traedraum /// Mocha /// Dramaqueen at work /// Style Space and Stuff /// Frau Mau /// Mia Fleur /// Mouseblossom /// Kreaville /// It's nice here /// Facing north with Gracia /// Regards et Maisons /// Volle Lotte /// Hipaholic /// Jillian in Italy /// Stefi_licious /// Armoire, Pegs & Casserole /// Capello A Bombetta /// My Little Artbook /// Folies du Bonheur /// Trend Daily /// Luzia Pimpinella /// Polly Papier /// The Orange Deer /// Little Star Blog /// Happy Serendipity /// The Peppermint Land /// Spraakwater ///
sugar free Orange cookies
When I posted the above picture of a homemade sugar free orange cookie on Instagram yesterday, Anne, Nanette and Cindy asked for the recipe. So ladies: you are served ;)
My recipe for any kind of cookies is simple: taste the dough and adjust. If it tastes good the cookies will be delicious. Sugar free cookies are different: not as chewy because sugar changes the structure of a cookie. But the orange zests and sucralose make them edible and a nice sweet treat for a monday afternoon.
► 200gr flour
► 100gr butter
► 2 small oranges
► 1 egg
► pinch of salt
► 20gr sucralose (or any other sugar substitute like stevia, you can also use guave sirop)
Grate the oranges and add to the mixture of flour, butter, egg and salt. Squeeze 1 orange directly over the dough. Don't pour in too much orange juice, because it makes the dough liquid and sticky. Add as much sucralose as you think tastes good. Make small balls of the dough, press them on a baking tray and bake the cookies in the oven at 175°C for 20 minutes. I checked, but they needed 10 more minutes. Bon appétit ladies!
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?
A handmade wooden bowl
Handmade gifts are the best! After hours of gouging and sanding my father surprised my sister and me with a handmade wooden bowl for Christmas. It's super soft, massive and curvy. I keep wanting to touch it! And it makes me smile because it was made with love <3
Do you ever receive or make handmade gifts? What's your favorite? I also particularly love receiving drawings!
Urban Jungle Bloggers #5
My jungle buddy Igor and I decided to start this new Urban Jungle Bloggers year with a lot of fresh #urbanjungle inspiration from around the web. So today we share the best pinners, instagrammers, and bloggers that will quench our everlasting thirst for green inspiration! I hope you'll share your favorites in the comments :)
► my Pinterest faves:
Blooming & Growing board by Gudy Herder (from Eclectic Trends)
Queen of the Junglalow Justina Blakeney's Jungalow board
Floral board by Tahiana Andriamanjay from Le Blog d'Olive
And secretly I'm a little bit in love with our Urban Jungle Bloggers Pinterest board ♥
► my favorite green IGers:
Tawwni pure succulent love!
And Needles and Leaves for more succulent love
Urban Gardeners Republic is a community of creative gardeners
Succulove what's in a name?
Labofem plant workshop from Turkey
► my favorite green bloggers:
Growing with Plants by Matt Mattus, lots of hands-on tips from a horticulturist
Needles and Leaves by Tawni, beautiful
Coffeeklatch by talented duo Magali and Bart, they don't particularly blog about greens, but the interiors they shoot reveal lots of green beauty
This blogpost by Gwen from The Makerista
And this pretty one by Irene from Bloesem
► And if you're looking for more (offline) inspiration I can highly recommend The Plant. It's a very cool creative magazine, with art, graphic design and portraits of plant enthusiasts.
► Still not enough inspiration? Check out what Ana, Yvonne, Jennifer, Stefania, Debora, Marloes, Corinne and Nina have in store for you!
Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series initiated by 2 bloggers: Igor (Happy Interior Blog) and Judith (JOELIX.com). Every month we share ideas to create an urban jungle through styling ideas, DIYs and green tips & tricks. You can find additional inspiration on our Urban Jungle Bloggers Pinterest board. Want to join? Use #urbanjungle on twitter and instagram. Or let us know and we'll send you a mini-kit with all details. Let's bring some green into our homes and blogs!
image credits: 1 JOELIX.com /// 2 Tawwni /// 3 Petra Bindel /// 4 April and May /// 5+6 JOELIX.com /// 7 @funderagront /// 8 Needles+Leaves /// 9 Weekday Carnival /// 10-13 The Plant
Ho ho ho x100
HO HO HO, Merry Christmas!
I hope you are having a wonderful day with loved ones, or if you're not celebrating: just a nice regular Wednesday. Oh and if you need it, our Lego genie grants you 3 wishes if you rub the lamp ;)
Also, I wanted to thank you for all the cheers and support via instagram, email and messages, during my runs. This morning I ran for the 100th time and it made me feel proud and grateful. I never thought I could do it, but in the end it's all about discipline and time management. And serotonin ;)
This year we dressed our wooden tree in Lego mini figures. Quite different than the pine branches last year. Our cats love it even better. Always a surprise which figures are missing in the morning!
Papier Tigre in Paris
There's a new gem in town! A few weeks ago, Papier Tigre, opened their first brick and mortar shop in the Haut Marais in Paris. You may already know Papier Tigre products: they create beautiful and contemporary paper products with a humorous twist.
Their new space is like their webshop: bright, smart and with funny puns everywhere. And a beautiful cardboard Christmas tree of course!
I had never seen these awesome marked & numbered "poly marbré", marbled paper shapes. They remind me of my adventures with the Paper globe ;)
One of my favorite Papier Tigre products is The Assistant, a complete agenda in recycled paper (of course) to plan your workload. It also includes a list of "how to be kind" in 21 languages, hihi! Another favorite is The Greengrocer: a vegetable moving disk calendar that shows you which fruit and veggies are "in season". So clever! And of course their snailmail products: beautiful foldable writing paper you can send right away. Oh and who ever has enough notebooks? I know I don't!
#bisou to Papier Tigre! Grrr ;)
Papier Tigre /// 5 rue des Filles du Calvaire /// 75003 Paris /// +33 1 48 04 00 21
Open every tuesday to sunday from 12:00 to 19:30 or shop online!
Urban Jungle Bloggers #4
Thank you for taking a moment to visit me today. I know December is such a busy month, but I'm glad you took a little break to check our Urban Jungle Bloggers posts! Igor and I decided upon styling a green festive decoration vignette, so here we are!
When I took all my plants from our greenhouse to their winter storage a few weeks ago, I thought it would be nice to put some in our cinema room in stead. To make them blend in with our bright interior, I wrapped all their planters in basic white paper. I started with my dear apple tree and couldn't stop wrapping, it's really addictive. I felt so very Christo x Martin Margiela ;)
To the thirty plants I wrapped, I added some very simple decoration: no *bling-bling* but basic white candles, a few hyacint bulbs, a light string and a couple of pine branches. I very much liked our real christmas tree last year, so I'll probably untangle some light strings this weekend and put up the wooden xmas tree as well. Very cat-safe!
Oh and I couldn't helpt but add some Lego trees and a snowman at the roots of my apple tree ;)
I'm very curious about your christmas decoration. I've seen lots of nice previews on instagram already. Will you show us yours too?
Also check out UnDueTre Ilaria and Fluxi on Tour and Peg London and Mouseblossom and Emerald Green Interiors and Madame Love for more festive decoration!
Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series initiated by 2 bloggers: Igor (Happy Interior Blog) and Judith (JOELIX.com). Every month we share ideas to create an urban jungle through styling ideas, DIYs and green tips & tricks. You can find additional inspiration on our Urban Jungle Bloggers Pinterest board. Want to join? Use #urbanjungle on twitter and instagram. Or let us know and we'll send you a mini-kit with all details. Let's bring some green into our homes and blogs!
Win a set of my cards!
In 2013 I tried my best to send a little more snail mail. Opening your mailbox to find something else than publicity and bills is so nice, isn't it?
In a few weeks my family will be sending our New Year's photo and we're currently in the middle of finding a new concept. Sending cards at this time of the year is a lovely tradition, so when Pixum asked me if I'd like to create some Christmas cards I knew I wanted to share some snail mail love with you! Nothing xmassy, but regular cards that you can send all year round.
I created 3 sets of 3 cards with some of my most popular photos. Including the gradient berries, this rooster, the dahlias for #2flowergirls and some pictures from Denmark. As a graphic designer I'm used to send print-ready files to a printer, so working with photo software always seems a little dreadful. But actually once I found out, it was super easy. And the result is pretty neat. I hope you like the cards:
To win a set of 3 cards + envelopes simply tell me in the comments below if you're sending out any Christmas cards this year. I'm very curious to know! Of course I'd appreciate it if you'd follow me on twitter, facebook, pinterest or instagram (but only if you want to!).
You can join until this Monday and I'll announce 3 lucky winners on Tuesday, December 10th. The giveaway is open for everyone worldwide: I'm happy to ship around the world :)
This giveaway is now closed. The winners are Sandy, Petra and Mandi and have been contacted by email. Thanks everyone for your kind words, I wish I could send a set to all of you! ♥
Ever since my trip to Berlin in May, I dream of frozen yogurt. Somehow Berlin has this froyo culture which we don't quite have in France. So I decided to make some myself. And it turns out, it's super easy! As I'm not very fond of toppings and like the pure taste of frozen yogurt, I only used 4 ingredients.
► you'll need:
750g yogurt (I used 0% but you can also use a richer kind like Greek yogurt)
100g sugar (for me this was too much, next time I'll use 25-50gr)
3 tbs honey
► Mix the yogurt + cream + sugar. Stir until it's mixed and add the honey. Taste it! Adjust if needed. If you like it: freeze in the ice machine for about 45 minutes or place the bowl in the freezer and stir every 30 minutes until creamy & frozen. Serve & enjoy! Bon appétit!
More ice cream recipes: frozen honeydew • frozen fraises • frozen cantaloupes
Better than a Bounty
I know, there is a lot of neon pink going on in this recipe. Simply to make up for the lack of complexity of this pie, because four ingredients is all you need! No baking talent is required either, which is perfect since I'm no bakerella.
It started with a pack of shredded coconut. I didn't know what to do with it, until I found this super easy recipe. You'll need:
► 450gr of shredded coconut
► 60gr butter
► 225gr dark chocolat
► 300ml cream
Mix the butter and coconut flakes:
Press the coconut mixture in a low pie dish, I used 2 mini pizza plates. Preheat the oven at 175°C and bake the pie(s) for about 15 minutes until the crust starts to brown. Let it cool down.
Start making the filling. You can use excellent dark chocolate or some simple kitchen chocolate:
Boil the cream in a small saucepan and add the chocolate squares. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
Pour the melted chocolate into the crust. Let it cool down and place the pie in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
And tadaaaaa: the perfect mini farewell pie for Rose! Five months flew by so we needed something sweet to ease the adieu. And believe me, it tasted better than a Bounty!
► For more recipes, check out my sister's site Chez Djeenie. She's a true bakerella and makes the most delicious treats! (simply use Google Translate for translation)
Earlier this week I showed you the result of my little spring project: our submarine yellow door. A fresh new color on the door requires new "art". So I replaced the pale blue prints of our staircase by something new. I found several vintage x-ray scans that have the same color as the staircase (<- video):
I like it that the dark colors reflect the view. It would be even cooler if the x-rays would be backlighted, but a simple white piece of paper is just enough to distinguish the patterns. Simple & effective, right?
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?
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
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