Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Braderie, continued

Saturday and Sunday were great also. Sunday was actually the best day I think. We honestly didn't buy much this year compared to previous trips (see tomorrow's post). But I just love the atmosphere and seeing the beautiful antiques.
Lots of lovely collections of items. Scissors, knives and the like above. And wonderful trinket boxes, tins, and coin purses below. It's really like spending 3 days at a museum.
And then, just like that, it was time to make it back to the hotel, grab our stuff and head to the train station for a very long train ride home. Tough going at times with a 10 month old, but he was a real trooper. Tomorrow, the treasure show.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Braderie de Lille 2014

Friday. We arrive. Braderie de Lille! I love this so so much! It's similar to King's Day in Holland, but without the drunks. This year we took Friday off and headed down by train with the Grub. Prepared for our shopping spree we had an extra empty suitcase and just a change of undies and t-shirts! Oh, and a tonne of crap for the baby. First things first, we checked into out hotel and made a bee line for the canal. It's one of my favourite places of the Braderie. Walking down the tree-lined canal people are already set up and selling on Friday. We wandered down and spied lots of beautiful vintage pieces. Rocking horses seemed to be very popular this year. We saw loads! If only we'd had a way to carry one home...
Other top items; 50s kids drum kit. And pinball machine.
Lovely old cashier and 'roo.
Fantastic mid century tuck. But, THE item of the weekend had to be this –
An incredible mid-century spaceship penny arcade ride in working order. OMG. We actually thought about it. Though it was huge. And expensive, but I think actually worth it... for €1,000 this beauty could have been yours. But not ours. Our heads over ruled our hearts and we sadly walked away...
Other delights included some of the usual suspects; old school posters.
I saw two fab tee-pees. But they were expensive and I knew Oscar would suck the decades of dust our of them so passed.
More lovely horses.
Beautiful ornate heaters.
And some pictures of the streets of Lille in full Lille swing! Though I have to say it was much more sedate than previous years. And for this I was very happy, given we were with a pram and all.

Monday, 15 September 2014


Blog catch up night tonight and I'm starting with this trip to Ardenne from a couple weeks ago to celebrate a friend's 30th Birthday. Only a few hours drive south across the Dutch boarder into Belgium you have the Ardennes. Rolling green hills and rivers criss-cross the country. Just beautiful. We stopped off at some little towns along the way. Took in the views from an old castle and caught a live birds-of-prey show that was pretty rad. We also stopped off at A'Chouffe brewery on the way back. One of many many breweries in Belgium, of course, and I think the car was chok full of beer on the return to Amsterdam. But a nice little gettaway.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Corner Shop

This is one of those 'wish I'd thought of that' moments. In  Bethnal Green, East London, Lucy Sparrow has converted an abandoned corner shop into an art project with 4,000 handmade felt products. She's got everything you would want in your local. Shop's open until the end of August!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Sweet Success

Coco Cakeland is a handy site for bakers and decorators! I have Oscar's 1st birthday creeping up (where HAS the time gone?!) and I am already teeming with excitement over what cake to make him. Oh the choices!! You see, growing up in our house, the birthday cake was very important. Every year my brother, sister, and I would spend ages pouring over the pages of the Australian Woman's Weekly Children's Birthday Cookbook. Any Australian or New Zealand kid from the 70s or 80s will tell you the same.
I've been collecting inspiration on my Pinterest Party board for a while now but still am leaning towards an AWW Humpty Dumpty cake. With probably a modern update to the styling. My Dad and Mum made that cake for me, and I remember it vividly.
We always had pretty much the same routine; Mum would bake the cake, then usually head out to work her night duty shift at the hospital (Mum's a midwife) and Dad would be tasked with decorating it. Now, the thing to note about my Dad is that he's basically an OCD perfectionist. He would re-create the cake we had so carefully selected with perfect detail. I would say they were often better than the ones in the book. He's use the star-shaped nozzle and pipe little stars to build up the cake decoration.
The cakes would be mounted on a piece of aluminium-covered chip-board, and stars were piped by the cake for candles to be placed in, and often our name or 'Happy Birthday' piped also on the foil. Never on the cake. Masterpieces as they were. I intend to keep up this tradition, and cannot wait for cake #1. I'll be sure to post the results. In the mean time, I'm going to study this video and keep flipping through the Birthday Cake book and scouring Pinterest for inspiration...