Thursday, 27 September 2007

Three Potato Four

Three Potato Four is run by Janet Morales & Stu Eli. And although they live on the other side of the world I know we’d get on like a house on fire. How do I know this? Because we share a love of collecting beautiful products, vintage and modern, and how every piece can tell a story. They say ‘we live by stories and we shop for stories’. Me too. Their website has a lovely mix of old a new, all of it beautifully presented on their site. And they have a cute blog as well.

Tin Peacock Tray, USD $24 / €17.Set of Tree Silhouette Gift Tags, USA $8.00 / €5.60.Alphabet Pillow by Sukie, $72 / €50.


Zo Design (So Design) are Tineke Beunders and Nathan Wierink. They're a design duo on a mission. Not content to wait until they finished studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven they began their studio in 2005 during their second year.

Zo's collection is varied, but I'm drawn to these 'Something Old Something New' handbags. They seems so nice cosy for winter.

'Something Old Something New' handbag is made out of re-used wool blankets and cotton. The only new part is the handle. Every bag is unique. Made of wool, cotton and birchwood. Approx. 30cm x 30cm x 5cm (h x w x d), €74.95 / USD $105.

Good Shape Design

Something for the boys. Simple everyday items can be found on Good Shape Design. Designed by Wayne Pate I like their nice range of simple tees, USD $25 / €17.70.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007


An afternoon in the country ‘twas the idea but a there was no ruffing it this very fine Sunday past. Quite the opposite! Slangevegt offers riverside gourmet dining under beautiful leafy canopy. Or become a lounge lizard as my friends and I did, content to be sipping wine and watching the boats glide by.
There’s plenty of room to dock the boat, or jump on a train and head to Breukelen where Slangevegt is a 25 minute walk along the river from the station and very easy to find.
They’re open for lunch and dinner and the menus are fresh and reasonably priced. Slangevegt also have two boats which can be hired too.
Reservations for lunch and dinner are a must.
Buitenplaats Slangevegt, Straatweg 40, 3621 BN Breukelen, The Netherlands.
Telephone 0346 250011

Monday, 24 September 2007

museum of bags and purses

When I entered this museum I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. In the heart of Amsterdam (behind Rembrantplein) is the newly relocated and absolutely unbelievable Museum of Bags and Purses. Housed in a splendid 17th century building on the Herengracht this astounding collection will have you drooling at every turn.

The museum is truly world class. It shows the history and development of the ladies bag in Western culture from the end of the Middle Ages until the present day, including the works of contemporary designers.

There are over 3500 bags, pouches, suitcases purses and other accessories which makes it near impossible to pick a favourite era, let alone a favourite piece. However, one piece that did stand out for me was the cruise ship clutch (above): leather pochette in shape of the ‘Normandie’. France, 1935. It was given to first class passengers on ship’s maiden voyage. Tres chic, mon cherie!

At the end of a visually stunning experience you can sit with your friends and justify every past and future handbag purchase over a lovely cup of tea in their café.
Or wander through the period rooms to see the building's former glory.

There is also a Friends of the Museum scheme for a minimum of €30, which is well worth the benefits, read more here.

Museum of Bags and Purses: Herengracht 573, 1017 CD Amsterdam. Telephone: +31 (0)20 524 6452. Open every day from 10.00-17.00 hours. Adult entry €6.50.

Sunday, 23 September 2007


Feist is my absolute number one female artist of the moment. Lucky old me saw her live in Melkweg last Friday night, and experience nothing short of divine.
Cute and quirky in sliver sequin sleeves with mini mirror ball hanging from her microphone stand this tiny sparrow of a girl stood on stage under strings of fairy-lights enchanting her audience. Completely down to earth, chatty (apologising for canceling a gig a few years prior due to 'food poisoning'...ah, the perils of mixing rock stars with Amsterdam), but we quickly forgave as she continued to mesmerize us with her sublime voice. Feist ended the eve by having the room all singing along with her, and it's so brilliant watching and enjoying an artist loving the moment as much as you are. Absolute dynamite.
Leslie Feist (born '76) is a Canadian singer-songwriter. She performs as a solo artist under the name Feist and also as a member of Broken Social Scene. She's collabotated with many other bands and artists on albums and has three solo albumns to her name: Monarch Lay Your Jewelled Head Down (1999), Let It Die (2002-3) and The Reminder (2007). Her style is a combination of jazz, bossa nova and indie rock.
My Moon My Man videoclip, which just makes me want to don a trench coat, head out to the airport find the nearest conveyor belt and start dancing!

And the videoclip to my favourite song, Mushaboom, a beautifully romantic song of an unabashed girly day-dream:

Friday, 21 September 2007

aesthetic apparatus

Dan and Michael are Aesthetic Apparatus. They live and work in Minneapolis in America’s Midwest. They’re graphic designers. They make beautiful silkscreen posters. They have a bunch of nice new ones. You can buy them online. That’s all I know.
Melvins + Helmet, 18" x 24", colors (black, metallic silver, and red), $25.00 / €17.80. Flatstock 9, 18" x 24", 2 colors (metallic gold / black) on off-white and light blue archival stock, $20.00 / €14.20. Akron/Family, 18"x24", 2-color (cyan/gold), on archival cream stock, $20.00 / €14.20. Mark Mallman, 19" x 25", 3 color (gold/magenta/black), on archival white stock, $20.00 / €14.20. Vicious Vicious, 18" x 24", 2-color (orange-red/black), on archival off-white stock, $20.00 / €14.20. The Hold Steady, 18" x 24", 3 color (Richland Colt's blue/metallic gold/black), on archival creamy stock, $20.00 / €14.20.

Here's how Aesthetic Apparatus do what they do:

And here's a sneak view of an exhibition they were in (sorry, it's over already, but the video's nice).

Tuesday, 18 September 2007


Smaak is a little shop on the Leliegracht just around the corner from where I work. ‘Smaak’ means ‘taste’ in English and it’s owner, AndrĂ©, surely has got fantastic taste when it comes to great fashion and design. The store has selection of clothes, handbags, gloves, jewellery, sunglasses and other accessory must-haves plus some smaller house and design items. And the best news is it’s not going to cost you a mint. There’s a great range, something for every price range. I dare you to go there and NOT walk away with something. Love the jewels...
I walked in looking for a birthday present for a friend, and walked out with a dress (left hand side) by Imitz of Denmark, €139. But WHAT a dress. A little quirky and a little retro, I love the high-waist and sexy straps. Just need a cute white shirt to go with it now...Affordable up-to-the-minute trends. Great for last minute presents or, er, a lunchtime splurge.
Leliegracht 16 (between Herengracht and Keizersgracht).

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Inside Design Amsterdam

Well there was a lot of nice things at the Inside Design, though I have to say not a hell of a lot that we haven't all seen before in all the mags. The things that did jump out at me were (predictably) textiles and ceramics. The textiles below are a mix of brands offered as inspiration along with professionals giving first-hand advice to design enthusiasts. Beautiful colours and textures and I took a special shine some laser-cut metallic fabric.
In the main furniture hall individually nothing really grabbed me, but the interior spaces were set up quite beautifully and had that Dutch sense of humour about them, as seen with the over-sized hanger clothes line space. I love the idea of turning an unsightly display of drying laundry into an art instillation. Whether these hangers were actually a design piece or just there to show off the linen hanging on them I forgot to check. But if I ever have a garden I'll be hanging my washing out like this!There were some lovely ceramic lamps made from casting vintage teacups with intricate embossed textures. Designed by Ruth Lodder. Not what you'd call cheap at €235 a pop, but I'd adore one of these in my house.
Bubblicious light by Chris Kabel. Mouth-blown glass is then squeeze and held by a special set of pliers. Every bubblicious lamp is unique in both colour and size.Bella Bells, designed by Marcel Wanders was taller than me! I'm not quite sure what to do with it and who's in the market for an oversized bell, but it is very nice all the same.
I drooled over these ceramic rings with their beautifully delicate detail by Hester Zagt, €195.
I spaced on this chair, sorry, and didn't grab designer's name (bad blogger, bad!) but it was just too nice not to show. The seat has been wrapped in what I imagine is hundreds of meters of thread. And then the grid pattern has been stitched into the base. I think the chair used could have been more inspired, but maybe the idea of transforming an ordinary chair into something extraordinary was the designer's point.
And last but not least are these gorgeous set of porcelain bowls by Tina Roeder, which I immediately gravitated to. I like the cartoon rounded feel of the designs, they're like a kids play set but for us big kids. €90 per set.A neat little place to fill up a picnic hamper or grab a bite is Proef ('taste' in English). Founded by Martijn Oomes, a graduated from the Eindhoven Design Academy in 2000, Martijn has a fantastic food philosophy and looks at all aspects of the dining experience. "I look at the effect the ingredients have on the body and the road the ingredients take from seed to shit" says Martijn on his website. More food for thought on food can be found on Proef's website or on their blog. Proef food design studio, Gossschalklaan 12.

Friday, 14 September 2007

keep calm

Established this earlier this year by Lucas and Hayley, Keep Calm will get you all worked up over silkscreen prints! Their signature print, Keep Calm and Carry On, is inspired by a message fly-posted around Britain during World War Two. But it’s as good advice now as it was then. Limited edition of 200, 60cm by 42cm, £25 / €36 each plus postage.

Fresh off the printing press are two limited edition prints by artist Alyson Fox. Alison is a multi-disciplinary artist-designer from Texas. The work shown is Vacuum, limited edition of 50, measures 27cm x 35cm, £45 / €65 plus postage.

My favourite is Gentleman, Limited edition of 100, is one of a set of three (there’s also Young Lady and Young Man). Signed and numbered, Measures 20cm x 25cm, £15.00 / €22 each plus postage.

Lucus and Hayley are busy making some new products so watch their website for more fab prints.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

hat trick

Jon and Mathieu showing some skill, yo.

Monday, 10 September 2007

ashleyg on etsy

One of my favourite Etsy sellers is artist AshleyG. I got these gorgeous prints a while back and never got around to putting them up online. But I've spent the night testing out my new camera (omg, loving the new camera! Sadly, my other died on the weekend) on some of AshleyG's fantastic characters.
This is a print named 'Lil Bandits'. An original ink illustration, digitally colored then printed on archival matte poly/cotton canvas and of course, signed by the delightful Miss AshleyG.
And the second is 'Even Superheros need a break'. I know you want one. And hell, at the very reasonable price of USD $20 / €14.50 a print, it won't break the bank. Oh, go on, treat yourself!