Monday, 29 April 2013

Bye, Bye, Queen Bea

Well, unless you've been hiding under a rock, you'll know that this Queen's Day is special. This is because the current Queen Beatrix steps down and her son and his with will be officially inaugurated as King Willem-Alexander, his wife Queen Maxima.
You can read about the inauguration details here.
The city is gearing up for a huge party on the last Queen's Day – next year, it'll become King's Day, and the date shifts from the 30th of April to the 27th of April, Willem-Alexander's actual birthday.
For those of you new to Amsterdam I've put together some information on Queen's Day so you get the most out of it and stay safe. You can also get a feel for the day on my previous blog posts from 2011, 2010, and 2009.
Basic information can be found on Iamsteram's site. Below is a map of the scheduled and boat route the royals will take. Below is a map of the scheduled and boat route the royals will take.

Some tips for surviving the day:

close to a million people come to Amsterdam for Queen's Day usually, so given this will be a bumper year with the inauguration, it could be considerably more.
This has a big effect on resources, etc., as detailed below.

don't wear open-toed shoes – there's lots of broken glass and other crap about.

wear compy shoes – you'll be on foot all day.

wear orange! It's the national colour and pretty much every Dutchie will don some orange clothes.

forget your bike – the streets are PACKED, leave the bike at home today.

public transport is also massively restricted. You can read more here.

mobile coverage: given the massive amount of people using the network, you may find you can't connect and make calls, and text messages can fail to go though, or have massive delays. Best bet is to make plans or pick a meeting point and time prior with friends.

food and drink: readily available from street vendors; professionals and amateurs alike. Everyone is allowed to sell whatever they like on this day, so be somewhat wary about where you buy from.

get cash out the day before – ATMs will have long queues and be tapped dry pretty fast. And of course, most street stalls will only deal in cash.

leave your wallet and other valuables at home – just bring essentials. Take your cheap sunglasses… So many people = a lot of pick-pockets, drunks, or just your own drunkenness can be risky. It's a messy day!

Queen's Day by boat: a great way to experience the day is by boat, where you'll sail down the Prinsengracht. Due to this special year there will be some addition regulations to check out as to where you can sail.

what I love about Queen's Day is the fact the the entire city becomes one big flea market. The areas that have stalls are mostly in the Old South, and the canal belt through to the Jordaan. Tip: haggle!! And have cash and coins on you.

kids: some of the main streets can be overwhelming for little kids, and families due to the sheer number of people and given that most will be fairly intoxicated. A safe place to go is Vodelpark. More info here.

Cheers, and have a happy and safe Queen's Day / King's Day.
Lel x

Thursday, 25 April 2013


Last Sunday Edu and I went to check out NeighbourFood. This is a great food market in Westerpark, on once a month. Mark your agenda for the next one on Sunday May 19th. The website is kinda crappy, as the English version seems to be just a dated Dutch version...weird...but in short it's on from 11am–5pm. We got there around midday when people were just starting to turn up, soon packing the place out.
For lunch: burger, followed by felafel wrap, followed by delicious moist carrot cake. All super good!
A beautiful sunny day, what more could you ask for? The quality of food looked pretty good, and there was even a toastie stand for those die-hard-Dutchies.
Next time I'll be trying a cupcake or three. But on the day the carrot cake with it's very generous frosting looked the winner. See you next time!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Falling Echo

The newest print from Jeremy Geddes, Falling Echo, I sadly missed out on. Released at midnight Amsterdam time, I stayed up and hit 'refresh' for ten minutes, but sadly the 'buy' button never appeared, and the next thing I knew it was sold out. Bugger! There are 150 people out there luckier than I was. They'll get to enjoy this Melbourne skyline. Alas, next time for me! Image Size: W100 X H42cm.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

More Potatos

Three Potato Four. Fab vintage store I came across a few years back, now going great guns. Here is just a small taste of the lovely things they have on offer.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Nadya Sheremet

Nadya Sheremet was was born in the Ukraine and now lives in Russia with her hubby and son. Her childhood sounds idyllic... growing up surrounded by 'simple and beautiful handmade things' and spending lots of time together 'drawing the landscapes of the Carpathian Mountains'. And I love her for saying that she can't sit on her hands and that 'marriage and maternity brought harmony and happiness to my life.' Interesting lady, beautiful handy work with a needle and thread.
Quite awesome strongman.
Love this hobby horse. Way cool in fabric.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Tatts for Tots

Something fun for the kids. Tattly are 'designery temporary tattoos'. Over 70 artists have designed some of the cutest tatts for tots. My picks; starting with the more classic motifs from Fiona Richards.
 Cool little movie watcher by Oliver Jeffers.
Bright animal love by Amy Blay.
 And lastly, more animal cuteness from Helen Dardik.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Xenia Taler

Brand spanking new tiles from Xenia Taler. Quite modern compared to the first time I saw her work. Hard to tell from these images but they're black and gold which must catch the light beautifully.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Mina Perhonen

 New discovery for me in the world of gorgeous textiles from Japan. From their website, in their own words: "Minä Perhonen is a fashion brand working to produce clothes which do not lose their allure through lapse of time. The design process begins with sketches, which are made into their original fabrics. Also, they aspire to develop new materials and techniques with production centers of home and abroad. The name of the brand originates in Finnish as the designer sympathized with the lifestyle and the culture of FINLAND; he has traveled many times through northern European countries.
"'minä' means 'I' and 'perhonen' is 'butterfly,' with a wish to make many beautiful designs like those of butterflies' wings. The brand logo signifies "various characters (dots) within oneself (rectangle shape)." Just like the species of butterflies are countless, the designs too continue to increase."
The clothes look lovely and I particularly like the two pieces above. Quirky! But the thing I love most is the original textiles. They do indeed have a very Finnish quality about them. I think Mina Perhonen is the Marimekko of Japan.
And here are just some of their textiles. I love them all! I really tried to limit the number of images, but it was so hard!
Especially loving the rabbits and the abstract print below. Gorgeous colours. The very retro embroidery fabric is great, too.