A nice colourful vase of ranunculus as an antidote to the wild weather . Got completely drenched in the hail and driving rain. Glad to be toasty and dry again now .
If you’ve had your eye on something from my etsy shop then there is a 25% discount with the coupon code SINTERKLAAS . If you are a newsletter subscriber then check the email from today for a couple of other wee offers .
Now that it is December and there is precious little left in the garden ( although I am impressed by the few hardy plants that are still flowering ) I thought it was a good time to finally hang up the second Ixxi that I had made while I was in Holland.
I showed the other one I made a while back – which was of pictures from a “Leiden Year”. This second one is of flower images taken throughout a year. As with a lot of things that you leave for a while and come back to , there are changes that you would make second time around, but I still enjoy the reminder of all these flowers that have crossed my path. Some were taken out and about in Holland , others on my favourite Scottish windowsill and yet others are wildflowers from the meadows of Transylvania.
Even if you don’t live in the Netherlands you can use Ixxi to create a design for you, or you can also select something from their own collection.
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A little more catching up from the Dutch trip a few weeks ago. The Zuiderzee Museum is somewhere I’d visited about 10 years ago and always wanted to go back to. I’d thought that really it would be easier to visit by car but in fact it is perfectly feasible with public transport as a day trip from Amsterdam. It’s worth setting off early enough in the morning though, because you will need plenty time to do the museum justice. The best way to approach the museum is to take the train to Enkhuizen and then look for the ferry that will take you over to the musuem. You can get there on foot but arriving by water adds to the atmosphere.
(If you have a museum card you will get in free. And even if you are not resident in the Netherlands , if you are there for more than a couple of days and plan some intensive museum visiting, the card will pay for itself very quickly. All the big musuems are included – you can get one on the spot at most museums. ) One other tip – the whole museum is only open during the warmer half of the year, so save your visit until then.
I didn’t realise that it was only established in the 60s – it feels much older than that. Houses have been brought here lock stock and barrel from various places around the Zuider Zee ,including from an island that became land locked once the Ijselmeer was completed. There are photos showing some of the complete houses being wheeled along on trucks or winched off ferrys. They are laid out in little clusters to represent an island community or a town centre around a church. The special charm is reinforced by the costumed characters who do a very good job of staying in their role even under quite thorough questioning.
This time it was the interiors that struck me particulary. Probably as I was still in an interior design kind of mood after visiting the Woonbeurs/ Home Show. I noticed a lot of deep greens as well as the bright blues that pop up in many early decorating styles. I had a vague memory that the blue served a particular purpose and one of the costumed “locals” told me that the colour came from the addition of laundry blue and was considered mildly antibacterial. Also, with out our masses of modern “stuff” there is a simplicity to many of the interiors which is very calming. I know life was hard in that era and many of our modern possessions make life easier,but still, I think we can take a leaf out of their book in terms of simplicity and functionality.
There were also a few locations within the museum where contemporary craftspeople and artists had been invited to create work. One example of this was a room that had been decorated entirely in the style of Delft tiles – the walls and even the radiator. This little side table also got the tile treatment – that would be a fun project to have a go at !
This is another discovery from the Amsterdam trip. I saw these a few times in Amsterdam and then managed to pick one up during the Woonbeurs. Unlike some foldable vases this one is a bit more stable because it is not actually a vase, rather a paper cover that you can fold and adjust to suit the bottle or container that you put inside , holding the flowers.
The design is quite ingenious ( and it won a 2013 Interior innovation award ). The sleeve which is made of a tactile laminated card has been scored and prefolded numerous times allowing you to squeeze and adjust the shape. Once in place it creates a very striking mix of geometric patterns. I chose a green one but you can also get it in black , white or grey. It comes complete with an mailing envelope of similar card and a leaflet explaining how
What makes this item more special is the story behind it. Pepe has set up this project together with the Tiny Miracle Foundation, which his cousin founded. Their idea is to help a community of around 700 people who live on the streets in Mumbai to escape poverty by helping with healthcare,education and jobs. You can see a video of how the vase works and something about how they are made here. You can find out more about the Foundation here.
Another follow on from Meet The Blogger in Amsterdam – we were lucky enough to get rather lovely goodie bags at the end of the event. There were a lot of fun or useful items in there , but I was especially delighted to get one of Jurianne Matter’s new paper garlands. I’ve been a fan of her work for a long time (and have written about her work before here ) – so this was a real treat.
In addition VTWonen decided to run an Instagram contest to see how this range could be photographed. Well, that was a challenge I couldn’t resist and I submitted the three images here. Lucky me, they chose the first picture as one of their five winners. Thank you VTwonen – you were already one of my favourite magazines – now I like you even more !
If you use Instagram you can find me at @rhiannonmc – you can also follow what VTwonen post at @vtwonen.
You can find out more about Jurianne at her website – and if you are in the UK then the amazing lighting shop Radiance is one place to find her work.
And today is the last day to take advantage of the free shipping on my new cushion range. There some already waiting to go to the post office.
During Meet The Blogger in Amsterdam we also took a trip along the canals to the Designer’s Guild show room in Amsterdam. It was a chance to buy a copy of Tricia Guild’s latest book “Colour Deconstructed” and have it signed as well. They only had the Dutch versions available but actually language isn’t really an issue in this book – colour plays by far the biggest part.
The images include some of the ones that Tricia Guild used in her presentation and started with black and white. She said that she is normally more associated with bright colours but in her opinion black and white can make just as much of a statement.
I can see that the book is going to become one of my “go to “resources when I want to look for some fresh colour combinations. There are pictures from nature or striking colours spotted on her travels mixed in with how she has interpreted these colours in houses around the world. Definitely a book to look through on an autumn day with a nice cappucino in hand.
This mix of greens yellows and aquas is always a favourite for me.
And behind the scenes nearly ready to launch my own range of cushions – very exciting to see them go out into the world at last. Would you like to make sure you stay in the loop about new designs and other creative snippets ? Make sure you subscribe to my studio newsletter here.