VTWONEN & Jurianne Matter Instagram Contest

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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.

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Amsterdam Woonbeurs 2013 – Meet the Blogger Part 2

vtwonen barn
The Meet The Blogger event was deliberately timed to allow us to visit the Woonbeurs on the second day and I think that made the trip even more interesting for those of us who had travelled some distance. This big interior fair which is also open to the public is hosted by Sanoma media who are the publishers of most of the well loved Dutch interior magazines.

As a kind of "press" in the modern world the bloggers were allowed to attend the press launch and hear what the organiser of the fair had to say about current trends and the ways in which the consumer finds out about these things in this digital age.

After that we were off to the VTWonen space as they were one of the main sponsors of Meet The Blogger.

Regular readers of each magazine would have found it quite easy to identify which magazine had created which space inside the fair as they did stay quite true to their print personas.

Of all the magazines VTWonen had made the most ambitious use of their space, creating a huge shaker inspired barn – in only 4 days. It was not so much a liveable space as a hive of activity, with the kitchen area set up to make pizzas, the bath room area turned into an old fashioned barbershop and also an artisanal workshop area. I was very impressed with the girls who were casting ceramic items and even firing them in an onsite kiln. They really embraced the shaker custom of using a lot of pegs and hanging items.

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101 Woonideen had a very brightly coloured area with lots of little alcoves and details. As well as a huge table for some hands on cutting and pasting of moodboards.

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Ariadne at Home is a magazine I read less frequently as I find it just a tiny wee bit too pastel tinted for my taste -but I have to say that their house was a very calming and relaxed space. I could definitely imagine moving in there – so time to review some of my thoughts about interior colours.
Alongside these structures many of the well known Dutch brands had stands showing their latest designs or colours and it was good to get an impression of what is current in the Netherlands.

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All in all it was a very enjoyable day rounding off Meet The Blogger and a good way to get a taste of Dutch interior trends .

Meet The Blogger Amsterdam

Meet the Blogger Name Tag

I have been off on my travels again during the last week. A lovely mix of catching up with family in Holland and a bit of “tourist” time too. But first I went to the 3rd Amsterdam Meet The Blogger event. I went to the initial one two years ago and the idea has really evolved since then. First time around it was a one day event around a number of speakers. This time it has grown into something over two days with a very varied programme.

Meet The Blogger Stage
The first day was held at the Wester Gas Fabriek – a sprawling formerly industrial area that is now used by all kinds of events. After a welcome coffee we got down to the serious business of the day – listening , learning and mingling with old and new friends.

Victoria Smith at Meet The Blogger

The first of the main speakers on the podium was Victoria Smith from the very successful SFGirlByBay blog. She shared her story of how she got started and had quite a few tips for us as well. One of the ones that stood out for me was her advice to use your blog to bring together your different interests and strengths.

Tricia Guild at Meet The Blogger

The second of the main speakers was Tricia Guild from Designer’s Guild and that was a real highlight for me as I’ve been inspired by her designs for as long as I’ve had a house to decorate. I asked a question as I was curious to know what she had started off with initially. She replied that she had been inspired by indian block printing and had brought out a range of fabrics based on them. She then opened her first shop because she realised that she had to show people how to use the fabrics. It is useful to remember that this was before ” lifestyle shops” and even Habitat was only just opening around the same time.

Another big difference with the first Meet The Blogger was that now there are workshops in the mix as well. I had chosen to go to the one by Kirsten Jassies about tips and tricks for creating visual content. She had plently of those – and I will be working on adding some of them over the next while. The ones that I particularly picked up on were her suggestions to use infographics in different ways and also to incorporate video. I’ve already had a couple of shots with video and I’m thinking of ways that I could add this more frequently.

The other workshop I picked was SEO with Robert van Glabbeek who is an SEO specialist with Sanoma – less glamourous and more techy but again, I learned a bit more here too. Its not my favourite part of the whole online world but it can make a huge difference. At times like these I am glad of my dreadful year spent training in web design ! One of the surprising facts for me was that when people do a search on Google, the first result will be clicked 52% but by only the fifth result it drops to 15% – so quite an incentive to get the search engine ranking working !
Designer's Guild Amsterdam Showroom

And still the day was not done. At a short hop from the venue we boarded two boats that took us through the Amsterdam canals to the Designer’s Guild Showroom. That was a big success and a very nice touch, especially for those who had never been to Amsterdam. The showroom visit itself was interesting – to see how the different ranges were displayed – the agents were very welcoming to our rather large group. And of course, a chance to buy Tricia Guild’s new book and have it signed. Needless to say, I did have to get a copy , but I will leave reviewing that for another day.
Designer's Guild Amsterdam Showroom detail

If you are curious to read a bit more about the whole event this post gives an overview and links to many other blog reviews.

Of course an event like this doesn’t happen all by itself, so many thanks to all the organisers and also to the sponsers including VTWonen, Moo Cards, Designer’s Guild , Dyson and the Woonbeurs – all in all it resulted in a very enjoyable event.

And the bonus visit to the Woonbeurs was still to come – which I will save for another post as this one is already long enough !

I do make a point of trying to get to one or two of these type of events every year. It shakes you out of your familiar environment and routine and I always come away feeling recharged and buzzing with new ideas.

What are your favourite events to attend for getting out of the studio and recharging ?

Meet The Blogger – Amsterdam

Meet The Blogger - Amsterdam

Meet The Blogger - Amsterdam - Iphonography

Last week I was off in Holland for a few days and the  main reason for going was so that I could attend the ( first) Meet The Blogger event. While I had the idea at the start of the year to attend as many offline events as I could , Lise, of Urban Style Vibes, was taking this one step further and decided to organise one herself !

The meeting was themed around Holly Becker (and Joanna Copestick’s) recent book “Decorate” so that sealed my decision to attend. I’ve always had a bit of an interior design “thing” going on in the background.

The meetup was held in the very lovely foyer of Hotel V and started with a presentation by Holly on how she came to blogging and how that in turn led to writing a book. She shared her story in a very warm and generous manner, so if you get the chance to go and hear her speak somewhere – do go ! The meeting was partly sponsored by Lily’s Cupcakes who also gave an interesting talk on how they had the idea and went about creating the brand around their Lily character. They also brought along a good supply of their cupcakes for us to taste – delicious. Finally Flavourites also gave a presentation, probably less well known outside Holland, they are a curated collection of webshops – with a focus on Dutch shops.

But while presentations are the structure for these events at least half the fun is to be able to meet people “in real life”. There were a few people whose blogs I already read and enjoy and others that are new discoveries. The hardest thing, with a group of a hundred or so, is finding the people you have read online, when you don’t know what they look like. ( Let’s face it, most avatars don’t tell much ). And also just to get round the group and meet as many people as possible.

And finally we left with rather lovely goodie bags including magazines from VT Wonen and 101 Woonidees who also sponsored and attended the event. They are amongst my favourite interior magazines so that was yet another bonus.

I didn’t take many  photos. I’ve noticed that I take very few at all of these meetups. I’m not quite sure why, but I am starting to guess that when I take photos I switch into a different mode which  is not entirely compatible with just being present and connecting with people.

Anyway, there are a lot of other good write ups of the event , many with more pictures so I’ll link to a few of them here.

Lise, from Urban Style Vibes, who had the idea and organised it all writes here.

This post by Arianna Interiors from London really captures the event in images .

Mariska Meijers, who makes beautiful interior products, captured the mood at the book signing afterwards.

A review in Dutch from the VTWonen site.

A lovely post with images from the book shop window by  Marianne.

And of course Holly’s own review of the event – again with lots of great images .

I could link to more, but I’ll keep it and that and end with a huge encouragement to anyone who blogs or feels that the online world is taking up too much time – get out from behind your computer and attend some meetups !

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( In other news, the next Studio  Newsletter is out tomorrow – and I’m doing a giveaway of a new Polaroid Painting to one subscriber. If you’d like to be in with a chance you can sign up  here. )