Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!
A thank you to all my blog readers for visiting my blog in 2008 and thank you for all your lovely comments. Enjoy the holidays and see you again in 2009!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hello from the U.K.
What are two months in a human's life? I just looked back at my blog and noticed two month have gone by in absolute silence. The funny things about this is that in these two months two of the biggest changes in my life sofar, have take place. I have finally moved to my new flat in the U.K. with all my belongings and left my family behind in Belgium. Only a week after i moved here i already had to go back home because my dear 88 year old grandma passed away. Happy versus Sad... it's an unfair battle. I know my grandma was not the kind of person to sit around and sob about things going wrong or life being sad. Even at that high age she was super active and an example to many. I felt that i needed to keep myself busy if i didn't want to sink into home sickness and melancholy and what is better than a brand new flat as an empty canvas to get your emotions under control again? Luckily my fiance' is as interested in home decor as I am but at one point it became quite extreme and i couldn't even pick a toaster and kettle for our flat without making sure it would match our flat. Ok, things have calmed down now, but i'm still trying to convince him that the spare room will be a craft room slash dining room and not the other way round! Here is our first makeover for the corridor : a handpainted diamond pattern with a vintage florentine cabinet and a vintage inspired mirror. I'll give away one secret: the frame is from Ikea, but I painted it to match the cabinet...can you tell?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Shopping for Supplies
Online shopping for supplies is so easy and i must admit that i love the fact that i can order whatever i wish for just with a few clicks while sitting in a comfortable chair. It is luxury. But there is another side of me that needs to go shopping in a more adventurous way. All year long i wait for this occassion and i have to travel 3000km for it but it is worth it. (ok, i'm not just travelling all those km just for shopping!) The action takes place in world's biggest shopping mall ( it stretches over 10 km ), the Souk of Aleppo in Syria. This medieval shopping heaven is packed with thousands of mini shops and devided in many sections (khans), there are streets with just gold shops, others with only fabrics, sweets, meat or leather and antiques.

The trick is to find your way in this crazy mishmash of shops,people and donkeys without getting hopelessly lost. What i like about these shops is that they always surprise you. That's why i do my shopping without a wish-list:i know it's impossible to find specific items when you really need them so i just go with the flow and keep my eyes open. Here you can actually enter one of these mini shops and spend the rest of the day in it. The shopkeepers are extremely helpful and have atleast 2 or more helpers that don't mind to show you box after box full of different buttons and ribbons. I know that i should never even try to ask a shopkeeper here in Europe to spend hours with me looking for the right sequins and charms! The horror! The patience is endless and often they will send out one of the helpers into the souk to other shops to get you the right item you've been looking for. Some shops are that old that their stock has become vintage and the example buttons on the boxes have faded and rusted as if they were 100 years old.
Adventurous shopping takes a lot of time, energy and patience compared to online supply shopping, but to me it's so much more inspiring and fun than those few mouse clicks that bring them right to your doorstep!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Light Therapy
It's been a week since that horribly long journey from Aleppo to Istanbul and Belgium. More than 24 hours awake and on the way to get home again and now it seems as if i've never been away. It's funny when people tell you they went to the middle east and experienced a cultural shock, because for me it's exactly the other way round : everytime i come home from Syria i feel completely out of place and have a hard time getting used again to Belgium and its inhabitants. The cold and dark weather in the middle of summer is just one example that really makes me depressed and grumpy when i wake up in the morning. I'm not saying everything is perfect in Syria: many times our electricity was cut off and we were in the dark ( and heat) for hours and hours without a warning but then you start smiling again when the light goes on again and you hear the whole neighbourhood applaud and shout because of this "miracle". So now that i'm back i love to look at the pictures i took during the holiday for a daily energy boost, to remember the heat and the sun ( and the possible sunstroke i had when i was walking around in the desert without a hat - yes very smart, i know). Here's a selection of 5 of my so called light therapy photos :

The sun rise as seen from my balcony.

Sweet grapes in our garden, too many to eat them all!

Sergilla, the dead city : our house is surrounded by more than 700 dead cities dating from 200 to 500. Some are completely deserted and others partly inhabited by farmers.

Beehive style constructions on the road from Homs to Palmyra.

My sister posing as a modern version of Queen Zenobia in the Temple of Bel in Palmyra.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Summer Break

See you after summer!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Arm Chair

I've discovered some beautiful furniture pieces thanks to mydeco's room planner, which i blogged about a few posts ago. I found an arm chair in their catalogue which i absolutely must have : the Albert Arm Chair from Egamma. It is a combination of classy French elegance and a funky modern comic book print. I really love prints, but i do have a weak spot for comic book prints and this one is simply fabulous. At 218.99 £ it is a little bit too expensive for my taste, but nothing can stop me from dreaming about it!

On Etsy i found a few more unique gems that are really worth to be shown off:

Monday, June 23, 2008

Beauty Grace and Charm Dress by Angel Damico

My dress arrived today! Not so long ago one of Angel Damico's dresses was featured on Etsy's frontpage and i could no longer resist. This shop has been one of my favourites for a while now but i never got the chance to order anything...or better yet : i never knew what to choose because i liked them all. Then my eye was caught by this beautiful pink and blue dress and i just had to get it, no more hiding behind excuses. It was exactly the type of dress i had in mind to buy for my trip to Syria. Each year it is a big drama to organize my suitcase because what can you wear on a 45° C day in Syria visiting old monuments? Certainly not shorts and i can't see myself wearing a maxi dress climbing ruins or visiting the souks. I can combine this dress with a comfortable pair of jeans and my hot pink diamond slippers and i'm ready to go! Apart from the beautiful design by the talented Angel Damico ( so much detail to discover! ) and the stunning colours, the fit and feel of this dress are a big bonus : so soft and light as a feather as if i'm not wearing anything at all. All i can say is WOW. Go have a look a this beautiful shop now and see for yourself!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Flamenco Fever
Last saturday i attended a flamenco performance ( Compañia Flamenca del Junco ) and i was swept away by the beauty of it! So much engery and passion accomplished by just two guitars, three singers and two very talented dancers, they made me forget Belgium and took me to the south of Spain - the Alhambra courtyards maybe -or the beautiful and mysterious barrios of Sevilla and Granada. Unfortunately i didn't have my camera with me and i can't find any info online about this flamenco group, but these Etsy finds bring you a taste of the flamenco atmosphere!

handpainted mug by houseofharriet

Flamenco earrings by trystbykerry

The Spanish Signora print by matouenpeluche

Black lace fan by SamanthaSultana

Monday, May 26, 2008

Interior Designing with
I found this website a while ago and i just had to blog about it because it's so addictive and fun. let's you design your own rooms online with real existing furniture and accessories. You are basically the interior designer of your own house: you choose the measurements of the room, the doors and windows and from there on you can let your imagination take over! The best thing is that you don't have to download any software for this and it's quite quick in rendering the pictures and browsing through the catalogues. I think it is a UK based website because most of the shops featured can be found in the UK : John Lewis, Cole & Son , Designers Guild but also my favourite shop Maisons du Monde ( not yet in the UK ). Everything is rendered in 3D, but the catalogues show the actual pieces of furniture and tells you exactly how much it costs and the dimensions and colours of each piece available. As you know i will be moving to a flat soon and there will only be enough space for my fiancé, me and my huge collection of bags ,supplies and vintage junk i can't say goodbye to( ok, we haven't found a solution for that yet - i might have to get a shed and ask my in-laws if i can put it on their land,it's only 2min. away ). The flat isn't big and we don't have any furniture yet so is a gift from heaven : i had all the measurements of the rooms and started decorating! The downside is that most of the furniture is really above my budget ( £6,139.28 for the living room and £7,706.84 for the bedroom? I don't think so! ) But being the flea market and thriftstore addict that i am i think i'll find other ways to decorate for les money. Here are two pictures of the rooms i made and how i would like to have them decorated. I hope i can show you the real thing in a couple of months!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Personal Portfolio

I'm back again! After two weeks of furniture and deco hunting in the UK ( our flat is comming along nicely and i can't wait to move in! ) i'm back home in Belgium and i'm getting ready to move out, finally. Besides all the moving related things i have to do, i still found some time to work on my "business plan". Ok, it's not really a plan, but a dream...and dreaming is allowed, no? So, I got myself a personal portfolio! There are a few shops here in belgium - and i'm sure this system exists in other countries too - that print photo books for you at a very reasonable price. Shops like Fnac, Kruidvat, Blokker and Hema have free software that allow you to create your own book : you choose the lay out, the pictures, set up, basically everything is in your hands! My little book costed about 15 Euro, but it's worth the investement and the quality is excellent. I used to hate that " what do you do in life" question, because i'm not a big talker and saying that i design things sounds so silly sometimes, compared to people with "real" jobs and some of them have no idea what i'm talking about if they can't see it. This little book is the best way for me to show my work and i think it would be interesting to take it to some shops instead of taking my whole inventory with me at a first try-out. I have noticed that handing out a business card doesn't work that well because people forget about it or they are not bothered to go see online what it is about. If they see a portfolio they can atleast tell you if they are interested or not at first glance and it makes things easier for me. If you are serious about your designs i really recommend getting one made....or have it as a souvenir for later when i will be an old granny :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Makeover over Makeover

Sometimes things don't happen the way i want them to happen. For example this bag : it's been sitting in my collection for months and it's the third one of my circus themed bag. The first one was about zebras , the second one about snakes, but this last one just didn't want to be captured. The circus theme is inspired by a picture and that picture decides type of animal print i will paint for the top section. It took me forever to find an interesting picture and a matching animal print. It's hard to paint elephant skin and i have no idea how to turn acrobatic dog fur into an attractive leopard it was. The picture was printed, the animal pattern painted and the rhinestones glued into place. I've had it ready to put for sale for months, but something was missing and it was driving me crazy everytime i looked at it! I took of the prints, changed the colours and replaced the blue lace trimmings with this funky gold and black lace trim from Syria. I have finally fallen in love with this bag which means it is ready to go. It actually reminds me a bit of Cavalli's style,one of my favourite designer!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

60 Years Ago... I was looking through my collection of vintage magazines and found an article about April's fashion trends for 1948. Exactly 60 years ago! Here's what fashionistas would have ran to the stores for back then :

The latest fashion trends for April 1948, presented by Vrouw en Huis ( Woman and Home ), a Belgian lifestyle magazine:

"Small waiste, large hips and long skirts are essential if you want to dress in style in 1948. Seen in every Parisian Fashion Maison is the Kimino sleeve, a must have for this season" :

"The collars are high and elaborated, but ladies please don't wear these things to work. The office is a place for business not for fashion shows! They are appropriate for Sundays, holidays and special occasions such as birthday parties or an evening out".

And a real lady doesn't go out without her hat!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Another thriftstore find

Here i am again with another great thriftstore find. I know i haven't been posting much else than my vintage finds lately but it's all i have time for right now. This is the sewing kit i found on my last trip to the thriftstore and i love it! I was lucky to get it in mint condition with all the original items still inside, because usually all boxes, cupboards and photo albums in these thriftstores are emptied before sale. Inside i found vintage buttons, ribbons, needles, thread and a vintage and slightly rusted pillbox with "aiguilles" (needles) written on it in a beautiful oldfashioned handwriting. Some of the black foil wrappings for the needles haven't even been opened and the most of the button cards were still complete. I 'm not good at sewing even though my grandma has tried to explain the basics many times and even gave me her sewing machine and loads of vogue patterns from the fifties and sixties. Maybe this box is a sign that i should atleast give it a try and take sewing classes next year.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

New ring design

I have many of these sea shells, but never really knew what to do with them. I wanted to make pendants, but somehow that didn't look right, just silly. I had already drilled a hole for a pendant so i just made another one of the other side, patiently glued on the rhinestones one by one and turned it into a ring. When i make something for the first time i always have to test it to see if if doesn't fall apart after half an hour, so i've kept this one for myself and have been wearing it for a week. Sofar it has been comfortable to wear, hasn't cracked or fallen apart and i'm getting a lot of interested and positive reactions! Maybe it's time to make some more?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Crazy Retro Shopping Day

At last Saturday 8th March arrived. I had been waiting weeks for my Crazy Retro Shopping Day. Every year my favourite thriftstore and many others in the country organize a Retro Market and it is becoming a really big thing, last edition was great but this year me and my mum went crazy. I told her to be up and ready by 8.30 so we would be in time for the opening at 10. I thought we could take our time looking at everything and commenting of fun pieces. But forget that, when we arrived at 10.10 the shop was already full and everyone was just grabbing whatever they could find! Being the thriftstore addict that i am, i already went on exploration Thursday to check if they had displayed any retro items...and came home with 5 beautiful bags! I picked up another 5 bags from my favourite thriftstore that Saturday. And after visiting 4 Retro Markets in and around Antwerp that day it added up to a total of ...15 I don't want to sounds like some crazy bag lady, but these bags are hard to find lately. Everyone is into vintage and i see more fashion people visiting these shops whereas before it was junk collector addicts like myself.

Things didn't end here. In Antwerp i found a beautiful yellow sixties coat that i just couldn't resist. I love the buttons, i love the A-line, the yellow is still fresh and popping and what really made me buy it was the tag inside. This coat came from a well-known couture shop in Antwerp, the kind of shops my mum's godmother - a true sixties style icon for my mum and her sisters - would buy her outfits from. It just makes me dream and wonder about the owner of this coat...was she beautiful? Stylish? Did she have a bee hive hairdo and matching yellow shoes? Was she 16 or married? Ahh somethime i think i should open a musuem for all my vintage finds, i could go on forever!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Through the Viewfinder
I have a new addiction. It's called TtV. TtV stands for "Through the Viewfinder" and is a photographic technique that gives your photos a very old, vintage style look. I always thought i was an effect created with photoshop or with those really antique cameras, but i recently discovered how to do it. You take a digital camera and take a picture through the viewfinder of a vintage or antique camera, in my case a Kodak Cresta III. My original plan was to take pictures with the Cresta, but it's too complicated for an amateur like me (don't know where to get the right film, can't develop the photo's myself etc). And if i would take real pictures with that camera they probably won't have that nice TtV effect anyway, and that's what i was interested in, in the first place. Here are my first TtV's, but have a look a the the Flickr Group for the best TtV's from other photographers.


Related Posts with Thumbnails