Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just for me
Thrift shopping is not always about finding a great unique piece. Sometimes the piece finds you. My all time favourite second hand shop is in Belgium, and every time I go back home - even if it is just for a weekend - I have to stop by and have a peek. The shop has gone through a makeover in the last few months : funky wall paper, crazy chandeliers ( not for sale, unfortunately!) and their latest addition...a grandma's wardrobe full of vintage coats, hats and handbags! I was still opening the entrance door as I saw this beautiful straw-weave handbag peeking out underneath a pile of vintage leather and vinyl purses at the bottom of this treasure wardrobe. In two steps I was there and picked it up, clutching it tightly before anyone else could get their eyes or hands on it ( yes, my sweet mum-and-thrift-shop-ally included... sorry mum!). I didn't even look at the beautiful sixties coats and cloche hats, all i wanted was this bag. Funny enough, I was told by Yuku, the lovely lady that works there, that this bag had been sitting there for weeks and she had been thinking about me (she knows I'm handbag crazy) and knew I would have bought it if I had the chance to be there...and there I was. I paid and left, packed it in my suitcase and now she's here with me in excellent condition and ready to enjoy her second life in England as my new favourite bag!
A note: both mirrors and the closet in the picture are from the same shop!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sunday Breakfast
I can't help it, but I just want to show off my balcony today. I think it looks absolutely cute with all the flowers and the little breakfast table (which is foldable, so perfect!) I am an outside person. If the sun's out I have to be outside or else it feels like a wasted day. Unfortunately I have to get used to living in a small flat, but getting to decorate the balcony makes up for it. The big tea pot is not our actual tea pot. It is my great grandmothers coffee pot, but al long as everyone can remember it has been used as a flower vase. In is standing on a little black and white tiled table that belonged to my grandma and is fact a fifties magazine rack. I now use it for my parsley and basil plants. I also love a proper sunday breakfast with boiled eggs and a croissant, so setting the table and making it look inviting and fun is part of my sunday ritual.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Silhouette Lady Summer Jacket
I am not a fashion designer but once in a while i get the fashion designing bug and i have to pull out all of my trims, sequins and fabric scraps and attacht something. The victim of my itchy designer fingers was this summer jacket, bought by my sister but a size small for her. " Maybe you can transform it, do something fun with it.", she said when she left it here on her last visit. I hate stuff sitting around. These things always end up in a big "to do" bag and are out of fashion by the time i decide to work with them! Not this time, though. I locked myself up in my work room the other day, pulled out all the fabrics and trims I could get my hands on and just started adding bits to the jacket. I can only work directly on the mannequin,not on a table. I dont know why that is, I just feel like a painter with his easel and the jacket is the canvas. I am really happy with the way I transformed this piece and almost wish it was my size so I could wear it myself!
I designed the cameo lady silhouette years ago, but I keep going back to it. ( her nose isn't really crooked, it just looks like that in this photo!) I really enjoyed stepping away from the jewellery and the bags for a day and do something different. I'm thinking of doing a few tops with the same silhouette...we'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Madame Lucie gets a makeover
Some ideas need time to grow. In Madame Lucie's case it needed two years. I have had this bag for more than two years and advertised it for sale several times. Nothing happened. Madame Lucie started to look sad...I hid her in the cupboard. After a while I started to ignore her completely and I was quite comfortable with it. Others took her place: sultry cairo cabaret girls, colourful matryoshka dolls and Lady Cameo, elegant as ever. Things changed after I moved and I was forced to get her out again. She looked as if she didn't care about it anymore...ready to be sent away to the charity shop or worse. I don't like to live with enemies in my flat so I decided to take her out and give her the most prominent place in my work room. Patiently she stood there week after week waiting till I would give her the attention she deserved. Last night she finally had the makeover she had been wiating for all this time and I must say, she and I are quite pleased with her new look! She's going to Camden with me later this week. ( wish me luck! )

Monday, April 27, 2009

TTV - Abandoned Boudoir
It's been a while since my last experiments with ttv photography. Through the viewfinder photos are shot with a (digital) camera through the viewfinder of a vintage camera. The shape of the viewfinder and the dust and dirt it has collected through the years add a magical and surreal effect to these photos. Last sunday I bought a vintage conway camera (again at a car boot sale!) for just 4 £. I struggled a bit to make a contraption to keep my digital camera focused on top of the conway, so by the time I was ready it was dark outside. I then tried to shoot a pictures inside the flat and this is the creepy result. Now tell me, would you think these photos were taken in a brand new home in 2009...or rather a century ago in an abandoned boudoir filled with ghosts?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Greetings from Firenze, 1939
Car boot sale season is back! The local car boot sale is only a few minutes away, a nice walk down the high street. Before the end of last season I was hunting for useful things for the flat as it still wasn't complete : a set of boring pine wood bar stools ( which we transformed into sleek french style black laquered kitchen stools), rattan chairs for the balcony and vintage ivory silk lamp shades. Now that my home is fully furnished ( I still have my eye on a beautiful four poster bed, but that will be for later) I don't really need any useful items and I can concentrate on the fun part of car boot sale hunting...weird nick-nacks and other "decorative junk". I always loved to have a wall full of pictures frames, a collection of photos and art from different era's and styles but my wall is still quite bare. Slowly slowly it is coming together, but I need a lot more! Last Sunday I found an interesting photo of a young couple. Both in their best outfit, nice hats, beautiful smiles.
The frame in green leather, looking as old as the picture itself. For just a pound, it was hard to pass it up. At home, being curious as ever, I took it out of the frame and saw a glimpse of a different live, different time...since then this photo is fascinating me. The picture was taken in Florence in 1939. Someone wrote " Betty and Enzo. To dad, with affection."
Betty looks English, and Enzo is unmistakably Italian. My parents met in Florence in the seventies, so I can imagine their story being similar to my parents'. They walked the same streets, different cultures, different languages. 1939...right before WWII. I wonder what happened to them. Did they get married? Was it just a summer love? Did the war destroy their friendship or love story...I guess I'll never know, but Betty and Enzo are more than welcome on my photo and art wall in my inspiration room aka craftroom slash dining room.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Feta stuffed ubergine rolls
Here's an easy dish I made last night with a leftover aubergine and feta cheese!
You will need:
Feta cheese
fresh flat leaf parsley
fresh basil leafs
Wash the aubergine and slice it vertically. sprinkle salt over the slices and let it rest for about 15 minutes. This will take the water out of the aubergine. Rinse off the salt and liquid with a paper towel after 15 minutes. Heat up your grill pan and grill the aubrgine slices (you can use a drop of olive oil in your grill pan if you like). Place them on a dish after grilling both sides. Prepare the feta filling by crumbling the feta cheese and adding the chopped up basil and parsley leaves. Knead it with you hands into a paste and place a spoonful on the aubergine slice. Roll it up and secure it with a toothpick. Sprinkle some oregano over your rolls...and your healthy and tasty dish is ready!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Baking Soda + White Vinegar I have a big box of plastic goldtone buttons that has been sitting around for a long time without being touched. The reason is their colour: even though I love their designs, the plastic goldtone makes them look horrible and cheap. I keep opening the box and looking through it, but I just can't force myself to use them in any of my projects. It was time to do something about it. I was planning to get rid of them but before that I wanted to try one of my chemical experiments on them...nothing would be lost anyway if it turned out to be a useless plan!
I went for a mix of hot water, vinegar and baking soda. I let the buttons soak overnight and lo and behold... my ugly plastic ducks had turned into pretty vintage looking swans ! I don't know how I came up with this idea, but I use these " ingredients" for cleaning and I thought it might have a discolouring effect on plastic, and so it did.
I'm keeping the box of buttons!
Before (right) and after (left)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Mirror the Mirror I was taking pictures of one of my mirror mirror on the wall bracelets and thought it would be fun to use the mirror theme for the picture itself. I like how this one turned out!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Ring Design : The Spider I've been experimenting with some fine wire and black seed beads and came up with a new design for a ring, but I'm not quite sure what to think of it. Right now I am calling it the spider ring, but Queen Anne's Lace has been suggested to me and I quite liked that. It is a delicate design, the "spider legs" can be bent very easily and this could be seen as a disadvantage. Then again, you could shape the ring to your own taste and do something different like turning it into a flower. I created a poll and would like to hear your opinions, so please have a look and let me know what you think!

Monday, February 23, 2009 spotlight by moi allows you to create spotlights featuring your own or other artists' creations. Here's a vintage glamour themed spotlight I made today:

Monday, February 02, 2009

Etsy Finds for 2nd Feb 09 I woke up this morning under a big blanket of snow. I'm staying at my parents' house in Belgium for a couple of days but with this weather there isn't much to do around here, so why not post some of my recent finds on Etsy! I'm still decorating my flat and I'm always looking for new ideas and Etsy is the perfect place for that. As you know, I have a thing for vintage and that section of Etsy is just full of beautiful eye candy:

Monday, January 26, 2009

I love watching these cute birds on my balcony. They are really tiny but oh so greedy. At times I can hardly count them all, they come in groups to plunder the seeds I hung off the railing for them.


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