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28 posts categorized "Travel"

Heather reporting from Capetown

Heartworks

Today...a completely different continent... Africa...more precisely...its south-tip... South Africa's Capetown...hometown of Heather from skinnylaminx...Heather and I met when Bloesem was still written in Dutch and she was practicing her Dutch by reading Bloesem and giving comments in Dutch...as you know, although two distinct languages, Afrikaans and Dutch are very much related...since then Heather and I have become close blog friends...I am very happy she is sharing her favorite Capetown finds with us...

Mirror

"Just up the road from me is a charming little shop called Heartworks, run by Margaret Woermann. It’s a bright and colourful place, full of amazing things but very carefully put together so you can see it all.


Margaret travels all over South Africa, finding interesting craftwork that she can sell at Heartworks. As well as finding stock for the shop, she also want to find ways to nurture her relationship with the crafters she finds, in order for them to grow their business.


One of the ways she’s done this is by starting an embroidery group at her second shop at the Biscuit Mill in Salt River. Here, a group of ladies from all over Africa sit together and work at embroidery that gets made up into teddy bears, hearts, bags and pillows, to be sold in Heartworks… and all over the world!

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Embroidery
Last year, Gap made a huge teddy bear order that got the embroidery groups’ fingers flying!

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Through Heartworks, Margaret has boosted South African crafts immeasureably, and I hope that everyone visiting Cape Town will be sure to pop in to one of the three Heartworks stores in Kloof Street, at the Gardens Centre and at the Biscuit Mill.

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{PS: I have posted an interview with Margaret at the Elle Deco blog, if you want to read more about this fantastic lady and her work.}

...and here is another great must-see-place when visiting Capetown according to Heather from SkinnyLaminx...
"Just down the road, in the opposite direction from Heartworks, is another very special place. It’s a small independent cinema called the Labia Cinema.

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First built as a ballroom for the Italian embassy, the building was converted into a venue for live performances by the Princess Labia.

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Now the Labia operates as a four screen cinema from its charmingly old-world premises in Orange Street, Gardens, and has recently built a new extension up the road on Kloof Street.

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{click on image to enlarge}
I don’t remember when last I went to see a movie at one of the shopping mall cinemas. Those super-sized theaters simply can’t compete with a nighttime stroll down Kloof Street to the warmly-lit Labia lobby…

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…buying a cardboard ticket from a roll from the lady in the booth…

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…then getting a beer or a coffee from Harold at the bar…

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… and grabbing a paper bag of popcorn from the Choc Bar…

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…and letting long-time usher Christine tear your ticket before you take the lot inside the theater (and the beer too!).

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The seats aren’t super-comfortable and the sound isn’t surround, but the atmosphere is impossible to synthesise. It’s the real thing, and it can’t be beat."...for more information please send Heather an email...

* * *SkinnyLaminx
* * *contact Heather

{originally posted on May 16, 2008}

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Lily reporting from Paris

Vuedelamaison
Lily Descazeaux from the very beautiful and inspiring French blog les Carnets du design ... lives very near the Montmartre area and in the image above you can see the view from her window...

Abbesses
I would like first of all thank Irene for having me on Bloesem it's a true honor. Bloesem is one of my favorite blog on the internet planet!
"I live for twelve years at the bottom of Montmartre. I love this area which is like a village; When you start to go up the hill you left the noisy and restless Paris behind you. At the bend of each small streets there is a surprise, beautiful houses hidden in privates passages, artists workshops , new shops, galleries and when you reach the top of the hill there is the extraordinary view of Paris. Below, second hand trade on Place des Abbesses last weekend.

Spree
Near la Place des Abbesses there is a well-known boutique that I love called,  Spree, Roberta and Bruno have create it six years ago.  They develop their concept : mixing a selection of fashion designers, design furnitures from the 50’s till the 80’s and contemporary artists. Spree is a boutique gallery who shows the passions, influences and voyages of Roberta and Bruno. In the same street Rue La Vieuville there is this empty shop "papiers peints" which means wallpapers.I like these surprising colors.

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Esquipulas
{Tienda Esquipulas}
Rue Houdon, going down to Place Pigalle there are two small shops of decoration. I buy lots of candles, among other things, to Anna. Tienda Esquipulas is an ethnic and trade fair boutique, colourful handicrafts and folk arts of Guatemala, Mexico and Latin America. Cosi Loti is a pretty new shop where you can find low prices small decorative items.

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The shop "Zut!" Means "Damn!" An insolent name after a former cafe in the Ravignan street, frequented by Picasso. In 1903, this lair of anarchists was closed by the police after a brawl. Its owner, Frederic Gerard, founded then "Le Lapin Agile "  well known literary cabaret. I love that kind of stories, it's really typical from Montmartre. Today, Zut! is the lair of industrial items. Frederic Daniel find for you a selection of stools, studio chairs, racks, luminaries, wall lamps, enameled or ceramic hanging lamps, medical lampposts, old-time filmmaking lighting equipment, factory, train station or bell tower time clocks. Zut! is a real cabinet of curiosities, hétéroclite and baroque. Below,here is the Place Charles Dullin whith le Théatre de l'Atelier surrounded by restaurants.
Diegoni
On la rue d’Orsel, Christine Diegoni specialist furniture from the 30's and 50's, opened her first space twenty years ago, a few years later she took on a second space and a third. She proposes in her gallery original pieces by Andre Bloch, George Nelson, Charles and Ray Eames, and Gino Sarfatti, that collectors appreciate. Below, Boulevard Rochechouart, today most of the workshops have been converted into apartments.

Frochot

This could be the place where you probably dream to live, like me. With its form of emphasis, this avenue, is one of the most mysterious of Paris. First, because it is hidden behind a gate rue Victor Masse (No. 24) controled by a code. If you arrive to come in, once inside, you are somewhere else. Along the cobbled street, magnificent Gothic-style houses where lived Regine Crespin, Django Reinhardt, who burned his furniture for firewood, the workshop of Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir father and son and today Jean-Paul Gaultier. A peaceful place just behind Pigalle.
Rousseau
Perrine Rousseau is a very young talented designer. She has the most incredible workshop in the district of La Goutte d'Or. She creates fabric collections, that she weaves herself with natural fibers from organic agriculture. A rare approach. You can commissioned household linen, cushions, tablecloths, etc. ... she has also an industrial line which is cheaper and can be ordered also from her studio. I will write a note for her new collection soon on my blog.
Justbesalle

This is an interesting building, Le Floors, a former printing plant which was turned on three levels in restaurant, few month ago. For having a brunch I prefer walk on the other side of Montmartre at the restaurant Just Be with the two charming new owners. The decoration and dishes are simply very nice.
Paulalbert
{Restaurant l'Eté en Pente Douce}
Last few images from Montmartre, I like the name of this restaurant below; L'Eté en Pente Douce means Summer Gently Sloping. I hope you enjoyed to share with me my favorite places. A bientôt...Lily..."

Montmartre

Thank you Lily for showing us your favorite spots, next time I visit Paris I will definetly bring this guide!

* * * les Carnets du design
* * * contact Lily

{originally posted in 2008}

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Pia reporting from Amsterdam

Pia_amsterdam_1_2

I’m a wanderer.  I love to wander wherever I am and try to make the time to do so as often as I can. My new home is Amsterdam, and I am head over heels for it’s quaint bridges, canals, and wonky old buildings. I love putting on my strolling shoes and wandering in Amsterdam, and this is one of my favourite wanders in this gorgeous city:
 


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I start at utrechtstraat which is a strip of fabulous re staurants, cafes, homeware stores, music stores and delis. I then wander up towards rembrandts plein (’plein’ means ’square’). Then I continue up over the bridge of the amstel until I reach the beautiful staalstraat (’straat’ means ’street’) bridge:
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Once here I turn right onto staalstraat which is full of gorgeous design shops including droog …
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which is one of amsterdam’s destination design stores. Even though this is such a little street you could spend hours wandering between the stores. At the end of this street is one of my all time favourite amsterdam cafes: Puccini’s. The menu is fresh and delicious and no matter what time of day you wander this way, you must indulge in a puccini hot chocolate. I will not say anything more about this hot chocolate except that you must. Puccini’s also has a chocolate boutique just a few doors up so you can take home some gifts (for yourself).
So, after my chocolate comatose I turn left along the canal and this is where you will find all sorts of quaint painted apartment doors which to me, is so Dutch ‘keselic’ (homely) style. (Irene, I can’t remember how to spell this word, do you know the one I mean? Could you spell it properly for me? Px)
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It’s along here that I change my path to discover new streets, so you just keep meandering and see what you discover along the canal, but keep to your left as you walk on ahead (you will spot such places as wonderwood, and some beautiful street art)…
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and you will make your way to Nieuwmarkt which is another big square and marks the end of this walk. But don’t leave just yet as right in front of you is In De Waag,
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an incredible medieval looking building turned restaurant which was once the Amsterdam ‘gatehouse’. Inside are beautiful beamed high ceilings, the whole restaurant lighted with candles. It is magical. Here I indulge (again! always with the indulging) in a glass of champagne and a little plate of Dutch bitterballen - I think these are some of the best in town. They also serve delicious cheese croquettes. You must arrive before 5pm though as the bar section closes to make room for dinner guests. I suggest you aim to arrive here at around 2-3pm as they change the candles in the huge chandeliers and that is quite a sight. You can also sit outside In De Waag when it is a sunny day. Bliss.
I hope this little ‘wander guide’ comes in handy for some of you, do let me know! I will share more of my wanders on my blog in coming months.
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* * *Pia Jane Bijkerk blog
* * *My Heart Wanders project by Pia

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Diana reporting from Munich

Munich1

I came to Munich with the idea of visiting my “husband to be” and to follow a German language
course, just for a couple of weeks. I stayed ever since (and yes: I got married!). It’s hard not to like
this city. Elegant, green, safe, pretty and with an ease of living that is almost southern European.

And then there are the shops. Oh the shops! Away from the glamour of the Maximilianstrasse there
are many, many small shops with individual style and handcrafted products. Although Munich
probably isn’t an international hotspot for avant-garde design, it has a long arts and crafts tradition,
the results of which can be found throughout the city in studios and ateliers from young designers, in stores that specialize on arts and crafts supplies or in traditional family businesses.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

For my paper supplies (I’m a hoarder!) I usually go to Carta Pura. A small shop in the
“Schellingstrasse”. Their beautiful paper, notebooks and albums are displayed in a purist, clean style.
The very friendly and knowledgeable team designs their own books and albums and have a great
collection of utensils for calligraphy, drawing and paper crafting. Also worthwhile: their wood block
print cards form Georg Schwellensattl.

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Another address I like to go to, especially when I’m looking for a gift, is Kokon. This shop’s decoration
is a feast for the eye. Their florist corner, home textiles and what is probably Munich’s largest
collection of coffee table books on design and life style could keep me there for hours.
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Whenever it’s lunch-time and I happen to be in the city center, I always try to drop by Poseidon. This
fish shop/bistro offers delicious food and in summer you can sit on their small terrace and watch the
coming and going at Munich’s central market the “Viktualienmarkt”. Another of my favorite places
(sweet tooth people pay attention!) is Götterspeise. This delicious café lies in the middle of the
“Gärtnerplatzviertel” (…those German names are killing me…). An area high on my favorites list
anyway. You’ll find everything in this part of the city: thrift stores, fashion boutiques and shops
carrying anything from tin toys to vintage movie posters. In “Haidhausen” (another great
neighbourhood) you can find Petra Fischers ceramic studio: 1260 Grad.

When a day comes to its end, for me there is nothing better than to put a basket of food together (in
daily life that means from the local supermarket-for you, as visitors: Indulge yourself at Dallmayr’s!)
and to meet up with friends and family in one of the many Beergardens (e.g. in the “Englischer
Garten”) or somewhere upstream at the river Isar (preferably south of “Thalkirchen” unless you
wanna go for the young party crowd). In case you decide to stay after all, one day you’ll have Ursula
Fröhmer make you a Dirndl! A traditional one, without “schnick-schnack” as the Germans say...

Munich7

* * *Diana from Oh...My Bag
* * * Diana's shop Ribbons & Crafts

{originally posted in 2008}

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Kris reporting from Milan

Spaziorossanaorlandi

I hope you had a nice weekend...we had a wonderful time...we have been very lucky with the weather these last two weeks...feels like summer... so we've been out in the sun...enjoying it while it lasts I guess...and to bring some more summer feel to your home... the next stop on our world tour is Italy... my favorite country in Europe... fell in love with Rome... but today is all about Milan...another beautiful city in Italy I still have to visit... and will make sure to visit in the future... especially after reading  about  this famous store Kris from Colorstripes is telling us about today...{ps. don't forget to pay a visit to Kris her blog, it's truly different and I love it}
"Spazio Rossana Orlandi
is a multifaceted and fascinating  gallery-shop situated in old converted tie factory,in Milan. It’s a home wares store, design gallery and fashion boutique, all in one. Owner Rossana has incredible capacity to pick such a variety of products and make them all fit together perfectly. Piet Hein Eek’s chairs, industrial lamp Jielde, Lisa Stickley’s tea towels, old terracotta chimneys,Kiki Van Eijk’s bottled carafe, airplane propellers and Anne Claire Petit’s crochet toys seam to be the part of the same fairy tale.


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Serene and calm atmosphere of this place together with a kindness of  staff always remind me that design should be emotional,authentic and fun as well as functional. Stepping out into the real world could be cruel, so I suggest a break, just two steps behind the corner there is a small, cosy restaurant from the same owner called ’Pane & Acqua’(bread & water).
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Designed by architect Paola Navone, it follows the spirit of Spazio, in fact all furniture and tableware are borrowed from the shop and it’s continually updated  so that you can actually by the coffee cup, dinner fork or even the clock!"

* * *Color Stripes
* * *contact Kris

{originally posted in May 2008}

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Irene Hoofs portrait
Hi and welcome to Bloesem! My name is Irene Hoofs and I started this journal in 2006 wanting to share my passion for design, art and craft with you. New to Bloesem? Here are my 10 favorite posts to get you started. Or would you like to see the necklaces I make?