dinsdag 23 april 2019

The patience of growth

In October last year I received this gift kit from Sprout  

Sprout is a porcelain accessory which makes it possible to grow seeds. You can place it on top of a vase or glass just as you like. But first you have to get in to the process of germination, and that takes time. Sometimes a very long time as I've experienced. 

I also bought an avocado which I cut open to undo the pit and peel it off with a sharp knife.

The other acorns and pits I soaked in water first and just followed the instructions I received with it. You can also find a numerous of videos here on their website. And than all you have to do is being patient and see what happens, checking it out weekly.

One of the seeds started to grow very early

while others took their time ..

The one below grew so fast en high I had to let it lean against the wall or it would fall over. Which it finally did one day. I tried planting it in soil, but sadly that didn't work either.

The avocado pit started to grow roots, lot's off them. After months of watching it develop only under water I had almost given up on it, and the acorn wasn't doing anything. It looked like a failed project.

But than, about five months later, the magic started. The avocado pit and the acorn finally started to grow upwards almost at the same time!

I'm so glad I didn't give up on them. Maybe they just waited for spring to start, while days get longer and temperature is rising. I have no idea but as it is, they sure took me by surprise. Soon I will plant them into soil, but I want to look at them on their beautiful sprout looking pretty just for a little while longer. 

So for those of you who tried but have given up before anything happened ...
Be patient, very patient for it'll happen when you least expect it

maandag 15 april 2019

Marbled Eggs

Getting into Easter decoration I decided to make some marbled eggs. I've done it before a few years ago. I'm sharing the tutorial with you here so you can try it yourself.

What do you need: 

♦ some eggs of course (I've chosen white ones for this marble effect)
♦ nail polish, any colour you like
♦ stir stick
♦ plastic container
♦ water (room temperature)
♦ nail polish remover (for cleaning up afterwards)
♦ rubber gloves (you should use those believe me, it can get messy)

You can boil the eggs (I don't think you can eat them afterwards, with the nail polish on it) or blow them out. I made it a bit easier and just ticked a small hole on the bottom, emptied the eggs (you can make an omelette or mayonnaise perhaps) and than rinsed them with tap water. 

The water needs to be at room temperature, if it's to cold the nail polish sinks to the bottom. You drop some nail polish into the water, the more you use the darker they get, but you don't want it to be to thick, and gently swirl a marble effect with the stick. 

Next dip the eggs under water and swirl a bit wearing the rubber gloves. Take them out again and let them dry. 

And this is how they finally turned out. Each one looks different. Don't be discouraged if the first one fails (mine did) just take a deep breath and try again.

Do try!

And no worries. They don't need to be perfect, they just needs to be marbled ☺

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask me.

dinsdag 12 maart 2019

Cinnamon donut balls by Donna Hay

These little donut balls match very well with a cup of coffee or tea.

You need 1 or two muffin molds with 12 holes (depends if you want to make big or small donut balls)


• 185 g of wheat flour
• 1½ tbsp baking powder
• 75 g of fine granulated sugar
• 175 g unsalted butter
• 1 medium sized egg
• 160 ml of semi-skimmed milk
• 75 g of granulated sugar
• ½ tsp of ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the fine granulated sugar and make a well in the centre of the mixture. Let 125 g of butter melt in a saucepan. Break the egg over a measuring cup and add the milk and the melted butter. Mix everything with a whisk. Pour the egg mixture into the dimple of the flour mixture and beat until it is smooth. Divide the batter over the greased cavities of the muffin mold. Put in the oven for 12 minutes until they have risen and are golden brown.

2. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl, mix well and set aside. Let the rest of the butter melt in a saucepan while stirring and allow to cool slightly. Remove the muffin form from the oven and allow the balls to cool in the mold for 1 min. Carefully pour on a rack and brush - if they are still hot - with the melted butter. Roll the balls through the cinnamon mixture, so that they are covered all around. Serve the donut balls hot or let them cool on a rack.

Now all you have to do is sit down, poor yourself a nice hot drink, take your time and enjoy!

maandag 21 januari 2019

Hallway make-over

After the renovation of the living room, it was time to move the focus on our hallway. There wasn't a lot we wanted to change, nothing a little (lot) of paint and some tiny details couldn't fix.


I've always hated the switches in my hallway. They were crooked, the wrong colour, old but not old enough to be a original feature of the house that's been build in 1897. While searching on the internet I stumbled upon the website of bakeliet.nl where I found several options for sockets and switches in black bakelite. Newly made but looking like the original designs from the 1930s. They would be THE perfect match!

They even look pretty in a flat-lay don't you think.

I also thought the hallway was a bit to sterile, but wanted to keep it black and white next to the old tiles of the original floor, so I decided to paint the bottom of the walls black. The dark wall panelling turned out to be a great decision. It gave a warmer feeling and brought some optical height to the long space. 

 before / after

switches from bakeliet.nl

And yes the bakelite switches where a great decision. Even though it's just a small change it has a great effect. Family and friends noticed it at once an they all seem to love it. It's as if they've always been a part of it. (Who knows, maybe in the passed some like these where hanging here)
It also called for some new lighting. We had never invested in that before. When we moved in we hung some we had or were given for the time being. Well they were still hanging nine years later. 
I found a great milky white eye-catcher from Hübsch, a Danish interior brand, with some golden details.  Now all that has to be done is to hang frames with several pictures and prints on the wall. Ones there already. The first hole in a fresh painted wall is always the most difficult one don't you agree.

So here it is, the before and after of our hallway. What do you think?



Little changes can make a big difference

maandag 14 januari 2019

Flower Bulbs (the aqua style)

Because I received so many question and remarks on my Instagram post yesterday , I decided to write a blog-post about styling flower bulbs in water. I've done it for ages because I've always liked to see the roots of the flowers in the glass. 

You can buy all kinds of bulb plant anywhere at the moment and they are always cultivated in soil. So the first thing I do is pull them out the soil and rinse their roots under the water tap until most of it is gone. That way the water stays clear when you put them in it. You can use special bulb, ore the ceramic dishes from sprout are very handy too. But to make it even easier you can put them (together) in any kind of vase or glass as long as they keep on standing straight. Just open up your cupboard and see what's in it.  

I usually use mineral water because it contains more nutrients and minerals instead of regular tap water. Now all you need to do is watch them grow and refill the water once in a while.

Underneath you can find an impression examples of the aqua-bulb-uses I've done over the years. As you can see possibilities are numerous. This way, and spreading them out over different vases, the effect is the middle between a plant an a bouquet of flowers I always think. 

I hope you get inspired to try it as well. If you are and you're gonna post a picture of it on Instagram, please use the hashtag #aquabulbs so I can see which ideas you've come up with. This way I can find inspiration as well.

Good luck trying!

donderdag 10 januari 2019

Een droom van een salontafel

Heb jij dat ook? Zo'n lijstje met items die je graag nog eens zou willen bezitten, en waarvan je weet dat er een aantal waarschijnlijk nooit van je lijstje af zullen komen, maar ervan blijven dromen mag. Je kent het vast.

Toen ik een aantal jaren terug de Fly table van andtradition tegenkwam was ik meteen verkocht. Het prachtige materiaalgebruik (eiken met marmer) de afgeronde vorm van de poten en het blad, maar vooral de minimalistische en toch rijke uitstraling die de tafel heeft. Prachtig! En dus werd ook deze keurig toegevoegd aan mijn lijst. Destijds was het niet eens een optie om hem daadwerkelijk aan te schaffen. We hadden per slot van rekening een (functionele) salontafel, andere prioriteiten (budget), maar vooral omdat hij er als een vlag op een modderschuit uit zou zien in combinatie met de (afschuwelijke) vloer die er toen nog lag.

Afgelopen zomer kwam daar echter verandering in na de renovatie van de woonkamer. De gestorte betonvloer gaf een hele nieuwe feel en belangrijker nog, rust in de ruimte. Daarbij kwam dat de oude salontafel op een andere manier werd gebruikt waardoor er de noodzaak voor iets anders ondstond. En ja geloof me, ik heb het internet en woonwinkels afgestruind naar goede, mooie, goedkopere en vergelijkbare alternatieven, maar in mijn achterhoofd bleef toch aldoor maar de Fly SC5 zitten. Alle opties waar ik op uitkwam waren het daardoor net niet en wilden we (ik) daar wel genoegen mee nemen?

Het heeft even geduurd, maar na wat overleg met mijn hub (eerst uitgebreid met mijzelf) werd de knoop uiteindelijk doorgehakt. We kiezen voor tijdloos design en hetgeen we werkelijk mooi vinden zodat we later geen spijt krijgen van een slecht gekozen alternatief.

Ik wist meteen waar ik terecht kon want ik was "mijn" salontafeal verschillende keren tegengekomen op de site van Flinders (even verlekkerd gluren, ken je dat?) dus al snel werd de daad bij het woord gevoegd en de bestelling geplaatst. Ik koos voor de smoked oak versie met een zwart marmer blad om een warme uitstraling te bereiken naast de "koele" betonvloer. 

Het tafelblad is gemaakt van zwart Marquina marmer. Het heeft een matte finish, wat ik persoonlijk het mooiste vind, omdat het daardoor rustig blijft.  Het mooie van marmer is dat geen blad hetzelfde is dus is het afwachten hoe de tekening van de nerven uiteindelijk eruit zal zien.

En dan is het wachten op het moment van levering. Dat ging nog wel even met wat horten en stoten (een gebroken tafelblad) maar dat werd door Flinders keurig opgelost waarna uiteindelijk DE salontafel staat te shinen in mijn woonkamer. Alsof hij ervoor gemaakt is en in het echt is hij nog vele malen mooier en zelfs de heren hier in huis delen die mening.

Het onderstel is gemaakt van eiken, massief en fineer. De uitvoering waarvoor ik koos is in de kleur ‘smoked oiled oak’ wat een vergrijsde tint geeft en daardoor een warme uitstraling heeft naast het zwarte marmer. Door het afgeronde blad en de taps toelopende poten heeft de tafel een enigszins vintage uiterlijk gekregen, maar het is toch echt een design uit 2013 van Space Copenhagen.

En zo komt dan alles samen. Mijn voorliefde voor Scandinavisch design, het gekozen kleurschema voor de woonkamer en het gebruik van natuurlijke materialen. De juiste combinatie zorgt ervoor dat het niet koud (wat marmer toch kan zijn), koel (de associatie voor velen bij de betonvloer) en saai (witte muren) hoeft te zijn, maar dat het een het ander kan versterken, verzachten of afzwakken. Uiteindelijk is het allerbelangrijkste dat je jezelf er thuis voelt want laten we eerlijk zijn, over smaak valt niet te twisten.

Het is een hele investering, maar geloof me met één prachtig item in de ruimte maak je wel een statement. En daar waar andere meubelstukken nog wel eens makkelijk worden verplaatst, ingeruild of vervangen is dit zeker een blijvertje.

Zo zie je maar, soms komen dromen uit, ook al moeten we ze af en toe een handje helpen.

(in samenwerking met Flinders)

maandag 17 december 2018

Christmas wrapping

Are you ready with wrapping your Christmas gifts yet? Well I'm not but I have started to figure out how I want to have them look like this year, and I'm gladly sharing this with you.

I've used: * black kraft paper, * a small box (I always save the little ones that come with a delivery), *rope, *dark flower wire, *tape, *scissors *tissue or blotting paper *small branches of rosemary
About the boxes I save. It makes it so much more easier AND prettier to wrap those items with a difficult shape, so those boxes usually come in very handy. Furthermore they get to reused this way.

First I put a piece of straight tissue paper in the box on which I put some on it more which I fumbled up so the little bottle from le Labo stays in it's place. You could sprinkle some glitter in it as well if you don't mind the mess when they unwrap it :)

I fold the under layer of tissue paper together and put a sticker on it. You can now even add a card with a handwritten personal message for the receiver to it.

After closing the box and wrapping it in the black kraf paper (I guess you know how that's done) it's time to make the ornament. I've used rosemary this time but of course you can use any kind of green which bends easily. I started to make a small circle with the wire as a base to wrap the rosemary on. You stick the rosemary branch to it by turning some wire around it. Try to keep the little leaves stick out as much as possible.

 The result is a tiny wreath. In this case it also smells delicious (sniffing my hands now)
You can also use it as a napkin ring at your Christmas dinner!

Place the wreath in the centre of the package and secure it with the rope as you can see below. Of course you could also use some pretty ribbon or secure it on 4 sides in stead of 2 like I did.

Simple yet pretty, just the way I like it. Now all you have to do is put it under the tree and wait for Christmas.

Happy wrapping you all!