The Marigold Rug

There's a new rug in my home office. A really happy, large and soft rug ... made from hemp and all the way from Australia. Last week I posted a little teaser on Instagram just after that Holly from Decor8 picked it up and now  the Marigold flower weave rug from Armadillo is all I can think of. Good that my sister (the one with the restaurant, well my only one) is selling these babies, so she dropped one off yesterday.

You can buy them in her VB Shop. She currently ships to most EU destinations and to America but if your country is not in the list you can send her an e-mail at shop{@}villabloemenhof{.}com and she'll figure something out for you. The online shop is something she does next to her restaurant. As her restaurant is a living room restaurant, everything you sit on and eat off is for sale. If you are in The Netherlands (or travelling to The Netherlands)  I can highly recommend a visit to Villa Bloemenhof as the ambiance is lovely and the food just beautiful.

Go to the VB Shop and get 10% off the Marigold rug in both sizes using code YVESTOWN. Offer expires 26-06-2014

For people in The Netherlands and Belgium, you can also pay with ideal or bankoverschrijving just mail to shop{@}villabloemenhof{.}com

DIY: A Wood Poster Hanger

posterhanger01.jpg

Last week I bought this vintage camomile chart. As I don't want to put it behind glass I had to come up with an easy wood hanger system so that the poster didn't loose it's age, glass makes it's so modern.

How I did it:

poster-step01.jpg

I've used 2 cm x 0,6 cm rods that were lying around in the basement.

Measures the poster width and make 4 lengths of wood, two for the top and two for the bottom. Clip the nails so that they are approximately 1,2 cm long.

poster-step02.jpg

Turn the poster and use a small piece of scotch tape to attach the poster to the wood.

poster-step03.jpg

Measures how long you wish the cord to be. Tie a knot on the bottom bits on both sides.

poster-step04.jpg

Make sure you use the exact same distance left and right for the placement of your cord. If you don't do this your poster will never be centred. I've used a distance of 8 cm on both sides.

poster-step05.jpg

Place the other bit of wood on top and hammer the first nail exactly in the middle of the cord. Repeat this on the other side and hammer another nail in the centre of the wood.

That's it, repeat these steps for the bottom bit of the poster without the cord.

posterhanger02.jpg

Makes a perfect Sunday afternoon project. Happy Sunday x

Slipcover Love

bemz01.jpg

If I have to name one piece of furniture that I really dislike, I would have say the sofa. They are big and pompous and only great for lying on whilst watching the TV.

I really dislike those massive lounge sofas that are so popular now. Those massive "hey look at me I'm the sofa in this house" sofas. They are incredibly embarrassing to sit on as well as I never really know where and how to sit when there are more people on the sofa. Honestly they should be forbidden. Also big pompous leather sofas should be banned from this world.

Alas, I do need a sofa to nap on or to relax on.

Obviously I do not wish to spend lots of money on a sofa. So when many moons  ago Bemz offered me a free slipcover I thought; wait a minute. I went online in search for the best "vintage" IKEA sofa and found a Nikkala for just €25 with a really ghastly purple slipcover. The sofa itself was in tip top shape. I came home, assembled the Bemz slipcover over the sofa and ta da; a brand new sofa for just €25. It also saves on waste as the sofa would've ended up in a rubbish pit somewhere. The slipcover is also easy to wash and will last for a very long time.

bemz02.jpg

This is the first Nikkala with a Bemz slipcover. I really like the design of the Nikkala, it's modern yet it fits perfectly in a classic interior too. Bo and I use this sofa daily. We are not people that entertain their guests on sofas so we just have that one in the living room.

bemz03.jpg

When my  study became a piano/games room it needed a sofa. Again I went on the hunt for another Nikkala and found one for just €15. And I ordered another Bemz slipcover, the Basiq Fit in unbleached basic cotton. I love the transformation!! It's such a clever way to up upcycle. I love slipcovers in general as it's a really simple way of keeping your sofas clean.

To celebrate use code YVESTOWN15 upon checkout for a 15% discount on your Bemz orders between today and February 3rd 2014. www.bemz.com

Map Love

maplove01.jpg

I have a thing for maps, well a thing is an understatement, I have a passion for maps. It's something that runs in my family. One of my brothers has a passion (or rather obsession) for maps. I remember him sitting in his attic room with all sorts of different maps scattered over the floor, painting little soldiers and placing them carefully on one of the maps. I never really understood the purpose of this action but it sure made him happy.

I own way too many atlases and I own a drawer full of road maps. I try to remember everywhere I go so that I hardly ever need my TomTom. I'm secretly hoping there's a real Tom in my navigator who knows all the maps of all the roads in all of the world. I would totally dump Bo for that Tom.

For that reason I love to have maps on my wall. I love Alice Tait's maps of Paris and London, as seen above my pink chest of drawers.

maplove03.jpg

During Christmas I spent and evening with my friend Will at the new West Elm Store in London and I bought one of the artwork Will curated for West Elm. It's a drawing of the tower bridge in London by Amyisla Mccombie. And although it's not a map, it's a freaking cool looking landmark, something to be found on a map.

maplove04.jpg

Charts are another passion. I bought the vintage Danish seed charts off line ages ago. They are so pretty.

But my love for maps can also be found in my bookcase. I, of course, own a full guide to The Shire, no explanation needed ... we map lovers all own a guide to The Shire. But I also love pretty map books.

maplove02.jpg

Many Christmases ago Bo gave me the Bommel Travel Guide (ISBN 9071959120) Sir Olivier B. Bommel is a Dutch fictional character who lives in Rommeldam and the guide is a totally fictional guide to the surroundings of Sir Olivier B. Bommel and the other inhabits of Rommeldam. The book is amazing, complete with charts, maps, vegetation .. the whole lot. I hope one day to make a book like this, nobody will buy it, so I'll make sure to make it in pastel.

I've made a Pinterest board to inspire you and myself of course.

Seed Bags

seedbags01.jpg

Hurrah, my book is almost off to the printers but my booking doings are officially over. I now only have to wait until the 10th of March to hold a copy in my hands. The book will be in shops on the 27th of March in The Netherlands and Belgium. I will soon dedicate a whole post on dates and future international releases.

And now on with this post and lots more blogging time!!

I always start to plan and gather seeds I want to sow in my garden in January so that I can jump start them in my greenhouse in February. These will be seeds to plant out in the garden in March/April/May/June.

I try not to buy lots of seeds instead I try to save them, dry them and store them in bags. It's simple to dry seeds. For example the butternut seeds are from one I used last week for dinner. I washed the seeds and dried them for a week on a paper towel. In April I'll put them in one of those (recycled hyacinth) pink pots, let them grow in my greenhouse until May and plant them out in the garden. It's so cool to actually grow the same butternut in my own garden just from a seed. Boy do I love growing plants ...

seedbags02.jpg

I've made a seed bag for you and me to join. They come in pink and green and there's room on the back to add information and instructions.

Use a medium weight paper for the bags, for example 120 gram. If you use thicker paper the glue will not hold it once you stuff bigger seeds in the bags.

click to download the green bag

click to download the pink bag

Next time I'll make some boxes for you to store your peas in. But for now, have fun!

ps: there's a typo on all the images (whatch instead of watch) It has been changed in the PDF files.

Christmas House Part 2

xmasdinner01.jpg

A Happy New Year!!

I didn't like 2013 that much, but Christmas was lovely.

We had Bo's family over for dinner on the first day of Christmas. This is something we normally do at Bo's parents home but as we've had to say goodbye to Bo's father earlier this year I offered to host Christmas instead.

I love to host Christmas. I have to say that the only one thing I'd love to have children for is for Christmas. I love that the whole family is at home, gathered at the table with good food, laughter and warmth.

xmasdinner02.jpg

I did almost all of my cooking in the oven, combining large trays with veg, potatoes and 3 different sorts of meat so everyone could pick and mix.

xmasdinner03.jpg

An Instagram impression of Christmas.

I hope all of you had a good Christmas. On with 2014, it's going to be great I feel it!!

Christmas House Part 1

xmas2031-01.jpg

And so I thought I started decorating for Christmas in time, I was so wrong. I have a bunch of deadlines and I forgot about our annual London Christmas trip. Each year Bo and I drive up to London just a week before Christmas to do some shopping, to watch the Christmas lights on Oxford Street and to attend a play. We went to see Richard II in the Barbican with David Tennant, it was amazing. He even did show up, Charlotte ;) We also stopped at Leeds Castle on our way back. I can highly recommend a visit as there are reindeer's, husky rides, a big Christmas market and the castle is decorated by some amazing artists.

xmas2031-02.jpg

Only today I finished decorating the living room. I wanted to add a little bit more green here and there. I went out to buy some Hyacinths and Hellebores and placed them in all sorts of odd pots, bowls, mugs and vases.

xmas2031-03.jpg

A Quick Hyacinth Tip

If you want your Hyacinths too bloom at Christmas, buy them today with the flowers peeking just out of the leaves. Water them like hell and you'll have blooming Hyacinths on Christmas day. If you don't water them, they will bloom a few days later.

xmas2031-04.jpg

There's still so much to do as there's dinner for 10 to be planned and made. I still need to make the Christmas crackers and find stuff to put in them. I want to set up a sitting area in another room, like a drawing/chill room kind of thing ... honestly like I don't have enough to do!!

xmas2031-05.jpg

Back to my books, magazines and notes. See you tomorrow with a bit more Christmas.

Are you ready for it?