Monday, 28 March 2011

My old Dutch

le bike
I'm freshly back from Amsterdam and I want to hop straight back - it was sensational and I had such a good time. The city in unfairly maligned for it's seedier reputation - coffee houses and the red light district, but it's actually a beautiful place for a break. I even want to go back and live there.

The canal streets are beautiful; all quaint leaning houses, pavement cafes and ambling cyclists and are perfect for strolling. It has all the ambiance and romance of Paris, but quiet, calm and safe and all of the bridges are lit up with fairy lights at night.

The thing that stands out most for me, and defines Amsterdam as a tourist is windows and voyeurism. Although this is typified by the shop fronts of the RLD, for me it's more about the wide, open windows of the elegant canal houses and the beautiful Dutch interiors contained within - this is life on show. I looked in every fancy book shop on town and couldn't find a single book about Amsterdam apartment interiors - maybe it's my calling to write one!

One of my highlights was the 'Brown Cafes' (not to be confused with the Coffee Shops!) which is the closest I have ever found on the continent to the traditional British pub.

We stayed in a beautiful apartment overlooking the Prinsengracht split over 3 stories with some of the steepest stairs I've ever seen or climbed up and the view was sensational. This time we were on the other side of the windows, either standing on the balcony or watching the world go by from the comfort of the sofa, and some of the photos below are of the view. The Prinsengracht is the border between the Grachtengortel West and the Jordaan, both beautiful areas; far enough away from the tourist traps and Irish theme pubs but studded with fantastic shops and restaurants.

I tried not to be too snap happy when I was away, since the main aim was to spend time with friends, but  the below are a collection of pics from our all-too-short trip.

By the canal
corniced ceiling
By the canalGraffiti
PLP - Public leaning post
The Venice of the Netherlands
an altogether different kind of busking
view de la apartment
Cafe Bruin
Cafe Bruin
Shop fronts

Monday, 21 March 2011

The fortnight in pictures

Maintaining the regular pics from the week post has proved a bit tricky - there's only so many times you can document your weekend pub going exploits and the rest of my working week has been so busy that it's mostly been desk, train, sofa, beer, bed.

Still I'm mostly dead excited about going to Amsterdam this coming weekend with the husband and a couple of my besties, including the lovely Kathy so there should be lots of visual accompaniments to my trip up on the blog around the middle of next week.

This weekend Joss's closest friend, Wayne, came to visit so we went for 'craft' beer at the rather wonderful Mason & Taylor on Bethnal Green Road, followed by lunch and then sent him on his way, but not before I encouraged him to pose moodily with a cigarette.


In other news it's truly beginning to feel like spring, not only is it starting to be sublimely warm during the day, but the cherry blossom is out too. Although it's not tulip season in the Netherlands yet I'm still hoping to see plenty of blooms.
cherry blossom
wire flower

Finally, I think the most exciting thing is the arrival of my business cards from Moo, and my first wedding enquiry from an advert I put on Gumtree. I'm feeling really pleased with the way things are coming together and have high hopes for the future.

business cards
Rivington Street
daffsBethnal Green Working Men's Club
pom pom
pub windowChimay

Monday, 7 March 2011

Kathy - 5678 Vintage

I first met Kathy when we were both entry level in the exciting and glamorous world of the Bhs buying office. Although, we've both since graduated onto other retailers she's still as stylish and generally awe inspiring as she was when she was still known to me as 'that girl from jerseywear who looks good'.

Since those days we've been good friends, and we conceived the idea together to promote her Etsy shop and stall. Y'see, Kathy has been blogging about vintage fashion, her thrifted finds, selling on Ebay and now at East End vintage fairs for the past year and a bit as 5678 Vintage and she wanted to showcase some of her standout pieces. She has the best eye, not only for fashion but also for interiors and we were completely spoiled for choice when setting up a home studio for the shoot; we just added a few balloons (yes, those balloons again!) and some cupcakes and we were done.

The look called for a dreamy, film-like look to the images so enter the mighty 85mm tilt shift lens. A difficult pup to master but some of the resulting images are fab.
The day as a whole was so fun, we're planning on taking the whole show outdoors for a summer version of the lookbook. Almost all of the clothes featured are available to buy via her Etsy store so why not pop over and have a look?


Saturday, 5 March 2011

Kathy - 5678 vintage - a sneak peak

Kathy - a preview

A sneak peak from today's shoot with friend, and vintage blogger, Kathy. Check out her blog and Etsy shop - 5678 vintage.

More to come shortly...