Thursday, 31 March 2011

coffee table books

Recently I got a new coffee table, a square one with a separate shelf so now I have plenty of space for magazines and coffee table books. When it comes to books I admit that I'm an addict – there you have it, you're reading the blog of a bookaholic. Like many others I have a wish list on Amazon and I restrain myself from adding to it, because if I added all the books I want to buy I'm pretty sure Mr. Amazon would contact people in white robes and give them my address. My list is only 8 pages long but I think I could easily fill 8000 in a day if no one disturbed me. Here's a confession: I'll soon find The Food of India in my letter box.

Here are some of the coffee table books on my wish list: Tom Ford: Ten Years, Chanel: Collection and Creations, Valentino: Themes and Variations, Annie Leibovitz's A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005, and Selina Lake's Romantic Style. Then there are so many art books, travelling books, and let's not forget the endless list of cookbooks I'd like to have.

Would you like to share the coffee table books on your wish list? Junkies like me are always happy to get ideas!

PS. Not so long ago I saw an image of a button with the words I'm not to be trusted in a bookstore with a credit card. I'm almost certain the person who made it had me in mind.

photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

magazine moment

Yesterday, I had one of those drinking-coffee-in-the-sun-with-a-magazine moments, after I bought the April issue of Vogue Paris, Emanuelle Alt's first issue as editor. I don't claim to have the knowledge to review a fashion magazine, especially one in French, which I speak far from fluently, but I must admit that I was a bit disappointed, especially with Alt's editorials. There was a moment when browsing through it when I thought to myself is this really French Vogue? The photos of Gisele Bündchen are of course beautifully shot but I wasn't impressed with the outfits.

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt

I'm certainly not giving up on Alt yet. It probably isn't an easy task to replace someone like Roitfeld and the expectations out there are pretty high. I guess I'd be complaining too if she was keeping everything as it used to be. Let's consider this a souvenir issue.

In my opinion, the piece that stood out in this issue was 'Chas-ing Love', featuring two ballet dancers beautifully photographed by Bruce Weber. I find myself viewing those pages again and again with a smile on my face. There are also two interesting interviews that I would really like to be able to read but my French isn't good enough, one is with Nobel Prize Winner Orhan Pamuk.

After I "read" the magazine I decided to go online and see what others where saying and I found this wonderful (and funny too) review by Milla at Not Just Another Milla. She pretty much says everything I was thinking myself.

Monday, 28 March 2011

everything's amazing

Yesterday, Stephanie at the fabulous blog, the merry way, wrote about what she refers to as 'first world problems'. That post is a good reminder of how fortunate we are and that we sometimes forget to be thankful. It also reminded me of this wonderful Conan O'Brien clip 'Everything's Amazing & Nobody's Happy'.

Have a wonderful Monday!

photo credit:
top-left: Aimée Herring for Country Living
top-right: via Design Shimmer
bottom-left: Ngoc Minh Ngo
bottom-right: Ryan Benyl for Country Living

Sunday, 27 March 2011

sunday coffee

Today the European summer time began. I decided to go raw in the kitchen and made this delicious
pecan cake in the food processor. That's right, this baby doesn't need any baking. I'll share the recipe
later, created by my friend Sigrun who operates this fabulous recipe website, CafeSigrun.

I hope you're all enjoying a wonderful Sunday!

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt

Friday, 25 March 2011

lake view

I would like to spend the day in this kitchen, making delicious treats for everyone I know while enjoying that gorgeous view over Lake Genval (Belgium). Is that too much to ask for? Anyone?

Have a wonderful Friday!

photo credit: Christophe Rouffio for Art & Décoration

Thursday, 24 March 2011

rip elizabeth taylor

Elizabeth Taylor
27 February 1932 - 23 March 2011

"I'm a survivor - a living example of what people can go through and survive."

All images via IMDb, photo credit:
1.-3. mptv
4. © 20th Century Fox
5. © Universal Pictures
6. Jeff Vespa/WireImage

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

alberta ferretti spring 2011

Last week I told you there were a few designers waiting in line at my blog entrance with their spring collection; after all it's spring! Alberta Ferretti showed hers at the Milan Fashion Week last autumn and for the Jane Austen romantic in me it was an instant crush: The floral print chiffon, lace, wide-brimmed straw hats, Guinevere sleeves, and cotton peasant dresses totally lured me into this fairy-tale world. It simply looked so feminine and beautiful ... and Ferretti.

photo credit: Marcio Madeira for Vogue US

Monday, 21 March 2011

spring is here!

Today's post is inspired by my two daughters. Yesterday evening they rearranged their clothes without me telling them to do so and while they were at it they told me that tomorrow (today) was the first official day of spring. They said it was time to dress accordingly! (I'm not complaining, I'm all for it!) So this morning I was a bit curious to see which colours they'd choose. One chose a soft pink jumper and the other one a light plum dress, which I loved.

I knew I would find something like that in my inspiration folder and voilà!

photo credit:
top-left (designer Steven Gambrel): William Waldron for ELLE DECOR
top-right (designer Suzanne Kasler): William Waldron for ELLE DECOR
bottom: Édith Andréotta for Art & Décoration

Sunday, 20 March 2011

wild flora bouquet

Sometimes I wonder what it is with me and wallpapers. Here are two colours of Bouquet from Anna French's Wild Flora collection.

I'm off to the kitchen making biscotti. Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!

photos via Anna French

Saturday, 19 March 2011

important topic: photo credit

Finally a discussion in blog world about giving credit!

Yesterday I found this wonderful poster on Pia Jane Bijkerk's blog, created by her and Erin Loechner from design for mankind, with Yvette van Boven's handmade fonts. This discussion made me really happy because often I've been a bit puzzled about the different methods of bloggers when citing sources of images. 

Sometimes I have spent hours trying to identify the source of an image. The search has maybe taken me from Pinterest to a page on e.g. Tumblr or We Heart It, where I find myself tracing the image through a jungle of pages. Usually I find myself in a cul-de-sac. Sometimes I have decided to use the image anyway because I really like it and either I identify the source as 'unknown' or I write where I found it. 

Writing 'unknown source' has so far helped me identify the source of three images because some of my readers were so kind to tip me in an email. And sometimes I've accidentally found the source later when browsing the internet. I keep track of all my 'unknown source' posts and of course I update those posts immediately and state the source once I've found it. So right now I haven't decided whether I'll continue using my method or stop posting those images. In her post, Erin talks about what she calls a SOS system and I like that; I agree with everything she says.

If I find the original source and on their page it clearly states that you need their permission to use their photographs I simply send them an email and ask for their permission. I've always gotten a prompt reply and none of them has refused my request.

I'll probably insult some of my blog friends when I say this (please don't take it too personally): I don't like the method where people link the words 'via', 'here' or '1,2,3...' and when clicking those links you end up on a blog that takes you through endless blogs or Tumblr pages. I want to see the name of the source clearly written under the images and that is the method I use myself, be it the original one or the page where my search came to an end. And one more thing in case you're a Pinterest user: When pinning images, please open the actual post with the image before pinning, if possible. I can't stand it when a pin takes me to a blog where I have to search endlessly for that particular image.

Pia and Erin say that people are welcome to post their poster (and please remember to cite them as sources!) so it'll be fun to see where this discussion leads us. I'm pretty sure that this poster will continue raising awareness about copyrighted material and something tells me that we'll see more professional work among bloggers now that this topic is on the surface. The poster has already inspired me to change my methods and I even updated some posts yesterday; we can all strive to be better bloggers.

I don't believe we'll see an increase in legal actions; I'm pretty sure bloggers, photographers, designers, artists, stylists, etc. can find a common ground which makes everyone happy. The reason I post images from others is that the images or what they represent touch something inside of me and I want to honour the talented person who did that. If a blogger did the same with an image of my own I'm pretty sure I'd be very happy, as long as the source was clearly cited. However, if a blogger posts my own images without citing the source I won't threat legal action, but that person will receive an email from me.

PS. Update: I decided to add a list of all the posts I've seen so far on this issue:

Grace at Design*Sponge: part 1, part 2, part 3 
Amanda at Mocking Bird
Chelsea at {frolic}: part 1, part 2 
Nicole at Little Brown Pen

Friday, 18 March 2011

white tiles

For some time I've been collecting images of kitchens with white tiles – subway tiles – that seem to fit in every kitchen, be it a rustic one or a more elegant one. I'm beginning to dig that look more and more, probably because it appears timeless and it's so easy to pop things up with colours. I had to include the image with the arabesque tiles at the bottom, which I have a bit of a crush on too (how cool is that tap above the cooker?).

Have a wonderful Friday everyone!

photo credit:
1: Bear-Hill Interiors via Southern Living
3 + 4: LivingEtc
6: Roger Davies for ELLE DECOR

Thursday, 17 March 2011

lanvin spring 2011

As much as I loved following the recent fashion shows, it feels like I'm no longer in the mood for autumn/winter collections. Now that spring has arrived I just want to see spring fashion. That isn't weird, is it? My blog isn't a fashion blog in that sense of the word so I try to limit the fashion show posts and the number of images (I know, I lost it a bit with Armani but remember, he's my birthday buddy!). Anyway, you'll have to bear with me because there are a few designers waiting in line with their gorgeous spring outfits.

Alber Elbaz for Lanvin is one of them. I just couldn't leave him out, no way. His show at the Paris Fashion Week last autumn was just oh so good. I found myself drawn to the gorgeous colours of these outfits and details.

photo credit: Marcio Madeira via Vogue US

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

à bientôt carine roitfeld

Yesterday I finally bought the March issue of Vogue Paris, Carine Roitfeld's last issue as editor. I wanted to own it as a souvenir. I took it with me to the Nightingale Park, bought myself a latte and started browsing through it while the children played (yes, I photographed it too). I loved that her last editor's note was handwritten.

As can be expected, there are many ads in the issue, and of course there is a lot of gorgeous photographs. As she said in an interesting interview with Dirk Standen on (very good interview) she dedicated her last issue to young designers and when viewing those pages I don't think we have to worry about the future of fashion. There are many talents out there.

Thank you Carine Roitfeld for the last 10 years!

photo credit: Lisa Hjalt

There was one page that touched the nerve of the Icelander in me and that was page 282 in the books section. There is a small article about the Icelandic author Bragi Ólafsson and his book The Pets, which has been published in France under the title Les animaux de compagnie.

Emanuelle Alt's first issue as editor will be out soon with Gisele Bündchen on the cover, as you
probably know already.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

spring, i'm yours!

We are enjoying a wonderful and warm spring day in Antwerp so I'm listening to cheerful music and thinking of flowers. I think I'll take my children to the park when I pick them up from school and grab a book with me. Speaking of books. The latest book on my long wish list is Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo, illustrated by Julia Denos. Actually, it's a children's book but it'll definitely be on my coffee table sooner than later. That cover is adorable.

What are you guys reading these days?

photo credit:
top-left: .natasha. on Flickr
top-right: HarperCollins
bottom-left: unknown source
bottom-right: Teresa at Meadowbrook Farm

YouTube: Jason Mraz / I'm Yours

Monday, 14 March 2011

countryside house

This beautiful English countryside house is located near Toronto, Canada. It was built in the 1850s; the stones came from local quarries. Do you remember the top-right image in this post? As you can see, it's taken in the same house. I cannot find the words to describe how much I adore that kitchen - the La Cornue cooker and the antique copper vessels and garlic bulbs hanging from the ceiling ... I love it all.

photo credit: Robin Stubbert for Country Living