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So my friend and I were having drinks in Amsterdam after a concert we went to. After a couple glasses of wine we started sharing our fantasies about destinations we wanted to go to in the near future, not being to serious about it. The next day both kinda hungover we individually thought it over, having this fanasie stuck to our brains we looked at eachother and both said the same ‘Wtf let’s book a ticket to New York and we’ll just see how to make it work moneywise!’. And that’s how we ended up in the Big Apple last week.

We decided to go as 3 besties and stayed in this tacky but well known place ‘The Roosevelt’. Got a good deal trough hotwire and it’s situated right in the centre of Manhatten. Perfecto! Now I can tell you about all the stuff we did but I’ll just share you our conclusion about New York and have you make it happen yourself one day.

Go to Brooklyn, Williamsburg and the Meatpacking district to eat, drink coffee and gin tonics, wonder around, shop and enjoy the relaxed and  young atmosphere these neighbourhoods have to offer you. Walk past the headquarters of Vice, get fashion inspired by locals biking past you and enjoy the view over Manhatten from the waterside. Go get dinner at Mogador and 5Leaves in Williamsburg. The highline is a must, together with ConeyIsland on a sunny day and don’t forget to try the fried oreo’s. Hop on the metro and get out in Soho if you want to upgrade your wardrobe with some nice items from Urban Outfitters, Topshop or American Apparel or maybe some cool sneakers from ‘Kith’. Little italy and Chinatown are definitly nice to wonder around and have a nice lunch or dinner.

What about all those famous attractions like te statue of liberty, wall street etc? Well let’s just say we saw them from a distance but there’s much more interesting stuff to do than standing in line to walk over a bridge or go see a statue. We had a blast being in this city and hopefully we can go back someday when it’s a bit warmer and the treees have leaves on them!

Up next? I decided to hang around America for a bit longer and go visit my friends in Canada as well, so next will be Montreal followed by Ottawa. stay tuned!

 

 

              

Photo copyrights by me

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Last weekend I visited the Tefaf art fair togheter with my Sister. We got invitation to go take a look at the fair and decided after last year was a success to go and see some art again. The Tefaf is the biggest art fair in the world and the art that’s for sale is insane, but amazing. From real old master piece stilllife paintings to modern art, design and antiques.
But after a while you get saturated by so much visual input so we decided to leave the Tefaf behind and visit the centre of Maastricht. Honestly I had never been to this city before so it was about time! Gotta say, it seems really cozy and the architecture is truly nice. We finished our little tour through the city centre at ‘Festen’. A store that litterly only has the most fun and gorgeous items to decorate your house with. I seriously wished for everything I could find there. A store that makes you wonder around for hours while keep finding cool stuff. Another pro, you can drink a nice fresh coffee with a slice of carrotcake or applecrumble if you need a little break inbetween shopping. A store every city needs, I’m sad it’s so far from where I live, but a good excuus to definitly go visit Maastricht again!

Ow and btw, check out the cactus vases in the last picture, aren’t they rad? Gotta get myself one or two of those asap. Had to leave them behind for now, saving money cause I’ll be travelling for a bit from next week on. Stay tuned for some fun updates from New York, Chicago and Canada!

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© by Juliette van Oorschot

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It doesn’t matter how corny this sounds, but it is true, the little things matter the most, whether it’s decorating the house or designing the looks of a bag.’

It is about time to feature an amazing artist, true inspiration and young lady here today. She makes leather bags, not just leather bags but real practical ones for the bags and ‘bike lovers’ and they look amazing as well!
I’m talking about Imke de Jong. I asked her a few question to see what drives her as a designer and to give my readers some inside information about this young designer.

Imke, 28, born in Gemert and graduated at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2010 from the Man & Communication department. She designed an educational book made out of felt about the human body. Next to that she made a table that should put focus on raising awareness on the online/offline world. No leather bags yet at that time. Kind of nice she says ‘it gives me more options’. She soon decided to move to Rotterdam to start working at ‘Doortje’ vintage shop and The Boyscouts.

Her passions lay within the small things in live, perfectionalizing her bags and also spend time with friends of course. Her surrounding stimulates her and helps to work on it passionately, whether it’s creating a bag or for example DIY’ing. This pleasant obsession of details is important to her, like she says ‘how corny it sounds, the little things are the things that matter the most, whether it’s decorating the house or designing the looks of a bag’.

SAMSUNG

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What’s your Trademark?
That would be my bags, they’re all created by my own urge. I mean, it would be weird not to use my own bags right? In my bag, preferably a rucksack, I always carry a moleskine etui, phone, earplugs for music and a little tin of lip balm.

So you graduated, what happened after?
After graduating there was a time of reflection, and think about what to do next. With some leftover  leather from my graduation project I sewed a simple bag together. Slowly my interest started to grow and like an autodidact I kind of carried on designing and making bags and rucksacks. And it  still is the most favourite thing for me to do.
Next to that I also started to design bags for the accessories and jewellery brand ‘The Boyscouts’ also located in Rotterdam. I’m head of production for the brand. So that’s like my permanent thing 3 days a week. It’s an incredibly interesting job, being able to see and learn in the ‘kitchen of a growing brand’.

So the rucksack, did it came from some sort of personal urge as well?
I think the origin, functionality, shape en proportion always comes from some sort of urge or taste. A rucksack is the best example to illustrate this. Pure functionality, but because of the details, an object that is pleasant to look at. Designing and making those things I just love doing most.

How do you choose your materials? 
They’re also chosen by functionality. Leather has the quality that it’s waterproof and strong. The leather I use, has an extra feature, it changes color by time, use and influences from daily use.. This way, as consumer, you have influence on the looks of the bag. I also use canvas, a fabric that’s super strong and waterproof as well. This fabric has the advantage that it does not fray, just like leather.

Do you sew everything yourself? 
Everything I come up with, I make myself. In my head, I make a plan.. which flap has to go first, when do I have to put in the zipper.. etc. After that I start cutting the material, a hard job I can tell! and that done, I start processing and sewing.
Leather can only be sewed once, starting over is no option, you’ll see the sewing holes so that makes it quite exciting.
The nice thing about designing my bags is that I can all realize this myself. Whatever I come up with or design, I can make. I do not need any external parties to put my bags together, “relaxed” I like that about my work.

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You also made some really nice ‘chain lock bags’ for bikes. Was this some sort of problem you walked into and kind of solved?
Well, not specifically a problem. I noticed that during my study I learned to find solutions for daily things. Your lock damages you bike when you twist it around your seat-post. A solution could be to just put the lock in your bag. Now I found a solution to use a ‘free’ space of a bike to hang a bag and store the chain in. This way you won’t damage the bike and with some extra features you can also store you mobile phone, and that’s what makes it a function design.

My bike is important to me, so I try not to damage it whenever I can.  It’s obvious that people around me are having the same problems and I’m glad to be able to give them a solution.

So you lived in Eindhoven while studying, why did you decide to move to Rotterdam?
After seven years of Eindhoven I had a strong urge to broaden my horizons. As a designer and creator of things, it’s a good thing to regularly sharpen up your thinking. Change of surroundings and habitat does those things to me. You kind of need to prove yourself, think of what you want and shoe you are. Moving to Rotterdam has certainly put me to work in a positive way. “Allright, here we go, I’ll show you what I’m capable of ” kind of like that.

Will you carry on design bags for ever or do you have ideas for other sorts of projects?
That’s a hard question. I guess I’ll always keep on designing bags, if not professional than for myself and friends. It would be fun to see more and more people carrying your bags and appreciate them. Putting the focus only on the bags, isn’t really necessary either, as long as it’s fun, i’ll keep on making them. If it keeps on growing, i’ll go with the flow of that growth. If it stays like what it is right now.. I’m totally satisfied as well!
Another goal for the future is to research in more crafts en maybe specialize in some of these crafts. I’d like to teach as well, support others and maybe be able to teach them something.

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Image courtesy by Imke de Jong

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It’s been already 2 weeks since me and my dear Canadian friends where visiting each other in London.Time flies! On my last day of my stay we went for lunch at Leila’s shop, near Bricklane in Shoreditch. On Calvert Avenue to be specific.

I didn’t know this place, but Elyse went here before. Why we went to this place specific? Well it has a great story. There is this tiny lunchroom, with an open kitchen. A cook with flaxy grey hair is preparing the food, there’s a waiter, it could have been anyone really, and Leila herself.

The story that comes with the shop is Leila McAllister’s philosophy: providing excellent food. The meals are inspired by the way people cook in East Europe. With meats from Poland and vegetables as pumpkins, potato’s, courgettes and aubergines they try to be as creative as possible and make different meals out of it every time.

outside

shop entrance

Now next door, Leila has a little shop where she sells all ingredients and products used in the restaurant. This way you can buy your meal next door to make it yourself at home. Buy the french knife you have to cut your fresh fruits with you ordered, the herbs on your salade, green oranges, or the lovely fresh bread. Well you get it.. A great place to have a nice and healthy breakfast, lunch or just a coffee or tea.

inside shop, tins

veggies at Leila's shop

Leila!

Leila McAllister herself!

table accessories

I love the overall look of the shop, great colours, retro style and materials like rough wood, crates, sackcloth, tins and she definitly picked the perfect table accessories. Great experience, loved it!

Elyse, canadian bestie

Leila's lunchroom kitchen

counter, flowers and glasses

pumpkin lettuce salad

frittata

I myself had a salad with red and green lettuce, pumpkin, hazelnuts and goats-cheese. A gorgeous simple and heavy salad. My friend Elyse went for the stuffed frittata with a small side salad. Really tasty! I Actually remade the salad myself when I got back home, will put a recipe online soon.
Leila’s shop doesn’t have its own website but you can follow on facebook here.

portrait Me

© by Hyperjulia.com

 

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Recently I came a cross some great sounds while browsing the web for new music. I randomly started a song, while doing other stuff at the same time… And this one song stopped me from working and caught my attention.
What I say  in my imagination while listening to this song?
Motor bikes, persian carpets, dessert sand, guitars and men wearing leather jackets… (no I had not seen the album cover yet at that moment!)

It’s the artist Omara Bombino I’m talking about. He’s an internationally acclaimed Tuareg guitarist and singer-songwriter from Agadez, Niger. His music is sung in the Tuareg language of Tamashek.

His latest album is called ‘Nomad’. An album with the classic cultural sounds from the sahara with raw electric guitars. The fact that it’s African/Arabic music wasn’t the only reason why it caught my attention. The sound of the guitars had something familiar.. something ‘Black Keys’ like. And so I started reading articles about this artist and found out his 2nd album Nomad (1st solo album is called Agadez) was signed by the record label Nonesuchrecords and he teamed up with Dan Auerbach, better know as vocalist and guitarist of ‘The Black Keys’. That explains a lot!
Although Bombino sings in a language we don’t speak or understand, the songs are really catchy with an up beat tempo and great sound.

Go check their songs out here!

Bombino - Nomad

 

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