Lovely Gilmore Girls poster

Stumbled upon this gem of a Gilmore Girls poster. This is why I love Etsy.




Text Art Book Posters

Stumbled upon these gems-


A beautiful series of text art on Etsy.






Café Belgique, Gravenstraat.


Café Belgique hides in plain sight- amidst chain retail outlets, it’s easy to not notice this gem of a beer warren.


One of the smallest bars in Amsterdam, you’ll find yourself wondering, “How can this be one of the smallest?!”. Unbelievably, they host live music. I’m not sure how, or why- as appealing as music is to some, it won’t make this one-room cubby-hole any bigger, so it’s not like they can pay the DJ off the back of increased customer revenue- it’s always full. And heed that advice- turn up very shortly after opening (3pm) and you might get a seat.


In truth, it thinks it’s way cooler than it is. And by ‘it’, I partly mean the clientele. If this were London, we’d call them scenesters. The website states “It’s frequently visited by a varied public of locals, expats, musicians, artists and dj’s”. See what I mean? Who cares if artists go there? Do I feel better about my Orval because the guy with an unkempt beard sat too-closely next to me sticks wires through books encased in styrofoam and calls it “A Critque on the Abandonment of Western Values”, and his dreadlocked girlfriend photographs litter blowing in the wind for her forthcoming exhibition in a disused plastic bag making factory? No, I do not.


For the size, the beer choice is broad- 50 bottles and 8 taps, but even this is too many as evidenced by the foul taste of the Floreffe Blonde.

Venue: 9/10

The only real criticism is the size, but that’s also part of the atmosphere. And when you do finally get that corner seat by the window, boy does it feel cool.

Beer: 6/10

Decent range, but unfortunately not all the taps are very well maintained (I’m looking at you Floreffe Blonde).


I read about Postcrossing a while ago in an in-flight magazine, but it took me a while to actually get my ass in gear and register with the website. But… I finally managed it a couple of weeks ago! Hurrah.

For those of you who haven’t heard of it, here’s the explanation from the website:

The goal of this project is to allow people to receive postcards from all over the world, for free. Well, almost free! The main idea is that: if you send a postcard, you will receive one back from a random Postcrosser from somewhere in the world.

I am still a big fan of ‘snail mail’ (as it is often referred to in the UK); there’s something about seeing a message handwritten that’s so much more beautiful than printed text. I especially like postcards; Callum is brilliant and will always get me at least one postcard (frequently it’s 3 or 4!) from wherever he’s been. Being able to send and receive them from anywhere in the world is pretty cool.

I received my first postcard today and it came all the way from Canada:


The picture shows a painting entitled ‘Big Raven’ by a Canadian painter called Emily Carr. I’d never heard of Emily before I received this card so now I have been educated in the area of Canadian art! Two great things about the Postcrossing website: they have a list of suggestions of things you could include on the postcard if you’re struggling for inspiration. Also you have a profile space where you can not only explain a little about yourself and your interests but you can list the type of postcard you’d like to receive (if possible – let’s not be too demanding!).

Here are some (I have far too many for one post) of my favourite postcards that Callum has brought back for me…


From L-R: this postcard can double as a beer mat (maybe you have two beers at the same time?), this postcard is a cork one made from Evora cork and the last is a great picture from France.


The 22nd Best Café in the Netherlands: Café Koops

Every year Misset Horeca publish the top 100 café/bars in the Netherlands. There is no obvious criteria and the rankings change wildly between years. 2013 sees Café Koops, Haarlem, in 22nd place.


An Art Deco frontage belies the much older, much more worn interior. If you are lucky enough to get outdoor seating, you can enjoy a good view of Haarlem’s historic centre and striking church.


I can think of 21 bars better than this place in Amsterdam alone, but that reflects more an embarrassment of riches than insults Café Koops. It is certainly in Haarlem’s elite clutch of bars and the warm soup in the window is hard to pass up on a windy, rainy Dutch day.



DoeDeMee is an art project which has a bigger purpose: to help fight illiteracy. A worthy cause; everyday I take for granted the easy access I have to the characters, images and worlds encased in literature.

They’ve redesigned the 100 book covers of The Observer’s greatest novels of all time using 100 artists from 28 different countries.

The website explains:

The result is not only a unique cross-section of contemporary trends in design and illustration, it is also a wonderful collection of posters that has you contemplating on those great reading moments we as literate people often take for granted.

If you head over to the website, you can flick through the whole gallery, but here are some of my favourites.

Wuthering Heights redesigned by Lara Crow

As so many artists and different books were involved, there’s a visual smorgasbord for you to explore. If you really like them, you can purchase them and some of the money will go towards fighting illiteracy. Crackin’.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde redesigned by Sandra Monat

To Kill A Mockingbird redesigned by Paul Boardman

Brave New World redesigned by Mark Alastair

Robinson Crusoe redesigned by Dima Boulad


Mademoiselle Maurice

Whilst on a flight from Edinburgh, I came across a stunning picture of some origami street art in my inflight magazine and wanted to see more.

On her website, Mademoiselle Maurice describes her work and has great pictures of her pieces. I’m really impressed at how such a simple concept is put together in an intricate way and makes a spectacular impact.

I’ve recently been dipping my creative toes into the world origami and am stacks of paper away from reaching this kind of level, but it is beautiful inspiration.

Go, check out her website and wish you could make paper look so impressive…