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July / August 2012 4(10)

perfect places - imperfect people

Cover Story Designer and photographer Dietlind Wolf is special. Just like her creative work, a heart-need beyond words. Dietlind admits that she’s an addict for feeding her senses, and beauty does it best for her, even though it’s so relative.

Cover photo:



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Dietlind WOLF www.dietlindwolf.com

la famiglia We dive into summer full of thyme and primrose blossom, dancing grasshoppers and butterflies, undulating sea, and warm summer rain. See you in autumn. AlgE RAMANAUSKIENE

Editor-in-chief

Enjoy the read!

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Elas RAMANAUSKAS

Graphic designer

Website

Blog

Maria CAVALI

Photographer

Augis Narmontas

Photographer

Stylist, designer

Milda BENDORAITYTe

Photographer Website Blog

Nadia Gric

Photographer Website

Photographer

Website

website

BARBORA ADAMONYTĖ

ROBERTAS RIABOVAS

Carina GIBSON

Photographer website

Dietlind WOLF

Stylist, photographer Website blog

Olga LEMPERT Website

Proof editor

We’d like to hear from you: hello@llamasvalley.com; advertising@llamasvalley.com

Living in a 18 palace Interview: Klaus haapaniemi

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Romantic absurdism

Perfectly non-serious

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A drop of white gouache

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Bits and bobs

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I want it all...

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No regrets

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Let’s

meet up!

perfect places - imperfect people

Must have

Visu chair Muuto, Denmark

Stromboli table cloth Bassetti, Italy

Basket with handles Piet Hein Eek, Netherlands



Airvase Torafu Architects, LLAMAS’ VALLEY Japan

Straw bag Tine K Home, Denmark

Cloud Table Moroso, Italy

Circus sack Varpunen, Finland

Wild strawberries

Acapulco chair OK Design, Denmark

LLAMAS’ VALLEY



Ask

yourself

Artist Klaus Haapaniemi and designer Mia Wallenius founded a design studio in London together in 2010



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Klaus Haapaniemi

Finnish artist, designer, illustrator Owns a design studio in London

Website

Photography: courtesy of Klaus Haapaniemi Text: Alge Ramanauskiene

Klaus Haapaniemi’s creative work Garment prints for Christian Louboutin, Diesel, Levis, Marimekko, Dolce & Gabbana, Cacharel, Bela’s Dead Worked as Creative Director of the Italian fashion house Bantam Published a book entitled Giants together with the Finnish writer Rosa Liksom

- Klaus, how did you end up living in London? - I was living in Northern Italy before, working for a fashion company. Then I started to get so much work from London that I decided to move over there. But also I was a bit tired of living in the small town of Bassano del Grappa where I was based in Italy. That was eight years ago. - Do you consider yourself a Londoner now? - Maybe sometimes I do.

- How did the city open up to you? - For me it was quite an easy transformation. I already had an agent in London and I was working very close with him on very different projects and with different clients. So the start was really good. I also started working internationally. London is quite different if you compare it to the rest on England. There is this traditional, typically English side, but there is also the international part of London. Somehow I think that England is much closer to Scandinavia than, for example, France or some other European countries. The way of thinking is quite similar.

- What do you consider the most interesting project you’ve worked on so far? - I would say, my collaboration with the Finnish design company Iittala is one of the most interesting ones. It’s so close to my heart, because I grew up in Finland eating and drinking from Iittala cups and plates. This collaboration is so rich, and then I also like ceramics. I even used to collect some. - Is there any place or a particular mood when you get inspired to create? - It can be anything. It can even happen here, at this hotel, or on the street. It has to be a certain kind of mood, you don’t know when it will happen. You can be happy or sad, it’s something that moves you, some kind of energy. I’ve been reading a lot

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recently about where inspiration and ideas come from. I don’t think it’s possible to explain that. Some people find it all the time, but some people need to wait for it. - Any particular things that inspire you? - So many things! Even dull and ordinary things can be really interesting. I was just looking at this pot in blue and white with plants in front of me. I was exploring the colors. It really doesn’t have to be a piece of art, it can be something interesting, something very peculiar. It’s actually a very personal matter. Some people just invent something and that’s their inspiration. Or it can be something that they don’t understand, but are fascinated with. People, buildings, architecture could be inspirational.

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- Which artists do you admire? - Oh, there are so many of them. David Hockney is someone I really admire. Also, a couple of days ago I was thinking about a really interesting sculptor. He’s part Russian and part American. And he makes these amazing giant sculptures by using organic materials, like racks, human hair, mirror, etc. But I also like very simplistic works by abstract painters. One of my friends is quite a famous artist in Finland - Jarkko Mattila. - From your illustrations it seems that you are strongly influenced by the Slavic culture. - Yes. It probably comes from my childhood. Finland is so close to Russia. It’s natural. Esthetically we have a lot in common. I think people should look to the East more. Many people rush to be part of Central or Western Europe. But there are so many good things coming from the other side too.

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- Have you been drawing since early childhood? - Yes, I think I was 5 when I started. I was born in Helsinki, but I have lived in different parts in Finland. I spent 4 years studying in Lahti. I also lived in Tampere at some point. Some years I spent close to Turku, on the Archipelago. Everywhere in Finland you’re so close to nature. Just like in London, you have the parks and the river. - Who, to you, are the leaders of the design world? - Those with whom I share common aesthetics, like some Finnish designers, especially Kaj Franck. The way he saw things was amazing. But there are many more. Somebody whom I really admire is from an absolutely different part of the map – Ettore Sottsass, he created the Memphis Group that designed Post Modern furniture, fabrics, ceramics, glass, and metal objects. This movement actually wasn’t about the practicality of things.

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- Do you think about practicality when creating? - No, I don’t think about that. I want to concentrate more on the artistic quality. I think the two things are totally different, so I try to put it aside somehow.

- What does your own home look like? - Well lately I’ve been neglecting my home. I’ve been so busy with my studio... My home is this old Victorian house. It’s been decorated in quite a Scandinavian way. At the moment the kitchen is very important to me.

- Klaus, what’s the story behind that cute cat - So you like to cook? that you created? - Yes. Sometimes I just need to. - Putte is my cat. It’s from Italy actually. I’ve been using it for many occasions. Maybe that’s not too - Is it because you don’t like British food? good, because some people are starting to think - No, some British food is very good. The new that I’m kind of weird... Putte even has his own bar restaurants movement is excellent. In London you in Helsinki! The bar belongs to my friend. We’ve can find all kinds of food. St. John is a place where made beautiful logos for it. I return time and time again. It’s very simple. But I also like pizza. And I was just reading some new - You’re probably used to it now, but what does pasta recipes on the plane. it feel like to see your own creations in stores? - It feels really good actually. Especially if you feel good about the product itself.

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- What was the last design piece you bought and felt very happy about it? - I don’t buy that many design objects. Only sometimes, if it’s something really interesting. The last piece I bought was a Jean Nouvel table. It’s a big dining table with steel legs that look a bit like wings. But that was a year ago. - Do you have any particular shopping tips? Something like “don’t hurry”. - That’s a very good tip actually! I often want to buy all kinds of things, but then I tell myself that maybe I’d better think about it. I’m not a big con-

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sumer at all. I don’t find myself too often in shops buying things. I like to look at them and think about the idea. I’m not a collector of design pieces. When you’re creating new things and objects for this world, you lose the interest in buying. If I could, I would like to do everything myself, even build my own house. - Do you prefer living in a metropolis, like London, or would you rather live in a smaller town somewhere in Finland? - I would like to divide my time more between Helsinki and London. I would like to spend more time in Helsinki. But I do have a studio in London.

I think people should look to the East more. Many people rush to be part of Central or Western Europe. But there are so many good things coming from the other side too.

- You’ve also worked for famous fashion houses. - Yes. But at the moment I don’t have any relations with the fashion world. I don’t want to work for fashion too much. There you really have to follow the rules. It’s so regulative. Interiors and objects are not seasonal things. It’s not like: next spring it’s time for pink and brown and we have to do everything in that manner. I find it more relaxing to work in some other areas. But the fashion world is a very interesting and energetic world. Amazing things are happening there, it’s just not for me... - Do you have any free time to visit exhibitions, to read a book, or do something else that you really enjoy? - I do really like going to exhibitions. I’m often in Paris for exhibitions. I try to read books, but a horrible thing happens - I read about 50 pages and then I leave the book and go on to the next one... Even when I buy a book, for me it’s more about the object it is. - Any other place in the world where you would still like to live? - At some point I thought that I was going to move to New York. But it doesn’t seem that important anymore. I like Europe. LLAMAS’ VALLEY

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Living in a palace

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Mimi Todhunter

Interior designer, entertainer, traveler Hostess at Palazzo D’uodo Venice, Italy Photography: Milda Bendoraityte Text: Alge Ramanauskiene

- You’ve lived in Venice now for more than 10 years. Do you remember your first acquaintance with this idyllic city? Was it love at first sight? - I first came to Venice between Christmas and New Year in 1978. It was cold and crisp and the magic of the city captivated me. We stayed at the Daniele Hotel and I fell in love with their linen sheets! I had a magical time and never thought for a minute that I would live there. - How do you see Venice and why you love this place so much? What are your favorite places in this town?  - It is a great privilege to live in such a city. It is an open museum, every street has a story, every corner - a part of history. 

- Your home is the gorgeous 15th century Palazzo D’uodo. What is the most interesting story this building could tell us from the past?   - All the houses on the Grand Canal were owned by merchants and for centuries Venice controlled the trade with the East bringing immense wealth. The base of the palazzo is stone from Istria, which is not porous. An Opera researcher from the United States believes that G. F. Busenello lived there and wrote the libretto of l’Incoronazione di Poppea in 1642 for the Carneval of 1643. We are still trying to find more about who has lived there over the years. 

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- Why did your family choose this particular - I would like to be a serious collector and love Palazzo as your home? beautiful things, but I am already in trouble for buy- I wanted to live on the Grand Canal to witness ing so many, so perhaps it is a subject best kept the daily life going on, and at the time we were look- quiet! ing it presented itself to us. - What was the last design object that you ac- Who designed the interior of your home? quired and felt very happy about? - I like interior design and of course do my own - I bought a beautiful 1940’s mirror for my bedhomes. room, and would like more of them if I could find them. They were made in Venice on Murano Island, - Are you a collector of beautiful and unique and I think they are very beautiful. Everyone who visits comments on it. things? 

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I wanted to live on the Grand Canal to witness the daily life going on

- Is there any particular place at home where you like to spend most of your time? - I love my bedroom which is on a corner and looks up the Grand Canal and over an old renaissance garden. Otherwise on the balcony above the Canal.

so many interesting people and friends from all around the world and all walks of life who love to come to Venice.

- Please tell us a bit about yourself. What does your ordinary day look like? - I don’t think there is such a thing as an ordinary - Who was the most famous and unexpected day in Venice! Everything changes by the minute!   guest at Palazzo D’uodo? - I had Italian actor Franco Nero to lunch last - Then what inspires you in your everyday life? year, found him utterly charming and interesting. It - Living each day as it comes and living in the is a difficult question to answer as there are always moment. LLAMAS’ VALLEY

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- How would you describe your philosophy of - Is there any other place on Earth where you’d life? like to live? - Take each day as it comes. Yesterday has gone - I love everywhere I have lived, from New Zeaand tomorrow hasn’t happened. land, to Sydney, Tuscany, to Paris, London, to California, Somerset and now to Venice.

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An Opera researcher from the US believes that G. F. Busenello lived there and wrote the libretto of l’Incoronazione di Poppea LLAMAS’ VALLEY

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Dietlind Wolf's

golden rule

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Dietlind Wolf

Visual and multi-disciplinary designer Propstyling, illustration, photography

Website Blog Email: di@etlind.com Photography: Dietlind Wolf Text: Alge Ramanauskiene

- Dear Dietlind, you seem to value beauty... tive work is also a need to see the same things dif- It’s a heart-need beyond words. I would call it ferently, authentically. And I admit that I’m an addict a current flow in my system. for feeding my senses, and beauty does it best for me, even though it’s so relative. - How would you define your creative work? - Defining is difficult. I’m run by an inner need to - Where do you find all the materials and little develop myself, my work, my way of thinking and things you use to style your wonderful composiseeing the world. Just like when you breathe - you tions? inhale and express it. I work differently with differ- Honestly, wherever I am: flea markets, during ent teams. The space that surrounds me and the my travels, in shops where local people buy their people give me different imprints. But I’m also try- daily necessities. And I have discovery in my genes. ing to find out what photos I would take without a My father has taken so many photos where you can team, just me and the things around me. Creative see me, a little child, with my eyes always looking work has become in a way my soul’s search for to the ground and searching for something interestbalance together with focus - the strange mixture ing. I still have items from my childhood, my first of what life is about. It’s also a heart-need to ex- porcelains, and I still remember the story of each press my experiences using shapes, colors, and object. Finding is more about “how” than “where”. contrast. As well as reaching a certain self-aware- Sometimes what you’re looking for is directly in front ness, ease or lightness. Being a German, it’s not of you or in your family’s drawer, but never seen as the easiest thing to do... They say, if you want to something useful. It has another meaning to you, surprise others, start surprising yourself. My crea- and yet it’s so invisible... Another way is to look not LLAMAS’ VALLEY

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for a particular object, but rather for the sentiment it should express. Then you leave more space for something to occur. You also slow down, you simply wait for the things and colors to show up. - What about the flowers?.. - I love old still lifes from the Middle Ages. They are not real, they are painted as a mixture of reality and a painter’s personal expression, his golden rule. I create my bouquets in a similar manner. I have a background in three-dimensional textile design for haute couture, so the notion of “opulence” is dear to me. At 6.00 in the morning I drive

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to the flower market with the first sunlight over the harbor, I open the huge doors and find myself surrounded by never ending rows of seasonal flower stands from gardeners and merchants. It’s a soul-feeding embrace, here I find the abundance of nature. And the play in 3D begins in 2D: I use papers, textiles, scraps and cable cloths to create the vases. After finishing the still life shoot, I refocus on what has been going on around while I was preparing the compositions, like a sudden gust of wind through the opened window. The match between “made” and “non-made” looks is what I’m search-

ing for to express my personal golden rule. This is also one of the reasons why I started to photograph by myself. It was a need to show how I see my mise-en-scènes. - What kind of people inspire you? - The honesty and deep connections with my beloved friends and my incredible family, those amazing nephews of mine. The ones with whom I can be who I am in my soul. I’m inspired by those who dare to be warmhearted, authentic, and unique; who are liberated from concepts, who give visible and spiritual gifts, who combine and balance their

opposite extremes, who stand by their soul or heart’s opinion and dedicate their life to it, who find balance in their complexity. I would say all these people inspire me, because this is what I need to be inspired. - What do you enjoy reading? - At the moment: Brand Eins Magazine, a brilliant concept of a monthly business magazine dedicated to one theme (this month it’s “loyalty”). Also, a wide collection of Southern German weeklies, biographies, a thriller, a novel, some visual manuals about ceramics, paper-metal work, etc... LLAMAS’ VALLEY

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I admit that I’m an addict for feeding my senses, and beauty does it best for me, even though it’s so relative

- Who are other artists that inspire you? - Vermeer’s light, Matisse’s colours, Cy Twombly’s poetry. Three-dimensional artists: Michael Hansmeyer’s paper columns, Mrs. Delany’s paper flowers, Johannes Nagel’s ceramic compositions. My personal Top 5 stylists: Christine Rudolph’s ease, Caroline Quartermaine’s liberty, Sibella Court’s mix, Robyn Glaser’s perfection, Hans Blomquist’s rural reduction. And my personal Top 5 photographers: all the “hidden” amazing stylists behind the names of still life and food photographers; Irving Penn and his classics; Robert Polidori’s coloured remainview; Tim Walker’s dreamworld; Sybille Bergemann’s faces. - Where do you find beauty in life? - Where and whenever I am able to break out of my boundaries, so it can touch me. I think living nature is beauty itself, but I’m not always able to see or sense it... I tend to find beauty in details, outside the focus, or in the moment.

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I’m inspired by those who dare to be warmhearted, authentic, and unique; who are liberated from concepts

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- What do you find special about Hamburg, the city you live in? - The old trading history, the value of hand sale, trust and long term work relations - respecting others and being trusted. Working in the field where whatever you do is regarded and rated in terms of “like it” or “don’t like it”, these trading values are my safe roots. It is a city full of hidden treasures, you just have to look twice. I think it’s really special that there is a lake in the middle of the city, because whenever you cross the town, you also cross the waterline. So sometimes, like in winter when the lake is frozen, it feels like walking in a Brueghel painting... Hamburg is special. And with its own rules. - Do you know what’s the most important thing in life? - I don’t know what THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in life is. For me it’s to live it while I’m alive. Like a promise - in good and in bad times, as long as I live.

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- What was your biggest dream in childhood? - Honestly, I have no idea. What I remember clearly is that I wanted to grow up taking my own decisions. Did it come true? As long as it’s possible to have what is called “free will”, I would say - yes.

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The match between “made” and “non-made” looks is what I’m searching for to express my personal golden rule LLAMAS’ VALLEY

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I want it all... Coockoo Design house

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Photography: Augis Narmontas Text: Alge Ramanauskiene

There are shops which you enter and are immediately thunderstruck by the desire for, well, everything. This happened to us at the newly opened Coockoo decorating gallery in Vilnius, Lithuania. A tiny cuckoo met us announcing midday from its incredibly stylish black house. These cuckoos are the reason for the gallery’s name. ”We are a bit crazy,” the founders of Coockoo say by way of introduction. As it transpires, this “healthy dose of crazy” means an unusual outlook on life and home, a desire to be different and brave, to experiment and take risks. Kristina Stunzeniene, director

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of the gallery, was inspired to open a store for globally appreciated design by the stories of the items themselves. Who can resist the tiny cuckoos in clocks by Progetti? Looking at their colorful houses in all different shapes, one can easily lose track of time. A wooden table with lovely ceramic legs, a sofa as soft as a cloud, lamps reminiscent of graceful birds’ nests - all born of Paola Navone’s talent. Making these for the world-renowned Italian company Gervasoni, the designer, of course, used only natural and eco-friendly materials. Subtle, elegant, unhackneyed, and soooo Italian!

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For those several make-or-break ingredients of a home interior, Coockoo director Kristina Stunzeniene would definitely pick the most comfortable sitting room sofa (we have no doubt it would be Gervasoni!) and a large table to encourage not just delicious meals, but also long conversations. “A cozy home consists of a few key elements and details,” she says. “A home must be made for interacting and living.”

Not surprisingly, Coockoo is mostly full of pie­ces by famous and exclusive Italian designers. This is not for the ordinary home, is the thought that strikes us at the sight of the characteristic cera­mic masterpieces by Seletti, romantic ones by Creativando, and subtly crazy ones by the Dutch company Pols Potten. Exceptional details and charming knickknacks made to warm and lift the mood on even the cloudiest day.

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Coockoo

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Several Frenchmen have also been permitted into Coockoo. If anyone would distract the attention of the assistant, I’d love to step barefoot on a Toulemonde Bochard carpet. Poetic souls would probably spend a while by the Le Pre D’eau wall décor. And oh, the clocks, the clocks! Summercolored knit ones by Diamantini & Domeniconi

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(especially cozy!), and those fanciful cuckoos, entertaining the gallery visitors on the hour. A visit to the Coockoo home is worthwhile just for this wonder. Yes, it does feel like home here. And if you ask us, we believe that Lithuanian homes could really use some Coockoo courage!

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Coockoo: www.coockoo.lt 45 Gedimino Av. Vilnius, Lithuania

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Perfectly non serious home

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Photography: Augis Narmontas Text: Alge Ramanauskiene

Ruta and Tomas and their daughters Elze (2.5) and Jure (5 months) live in a house decorated way outside the box. It would be hard to say what there is in common between the Lithuanian artist Marius Jonutis’ woodcuts and a pattern of old colorful wooden planks, transported from a Thai hotel to the kitchen cabinet. Today their home is a cozy two-story Vilnius’ old-town apartment by the St. Nicholas’ church. It was not just the excellent location that charmed the young family, however. They were won over by

the spacious terrace with a view of the inner courtyard. Here, among the aromas of basil, rosemary, and flowering plants, is where Ruta and Tomas now spend most of their time. “We used to live very close to this house, but the view there was quite different: we saw dilapidated old-town buildings and drying laundry. However, our family was about to grow, so we wanted more space. We found this flat. Of course, it was all about the terrace,” says Ruta . “I’d always wanted a light-filled white home. I offered my good friend Jurgita the decoration job.

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Her house, which she had decorated herself, was lovely. So we “birthed” all the ideas together. We were both with small kids at the time, so we took them to all the shops, turning our little ladies into true shopping pros. It was an excellent diversion for maternity leave.”

nian. There are no extravagant details; this is not Italian style, and definitely not Province. I think, charming eclectics,” says Rūta’s smiling friend Jur­ gita. “We just managed to find things we liked and combine them into a whole. It is most fun working when you have a good rapport, and when you can put into fruition those ideas you came up with for ”Ruta and Tomas’ house is Scandinavian Lithua- your own home, but couldn’t realize.”

Ruta and Tomas totally trusted Jurgita, and she, in turn, was glad she could create her friends’ house on a lighter note. “Lithuanians often take their interiors very seriously, as if they were building themselves a church… We could play with textures, details, and

more interesting design,” says Jurgita. She says that the hardest task was to combine such different details cozily into one. “We weren’t reinventing the wheel. The internet and books are full of ideas. But I do believe we managed to create a harmonious space.”

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We weren’t reinventing the wheel. The internet and books are full of ideas. But I do believe we managed to create a harmonious space LLAMAS’ VALLEY

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BEthany de Forest Artist Amsterdam, the Netherlands

WEBSITE

Photography: Maria Cavali Text: Alge Ramanauskiene

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Coffee with muses

- Bethany, your creative work seems to have a lot of magic in it... What’s the message you want to transmit to the audience? - I want to draw the viewer into a world where things are different than they appear at first. I want people to wonder about what they are seeing. I like creating situations that in reality are impossible but seem very natural in the picture. Often you have to look twice to understand the situation. For example, the meat-palace I built. At first you think it’s a huge cathedral constructed of

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marble. By looking more closely you can see that the marble is slices of meat. This surreal, magical effect I like to call “Romantic Absurdism”. - How and where do you collect things and objects for your works? - Everything around me can be a trigger for a piece. The supermarket is a great source of inspiration. The landscapes I see during my travels or just when riding my bike are another great influence. Sometimes I get an object from somebody or find something by

the garbage. Also I’m a material freak. I use a lot of different materials and often suffer a period of addiction to one material. I’ve had a sugar-cube period and also a candy, meat, and candle-wax stage. - What are the most unexpected objects you have ever used? - Somebody once gave me a petrified frog. Beautifully preserved. The sight of it horrified most people. But I gave it a crown and made it king of my sugar-palace.

- How do the strange imaginary worlds you create reflect the real world we live in? Do you see many similarities? - I like combining things out of the real world in perhaps a slightly more idealistic way. There is always something tangible, things we all know. But I guess I enjoy the power of recreating.

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Creating a world can take anything between a few hours and several months 92

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- How long does it take for you to build one - What are your favorite places in Amsterdam? “world”? - I like live music. So my favorite places for that - Creating a world can take anything between a are Paradiso, Melkweg, Malou Melo, Winston Kingfew hours and several months. All depending on the dom, Bitterzoet, and so on… material I’m using and of course the storage life of For good Indian food I like going to Balti on the the products. Poppies don’t stay fresh for very long. Albert Cuypstraat, for Thai – to Krua Buppha on the Van Woustraat. I love city walks, which I end with - What inspires you? a good beer at Dopey’s Elixir or Café Quibus. - Everything except filling out tax forms. - Who are other artists that inspire you? - You live in Amsterdam, a very creative, but - Artists whose work I like are: Erwin Olaf, Rualso a very competitive city. What helps you to ud van Empel, Saskia Oldewolbers, Margriet be unique? Smulders, Jan Fabre. Closer to home: Pipsqueak - I don’t really experience a competitive atmos- was here!!!, Alexander van Zanten, Riet Wanders, phere in Amsterdam. Maybe because what I do is very Robin Noorda, Alice Brasser, Meinbert Gozewijn specific. I’m not worried that anybody will or can copy van Soest, Janssen en Fortuin, Piet Zwaanswijk. me. People recognize my work and I get a lot of posi­ And lots more. tive feedback. So I have nothing to complain about.

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Visit Bethany de Forest’s exhibition at: KOCHXBOS gallery 1e Anjeliersdwarsstraat 36 Amsterdam, The Netherlands June 23rd-July 19th

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French Vilnius

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This story is remarkable because this was the first time a Llamas’ Valley reader ever invited us for a cup of tea at her home. We were glad to oblige, and have decided to do this more often from now on.

The way you live

Photography: Augis Narmontas Text: Alge Ramanauskiene

Now, meet Ieva Anskaitiene, a resident of the Uzupis neighborhood in Vilnius. Ieva and her husband Antanas are both Francophiles, and so their home is a bit French, delicate, cozy, romantic, and soft. It won’t stay this neat for long, though, as the couple is expecting and their peaceful oasis is likely to become a huge playground this fall. Right now, however, Ieva is enjoying the divine serenity, studying culture management, and painting.

“I wrote to you on a whim. I like Llamas’ Valley and the beautiful pictures inside. Every time I flip through it, I appreciate you doing this. So it seemed to me that if our little place ended up in the magazine, it would be a bit of an honor. I do have the time right now, so I thought, why not?” Ieva says, and we return the compliments, admiring her home. Ieva created the interior herself, with a few tips from designer Andrius Balezentis. “At the time, everyone was decorating in a very modern style, but I wanted a pastel, Provincial, warm, and cozy home. I refer to people as cozy as well: if a person is cozy, I like them,” Ieva says laughing, “All this house lacks is a fireplace. Imagine winter: books, candles - and a fireplace. I am very calm and couldn’t see myself in a loud, bright home. I’d be tired of it in no time.” LLAMAS’ VALLEY

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I am very calm and couldn’t see myself in a loud, bright home

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The second story staircase landing is home to Ieva’s little artist’s studio. There’s an easel and many scattered tubes of paint. “I’m an amateur artist. I paint what’s in my imagination. My husband calls my drawings “avatars”,” she says smiling, “My first degree was in marketing, then I spent quite a while working in aviation, which was interesting. Inside, though, I am ambivalent: I like both marketing and art. This is what led me to culture management studies, so I can combine my two passions.”

The Francophilia pervades the kitchen as well. Ieva enjoys cooking and often treats her friends to several favorites: Coq-au-vin (roast chicken in wine), Burgundy beef stew, and delicious omelets. “Wherever I travel, say, France or Tuscany, I come back inspired with the beauty and pleasure of it, but I still love Vilnius, it’s so small, compact, and cozy.” Ieva smiles as the aroma of fresh strawberries fills her kitchen. Oh, how nice to have such welcoming and kind readers!

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Ieva Paintings Would you like to be in Llamas’ Valley? Send us a few photos of your home and invite us over! hello@llamasvalley.com

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Images: Ausra Osipaviciute www.aography.com Designer: Ieva Daugirdaite Model: Kamile (“Ruta Models”)

A drop of white gouache

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Photo: Ginte Kuraite

Ieva Daugirdaite

Fashion designer Creates and lives in Vilnius, Lithuania

Website

Text: Alge Ramanauskiene

- Walking around in the city, do you watch people and their clothing? - Of course I do. I look at the way people dress, make their hair, and interact. This makes up the diversity of life. The thing I care least about are probably shoes. Normally I can tell what kind of person they are within the first several seconds. Then the details begin: an unexpected hairdo, a curious accessory or sweater, or an interesting t-shirt back. - How many stylish people do you notice every day? - Quite many.

- How many did you meet today, for example? - Today is rainy, so all I saw on my way were puddles‌ But people really do try to look nice in Lithuania. They are very creative, they improvise. - How would you describe your own style? - Barefoot shoemaker! I dedicate hardly any time to it. The ideas come first, then the work, and then I just want to look neat and nice, not particularly special. I keep very few pieces from my collections. Most get given to friends or sold. - When you create a collection, do you only make clothes you would wear yourself? - Yes. The whole collection goes through the filter of my personality.

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- Who are your clients? - Curiously, when the clothes are sold in shops, I don’t get to see the people who buy them, although I am very curious… I haven’t made menswear yet, so right now my clients are stylish, daring, experimentally-minded girls.

- Did you expect it to be that popular when you created it? - I never thought about that. I think about the idea itself rather than it’s commercial aspect. The construction of my pieces is quite complicated: there are many lines, and cut-outs.

- Which garment from your latest collection, Archetypus, was received best? - The see-through top with the leaf applique in the middle.

- What else is exceptional about your work? - I love combining different fabrics. The materials must be interesting by themselves. There was this white mohair dress with latex stripes. The luxury of Angora goat wool against the seemingly cheap plastic – looked interesting. - What fabric has been your latest discovery? - In the last two years I’ve discovered neoprene, which I used in my graduate collection. It’s what diving suits are made of. It washes perfectly, is nice to wear, it’s sculptural, it can be both very thick and very thin. The subject of my graduate thesis was the three layers of human skin. Neoprene was an excellent functional match for the first layer. I went to London to get some, because I couldn’t find any nearby; I tried it, loved it, and we became friends. - What is the color or color combination you like most? - My entire color palette looks as though each color was mixed with just a bit of white gouache. These are my pastels. LLAMAS’ VALLEY

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- Do you make accessories, or just clothes? - I tried to make some symbolic accessories for my latest collection. They were sculpturally bent chokers and handbags inspired by vintage coolers.

world. Latex intertwined with natural fabrics, an emotion evolved. As for the hairdos, they were inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine. I wanted something mysterious.

- What inspired your newest collection, Archetypus? - Normally, ideas get collected bit by bit, until the aesthetic of the collection forms. Then begins the search for fabrics, color palettes, silhouettes. This takes a lot of time. For the new collection I wanted fresh, green tones to link it to nature. Finally the idea evolved to this somewhat unearthly woman who lives between Earth and another

- How does your inspiration manifest itself? - It comes probably from the unconscious, the sorted and assorted thoughts, encounters, seen things. At the end of a collection, you’re thinking clear, then suddenly things start popping up... - What do you do outside the fashion world? - I like skiing and traveling. When I turned eight­ een, I went hitchhiking with friends through Europe twice, for a month each time. That was when my great love of travel was born. Oh, the feeling of leaving home with just a tent… - And is cooking your thing? - I enjoy eating well, but have no time to cook. Lately I’ve only been spending nights at home... I’m working for a ladies’ magazine and in the field of advertisement.

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- Do you remember anywhere impressive - Well, I had more time then. The senior year in you’ve had a good meal? school was very artistic. Besides, I met Giedre Fledzin- Maybe when we drank beer from newspaper- skiene and decided I wanted to study with her if I was wrapped bottles on the Eiffel Tower… (laughs) to study anywhere. During my studies I got to meet many interesting people. In the end I won the young - Ieva, are you one of those people who knew designers’ competition, Fashion Injection. they’d be designing clothes from their childhood? - No! After high-school I had to pick a major. And - Where do you usually sketch? I’d always liked looking stylish. - On my computer, to be honest. I always include a symbol of mine in my collections. It is much eas- There you go, and you said you were a bare- ier to transfer it precisely on the piece using the foot shoemaker. computer, and choose the right colors. LLAMAS’ VALLEY

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- If you had money to spare, which designer would you wear? - Balenciaga. They are closest to my aesthetic, my love for everything sculptural. They dictate fashion. - So you’d like to dictate it too? - No, I just want to create new things. It is very difficult to be original, so a good collection needs a strong idea. - Where do you see yourself five years from now? - On the same road: creating collections of interesting clothes which would make people happy, expanding my brand. - Would you like to work for a famous fashion house? - Perhaps for Hussein Chalayan, Balenciaga, or Alexander McQueen. In Paris or London.

- Even if it meant you would have no time for your own creations? - But it’s personally beneficial. You learn in which direction to work next in order to be successful. I worked for two years for Lithuanian designer Juozas Statkevicius, doing everything, from sewing on buttons to helping at presentations, to working at the showroom, to dealing with clients. - So what’s Juozas like? - I really liked him. I got to see the kitchen, how everything happens. Working for a designer suppresses your own creative work for a while, but it is a worthwhile experience. - What, do you think, is important for a young designer? - You have to know what you want to do. If you want to achieve your purpose, you need to want it very badly and work very hard.

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Gudrun Arndt

Freelance Photographer Hessen, Germany

Website Blog

Photography: Gudrun Arndt Text: Alge Ramanauskiene

The hidden beauty of bits and bobs When Gudrun Arndt was 12, the age of her son today, she started riding her bicycle around with a brand new camera and took her first landscape pictures. Today, at Gudrun’s home you can find the black & white prints of her photos hanging on the walls of almost every room or just placed wherever they fit. Gudrun calls it experimental photography. Depending on the imagination of the beholder it may unveil different visual contents. Just like a faded leaf suddenly transforms into a female torso…   Gudrun studied Visual Communication and French language and literature at university, but never really got away from photography. Throughout those years Gudrun worked on different sub-

jects, but concentrated mostly on nude and experimental photography. Her pictures were shown in different solo or group exhibitions and have received several awards. After moving from the north of Germany close to Frankfurt am Main, she became an assistant to Bernd Mayer, a professional commercial photographer working in Frankfurt. Today Gudrun is a freelance photographer.   Based on her love for design and nature as well as the inspiration she got from several Scandinavian blogs, like those of Emma Fexeus, Annaleena Karlsson, or Lotta Agaton, Gudrun Arndt decided to blog her own photos. What started out as a simple idea became an obsession. LLAMAS’ VALLEY

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Diarist

“It’s often the bits and bobs inspiring me,” Gudrun Arndt says, “I love stones, leaves and a lot of other material which can be found in nature. If I would have to describe myself, I would say, that I am sort of an item gatherer and finder. Currently, I am really in love with my Tree-Poster, reminding me of a kind of Marimekko pattern. I have to get it enlarged even more! Off course, I miss any flea market close to my place. Rummaging for nice dishes and glass is definitely part of the fun. Still, chairs and lamps have a particularly magnetic attraction for me. I still have a few dreams…”   In 2003, as Gudrun was moving with her son and her husband in their brand new home, a house with a small garden in the countryside, she was convinced that it was gigantic and that it would take ages until they would have all the furniture and lamps. No surprise, she started collecting chairs, lamps, and smaller tables and, no surprise, the house started to become smaller than originally expected and filled faster than Gudrun would have liked it to. Today she’s glad when she can rearrange or change some corner or other. Moving stuff around became Gudrun’s second passion, always looking for that one picture.

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 “Often it is enough to create a small still life somewhere to change the entire impression of a room,” Gudrun says, “Luckily you don’t necessarily have to move a lot of furniture around. Probably also a fact my family is very happy with...”   Gudrun doesn’t stick to a particular style. She says it’s this mixture of old and new stuff - be it a classic design item or something she collected somewhere - that she likes most. For example, the bank that can be seen in the photo of the bedroom, used to stand on Gudrun’s parents’ handmade kitchen table when she was a child. Nobody would ever have thought at that time, that it would one day become part of Gudrun’s own styling in her home. The small wooden side table in the living room belonged to Gudrun’s parents as well.

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 “Furniture can be an important and nice piece of your personal memories and not only a pleasant and familiar design item,” Gudrun says, “I could tell you a little story about people, places, and events in connection with each and every of my favourite pieces. If there is any external influence on my style, I would have to say it has to do with Scandinavian style. I collected a few smaller pieces during our several travels to Denmark and Sweden.”

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regrets Joe Boggon

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Photography: Joe Boggon

Joe Boggon

Beauty and advertising photographer Lives and works in Paris, France

- Your bio tells the fascinating story of a teacher­ who one day turned into a talented photographer working for the big ones like Marie Claire, Elle, or Le Figaro! How did that transformation happen? - I was working as a teacher for businessmen in La Défense, the business district of Paris. My then girlfriend gave me a Pentax SLR and I star­ted taking photos of modern architecture between lessons.

Website

Photography: Nadia Gric Text: Alge Ramanauskiene

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- Please complete the sentence: To me, Paris is a city of…... . - …course. - Your Parisian home is cosy and has a beautiful courtyard garden. Is it very different from your home in Britain? - Well yes and no. I grew up in a 500-year-old house in the English countryside with wooden beams, dust, low ceilings, and plates on the wall. It has a beautiful garden. My flat now is a little more modern and significantly smaller, but I think there’s a little something that links the two.

I had a few exhibitions and went to see some galleries, but decided I needed to know more of the technical side so I started an internship at a photo studio on the weekends. For well over a year I worked 6 or 7 days a week as a teacher and studio assistant. Any free time I had I used to do building work on my ex-apartment. I then sold my apartment, which allowed me to work as a studio assistant full time. This gave me valuable studio time to improve my portfolio and get a good website. I then started speaking to people I knew, and the offers of work for magazines and advertising followed. - How did you end up living in Paris? Should we blame photography, or maybe love?? - Love. I moved here with my girlfriend of the time.

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- I know you created the interior of your recent home by yourself. Is interior design another passion of yours? - When I was little, I wanted to be an architect. I’ve always loved making the most out of the space I live in. Space and proportion has always been very important to me – which may be why I ended up as a photographer. - What was your vision about this home and how did you succeed in realizing this vision? - When I bought the place no one had lived there for about thirty years. It was completely dark as there was so much dust on the windows; there was also furniture and stuff stacked up to head-height. I fell into a hole that the ex-owner had made. I was there a full 10 minutes before I spotted the fireplace. However, I knew it was cheap and that I could do something with the space. I made various plans and spent around a year and a half getting the work done with lots of support from family and friends.

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- I also heard there are three cute birds and a cat living in the courtyard of your home. I bet you never feel lonely! - No, never, not with my friends Blackie, Robin, Jay, and Felix keeping me company. It’s quite fascinating really, it’s like a mini eco-system in the garden. Even the pigeons look like they come from the countryside.

- I like French cuisine, but to be honest I find it a little buttery and beefy for my tastes, it can be heavy sometimes. But there will always be a place in my heart for the humble croissant, rillettes (pâté mixed with extra fat) and confit de canard.

- Any favorite gourmand places in Paris? - A little Cameroonian restaurant called San Francisco on rue de Ruisseau in the 18th. They - What about the French cuisine? Did it find its way make the most amazing chicken wings with planinto your heart? What are your very special dishes? tain bananas.

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- Favorite galleries and artists you met or visited while living in this city? - I’ve recently been collaborating with a Parisbased artist called Heidi Moriot. I’m also a big fan of other friends of mine Georgia Russell and Raul Illarramendi who are both with Karsten Greve.

ving to London to develop my network there. Not that I’m giving up on Paris. The idea is that I should still be able to keep my best clients in France – after all, it’s only a short train ride away.

- Joe, what would you suggest to someone who’s not completely satisfied with his job and - Well, I also heard that you’re leaving France life, but is afraid of changes? and going back to England. Is this a new period - It’s not worth regretting not trying; it leaves you in your life? bitter. If you feel strongly enough about something, - It certainly is. The flat is now sold and I’m mo­ you should go for it. LLAMAS’ VALLEY

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Space and

proportion has always been very

important to me –

which may be why I

ended up as a photo-

grapher

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Take your chance

advertising@llamasvalley.com LLAMAS’ VALLEY 155

currently Michael Rea is estern w h t r o N in r o t an instruc rtment. a p e d t r a ’s y it s Univer n find him a c u o y e im t e In his fre uilding b t s u d w a s in covered uctures, r t s n e d o o w e massiv aracters h c l a n io t c fi f o usually creais H . s ld r o w l and ephemera ntasfa e h t f o s a e id tions evoke rate and o b la e e r a s e c tic; his pie imposing.

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, e c a p S d n a n o Ficti ` n ` k c Ro Roll

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Michael Rea

Wood artist Works and creates in Chicago, USA

Website

Photography and text: Carina Gibson

- When did you start working with wood? - I would say about 10 years ago. I’ve gotten into it from painting, just from building stretchers and things of that nature, and once I graduated undergrad I was working in Chicago and I would try to do paintings, and stretchers, to get these things to hang flat on the wall. I just started fooling around with the table saw to do it, and I started thinking this is a kind of interesting tool, I kind of like this

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thing, what else can it do? At this point I had spent more time on the back of the painting, and then from there I just started doing these rock and roll instruments, and we would play all kinds of shows with fake instruments, like at the Mutiny in Chicago. We would make these fake bands, one of the three bands was fake. So you would have real band, fake band, real band, and we would just feed a CD through the PA system. It was called I Yell Because I Care.

- Did you play in bands before? - Yeah I did, I played saxophone, and I played in a shitty ska band…   - Did you start with crazy large pieces, or did it start from something small and gradually get bigger? - Well it was a band thing so they were smaller but then compiled into something larger…then I went to Grad school, and my only responsibility was teaching drawing to freshman once a week, and I was like, wow this is awesome, since I had been working like forty hours a week, so I started making some big pieces, stuff that had to do with the movie “The Right Stuff”. I was going to Grad school so I would sit around and watch this movie and was like “this movie’s awesome!” and so I thought I should start building something to do with a space program, then considered doing another performance with it, but then I built a group of works that were in congress with this idea of space. Then I just kept daring myself to do something bigger. That’s kind of how it is now, it fluctuates between big ones and smaller ones. I’ll do a big one every two years, and smaller ones in between.   - Do people ever ask you to do something? - Oh yeah, when you make stuff like this, everyone’s constantly like, “Oh I know what you should make!” LLAMAS’ VALLEY

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- You have a pretty extensive list of places you’ve shown and publications you’ve been in. Have you had many gallery showings overseas? - A little bit. A couple summers ago I was in Germany doing a residency. Germany was fun. I was in Darmstadt, which is right outside Frankfurt. Then I got into a show at the Victoria Albert in London, and that was nice, and that piece just traveled to Switzerland. I was also in some small show in Germany in Hamburg. It’s just tricky with the shipping and such.

 - Where are you from? - The south suburbs of Chicago, around Tinley Park.   - And where’s your last name from? That’s also my mother’s name, although she pronounces it differently… - Rea? I believe it’s Irish. It might have been changed a little bit from O’Reagan or such. It sounds like it might have been cut up a bit. My whole family is all southsiders, so they are all Polish, Irish mix. LLAMAS’ VALLEY

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Here in Llamas’ valley, it’s not about the money. It’s all about growing wings!

DO na te

Thank you!


Llamas' valley