Talk the Talk We get the nitty gritty on some of our favourite creatives from around the world. Page 3 Euro Adventure The best of Cologne, London and Barcelona - from coffee to culture! Page 8
Editorâ€™s Note Interview with Creatives Textile Whisperer
New in Store: 2015 Must-haves For Love of Paper
Food Styling Gold Foiling Calligraphy Chasing a Dream
Interior Masters 2015 Design trends Must-visits in Europe
Twee Stationer Best of both worlds New Concept Store
Feeding Conversation Lemon Tart Recipe The Lettering Craze
59 Eng Hoon Street #01-79 Tiong Bahru Singapore
The Conversation Issue Dear Readers, Truth be told, I would much rather converse with each of you only through the use of visuals. We’re not quite there yet though, and actually I think this issue of the Gazette has a number of lengthy written articles, so brace yourselves! That said, at Bloesem we predict that slowly but surely we will see visuals ‘taking over’ and increasingly influence the way we enter into conversations with friends, family and commercial relationships. And as ambitious as the Bloesem team is, we want to be at the forefront of this development. As they say, publish or perish, so we strive to master the art of publishing visuals, many of them, and as pleasing on the eye (your eye, that is) as we can possibly make them. Or so I was musing in absolute serenity (without being distracted by any conversations) on Telunas Island, Indonesia, just a few hours off the coast of Singapore – as far as the eye can see there were ‘stills’, from every angle, stretching across the horizon. At Telunas, private island hide-away, life is a series of the most amazing still frames, in colour. Picture perfect. We went there for a pre-Holiday Season escape from the busy city life, re-energizing for the final stretch of the ‘old’ year. We will be going back soon and I recommend that you join us. We’ll have more to say about Telunas on Bloesem blogs, so stay tuned. Personally, I am a strong believer in communicating through visuals. Especially in our industry, images present a universal and powerful language that all of us (and that includes you) are fluent in, or as we like to say at Bloesem, we’re natives as it relates to visuals. Through visuals, nothing gets lost in translation. There are no boundaries, imagined or real. And one visual can convey multiple messages, telling different stories to different people coming from different cultures or backgrounds. So what could possibly be a more enticing way to start a conversation, any conversation? How often have you started a conversation by sharing your favorite Instagram or Pinterest images? Probably very often and in my case, inevitably, all the time! Clearly, visuals are winning and here to stay. We have come a long way since the discovery of the camera obscura that in turn led to the first photographs being made. Interestingly, scanning through the history of photography, the pioneers of this beautiful art made quite a number of selfies! Come to think of it, even the Dutch masters of the Renaissance period were not shy drawing up the occasional self-portrait. So no need to feel guilty or embarrassed when you indulge in selfiemaking, as you are in very good company. Ah, vanity...! Of course, communicating through visuals is more art than science and at Bloesem we’ve set out to perfect the Art of Visual Storytelling in everything we do. In our Classes or Shop and most evidently perhaps on our blogs and social media platforms. We try to stick to the same storyline: above all we want to be known for our impeccable taste in visuals, seducing you to start a conversation with us and our international audience. As a reader, sponsor or customer.
Happy browsing. Irene Hoofs.
Editor in Chief instagram @bloesemblogs
Illustration Ernica Ding
Managing Editor // Zara Salahuddin
Contributor // Chong Mei Kwee
Contributor // Anouk van der EL
Zara stumbled upon Bloesem
Mei Kwee Chong is the newest
through the wonderous world of
member of the Bloesem Team.
marketing mastermind behind
Instagram, decided to jump the
the Make History line of products,
Industrial design ship and has
Division of Communications and
which include the Time Capsules
never looked back. She spends
New Media, she lives and breathes
and most recently, the Little
her days in the Bloesem studio
social media both in and out of
Quote Jar. She is the voice of
reason and source of comedy in
content for the Bloesem blogs.
Bloesem’s social media platforms,
the Bloesem studio, always ready
After spending too much time in
she is key in the organization of
to serve up some useful advice or
university on Youtube and blogs, she found her true passion
creative classes and maintenance of Bloesem’s online shop. She
constructive criticism for anything Bloesem related. Thank
in social media. Luckily for Zara, her day job allows her to
also has a passion in food styling and spends her free time baking
you Anouk, you make us smile!
dabble in everything from photography to DIY craft projects.
sweet treats and creating crafts she learnt from Bloesem classes.
The Textile Whisperer — Textile designer from The Netherlands, Mae Engelgeer, tells us her inspiration for creating colourful and eye catching textiles and so much more. Hi Mae, the last time we talked was in May 2012, has a lot changed since then? We’d love for you to update us. Yes a lot has changed. I think the last time we spoke I had just moved into my first studio space. We were busy developing the ISH. Collection and our presentation for Milan 2013. I think since Milan things went into a more vivid flow, but now (2.5 years later) it’s not quite like that anymore, which of course is a good thing! What is the first thought that crosses your mind when you wake up? Is it morning already? And then I think about the things that are on my list for the day, and of course my daughter, getting her ready and
What is a normal day in the life of Mae Engelgeer?
to school. Then coffee, I love coffee!
I think it’s quite busy. Being a mom and having a career that takes a lot of time. So what is normal: Waking up, breakfast with my daughter, then getting her to school. Then I cycle to the studio which is in the East
What are your recent designs inspired by? How difficult is it to
of Amsterdam, overlooking the canals, which I really love.
keep coming up with new collections? We are working on a more minimalistic collection now. And (I am)
Then coffee and starting up the computers, reading some emails and catching up with the intern(s) to
very excited, there are a lot of collaborations in the works and I am
discuss the projects to work on. Maybe 1-2 appointments or preparing for the textile lab if we have an
even working on furniture fabrics! Something that has been on my
appointment scheduled for that week. Working on different project. Trying to finish my “to do list” which
list for a long time.
I always make but hardly ever finish because there are always things coming up during the day or things take longer than expected. I think I always want to do more than the hours that I have in a day. But I
I always have new plans for new collections and I am always thinking
think this is normal when you are running your own studio, it is never finished. Then (I will) see if we
of what is next before I present new work, so no. I think at this
have to order or ship production. In between there might be some phone calls, and emails. Actually this
moment we have a lot of projects running at the same time, so there
continues the whole day, if not on my computer then I read them on my phone. Then home, family time
is always something to continue with or to finish. During the process
and later in the evening I often end up behind the computer again.
of one design or collection I easily pick up new directions to continue with. So one project slowly goes over in the next collection. It is a continuous flow from one to the other. Could you share with us 3 of your favourite spots in your city? I really like this new place called SLA. They have very nice and healthy salads, drinks and it is located close to my house which is in the old
The one important lesson I learnt on my creative journey is to follow and trust my instincts when it comes to designing fabrics or
south of Amsterdam, called De Pijp. I also really enjoy the North of
important decisions for the studio that have to be made. Also that
Amsterdam, near the NDSM warf. There is a lot going on there. Good
you have to work hard to achieve your goal, nothing comes for free.
spots for drinks and hangouts. The Stedelijk Museum, which is new
For me this is not a career, it is just what I do.
and really has international allure and great exhibitions. I am very happy they sell my collection in the Museum Shop.
Is there a piece of advice you would share with budding designers who are still in school or thinking of quiting their day job? Follow your dream, work hard and just go for it. What comes to mind when you think of the term “success”. Do you feel you have achieved it? Well, what is success? I am of course very thankful for where I am and what I do as a textile designer at this point, but there are still a lot of things on my list to do or achieve. At the same time I am also very happy looking back. When you look back at your very first collection, how do you feel? This was the Bow collection. I look at it in a few different ways. On one hand, it was the start of my work as a textile designer and it got picked up by several design stores. And on the other hand, I am happy my style changed into a more graphic and modern signature style.
Photography courtesy of Mae Engelgeer
For Love of Paper
Tell us more about the team behind Mossery’s fun stationery.
in between each process to pick out the bad apples for quality control.
We are a team of three graphic designers – a designer, a marketer and a printer with a passion to design and make things.
If you could do a collaboration with any brand, which brand would be a dream to work with?
Describe your creative process in coming up with new designs and
Jun: Playhound, a fashion brand from Thailand and Airbnb, a
prints for your stationery.
hospitality/travel startup from US.
First we determine who we want to design it for – what does this group
Vivian: Fun British fashion label Lazy Oaf and Ceramic Maker Makoto
of people love? With a level of empathy, we approach things that they
Kagoshima (individuals are brands too, no?)
love and get inspiration from there. We imagine ourselves as one of
— With their notebooks exclusively sold in Singapore in the Bloesem Shop, Mossery shares their creative and production process behind their stationery.
their friends, and ask ourselves – what would we recommend them?
What kind of designs and illustrations can Mossery fans look
For our latest batch of products, we designed it for chic and confident
forward to in the coming year?
women – and we see what kind of clothes they wear and restaurants
Basic designs for serious long term users, accessories that supports
they go to. The rest is about exploration of materials, usability and
our core products i.e. notebook casing, cover wise – maybe a theme
designing the emotion it brings to the user.
from the universe - space, galaxies and planets, and a theme from Mother Earth – whimsical animal prints for our fun stationery.
We love how close you guys are to the actual production process. Tell us 3 little known facts about Mossery.
How do Mossery products get made?
1. Our logo is based on the chinese character - forest 森 which
When it comes to production, we have to communicate very clearly
represents our responsibility to make the world a better place.
our expectations and vision to our printers as each process involves
2. The tallest member is 193cm tall and the shortest member is 153cm.
different people and machines, old and new. We also pop into
3. We spent hours choosing hundreds of samples to get the paper right
factories to monitor the whole process from printing, binding, cutting
, so that it feels good to flip it, smells good and works great with any
to packaging. We think it is extremely important for designers to
understand production and be very involved in the process. We come
Bloesem is committed to working with clients that share our finesse and drive to push the limits and forge ahead. We want to help you discover new ways to grab the attention of the billions of people that consume media on a daily basis. Set yourself apart from the crowd. Create content that will give you a distinct competitive advantage. Drop us an email at email@example.com for more details.
New in the Bloesem Shop NEW // Dear Maison Stone Notebooks; Palomino Blackwing Pencils
NEW // &Klevering Graphic Tealight Holders
NEW // Bookhou Pocket Pouches; Alexiares & Ani Skincare
NEW // Babe Body Souffle
NEW // Snackfood Terrariums
NEW // &Klevering Tealight Holders
NEW // Ihanna Cushion Covers
NEW // &Klevering Porcelain Hangers
Add to Cart A new year warrants a new look for the Bloesem Shop. We’ve brought in all our latest favourites and we know it won’t be long till they’re your favourites too! Shop online:
shop.bloesem.co Visit our store: 59 Eng Hoon Street #01-79
Crafting a Dream — If you think the saying “It’s never too late to chase your greatest dream” is cliche, let this story of fibre artist and weaver, Natalie Miller, prove it’s true. Many might strike an accord to this: You spend your days desk-bound behind a computer screen, pursuing a job just to pay the bills. Daydreaming of what life would be like if you had the guts to ditch your “moneymaking” job in pursuit of a passion that burns inside you. If you haven’t had the courage to take a leap of faith, let this interview of our Bloesem Class teacher, Natalie Miller, inspire you to make a change. A registered architect for the past 20 years, Natalie relocated to the the scenic countryside town of Kangaloon in the Southern Highlands from Sydney a few years ago. Feeling overpowered by technology she faced at work, Natalie made a decision to do something many wouldn’t subscribe to — relegate her job as an architect to “part-time” and spend more of her time practicing her adored crafts of weaving and macramé. She recently collaborated with scultpural basket maker, Harriet Goodall, to set up a little craft supply shop called Raw Craft in front of their studio. Natalie spends most of days creating the most gorgeous and colourful tapestry weavings and macramé pieces and also conducts workshops in her studio, Koskela, Sydney and of course with Bloesem Class in Singapore. What sparked your passion for weaving and macramé? And how has your background influenced what you are doing today. Initially when I studied architecture, computers didn’t exist in everyday society. We were taught to hand draft on tracing paper, print with blue prints, hand build models, and hand render. It’s now just typing on a keypad, and for me it’s not the same. I was losing the sense of creating objects with my hands in the real world. I needed to make things and regain my sense of touch. I love to explore the different techniques of textiles, which sparked my passion for weaving and macramé. I believe that my architectural training has influenced my work as I have a great understanding of the design principles and know how to integrate them together with materials to create something. The same principle applies when putting textiles together, instead of using bricks, stone, and glass to create forms and objects, you are using different fibres, colours and textures to create different forms and pieces of art. Architecture and textiles are very much integrated and can complement each other when creating spaces.
“I believe it has a big influence in the psychology of a space. To me, bright colours means happy. It makes me happy “.
Tell us more about your Raw Craft shop in Roberston and the inspiration behind it? Raw Craft specialises in basketry, weaving and contemporary craft supplies. You will find our own hand dyed rattan, wool, cotton rope and raffia. We also stock products from around the world, including super chunky Loopy Mango yarns from New York, rope from Barcelona and Ashford weaving equipment and wools from New Zealand. Australian makers are also represented, with a range of handmade painted rope vessels, shibori textiles and ceramics. The inspiration behind it was from a recent trip to NYC and the abundance of small craft stores, which inspired us to open something similar. Somewhere that sold different and unique craft supplies. How do you find the craft community in Singapore. Have you spotted any new weaving trends we should know about? The craft community in Singapore is currently growing and I believe it’s only at the beginning of a huge trend in Asia. I would say currently there is a lot of empahasis on wall hangings with a geometric design and abundance of rya knots. I’m currently breaking away from this, focusing on creating pieces that are less formal and organic. What is your experience like teaching weaving and macramé in Singapore for the first time? We’re
8 - 11 May
// Natalie Miller
looking forward to having you again this year, is there anything you want to do or see in Singapore
With the smashing success of our weaving class last year, we
that you missed out on the last time you were here?
had to bring back Natalie Miller from Australia for more weaving
What a wonderful experience it was. Meeting Singaporeans and expats all ready to learn the art of weaving.
madness! Back by popular demand, this class is where you
Everyone really embraced the design and making process and created the most extraordinary pieces. I’m
will learn how to weave your very own woven wall hangings --
very excited about revisiting the food in Singapore and Haji Lane. I loved hanging out in Tiong Bahru where
a decor trend that will continue to trickle down into spaces of
Bloesem is located. I did miss out on some of the iconic sites like the Marina Bay Sands and the gardens
modern homes. Be prepared to experiment with lots of colours
behind, that will be my first tourist stop this time!
and textures to create playful patterns that you will definitely be proud of! If that doesn’t sound good enough... you also get
What are you looking forward to in 2015?
to take home an Ashford timber loom to continue your weaving
2015 is going to be a big year for me. I’m travelling all over Australia and revisiting Singapore to teach what I
adventures at home!
love. I have a major weaving and macramé exhibition coming up in June in Sydney. My husband is currently building our house in the countryside, a very contemporary building which I’m really excited about seeing the evolving form and structure.
Photography courtesy of Natalie Miller
Art of Visual Storytelling
// Irene Hoofs
If you missed last year’s Art of
Have you seen tons of mouth
Visual Storytelling class, we’ve
got good news — it’s back! Taught by our very own Irene Hoofs, founder and editor-inchief of Bloesem, this class is all about creating and curating online content. It will be a 3.5-
4 - 7 Feb
#Instafood- Food Styling and Mobile Photography
// Trisha Toh + Bloesem Team
on Instagram and thought to yourself: “How do they do it?!” Well, this class is exactly what you need to up your food styling and mobile photography game! Together with Trisha Toh, a well-
hour course jam packed with
tips and tricks to build your
Kuala Lumpur, the Bloesem
online presence with visually
team will teach you how to
compelling content. One part
artfully style your food and
theory and one part practical
capture delicious #Instafood
this class also includes learning
shots whether it’s for your
the basics of Adobe Photoshop
business or just to make your
for you to make your photos
followers drool all over.
look professional and visually pleasing.
Lots of gold, glimmer and lust... This class is no ordinary
5 - 8 Mar
Write it in Gold!- Gold Foiling Calligraphy for Beginners
Hands up if your 2015 resolution is to learn a new
// Veronica Halim
had! With the overwhelming demand for us to bring back calligraphy classes, we had to up our game and add a little surprise element to top off the modern sophistication of
skill. Well, it’s always nice to pick up a skill or two to
calligraphy — Gold Foiling! We
add some dazzle into our lives. So whatever it may
have invited graphic designer, Veronica Halim from Indonesia,
be, we have got a huge line up of classes for you to
to not only teach us the basics
add a new skill set to your repertoire.
of calligraphy but also gold leaf application techniques to give
your lettering a pop of metallic golf foil! Oh boy, this is one popular class so be sure to book it before it’s too late!
Marketing for Makers
// Irene Hoofs + Anouk van der El
Want to turn your potential into
Join us as we embrace the
a professional and profitable
macramé revival and learn from
business? Plug into the energy
Natalie Miller the art of knotting
of other like-minded creators and
Bloesem Class. You will learn
12 - 13 May
Knots and Ropes- Macrame
// Natalie Miller
cord into intricate patterns. With some twine and chic knots, she will teach you to make your very own wall-hanging-
how to define and refine a
style pot hanger to give your
marketing strategy that you
homes a fresh modern look
can put into action right away.
with a natural touch. With these
We are firm believers in quality
‘knotty’ skills at your fingertips,
over quantity, so you will walk
you will be able explore more
away with key concepts and
elaborate macramé projects to
action steps on PR, online and
come. It’s gonna be an addictive
visual storytelling, SEO, pricing
skill, once hooked you will be
guidelines and work sheets – all
tying knots in everything!
wrapped in a nifty handbook. After this class the marketing of your brand will be just as much fun as the creative process. If you mean business as well, sign up today!
The Interior Masters — Always at the forefront of the interior design scene is the duo behind Studio Oink. We interview them for expert advice on home decoration, styling and their keen forecast on new design trends in 2015.
How did you guys end up working together in the interior design scene? When we met the first time in 2011 during the furniture fair in Cologne, we felt a big connection between us and when I finished my studies one year ago it was clear to us, that we would work together and set up our own interior studio. Since our childhood, we both felt connected to interiors, aesthetic pieces, furniture and craft matters. In my case (Lea), when I am watching a movie for example, I am always interested in the interior and how the interior interacts with the actors. Matthias built a lot of small wooden houses in his childhood; some were in the trees and some in bushes. A lot of things were about a “home“ in our childhood, so it was a kind of a logical consequence that we ended up in the interior design scene. What are the dynamics of your partnership? Who does what? We have the same “goal“ and the same feeling and relation to “aesthetics“. I am responsible for the marketing, the PR and even for the acquisition. Matthias is responsible for the technical drawings, the crafted things and all the technical and craft related questions and work. But if we have a project, we work out the concept together. We both make up our minds and we make some moodbards.
“It’s essential to create home concepts where our clients feel sheltered and “home“.
During a meeting we fix the basic themes and the colour schemes. After we have created the basic mood and the concept, I am responsible for the more detailed mood and the research of furniture and so on. Matthias takes over responsibility for the drawings, so everything goes hand in hand and we always work as a team on a project. We never work on a project alone. It’s very important to us, to listen to the opinion of the other and discuss about moods and colours and so on. Many people find themselves overwhelmed when facing the task of decorating their own homes. They know what they like but they find it hard to put things together. What are 3 simple guidelines you would give to them? We think there are no “basic rules“ we can give. We know that there are some pieces of advice like “use one colour scheme and try to style everything tone in tone“ or “try to give a neutral atmosphere some interesting colour splashes“, but it’s not as easy as it seems and we always advice people to hire a professional, if you are not sure with your interior concept. It seems to be easy to style a home or maybe a set for a magazine, but it isn’t. Left image: Apple Poster by FineLittleDay available at shop.bloesem.co Photography courtesy of Studio Oink
lot of people think that the most talented creative people are located
forget to live in their places. For us it’s essential to create home
in Berlin, but for us it isn’t. There is a big movement in Leipzig now,
concepts where our clients feel sheltered and “home“ by using
where Matthias is born, and we are going to move there. It’s a very nice
second-hand furniture and mix them with personal pieces. We like to
city with a great dynamic and a grounded and honest creative scene.
see the traces of life in an interior, we don’t like it if it looks too clean
But we don’t like to tie something to a city, it is as we said, there are
and arranged like in a catalogue.
some very talented designers in different (smaller) cities in Germany, like the jewelry label WSAKE and we don’t have a “creative“ city or a
What’s in store for Studio Oink in 2015?
community for designers. It’s often connected with (big) companies,
We are currently working on a big interior design project in
so there are huge networks between designers and manufacturers,
Washington D.C., it’s an old townhouse, which is already renovated.
but to us, the “real“ creatives are working behind the scenes. If we
We are responsible for the interior concept, which means the
can’t move to Leipzig, we could imagine living in Denmark (not in
furnishing, the colour scheme, artwork, flowers, plants and so on.
Copenhague! ), in Belgium, France or the Netherlands. There are a lot
Moreover, we are going to stock our small online shop with some
of beautiful cities and places in these countries and we are fascinated
cute handcrafted dolls for kids. But we also have some other projects
by their architecture and their way of life.
on our minds, which we would like to realize in 2015. We will see, we think it will be exciting!
The design scene in Germany There are so many parts which should be considered. It depends on the owner, on the taste of the owner and of course on the environment. To us, every project is new, there are no general rules. We always create tailor-made concepts for our customers.
is not very huge, you
What’s an upcoming trend for interior and furniture in 2015? Nature and living in a natural and ecological way is still a trend, even for the next year. For the colour range there will be soft tones, like
cannot compare it with the
pale rosé or pale mint for furniture and wall colours, but even darker
Scandinavian or Dutch design
soft tones will be in fashion. Moreover, the Scandinavian way of life
scene, which is much bigger.
will stay popular. I am sure there will be more ceramic in the interiors in 2015, even in furniture. I guess there will be some combination of wood and ceramic, similiar to the collection Matthias designed in
Describe the design scene in Germany. If you could be based
anywhere else where would it be and why. The design scene in Germany is not very huge, you cannot compare
What’s the most common mistake people make when setting
it with the Scandinavian or Dutch design scene, which is much bigger.
forth to design their home?
There are some very talented german designers like Sarah Böttger or
It’s the problem, I already mentioned: They trust design advice and
Aust & Amelung, but they are located in different cities. Of course a
try to decorate their home by following some design rules, but they
For more info visit www.studiooink.de
Photography courtesy of Studio Oink
Come Travel with Us Popular Instagrammer, Trisha Toh, takes us on a vibrant ride around 3 cities in Europe, London, Cologne and Barcelona, filling us in on the gem spots she explored. Be prepared for a visual feast of her travel adventure and expect lots of good coffee spots!
Craving Caffeine: Monocle Café
Arts & Culture: Natural History Museum
Arts & Culture: British Museum
Arts & Culture: British Library
Craving Caffeine: Kaffeine
Arts & Culture Natural History Museum
Craving Caffeine Workshop Coffee Co.
One of the 3 large museums on Exhibition Road in South Kensington. The museum is home to life and earth science specimens housed in a Romanesque style facade.
Opened with four locations, Workshop Coffee Co. serves excellent coffee prepared by friendly and knowledgeable baristas. Their sandwiches are tasty and ample in size.
Cromwell Road www.nhm.ac.uk
A museum dedicated to human history and culture, the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court impressed me the most. The Great Court is the largest covered square in Europe.
Short for Tapped and Packed, TAP has three outposts in central London, each with a familiar simple and relaxing vibe. There are just six coffee choices on the menu, with a simple list of teas and homemade pastries.
Great Russell Street www.britishmuseum.org
Highly regarded by the locals as one of the best coffee-bars in Europe, this laid-back café takes their coffee seriously and has friendly baristas that are pleased to share their knowledge with you.
There is one main exhibition area called The Treasure Room where visitors can find a copy of the Magna Carta, original song lyrics written by John Lennon, drawings by Michelangelo and plenty of great historical items. It’s free and open to all. 96 Euston Road www.bl.uk Photography courtesy of Trisha Toh
66 Great Titchfield Street www.kaffeine.uk
Culture magazine, Monocle, opened its doors to their first London café, completing the London coffee scene with well-dressed staff that fully traverses Marylbone. The space itself is airy, bright and remarkably modest. The coffee packs a punch and so do their cakes and pastries. 18 Chiltern Street www.monmouthcoffee.co.uk
Roasting since 1978, Monmouth Coffee maintains world-class standards for sourcing, roasting and brewing beans, and is still one of the most talked about coffee shops in London. www.monmouthcoffee.co.uk
Craving Caffeine: Tap Coffee
Festival & Festivities London Short Film Festival
This celebration of short film is the most looked forward to event that showcases cutting-edge UK independent film makers today. www.shortfilms.co.uk
Coopers Hill May Bank Holiday Cheese-Rolling
The extreme sport of UK’s festivals. The rolling takes place on a grassy hill where dozens of contestants compete in chasing a 9lb Double Gloucester cheese. www.cheese-rolling.co.uk
The Alternative London Tour
Take the road less travelled and discover the London you won’t find in any guidebooks. Tour includes Street Art, Modern Architecture, Finance District and so much more. www.alternativeldn.co.uk
The Coffee Gang
Hohenstaufenring 19 www.thecoffeegang.de
Lütticher Straße 6 www.facebook.com/kaffeekuechekoeln
Forget your Calculator Club. This is the only gang to be in. A casual yet stylish offshoot of two coffee enthusiasts, this gem is the place to go for consistent cups of coffee and homemade cakes.
Arts & Culture Museum Ludwig
My favourite museum in Cologne which contains many important works of art from the 20th century including works by Andy Warhol and Wayne Thiebaud, and a massive collection of contemporary art.
Ernst is an exemplary café and roaster that sets the third wave coffee bar up high in Cologne. Its carefully selected and vintage furniture pieces complement the airy and bright room.
Bonner Straße 56 www.ernst-kaffee.de
This City Garden is located at the Belgian Quarter of Cologne, known for its array of independent design shops and galleries with a particular focus on promoting the rising local music scene.
Heilandt checks all boxes of a good coffee company. Their devotion to producing high quality standards and providing excellent coffee service earned them the respect they deserve.
Venloer Straße 40 www.stadtgarten.de
Bismarckstraße 41 www.heilandt.de
This little coffee shop serves organic, fairtrade coffee that would please every crowd. Their matcha latte is a wonderful alternative to coffee and their sweet treats are off the hook!
The outfitter for urban, design-oriented and sustainable lifestyle, Toendel offers a myriad of furniture pieces from established brands in Scandinavia and around the world. Siemensstraße 9 www.tondel.de
Van Dyck Rösterei
It took me a while to warm up to this café but the formula here just works: coffee, solid cakes and an interior that looks like a chip off an old school salon and dental clinic. Körnerstraße 43 www.vandyckkaffee.de
Craving Caffeine: Ernst Kaffeeröster
The brainchild of an art enthusiast, SCHEE started out as an online shop selling renowned artwork. They recently opened a brick and mortar store that carries home and design items. Maastrichter Strasse 36 www.schee.net
Literally translated as ‘Seventh Heaven’, this bookshop and design shop was borne out of the belief that books and good design can make for a special shopping experience. Brüsseler Straße 67 www.siebterhimmel.de
Festival & Festivities Cologne Carnival
A festival of costumes that happens every 11 November. Up to 70,000 carnival revelers will come together, all dressed up in quirky and bright costumes to simply have fun. Craving Caffeine: Van Dyck Rösterei
A huge running event for all running enthusiasts. The course goes along the Rhine banks, the Cathedral and other sights. I was lucky to get a glimpse of the run as the course was along my street!
Barcelona Craving Caffeine Taranná Café
Taranna is a small corner full of personality in the heart of Sant Antoni. This cozy place offers an amazing healthy breakfast and organic juices. Carrer de Viladomat, 23 www.tarannacafe.com
This laid back café located in the trendy and hip neighbourhood of L’Eixample brings natural light, stylish décor and friendly staff. Truly remarkable. Carrer del Parlament, 39 www.federalcafe.es
Satan’s Coffee Corner
Do not let the name scare you, the café was named because like Satan, the coffee is dark. Serving probably the best cup in the city. Carrer de l’Arc de Sant Ramon del Call, 11 www.facebook.com/satanscoffeecorner
Flax and Kale
A paradise for those seeking a healthier way of enjoying food. The menu is tailored for the vegan and vegetarians as it explores some delicious raw options. Carrer dels Tallers, 74 www.teresacarles.com/fk
Arts & Culture MACBA Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art
Not to be missed! The MACBA houses some important works of international artists in changing exhibitions. Plaça dels Àngels, 1 www.macba.cat
CCCB Centre of Contemporary Culture Barcelona
One of the most visited exhibition and arts centers in the city, the CCCB’s core theme is within the city and urban culture. Montalegre 5 www.cccb.org
Fundació Joan Miró
Joan Miro was a respectable Catalonian artist and his works are characterized by its strong colours and simplified forms.
Craving Caffeine: Taranná Café
Craving Caffeine: Taranná Café Arts & Culture: MACBA
Parc de Montjuïc www.fundaciomiro-bcn.org
Festival & Festivities Fiesta of Near Death Experiences The oddly named festival takes place as homage to Santa Marta in gratitude for allowing the participants to avoid death after a close encounter. www.spanish-fiestas.com
La Tomatina Tomato Festival
The world’s biggest tomato fight which often takes place on the last Wednesday of August each year where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets. www.latomatina.org Photography courtesy of Trisha Toh
The Twee Stationer
— With so many stationers around, it is a rarity to find one like Present and Correct, an independent stationery store, home to carefully curated supplies that evoke a certain classic vibe. We spoke with its founder, Neal Whittington, about the emotions he hopes to bring to customers through his products. If you could choose a type of stationery to describe yourself, which would you choose and why? Definitely some kind of paperclip, because it attaches itself to ideas and clings on. How do you constantly keep yourself inspired to create such fun stationery? We are big fans of the internet! There is so much good stuff online, particularly old design archives, full of things to inspire. Also other people making stationery inspires in that it spurs you on to do your own thing. Travelling to markets and collecting as we go is another great source of inspiration. We have a drawer full of old ephemera, which we always look through for ideas. Looking through your collection brings us back to the times in school. What kind of emotions do you hope your products bring out in your customers? That’s good to know, we love old educational supplies. I think a feeling of nostalgia is nice but also a feeling of being organised. A sense that you are ready to get stuff done! Also if the things we supply bring a very basic sense of pleasure then that is great.
With the shift online, so many people are using online calendars and other apps to replace physical notebooks and stationery, how do you keep your products relevant? We like to think that a well designed product will always be relevant because it looks and feels good. Also humans are cyclical in that when a way of life swings so much one way it is almost an instinct to claim back the opposite. The antithesis of all that digital paraphernalia is a notebook and a pen. I do wonder whether younger people will feel the same at our age though, as they grow up in a schooling system with more and more technology. Which Present and Correct product is a hot item and how does this influence your design and purchasing? The current hot items are the desk caddy and also our paperclip chart and some pencil cases from Delfonics. They have been doing very well this festive period. Our purchasing strategy does not change ever. If we like it then it is in. The shop is our taste, objects we would want to have on our desk. What’s in store for Present and Correct in 2015? There are always dreams and lists of things we would like to do. A book would be great, we have one in the works but it is not about stationery as such. It would be great to make some more products next year and also think about a new or another space. We have filled our current shop already! And the website will get an overhaul too. The main thing really is that we keep enjoying what we do and other people enjoy it as well. Photography courtesy of Present and Correct
Best of both Worlds â€” Jantine Vaartjes and Vivian Hoebe, bloggers of interior design blog, April and May, have moved a step forward from their online world -- just last year they opened a physical concept store in the Netherlands featuring beautiful furniture and even a cafe. We spoke with them on their newest endeavour. Why a store? and why now? In the beginning of 2014 we were asked if we were interested in working on a new store concept for an existing store in the city, Alkmaar. The owner of the store wanted a new and different concept and a completely different atmosphere. We decided to create a new concept for the store and added a new collection of brands and products to the existing collection. Not only did the interior change, but also the name and branding changed into First or Second (design choices). The project was a challenge because of the size of the store with approximately 2000 square meters and the time issue where we had to finish the concept, restyling and new collection within 4 months. But we managed and the result is a completely new store that breathes a totally different atmosphere and experience. What is your inspiration behind 1 or 2 Store? How does the blog translate into the store? We wanted to create more than just a store, somewhere you can experience products and brands in a different way. A place where first experiences lead to second moments. A combination of design, vintage design and products (first or second). We divided the store into different areas with a 1or2 cafe, 1or2 villa, 1or2 art and 1or2 kids spread over almost 3 levels. With the 1or2 villa you can experience products in a real villa and be inspired to use them in your own home. We have a kitchen in the villa that is used for cooking sessions and workshops. Just like with our blog, we wanted people to get inspired in a different way compared to how stores usually present their collections. Can you tell us about your favourite product in the store? Jantine: I personally like everything in the gallery (1or2 art) where you can find great graphic prints, posters, cards and stationery. One of my favourites are the prints by Studio Esinam. Vivian: All the products from the MENU section in the store. Beautiful products that fit perfectly in the entire space located next to the 1or2 cafe, designed by Norm Architects. 1 or 2 is so much more than a store, it even has a beautiful cafe. What are your favourite aspects of the entire business? For the cafe, we worked together with Norm Architects. We visited them in March 2014 and told them about the concept we were working on with plans for a cafe where we wanted to use and present the products from the brand MENU. They were excited about this idea and created the design for this cafe. In the cafe, you can experience all of the products from MENU, you can even enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea and buy your favourite products. Whatâ€™s in store for April and May in 2015? We have been working very hard on this new store concept in 2014 and have finished this project with a great result and we are really proud of the result. For 2015, we will be working on a new look and feel for April and May with a new branding and logo, new blog style and a changed look and feel for our online store byAprilandMay. Photography courtesy of Wendy from Beeldsteil
Feeding the Conversation — Sweet tooths, Mei Kwee Chong and Zara S., try their hands at a delectable lemon meringue tart and are over the moon at how it turned out. (Might just be a sugar rush!)
Dessert always does the trick, whether it’s to
complement a hearty conversation or alleviate an
Place flour, butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food
awkward silence. What’s better than a zesty lemon
processor fitted with a steel blade. Using the pulse
meringue tart after a rich meal. After all, there’s
button, process the mixture until butter is in small
always room for dessert don’t you agree? Whip up
bits. Using your hands, add egg yolk and cold water
this all-time favourite to serve during friendly catch-
to mixture to form a firm dough. Wrap dough in cling
film and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
INGREDIENTS For the pastry:
Preheat the oven to 190 degree Celsius and grease a
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
9-inch tart pan with removable sides.
110g/4oz cold unsalted butter, cubed 2 tablespoons of sugar
Roll out dough to thickness of 0.7cm and surface large
1 egg yolk
enough to fit tin. Trim off excess using a sharp knife
Pinch of salt
and prick holes all over the bottom of tart shell with
1/4 cup ice water
a fork. Line the tart shell with buttered aluminum foil (butter side down) and fill with baking beans. Bake for
For Lemon Curd:
10 minutes. Remove foil with baking beans and bake
1 1/4 cups sugar
for another 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 tablespoon cornflour
Meanwhile for the lemon curd, cream butter and
1/8 cup finely grated lemon zest
sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer for 1 minute. On
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
low speed, mix in eggs and yolks at intervals, and add
4 large eggs
in lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Pour mixture into
3 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
a saucepan and cook over low heat until it reaches 80
Pinch of salt
degree Celsius, whisking constantly. Set aside to cool.
For meringue, whisk egg whites, cream of tartar and
1/2 cup sugar
salt with a electric mixer until they become frothy. Add
4 large egg whites
in sugar, a spoonful at a time, and whisk for about 2
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
minutes till meringue is thick and glossy. Transfer the
Pinch of salt
meringue into a piping bag. Pour lemon curd into tart shell and pipe meringue on top of it. Bake for 8 minutes at 190 degree Celsius, until the meringue is lightly browned. Set aside to cool completely. Serve warm or chilled and enjoy!
Photography courtesy of Zara Salahuddin
The Lettering Craze
— 3 quick questions with Bloesem Class teacher, Veronica Halim
From wedding invitiations to greeting cards and art prints, a new trend in lettering has emerged that has
Veronica’s interest in calligraphy piqued when she first took a calligraphy class during her years in University.
many raving over – the newly dubbed modern calligraphy. If you think that calligraphy is passé and ain’t
After 9 years of experience in graphic design, Veronica established her own design studio 4 years ago.
cool enough for you, this new kid in the lettering scene will definitely make you think twice. It’s a little
Due to the importance of typography as part of the design elements in every project she encountered,
fresher, a little hipper, but still just as sophisticated. We interview Veronica Halim on her creative approach
Veronica started practicing calligraphy again and loves experimenting with different inks and methods. Last
towards calligraphy, and heed her advice on how one can get started on it.
year, she started conducting several basic calligraphy classes in Jarkarta and teaches regular crafts and diy workshops with gudily.com. If you haven’t heard… Veronica will be teaching a Bloesem Class on Gold Foiling
We love the gold foiling calligraphy that you will be teaching in Bloesem Class, it is so unique! How or where did you pick
Calligraphy, so sign up before it’s too late!
Many people think: “I can’t do calligraphy because my handwriting is so bad!” What would you say to them?
How should someone interested in calligraphy get started doing it?
up this beautiful skill? I can say that my normal handwriting is quite bad too. I guess
Don’t be afraid to try, look up resources and inspiration online,
It was actually the technique that I adopted from hot stamping
because we never actually pay attention to each of the letters
be inspired by your favourite calligrapher and if you get a chance,
used in printing. Since I deal with a lot of offset printing with
when we write daily, and we normally write in a rush. With
participate in one of the calligraphy workshops offered in your
gold foil finishing, I thought it would be cool if we could actually
calligraphy you are somewhat forced to concentrate on the
area and just start from there. And keep on practicing!
apply a little gold foiling to small cards, business cards or some
shape of each letter, spacing and stroke. I believe that everyone
little things without having to print a thousand copies. Then
can do it, and having bad handwriting is not an excuse not to
one day I was sitting with my partner from my other hobby
take up calligraphy.
business Gudily (www.gudily.com) and we thought, hey, why not we try this with calligraphy! It turned out pretty cool. It is quite simple and straight forward. You can also apply it to any of your
Sign up shop.bloesem.co
drawings and doodles.
Photography courtesy of Veronica Halim
Bloesem Services Design Consultancy Concept Store Creative Classes Interior Styling Product Photography The Bloesem Team is always keen on working on new projects, whether it’s getting ideas for your new home or styling products for a shoot, they are just a hop, skip and email away.
Are you bored or would like to learn a new skill? Sign Up for a Creative Class and be ready for some real nice treats! Art of Visual Storytelling Instagram Food Styling Calligraphy Marketing for Makers Tapestry Weaving Macramé
Sponsors The Ordinary Co Whimsigirl Scout Enerfloyd Woolf Works Ohpopdog
Illustration Ernica Ding
Back Cover illustration Witxfolly
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