Saturday, 30 June 2012

cointreau burlesque à la Yvonne

It's Saturday and I have a nice cocktail recipe for you. You might know the the cocktail "Cointreau Teese", we have adapted it slightly as we couldn't find any violet sirup here. So we replaced it with Parfait Amour which is also based on violets and gives a hint of vanilla as well. Try it out and enjoy!

Here comes the recipe:

40ml (1.3 fl oz) Cointreau
20ml (0.6 fl oz) Apple juice
15ml (0.5 fl oz) Monin violet syrup
15ml (0.5 fl oz) Fresh lemon juice

Put all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well. 
Pour in a martini glass and decorate with a violet.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

my second creation is ready to wear

Here is a first shot of my parrot dress, I was working on in my free time. The fabric is from Alexander Henry and it's called: "Birds of a Feather".

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Provinssirock ja Pohjanmaan kautta II

After a relaxing Saturday in sunny Vaasa, we jumped again on the bike and explored a bit Pohjanmaa. Ask Finnish people about this part of Finland and you will hear two things: it's so damn flat and people are so stubborn... I found it very beautiful, especially as now everything is in bloom and nicely green. Even the rain disappeared, but probably just because I put on all the rain gear on the way.

and here I am
But back to Seinäjoki and the festival. The first act on our schedule was Kauko Röyhkä & Narttu. Röyhkä is quite famous for being a diva and for his sharp tongue which criticizes middle class thinking and mediocrity without mercy. There is definitely a punk attitude hidden behind the pleasant sounds.

Another diva is Michael Monroe, and how does a rock start celebrate his 50s birthday? Of course on stage with his fans. He just seems to love performing, one can sense this in every second. He jumps into the crowd, not afraid of all the hands touching and groping. and then back again on stage to climb on the stage construction, he is always in motion. 

The show was great and line-up included besides new stuff also some Hanoi Rocks classics and he seems to be able to play forever, even improvising a piece with the band out of the blue.

Michael Monroe
But our long awaited favorites for Sunday were Slayer. And not just for us! It's always amazing here in Finalnd how many people they can attract to their gigs and while Mastodon was still playing on the island stage a nice crowd was already gathering in front of the main stage ready to explode into a mosh pit with the first sound. Crazy!

Amazing also Tom Araya who in-between the most aggressive music, keeps on smiling and talking in his typical polite way, thanking the audience for coming and hoping that everyone enjoys and finally wishing a good night to everyone.

But not before the masses are satisfied having heard their favorite songs like "Raining Blood", "Seasons In The Abyss", "Dead Skin Mask" or "Angel Of Death". 

After a great festival weekend we marched back to our hotel for a little after party with sparkling and chocolate. My train should leave already at 8 o'clock in the morning, which meant an early breakfast. The atmosphere was still in festival mode so that our 6 o'clock breakfast was accompanied by live piano music and even a single guitar player with his three muses was playing on the street.

_my Sunday playlist:
Lauralle - Kauko Röyhkä
paha maa -Kauko Röyhkä
mainostaulujen taakse - Kauko Röyhkä
dead, jail or rock n' roll - Michael Monroe
all you need - Michael Monroe
seasons in the abyss - Slayer

Monday, 18 June 2012

Provinssirock I

After a weekend of music and exploring the Finnish countryside, it's nice to be back home and full of positive experiences.
My festival summer started this year with Provinssirock. So after a couple of hours in office on Friday, I took my rucksack and escaped with the train in direction north-west. Seeing all the band shirts united on the train platform, I was obviously not the only one with destination Seinäjoki. 


The first band on our schedule was actually Amorphis, but then we stumbled over the Poets Of The Fall. I heard just couple of pieces, but with songs like "War" and "Cradled in Love" they created a goose bump atmosphere, one could hardly escape from.

Amorphis front Tomi "the Medusa" Joutsen

But the next surprise was already waiting. The Death Hawks, announced as the "New Doors", made us already highly suspicious especially hearing the psychedelic sounds coming out of the festival tent. But I got immediately impressed by Teemu Markkula's voice which simply doesn't seem to fit to this blonde guy with the curly hair and the deep black sunglasses. Their music style includes blues and rock and the influence of Jim Morrison seems always present, one sometimes gets even afraid good old Jim takes the boys on a ride on the snake...

Teemu Markkula from Death Hawks

After enjoying the great weather on a lawn relaxing and observing people, we were diving into a completely different kind of genre. One shouldn't miss the Finnish band Eläkeläiset to get an impression what Humppa (a traditional Finnish dance) is all about. They manage to cover nearly every famous song one can imagine (or not) to create a "Humppa"-version out of it. Their treatment of hit songs is nearly as rough as their treatment of instruments which especially the keyboard had to suffer from, which was kicked and even jumped on. But in the end there are just two things you can do: trying to find out what the original version was, which sometimes drives you nearly insane, or just dance Humppa.

Mainact of the first day with a grandiose show, songs which are still stuck in my mind and fireworks were for sure Nightwish, though my personal heroes were definitely the Eagles of Death Metal with full mustache power they conquered the stage. I have seen mustaches already during the day (even combined with pink hair), but even Jesse Hughes who is for once known for his mustache, but also for his enthusiastic interaction with the audience was deeply impressed and treated the crowd with hits like "Cherry Cola", "I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)" and "Wanna Be In L.A." As you might guess, the music has not much to do with Death Metal. Josh Homme described it once as "a combination of bluegrass slide guitar mixed with stripper drum beats and Canned Heat vocals." If you find this confusing, check it out yourself!

After a great performance, the festival closed its gates in the early morning hours and we climbed on the bike and drove to Vaasa. It was still bright outside, but freezing cold on the bike. But the sunrise and the early morning light when we reached Vaasa compensated for the cold. After a hot shower and some sleep, we spent the whole Saturday relaxing in the sunshine and enjoying good food and cocktails, before we came back for the Sunday program.

_my friday playlist
War - Poets of The Fall
Cradled In Love - Poets of The Fall
Death Has No Reprieve - Death Hawks
I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News) - Eagles of Death Metal
Cherry Cola - Eagles of Death Metal
Wanna be in L.A. - Eagles of Death Metal

Friday, 15 June 2012

Finnish Summer Festivals

Hello from the train! I am on the way to the first festival of this year: 
Provinssirock in Seinäjoki. 

I so know that in the end someone will shout "Play paranoid"
The line-up is pretty nice, besides (famous) Finnish bands such as Nightwish, Amorphis and former Hanoi Rocks frontman Michael Monroe, I will finally have the chance to see the Eagles of Death Metal! And Slayer are performing as well... Don't know why half of Finland seems to be Slayer fans, but my Slayer shirt is also in the bag!
So have a nice weekend and I will give you report later!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

treasures for sale

Over the years I have collected some treasures of Scandinavian design and fashion who are searching a new home. If you are interested have a look at the boutique.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Over the roofs of Amsterdam

I am just back from my trip to Amsterdam and want to share some of my experiences with you: from beautiful canal houses in old and new, art and flowers, exotic food and of course some shopping tips.

the mezzanine with bed and terrace
_where to stay?
We had a lovely apartment with roof terrace in Prinsengracht 490. It's very centrally situated in one of the beautiful canal houses and from our roof terrace, one could even see the towers of the Rijksmuseum which hosts Rembrandt's famous painting "The Night Watch".

Rush hour and Rijksmuseum
But if you are more interested in modern design you should try the Lloyd Hotel. First time opened in the 1920s as one of the most luxury emigrant hotels of Europe, it was used long time as a prison and finally in 2004 reopened again as a hotel.

Lloyd Hotel
The refurbishment was done by MVRDV. An office known for its radical solutions which managed to free the building of its past. The interior design is done in cooperation with more than 40 other designers. Some of them have created the unique suites of the hotel which all differ in look and design. Make sure to get a guided tour through the facilities.

Lloyd Hotel, the rooms
_exploring the city
A good way to get an overview of Amsterdam is actually by boat. If you don't like the guided tours, try out the canal bus, where you can hop on and off wherever you want. If you feel confident enough with the traffic, get yourself a bike and explore in original dutch style.

canals of Amsterdam
_restaurants and cafes
If you need a break from exploring, try Villa Zeezicht (Torensteeg 7) or Buffet van Odette (Prinsengracht 598). Both places serve a nice breakfast and compete in the reputation for delicious apple tartes.

Villa Zeezicht with view over the canal
Besides typical dutch pancakes, poffertjes and waffles, the Netherlands in general are well known for their mix of cultures due to the former colonies and trades, so take the advantage and try for example some Indonesian food as it is more authentic than in other European countries.

We have chosen Tempo Doeloe for dinner with its excellent food and wine and charming service. If you want to know what Indonesian food is all about try the rice plate and enjoy the variety of dishes served in little bowls.

For vintage lovers, the markets are a must. The "Noordermarkt" (next to Noorderkerk) hosts during the week a flea market and on saturdays additionally a food market with bio products and dutch delicacies.
But also the (web-) shop I Love Vintage (Prinsengracht 201) has a good selection of vintage and vintage inspired clothes and accessories. My favorites are the 20s style flapper dresses as seen in the movie "The Artist".

I Love Vintage
For contemporary design have a look at the concept store SPRMRKT (Rozengracht 191-193) and Restored (Haarlemmerdijk 39). You can find trendy furniture, accessories and clothes.

One of Amsterdam's highlights is definitely a visit in the Van Gogh Museum with the famous "Sunflowers". You can find your own for the balcony on the famous flower market among other plants. 

flower market
Modern architecture in the Netherlands after 1990 is one of the most interesting in the world. Interesting realizations include Silodam, the New Islands (Borneo, Java, Sporenburg, KNSM), IJburg. 

modern canal houses on Borneo Island
Many Dutch architects who are recognized abroad have their works here, including the Rotterdam based star architect Rem Koolhaas, Sjoerd Soeters, Wiel Arets, Benthem & Crouwel, Ben van Berkel & Ton Alberts.

Happy exploring!