home sweet home

My suitcase is packed and I am just a few hours away from heading to Schiphol and heading home. Hopefully without any delays. My visit to the Netherlands has been wonderful and I look forward to sharing more stories and images. But I'm keeping this post light since the Squarespace team in New York is running their data servers in an example of the best tech support I've ever heard of: 

"We have been running hour by hour by manually carrying fuel to our generators (17 floors) with support from the building. As the night goes on, this becomes a bit more difficult to sustain, as fuel trucks are appearing more intermittently as the night progresses. For now, we remain online. Thank you all for your patience. As before, we do not have a sustainable solution to the energy problem, but we persevere in our efforts to get more fuel on site and get a pump connected."

Wow.

I shared on twitter earlier this evening, but if your home is a soggy mess when the water subsides and you've lost your magazines I will try to replace them.

And—thank you for all the Home Sweet Home submissions that are coming in tonight, in time for the submission deadline. The theme just seems particularly poignant right now.

sandy

Everyone at UPPERCASE is thinking about the horrible situation the storm is putting our friends and colleagues through. We hope that everyone is as safe and sound as possible.

Please be advised that our blog service Squarespace is experiencing flooding in their data centre and it is possible that the blog will be down for a time. Read about how they are coping at http://blog.squarespace.com and http://status.squarespace.com

Our shop is hosted elsewhere and works at shop.uppercasemagazine.com

Stay safe.

Janine

dutch design week: colour

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On a cold grey day, bits of colour pop just a little bit more.

dutch design week: details

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dutch design freak

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I am taking so many photos that I can't keep pace here on the blog! So although I'm back the hotel after a nice Meet and Greet and Athenaeum (thank you Reny and Anneke and everyone who came through the rain!), these photos are from Eindhoven. In the atrium adjacent to the Art Hotel was the Dutch Design Freak exhibition. Some highlights:

Envelope Book

Envelope Book

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Jurianne Matter

Jurianne Matter

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Label Aleph

Label Aleph

say hello at Athenaeum, Amsterdam today

The meet and greet is today from 5-7pm.
See you!

all the luck in the world

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Jane Schouten is a wonderful artist and craftswoman... with an ability to style beautiful things that is beyond compare. I first came across Jane's work via Flickr and her website, All the Luck in the World. Later, Tif Fussell included Jane as one of her "fine folks" in our book, The Suitcase Series Volume 2: dottie angel. Recently, Victoria Smith wrote an article about Jane Schouten in issue #13 of UPPERCASE magazine. With all these connections I couldn't come all this way without meeting. Jane and her daughter Nina (a goldsmith) have just opened a storefront in Amsterdam. Though they're fighting some noisy construction just outside their door, in the long term the neighbourhood will be thriving with new residents... and they can all visit All the Luck in the World to furnish their homes with upholstered and embroidered stools, vintage typewriters and lots of pretty tins.

I covet the stool on the right in the picture at the top of this post. Instead, I purchased an exquisite pin cushion made by Jane. I have some old stools at home that I am inspired to make over when I get home.

Miller Goodman at Piet Hein Eek

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I have admired the work of MillerGoodman online—they produce clever and well-designed toy blocks for children (and adults) so I was excited to see their display at Piet Hein Eek. The assembled faces, above, are part of their book, Faces, which has been on my list for Finley. (And possibly a set of blocks, too, though we have so many toys that have lots of parts that I always seem to hunting for missing pieces.) Alas, lineup in the shop was too long and the break during Etsy presentations was too short. Good thing everything is available online in the MillerGoodman shop. { One more image on little U. }

Piet Hein Eek

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The repurposed industrial complex where Hello Etsy was held is the property of Dutch furniture designer Piet Hein Eek. Housing his design, manufacturing and showroom along with ample exhibition spaces as well as other artist ateliers, a shop and a restaurant, the Piet Hein Eek complex is a place one could spend considerable time observing and learning, let alone doing and making. I can't describe how amazing Piet Hein Eek's studio is, so I will let the pictures speak. (Click on the images to view them larger.)

The photos below are from the shop and showroom. The number of people going through and visiting the Dutch Design Week exhibition stops was impressive!

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Piet Hein Eek spoke about his process and approach to making and selling his furniture. I wanted to purchase his 500 page Boek but at 2kg, it was best not to have to carry it around.

Piet Hein Eek spoke about his process and approach to making and selling his furniture. I wanted to purchase his 500 page Boek but at 2kg, it was best not to have to carry it around.

hello etsy

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Well, that was a great day! The entire Hello Etsy experience was terrific. My presentation went well and I was actually glad to have it over first so that I could relax.

Randy, Matt and Andrew from Etsy

Randy, Matt and Andrew from Etsy.

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I met lots of wonderful people. I had lunch with Anne, John and Vera.

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Here are fellow speakers Diane and Simone.

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I got to meet some fabulous UPPERCASE contributors in person! That's Anna Denise on the left, me in the middle and Kim on the right. Anna has just begun a job with Etsy Netherlands and Kim was a panelist at the event (and we coincidentally feature her subscriber profile in the current issue that I had available in the goodie bags.)

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It was lovely to meet Mitsy and her beautiful daughter. Mitsy was on the same panel as Kim, sharing their experience and expertise about selling on Etsy. I will try to round up a list of Etsy shops and links to the other people I met, but first I'm off to get some breakfast, see the grad show at the Eindhoven Academy and then take the train back to Amsterdam.

Thank you, Marta, for organizing a great event. Thank you to everyone at Etsy for your hospitality and generosity.

hello, hello etsy

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This afternoon I went out exploring Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. (Pictures to come!) Then I headed over to Piet Hein Eek's amazing complex of studio, galleries, restaurant and design shop to see the Hello Etsy set up and make sure my presentation will work well. I look forward to hearing him speak tomorrow and sharing more images with you.

For now, here are some iphone shots of the speakers' dinner, held in the studio of Nacho Carbonell. As part of Dutch Design Week, Smalle Haven offers dinners catered in various artist's studio across the city. Although we were really cold and partially warmed by space heaters, it was a cool venue with great company. I'm kind of glad that my presentation is first (!!!) tomorrow morning so that I can get that done and enjoy everyone else's presentations stress-free. See you soon.

meeting Mirthe Blussé

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My first destination once arriving in Schipol airport was  to visit illustrator Mirthe Blussé, who had cordially invited me to visit her studio. Her studio is on the the 6th floor of the Volkskrantgebouw building, formerly the headquarters of the newspaper Volkskrant. Now housing dozens of tenants of creative industry plus a nightclub restaurant on the top level, the Volkskrantgebouw was kind of gritty in a cool art college-meets-industry sort of way.

Mirthe's studio, shared with illustrator Puk, was light-filled and punctuated with colourful bits of paper and collage. Mirthe's work has a wonderful unconstrained freeness about it, with playful yet elegant sprawling handwriting, simple graphic collages and more conceptual ones. Mirthe started out with a degree in copyright law, but her lifelong passion for creating art was too strong to ignore.

Please visit Mirthe's portfolio and blog to see more of her work (we can also look forward to a magazine feature on Mirthe in an issue of UPPERCASE next year.)

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Thank you, Mirthe, for such a nice way to start my adventure in the Netherlands! 

market signpainter

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Henry van der Horst was at work in Albert Cuyp Market making signs for the cheese market stall. It seems that he was rolling his cart along making custom signs for the sellers.

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The finished sign in place.

The finished sign in place.

hours later…

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…and I was in Amsterdam! Even though it felt like 3am, I was out and about exploring Amsterdam for the afternoon. Here are some shots from the Albert Cuyp Market. I always love photographing outdoor markets when travelling since we don't have such things in Calgary (a city that I left under a blanket of snow.)

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airports

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I have a few minutes before my flight to Amsterdam starts boarding so here's a quick post... Long ago when I did design for clients, I actually designed the style template for these graphic table tops in the D departures food court in the Calgary Airport.

See you in the Netherlands!

getting ready

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I'm leaving on Wednesday! So lots of big and little things to do today. I wanted to bring some sort of lightweight gift to give away at the Meet and Greet in Athenaeum next Monday and I had a few dozen of these mini coloured pencils that I've been saving for something. When I noticed that my inkjet labels were exactly the right size to wrap around the tubes, I had quick but cute solution. Half an hour with things I already had lying around? Perfect!

contributor: Jane Audas

We are very appreciative of our contributors. They generously lend their time and talents towards making UPPERCASE a visually rich and well-written publication. 

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Jane Audas' most recent contribution to UPPERCASE magazine was her article about Abbatt Toys in issue #14. In her day job she works as a freelance creative digital producer, essentially producing digital things that work and look good. 

What creative project are you most proud of? Probably my blog. It's not my day job, nor even my evening job. But it remains the place I can write about things I like without anyone looking over my shoulder to see what I am doing. It is small and obscure and all mine. I have collections of books and bits of paper and my blog seems to have given form to both my actual collections and my thoughts about my collections. One of my favourite blogs, Things magazine, said Shelf Appeal is 'one of a relatively small number of weblogs that effortlessly conveys a love for the physical through the digital.' That sums up what I'd like my blog to be doing. And also made me proud of doing it.

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Tell us about a time your curiosity got you into trouble? Like Alice I found my rabbit hole. Although I was younger, I shall not forget chasing ahead along the side of big overgrown field on a sunny, lazy, quiet Sunday. I stepped on a wasp nest and promptly woke them all up. Understandably they were in an angry mood. Picture me being chased by a small swarm of wasps whilst being stung all over. In retrospect it was like something out of a cartoon. You'd think that would have taught me a valuable lesson. I fear it did no such thing.

What is your favourite word and why? My favourite word is a french one: dishabille. Odd, because I don't speak French. But it makes me think of historical clothes in paintings and relaxed dressing, draped fabrics, lounging and unbuttoned things—like waistcoats.

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What is your preferred creative tool? Probably my iPhone as I like Twitter and find it a creative outlet. I tweet things I have done and things I have found that other people have done. It can bring unexpected glimpses of lovely things in to your day, in a simple and uncomplicated way. That's why I like it. Also, Twitter is the freelancers friend. A nice way to have contact with people also working alone somewhere. Other than that I could spend all day working in Photoshop, if someone paid me to do so.

www.janeaudas.com
www.shelfappeal.com
@shelfappeal

subscriber profile: Kim Welling

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KIM WELLING

KIM WELLING

How are you creative in your daily life? I feel so lucky to say I can be creative all day long, which comes with being a freelance illustrator and -teacher. I draw, paint, cut, glue and put it all together on my computer. What inspires me most is little things like kitchen equipment, my veggie garden and personal feelings. When I'm not being creative for work I like to put my 'make-energie' in baking pies and cookies, sewing and all sorts of creative projects interesting enough to pursue. From a cabinet-turned-rabbit-cage to growing heirloom vegetables and decorating my living room.

What are you most curious about? At the moment: Portland, Oregon. It seems like there's so much creativity going on there at the moment. America intrigues me (I don't know why, it's a gut feeling) and recently the west coast and Portland in particular. I'd love to feed my curiosity and go there some day soon...

What is your most prized possession? My pet rabbit Seb. He's cuddly,  a bit grumpy and a main inspiration. My computer comes in an important second place, would be hard to live without it.

What is your favourite letter of the alphabet and why? Underscore a, I like how (in most fonts) it's a curled fella with a little 'roof'. When you see an 'a' in handwriting most people don't write it with that little 'roof' over it, but I do, on purpose cause I like how my pen swirls when I do.

What is your favourite colour? All kinds of green. I'm amazed by how many mesmerizing greens there are in nature.

What is your preferred creative tool? A soft grey pencil.

www.kimwelling.com
kimwelling.blogspot.com
www.kimslittlemonsters.etsy.com

Would you like to be profiled on the blog or in the magazine? Submit your profile!

subscriber profile: Jen Reynolds

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Issue 15 features a subscriber profile of Jen Reynolds, Kim Welling and Alice Hoffmann. We met Alice Hoffmann in last month's post (well worth a revisit) and you can read illustrator Jen Reynolds' full profile over on her blog today. (Up next... Kim)

featured stockist: Gather

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Next we head to a shop in Napier, New Zealand. Gather is textile and knitwear designer Nikki Gabriel's newly opened shop and she sent us an email to let us know:

"I'm thrilled to be a new stockist of your fabulous magazine. It encapsulates everything that I attempt to project in my store called 'Gather'. Gather is a knitting store with a difference; as I've set up the shop to inspire and delight every customer that walks in."

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FROM THE GATHER WEBSITE: Nikki moved to New Zealand 2 years ago from Melbourne, and has set up a textile design studio in the seaside town of Napier, on the North Island. In the heart of Napier, here, she has created ‘Gather’ a retail store attached to her studio.

Born in rural South Africa, Nikki draws and on her childhood experiences of gathering materials from all around her to make things, which inspired the creation of the store ‘Gather’, as a celebration of her innate yearning to collect, create and share. Nikki has curated a unique collection of work from designers and makers, who produce amazing contemporary and traditional items from thread, plastic, wood, ceramics, plants, and paper. In and amongst shelves of beautiful and rare fibres, knitting yarns and plant dyes, Nikki also has on display many tactile and wonderful objects, books and magazines that breathe a Gatherer’s instinct.

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We're thrilled that UPPERCASE has found such a lovely home so far away! Thank you, Nikki.