Thursday, 26 March 2015

"My experience in Amsterdam is cyclists ride wherever the hell they like and aim in a state of rage at all pedestrians while ringing their bell loudly, the concept of avoiding people being foreign to them."

Morning all.

I'm back from Amsterdam. It has a reputation which frankly I tried to avoid most of. Did wander past the outskirts of the red light district to spot a few ladies of the night sat in the windows eating their packed lunch. Now if that doesn't do it for you I don't know what will.
Amsterdam canal front in the sunshine

So we stayed in the Hotel Arena a lovely art hotel in the eastern part of Amsterdam. It used to be a psychiatric hospital which is just typical, no matter when I go I seem to always end up in a psychiatric hospital. We spent most of our days wandering around the various streets and canals ogling the various beautiful buildings and wondering why as fellow Europeans our houses don't have that same sense of style.

One of the many gorgeous staircases in the hotel

I had looked before I went for fabric shops in the area as I quite like the idea of making an item from the places that I visit. This being said there are still two meterages of fabric from Cyprus last year that need using... We looked around the Albert Cuyp market which I had read had a number of fabric stalls and in which we found Gobelins fabric which is a type of tapestry which would be lovely as curtains.  Turns out having googled it though that it's actually a French style of fabric ah well so much for the local flavour.

The place I bought most of the fabric I returned with was A. Boeken which apparently translates to A book. I do not understand this reference either but they have the prettiest business cards shaped like a button. As I've a number of patterns lined up for the making my shopping was very much with specific projects in mind. I loved some blue and white print of a dutch boy and girl kissing and an almost canvas like material printed with a map of Amsterdam but had to keep in mind I was very unlikely to actually use them. As mentioned previously although I like fun prints I just don't wear them.

So my shopping list consisted of buttons for the shirt I'm making for my Dad's birthday which I was given the design brief of 'as bright and colourful as possible'. Some of my loved ones scoffed at this request being made to me saying that I was a girl who considered olive green a bright. Well who's laughing now?!?!?!?

Hard to see from this angle but these are shaped like clogs. CLOGS I TELL YOU!

I love these slippers. Truly truly love them. They're ridiculous and bright and the fella says that they make me look like an Oompa loompa, do I care? Do I hell.

Though returning to normal service these are the fabrics I bought. The black mesh and jersey are for a pattern hack I'm putting together for the Simplicity blog competition (I'm going a little bit out there). The purple for a leggings pattern and the check for a Deer and Doe Bruyere shirt.

In terms of frivolous, just-cause-they're-pretty-purchases I did buy some buttons. I figure at 20p a pop there's worse ways to go wild in the aisles.

Last but not least here's a pic in the glorious sunshine that graced us for two of the days. I am so damn proud of my Cascade duffle. It was warm and comfortable and nothing made me feel cooler than wandering around an European city in a handmade duffle and sunglasses. Oh yeah.

James Dean eat your heart out

Sapphire feels buttons can't be photographed without an appropriate kitty prop. 

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