the window display “in the making”, part four: THE MAKING…
Posted in amsterdam: made by hand, behind the scenes May 31st, 2010 by pia

On Saturday, this little boat was full of buzzing activity. My fabulous friend Rani came over to help make the window display and boy, did she work hard! 9 hours of cutting and pasting, I’m quite sure she never wants to see purple, yellow, pink, red and orange paper and ribbon ever again.  Needless to say I’m very grateful for her helping hand, there is no way I could have created this without her  (I’d certainly be a frantic mess right now instead of a relaxed mess!) – thank you Rani!

Above is “the bunting making ” station. Rani was busy assembling these gorgeous flags with wax paper and ribbon. Pretty, non?

And then came “the Amsterdam: Made by Hand book cover garland making” station. That’s one long sentence, and it’s one long garland!

We chose orange ribbon for the book cover garland as the book’s spine is orange and so we thought that would be rather fitting. Here I am below sketching and cutting the heavy duty cardboard cut outs.  It was pretty tough cardboard, I was kind of regretting such heavy duty stuff but then I really didn’t want the display falling all over the place in the window so, it was a little more labour intensive but hopefully worth it in the long run…

From top left, clockwise: moodboard and cardboard cut outs; French Boy chopping onions and garlic for one of his delectable dishes; me sketching.

But it was French Boy’s catering that stole the day’s events. Yes, he decided that would be his thing for the day, and cater he did! When Rani arrived at the boat he handed us each a plate of crepes which he’d just made, they were smothered with chocolate spread and we devoured them in a heartbeat – they were the perfect way to start the day! Then for lunch he made a delicious and healthy spicy tuna pasta with steamed green beans on the side. He brought us cups of tea throughout the afternoon, poured us an apéritif of cremant at around 6pm, and then his pièce de résistance was a boeuf carottes with boiled turnips and parsely. And then chocolate and strawberries for dessert!! It was quite a feast, and it made the day extra special and fun.

……………………………………………..

Thank you Rani and French Boy!!

Next up: adding the finishing touches.


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Posted in amsterdam: made by hand, behind the scenes May 31st, 2010 by pia


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Posted in amsterdam: made by hand, behind the scenes May 28th, 2010 by pia

My trusty calculator – so very important for dimensions. For those of you with young kids, can you pass on this important message from me: “Remember kids, if you want to be creative when you grow up, make sure you study math at school, it really does come in handy later, I promise you.”

Royal Buffet’s papillon tags fluttering about. What else can you see?

Okay sketches done, notes taken,  I’m off to buy the supplies now…

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the window display “in the making”, part one…
Posted in amsterdam: made by hand, behind the scenes May 27th, 2010 by pia

I was just thinking this morning about how, because of the nature of my work,  I am not able to show you my projects while they are “in the making”. Part of the job of being in this type of creative industry is keeping the work-in-progress as close to one’s skin as possible until it hits the shelves – it’s possibly one of the hardest parts of my job because when I get a good idea I want to shout it out at the top of my lungs and share it with the world immediately. Instead, when people ask me what I’m working on I have to just say with a smile “stuff: really really good stuff”.

But this morning I thought, why not share the “making of” the american book center window display while I’m actually making it? Why not, right? I think it’s one of the only projects I have going on at the moment that I can share with you while I’m going through each stage. I may not have the time to go in depth about each phase but I can share photos as I go, and you can follow along my train of thought via the visuals. So what do you say, are you in? Yes? Okay, great! This will be fun…

So just to give you a quick brief so you’re up to speed on the whole window display progress thus far: The window dimensions are 170cm high x 430cm wide x 26 cm deep. It’s a tricky space to work with – very narrow, very long. There are also restrictions to take into consideration like the display can only take up about 70 cm of height in the window so that there is still clear space to see through, and there can be nothing fragile or expensive in there in case of theft. It’s also a difficult space to work in so the display needs to be easy to slide into place (I learnt this the hard way the last time – I spent about 3 or 4 hours, squeezing into the side window space while the sun beat down on the window, trying to attach tiny thin pieces of string to the ceiling, it was a disaster!). So this time I’m trying to be smarter about it and create something that takes up the most amount of space and can just slide into position. This weekend my lovely friend Rani is going to help me make the display and then I’ll be putting it up in the window this coming Tuesday.

To give you a visual idea of the space, above is a photo of the current window display showcasing  tattoo artist Henk Schiffmacher’s book Encyclopedia for The Art and History of Tattooing (which looks like an amazing book by the way!). As you can see, it’s a huge window, rather daunting actually. And as you know, my book is rather little. So the challenge is on! It would of course, take too many Amsterdam: Made by Hands to make a visual impact in that window so I’m taking the backdrop of Amsterdam as my window display inspiration…

…hang on, that’s not Amsterdam, it’s Paris! It’s Alexia’s cute atelier to be precise, but it’s inspiring for what I have in mind. I love the bright colours of these shops, particularly the red and yellow, I think these colours would really pop in the window. In my home at the moment I have some beautiful droopy tulips and other dying flowers, they have been a great source of inspiration too…

(here I imagine colourful garlands, perhaps made from paper flowers in bold hues)

(and here I love the colour combo of the yellow with the purple, reds, oranges)

Speaking of red, yellow, and everything gorgeous in between, I spotted Amy from Eat Drink Chic’s lovely engagement/wedding photos the other day –  I adore the flower display, take a look…

above two photos by  jonathon ong

…so sweet! Although I cannot have glass or anything like this in the window, I love the colour combination. So with all of the above in mind, here is the colour palette I’m going to work with…

I’ve been collecting some odd bits and bobs around the boat, on the search for some paper, fabric and ribbon that I have in these hues. This is what I’ve found so far…

And here are some wallpapers and tapes that I’ve scanned, these will work perfectly I think…

So that’s where I’m at so far. I haven’t told you what I plan to do exactly, but I will reveal more in ‘part two’. Have a lovely evening, mes amis.

xx

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Posted in amsterdam, amsterdam: made by hand, pia's photos May 25th, 2010 by pia



I am in the midst of preparing for the book launch which will be here, in Amsterdam at the American Book Center (Spui 12) on Saturday June 5th at 3pm. Will you be coming? Oh, I hope so. If you live in or near Amsterdam, or will be traveling to Amsterdam at that time, please come along. It is open for all, you can read more about it here, or click here to join the facebook event page

I’m also making an Amsterdam: Made by Hand window display at the American Book Center. They have gigantic windows though – if I thought the WH Smith window display in Paris was a challenge last year, well, what can I say, this one is a bigger challenge! It’s over 4 meters long, and you know, it’s just a little book so I’m going to have to think of something to fill that space! Luckily I’ve got some ideas (which I’m busy writing about in the first photo above). Also my friend Leslie let me raid her wallpaper stash the other day for inspiration and material (evidence is also above in the first photo, on the chair).

I’m planning to put the display up on June 1st to mark the official arrival of the books in stores around the world. I have heard a few of you have already received your pre-ordered copies, is that right?


photo above taken by the lovely irene from bloesem.

I also want to say a big thank you to Irene from Bloesem and Holly from Decor8 for their awesome reviews posted today! Click here to read Holly’s review, and here to read Irene’s review. I really like their photos of the book. Thank you so much Holly and Irene!

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