Amsterdam ’16: Pretty Magnificent. Magnificently Pretty.

Magna Plaza AmsterdamLet’s start off this picture post with the Dutch flag and the most fabulous-looking shopping centre in the whole city. It’s called Magna Plaza and it used to be a post station. A really impressive post station.Magna Plaza. Former Post Station.light fixtures at the brasserieOvidus watcher spiritThese watcher spirits are at the Grand Cafè Ovidius. The place is really pretty, I’d love to have meet-ups there.Ovidus' chandelierMagna Plaza ceilingat Rembrandtpleinwrought-iron gates of the Rijksmuseum AmsterdamThese are the gates of the Rijksmuseum (the closest to the fantastic collection I’ve been so far). There was a band making use of the fantastic acoustic properties of the passage under the museum and we stood and just listened for a while.through the Rijksmuseum passageserene Scoundrelfish watcher spirit at the RijksmuseumThere are still enough pictures for another post full of watcher spirits and ships, be prepared. I hope you’re all having a good week so far!

OOTD: Bubblegum Rufflebutt

this is what happens when you leave me alone with filters for five minutes

Well now this is the last of my Amsterdam outfits so I’ll have to take new ones soon… I hope you like it!

I’ve always had a weakness for tulle skirts, tutus, the like. Back as a kid I had a handed-down tulle thing in my dress-up suitcase and now I have a tulle skirt I can wear on the street again!
It feels weirdly normal to wear this, I don’t even feel overdressed. Maybe it’s Amsterdam but I hope it’ll carry on to Marburg, too.

I love this picture, I think I look so fierce there

Outfit rundown:
– waistcoat: thrifted
– t-shirt: some souvenir shop
– skirt: Yu & Me Paris
– leggings: Albert Heijn supermarket
– trainers: Ethletics

pictures by Scoundrel

Things We Brought Back: The Small Stuff

Of course we didn’t only bring back clothing and fabric (and sea shells) from our Amsterdam trip. Here’s what we used to stuff the small empty spaces in our luggage:chocolate and mints

I just love Dutch chocolate (it’s slavery-free in these cases, too!). Last year Tony’s had a milk chocolate bar with marshmallows and pecans, but sadly it was a limited edition so I had to find a new one to try! I decided to go for pecan and cocos with dark chocolate in the end which is nice but can’t compete with a striped packaging and marshmellows in the end. ^^
The Jhonny Doodle is amazing, though. It has small brownie and fudge bits and I already ate a whole bar during our stay.
The tentacle is a toy we picked up at Flying Tiger (actually a Danish franchise), one for me and one for Bambi. You simply put it on your finger and fool around, and no, supposedly it’s not a sex toy.
And the mints I merely picked up for the cute retro design.

markers, tape, notebooksSpeaking of Flying Tiger I grabbed several packs of small notebooks there, too – they are a great size to carry them in your pocket. The mini tape plus dispenser was a case of “I need tape and this is not only the cheapest I can find but also cute!. And I also bought the whole range of markers because I don’t have that much experience working with felt-tip pens and wanted to try a cheaper version before I invest in Copics.
pretty colours

things from the circus shopOn our last full day before we went to the beach I discovered Amsterdam Circus, a shop for juggling equipment. I don’t juggle much but I like circus aesthetics (no kidding!). Even though the hoops were very tempting I figured that they wouldn’t fit into my bag, so I just left with two buttons (I love the green man one and the juggling skeleton matches some other buttons I already had) and a spinning top. I had forgotten how much I love these simple little toys but this one now sits on my desk for recreation minutes during work.
top in action

Waterlooplein pearl stringsThe next few items aren’t my souvenirs but Scoundrel’s. I liked the thought of taking pictures of his beautiful haul, too, and decided to basically give you the full tour through our loot.
Everything is from Waterlooplein flea market – we found this amazing stall selling freshwater pearls at a really low price. Scoundrel likes bling, and he mainly uses them for LARP purposes.
rose quartz rune stonesHe also found a (incomplete) set of rose quartz rune stones at the same stall.
As for the purple pearls the owner explained that sometimes the strands he gets are so tangled up that he cuts them and then sells the pears in little bags to DIYers like us.
more pearlsScoundrel's blingI think Scoundrel’s magpie tendences are really adorable. His character Giavan is going to wear these rings all at once.pomegranate necklacesI bought something at the same stall, too: two garnet necklaces (that I simply clipped together to make one very long one) that look like pomegranate seeds on a string.
like pomegranate seedsAnd a crystal bracelet and two pendants. What can I say, they had a five-for-less deal.
crystalsAnd last but not least I found this little treasure at the second-hand book market at the Oudemanshuispoort passage. Classic Winnie-The-Pooh is one of my favourite things ever and also a big thing in Scoundrel’s and my relationship so I had to buy it. It’s full of recipes and quotes and the classic illustrations, too. I can’t wait to have a decent oven again to try them all out!
It’s a bit funny that I buy Swedish matches at Dutch supermarkets but I just like the design so much and they have such a convenient size for their boxes (this time I brought big ones, too).Teatime with Pooh

I love shopping for souvenirs that aren’t exactly thought out for this function. What would I do with painted wooden shoe pencil holders and the like?
And I even learn a little Dutch from the last one.

What was your favourite souvenir from your last trip?

Things We Brought Back: Textiles

Amsterdam Souvenir shirtIt’s been a while since I’ve bought a specifically souvenir-y souvenir somewhere. I needed a t-shirt, though, and I liked the wrought iron-like Art Nouveau designs on this one a lot. It’s not as blatantly touristy as many other Amsterdam souvenirs so I can still wear it without feeling strangely loud about my holiday there. I also cut our a wider neckline because I didn’t like the original one, as well as slits at the side to better wear it with…Yu & Me tulle skirt from Albert Cuypstraat… this beauty. I love tulle skirts! The tulle parts are actually longer than what I’d normally wear but the underskirt is pretty much the perfect length and the tulle is see-through. It works beautifully, and I even wore it for the first day of the new semester.
It’s from a brand called Yu & Me Paris and I bought it in one of the small boutiques at Albert Cuyp market.Waterlooplein waistcoatI admit that I already own more waistcoats than necessary but I didn’t have a leather one yet. It might need a good brushing sometime soon but I won’t complain about that because it was such a bargain at the Waterlooplein flea market.Waterlooplein waistcoat, backWaterlooplein waistcoat, detailI mean, look at that beautiful back fabric! It makes an okay-to-neat piece into a favourite.fabrics from Albert Cuyp marketOn my Wish-To-Do list for the trip was buying fabric or trim in a certain shop. We didn’t make it to that one but instead went to N&N Stoffen in Albert Cuypstraat, so I consider it ticked off anyway. The flannel with the book print is mine – I’m not sure yes what exactly to make from it but I already have a few ideas… – and the other one was purchased by Scoundrel for a new pair of pants.fairy pimp coatAnd to have a complete post this is something I call the “fairy pimp coat” because of the collar. We found it on Waterlooplein, too, and brought it back for Scoundrel’s flatmate who was smitten with it and skipped around in it all day.

Of course we brought back other things than clothes and fabric, too, but that’s a subject for another post sometime soon.

Amsterdam ’16: Mainly Architecture

Rainbow KoiAll in all I took nearly 700 picture during the week in North Holland. I won’t show you all of them – that would be a bit much – but I’ll shove in the occasional post of Amsterdam pictures once in a while in the near future.
The flying fish in front of a classic toy shop was the first thing I photographed on Amsterdam turf this time. I think I might need something similar if I ever get a balcony.and the weather was great, tooOne thing I love about Amsterdam architecture are the pulley bars on top of the houses – the staircases are often too narrow to get furniture to the higher floors so they just haul it up on the outside."meisje" is Dutch for "girl"I’d love to live in this old girl’s school. The windows look like it has great light inside and I just love brickwork houses.this is right around the corner from our hostel

Amsterdam gracht

Oudekerk AmsterdamWe did something fairly touristy this time – we took a walking tour. Gladly we had a very enthusiastic history major from Scotland as our guide who broke information down into neat bits and was basically a walking version of Horrible Histories – for Amsterdam.
Right next to this church, the Oude Kerk (old church – they’re really creative, a bit like archaeologists), there’s the red light district, and now I know why, too.Amsterdam PalaceThe palace – once city hall and after that home to the Rabbit King – is one of the few classicist buildings in Amsterdam, one reason why the French took it over as their HQ.
The Rabbit King was Luis Napoleon, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who during a speech to the slightly miffed Dutch public (they weren’t too keen on the whole occupation thing) confused the word “koning” and “konijn” and told the people that he was their rabbit, not their king.
So much for really amusing walking tours.isn't this hotel beautiful?

boat on a canal, with fairy lightsI would have loved to see this mast in the dark with all the fairy lights on. Fairy lights are a fairly common sight in Amsterdam, anyway, especially at the canals.magnolias on Rembrandtplein

Rijksmuseum AmsterdamWe didn’t make it into the Rijksmuseum – again. We didn’t make it into any museum because we didn’t find the one we wanted to visit. Maybe next time.this is by far the prettiest street light I've ever seen

OOTD: Sea of Green

that's the national park right behind me

This is what I wore for our day at the beach during our recent Amsterdam holiday. Zandvoort has really beautiful sand beaches and borders on the Kennemerduin National Park, and back in the early 20th century they made a silly black-and-white film there, too.

at some point I gave up the pigtails
and let my hair flow freely in the wind
on some ponton on a gracht

The shoes aren’t from that day – I thought I’d taken a picture of them at the beach, but obviously I didn’t, so one at a canal will have to do.

Outfit rundown:
– t-shirt: thrifted/altered/selfmade (print)
– pants: selfmade
– shoes: hand-me-down from Mum

Pictures by Scoundrel (except for the shoe selfie).