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160620-ikea_sunday-redesign

We’re in the middle of a redecoration project right now and we spent too much of Sunday with hammers and screwdrivers to finish a larger post. We did manage to finish the illustration above though and it’s brand new (just like our cupboard) so enjoy that for now.

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Yesterday we visited our friends for a housewarming party and so we were faced with choosing a gift. This is normally a fairly standard procedure for this kind of event but T&D are both architects of very defined and refined tastes and we (rightly) expected that their apartment would be their big project. So we didn’t want to bring them either anything furniture-related, which they would probably never use, or anything tepid like a plant but instead we designed a poster for the occasion. Even if they wouldn’t want to put it up (which we don’t really expect them to) at least they would get something personal and unique.

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In our design we were inspired by a tradition of small tapestries with embroidered home-related sayings and pieces of wisdom to hang on the wall, which exist in folk tradition (and look something like this). You can still find them in some houses as a kind of jokey wall decoration. As we’re don’t really know too many folk sayings and we wanted something a little weird we found a slogan online. We’d never heard it before and can’t vouch for its authenticity but we liked its surreal quality. It says in rough translation “A house is rich not in its cornerstones but in dumplings”, which I could try to interpret (it makes a tiny little bit more sense in Polish, possibly) but we just kept it very literal. We used illustrations that referred to both building a house and cooking dumplings and arranged the slogan in modernist letters that our friends happen to love.

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Even though we’ll fully understand if the poster doesn’t make it to a wall because they’d probably had every decorative element planned before the they set foot in the apartment, at least our friends were touched and surprised to get this bit of our work.

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16-04-11-redesign-bears

We are working on a huge project that we will share next week – and I’d like to say we’re finishing it but no, it’s just “working” for now – so in the meantime please enjoy this random illustration of bears from our archive. Because bears. And cuddling.

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Yesterday we went to Ikea to search for some unexciting stuff for our bathroom and it took us so long that we didn’t have time to go to the cafeteria. But we were hungry so we dropped by the food store to buy cookies. And boy, was it a great decision.

A few years ago we found online a gorgeous cooking book Ikea published as promo material with cookie recipes and the most beautiful minimalistic photos of food we’d ever seen. You might have seen this one: with all the ingredients arranged in geometric patterns. We ogled the photos and admired the idea but were sure the book was not available as such outside of Sweden. Well, as you have sure figured out by now, this is exactly the book we spotted among Swedish jams and cookies, and quite cheap at that. We pretty much squealed with delight (and I clearly saw two guys looking at us like “ew, crazy people”). Even though we didn’t exactly buy what we’d gone for, the trip was an unquestionable success.

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The book has thirty recipes, each illustrated with the spread with ingredients and one with the finished product. All photos are great but the ones with ingredients are particularly memorable. It had virtually zero impact on our decision to buy the book but the recipes actually look quite inviting too.

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(And yes, we bought the mice starring in the photos for our baby, who’s not big enough for cake or cookies yet.)

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We had a different post in work but it turns out it’s our fifth anniversary with the blog and so we thought we’d take a moment to thank you for dropping by, reading, liking and commenting. We appreciate every single sign of interest. In fact, that’s what keeps us going, particularly now that our five-month-old has increasing demands on our time. But the blog is such an important part of our routine that we do and will make time for it as well. As a matter of fact, we have quite a few interesting side projects going that we will be sharing later this year, not to mention work stuff and all the books from our bookshelf that we want to praise.

So, not to bore you: thanks for your visits and keep coming back!

And in case you’re new(er) here, here’s a handy list of our favorite entertainments posts that we did during these five years.

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After some holiday irregularities we return to our standard posting schedule (or, we try to).

This year’s Christmas (and New Year’s) card were not very mysterious in the making but they took a lot of work, fun and mess to get to and so we’d like to share the process with you.

We actually never made ginger cookies before (though gingerbread was part of our Christmas tradition for quite a while) and so we found a recipe in a cookbook. It was fairly easy and it took a whole lot of honey.

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Once the dough was ready and rolled out, we needed to draw the cookie shapes (because not only do we not have any ready-made cutters but it would also make for more generic cards).

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Then we cut the shapes out, simple as that (though the first attempt was a failure: we used too little flour and needed to scrap the first reindeer).

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The first batch consisted of the elements of the card: reindeer, trees and stars. At first, we tried to make very geometric trees and stars but they looked like bad results of using a commercial cutter. And so we let our love for Matisse guide us from then on. Once the first batch was baked we let our imagination run a little wilder.

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So, the culinary part was ready but, of course, that was nowhere near the final card. At first, we intended to be very traditional and decorate the cookies with icing. We got a lot of sugar decorations for that and were very determined to do this. Except time was running out and we still didn’t got to decorating. Also, we were a little nervous about it, having no experience with creative icing and no time to do another batch of cookies. So finally we skipped the icing and used the decorations straight on the background when arranging the card(s).

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Yes, everything on the cards was edible. The ground is white chocolate. Insider tip: chopsticks helped with the arrangement.

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We initially meant to do just one card but we had enough cookies for two so we did a more direct Matisse (/Miro?) tribute. And finally, here’s a bunch of other cookies we did just for fun (sadly, the dinosaur did not survive a fall untouched; and yes, it’s an X-men-related geeky cookie).

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So, we hope your year is off to a great (and delicious) start and we hope to see you around a lot!

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