Category: pretty things

PRETTY THINGS: packaging

PRETTY THINGS packaging via au pays des merveilles


Surely most of you have seen photos of the latest Chanel fashion show, for which Karl Lagerfeld and his team turned the Grand Palais into a supermarket, where every packaging down to the last detail was redesigned (see number 1).  The result was of course amazing and turned the show’s guests absolutely crazy.   It made me dream of a real life supermarket with nothing but well designed products,  thereby improving my everyday groceries experience, but also be very painful for my wallet, without a doubt.  So I figured it was about time I shared my favorite pretty products with you again!  It’s been a while since I did (see here, here and here) and I had a very hard time picking favorites from my pinterest board, so I figured why not share a few extra favorites?

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PRETTY THINGS tattoos via au pays des merveilles

123 – 4 – 56 – 7 – 8

I’ve explained to you before what my opinion is on tattoos, and I haven’t changed my mind.  I see a tattoo as a way to remember something, maybe to communicate a message with others or yourself.  A message that is valuable and important to you and by eternalizing it becomes a form of poetry.  So no fake tattoos for me, no too fashionable tattoos either.  I’ve been toying with a couple ideas lately but I haven’t made up my mind yet, so for now I’m just looking at pretty tattoos on others.  I’m in love with the work of Stanislava Pinchuk, a designer known as Miso, who tattoos her friends at home with delicate constellations and flora (as seen in number 1, 2 and 3) in exchange for a drawing, a dinner…  Other favorites are the skyline, a perfect way to remember a favorite city (as seen in number 4) and the literary tattoo that is part of Shelley Jackson’s Skin project (as seen in number 8).  This is a story published exclusively in tattoos, 2095 tattoos for 2095 volunteers.  It can never be read in its proper order, but the story exists out there.  It reminds me of the Human Rights Tattoo, a project where volunteers donate one square centimeter to a letter of the human rights declaration.  For more tattoo inspiration, take a look at my pinterest board.

PS. This post on Booooooom is really eye-opening on facebook and how facebook pages work, as many people who liked a page and want to receive its updates, won’t ever see them unless the facebook page owner pays money.  Despite the fact that this blog has over 600 followers on facebook, some posts only reach 6 people.  Less than one percent.  So if you want to stay updated, go to the au pays des merveilles page, click on “Liked” and select “Get Notifications” in the dropdown menu.  In theory you should receive all the au pays des merveilles facebook posts now and be able to stay up to date!

PPS.  I’m selling some clothes on Flemish facebookpage Louvintage, take a look at what I’m selling here.  It’s in Dutch and aimed at Belgian girls, but if you’re really interested in something you can always send me an email.

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PRETTY THINGS: DaWanda finds

PRETTY THINGS DaWanda finds via au pays des merveilles

With a lot of birthdays coming up in the next weeks, I’m already researching ideas for gifts.  I love giving something I made myself, but I don’t always have enough time on my hands.  When I’m buying someone a present, I still want it to be something unique and that’s when a website like DaWanda comes in handy.  This ‘on line design market’ is the home to many independent designers.  Here you will surely find something special for a loved one… or yourself!  To make it a little easier, I’ve collected my favorites below.

  1. Lasercut virgo necklace by Asymmetree, available in all zodiac signs.
  2. Wooden tripod by Renna Deluxe to give a classic clip lamp an update and turn it into a beautiful standing lamp.  (After all, how many pretty vintage desk lamps does one need?)
  3. Geometric necklace from SNUG, available in different colors.
  4. Stunning macbook sleeve by TheNavis.
  5. Pastel colored necklace in leather by Missismiss.
  6. Platter from SNUG, who you might know from this beautiful calendar (as seen on the blog before here) and number three above. They also have beautiful posters and cardboard vases, so be sure to check it out.
  7. Geometric earrings in silver by Danielle Vroemen jewelry.
  8. Origami birds from birdtoldme, available in different colors.

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PRETTY THINGS: from Portugal

PRETTY THINGS portuguese design via au pays des merveilles

This blog post has been on my mind for so long, but it’s only now that I’ve found some time to actually finish it.  During my 5 month stay in Portugal (and the several trips I’ve made there ever since), I’ve discovered lots of Portuguese talent that I’ve been wanting to share with you, so here they are!

  1. Best Sunday Dress stands for everything I could possibly desire from a fashion brand: apart from working only with sustainable and ethical materials, they also aim at a sustainable design aesthetic by using simple lines and special details, resulting in items that are interesting and basic at the same time.  I own the runner shorts, made out of the softest recycled polyester and I wouldn’t mind adding more items from their line to my wardrobe.
  2. Wetheknot makes board shorts out of the textiles of broken umbrellas, resulting in unique items.  Also worth checking out: their limited edition backpacks out of quilted cotton.
  3. Raquel Castro and Francisco Vieira Martins, alias Alma Geméa (Portuguese for soul mate) designed this beautiful tea set for their product line ‘The Whistler’, named after one of the oldest cork oak trees of the world, which can be found in Alentejo.  The line beautifully mixes cork with ceramics and I’m absolutely in love with it.  Available here.
  4. Handmade Emílio Braga Notebook, with a cover made from vintage Portuguese wall paper and named after the founder of one of Lisbon’s best stationary shops which is now over a century old.  Available here.
  5.  Handceramics makes pan stands and coasters with prints inspired by the typical Portuguese tiles.  Available here.
  6.  Toyno is a collection of cardboard animals that are willing to hold your stuff for you, every one of them with their own personality.  Their office used to be located in my street in Lisbon and walking past it would always bring a smile to my face.
  7. White Tent is the brand of Russian-Portuguese duo Evgenia Tabakova and Pedro Noronha-Feio, which gives a lot of importance to sustainability and exploring new design concepts such as laser cutting, combined with a minimalist aesthetic.  Available on asos.
  8. I’ve already proved to you that Portugal has the most beautiful packaging, and this is yet another example: O Melhor shaving cream, after shave and soap by
    Confiança, a company founded in Braga in 1894.  Available here.

If you do happen to go to Portugal (Lisbon in particular) and you want to score some original Portuguese products, you should go to A Vida Portuguesa, Feira das Almas, Fabrica Features or LX factory, but you can read all about that (and more) in my Lisbon guide.

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PRETTY THINGS: calendars

PRETTY THINGS calendars via au pays des merveilles


To celebrate the start of 2014, I collected the prettiest calendars around.  There’s a little bit of everything, from year calendars to monthly calendars, there’s one you have to embroider yourself and there’s one from which you can fold pretty origami shapes.  For more pretty calendars, look at my pinterest board or look at last year’s pretty calendars post since a lot of the designs are being sold again for 2014.

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