Renegade Craft Fair: Austin, Texas.

Renegade Craft Fair is the coolest event for the DIY craft community I’ve ever been to. Ever! I was enjoying Austin during the geeky SXSW week, when I came across this absolutely amazing and super inspiring fair by chance. You cannot imagine how excited I was!

The best&brightest indie-craft and design from all over the US and abroad was there!

Renegade Craft Fair 2014 _0039867 _0039865Nothing but a pigeon new colourful version of hunting trophies made me fall in love with them immediately! I found it was a lovely way to celebrate life!

_0039862A Well Traveled Brand had nice apparel in organic resistent fabrics. Bags, aprons, backpacks, purses, toilet bags, etc., all with high quality finished details and a clean elegant design.

_0039857 _0039858 _00398531924 was a curious discovery. From natural beauty products, to beautiful leather backpacks, it was a kind of hipster camper’s shop where you could buy from dried meat to delicate scented candles

_0039881 _0039850Mr Walters was perfect to get some presents for my little nephews  (it has very funny t-shirts for kids) and an extremely cute baby pug doll for Barbara. I can only tell you it was a 100% success when they received them!

_0039873 _0039874 _0039875 Bush Smarts had also  a lot of interesting camping stuff with very cool packagings and a thoughtful brand design. So here it goes the complete list of craft makers, an incredible source of inspiration for your DYI spring Monday morning and also a large  shopping mall to get some original presents. What about next Renegade Craft  Fair’s stop? Will you join us in London? RCF 2014 schedule ♬ Now playing: Luna – Bombay Bicycle Club ♬

Ewok life in Cabanes als arbres

Can you imagine a terrific 30 birthday present? Well I got “THE PRESENT”. It was the 15th July when Michele told me he had booked a wonderful treehouse in the middle of Sant Hilari of Sacalm’s forest for us to enjoy an authentic ewok day.

Merchanders Cabanes als arbres

The point is Cabanes als arbres is so nice it is nearly always full so we had to wait till October to get there. BTW it was 100% worth it!

Merchanders Cabanes als arbres

merchanders cabanes als arbres

merchanders cabanes als arbres

Just Nature, autumn colours, funky mushrooms and enormous trees all around the place. Noise? Only birds tweeting!

merchanders Sant Hilari de Sacalm

merchanders cabanes als arbres

merchanders cabanes als arbres

merchanders cabanes als arbres

But what about the romantic supper? Well it is all perfectly organised. You can have dinner in the main masia La Villetta or choose to have your meal delievered in a basket at your cabana. The menu? Relicious zucchini soup with goat cheese, chicken curry with rice and two marvellous homemade cheesecake with peach marmalade and biscuit cake with chocolate topping.

And off into the starry sky in the most cosiest bedroom you can imagine. No electricity but only little candles all over the place and an antique jug full of water to brush your teeth and other higienic basics. Can you think of a better plan to share with your true love?

merchanders cabanes als arbres

As the other forest animals, we woke up early and went for a nice morning walk around the forest. We got got some sticks, pinecones and chestnuts to make an autumn arrangement at home and took some photographs of the incredible landscape.

merchanders cabanes als arbres

merchanders cabanes als arbres

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

When we got back to our cabana (ours was called Cargolet-not a snail but a bird’s name) our basket was already waiting with a heavenly breakfast: Cheese sandwich (at this point for sure you have noticed we adore cheese!!!), natural orange juice, hot colacaos and chocolate cookies.

merchanders cabanes als arbres

merchanders cabanes als arbres

merchanders cabanes als arbres

It was a pity having to leave but we hope to go back soon. Still haven’t booked? You shouldn’t miss it! Any ewok suggestion for us?

♬ Now playing: All is love – Karen O and the kids

Wild Tenerife

We were searching for wildness and we landed in Tenerife, Canary Islands. Such a good choice ;)

Here are some of the pictures we shot on our way to the Teide (3,718 m), the third highest volcano in the world, after Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in Hawaii.

We drove across the clouds on an incredible misty road until the sun and a brightful blue sky left us breathless.

Image

Image

Merchanders Tenerife

Merchanders Tenerife

Merchanders Tenerife

Merchanders Tenerife Teide

Merchanders Tenerife

Merchanders Tenerife

Merchanders Tenerife Teide

Merchanders Tenerife

Merchanders Tenerife Babi y Michele

Merchanders Tenerife








We can only say Tenerife really took us over the rainbow! And now tell us… which place makes your heart go wild? Where do you feel your soul breathes completely free?

♬ Now playing: Guaranteed – Eddie Vedder ♬

Thai Cooking Class: Green Curry Recipe

Yes, we are Merchanders, but we are also two foodies in a foodie world and this time we’ve been exploring Thailand, so get ready because today we’ve prepared a hot-hot-nearly-on-fire post!

So what’s the best activity you can do in a country where food is soooooo delicious? “The foodie answer”: A master Thai cooking class to learn all their cuisine secrets and then practice them at home!

Thai Cooking Class

So, after a deep search through the internet we booked our half-day class at “Asia Scenic Thai School” (www.asiascenic.com) in Chiang Mai, in the north of the country, because of its high rated reviews in tripadvisor. We’ve learned it by heart: If you are not sure about something, don’t worry, don’t guess, just trip it!

But, let’s get back to our class. The first lesson started with an interesting visit to the local “Sompet Market“, where our enthusiastic teacher Mint explained to our small group all the ingredients needed to make a perfect Thai meal.

Sompet Market Chang MaiThey had told us Thai cuisine was rich in ingredients and was considered one of the best cuisines of all Asia, but when you get to discover all their shelves packed with colorful products you understand what they really mean with “many ingredients”. We must say that together with our total addiction to japanese, thai cuisine has become a great spicy “must eat” in our list.

Sompet Market

After the market’s visit, we went back to school where everyone of us chose 3 dishes from a selection of classical recipes. We chose Red Curry, Green Curry, Spring Rolls, Pad Thai, Chicken Cashew Nut and Papaya Salad.

Today, we share with you the original recipe of fantastic Green Curry!
Beware: How spicy can you handle: Kindergarten, High school or University?!

Sompet Market

Green Curry with Chicken (Gang Kheow Wan Gai)

Thai food ingredients

Ingredients for 1/2 persons:

- 50gr. Chopped chicken / beef
– 1 bowl coconut milk
– 1 spoon green curry paste
– 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn in quarter
– 1 large red chili, thin sliced
– Sweet basil leave, torn from stem
– 1 or 2 eggplant, bite size pieces

Seasoning

1 spoon palm suger
2 spoons fish sauce

Finally cooking

Preparation

1. Boil  2 cooking spoons of coconut milk in your wok at high heat, until oil appears on the surface
2. Add curry paste and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant
3. Add chicken and cook until it turns white, then add coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add all vegetables, palm sugar and fish sauce (soy sauce for veggies)
4. Remove from heat and serve with plain rice (and remember rice can be a great help if you chose to make your green curry really hot!)

Ready to eat

well doneขอให้เจริญอาหาร! (kŏr hâi jà-rern aa-hăan!) – ทานให้อร่อย (taan hâi a-ròi) !!!

Curry Party

Street art needs no ticket

Who’s a real Merchander? Someone who can find treasures, beauty and art wherever he goes.

Someone who can enjoy some authentic junk food in the dusty roads of Bali, or someone who can spend 2 hours no matter how hot or cold is the day rummaging through a myriad of boxes full of old french fashion magazines.

This time, we’re not going to talk about any fantastic flea market, but about the tons of incredible piece of art we’ve found in the walls of the city we’ve been trough the last year.

Just some inspiration. Sometimes to enjoy and breathe art, we don’t need to pay any ticket, and best of all we can take as much photos as we want. Here are some!

Alexandre Farto aka Vhils

Alexandre Farto aka Vhils. London

#codefc

#CODEFC. London

#codefc

#CODEFC. London

Roa

Roa. London

Roa

Roa. London

Alecmonopoly

Alec Monopoly. London

Broken Fingaz

Broken Fingaz Crew. London

Btoy

BTOY. Barcelona

Btoy

BTOY. Barcelona

Btoy

BTOY. Lisbon

Blue

Blue. Lisbon

Lucy McLauchlan

Lucy McLauchlan. Lisbon

♬ Now playing: Streetlife

Eating in Lisbon:)

Mondays are tough, so why don’t we cheer them up with a bit of delicious Portuguese gastronomy? Get your favourite napkins because today we are going to enjoy three must-taste specialities of our magical Lisbon.

As you all know, the best way to start a day with positive vibes on is to have a great breakfast. We had been told about the Pastéis  de Belém by many travel bloggers and we thought they would be nice but the truth is that they were heavenly sweet!! When our friend Vasco took us to the most popular shop in Belém (very near Lisbon) we understood perfectly why there was a huge queue at the front door. Then, after investigating this marvellous pastries story we discovered that they were originally made in monasteries and became the clergy way of life when in 1834 all  monasteries and convents were shut down in Portugal as a result of the liberal revolution. What used to be a wonderful religious cooking habit became one of the most popular Portuguese recipes and hundreds of visitors were totally devoted to this sugary flavour.

So do you understand now why Mic looks so happy in the photo?;)

But Pastéis de Belém were not the only temptation we had to face in Lisbon. Under the Alfama’s warm sun we enjoyed these traditional pies full of chicken, cheese, tuna and mushrooms and some terrific cod croquettes!! Can you imagine something better to match a cold beer in a spring terrace?!

Finally we wanted to try a typical Potuguese hot meal. Typical but not tourist so we nearly had a look at every restaurant in Bairro Alto till we finally chose a cosy one with big thick walls full of pictures and drawings of her owner who used to be a fado singer when she was young. There were a few dishes in their entrance blackboard and not more than ten tables inside but the lovely smell that came out of the door just  made us sure that it was the right place. We had rice and fish orange soup that tasted really homemade and a chocolate mousse with almond cake that will be difficult to beat.

Lisbon was welcoming in every aspect and her slow and “full of light” rhythm of life could also be noticed in its food. In every bite, you could feel the fresh ingredients and enjoy the pampered way with which Portuguese make every day worth it.

And you, were did you have your best food experience? Any city you remember specially for its cuisine?

Feira da Ladra: Lisbon’s best flea market!

Lately, we haven’t been able to update as much as we wanted, but at least we have organised all our travel files and we have our Lisbon trip arranged to share it right now!

Ready for an amazing starter that will blow you away?! Welcome to one of the most popular Portugal’s flea markets! Not a pickpockets dealing place as its name originally defined it, but a nice spot to find all those treasures that make us go completely crazy. On Tuesdays and Saturdays from 6am to nearly 5pm you can get yourself lost between vintage clothes, old radios, terrific cameras, a great range of local pottery and all kind of curiosities.

Have you got your big tote bag ready and your purse full of coins?!! Then let’s start! Enjoy the walk under the sun:) Don’t forget to spot the retro jewelry, the perfect home deco suitcases, the victorian style dinner services  and the must-take antique tiles (be careful with the very old ones because many have been stolen from original buildings and its not a very nice idea to contribute with this:S)

Ahhh wonderful!! Many stalls have their own keeper! Isn’t it cute this grey collector?

Besides, around the market you can find many antique shops with wonderful collection pieces, the problem is prices raise up considerably. So if you don’t want to spend too much, trust your intuition, buy cheap and give your acquisitions a new lease of life at home!

Feira da Ladra is in Alfama, one of the oldest parts of the city full of tiny streets , little shops and delicious wine bars and restaurants. The flea market is behind  São Vicente de Fora church and you can arrive there in cable car or if you have some time we strongly recommend you to go walking and discover the beautiful roof views of the city.

In Feira da Ladra we got an original lettuce flower pot, two pottery wall blue stars ad a couple of green jars to decorate our merchanders place with fresh flowers. Next post we will show you some of these and more pictures of Lisbon’s delicious gastronomy, cool streetart, magic surroundings (Guincho beach is something we cannot stop thinking about!) and the essential must-see aquarium :)

And you, what’s your favourite spot in Lisbon?! We would be very happy to go back, so if you have any suggestions, please share them with us!

Mercado Armonía, Santiago del Estero, Argentina.

Its been a while since we last updated our blog, but when this Merchanders collaboration post of our friend Juan Ignacio Barbieri arrived in our mail, we couldn’t wait a minuteto share it with you:) Would you like to travel to one of the most interesting markets in Argentina? Take a deep breath and be ready to start a wonderful adventure:) Thanks for this treasure moment Juan Ignacio!

“En esta vida todo cambia, mijito, me dijo una vez mi abuela a sus 80 y pico de años, agobiada con tanto avance tecnológico. La frase y la imagen de desconcierto de ella se me vinieron juntas en mi última visita al mercado de Santiago del Estero, mi ciudad. Lo primero que ví al entrar fue una aparatosa escalera mecánica que nadie usa, pero el susto se me pasó enseguida al sentir el olor de las milanesas demondongo recién hechas y del pescado de río, que ya lleva un par de días sin que nadie lo compre. Este es el Armonía, pensé para mis adentros.

El mercado Armonía de Santiago del Estero, es uno de los más antiguos y tradicionales que conozco del norte de Argentina. Y es sin duda el mercado de mi niñez. Recorrerlo es una aventura del conocimiento, es adentrarse en lo auténtico de una de las ciudades más viejas de esta parte del mundo.

A mi, me gusta ir los sábados por la mañana, costumbre que me inculcó mi papá, y recorrer con calma sus pasillos, especialmente los de la segunda planta. Allí se encuentran las cosas más curiosas, como el arrope de mistol y la grasa de iguana, junto a un sin fin de especies y el famoso ají puta parió. Ahí mismo, en la segunda planta también puedes encontrarte con los personajes más singulares de la ciudad.

Gente antigua que vino de la profundidad del monte santiagueño y se quedó perdida entre los pasillos del Armonía. Cuando te ven, te ofrecen de todo un poco, pero en el fondo lo que buscan es conversación. Si vas con tiempo te contaran como se hace el arrope y porque la grasa de iguana es tan buena, y al final, convencido, te llevaras una bolsita llena de ají puta parió.

Mi papá solía contarme, que su papá siempre decía que para conocer una ciudad, había que empezar por el mercado. Santiago en el fondo es como el Armonía, ama sus tradiciones, no le hace mucho caso al futuro y disfruta de la buena conversación.”

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Would you like to share with us your favourite markets around the world? We’d love to. So if you have any photos or a great story, just get in touch with us!

 

Handmade with love: Pianos, violins and cookies

We have just arrived from fantastic Lisbon, but before we arrange all the material we got there (it was simply terrific!) we wanted to share with you some inspiring videos and a common wish for this year. In 2012 we have decided we want to work with our hands. We are nearly finishing our first workshop in japanese pottery but we will keep on cooking, drawing, painting and creating with our fingers:) Ready to forget your computer for a while? Then just enjoy these wonderful day-dream life projects!

Today in Merchanders

Visit the oldest shop of pianos in Paris

La Mer de Pianos from Films & Things on Vimeo.

The Violin Maker from Dustin Cohen on Vimeo.

join the Violin maker passion in Brooklyn…

and taste the sweetest bakery “made with love” in San Francisco!

Everyday more, we believe small can become very big :) And you, how are you going to make your hands happy?

Two incredible merchanders: Catalina Estrada & Mark Cercosimo

Some days ago, we were diving a little in the blogosphere when we found the interview El País in their fashion section had dedicated to Catalina Estrada, an amazing illustrator who loves having dinner with her old great-grandma’s dinner service and collecting beautiful objects from flea markets. Later, today we came up to this wonderful video about Mark Cercosimo and his particular house full of antiques. Not only their stories and wonderful treasures have conquered us but what we love most is their attitude! As Marc says, “Life is when you talk with people!”.

This Is My Home from Mark on Vimeo.

Just to make you enjoy them as we did, we share Catalina’s interview together with some photos of her dreamhouse in Barcelona (may be some day we get the courage to pay her a visit! For sure, it would be terrific).

And you, do you keep any secret collection? Do you know anyone who does? We love sharing Merchander stories, so if you step into one, please tell us about it!!!

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