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Good Ol’ Fashioned Christmas Lounge & Mini Market Pop Up

6 Dec


Very excited to have MAKE team up with for a Good Ol’ Fashioned Christmas Lounge & Mini Market Pop Up.

Bringing together a fun festive event with great friends, great food, drink, music and products. All details can be found on our facebook events page:

But just to tease you or if you don’t make it to the events page, here are the menus and the bands that will delight all of your senses.

Festive Drinks Menu

Festive Food Menu




We hope to see you on Sunday for some truly traditional festive fun!

Claire and Mirabai



Bargain Junkie

12 Oct

My weakness – bargain hunting

I cannot help it, I just LOVE a good bargain. Selling, swapping, thrift-ing, car booting, second hand rummaging, street combing, or vintage seeking, what ever you call it, it is my weakness. A box of dusty vinyl under a pasting bench, surrounded by stuffed toys, smelly old man’s trousers, and some bad cut glass is my kryptonite. It makes me go weak at the knees.

To a quick trained eye and a short finger thumb rifle through some old record sleeves can lead to only a few Euros spent on some seriously delicious old skool tunes. Why bother so many may say with the likes of spotify, grooveshark, soundcloud and itunes your favourite tunes are easily downloaded from the comfort of your home or office. As a lover of all things music and media I also can spend many hours digitally thrift-ing, but records just simply evoke different emotions, I love listening to the sound of analogue, it feels richer, raw, in the moment and a trip often down memory lane. Of course all music reminisces with thoughts and memories from the past, whether it be digital or analogue. But records also take me on a journey as to when and where I found and discovered them or received them as a present.

Vinyl Junkie

The addiction however does not simply stop at the pleasure of listening to the hissing of a second hand Fats Domino record playing on a Saturday afternoon, my home and my heart are filled with second hand and vintage records, books, clothes, shoes, handbags, hats, furniture, kitchen and home ware, the list goes on. So I thought I would share my top tips to finding things that you will love and that probably several people have loved and cherished before. How to train your eye so you can also own wonderful items, with out making your home looking like Steptoe and Sons. Some may call it junk or hoarding. Some call it retro, vintage, recycled or simple second hand. I call it being a bargain junkie. After all great design lasts for many many years.

Steptoe and Son

Where to look for a bargain.

You will be surprised. Once you start you cannot stop, there are treasures everywhere. That would be a blog post in itself, so I will keep it brief. Look out for things on the street (especially on rubbish day) markets, new and old; permanent and temporary, second hand stores, vintage stores, charity shops, pop up stores, car boots and free-cycle online sites.

Flea Market Treasures

Have some idea in mind of the things you would like to source.

Maybe you are moving, or have recently moved, make a note of the types of items that you are looking for.  Or you would like new outfit for an event or a party, think about what you already have and what may go with an outfit to re-new it, a hat or scarf or some jewellery. Maybe you need a present for someone, keep in mind the things your friends have passions for. Having some idea in your head as to what to look for before hand is helpful in often being able to visually sift through a vast number of items.

Whatever your taste

Taste, it is personal, what is yours?

It is simple; you are you, so look for things that reflect you and your personality. For example my love is for 1960s mid century Modern classics or reproductions. I try and stick to this so that my home has a fairly unified feel. Maybe your taste is pin up 50’s, neon 80’s, hipster, punk or just more eclectic and that is fine, but be aware many items from different eras and styles can and will look like a junk shop if you are not careful.

Anything is vintage nowadays

Take your time.

Everyone is different at sourcing, for example flea markets can be very over whelming with so many stalls, people, noise, how and what to look at can seem like a daunting task to most people. It is also dependant on how much time you have. But do try and take your time and don’t rush. If it goes to someone else it is meant to be. But give yourself time to visit stores and markets to see what is on offer.

Lots of items can be over whelming

Get and over view.

At the flea markets I generally do a quick walk around all stalls spending no more than a few minutes quickly glancing over the items. This will give you an idea of the volume of items they have per stall, the type of items, quality of the items and the era. And then you can move on. Think of it like internet shopping, if you have something in mind that you want to purchase most people now go to price compare sites, or different online stores for different items. Use the same principle at the flea market. Get a good overview and see what is on offer and then you can go back and spend more time at the individual stalls that you liked the look of.

Don’t go crazy.

Choose items that you REALLY want and will compliment your home, your wardrobe your music collection. Otherwise they will stick out like a sore thumb, or you will never use them, wear them or admire them. They will just gather dust and or eventually end in a cupboard or back in the recycle/trash.

Leather is often a real bargain at the flea market – go on give it a sniff

Remember it is about a bargain.

Value is the hardest thing a lot of people cope with when coming to second hand or vintage goods. As individuals have a different value on certain items than others. There are therefore three approaches to this.

1.)Research before you go on a shopping adventure for the items that you are looking for. There are so many online sites now for second hand, hand made and vintage goods that if you have something in mind look it up online and compare costs and then you have a reasonable value in mind before going shopping.

2)Personal Budget is important, only take with you how much you expect to spend; this will limit impulsive spending, or spending over and above what you originally wanted to spend.

3.)Love – it happens – suddenly you are head over heels, there is no reasoning, no logic, it just happens. You find something you simply cannot live without (ok well you could but you refuse to) and you can therefore just spend what you want and you know it will be something that you will love for a very very long time to come, therefore the cost out weighs the true value, because you cannot put a value on love. Just buy it!

White or all white – you negotiate

The Art of Negotiation

Not all shops, markets and pop ups will let you negotiate. However I am a true believer that if you do not ask you do not get. Ultimately the absolute key to doing this well is to not offend. So always ask first how much an item is. Try not to look like you want it too much. And look at a couple of other items of interest (if there are some) at the same time. Go in with a counter offer, not too low and expect to meet somewhere in the middle. If they refuse to haggle you can either walk away and this may change the sellers mind and offer you the goods at a reasonable offer, or ask them if they will be prepared to lower the item if you buy more than one thing from them. Be warned and sorry my Dutch friends, (but you know it is true) the Dutch do not negotiate well or sometimes at all. Be prepared. But still try and always do it with a smile and a joke after all it is meant to be fun!

Trash or treasure?

Be realistic

You have to be realistic that some items you fall in love with will be better quality than others, and more and more people are getting wise to retro and vintage era pieces. Which means that the item will actually be priced at what it is worth because it is designer and the seller knows it. Or an item will be sold “as vintage” at a higher rate because it is a trend. So again be careful and only pay for something if you feel it is worth that amount.

Hand –made this means different things to different people, my rule is if it is made very well and is a good quality item, remember it is hand –made and has taken someone a lot of time and love to create it. Just because it is in a pop up store or a market doesn’t mean that it is cheap. Think about the energy someone would have spent on it and pay reasonably for it. Besides what seems a bit pricey could end up being a bargain as everyone has to start some where and often creative’s and start ups have to start putting their goods onto the market with as little over heads as possible so this means pops and flea markets. Your investment could be in tomorrows next on trend designer.

old, new, handmadeor just simply JUNK!


Keep in mind how you will get your items home. Often especially at flea markets they do not have bubble wrap, paper or even bags. Take some carrier bags with you, even paper if you are looking for example some new wine glasses. Also it is much more environmentally friendly. If you are looking for items for a new home or re-decoration make sure you have transport to get it back to its new home. And also think about how long you want to shop for. Buying a larger item and then carrying it around for another hour or so is not much fun. Some shops or markets for a small deposit will keep your item until the end of the day, but ask.

Amazing flea market in Paris – But this citroen was not going to get us and our finds back to Amsterdam.


Shopping in general is not the love of ALL people. In fact my best friend James refuses to go shopping and would rather sit in the pub whilst I have an hour or two retail therapy but only if he is prepared, actually he is always prepared as he loves a good pint I’m also lucky that he understands that us girls have our shopping needs. Same for my husband, he does however love to shop and we can have the best day out, but he has to totally be in the mood and it is no fun for either of us if he is not and unwilling. If you do go with someone make sure they are also just as excited about a good rummage as you, and the right influence, bad choices and buys can totally come down to the advice of a friend with completely different taste and style to you. Dogs and children, well you can do it, but they get bored, tired and hungry. Just be prepared.

Yes my husband bought some mannequin hands – they now sit proudly on our book shelf

Nothing at all

Remember you do not have to buy anything at all. Go with your gut, if you really are not seeing anything at all that you want to purchase than DON’T. Bargain shopping is about the warm fuzzy feeling that you got something that you love for a really good deal. If you take something home that you regret it can ruin a whole afternoon or even a day of fun. Remember especially flea markets are vibrant places, you can also take home that you did some great people watching, there is often food and drink so you can have a bite to eat, go and hang out with friends, and even just talk and discuss some of the more weird and down right terrible items that were on offer. And you still get a GREAT day out.

I hope these tips help you to some fruitful pickings.

IJhallen Market, NDSM sometimes up to several hundres stalls


This weekend I will be getting weak at the knees at the IjHallen Market in NDSM Warf. I thoroughly recommend this monthly flea market as one of the best in Amsterdam.


Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th October

NDSM Wharf

Adults entrance 4 Euros

Children 1.50euros

Dogs allowed


Claire’s Christmas Crafty Club and a whole lot of HO HO HO!!!

10 Dec

What happens when you put a selection of ladies together from the UK, Holland, Poland, Austrailia, South Africa, Texas and Slovakia with a bunch of glitter, glue, cards, paper, tinsel, wool, and fabric?

A HUGE amount of creativity!

Claire’s Christmas crafty club supplied a whole heap of crafty goodies, a warm cosy Amsterdam Apartment, some hot spicy mulled wine and some Christmas vinyl to a bunch of lovely ladies whom well and truly got in the Christmas Spirit to make traditional and not so traditional ( Zana’s knitted condom holder for a present to someone!) gifts and presents for their loved ones and friends.

Every year we see more and more mass produced gifts, decorations and cards, and the ever prescence of online social media also has meant in the last few years more and more people send cards via email. So crafty club brought back some good ol’ hand crafty traditions and there will be some lucky people out there getting very special , hand made, personally created cards and stockings. I suggest you all get inspired by these girls, you got time before Chritmas! Go on MAKE something, show someone you really did think of them , and MAKE them something special.

Here is some inspiration from the night!


Thank you to Miss Kat, one of the ladies from WINK WINK whom made the fabulous mulled wine and also to Mirabai from Dikke Lepel for her gorgeous cup cakes. All the ladies were truly spoiled.

MAKE will  hopefully be running more workshops in the new year. Maybe starting with a Vaelntine’s Special end of January 2011! MAKE will also be available for any events, and tailored workshops, maybe for a birthday, a suprise, or just a girlie get together.

For more information email:

In the meantime a very happy Christmas to the ladies………

Big Hug



Get Your Christmas Shopping This Sunday!!

3 Dec

This Sunday 5th December 2010. is the Special Sinterklaas Market!!! MAKE will be getting festive this weekend, so come on down and get some lovely home made gifts.

MAKE Stand @ the Sunday Market

MAKE will also be joined again for for those with a sweet tooth by Dikke Lepel

Absoloute gorgeous cupcakes!

MMmmmmm Dikke Lepel Cup Cakes

Dikke Lepel with MAKE and Bags from AMPULE

MAKE is also hoping to be joined again by Bags from AMPULE.

And NEW to joining MAKE at the Sunday Market will be Bonnie O’ Hare’s Greeting Cards. And I have been told there will be some great new Christmas Cards coming hot off the press this week, ready for the market!!!

PLUS loads more great hand crafted stalls, yummy food, festive drinks, and live music. This Sunday Market will be a Christmas Themed affair ready to get you in the spirit of Christmas and to inspire you with some unique Christmas gifts!

See you Sunday!

BALANCE….being creative isn’t always easy

2 Dec


So I haven’t been too active on the blog front of late! But MAKE is still fully in my heart and I’ve been deliberating how to adjust the balance and I thought a great way to start was to maybe share with you some of my experience.

I think I have been lucky over the years to somehow get to a point in life where I can GET back on track or actually do what I love and that is creating and networking with creative people. Which is a strange thing to say, as I have been doing this through my whole career. But I can truly say passion also can come with experience and not always doing the things we want to do.

Without telling you my whole life story, I will explain in a Nut Shell how I got here and maybe some hopefully good advice to those also at the same cross roads or are looking to take a different path.

I trained/studied as an illustrator, but can remember MY ENTIRE life having wanted to do something visual and creative. Even as a kid I absolutely loved drawing, sticking, glueing, building, painting, and making things.

Things went fairly well, so well I came out of my course with a first class honors degree and I think emailed and wrote (YES actually wrote HARD letters and sent real images) to EVERY illustration agent, publishers, magazine and newspaper creative departments I could think of in London. But I quickly got dis-heartened by people wanting me or my work for FREE, trial run, be an intern, send us some FREE stuff, even stock illustration, all of which went against my soul.  So I said NO.

And then I sold my soul anyway. And started out as an assistant in a small Graphic Design Studio in London. And then I started the long road of gaining experience. I luckily managed to always stay close to the source and have met and worked with many many great creatives. But I’m the one in the background. I worked through lots of roles and industries, studio manager, project manager, traffic manager, resource planner and manager, process management , art buying, art selling, events manager, design manager…….. the list goes on. And so do the disciplines, the arts, design, fashion, events, music, advertising, marketing, media, digital, packaging and all of those both client side and agency side. Nearly 8 years of finding my way…

Right now I am either boring you, or those that are just starting out are scared, or those in the same predicament are all to aware of the journey. BUT and yes there is a BUT. Experience has taught me something in the last couple of years. And not just career experience but personal experience.

I NEVER sold my soul, I just made a choice. I chose to stay on that journey I took, because actually I wasn’t ready to take any new leap into a new world, the creative world, that actually meant so much to me. And also I was LEARNING! I have learnt so much in every role I took. And things that as a creative /illustrator you never learn and have to also figure out on your own. How to plan, to promote, to budget, to network to organise. To work with other people. All these things, became valuable learnings in those roles.  And ALL the great inspirational people I met along the way, also taught me something.

SO how has it changed? Well it’s changing slowly and actually now the two work VERY well together. I decided after some serious life changing events all in the last 3 years, like moving to another country, sadly loosing my mum to cancer, buying a flat in another country, buying a dog, getting married, that is was time to reassess and make some choices.

I wanted more balance in my life, to do the things I love doing but with more flexibility.  I realised life can be short and if you want to make the most of it, you have to change your way of thinking. And then I suddenly realised I LOVED BOTH worlds! I love all the roles I have done and the people I have met, but I also wanted a piece of the pie and to be that creative person too! And I realised after all the years the thing I was most scared of was MYSELF. Being creative is I think extremely personal. It’s from YOU, its in your head, heart and soul.

OK there is the debate it has all been around before and we are influenced by so many things in our work. Yet ultimately when you create something and put it out there, wether it be art, design, fashion, words, or music its YOU. So it can be extremely personal.

So I decided I had gained enough experience to make that leap of faith and to get MAKE out of my head which had been my brain child since leaving university. I realised it had been festering away all these years and been developing with all the experience I was gaining alongside it. But to do this I needed some time. So I left my lovely secure job as Design Manager at TomTom and decided to go Freelance. And so far so good. There are ups and downs being self-employed. But ultimately I am getting great work and meeting really creative people in different environments. And when a placement ends I get time to focus on MAKE.

But I am now on another assignment as Senior Project Manager for Product Design at Philips here in Amsterdam. Great team and exciting projects but I am finding I need to balance again with MAKE.

So apologies for the lack in blogging…..but things are still going on with MAKE and will keep you real posted , real soon.

And Freelance has also been a huge learning curve and a leap of faith too. Maybe I will share some of my freelance experience on that soon too, for those that need some tips, or some insight on what to expect.

But basically we can all find balance if we look for it and we have worked hard enough for it , and just because we sometimes wander a bit on our life journey, it doesn’t mean we still cannot do the things we love. Ultimately experience , or no experience, doing the thing you love the most can be the hardest. But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ALL try.


You Are Not forgotten

13 Nov

MAKE has been busy this last month, so took a rewarded break last week.

So sorry for the tumble weeds.

MAKE is still here and hasnt gone anywhere.

Some things that are coming up in the next month to share with you……..

MAKE is looking forward to it’s breakfast/Brunch tomorrow and will be heading to:


November 14th

11am – 3pm

Venue: Vlaming Prinsengracht 193

MAKE misses it’s creature comforts from back home in the UK. As an expat the smallest things give you a warm fuzzy feeling after living 3 years in the Netherlands. Things like, PG Tips, Marmite, Paxo Stuffing, Branston Pickle, Crumpets.

So this Sunday I will be looking forward to LOVE FOOD’s Egg’s Benedict, Home made english Muffins, with organic ham, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. Yum Yum!

Jason Hartley set up LOVE FOOD as a pop up resturaunt for all those great recipies we love. And since has now been nominated as the Best Breakfast / Brunch in town, by TimeOut’s Best of Amsterdam 2010.

LOVE FOOD will also be supporting Movember with a brunch on the 21st November 2010.

For more info check it out at:


Don’t forget please head down to for the Movemeber Art Auction from 3-6pm. All for the great cause of the awareness and wellness of Men’s health and Prostate Cancer.

MAKE has donated this lovely piece, and hopes to raise some money!

Come along and also support a Great Cause!

CINEMA brought to you by Cinemanita


Venue: OT 301, Overtoom



Directed by Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez

191 minutes

In English


Well, as some of you know, GRINDHOUSE is composed of two movies (Deathproof & Planet Terror) directed by Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez which were meant to be shown together as a double feature. Originally there were also movie trailers for non-existent films inserted in between both movies. But this original director’s cut was later infamously broken up (by the producers) and made into two separate films with 25 minutes of filler added to each of them to make them longer, and then they were shown as separate films in cinemas here in Europe.

So come and see the original restored version, Tarantino & Rodriguez’s original vision…..with trailers and without filler….the way it was meant to be seen. As far as I can tell, this will be a Dutch premiere.

And, by the way, since Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez are busy now making a sequel to GRINDHOUSE, now is a good time to finally see the director’s cut of the original !!!!!!



Time: 20:30 sharp   (doors open at 20:00)

Membership 4 Euros for the evening



Nausicaä of the Valley

of the Wind (1984)

(風の谷のナウシカ, Kaze no Tani no Naushika)

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

117 minutes

In Japanese with English subtitles

This is the first feature film directed by Hayao Miyazaki ( Spirited Away, Porco Rosso), and its fate was legendary. In America Walt Disney bought the rights, dubbed terrible American voices over it and cut out over a half hour of the film. This made Miyazaki even more suspicious of America than he already was, and he made sure never give up control of his films ever again. The film has recently been restored to the director’s vision, and that’s the copy that we will be screening this coming Monday.

Hayao Miyazaki gained widespread attention in Japan for his complex ecological manga series, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which he adapted for the screen a few years later. One thousand years after a war devastated much of the Earth, humanity clings to existence at the fringes of a vast, polluted forest inhabited by monstrous insects. Only Nausicaä, the princess of a tiny valley, grasps the environmental significance of the forest. She sees beyond petty wars and national rivalries to the only viable future for the planet. In Nausicaä, Miyazaki began to explore elements he would develop more fully in his later films: daring, compassionate heroines; exciting flying sequences; strong interpersonal relationships; and a call for an ecologically sustainable way of life.

Some people think that this is the greatest animation film of all time, others claim that Cameron ripped off its premise and simplified it in Avatar. Let’s decide for ourselves on Monday!

CINEMANITA @ De Nieuwe Anita

Frederik Hendrikstraat 111

Doors open at 19:30

Film starts at 20:30 sharp

Membership- 2.50euros

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BENT (1997)

Directed by Sean Mathias

105 minutes

In English

Max (Clive Owen) is a handsome young man who, after a fateful tryst with a German soldier, is forced to run for his life. Pursued and captured, Max is placed in Dachau concentration camp where he pretends to be Jewish because in the eyes of the Nazis, gays are the lowest form of human being. Therefore Max would rather wear a yellow star and proclaim himself a Jew than be tainted with the pink triangle that designates homosexuality. As a way to deal with the horrors around him, Max starts a forbidden relationship with an openly gay prisoner (Lothaire Bluteau), who chastises him for his homophobia. It is through this relationship that Max understands that without the love of another, life is not worth living.

The first part of the film is set in a war-ravaged Berlin, a stylized, stark and bombed-out world full of decadence and chic theatrical disarray. Because of these scenes the film had a restricted distribution in America (the land of the free?). There are many poignant as well as harrowing scenes, and the result is a somber work that stands as a reminder that intolerance cannot overtake individualism and love. A tender but explosive award-winning film which has rarely been screened in the last years.

I guess I should also mention that this cult classic includes a truly bizarre and unexpected performance by Mick Jagger in drag, swinging from a chandelier! It also features Ian Mckellen and a very young Jude Law as a Nazi storm-trooper! And the music is by Phillip Glass….!

Ciné Interzone

Filmhuis Cavia- Van Hallstraat 52-B

(Go through the courtyard and up the staircase)

Time: 20:30

Membership for the evening: 3 Euros

Cinemanita brings you some great films over the next week! Do yoursef a favour and get out for some cheap but quality entertainment!


November 18th, 19th and 20th 2010

The 2nd Annual International Amsterdam Burlesque Festival is a three night celebration of World-Class Burlesque Entertainment, showcasing the best in Classic Strip-Tease, Circus Sideshow and Variety Arts from around the globe!

check out more at

Friday 3rd December 2010


The pop up resturaunt is back with a gorgeous Autumn Menu!

Home cooked food served with a wink and a smile in the city of Amsterdam.

For more info:

Sunday 5th December

MAKE returns to the SUNDAY MARKET for sinterclaus.

For more info:

Wednesday 8th December


Workshop 10 Euros

MAKE Prestent

Claire’s Christmas Crafty Club

Christmas is only around the corner……

Come along and enjoy a creative night full of cutting, stamping, sticking, and sewing your very own hand made Christmas cards, gift tags, tree decorations and Christmas hats, and more.

There will be your favourite Christmas tunes, some Hot Spicy Mulled wine or Hot Spiced Christmas Chai Tea and some mince pies.

There is room for 20 places, with a contribution of 10 euros each to cover materials and refreshment costs (mainly the wine!)

If you really want to get in the spirit please wear some kind of ridiculous Christmas jumper/sweatshirt or knit wear, MAKE will be wearing theirs!

For more info or to book place please R.S.V.P

If you come along you will be as happy as this man!



Thursday 9th November 2010

The Mass Seduction

Venue: Maloe Melo


The Mass Seduction tell tales of neon rejections and winning streaks. Their unique sound has been described by many as the best thing they have ever heard. The late great John Peel once described them as ‘Dark Cabaret’. Born in Glasgow, The Mass Seduction now live in Amsterdam.

Come down to the Maloe Melo for a music delight.


Dont forget! Come visit MAKE @ the Sunday Market Amsterdam!

6 Nov

Here is a glimpse of some of the products MAKE has been working on, ready for the market tomorrow. Please come down and visit us. Sorry for some of the photography these were done in a flash as we are super busy getting ready!


Hand Screen Printed Greeting Cards

Hand Screen Printed Tote Bags


Hand Silk Screen Prints Various Sizes all mounted.

So come along and see MAKE, tomorrow for all this and a lot more.

As there will be some gorgeous bags from Ampule :

And absoloutely delicious cup cakes from Dikke Lepel.

Sunday Market

7th November



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