At Modström, we love creativity! In this special time where we need to be more at home, we want to celebrate the creativity and inspire to unfold one's creative sides in a playful way. In this portrait series we have asked some cool women to show how creative they are in their 'Playful home'. Each of the women have taken a picture of themselves wearing an outfit from Modström, representing their own style, and made a 'How-to-guide' to get inspired by, creating your own 'playful home'.
It is more important now than ever to be able to cultivate an inner peace. Meditation really does not have to be anything other than one moment focusing on the breath and attention to the quality of your thoughts but I would like to share one of my absolute favorite techniques that can help us go a little deeper.
This meditation technique is a good start if you are a beginner in meditating. It is a simple way you can create a small breathing space in your everyday life. The technique effectively creates presence in the stream of experiences which you are constantly exposed to.
The space and atmosphere around you can be an important component of the quality of your meditation, especially in the beginning. An easy way to relax can be to light a scented candle, incense and maybe a little Palo Santo which is a sacred tree that purifies the energies around you. Make sure you are sitting in a quiet place, the phone is placed far away and give yourself a chance for a quiet moment.
This guide is divided into three parts but note that none of the points has the advantage that something must happen. It is about the opposite. It is about letting go of control and letting the moment flow freely.
how-to: Hjemme meditation
Start sitting in a comfortable position. Take a moment to feel the foundation of the body, feel the floor beneath you, and how the body melts down and rest. When you bring focus to the physical contact with the ground beneath you in this way, you will cultivate an increased grounding and naturally get a sense of being more present.
Now start focusing on your breathing, which flows easily and effortlessly in and out through your nose. Feel how your fill your stomach on an inhalation and empty it on an exhalation. You can now create a little more space for breathing and get a feeling that you are breathing out through the body. Feel how this feeling of bodily spaciousness has a light quality.
You can now start relaxing your face. Let go of the lips. Leave the tongue relaxed. Let go of the jaw. Feel your eyes and let them lie comfortably in the eye sockets. Feel how the forehead is relaxed. Then you can move your attention down to the center of your shoulder blades and let this place become softer. Get a feeling that the heart is melting down in the chest.
From here on you have a good starting point to continue meditating with a relaxed mind. Thoughts will appear and this is quite natural - meditation is to be aware of these thoughts. Watch them come, accept that they are there and let them gently flow away again.
Finally, you can finish the exercise by noticing your mood. How are you? How is the quality of your thoughts now compared to before you started the meditation? Quietly, you can return to the present and the rest of your day.
People are often surprised that I don’t drink coffee. I love the smell but I’ve never gotten used to the taste. But I did always feel like I was missing out. Colleagues going on coffee breaks, friends raving about a new coffee place, my boyfriend’s continuing quest to be able to make the perfect cup of coffee every morning. I was suffering from serious coffee FOMO.
That was until I was introduced to matcha a few years ago in New York. For centuries, matcha has been the cornerstone of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. It’s a bright green powder made from finely powdered dried tea leaves. I ordered a matcha latte and instantly fell in love. Matcha has a slightly bitter, vegetal taste but somehow in combination with oat or almond milk it’s the perfect refreshing and nourishing morning drink. During the summer I drink it cold with ice cubes, and during the winter as a hot latte. A matcha latte contains the same amount of caffeine as a cup of brewed coffee, but the tea’s buzz is much more energizing and long lasting. Matcha contains amino acid L-Theanine, which slows down the release of caffeine and has a calming, relaxing effect.
So, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that I no longer have coffee FOMO. I finally know what is like to wake up excited for your morning drink. I love going on matcha breaks and tried every cafe in town that has matcha’s on the menu (Yusu, Toki and Uncommon are my favorites in Amsterdam). And recently I found the perfect recipe for a matcha latte.
Making the perfect matcha latte is easy if you have the right ingredients and tools.
- 2 bamboo spoons of organic matcha powder
- 75ml tablespoons of hot water, preferably 60 degrees
- A glass of plant-based milk. I always use the Oatly Barista Edition as it’s super creamy.
Put the matcha in a bowl and add water. Use a Japanese bamboo whisk and whisk the ingredients as quickly as possible using an M- or W-shaped motion. Keep whisking for at least 20 seconds until all the lumps have been dissolved. Add the milk (either warm or cold with ice cubes) and that’s it. Enjoy!
I always prioritize eating well. No matter how busy I am, I know that food is the source of peace and that the day will be good. I do not eat according to certain rules - I have found out that life is too short for that. I eat for the taste and for the coziness - because at home it is over the meals we have the best talks.
I love eating out, but these times make us spend more time at home than ever before. During the corona period, I have learned to bake with sourdough and then I started making pasta myself - a discipline that my husband masters.
One of my favourite pasta dishes that is relatively quick to make is pappardelle al limone.
For pasta dough, use the following (I use David Fischer's recipe) 400 gr tipo 00 flour, 200 gr semola flour) 7 egg yolks and 1 whole egg plus 1 teaspoon salt. Make a flour volcano and put egg yolks and the whole egg in the middle. Then mix the ingredients together. First with a fork and then with your fingers.
Once the dough is assembled, leave it to cool off for a few hours before rolling it out on the pasta machine. I rolled it down to level 2 in thickness
Cut the pasta dough into pappardelle. Mine were about 25 cm long and 2.5 cm thick.
Bring water to a boil in a casserole. Cut a lemon in half and fry it in a bit of oil until it turns brown and a little caramelized.
Add a good piece of butter to the lemon on the pan and a good squeeze of the olive oil. Be careful that the butter does not get too brown.
Boil your pappardelle for a minute and then take the pasta into the pan with the butter / oil / lemon. Remember a few spoonfuls of boiling water into the sauce.
Pick up the lemons and squeeze the juice into the pan. Turn off the heat and add plenty of parmesan to the sauce on the pan.
8.Serve the pasta dish on your favourite plate. Grind fresh pepper and add some extra parmesan over. Bon Appetito!
A few months ago I have started a small creative business with my friend, where we sell handmade items. It has become very close to our hearts which we spend all our time on. I am in charge of producing all the crocheted items and therefore I crochet more than ever before. For me, it is completely meditative to sit undisturbed by the outside world and be able to create all sorts of things out of yarn and I love being able to carry all my ideas out into the world through crochet.
I very rarely share my recipes as I never have time to write them down, but in this guide, I will share how to make the perfect 'Granny Square' - in my opinion.
There are countless versions of this recipe, but here is my version of the classic 'Granny Square' which in this case I use to make and beautiful rug.
HOW-TO GRANNY SQUARE BLANKET
Choose what material and what colours this blanket should be made of as well as what density it should have. I have chosen a cotton 8/8 and have used a crochet hook in size 4mm. Remember, the larger the needle, the looser/thinner the blanket will be.
Start the first round by making 4 chain stitches and assemble into a ring by making a slip stitch in the first chain stitch. Now crochet 3 chain stitches (count as 1 treble stitch) and then 2 treble stitches into the small ring you have just made. *Now crochet 2 chain stitches and then 3 treble stitches into the same hole *. Continue the pattern from * to * 2 more times. Close the round by making a slip stitch at the top of the first treble stitch. After the first round you must have 12 treble stitches in total.
You can choose to continue the 2nd round by changing color or you can just continue with the same color. If you choose to change color, cut the string, staple the end and tie a new color where you just stapled the end.
In the 2nd round, start again by crocheting 3 chain stitches and then 2 treble stitches into the same hole. * In the next hole crochet 3 treble stitches, 2 chain stitches (these chain stitches will create the corners so that the work becomes square) and 3 treble stitches again in the same hole *. Continue the pattern from * to * 2 more times. In the last hole you make 3 treble stitches and 2 chain stitches and close the round by making a slip stitch at the top of the first treble stitch. After the 2nd round, you must have 27 treble stitches.
Now continue all the following rounds as the 2nd round but remember to only crochet air stitches between the bar stitches in the corners. Change colors when it suits you :-)
I go to thrifts shops a lot and I find old illustrated books -my personal favourites are history books preferably in b&w and colourful animal and flower books.
I have done collages for years and years, so I have lots of boxes filled with clippings, torn-out pages ready to be cut, silk and cardboard paper and magazine pages. I would never throw a magazine out, before checking if there's a page, I need to tear out.
What you need is a (great) pair of scissors, a glue stick, a cotton cloth (maybe an old t-shirt) and a canvas, I prefer a white A3 permanent paper, but anything will do.
Pour yourself a cup of tea and something to listen to while working. Podcast is my go-to entertainment.
I start off, cutting a lot of images, sometimes I can cut for days, and fortunately cutting with scissors is meditative for me. Actually, in general using my hands sets my creativity free and at the same time relaxes me.
When cutting, I often leave a very tiny line around the image, so it is not cut completely perfect and tight. That little line gives some 3D-depth in the collage.
When your scissor-hand is sore and you have a lot of clippings, just start pie
I like the combo of bright colours with b&w images.
My own rule is to use 3 different elements. That will keep the collage simple.
The 3 elements I have chosen for this one is a “b&w hair and arm" clipping from a magazine, a yellow dress also from a magazine and 5 birds from an old nature book, but all the same birds to make it effortless.
Now to the stressful part, haha. When you know where you want all your pieces, then you'll need to glue. I always find this kinda nerve wrecking, because alle the pieces are unique, and if you glue it on wrong, then you don't have another one. I intertwine my pieces, but I recommend, as a newbie, to start off doing it in layers.
Start gluing the bottom one and so forth.
To avoid bubbles, this is where the cotton cloth comes in. When you are sticking it on your canvas, you simply slide from one end to the other. I would say I'm a perfectionist, but in this part I really don't like making errors. I handled it as a craftmanship. A glue craftmanship, haha.
Put it under some heavy books for a day.
VOILA, congratulations on your little art piece.
cing your collage together. As I said, I work best with a lot to choose from and my office table looks like a mess of images, but it works the best for me playing and rotating around images around until something works for you. This part is the fun part. Images that was meant to be one thing becomes something completely different together and end up telling an entirely different story. I do have a very specific esthetics and I can't really put my finger on why a collage works for me and why one doesn't.
SELFIE LOVE ’21
We live in weird times nowadays. Sometimes lonely and difficult times. But, hey! don’t forget: you’re doing well given the circumstances! As my friend said ‘2021 is going to be the year of self love.’ So here are my notes to self:
- Letting go of our fundamental self-rejection.
- Stop comparisons
- Forgiving myself
- Be less hard to myself
- Life is way too short to spend another day at war with yourself
- Remember to stay true to my authentic self
My little guide on ‘How to make the perfect 2021 selfie?’
Fix yourself a camera
Choose your perfect zoom outfit but wear a sweatsuit
Pick your light
Bend one arm
Smile like nobody’s watching
Be confident, haters will say it’s photoshop anyway
Always be yourself, also if that means to be different.
The first glimpse of being an illustrator started 4 years ago; I'd post my drawings on Instagram daily. As time goes by, I slowly noticed that creating draw¬ings and listening to modern classical music simul-taneously feels like a daily meditation moment.
My favorite techniques are water coloring and line drawing. I'm inspired by everyday objects around me and prefer to illustrate single objects. Now that we're inside, this is still an escape for me, to com¬pletely drop everything around me, to see how the watercolor would dry differently each time.
As a Showroom & PR manager at Spice PR (a PR company in Amsterdam), I'm responsible for public relations tasks, for brands such as Modström, Young Stedelijk and Christian Wijnants. From time to time, I'd give lectures at different (art-) schools. On top of that, I keep myself occupied being an art free¬lancer, illustrating for books, newspapers and my self-producing postcards. In the situation that we're all in at the moment, I find it extremely important for us to give our loved ones a little something extra. Letting them know we're thinking about them. For me in this case, I'd send them my self-made post¬cards!
What you will need: (post-)cards so you can illustrate, the ones from Winston & Newton are my absolute favourites, watercolor and other basics such as a pencil and a pen and of course, a good mood!
My favorite genre is modern classical, as I already mentioned above. My go-to’s at the moment are Max Richter, Dustin O’Halloran & Arvo Part or La Duree radio on Spotify.
Think of the person who you’d send the postcard to.
Let your environment lead you, let the music guide you, let the person inspire you. My series of postcards consists of ‘Single Objects’, a simple, stylistic image that is open to interpretation and tells multiple stories. Create something that is close and personal to the assigned person (e.g., a croissant for your sister, in combination with a cappuccino because that’s her favourite!)
I like it the old-fashioned way, sending my loved ones a little message by post. I’d go to and find a mailbox and mail the envelopes myself. It’s also important to have a nice envelope apart from the postcards, my favorite ones are from Le Typographe, they have so many options to choose from!
I really enjoy to read and since a few years back I've been obsessing over interior design and architecture, so the perfect book for me lately has been anything with a combination of words and beautiful images. At the moment I am reading 'Bauhaus', a book that illustrates photographs, sketches, studies and a lot more from this period of time. When reading I love to create a cozy atmosphere in a corner at home, so here is my guide to the perfect setting for a reading moment:
I love the feeling of fresh flowers in my home. No matter what time of year it is I definitely feel like it brings me joy and a much needed summer vibe whenever I look at them. So of course, I started out the making of my cozy reading corner at home by going to my favorite florist on Østerbro. I have had my eyes on these beautiful pink lilies for a while so they were the ones I got.
Back at home and ready to choose the right corner of my apartment to read in. I chose this spot because it really has a cozy atmosphere with a big plant, carpets and a smaller table to place a delicious cup of tea (and the new flowers) right next to me.
Next up is finding the right armchair to sit in and it comes without saying that comfort is the key in order to relax. Although this Le Corbusier armchair that I chose might not be the comfiest one I could've imagined myself lounging in, it is one of the pieces of furniture in my home that I adore the most. So whenever there's an occasion for me to sit in it, I'll do it.
For me there is no such thing as a cozy afternoon reading moment without a cup of my favorite black tea with honey. I love to collect different beautiful and big teacups and here is one my mom gave me as a gift once.
Now on to the most important part of this how-to; picking the right book to read in. As mentioned, I'm really into interior design and architecture and was recommended to read Bauhaus 1919-1933 by my boyfriend who studies architecture. The Bauhaus was a school with its foundation in Germany which now, seventy years later, has become a concept or style, almost a catchphrase all over the world. With both texts, images and sketches it's the perfect book for me to get some historical knowledge on a topic I'm really interested in.