Monday, 24 December 2007

Merry Christmas it is the 24TH OF DECEMBER

Hurray tonight we will get together and celebrate Christmas eve!
We will enjoy our glögg, the cookies, the crackers and our family.
At midnight we will exchange gifts.
vonblum also wants you to be part of it - so leave us your name and email and we will
draw a present for one of you!
Merry Christmas

Sunday, 23 December 2007


A gift from us to you.
Print out this lovely photo set from VON
and make gift cards, name cards for your table or simply use it as inspiration.
Just one more day!

Saturday, 22 December 2007


We have made our own Cristmas crackers this year!
We added candy, lots of glittery stars and a riddle or a fortune or even a dare.
If you like you can also add little gifts.
We will also add names on our crackers and use them on our Christmas table as name tags.
Here are some easy to follow instructions.
2 days left for Christmas eve


This idea comes from one of the blogs we always read.
Again, thank you
swissmiss for showing it to us!

If you would like to do see how it was done, go straight to the site of London based design consultancy company, johnson banks, and see how they got it together.
They have loads of lovely projects on their site.
Advice: stumble around their site a bit :)
Only 3 days left for Christmas eve.

Thursday, 20 December 2007


These are the places where we find many handmade Christmas gifts online.
You might be lucky and still find something last minute!
above a set of cards from Heidi Burton on etsy.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007


Did you know that many people suffer from Christmas stress?
strolling through the internet we found out more about it and how to avoid it :)
article from the guardian 2002


As we are in Barcelona we thought we should tell you something about the christmas costumes here.

So we are pleased to introduce you to the figure of the caganer.

In Catalonia, as well as in the rest of Spain and in most of Italy and Southern France, the traditional Christmas decoration is a large model of the city of Bethlehem, similar to the Nativity scene.

The Catalans have added an extra character that is not found in the manger scenes of any other culture. In addition to Mary, Joseph, Jesus the Shepherds and company, Catalans have the character known as the Caganer. This extra little character is often tucked away in some corner of the model, typically nowhere near the manger scene, where he is not easily noticed.

There is a good reason for his obscure position in the display, for "caganer" translates from Catalan to English as "pooper", and that is exactly what this little statue is doing — defecating. The one who finds his whereabouts wins a coin!

If you would like to know some more come and visit us in Barcelona or....

We found some more info on Christmas in Barcelona here in this blog.

Monday, 17 December 2007


We spend our Sunday wrapping Christmas presents.
Here are some of the ideas that make our Christmas different:
the weekends newspaper and a nice ribbon ( the FT has a lovely pink colour)
aluminum foil and a cut out a snowflake for extra decoration
a piece of material that can be used later on to make a table runner or a pillow
wrapped as a candy around the gift.
If you have any other ideas, do let us know.

Sunday, 16 December 2007


One of the nice things of Christmas would be all the carols and different customs
through out the world.
We found out that one of the most translated carols had been silent night.
It was actually written in 1816 by a priest called Joseph Mohr and composed in 1818 by a teacher called Franz Xaver Gruber, who together with the priest performed it in a church where a broken organ led them to the choice of the melody of this widely sung carol.
Before we start singing here are some versions for you to sing along

and as the portuguese version was missing we added it ourselves:

Noite feliz! Noite feliz!
O Senhor, Deus de amor,
pobrezinho nasceu em Belém.
Eis na lapa Jesus, nosso bem.
Dorme em paz, ó Jesus.
Dorme em paz, ó Jesus.

Noite de paz! Noite de amor!
Tudo dorme em redor,
entre os astros que espargem a luz,
indicando o Menino Jesus.
Brilha a estrela da paz.

Saturday, 15 December 2007



Glögg is a Scandinavian Christmas drink made of red or white wine, heated up with sugar & spices.
A bit like mulled wine. As we also have a bit of Swedish in vonblum and love this Christmas custom, we will get our batch ready for Christmas eve and thought you might enjoy it as well!
  • one or two bottles of red wine (as preferred)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 dozen cloves
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 dozens almonds
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • orange peel
  • a touch of brandy

Pour the red wine in a stainless steel pot.
Add the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, raisins, nutmeg, almonds and orange peel, stirring until all the ingredients are mixed together and the sugar is diluted.
Warm gently, stirring occasionally, but do not boil, otherwise the alcohol will evaporate. Add a touch of brandy for a greater aroma and garnish it with more orange peel or cinnamon. The glögg is ready!
Pour it in seasonal Christmas cups or mugs and make sure there are spices in every cup, they will keep the aroma longer while you are seeping the tasty drink. Be sure that the glögg it is served steaming hot
9 days until Christmas eve

Friday, 14 December 2007


Remember the Holiday Ornament swap we posted about in the beginning of November? We have already send out our ornaments and received one! If you want follow up on whats happening, come check on FLICKR and get into the crafty Christmas mood!

Thursday, 13 December 2007


Reindeer names
re quite confusing.
Yet, rhyming names
can be so amusing.

Here's a short poem
to help you remember.
The best time to repeat this
is in mid-December.

There are eight names to repeat,
and we'll start with the first.
This name is like running
in short little bursts.

It's Dasher the reindeer,
the fastest of all,
a quick tiny reindeer,
but not very tall!

There is Dancer
the danciest dancer of all,
dancing about
and having a ball!

And Prancer like Dancer
prances all day,
driving elves crazy,
but what can they say?

While Vixen plays tricks
on all the reindeer,
Mix'n their sleigh bells
and having no fear!

Don't forget Comet
with a smile all the while,
you can see the teeth glow
from even one mile.

And Cupid the dreamer
who day dreams the most,
waiting for Christmas
and Holidays roasts.

Donner is jumping
about on the snow.
Eager for Santa
and the reindeer to go!

Finally, Blitzen with mittens
of gold lace and holly,
is happy, and zappy
and oh, so jolly!

Oh, yes don't forget Rudolph
with that nose red and bright,
shining his nose
through the thick of the night.

from :


want to make your own Christmas ornaments?
we have a nice and easy one for you today.
you will need:
cloves ( as seen i the picture above)
and a ball shape ( either a orange, a lime or if you want a styrofoam ball)
toothpicks ( so you can punch in holes)

The idea is to pierce the ball shape with the cloves.
you can either fill the whole circle or do designs with them.

Then put it in a nice plate and use it as a centerpiece, or put a lace around it and hang it from your tree.

12 days until christmas eve

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


Bonan Kristnaskon kaj feliĉan novan jaron
that is just one of the many languages you can wish a merry christmas in follow the link
and say it in any language you would like.

Monday, 10 December 2007


with only 14 days to go to Christmas eve...
in the north pole all hell must be breaking loose :)
to see it for yourself follow the great elfamorphosis from officemax and
and see how the elfs are doing it.

Sunday, 9 December 2007


Tried and tested by us from vonblum a quick and easy Christmas Recipe

Bratapfel (baked apples)

4 apples
50g raisins
40g brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
8 walnuts
50g miced almonds
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp sauce lemon
50ml cream

Mix the raisins, sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, minced almonds and milk all together in to a thick bulk. If you like you can also add some Marzipan mixture into this bulk and change the sugar for honey. Clean up the core of the apple - preferably with a core removing tool. Preheat the oven to 180° Put the apples with the filling in the middle into a baking tray in a up right position for about 20 to 30 minutes. When taking it to the table add the vanilla sauce on top.

Saturday, 8 December 2007


Bring out the spirit from the past and read with friends and family!
We found the complete story on the internet or if you have it, take out your copy
and get into the Christmas spirit...
to read go here

Friday, 7 December 2007


What to do with all those Christmas cards we received after the season is over?

Here are some ideas :

Cut shapes out of the cards in matching pairs. Hearts or simple Christmas tree shapes and even plain squares and circles. Stick the cards back to back and laminate them, then punch a hole in them and use to make a colourful and child-friendly mobile or “string” to decorate next year.

You could also back each shape with a plain-coloured piece of card or construction paper and write on it the date and name of the person who sent the card.

Make gift tags for next year's presents.

Scan your favourite cards into the computer – and some of your favourite messages from inside the cards as well – and make them into a Christmas wallpaper or screensaver with a photo program.

Make a collage out of the nicest one and laminate them into nice table sets for next years Christmas season.

What do you do with the cards? We would love some more ideas...

17 days left to Christmas eve

Thursday, 6 December 2007


Today St. Nicholas' day is celebrated in many countries.
Many people still have the custom of putting their boots
or Christmas stockings outside the room the night before.

On the 6th they will either find small gifts if they where good and a bunch of twigs,
if they misbehaved!

The place where it is most celebrated is in the Netherlands,

where legend has it that Sinterklaas (Dutch name for St. Nicholas) arrives in the Netherlands by way of steamboat from Spain 2 weeks before his traditional birthday, December 6th, along with his helper, Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), who will help disperse the gifts and candy to all the good children.

Sinterklaas, along with the zwarte piets, will go abroad at night and stride about the countryside wearing his red mantle, his mitre, and his golden crosier and sporting a long, white beard. Referring to his book that lists all the good and bad children, Sinterklaas will deliver presents to all the good children, but watch out if you've been bad!
The bad children may be taken back to Spain with him.

We in Spain even have the day off today:)


Wednesday, 5 December 2007


You don't have to get the paper and scissors out
Enjoy your snowflakes while the others are working
follow our link and "let it snow let it snow let it snow"

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


If you thought you had heard all jingle bell versions,
we are happy to inform you that there are many more!
Follow this link and enjoy what we found "dashing through the internet"

Monday, 3 December 2007


Have you ever wandered where the tradition of the Mistletoe came from?

First of all some information for the gardeners between us.
Mistletoe is a partially parasitic plant which grows on trees and feeds on the nutrients of its host.

In the Middle Ages and later, branches of mistletoe were hung from ceilings to ward off evil spirits.

In Europe they were placed over house and stable doors to prevent the entrance of witches.

Kissing under the mistletoe is first found associated with the Greek festival of Saturnalia and later with primitive marriage rites.

In Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a plant of peace, under which enemies could declare a truce or warring spouses kiss and make-up.

21 days to go

Sunday, 2 December 2007



300 g Flour
70 g Sugar a packet of vanilla sugar
220g Butter
100 g crunched haselnut
6 tbsp. Milk

2 packets of vanilla sugar mix it with some confectioner's sugar

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl Heat the oven to about 180-200° TAke out little chunks ( about a spoon full) and make "half moon" shapes out of them. Place it on the baking tray take them out in about 15 minutes now sprinkle them with vanilla sugar and confectioners sugar ( better when still warm)

Pack them as a gift or share them with your family

Saturday, 1 December 2007


We decided to start off with something very different, just like this tree that we found through the blog from designer undercover, this year you can have this upside down variety!

Only 23 days to go :)

Friday, 30 November 2007

countdown to Christmas

Tomorrow its official its the first of December!
The countdown
- for the ones who still believe in father christmas -
to wait for him to slide down that chimney!
And for those of us who wish we did still believe -
vonblum will be posting a little advent post on our blog everyday until the 24th of December!

Thursday, 29 November 2007

the Arc de Triunfo

Today walking around the area, we thought that:
-hmmmmm, we never really talked about our surroundings to you.

So, This is one of the nice things in our neighbourhood!
We are very close to the plaza Tetuan and just five minutes away from vonblum is the "Arc de Triunfo" from Barcelona.
It was built as the entrance gate for the 1888 Universal Exhibition so it is not, strictly speaking, a triumphal arch as it was not built to commemorate any military victory.
Nevertheless, it is built and named as a triumphal arch!

If you want some more insider information on this touristic site, follow this link!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

sneak peak

a sneak peak of the webpages of vonblum
more online soon

Monday, 26 November 2007

Monday spaces

MOnday morning and most of us are all struggling to get out in these dark winter mornings.
So to keep this day lighter we decided to add some nicely lit spaces

The last image comes from one of my favourite blogs :)
camilla not only has beautiful work but also a soooo cozy home!

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Time flies

It has been a week since our last post.
We are now just about to start the constructions inside vonblum. We have taken out the fridges, the draft beer machine and are finding uses for many other things to be found inside the space now.
Hopefully, by next week we can start tearing the walls down and getting closer to what we imagine the space to look like.
Another reason for not having posted was a quick trip to the lovely city of Hamburg.
The Christmas markets where all being set up and you could feel that spirit all over the town.
Met up with friends and family, wandered the city in search of inspiring ideas for vonblum, and found some nice products to be part of our space.
Enjoy your sunday and we will be back sooner than later this time ;)

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Happy Sunday

We loved what Matthieu Ricard had to say - so we thought you would too!

Have a lovely Sunday evening....

Saturday, 17 November 2007


Remember the bird houses from the last post?
For the ones who couldn't picture it....maybe this sketch may help!

Tuesday, 13 November 2007


birdhouses are spaces prepared for birds to nest in and protect them from the winter cold.
There are many things to be considered when putting them up, such as their position and material to be used.

Why are we talking about birdhouses? No we haven't gone cuckoo

As we get closer to the details in the vonblum space and start considering which kitchen utensils are needed, the heights of counters, position of lighting, colours of the space... we thought of how a birdshouse has to be inviting to its "guests" - so that it will be chosen and used.

One thing lead to another and we decided to add some as decor in our space.

come by when we open up & peep....

Monday, 12 November 2007

the shape of things to come

If you clench your eyes a bit and sprinkle some imagination over this drawing you can see what vonblum will be like in some months from now.
We cant wait!

Friday, 9 November 2007

Winter is coming...

A short trip to Paris, where it seems winter is closer than it is in Barcelona, and our kitchen is looking more and more like a reality. We talked to our chef, and friends who have a wealth of experience to share, and things are on their way! Organising our kitchen and bar space, designing our menu, and trying to make financial sense of the matter, is a lot harder than it seems. But with a lot of research, hard work, and a little help from our friends, the final results will soon be available for you to see.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Holiday swap

We joined in on the fun - and thought you might want to as well
( its only until tomorrow the 9th of November )
for more information go to cake& pie or freshlyblended.
Let the ornaments begin

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Philosophical sunday

Its Sunday, and we have been talking about things that make us Smile.
A very important thing for us in vonblum is to keep a positive attitude in our daily lives.
Making the work space pleasant, having people we like around us, enjoying a nice plate of food or even just sitting and enjoying those last rays of warm November sun.
When looking through all those "secret" recipes and products we will be selling at vonblum, the choice is guided by the thought of a smile it will bring to someones face.
So as its Sunday and you might have some extra time to share, it would be great to hear what brings that smile to your face?

P.S. just click on the comments link below and let us know what it is :)

Friday, 2 November 2007

Rutger von Blum

As many of you know, we are located in Barcelona. To be precise, the space is located in one of the famous Eixample corners ( 45° corner blocks known as chaflanes)
at the crossing of c. Casp and c. Roger de Flor.

When we started choosing names for the space the first thing that caught our attention was the word Flower in the street name (flor is flower in english)
We researched a bit and found out that Roger de Flor was also like Jessica from German origins.
A pirate, a merchant, a Templars Knight, part of the Catalan company, married to the Byzantine emperors cousins daughter....turning him into a duke.
We have gone through diverse stories on the internet and through encyclopedias.
Some appealing and some leaving us with distraught on what a man he might have been.
Was he a bloody merchant? or was he actually helping fugitives get away from a massacre?
We only know what has been written and told by other people's opinions.

We have then decided to write our vonblum in one word, so that way we can give this name a new meaning. Yes, we will also want to be part of Catalan history, but in a very different way.

If you want to know more about Roger de Flor we have added a bibliography from the places we have searched in below.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007


the music, the design.......
we just cant get enough of Feists new CD
its already been added to our playlist

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Jip and Janneke

When in Holland we where not only inspired by all the great designers and fantastic products we found, but also by the characters of Jip and Janneke.
They are a series of children's books written by Annie M.G Smith and illustrated by Fiep Westendorp
Initially a series for the newspapers, published weekly from 1952 to 1957.
The simplicity of the characters and their wit have made them into a national icon and of course caught our attention too. Strolling through some shops you encountered the large amount of merchandise dedicated to them, from stickers to children's wine, enticing any serious adult to join in the fun.

Want to join in the fun? start off by reading more on their website (link above) or about the author on this website.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Dutch Design Week

While we are still going through all the information received during Eindhoven's Dutch design week.
We thought we might give you a quick glance at some of the lovely things we saw.

We will be back with more detailed info of great works and very inspiring days.
If you are in Holland, its well worth going to have a look (on until the 28th of October).

Thanks to Agnes & Hjördis for showing us around.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Things are moving forward. And it's so exciting.

The future vonBlum cook came to Barcelona for a few days. In between discussions on the width of fridges, the position of grills and other architectural titbits, we strolled through the city in search of inspiration and ideas.

The next step is starting on the official website. This entails, among other things, starting thinking about our menu, the lovely things we want to sell in the store, the people who are going to be contributing to things, and how to put it all together. It helps, in our impatience to see the place open, to be able to start on some concrete stuff like this.

What ideas do you have? What things would you be tempted to buy while having a coffee, or light lunch?

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

and the winner is.....

Finally after a fantastic feedback from all of you we have the winning print.
It was a very close call between 1, 2 and 6.
For those who had trouble viewing on white - as a celebration to the winner we posted it now in CMYK
Thanks to all of you for the involvement.