Monthly Archives: May 2012

Reusing Empty Bottles


Emptying them is fun to do, but why get rid of them afterwards? Empty bottles can be put to good use in many ways! Here are a few examples of how they can be used as really great home and garden decoration: 

Wall vases

I really like this idea! You can greatly vary with the types of bottles, colors and flowers to create different settings. Via

Bottle lights

Nice and elegant repurposed hanging wine bottles with tea candles by David Guilfoose. Via

Bottle vases

Also designed by David Guilfoose, these Cut Vases (left) and Pod Vases (right) made of wine bottles look very elegant. Via

Bottle candelabra

Bottle candelabras are available in all kinds of shapes and sizes to put empty wine bottles to good, romantic use. Via

Garden border

Put empty bottles upside down in the ground to create a border. Source

Bottle plants

Make your old bottles a part of your garden by turning them into planters. To cut the bottoms off bottles, you’ll need a glass cutter, which are available at different craft stores. Via

Coat rack

Unique coat rack created by using the top portions of used bottles. Source

Bottle candles

By cutting the bottles and placing candles inside or on the bottles in different ways you can create a romantic setting, like this arrangement made by Melissa Maris.

Bottle lamps

Used bottles turned into lamps. I like the use of different colors and the soft lighting. Via

Love for Libraries


I LOVE books! Not even necessarily to read (though I love to do that too), I just like to see a lot of them together, in a library or bookstore, for instance. Every time I go on vacation, I try to visit at least one library, preferably an old one, with a lot of dark wood and old, worn books. Libraries are special and have a pleasurable atmosphere. Walking through an old library always gives me a good feeling. You can almost feel the history: all that information, all those stories, all those people who have made use of it. So for today’s post a small collection of beautiful libraries I came across which appealed to me a lot, including a few private libraries. Oh how I would love to have a big library in my home!

Library of St. Florian’s Priory

Photo by dorena-wm

This beautiful library is part of the biggest Baroque monastery in Upper Austria. It was built in the 18th century and holds around 150,000 volumes.

 Old Library – Trinity College


This is the main chamber of the Old Library of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and is called ‘the Long Room’. It dates back to the 18th century and houses over 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books. It’s really impressive to walk through it. I love the dark oak and marble busts!

The George Peabody Library


The George Peabody Library is the research library of the John Hopkins University in Baltimore. The atrium rises 61 feet above the marble floor. Completed in 1878, this library contains more than 300,000 titles.

Austrian National Library


Truly majestic: The Austrian National Library in Vienna. It’s located in the Hofburg Palace and the largest library in Austria, with around 7,4 million titles. Among its collections are manuscripts and rare books dating from the 4th century to the present.

Photo by Pez Hejduk

Melk Abbey Library


The Melk Abbey is an Austrian Benedictine Abbey and was built between 1702 and 1736. The library, which ceilings portrait beautiful fresco’s by Paul Troger, contains countless medieval manuscripts.

Clementinum Library


Clementinum is the national Library of the Czech Republic and dates back to the 16th century. Being one of the oldest public libraries in the country, it includes over 6,5 million volumes.

Royal Portuguese Library

Photo by Mathieu Struck

Photo by -S

This stunning library in the center of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil was built between 1880 and 1887 in Neo-Manueline style. It holds the largest collection of Portuguese works outside Portugal: 350,000 volumes.

Private Library – Château de Groussay


This is the private library of Château de Groussay in Montfort-l’Amaury in France, built in 1815. If I could ever have a home library, I think I would want it to look something like this. Love the spiral staircases and the dark wood. Only thing missing is a large globe.

Canadian Library of Parliament


The Library of Parliament in Ottawa, Canada was completed in 1876 and is the main information and research resource for the Canadian Parliament. With around 600,000 items, it covers hundreds of years of history.

Photo by Alejandro Erickson

Joanina Library


Joanina Library, part of the University of Coimbra General Library, is a magnificent library in Baroque style which contains around 250,000 books. It was completed in 1728.

State Law Library of Iowa


The impressive five-story State Law Library of Iowa is located in the Iowa State Capitol Building in Des Moines, Iowa. It was built in 1884 in Renaissance style.


St. Gallen Abbey Library

Photo by Patrick Hauri

Another beautiful old library in Baroque style. The Abbey Library of Saint Gallen, founded in 719, is the oldest of Switzerland and one of the oldest monastery libraries in the world. It holds about 160,000 volumes, among which are manuscripts dating back to the 8th century.

Port Elizabeth Public Library


This beautiful public library in South Africa, built in late Victorian style, was officially opened in 1902.

Private Library – Richard Macksey


I find the ‘messy’ (if I may call it messy) look of this library very appealing in a way. This is the private library of Richard Macksey, professor at the John Hopkins University. Containing around 70,000 books, it’s one of the largest private libraries in Maryland. I wonder if he’s read all of them. And if there’s some sort of an organization, must be a real pain if you can’t find a book you’re looking for.

Private Library – Biltmore House


The private library at the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina contains around 10,000 volumes. Notice the beautiful color of the carved wood, the painted ceiling and of course the magnificent fireplace.

Lello Bookstore


Photo by delviking

It’s not a library, but this bookstore is definitely worth mentioning, I think. Lello is a beautiful bookstore in Porto, Portugal, which opened in 1906. Its interior looks magnificent, with a lovely red staircase as centerpiece. And look at all that carved wood!

Screw Art by Andrew Myers


I guess today’s post goes well with my previous one, Amazing 3D Wall Murals, except that this time the art is in actual 3D.


Andrew Myers uses screws to make his incredible 3D portraits. He first makes a portrait drawing on a wood panel. Then he drills screws at different depths into the wood. Each portrait is made up of thousands of screws. Every single screw is then painted with oil paint to make the portrait come alive even more. The background is made up of phone book pages.








This last portrait is called ‘Faded Thoughts’. Andrew Myers didn’t want his portraits to be “dead” anymore, so he decided to experiment and add some motion into it. Worked out pretty good I think! On his website you can find a short documentary about the process of making ‘Faded Thoughts’.

Amazing 3D Wall Murals


3D wall murals can give a place an extra dimension by giving it texture, a spacious look and entertainment value. Today’s post features a couple of those extraordinary wall murals made by trompe l’oeil (‘fools the eye’) artists. Often painted on dull, gray buildings they can really liven up the neighborhood!

The Dirt On Bishop

This 3D mural called The Dirt On Bishop is painted by artist John Pugh on a wall in Bishop, California. This layered core sample of Bishop earth represents a sedimentary survey of the town’s heritage.

Green Treasure

Another one of John Pugh‘s creations, this time assisted by artist Marc Spijkerbosch. This mural on the wall of the main library of the Rotorua Arts Commission in New Zealand portraits a previously seamless hatch that has louvered-open through a mosaic of Lake Rotorua behind which a secret world resides.

Mana Nalu Mural Project

Mural of a giant wave on the Lani Nalu Plaza building in Honolulu Hawaii, made by John Pugh with the help of several other artists.


Beautiful 3D mural by John Pugh on a wall inside an office building.


Optical illusion on the wall of Taylor Hall in Chico, California. One of John Pugh‘s old works.

Great American Crossroad

This 3D wall mural is painted by artist Eric Grohe in Bucyrus, Ohio, called Great American Crossroad. It serves as an entrance to the city as well as backdrop for numerous concerts and civic events.

55 Diamond Court

Another artwork by Eric Grohe, this time in Massillon, Ohio. It’s designed to add life and dignity to a previously nondescript corner of town.

Lions Gate Gorge

Street artist Qi Xinghua (Michael Qi) painted this enormous mural which not only is painted on a wall, but also on the floor, giving an even deeper 3D effect. With Lions Gate Gorge Xinghua set a new Guinness World Record for largest piece of street art.

Dragon Boat Festival Dragon

The dragon appears as if to be coming out of the wall. Painted by Qi Xinghua.

Nike Mural

3D Wall mural by Qi Xinghua.

Yangpu Mural

From this angle it looks pretty realistic! Made by Qi Xinghua in the Yangpu District in Shanghai.

Fresque des Québécois

[via Rambling Traveler]

This wall mural, made by CitéCréation in Quartier Petit Champlain in Old Québec, tells 400 years of Québec’s history and portraits several of Quebec’s historic figures.

Fresque du Petit-Champlain

[via Rambling Traveler]

Fresque du petit-Champlain is depicted on a wall in Rue du Petit-Champlain in Old Québec, one of the oldest streets in North America. This one recounts the history of Cap-Blanc, Québec City’s working-class waterfront neighborhood. Designed by CitéCréation.

Colorful Cities & Villages


I love colors! In every aspect of life. Every time I visit another country I really enjoy the sight of colorful architecture. That’s why I’ve made a selection of the most colorful cities and villages I could find. Enjoy!

Burano, Italy

© Copyright EMprize

Burano is an Island in the Venetian Lagoon. It actually consists of four small islands which are separated by 10 meters wide canals and linked by bridges.


Kinsale, Ireland

© Copyright Eileen Henderson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

© Copyright Sarah Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Beautiful colored houses in the town center of Kinsale, located on the south coast of Ireland.

Menton, France


Also known as ‘The pearl of France’, Menton is situated on the French Riviera, along the French-Italian border.

Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre means ‘The Five Lands’ and consists of five villages (Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore) located on the Italian Riviera and is a UNESCO world heritage site.




Stockholm, Sweden


Stockholm is the beautiful capital city of Sweden. Built on fourteen islands connected by bridges, Stockholm is also sometimes known as ‘the Venice of the North’.

Willemstad, Curacao

Photo by Rodry1 from nl

The historical city center of Willemstad boasts an array of colonial architecture that is influenced by Dutch styles. With its peculiar architecture and beautiful harbor entry, the center has been made a UNESCO world heritage site.

Guanajuato, Mexico

Photo by Bustamente Rosas

Guanajuato is the capital city of the Mexican state Guanajato and is characterized by its steep streets en colorful buildings.

Photo by Tim Leffel

Reykjavik, Iceland


Reykjavik is Iceland’s colorful capital city located on the south west coast.

Longyearbyen, Norway

Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

Formerly known as Longyear City, Longyearbyen was founded by John Munroe Longyear in 1906, who wanted to house laborers who worked at the coal mines. It is the biggest settlement in Svalbard, Norway and the world’s northernmost city with a population above one thousand.