Tagged: belgium

travel tuesday: fabric shopping in liege, belgium

fabric shopping in liege, belgium: tissus du chien vert

As I’ve said before, traveling is often just an excuse to find new fabric stores. My most recent trip to Belgium and the Les Tissus du Chien Vert store in Liège was no exception.

Brad flew to Belgium for a business trip, and I was eager to tag along. Belgium’s promises of frites, waffles, and beer were enough to get me excited… but they also have this fabric store with a giant boat in the center of it. You can climb up to the boat, and spin the steering wheel and everything. It’s very effective marketing, since it gets your significant other excited about a fabric store (especially valuable when said significant other may or may not be the only one authorized to drive the business-use rental car).

There may have been a conversation like this:
Sam: Do you mind if we stop at this fabric store on the way to Bruges? It looks really good and there’s a giant boat in the middle of the store!
Brad: Okay!
Sam: I mean, we don’t have to do it if we don’t have time or if you don’t want to…
Brad: But there’s a giant boat in the middle of the store!

fabric shopping in liege, belgium: tissus du chien vert

I loved this store. It was an absolute delight.

fabric shopping in liege, belgium: tissus du chien vert

Not only was there a boat in the middle of the store, but the cutting tables were fashioned on top of the beds of old trucks. The place was filled with natural light, and the decor was just right: creative but not kitschy, fun but not flashy. And the place was huge, especially by European standards, and filled with fabrics of all varieties. They had a great selection and good prices, plus a sale during my visit.

fabric shopping in liege, belgium: tissus du chien vert

The oilcloth corner boasted its kid-friendliness with a vintage coin-op toy and hopscotch floor. The oilcloth selection was impressive, as were the selections of wools, durable outdoor nylons, and faux furs/velvets.

They had a high pile velvet that felt like heaven. Brad and I each wanted to buy enough to line every pocket of every coat, for life. We were only stopped by the fact that it was only available in red and pink. If that had been green, or orange, or blue, or yellow, we would have had to devote a suitcase (and perhaps a bank account) to the stuff.

fabric shopping in liege, belgium: tissus du chien vert

On the upper deck, there were swings draped in leathers and suedes.

fabric shopping in liege, belgium: tissus du chien vert

I ended up with one meter of fabric: a gorgeously textured green wool that’s destined for a new project chair. I managed to escape with just that, for now.

This was the Liège (Hognoul) location, but they have additional stores in the Brussels area. Don’t quote me, but it looks like the others may have boats as well… or at least something nearly as cool. This felt like the kind of store I could return to again and again, and I’ll definitely make another stop if I end up in Belgium sometime.

Travel Tuesday is a semi-weekly feature that allows me to recap the many trips I’ve failed to formally document. I’ll be sharing photos and fuzzy (but fond) memories from recent and not-so-recent adventures.

travel tuesday: the doors of bruges

doors of bruges: wood

In 2014, I did all sorts of traveling. I love to look back at a calendar year, especially one as full as the year past, and tally my adventures. I visited one new country and two new states – 1.5 countries if we count Wales as a half. England, Wales, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium. Minnesota, Arizona, Florida, Ohio. A lot of planes, my favorite, and a lot of packing, my least favorite. But the new and exciting makes all the packing worthwhile, from the best schokocroissant ever in Basel, to the incredible apple fritters at the Donut Wheel in Tucson.

Okay, maybe I do travel mostly for the pastries.

doors of bruges: green

As a blogger, I’ve been terribly remiss in sharing my adventures. Much of this is due to my somewhat new belief that, when I’m traveling, I want to do more than capture the place: I want to soak it in. I can’t see, breathe, or explore a new place while observing solely through my camera lens. I’ve started to capture the photos that will recall a memory, rather than the photos of the sights we all know. Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales? Yeah, it’s a gorgeous mountain. But a picture of a brussels sprout leaf on the edge of the path? A reminder of the man who, on the day I climbed the mountain, was on his fourth and final day of pushing a brussels sprout up the mountain with his nose as a charity stunt (true story). Talk about dedication… and misery!

doors of bruges: wooden twins

In the end, regardless of the photos I have and haven’t taken, I want to share bits of my trips. Moments, ideas, thoughts, foods, whether they’re from last month’s trip or last summer’s trip. So, due to my love for alliterative post themes – which owes itself more to the fact that it makes an easy habit, rather than that I think it’s “cool” – I’m starting Travel Tuesday.

doors of bruges: blue castle door

This week, I was sifting through photos and noticed that, as ever, I am consistently drawn to doors. Whether it’s the doors of deutschland or Cleveland meets Boston, doors are my favorite because they have so much character. A quick trip to Bruges revealed a stunning assortment of wonderful doors, and I love this small, and entirely accidental, collection.

doors of bruges: green weathered door

Bruges is a darling, tiny city. Rivers and cobblestones and church towers; chocolate and mussels and, of course, frites.

the famous pommes frites of bruges

Who can say no to a mini bucket of frites?

doors of bruges: tiny blue door

I spent three days in Bruges with friends and we found good food and great beer. I don’t think the town lends itself well to a longer visit, but it is a magical place to see for a few days.

doors of bruges: wood and scooter

The wooden doors may be my favorite. Throughout Europe, I have seen so many gorgeous wooden doors, and they’re all so different. Wouldn’t it be fun to be a door designer? You don’t have to agree… but I think it sounds great.

doors of bruges: orange window

And here’s a window for good measure.

doors of bruges: orange and green

Last but not least, some green and orange for Brad and Sam. I will always stop for a good green and orange picture.