Weighing portions and a smart grocery list
Happy no waste week everyone!
A sustainable solution for the everyday
Move the date: Food waste
Poma/Olera: keep your food fresh
The go and the process
See you in Eindhoven!
34 kilo / €120,-
Applegas & bitter bell pepper
The thirteenth star sign
We're nearly there!
We went ahead and ordered a small stock of brass Ophiuchus Constellations. This means that when you order an Ophiuchus, there's no waiting involved: We'll ship immediately and you can start arranging flowers right away.
The only difference to the final product is the package it comes in.
This time we're not actually crowdfunding for the product itself, but for its casing. In order to be able to sell the Ophiuchus Constellation in stores, we need proper and beautiful packaging, and that's what we're saving up for with this 'pre-sale'.
With your support we're confident we can get Ophiuchus ready for stores around the world this fall.
What you can do
Order Ophiuchus now!
You'll be the very first receiving our XL Flower Constellation, and with that our eternal gratitute for your help getting the Ophiuchus ready for a successful international launch.
And that's not all! To celebrate the launch of this new Flower Constellation XL, we have a very special deal: instead of the regular €29,95, we're launching the Ophiuchus on our webshop for €25,-!
Plus, because we love wildflowers and happy bees, we'll also add a package of Bee Happy Wildflowerseeds to your order free of charge (EU only).
Other things that would make us very happy
Not ready to order but excited to help? Great!
It would be of enormous value for us if you could help us get our new Ophiuchus Constellation known to the world: Spread the word!
Tell your friends and family: finally a solution to use large vases (for example those from that fresh flower service) to set up luxurious arrangements without spending a small fortune at the florists'.
Together with Masha Bakker Photography we took gorgeous photographs of the Ophiuchus, and with the correct credits (@mashabakkerphotography @houseofthol) and a hashtag (#ophiuchus #flowerconstellations) we'd love it if you share them on social media.
Got other great ideas about how you can help? Looking to collaborate?
Get in touch! We'd love to chat.
Don't forget about the Waterworks discount code!
We might be all about the flowers these days, the love for our houseplants did not diminish one bit.
With the weather looking up and the days stretching, our domestic greenery can use a little extra love.
They also usually like water.
To celebrate the new growing season (and make up for lack of attention), we've installed a 10% Waterworks discount for as long as the Crowdfunding campaign lasts.
Simply use discountcode 'crowdfunding' at check-out, and save an instant 10%!
Now that we've reached our Kickstarter goal in only 11 days (yeeaah!), we are not slowing down with our compaign.
No sir! No way!
Of course we took the time to sip on a glass of bubbles (or three), but now that we've made it this far, we're upping our ante:
Let's go for stretch goals!
The propagation Constellation
If we get to €8.000,- in funding, we'll be getting serious about the Propagation constellation:
a brass tool similar to the Flower Constellations that is perfect for sprouting larger seeds and pits and for the propagation of cuttings.
This tool is actually what the story started with a few years ago, so its development would mean we're going full circle.
Talking about circles: the Propagation Constellation will be based on the arrangement of the planets in our solar system. Making it a functional tool as well as a helpful reminder of our place in the universe.
A quiet Saturday night turned Weeeeehaaa!
Saturday evening we were enjoying a little peace and quiet, when all of a sudden, there it was:
That one more pledge we needed to reach our crowdfunding target.
Screams were heard, cups of tea were abandoned in favour of something bubbly, and we pretty much spent the entire rest of the evening texting friends.
One day later, it's time for a proper response to successfully reaching our goal this early on in the campaign.
Thank you all!
First of all: we want to thank each and everyone of you for helping us along, either by pledging or sharing our story.
We would've been nowhere without your help.
The next level
This is only the beginning: The crowdfunding campaign runs until Saturday May 5th, 21:00 CET, so still a while to go.
We're determined to take this success to the next level and create a worldwide audience for the Flower Constellations.
Are you on board?
Stretch goals & surprises
We have a few stretch goals lined up that we'd love to meet, and have a new professional reward tier in preparation especially for shops who want to be first to sell the Flower Constellations.
Also, we have a little thank you surprise in store for you that we'll tell you all about soon.
Now, since its a sunny Sunday, we'll get back to entertaining the kids and watering the wildflowers.
We'll be back behind our desks tomorrow, getting into details about our big plans and next steps.
Again: Thank you so much for your help so far.
Let's make this big together!
What is Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is an online platform offering the opportunity to finance creative projects by collecting small contributions from a large group of people: Crowdfunding.
At Kickstarter it's possible to pre-order the Flower Constellations. When enough people do that and we reach our goal amount by the end of our campaign, we can start up production. You'll receive your pre-ordered Flower Constellation in August.
Since we've had a few questions from people about how to pledge, here's a blogpost about it.
And since many of those questions were directed at us from our Dutch network, for this one time, we'll make a bilingual blogpost.
1. Find Flower Constellations on Kickstarter.
2. Choose how many Flower Constellations you want to pre-order and where they need to be shipped. (on the right side below 'pledge')
3. Fill out creditcard information.
5. You'll get to choose your type of Constellations once the campaign has successfully ended.
6. If we don't reach our goal, no charge will be made to your creditcard.
Wat is Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is een online platform dat het mogelijk maakt creatieve projecten te financieren door het verzamelen van kleine bijdrages van een grote groep mensen: Crowdfunding.
Op Kickstarter is het mogelijk de Flower Constellations vooruit bestellen. Als genoeg mensen dat doen en we ons doelbedrag halen, kunnen we de productie in gang zetten. We leveren de Flower Constellations dan in augustus.
Aangezien we nogal wat vragen kregen over hoe je kunt meedoen aan onze crowdfunding actie, bij deze een blogpost.
En vanwege de vele vragen uit ons Nederlandse netwerk, doen we m voor 1 keer in twee talen.
1. Vind Flower Constellations op Kickstarter.
2. Kies de hoeveelheid Flower Constellations die je vooruit wilt bestellen en waar ze heen moeten. (rechts onder het kopje pledge)
3. Vul je creditcard informatie in.
4. Bestel vooruit
5. Je krijgt de kans je sterrenbeeld te kiezen na afloop van de (succesvolle) campagne.
6. Als we ons doel niet halen, wordt er niets van je creditcard afgeschreven.
Getting to the right project
Simply browsing through Kickstarter, you probably won't come across the Flower Constellations like that. Not even with our 'Project we Love' batch, sadly.
Your fastest way to get there is to use the link that we pasted all over our website.
Bij het goede project terecht komen
Gewoon maar door Kickstarter 'bladerend', zul je niet zo snel op de Flower Constellations stuiten, niet eens met onze 'Project we Love' batch, helaas.
De snelste manier om op de goede plek te komen is door de link te gebruiken die we op de website delen.
Once you're there
If you see the screen below, you're at the right place: congratulations, you've made it!
Take your time scrolling through our project page and watching our video, before turning your attention to the right side of the page and have a look at our rewards.
Als je er bent
Als je het scherm hieronder ziet dan zit je goed: Gefeliciteerd, je bent er!
Neem de tijd om door de projectpagina te scrollen en onze video te bekijken voor je je aandacht verlegt naar de rechterkant van de pagina om de reward-mogelijkheden te bekijken.
the ordering process
Choose your reward
On the right side of the page you can find the different possible options you can order the Flower Constellations: 'Rewards'.
Browse through the reward possibilities and choose your tier by clicking on it.
Kies je aanbieding
Aan de rechterkant van de pagina, staan de verschillende mogelijkheden waarop je de Flower Constellations kunt bestellen: 'rewards'.
Scroll door de mogelijkheden en kies door erop te klikken.
! Creditcard only !
There is no way around it.
Kickstarter only accepts payments by creditcard (for now). Such a shame for the Dutch market.
!Alleen met creditcard!
Helaas. Het kan echt niet anders.
Kickstarter accepteert, (nu nog) alleen betalingen met creditcard. Jammer hoor.
Select your country
As soon as you've chosen your reward tier, you'll be asked to choose your shipping country.
This will automatically add the required shipping costs to your pledge.
Kies je land
Zodra je je reward hebt gekozen, wordt je gevraagd het land waarnaartoe verzonden moet worden in te vullen. De verzendkosten worden nu automatisch toegevoegd aan het donatiebedrag.
Log in / E-mail
On the next page you're asked to either log in or continue as a guest.
In the latter case you'll only have to fill in your e-mail address to start with.
Log in / E-mail
Op de volgende pagina wordt je gevraagd in te loggen of als gast door te gaan.
In het laatste geval hoef je op dit moment alleen je e-mail adres in te vullen.
Subsequently, you'll be asked to fill out your creditcard information.
(yes, creditcard is the only payment option)
Vervolgens wordt je gevraagd je creditcard gegevens in te vullen.
(ja, het kan dus echt alleen met creditcard)
Click 'pledge' and you'll be taken to the next step to finish.
Since we're not allowed to back our own project, this is as far as we can accompany you.
After your pledge, you'll receive an automated confirmation e-mail.
Klik 'pledge' en je wordt naar de afrondende stap geleid. Aangezien wij ons eigen project niet mogen ondersteunen, is dit hoe ver we je kunnen begeleiden.
Na je pledge ontvang je een geautomatiseerde bevestigings e-mail.
Dank je wel!
Getting the starsign right
Wait?! But I didn't get to choose my starsign yet!
Once our Kickstarter campaign has successfully ended, we'll send you a survey to collect your preference.
By the way, here's an overview (click).
Het goede sterrenbeeld
Wacht!? Maar ik heb mijn sterrenbeeld nog niet gekozen! Dat weten we.
Zodra onze Kickstarter campagne geslaagd is, sturen we je een vragenlijst waarin je kunt aangeven wat je voorkeur heeft.
Hier is trouwens een overzicht (klik).
When you'll receive your Flower Constellation
If all goes well, we'll start producing the Flower Constellations once we've received the pledged money from Kickstarter, which will be around May 15th or so.
Leaving a little room for delays and set-backs, we expect to ship the Flower Constellations this August.
We'll keep you in the loop of our production process with regular updates.
Wanneer je je Flower Constellation krijgt
Als alles goed gaat, beginnen we met de productie van de Flower Constellations zodra we het ingelegde geld van Kickstarter hebben ontvangen, waarschijnlijk rond half mei.
Rekening houdend met mogelijke tegenvallers en vertraging, verwachten we de Flower Constellations in Augustus te kunnen versturen.
We houden je op de hoogte van ons productieproces met regelmatige updates.
Any questions left?
If anything is not clear, we didn't explain things properly, or you simply have something to ask, don't hesitate: get in touch and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Heb je nog vragen?
Als iets onduidelijk is, we iets niet goed hebben uitgelegd, of als je simpelweg iets te vragen hebt, aarzel niet, maar neem contact op, en we reageren zo snel mogelijk.
Thank you a zillion! // Super bedankt!
a personal note - the journey so far
Three days into our campaign and i'm finally finding the time to tell you a bit more about our Flower Constellations and their back story.
I'll be posting other updates about aspects of our design and production-process in the future, but for now, let me tell you a bit about the journey preceding our Flower Constellations crowdfunding campaign.
the waterworks experience
After designing and successfully crowdfunding Waterworks, bringing our natural watering system to market turned out to be less straightforward than we had hoped.
We learned a great deal about running a business that first year and started to craft a strategy about the way we would develop House of Thol further.
Working best while coming up with solutions in our own living environment, we focus on keeping our designs close to ourselves.
We aim to create durable products that add value to our daily lives and help us maintain a green lifestyle.
Four years on, we have established a worldwide network of supporters and shops, and have sold almost 5000 Waterworks-sets.
We are ready for a new green product to add to our House of Thol collection.
Crafting the constellations
Two years ago, we designed a little metal frame that would easily hold your avocado-pits in a glass of water: the pit-frame.
We designed it to be flat-pack and fit a variety of jars and glasses.
A large Dutch Garden center opted to produce it, but ran into management-issues and production stalled.
Last year we took matters back into our own hands and developed the Flower Constellations: based on the same flat-pack multi-fit principle, but for flowers and with an improved design.
We aimed to create a durable tool that would not only be functional, but would be lovely to gift as well.
While researching random patterns, we ran into the constellations.
A perfect fit, not because we're into astrology that much, but because we love that millenia ago, people tried to make sense of the skies and created the constellations as some kind of memory aid.
Telling each other stories so their order of things would not be forgotten.
the next step
After a year of designing, testing, tweaking, modeling and prototyping, our Flower Constellations are all set for production.
We have a reliable production partner lined up, and are now ready for the next step.
Having our friends and family fall in love with the product just like we did, gave us the right amount of confidence to set up our Kickstarter Campaign.
Will you help us get the Flower Constellations out there?
Flowers are without a doubt nature's living gems and we should all be surrounded by them all the time. Definitely outdoors (you know, for the bees), but indoors as well.
Flowers embody the freshness, color and sunshine to brighten up any home, and have served as a perfect gift for everyone for hundreds of years.
That said, everytime someone hands me a bouquet i'm at a loss...
How do i do these beauties justice and keep them fresh and bright for as long as possible?
Judging by the amount of bouquets that i see being just 'tossed' into vases, i'm pretty sure i'm not the only one dealing with the issue.
That's why i dug into it and made you and me this Rookie's guide to Flowercare.
Let's get to it!
Before we start,
<< here's a pinnable image for you to store and make it easy to visit back whenever you need to. (also: yeeaah, Repins!!)
Now.. on to the real deal:
1. You're handed a bouquet...
As we just agreed on, getting a bunch of flowers is lovely anytime, anywhere.
Yet you don't always have the possibility to immediately find a suitable vase and give the flowers the care they crave and deserve.
How terrible is it to leave the flowers wrapped for a while?
Well, i just visited my own florist, and her advice is not to bother about unwrapping and cutting immediately.
She did however stress the importance of keeping the flowers in water, so find a bucket or container to put the bouquet in water as soon as you can!
With the flowers quenching their thirst, you can leave the proper flower care for a moment when you have the time, up until even te next morning.
2. About the vase
Finding the right vase has everything to do with shape, size, material and design.
The vase should be tall enough, for starters, with that Goldylocks neck that keeps the stems nicely together in their arrangement while giving each flower enough space to breathe.
When push comes to shove, it's almost always that one vase from the most remote corner of the kitchen cabinet above the refrigerator.
But whether you use a €2,- thrifted treasure or a contemporary design icon, your flowers are not happy unless the vase is squeaky clean.
Apparently it's not enough to just get rid of the layer of dust: flowers are susceptible to infection from bacteria and the vase should be properly sterilized.
To keep your flowers fresh for longer, thoroughly clean the vase with soap and water, and add a little bit of bleach, to be on the safe side.
3. The water
First off: Freshly cut flowers in general like their water lukewarm, it makes it easier for them to absorb the moisture.
That said: bulb flowers, like tulips and daffodils, prefer fresh cold water.
Secondly: Since flowers only take in water through the ends of their stem, it makes sense not to fill up the vase too much to reduce the possibility of bacterial growth from submerged rotting leaves.
There's a debate going on about using filtered water, but that might depend on the quality of your tap water to start with.
Here in the Netherlands, the water supply system is pretty good, so i can't be bothered.
Tiny air bubbles can clogg flowers' stems and create air-embolism, so when filling the vase, wait for the bubbles in the water to dissipate before the next step.
4. The flower food debate
This is where the internet is going crazy.
There are so many different tales about what you should and shouldn't add to the water to keep your flowers fresh and healthy.
But i've done my research and what it boils down to is this:
Yes, you should definitely use a flower preservative, as it not only provides food for your flowers, but also keeps the water free from bacteria and fungi.
Of course you can use the commercial preservatives that usually come with the flowers you buy.
Or... you can make your own.
There are loads of home-made alternatives on the interwebs that may or may not work for you.
Getting into that is worthy of a whole new blogpost, and another day.
Now we're finally seeing to the flowers.
First, we need to prevent the water in the vase from being contaminated by rotting leaves.
To avoid bacterial growth in the water, cut off any leaves below the waterline or even touching the water.
Some flowers have guard petals. The two or three outermost petals that for example roses have and which keep the flower from opening completely.
Carefully prune them to make the flower open up even wider.
6. The angled cut
If you have ever bought a bouquet of flowers, the florist probably told you to "Cut the stems at a 45 degree angle as soon as you get home!".
That's because when flowers are taken out of the water, the cut ends of the stems seal themselves, keeping the water in like a defence-mechanism.
While that's great for transportation, the seal will prevent the flowers taking in fresh water, and needs to be cut off to avoid wilting.
The rule of thumb is to cut 2,5 cm (1") off the stem. Make sure the remaining stem is looking fresh and moist. If you're not sure, cut off a bit more to be on the safe side.
When cutting, choose garden shears or a sharp knife with a straight edge.
Avoid using your trusty blunt kitchen scissors, you might accidentally squash the stem.
There are a two reasons to cut at a 45 degree angle: You'll decrease the chance of crushing the stems plus you'll increase the surface area for water-absorbtion.
Once cut, don't dilly-dally: get those flowers in the water immediately or the stems will have re-sealed and you can start all over again.
Some flowers, like roses, are susceptible to airbubbles getting trapped in the stem (an air-embolism), to prevent this, cut roses under water.
(i'm sure you'll make it work)
Properly arranging flowers is a bonafide art-form that takes years of training and practice.
Luckily. i'm a fan of a haphazard wildflower bouquet, so no perfectionism holding me back to just (tenderly) throw the flowers in a vase, and rearrange a bit to make it look natural.
If you prefer a tightly styled bouquet like your florist makes, the best tip i can give you is to take your vase to the shop and have them set it up for you. A good florist will happily oblige.
Want to keep that florist style but have to fend for yourself? Whatever you do, don't leave on the wrapping and elastic band.
If you want to do justice to the arrangement, you have to start out with getting a vase with the right neck and overall shape.
Once you've found your Goldilocks vessel, and cleaned it, carefully unwrap the bouquet, prune and cut the flowers and place them one by one.
It might take a bit of practice and a lot of rearranging, but you'll get the hang of it. Eventually.
Want an easy hack? Get our Flower Constellations: durable brass disks with a cut-out pattern based on the star signs, to randomly space your flowers.
8. Where to keep it
In a still life painting flowers are often next to a bowl of fruit or placed in bright sunlight.
Eventhough that might be pretty composition-wise, if you want to keep your flowers fresh for longer, bright sunlight and ripening fruits should be avoided.
In fact, you want to keep your flowers away from any source of heat. The warmth will speed up the flowers' ageing process (which we don't want).
That said: flowers are also annoyed by drafts, as it accelerates water loss and reduces lifespan.
Then the thing with fruit: ripening fruits release ethylene gas, which makes the flowers ripen and wilt quicker.
Bottom line: pretty much all florists advice to keep your arrangement in a level cool environment with no fruit around.
A pro tip is to store flowers in a fridge overnight. However this does come with a warning: if the fridge is or ever was used for fruit-storage, the (left-over) ethylene gasses will still make your flowers wilt.
In the past i have been adviced to change the water daily, every other day, or to just leave it be.
Judging by all the pro-tips i came across while researching for this post, changing the water every once-in-a-while seems wise, best before it starts to look murky.
Also, when you do, clean the vase, trim the stems and add a little flower food.
If you don't have a lot of time on your hands, at least keep checking the water level daily and top up when neccessary. (Flowers can drain a vase more rapidly than you might think.)
Less invasive, yet as important, is to keep an eye on your bouquet and remove all wilting flowers, brown leaves and drooping petals.
Once a flower starts wilting, it gives off ethylene gass, which we know by now is not great for the life-span of the rest of the bouquet.
Also, when you get rid off the wilting bits, don't leave them near your arrangement. Because, you know, ethylene gas. Throw them out in a proper container and/or in another room.
So, there it is, the complete rookie guide to flower care.
Feel free to add your own flowery wisdom if you like and let's all enjoy our flowers for as long as possible.
Below you'll find an extensive list of sources with links to all original articles.
If you're not exhausted from reading this post, go check them out, they're all highly informative.
It's not just flowers, we weren't that great with plants either, that's why we created this post about plantcare for the botanically challenged a while ago.
Worth checking out if you can use a little help in that department.
Also, we designed a device to water your plants: Waterworks. Made it a lot easier for us to keep our greenery green and happy.
Urban Jungle Bloggers is a global society of plant lovers, at least that's what's stated on the Urban Jungle Bloggers website.
The website is a mix between a blog and a platform and was founded in 2013 by Igor Josifovic (Happy Interior Blog) and Judith de Graaff (JOELIX.com) with the idea of bringing more green into homes and blogs.
Judith and Igor are now head of an enthusiastic army of green-interior-lovers hashtagging away with #urbanjunglebloggers from all parts of the planet. (Check it our on Instagram)
It was only a matter of time before these two would turn their blog into something less digital, and indeed: in 2016 their first book, aptly named 'Urban Jungle', was published in both English and German.
The book showcases beautiful green interiors from around Europe and offers loads of ideas and information to help you create your own urban jungle.
And two languages wasn't enough: last fall the book came out in French, Czech and Dutch as well.
And we're in it!!!
Well, not 'we' exactly, but Waterworks is!
And not with an actual photograph, but in the text (fast forward to p. 168 <Dutch version>).
And we're pretty damn happy with that.
It's a gorgeous green publication, and to have our Waterworks adviced as a handy tool to water your plants (which it undeniably is), is making our week.
Thanks Urban Jungle Bloggers!
Here´s an illustration that can help you determine which plant is right for you.
These plants work wonders for your indoor air quality:
...But during the Dutch Design Week the very sweet folks behind Urban Jungle Bloggers dropped by our exhibition at Piet Hein Eek and took some photographs.
We had a lovely little chat and Judith and Igor were kind enough to give us a shout-out on Instagram.
Somehow we only just stumbled across the blogpost they wrote about their Dutch Design Week trip this week.
Better late than never, i suppose.
We're proud to be part of a lovely green round-up and happy to get to share it here.
For the full round-up:
Read "Plant trends from Dutch Design Week 2017" here.
A few of the other green high-lights:
Urban jungle rooms fill the pages of magazines while Green concept stores and Urban Gardening shops are popping up everywhere.
But aside from them being all the rage right now, there are more reasons to fill your house with living greenery.
Here are 6 reasons to get houseplants now:
1. Plants create Oxygen
Remember from your first year of biology?
A very (very) basic explanation: the plant uses sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to grow and releases oxygen while doing that.
Which is obviously great, since we use that oxygen to breathe.
To really get into the technical biological stuff, read this Wikipedia article.
2. Plants purify the air
Pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene are being emited by furniture, upholstery, cleaning products and other (factory-made) items in our house.
In a place lacking decent ventilation, those pollutants build up and can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and eye, ear and nose irritation.
Not only do houseplants create fresh oxygen, many plants also filter the air, getting rid of harmful substances.
NASA conducted a very extensive study to the air-filtering qualities of houseplants back in 1989.
A full transcript of the original study can be found here.
Or, for a quick overview of the outcome and a list of plants that are stars at battling indoor pollution, check out this Wikipedia article.
NASA recommends at least 1 plant per 100sq feet (ca 9m2) of home. Feel free to do the math yourself.
3. Plants make you smart
At least that's what this article on Scientific American states.
There's still a lot of research going on in this area, and most scientists agree that house-plants can help you stay fresh and focused during a hard day of staring at the screen, thus improving productivity.
4. Plants make you happy and healthy
Living in a green environment can reduce stress, lower blood-pressure and can even help the healing process.
According to cardiologist Dr. Bruno Cortis, patients who have a room with a garden view recover more quickly than patients who are staring out of a window to a brick wall.
Not hard to imagine that.
Some people say the reason we feel better when we're surrounded by plants is because we do well when surrounded by nature.
Something to do with human beings living in nature for millions of years, only to retreat into a world of concrete in the last century.
Again: makes sense.
5. Plants are natural humidifiers
As humans we feel best in a humidity-level ranging from 40%-60%.
Most rooms and offices however, have a humidity level of 25% (especially in winter, when the heater's on) and it's not uncommon to have a humidifier in a room or office to help create the right humidity.
Such a waste of space and electricity.
Houseplants can significantly increase the over-all humidity-level of a room, bringing it right up to the ideal percentage.
Healthy humidity-levels are not only great for your skin, it also prevents itchy eyes and an irritated throat.
A little help
Not so confident or your abilities to keep your urban jungle thriving?
We've got you covered: Here's a helpful blogpost for those amongst us who feel like they can use a bit of help in the botanical department (like me)
Need a little help watering your plants? Get your Waterworks-set here.
We'd love to hear what your reasons are for more greenery inside your house, leave your reply in the comment-section.
In The Clouds
Made In The Netherlands