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   There's a whole bunch of new instant comfort pocket boxes in the shop!
   Found this cute link on Camilla's blog...

   Ps. the newsletter will be send out tomorrow!


   On my monthly quest to Amsterdam's Atheneum bookshop for a new edition of
   Uppercase, I stumbled upon a new magazine, Anthology.  'Each issue is conceived
   as a collection of stories, all centered around a theme' , the creators (Meg Mateo Ilasco
   and Anh-Minh Le) tell on the website. Issue number 6 is all about the hand made home.
   The magazine feels, looks and even smells (that nice paper smell) wonderful and has
   the simular well designed and 'made with love' look as my good old Uppercase.
   I feel a new fave comming up on my mag-list...


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   I'm working on new birth announcement cards for Lief Leuk & Eigen, this is the first,
   three more soon!

Free Friday

   Now that the economy is not to be trusted and 'recession' is wispered out loud
   (or should I say, screamed out loud?), 'free' becomes a hot topic. More and more
   people cut their budget (by need or believe) and search for less pricy or even
   free ways. AKA: make, do or trade yourself!

   You might know that this has been a hobby of mine for quite some time and,
   I'm not alone. For instance, gardening: the veggie garden is growing in
   popularity (pointed out well by the 6 year waiting list for a cummunal plot in my
   neighbourhood!). I know not everyone has a garden, but... neither did I. And
   yes, you read it correctly, 'did', cause from of today I am the proud sharer of a
   small plot two steps out of my door.

   How did this happen? I live in a small apartment building with one, only one,
   garden. Ironically this garden is owned by a woman who's disabled and can't
   take care of a garden, which means it looks like a little jungle. I've been glazing
   at it the last few months with garden dreams in my head but no courage to ask.
   Untill my other neighbour told me she'd love a garden. We decided to join forces
   and asked the owner if she would like us to take care of it in exchange of a small
   part to design a veggie garden. And she said YES (I saw some relieve in her eyes)!
   (I'd like to add here that gardening and growing your own food means freedom
   to me.)

   Now, I'd like to encourage you to seek for simular trades for things you need.
   For example, one of my illustrator friends made a painting for his bookkeeper in
   exchange for a few months of 'free' bookkeeping. Seek for equal trades, so both
   you and the other party are getting something out of it.

   Also, about gardening, there might be little plots in your neighbourhood that are
   empty and waiting for you to grow some grub. Look around, it can be as easy as
   an area around a tree or a little triangle on the corner of your street.

   Free Friday is a weekly returning posttopic about everything free (free in every way: literal, 
    philosophical, physical and so on).


Noord II

   Today, we finished Sue Doeksen's Noord (letters) art piece, this is the result!
   The letters were framed in wood, which really finished them off.


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   Took my camera and good spirit to the Foam (Photography Museum) in Amsterdam,
   and guess what? You're not allowed to take photo's in the photo-museum!
   I ignored the rules a bit and took a photo of a man I kept running into, who had the
   most amazing eyebrows (and look at that tiny corner of his handkerchief, peeping
   out of his spocket, that has a check-pattern, different from the one on the collar of
   his blouse).
   The exhibition itself was pretty interesting too, the work of Joel Sternfeld who
   photographed american life from the sixties and up, in beautiful paint-like

Sewing away...

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   One of my friends, K, has the most amazing house. It's from around 1900, decorated
   in a fifties and modern style mix including a remake of the vintage Bruynzeel
   kitchen (picture above is of the original).
   She also has an attic that houses a guest room and craft-area. Me and my sewing
   machine had a date with hers and we spend a lovely old school evening of curtain-
   hemming, beanbag sewing and eating homemade cookies while her boyfriend was off
   to soccer...how role confirming, I quess feminism was wasted on me...


   This weekend I helped my friend Sue Doeksen with painting some big capitals for
   a project about city area Amsterdam North (Noord in dutch). We painted the first
   color layer, and this week we'll do the rest. The second photo shows what it
   should look like when finished.

   This whole ordeal took place in the studio of Sue's lovely boyfriend who's a product
   designer and has his workspace in a huge factory hall on the Amsterdam NDSM
   shipyard that houses all sorts of studio places build by the owners themselves. It
   looked like a huge industrial hall with blocks of 'houses' all over the place. I was
   very impressed with the 'building-skills' of all those creatives.

Free Friday

   I've been thinking about a weekly returning post subject for quite a while but was
   a bit hesitant because of the 'having to come up with something every week' cramp,
   I like the feeling of freedom. BUT... then I thought this can be a great topic, 'free'
   (and it alliterates so nicely with 'friday'), so I shouldn't be a coward and just do it!

   By 'Free' I mean free in the most free way:
   + free as in 'no money needed, for free'
   + free as in experimenting without a direction, goal or restrictions
   + free as in freedom
   + free as in physically free

   So now I'm curious, what does the word 'free' mean to you?


   Even though my workspace and home are lovely, I sometimes (especially in winter)
   feel a bit cabin feverish and need to get out (you fellow freelancers out there know
   what I mean). Today was one of those days and I took my good old laptop to
   Springhaver, a good old favorite in Utrecht ('where everybody knows your name...',
   that sort of place).

Willemijn de Greef

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   I had a lunch date today with friend and amazing jewelry/ art designer
   Willemijn de Greef. She's currently working on a 4 meter long (!!) necklace
   for an upcomming exhibition and I'm very curious what it's gonna look like.
   She always creates the most amazing almost monumental like pieces that
   surprise me every time. And apart from that, it's always so much fun and
   very inspiring to catch up with her!

Happy valentine's!


   Happy valentine's day everyone!
   (and note the extra philosophical layer here: a mole = (almost) blind, love = blind
   too! hehe)

   For the dutch bloggers among us, if you need some advice on succesful blogging or
   how to get more visitors and such, great help, workshops and (custom) advice can 
   be found at blogstylers.com!

Winter camping

   Have you heard about this new thing, winter camping?  I suddenly come across
   enthousiastic reports of this in all kinds of dutch magazines. Apparently there're
   a lot of people who warm (hahaha) to this cold way of nature loving. Don't get
   me wrong, I do appreciate a good old walk in the forest or some wild life
   gazing but camping in winter... you're looking at a person who would happily
   vote for summer all year round! (Maybe I should start a political weather
   campaign/ party?)
   I'll stick to making illustrations about it... and in the mean time cheer for
   warmer days.


   I'm embracing a new hobby... quilting. I know this sounds a bit 'grandmother-like'
   but I can tell you, it's calming! Stitching away, by hand, pretty geometrical shapes
   and fabrics... This is a little bag for my camera. I'm thinking about a big blanket
   but still 'working towards it' mentally (it's lots of work!)...

   These artists use quilting and patchwork in their work, look at this and this (just to
   proof that it doesn't have to include older women and tea parties).

Ice ice baby

   The cold had reached it peak last weekend so we went for some ice fun on the singel
   (the canal surrounding the center of Utrecht) and with us lots of other people. I felt
   like being in a Pieter Breugel painting!

Stamp workshop


   I teached a stamp workshop saturday with (as I say so myself) very pretty results!

5 Questions to... Rob Hodgson


   For a while now, I've been visiting Rob Hodgsons blog for his inspirational, funny
   and beautiful drawings and paintings. I even bought one of his prints recenlty on
   Etsy (as the stalking fan I am) and still wanted more... an interview.
   And quess what? When you ask nicely you get what you want...

   Can you tell a little bit about who you are and what you do?
   My name is Rob Hodgson and I am interested in pictures. I tread the line between
   artist and commercial illustrator. I make prints and all sorts of pictures. I was born
   in Torquay, which is a little seaside town in England. I’ve lived in a couple cities
   since then. I’m in Bristol right now, but I’m going to France in a couple months.
   What or who inspires you?
   Music is really inspirational to me. I like a lot of music. I could deconstruct it all 
   but I think that’s boring, so I’ll just say music is the most inspiring thing for me 
   right now.
   Visually I’m kind of a culture vulture. I collect a lot of ephemera and art from my 
   friends. Things in supermarkets, things in books, things in magazines, art galleries. 
   My favourite image makers are the European painters from the first half of the 
   20th C, people like Matisse, Picasso, Klee, Miro… they’re my heroes. But there’s a 
   ton of people from all over the place. I like HockneyCharley Harper, Rousseau

   Nowadays I like my girlfriends work, Clare Owen, my pals Ollie Butcher, Liam 
   Barrett. I’m lucky to live in the same city as some of the good guys right now like 
   Tom Frost, Bjorn Lie and Jon McNaught. People I know through the internet too 
   like Becca StadtlanderEmma Lewis. It’s a really exciting time for image making.
   What does your work process look like, any specific techniques or combination
   of techniques you prefer?
   My process changes for everything I make, but it usually starts with drawing in a 
   sketchbook, just little drawings and lots of writing and more drawing. Usually 
   something comes out of there. I’m pretty into silly lists of words, and lots of drawings 
   start that way.

   When I’m making a thing I like to do as much with the hand as possible, so I work in 
   lots of media- pencils, monoprints, ink, and paint. I try to mix up the line weights a 
   lot and I’ve been working on a big chalkboard in my kitchen lately. And sorry to be 
   a bore, but like a lot of people these days I arrange these shapes and lines on the 
   computer. It gives you so much flexibility with composition and colour, but I just wish 
   sitting in front of a computer wasn’t so lame. The iPad looks exciting, but I’m looking 
   forward to the day the computer becomes more in tune with moving about! I like to 
   make a lot of things without the computer though- ceramics and paintings.

   How do you promote your work and do you have a 'best tip'?
   The internet is huge and exciting/scary and important for getting your work in front of 
   people. It blows my mind on a daily basis to think how a picture can be in someone’s 
   home on a computer in the Alps at the same time it’s on a little screen on a phone on 
   a train in New York. Oh my god my brain explodes when I think about it. But above 
   all it’s important to have physical things, prints, exhibitions, because there is so little 
   attachment to digital things. Everything must exist in real life! Face to face is ace.

   What would be your dream assignment?
   I think murals and public space stuff is really exciting. I’m getting into architecture 
   quite a lot. I’d like to art direct something big too, like have full control over the 
   décor of a hotel or bar, so all the way from the wallpaper to the pictures on the wall. 
   TV and films? I’m into environments I guess, when art becomes a real life thing.

   Thanks so much Rob for your time and effort to give us a peek into you creative life!
   For more of Rob's work take a look on his website, blog or Etsy shop!


Museum #2


   I read on the website of the Gemeente Museum in the The Hague, there was and 
   exhibition of Alexander Calder's work and decided to, as I was close anyway (see 
   previous post), pay a visit to that as well. When arrived I found out that I misread 
   and the exhibition was upcomming on the 11th of februari, I was too soon! Well, 
   I just had to entertain myself with their other shows.

   Then a curious thing happened... I must confess I've never warmed to artists like
   Mondriaan or Rietveld (I know I know, very not done to say this!), I just didn't 
   get all those boring squares and rectangles in too bright colors. Untill I stepped 
   into a museum room fully dedicated to De Stijl, I suddenly saw the beauty in 
   those arranged shapes! And also other artists who had a more 'lose' interpretation 
   of this modernism, like Bart van der Leck and Vilmoz Huszar with his 
   mechanische dansfiguur. So beautiful how artists back then started to experiment 
   and go out of their comfort zone to create this new way of thinking and art form. 
   I admire their dedication and confidence to rethink and reshape the 'old things'.

   The museum also had a exhibition about miniatures, doll houses and sorts. 
   Although it was a bit crowded with 'older ladies' it was very well exhibited and 
   I enjoyed it very much.

   I hope you'll have a exciting and creative weekend. On monday we'll start the 
   blog-week with an interview with illustrator Rob Hodgson!

Museum #1


   Inspired by M's blogpost, I went to The Hague to visit the Children's books museum
   today which had a magical exhibition of The Tjong Khing's work, a dutch illustrator
   (I grew up with his books). It was like stepping into one of his drawings, all in 3D,
   just my cup of tea!


   A few cute little things for today. I have to go out for some errans but
   feel more like hibernating... ;-)
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