James' portrait by Marjoke van der Zouw

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It's quite rare that I post photos of my son here on my blog (I'm not too fond of pictures of my little one going all over the internet) but I could not resist to show you this one.

It was taken by Marjoke van der Zouw, whom I've know since we were 13(!). She is now (among other things) a talented photographer and makes the most beautiful portraits of people (including children, weddings, travel scenery, etc).
Somehow she takes perfect shots in the most normal daily environment (this photo was taken on the sofa at her home while having lunch) and sees perspective and lighting were I just see a living room.

For more of her work, see her website at marjokevanderzouw.com.

The happy makers blog

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Those of you who have been at flavourites last weekend might have seen that Monique van der Vlist (the art director of 101-Woonideeen magazine) was there with the fab paper studio (papier atelier) and her new blog, or actualy new platform: happymakersblog.com.

Creativity, illustrations and handmade products are in the spotlights at the happy makers blog and Monique's first action was the fabulous paper studio (Papier Atelier) at Flavourites. It's quite obvious that this talented lady has some grounded experience with interior design and decoration cause it looked goooooood!

I was so busy with admiring and workshopping that I totally forgot to take pictures... so the photo's are by wimketolsma.nl. (Wimke, I hope you don't mind me featuring them. If you do, please let me know!)

Check out the happymakersblog.com for more info, beautiful pictures and great ideas!

Calligraphy workshop on skillshare

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After my first attempt with calligraphy I reckoned I could do with some basic skills and professional guidance...
I found a great workshop by Bryn of Paperfinger at skillshare.com. In the first 30 minutes I already learned heaps of things I never knew. Like how far you should dip the pen into the ink, how to get those thick and thin lines using a pointed nib and how to hold the pen. I thought as an illustrator I would know how to hold a pen but apparently there's still lots of things to learn... Hurray!

The workshop comes with downloadable worksheets that really help to practice good letter shapes.
You can find the calligraphy workshop video here.

Gift wrap workshop at the paper studio at Flavorites Live!

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The holidays are coming and with that lots of yummy gifts and presents. What better way to prepair yourself by following a gift wrap workshop?
I was asked (and feel very flattered) to teach two workshops at the Paper Studio at Flavourites Live upcoming friday. Of course there are also other great paper workshops as well during the whole weekend (friday, saturday and sunday) and then I'm not even talking about all the fun, amazing and wonderful goodies you can buy at Flavourites Live!

The paper studio (Papier Atelier in dutch) is organised by the talented and super creative Vlinspiratie, for more info see her website at vlinspiratie.nl.

In my gift wrap workshop I'll be focussing on transforming your gift into fun little caracters...
The first workshop is at 15.30 h, the second at 16.00 h.
Hope to see you on friday! 

Interview on the 101 woonideeen blog

 photos by Riley Salyards

A while ago I was interviewed and photographed for a feature on the 101 woonideeen blog. They are doing a series on Etsy sellers and their homes, and it was my turn for the month of november.
The wonderful Riley Salyards came to our home and took pictures all morning while chatting away about our work, her amazingly creative son (I've seen some drawings of this, if I remember correctly, 6 year old... wow!) and living in The Netherlands. A wonderful morning with some nice photo's of me and the home as result.
Now, you can read all about my life and home at the 101 woonideeen blog (in dutch)!

Fave food

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We're going towards winter here in our tiny but cosy country. And with the seasons changing, so does my appetite. My focus is on cookies, bread and soups, yum! Although an occasional smoothy pleases my stomache and mind too.
Last few days I had (among other things of course) a fruit smoothy at Hay, a grilled veggie and hummus sandwich at Dwaze Zaken and I baked rosemary shortbread from the Home Made cookbook by Yvette van Boven. 

This is the recipe:

1.25 (or 150 grams) sticks of butter
1/4 (or 50 grams) cup sugar
1 tbsp honey
1.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 pinches of salt
2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit (170 C). Grease a cake pan, pie pan, springform pan, or any other pan that has a large lip and is roughly 25 square inches.

Beat the butter, sugar and honey together with a stand mixer, hand mixer, or a whisk. Stir in all other ingredients.

Put the mixture into your greased pan, and press down into the corners to form an even layer across the bottom. Prick with a fork throughout.

Bake for 15 minutes, until edges are a light golden brown. Leave in the pan but cut into smaller portions before it cools down. Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove cookies gently.


Autumn assignment - Illustration and digital course


These are a few of the illustrations my students (Krista, Femke, Antoinette, Sabeth and Gemma) made on the advanced illustration & digital course.
The assignment was to make an autumn impression using different structures and patterns and include a least one person or animal.
They all made their own structures using pen, paper, ink, photography and so on. They drew elements by hand and edited, arranged and added the structures on the computer. Most of them only had very basic photoshop skills. I teached them some simple tricks and combined with hand drawn elements, it took them three lessons to get these results from scratch.
I'm quite proud!

Bad ass calligraphy

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Inspired by The new Uppercase and by the fact that I'm trying to be behind my computer as little as possible due to a dormant RSI arm, I turned to calligraphy. I thought it a bit dull to write just names or pretty words and therefor wrote some bad ass calligraphy instead ;-) .
Some in dutch, some in English...
It turned out to be pretty hard (harder than I thought it to be, I have to admit) to make the right angles and curls, I need a lot more practice but did have so much fun with these first efforts!
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