Hello world!

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Here I am, back from maternity leave but... struggling to start working again...

Where work life after giving birth to my son three years ago seemed easy (he slept a lot + my husband was home a lot too), now with our little girl it feels a lot harder. Not only because there's also our toddler running around (although I must say he's a very very sweet big brother to Lieve) but also because Lieve has reflux (a condition where baby's vomit a lot which causes a painful gullet).

We've been to a Osteopath with her and this helped a lot. Since then the sleeps more, we can lay her down (before I had to sit up with her all the time) and she mostly sleeps through the night.
The whole process during the past weeks has wore me down though.

That said, I really like working again but find it hard to find the time and peace to do my work poperly and in a non-stressed way (working from home is not ideal at this stage).
Therefore I will prolong my blog break for a while. I will post on Facebook and Instagram though. Hope to see you there! :-)

I'm on maternity leave!

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Instant comfort pocket box - winners!

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And the winners of the cactus comfort box give away are:

Livdueck (via Instagram)
If you'll both email me your address I'll send the boxes to you as soon as possible.

Thanks for joining everyone!

working on... + give away


This is such a strange feeling... While there's so much going on the world (the assessment in Nice, the coup d'etat in Turkey and all other terrorist actions) I'm drawing symbols of persecution for a commission...
It makes me a bit uncomfortable to research for things like 'military tank images' in my own safe little studio while all these sad things are happening.

Let's all be kind and helpful to the people around us: neighbors, friends, family, loved ones or strangers in your street to start a humble counter movement to all this violence and hatred!

To start this little movement... I'll give away two instant comfort pocket boxes of a cactus saying 'you look wonderful today. Tell me why and who you'd like to give one (in a comment on this post, FB or instagram) and I'll pick two winners by tuesday july 26.

Illustration workshop on SALE!

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Apart from the Instant Comfort Boxes designs from last season, the selfstudy illustration workshop is also on sale!

In this workshop you learn all about taking your illustrations and drawings to a next (3D) level. No experience needed, just enthusiasm! After payment you be able to instantly download a pdf with all info and tutorials for 4 weeks of assignments + access to two inspiring videos.

You can find the illustration workshop in my Etsy shop. Have fun!

new studio

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After the big shuffle from a few weeks ago, my new studio/ workspace is finally picture-ready ;-).

I'm now in the smallest room in our home (ok, not really the smallest room, that would be the toilet...), only 7 square meters! I was a bit worried about this: would everything fit in there, would it become a space I would like to work in, would I be able to teach private lessons here, would it be comfortable? Fortunately I can answer a big Yes to all those questions!

Because it's a small space, I decide to make it my personal green-work-oasis with lots of plants and white to give it an airy and spacious feel. The room overlooks our back yard, which adds to the 'green' experience. Overall I'm quite pleased with the result and more so, I am more than happy to have offered up my former studio so we were able to create a more spacious kids room.

Now it's only 3 weekw till my pregnancy leave (except for the etsyshop, this will stay open till about mid august) and I'm happy everything is finished and ready, well on time!

Birth Announcement Card design

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When being pregnant, does one attract other expecting parents? I don't know but funny enough I've been making not only birth announcement for my own little girl but also for a little girl called Kate who was born in June.

Her parents asked me to design a card that would reflect the various countries they lived and live in. I used indian ink and watercolor to draw the design and they had it printed on beautiful textured natural card stock. I'm quite smitten with the result ;-)

Now back to the drawing table for my own birth announcement card...

summer sale in the etsy shop!!!

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Hellooooo Summerrrr!

Big sale in the Etsy shop! All previous season Instant Comfort Pocket Boxes are on sale as well as prints, wooden key chains  and... the online 2D to 3D illustration course!!!

For how long? Untill sold out or till my pregnancy leave by about mid august... so make sure to take advantage of it now!! ;-)

See the SALE section at kimslittlemonsters.etsy.com

Kids room & birch tree felt leafs DIY

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Hey there, I'm back from redecorating the first floor of our home ;-).
It was a big shuffle as we had to redecorate and move about every room into another room. Also, I had to deal with some frustrations due to pregnancy issues (pelvic issues to be precise) and was not able to lift, paint or basically do anything (which I hate, I want to be part of the fun!) Luckily we had great help from my parents and M's dad and together with them we managed to get the thing done in less than two weeks.

J (a.k.a The toddler) will share the biggest bedroom with his little sister once she's born (or a few months after that) so we made them a toddler-and-baby-perfect shared bedroom. We moved J's birch tree to the new room and added some spring leafs to make it stand out. When J saw his 'pimped' birch tree he said: 'Mommy can do magic!!', which is about the best compliment I ever got! (Or is this my pregnancy hormones?)

Anyway, above a impression of what the kids room looks like and... below, the tutorial on the DIY leafs and birch tree:

 What you need
  • a birch tree (or part of it). We used the top part of a birch tree from my parents in law's front yard (they wanted to get rid of).
  • saw
  • 2 screws (and dowels if needed for your walls) + one long screw (about 7 cm)
  • drill and screwdrivers
  • felt in various green and ocre (or any other color you like)
  • elastic thread + needle
  • scissors

How it's done
1. Birch tree: 
Saw the top and bottom off so it is the hight of the room minus about 3 cm.
Place the tree in a big terracotta pot (no soil) and screw one branch to the wall and put one scew ascew into the top of the tree and ceiling.

2.Cut raindrop shapes in various sizes out of green and ocre yellow felt (or any other color you prefer). Thread the leafs (on the round side) like in the picture.

3.Tie the leafs on the branches of your tree and make sure to stretch the elastic thread a bit so it's firmly tied. Cut away any left over thread.

4. If you're really going for it: make different colored leafs/ tree decoration for every season!

Off line for a few days...

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A quick post to inform you that I'll be off line for about a 10 days (I'll still check my mail and run the Etsy shop but blogging will be on hold) as we're in the middle of redecorating a few rooms (including my work studio which will be moved to another room) in our house to make space for the little one we're expecting in september.

See you soon!

Helicopter Parenting for &-Katern

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This is the newest illustration I made for &-Katern (regiokranten Persgroep), about helicopter parents (parenting) who monitor their kids a bit to much... a fun subject to illustrate!

I'm a bit proud of this illustration as drawing people is always a tricky thing. But in this case  I'm very please with the result (and that is rare ;-) ).

New animals postcards set

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Just from the printer... a brand new animals postcard set!
It contains three postcards, one with a 'happy birthday' bear, a (bit grumpy) 'get well soon' cat and a 'hello my friend' bird.
The back is blank (only with my logo printed on the bottom, see the second picture).

All cards are offset printed on heavy cardstock (FSC, 340 grams wood free offset paper called: DigiGold Ice White).  I choose this paper because of the natural feel and bright white color, so the illustration is printed at it's very best.

The original illustration were made with pencil and watercolor, scanned into the computer and printed at a Dutch print company.

You can find this lovely set at kimslittlemonsters.etsy.com !

illustration of the Shikoku 88 temple route

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For & Katern (newspaper edition) I made a map of the 88 temple route on Shikoku Island in Japan. One of their employees walked the route from temple 1-32 and they wanted an illustrated map of her adventure.
While researching I soon found out I should add a new destination to my vakantion-wish-list. Wow, what a beautiful magical island! I'm not sure if I would walk the whole route (1200 km!) but just a visite to a few temples and the magical nature there would be perfect.

I so much enjoy discovering such inspiring subject through commissions!
More pictures and close up of the illustration on my portfolio website: kimwelling.com

The houses of my village - barn house

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For today, I've got another 'house of my village' for you!
This house/ barn may not be considered a 'pretty dutch house' in the sense of that it's well redone or has a fancy look but I do love the rough look of it (it reminds me of the barns and sheds Nigel Peake drew in his In The Wilds Book).

Often there is a tractor parked next to the house with a big trailer in which they organise rides for kids birthday parties with country theme and other activities. Recenty there was a bit of a sad thing going on as someone (only one person) in the village (or just outside the village) complained about the noise they made and now the owners of Vurige Staart Sport (also known as 'Boer Piet') started a petition to make sure they can still continue. If you want to help them (it's all in dutch) you can sign the petition here!

Valesca van Waveren

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Hello my friends!
This monday I'd like to introduce you to Valesca van Waveren, a fellow illustrator and sweet friend.
Valesca will teach my illustration courses from september to november at the Utrecht Center for the Arts, while I'm on pregnancy leave.
I'm so happy she agreed to do this as she is such a talented illustrator and inspiring teacher!

Above some of her wonderful illustration work. Apart from illustrating we share a love for ceramics (check her Etsy shop!) and drawing plants ;-)

For more information on her work, see Valesca's website.
Interested in the illustration course? See the UCK website.

all images by Valesca van Waveren

Silhouette cameo 2 + bridesmaids

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For all the Instant Comfort Pocket Boxes I make, every single item is cut by hand. You can imagine the mayor amount of work.... But now, I've got a clever new machine to do the cutting for me! I bought a Silhouette Cameo 2 and after a week of struggling to make it work (grrrrrr), it now is my dream come true! I adjust my designs in the silouette software and send it to my printer, cutter and tadaaa! in 5 minutes the shapes are cut and I can go straight through to assembling the boxes.
I wish I bought it sooner.... ;-)

I started directly with a brand new design - a box with a wedding theme - to ask your best friend(s) to be your bridesmaid. On the front you can write the friend's name to make it even more personal.
I'm also working on a 'will you be my maid of honour' box that will soon join the bridesmaid-box in the shop!

Illustration for &Katern

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A few posts ago I showed you a sneek preview with garden sketches for a new commission. It's been published so I can now show you the resutl!

It was a commission for &Katern, an extra newspaper section for a couple of dutch newspapers (like Algemeen Dagblad and such). The atricle I made an illustration for is about how to safe money on garden design. I very much enjoyed drawing the little plants, pots, flowers and succulents, drawing nature is my all time fave!


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A while ago I was contacted by Etsy if I was interested in being a seller in their wholesale department. I was very ethousiastic about it but unfortunately, after some hick ups with setting up the wholesale shop on Etsy (it had something to do with having to change my shop currency to dollars, which turned out to be very unfortunated for me TAX and payment wise, a complicated long story...) I decide not to go through but pick up wholesale by myself again.

So, from now on, I have an official wholesale form with all information on the products I can offer, minimum order amounts, prices and terms. And...I can tell you here that the Instant Comfort Pocket Boxes are also on the list!

If you own a shop or gallery and are interested in selling my products, please contact me by mail (see about).

and about the image: almost everything is possible ;-)

Busy Busy & lasercut maps and stadiums

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There seems to be a certain rule that commissions always come all at once, at the same time. The last few weeks I've been a bit too much behind the computer but, with some fun illustrations as result!
Frustrating enough I cannot show you any of them as they are not yet officially published... but as soon as they are, I'll post them on the blog!

So for now, I'm showing you some of M's new pretty lasercut things...
He has started to make soccer stadiums: Wembley, De Kuip, De Arena and even the old Ajax stadium 'de Meer'. And them there's also a very pretty (and impressive) maps of Paris, Haarlem, Rotterdam and of course our good old Amsterdam.

You can find them all at themachineryshop.etsy.com

Working on...

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This (and next week) I'm working on a commission that I am very excited about. I have to draw pots and plants, succulents and garden stuff, my favorites!

For now some sketches that I've worked on today. More about it once it's finished and published (can't show too much at this stage)!

The houses of my village - Anne & Co

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It's been a while, but here's a new 'houses of my village edition'. This time not an actual house but our little village shop.

When I moved here three years ago, I seriously had to get used to not having a (big) supermarket nearby. In Utrecht I could forget something and just walk around the corner to the nearest supermarket but here... it takes about 15 minutes by car (I know I know, this must seem peanuts to those of you who live in bigger countries like America or Australia, but to dutch standards, this is far away).

As said though, we do have a cute little town store that stocks all basics and a little bit more. The owner (one of them) is originally from France and that's well represented in the shop. Not only can one find a decent collection of good wines (which I unfortunately cannot enjoy right now) but also a big variation of dried sausages (M is a big fan and consumer), chocolate, cheese and even organic/ eco food and products.
The shop also functions as the postoffice, dry cleaner's,  atm, and information point on everything going on in the village.

In the past three years I've got quite attached to this little store (and it's a one minute walk from my house), and do appreciate it even more than a having a nearby supermarket.

Working on... new postcards

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Inbetween other work and projects I'm trying to work on new postcards for the shop. All my other ones (except the greeting cards) have sold out so I figured it's time for some new designs.
These two are the first (sketches, colored versions come later)... I'm thinking about a third one, maybe the unicorn or a card with more than one animal... we'll see. I'll keep you posted!

New Magical Unicorn Comfort Box

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There's a cute (if I may say so myself) new instant comfort pocket box in the shop: a little magical unicorn!
She comes in two text variations 'I believe in you!' or 'everything is possible!'. If that will not bring some magic, I don't know what is ;-)
You can find both in Kim's Little Monsters Etsy shop.

And... thanks Pop-a-porter for coming up with the 'everything is possible' frase!

Blue ceramics

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A while ago I posted a picture on instagram of a little oil jug (top left picture) I was making at a ceramics course, with blue paintings on it.
I've always been a fan of white & blue ceramics, Chinese, Delft blue or any other type of blue, I love it! Our dinner plates/ bowls/ mugs/ etc. are all different but have one thing in common... they have some sort of white and blue pattern or paintings on them. This way, even though every piece is different, they still fit together.

Yesterday, I found an amazing new shop on Etsy, by Harriet, a dutch former illustrator who now dedicates her time to painting ceramic pieces. Her shop is called Harriet's Blue and White and there's a, interview with her on the Etsy blog, here.

top left picture: by me --- other pictures: by Harriet Damave

guest blogger for etsyinnederland

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Hello there! Did you all have a nice easter? Hope the weather was a bit better than here in the Netherlands... ;-)

A short post to let you know about a fun new blog I just discovered that reports about best Dutch Etsy shops. The lovely Anja Mulder wrote a guest post about my shop (thank you Anja!) on it and I'll be up next to write about one of my fave Etsy Shops. My post will be up on friday on etsyinnederland.wordpress.com.

New cards in the webshop!

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Remember these? I made them for Enormous Champion - a stationary company in New York.

These six cards are now also available in my Etsy webshop. Each card is offset printed on heavy vardstock and comes with a coordinating envelope.
You can find them at kimslittltemonsters.etsy.com in the prints & cards section.

Have a lovely weekend and joyful easter!

About time management & a scoop

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The other day, I got an email from a former student who asked how I keep myself motivated to make things and find time to do so.
Now picture me laughing out loud behind my computer... finding time to do so, hahaha! (I'm not laughing at my student, I laughing at myself here, let that be clear).

I remember telling friends just a few months after I gave birth to my son that working and babies were an easy combination. I felt I was not going to be one of those moms who started to neglect the bizz after baby got born, I was going to stick to my game and stay a working, creative person who also happened to be a mother. Then my son got a little bit older, slept a little less...

Now -like any other working mother I guess- I struggle daily to get the things done I want to get done (there's always more more more). You might have noticed that once, back in the days, I blogged every day (every day!!! I cannot imagine that anymore), today it got limited to once or twice a week. This is not only because I have less time to blog but also because I simply have less time to work and therefor things to show.

The picture above is an illustration I started befor my son was born. The plan was to make a yoga poster with bunny poses. Inspiration: our pet rabbit Seb and his variety of relaxing postures. Never got further than these two drawings...

I have a few tricks on hand though to keep on track with the work:

  • Set fixed days for certain tasks. Like my webshop, I ship mostly on fridays. This makes things clear and manageable.
  • Make to-do list not longer than 5 tasks (one big, 4 small) a day. If I make them longer, things just don't get done and that is not motivating.
  • Be flexable with where you can work. If I'm looking at a long train ride for example, I bring my sketchbook or material to make comfort boxes.
  • Find things to draw/ inspiration in every day things around you. Personal fascinations, your daily life (like the houses of my village project I'm doing at the moment). Keeping things close to you makes it easier to stay focussed and interested.
  • Set priorities: what is the most important to get done (deadlines) and what can wait.

In the upcoming months it might even get a little bit harder to work like I wish to because... we're expecting our second child!
I have been feeling rather tired the last few weeks, somehow this second pregnancy comes with more typical pregancy issues (I won't bore you with them) than my first and I'm doing my very best to keep up with daily life.
I'm due in the beginning of september and will be teaching till about june (also for the private lessons). And till then, I'll be posting here every week like I intent to and the shop will be open as long as I can!

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