Inspiration – grown up child

illustration of Applejack by 10 year old me

illustration of Applejack by 10 year old me

Applejack. Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she wonderful?

I drew this picture of Applejack when I was 9 or 10 years old. Applejack is a creature of My Little Pony, a real southern belle, beautiful as well as bold. She was my favorite of all the Pony’s I’ve owned. I liked her so much that I drew a picture of her.

I was so thrilled that my mum has kept all My Little Ponies for me. In my workspace – my woman cave – I’ve put them all together. Perhaps it sounds silly, a bit whimsical, but as Madeleine L’Engle, an American writer, used to say: “I am every age I have ever been. I was once a child, therefor I am always a child.” Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.

The painter Pablo Picasso also mentioned that every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. That’s why I kept so many things as I can from my childhood. Only the best childhood memories survive in my place and in my heart. I don’t consider them childish. Not anymore, at least. I want to remain the artist I once was when I was a child, as that knowledge give me the spark of vitality I seek this year. And Applejack? She’s my talisman, the reminder of the talents I once possessed and I’d like to restore.

Southern Belle Applejack 3_bewerkt-1 Southern Belle Applejack 2_bewerkt-1

Tulips from Amsterdam

tulipday post_bewerkt-1Happy Saturday, World!

Today is the Dutch National Tulip Day. So in a few moments I’m off to Amsterdam and hopefully I can pluck some tulips (for free… yes, besides tulips Dutch are crazy of the word ‘free’).

And I’m über excited because today my artist hero GabyGaby is showing off his artwork at the Damsquare. His fictive hero ‘Tulip Man’ is this year’s central decoration.

I will post some more information later, but if you’re interested in GabyGaby’s work, you can check his website here.

Cat-astic!

I got a card from a postcrosser from Russia, and….  it’s a Choo Choo cat postcards. Woohoo! Though I stayed home the past few days because I’m feeling a bit under the weather, but because of this lovely card I’m feeling much better. So much that I got up behind the computer and blog about it.

choo choo_bewerkt-1

I know I can buy all the Choo Choo cat postcards myself, but that’s not part of the fun. I really really appreciate it more if postcrossers from all around the world give me one, with a written message and a beautiful stamp. (Beautiful stamp is only optional, because I don’t collect stamps.)

So far I only have 5 Choo Choo cat postcards, 4 from direct swap and 1 just arrived, from a lovely 9-year old girl from Russia who loves dancing and singing. Girl, you just made me dancing and singing too with your card.

For those of you who’s not familiar with Choo Choo or Postcrossing, you can visit the websites For Choo Choo (created by Jetoy Design, click here). You can visit the website of Postcrossing here. Jump into my Postcrossing profile here.

Flow: book for paperlovers

I have an addiction. An addiction in paper. I love stationary. I love patterns. I adore graphic designs. And illustrations are my guilty pleasure. I love everything that’s crafted with and from paper. I love crafting with paper, painting with paper and decorating with paper. So I was looking forward to get the ‘Book for paper lovers’ by Flow Magazine, a Flow special to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of the magazine.  And finally, they just delivered it. Thank you Mr. Postman! The result of the ‘book’ is amazing. There’s only very little text, but lots and lots of paper goodies. A pop-up illustration, writing papers and envelopes, postcards, stickers, diorama, halyard and other paper craft projects.

paperlovers 1

Clockwise: Helen Dardik, Studio Ping, artist unknown, (probably) Geertje Aalders

Clockwise: Helen Dardik, Studio Ping, artist unknown, (probably) Geertje Aalders

I am so happy to see that Helen Dardik contributed in this Flow special. She’s one of my favorite illustrators. Her artwork is amazing. Her colorful illustrations really brighten my day. You can visit her website here and her Etsy webshop here.

Posters to frame

Posters to frame

DIY projects such as upcycling a matchbox

DIY projects such as upcycling a matchbox

Even a lovely pop-up

Even a lovely pop-up

DIY peepbox by Ruby Taylor

DIY peepbox by Ruby Taylor

For those of you who are not familiar with Flow Magazine: it’s an inspiring and positively orientated magazine for paper lovers, full with beautiful illustrations and images from nowadays designers and artists from long time ago. The items published in the magazine can be summarized into 4 themes: ‘Feel Connected’, ‘Live Mindfully’, ‘Spoil Yourself’ and ‘Simplify Life’. And in each magazine there’s two or more small paper gifts, such as posters, postcards, notebook or calendar. 4 times a year they publish a Flow special with much more papergifts. You can visit the website here.

Step inside an illustration

comic artist turned children's books illustrator

This gallery contains 11 photos.

One of the greatest things in The Hague is the museum of children’s books. Especially until 31st of August there’s an exhibition of Thé Tjong-Khing, a famous Dutch (and Indonesian originated) illustrator, known for his wonderful children’s book illustrations. And … Continue reading

Today I saw a giraffe and a fish

Today I saw a giraffe and a fish in a hospital…

Okay, it went like this: on the thirteenth day it was Friday. For centuries many has considered it to be an unlucky day. My mum does; she is a constant believer of unlucky numbers and days. And yet, today was the day that she had made an appointment for an examination at the hospital. Don’t worry, nothing serious, just a routine check. Being a good daughter, I have taken and brought her to the hospital and stayed at her place just to be sure.

Usually I don’t like hospitals, but this one I do like. It’s because the hospital is filled with works from different artists. Like today I saw a giraffe and a fish made of paper mache. It’s so beautiful that I had to take a picture of them.

Paper mache giraffe

Paper mache Fish

Quirky birds and rolling fish – anything is possible

For a while I’m a member of postcrossing.com, a site where you can send and receive handwritten postcards from members of all over the world. Let’s face it: since internet and e-mail the handwritten cards and letters are at the brink of extinction. And projects such as postcrossing are a great way to honor this century-old tradition.

So every now and then I get a little treat when I receive a beautiful postcard. Postcards are small arts and very affordable. Combined with a beautiful stamp it will be worth a thousand pictures. Don’t worry, I won’t post every postcard I receive in here – therefor you can visit my postcardwall on postcrossing.com. But every now and then I’m going to share some of the loveliest postcard here on this blog.

Today I received two postcards. This is absolutely one of the cutest postcards I’ve received so far and I really really love it (yup, birds).

postcard The Owls by Santoro London

Of course I had to visit the website where the card’s supposed to be provided. It’s called Santoro-London.com and they really really have very nice stationary.

The other one is a thank you card from someone to whom I’ve sent a postcard of a lovely wannabe-mermaid the other day, an artistic drawing designed by one of my favorite webshops: La Marelle en Papier.

Isn’t it nice? So today I received a postcard from her as well, of wooden fish on wheels. Especially the message that she wrote ‘anything is possible, even fish on wheels’ made me smile. I think I’m going to draw a beautiful mermaid for her myself and send it to her ^^.

A trip down memory lane in Deventer

Even though I live in the heart of the Netherlands (Utrecht), but the small town Deventer will always have a special place in my heart. After all, I had lived in this town almost all my life, so I know my way around there. Some of you may wonder: ‘what’s so special about Deventer?’And others will simply ask ‘where on earth is this place?’. Well, to answer the last question first: Deventer is in the east of the Netherlands. Just google it ;). And what’s so special about it? Well, even though Deventer is small by size, it has large events, such as the biggest bookmarket in Europe, Deventer on stilts (international stiltperformers and streetartists) and of course the Charles Dickens festival around christmas. But Deventer is also known for it’s little things in life. For example: the many whimsical and artistic shops, the beautiful sightseeings and the best house I’ve ever had and now I don’t have anymore (but that’s another story).

bagels restaurant in Deventer

When I visit Deventer, I always go to ‘A taste of Honey’, an inspiring and delightful corner where you can have a nice pot of tea served in vintage china, delicious bagels and the best (pricewinning) homemade applepie in the Netherlands. Just like today, Stephan, the host of this place, greet me with a warm welcome and a ‘we’ve-missed-you-around-you-haven’t-been-here-for-aaaaaages’-chitchat. That’s so nice about a small town, where you’re not thát anonymous. Too bad the restaurant dog Miller is not in the house.

And just like today I ran into a brand new store in this small town, called ‘Hemelse Hebbedingen’ (heavenly goodies). It’s a great store where they sell the best looking shoes and clothes ever, and stuff of Papaya Art! Woohoo… I’m crazed about Papaya Art, so every store that sells some of their items, is always a winner for me. I couldn’t help but buying something from Papaya. This time a lovely storage can with 18 postcards of birds in it. I’m a sucker for postcards, hence for my postcrossing.com membership. I’m also a sucker for birds: they’re one of my biggest inspiration. And I’m a sucker for nice storage cans with nice shapes and art. So you can see why I had to buy it.

lovely whimsical birdslovely bird arts from Papaya Art