Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Hmm. No. I haven't quite settled in yet. It's hard. A lot harder than I'd hoped. And most of it is - as usual - in my head. Which makes it easier, while at the same time it doesn't.
You know how they say 'wherever you go, you bring yourself along'? I actually feel like I've left a bit of myself behind! The bit that's been lighter, this year...
I'm still going with the stern belief that I didn't leave my ability to bounce back behind. Because I checked and checked again. It's here somewhere, lying misplaced, waiting for me to find it in an unlikely corner. I know it is.

Digging it out, along with some much-needed reflection on the Beauty and the Not-Quite that's been 2010 should keep me busy till the hangover subsides ;)
Yesterday was a good day, today was alright. Tomorrow will be better, and next year will rock!

Wishing you a bit of quiet to say goodbye to what needs shedding and a lot of whatever it is you need to welcome 2011! Have the most amazing, awesome-est New Year; see you there!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Merry Christmas!
May this holiday season bring you everything you need & everything you hope for!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


"Hey mister Snowman! Good to see you! But what are you doing here? You weren't here before!"

"Oh man, you're a little lost! If you go out the gate and through the alley, up the 3 steps, cross the square, roughly that-a-way, there's a supermarket right there that has a frozen foods section!"

"What's that? Oh, no worries, mister Snowman! Good to see you! Just you go and enjoy your pizza!"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Getting there. Getting here, to this new house. Trying to feel at home. It takes whiles longer than I expected. But my expectations were a tad on the optimistic side of things...

Now that we're done as far as we're going to be done with it all this here year, I'm going to try and get back into my creative groove again. Which is also taking whiles longer than I had hoped. I've been feeling rather drained over the past, hmm, month or so.

I have no idea whether anyone is still checking this space, but if so - hi!! Thanks for sticking it out! Here are some pictures of the living room to tie you over till I get back - again ;)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


A tiny bit of quick art, inspired by Shannon :) Felt good, to do something else - not Move-related! - even if it took less than a minute all in all :)

Monday, November 15, 2010




Moving is hard work. I think everything will be alright. I think the new place will be beautiful when it's finished. I do.

But right now?! It's a shambles. And a roof tile blew off in last Friday's storm. We have water damage, probably - hopefully! - because of it. And for the first time in my life, I can't just call the central number to get it fixed.

So basically? I think it'll all be cool. Soon. But for now? If I weren't so busy getting wall paper stuck to walls, and assorted other stuff, I think I'd be sitting on the floor with my fingers in my ears. Rocking to and fro. Singing lalalalaLALALAAAAA! Obviously, that never helped anyone, but it sure feels good, at times ;)

Do you want to share the last time you really wanted to sit down & sing to shut out the world? Or is everything smooth sailing in your corner? Hope so!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Mr Funny Pants turned TWO last Saturday! Two whole years of having this beautiful boy in my life, two years since becoming a mamma! It's been amazing, awesome, wonderful, crazy, weird (in a good way, mostly!), wild; it's a continuous learning curve that's blowing my socks off!

I love it! I LOVE my baby boy, who is most definitely not a baby boy anymore, but will forever be my baby boy :)

Thank you so much for being you & being here, Squirt! You've made my world a much better, more fun, happier, softer & kinder place to dwell in :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010


as a mamma I feel torn - at times - between teaching my child that dancing on coffee tables isn't NECESSARILY a 'done thing' - & saying 'what the heck baby! dance till you sleep!'

Inspired by a SARK quote that I read somewhere about a year ago - to say YES as often as you can. And I do - wholeheartedly! But at times it presents a challenge - like this one ;)

Do you ever hesitate to say NO? Or YES, for that matter?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


That's the change-of-address card I designed, stuck to a journal page that was so out of my comfort zone, it kept me from doing anything creative for days! Until I decided it would do nicely as a background :)

'Ontpolderen' basically translates to 'depoldering'. For the purpose of the card, it means 'getting out of the polder'. Although it also means, colloquially, to stop endless debating. And to flood previously poldered land - but that's just coincidence ;) It's a fine polder, it really is; even when pretty much everyone who doesn't live here thinks otherwise. It's been a good place to live for the past 11 years. So much has happened here... Lots I've dwelt upon over the past months, and lots I'll be dealing with when we're gone and relative quiet surrounds us again.

We're going back to 'old land'. Get our feet dry. The green gables are typical of the place we're moving to. Quite coincidentally, it's the same municipality I was born in and where I spent the first 13 years of my life! It sort of, a little bit, feels like going back to my roots. I hope it'll prove to be a good choice in the end. Scary stuff. All of it!

We got the keys and signed our lives away last Monday, and we'll seriously start working on the place next week. Busy times ahead! I might pop up here in between, I'm not quite sure how everything will fall into place. I'm just sure that it will, fall into place, and that I'll come up the other side. To breathe!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

photo challenge: HAPPY

I thought I'd kept the challenge simple. Photograph what makes you happy. Even amidst chaos & mayhem, there are things that make you happy, right? Or, there should be, to keep you grounded. The important thing is, you should never stop looking for things that make you happy, especially while in the jaws of disorder and dust bunnies, both actual and in the form of dislodged bits of settled life.

And I do actually still see the happy! I would be lying on the floor in one big blubbering heap by now if I didn't. Honestly, yes, I am that dramatic in the face of Big Change. But Squirt keeps me firmly planted in the Now, most of the time. I like to think I'm more realistic and practical these days, since becoming a mamma almost 2 years ago. But still. All I ended up with was a photo of a pizza cooked from frozen (with added banana and jalapenos), after a hard day of sorting, discarding, packing, cleaning...

& a bowl of fresh home-made pesto. So apparently, as far as visible records go, my happiness is in food these days! But it isn't, not really. Although it helps, food. Especially the not quite responsible, greasy kind. My happiness is - as always, really - in the small gestures, the funny remarks, the Big Hugs I get at times. The stuff that doesn't photograph well at all. So I emailed Mridula, and told her I was out of the challenge till the move - The Move - is complete, somewhere near the end of November hopefully.

But my creativity isn't locked completely - granted, it's a tangled heap at times, these days, but it's definitely part of what's keeping me sane(-ish, some might argue)!
And also, I think there is nothing wrong with responding to a challenge saying; 'well, there it is. This is the best I can come up with right now.' So, I'm not out! I'm still in! I can't promise to meet exact deadlines at the moment, but I'll be there with what came up, whatever it is, to publish when I can!

Please look at Mridula's post to see how she interpreted the assignment! She came up with the next challenge, SHADOWS, and the deadline is the 8th of November. I'm going to try to make it there :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


In Dutch, car (auto) rhymes with peacock (pauw) - sort of. If you want it to. And add some letters here and there.
I wanted it to, of course. I didn't take a course in Silly for nothing, now did I?!

(the watercolours didn't come up so nicely in the scan)

Monday, October 18, 2010


Horrible scan. The page is bigger than A4, and that never works. But that's not the point. This is the front page of the sketchbook I put all the Silly Stuff in. I had decorated it before, but I never liked what I did. You see, I went into it without a plan, and while that may work for everybody else - I don't know, does it? - it doesn't for me. Too many non-combinations of colours for starters. I needed to do something about it! Seeing that Silly has officially finished, and I had all this time on my hands, I decided to go in the way the Professional Journallers do.

And that's what I mean, there you go! I have arrived as a modern crea chick! I have GESSOED my way out of a pickle and got to come up with a whole new design, on top of the old one - which you can still see a little through the gesso, but only in a two-toned winter-wonderland way, which is quite acceptable! I'm so proud ;)

*also a first: lettering in acrylic paint, with a brush, that is! but seriously, who cares? ;)*

Friday, October 15, 2010


it's a bluebador with yellow dots who poops in the wheelie bin, of course

Brain still mushy. Not expecting a change there before the Move is complete... Somewhere in the middle or near the end of November. Soon-ish, so, but it all feels like trying to look through a dirty window by banging your head against it repeatedly. Yeah. Don't ask.

Thank the stars for Carla Sonheim whose silliness has saved me from actual screaming and the tearing out of hairs. Until now at least, because the course is done and that's it. I have to come up with my own stuff again...

But I did! Already! Well, sort of, anyway :) Squirt is inventing words, these days, and this morning's random blurt was 'blauwbador'. In a true enough dialogue, we decided it had yellow dots and lived in the wheelie bin. Or at least, pooped there. Of course ;) You're never too young for those kind of jokes ;) And I could just see it, a friendly monster in the bin.

So I had to draw it. And here it is. Make of it what you will ;) I'm sure there are a lot of things you could come up with. If you're in any way drawn to the Freudian side of things, I'm sure you'll worry about me. But don't! I'm actually quite happy this came out when I least expected it!

Monday, October 11, 2010

photo challenge: NUMBERS

The latest assignment in the photo challenge Mridula & I set up a while ago - numbers...
It was another tough one, but that might be just me. There are numbers around, plenty of them, but I have this silly notion numbers need to mean something. So while it's always fun to scout for photo opportunities, I wasn't easily satisfied with what I came up with. Most numbers in the collage above might make sense to their owners of sorts - though still not to me - but the number 75 on Squirt's top means nothing! He wasn't born in 1975, nor were me or Man, and he, nor us, nor his grandparents are yet 75. We don't live at number 75 and I can't think of any other way this number will soon make sense to any one of us. That's what I mean, it's wrong. Which is why this top is already on its way to the second hand shop (we're about to move and it's clear-out time, by way of an excuse, and anyway - it was a very cheap 'needs must'-buy of the diaper-wearing-related kind, but that's all by the by)!

So I kept looking for numbers to speak to me, and then I saw this! A car of sorts, one of Squirt's favourites! He calls it 'red weird car'. He also has a yellow version, so that clears that up ;) But the number! It's 32! We'll be living at number 32 in the new house!

But that was all I could come up with, as far as physical numbers are concerned. Like I said, me and my odd notions (yes, I count steps at times, too!)... It doesn't make life easier, at least not all the time :)

But then I saw how Squirt liked walking around in my shoes :) And I decided that, like with SPARKLE, I could take it out of the literal and into the illustrative of sorts! He had fun here, I promise - no little kid got hurt in the taking of these pictures ;) - and I got ample opportunity to take as many shots as I wanted!
The caption would read: Size is but a number. Sometimes, numbers matter. Does this count?

Please pop over to Mridula's to see what she came up with!

I know it's my turn to come up with a new assignment, but I haven't. Not yet. Sorry! Brain mush... I'm going to take today to come up with something and add it as an edit to this post tonight. The deadline will be Monday 25th October, and you're very welcome to join if you want to!

Edit, three days later...
I didn't forget and I didn't flake out as such. I have been racking my brain to come up with a new theme, and it's just not happening! So frustrating!!
So I've decided to keep things relatively simple: this round, photograph what makes you happy. Either constantly and long term, or something fleeting like a ray of sun - as long as it makes you feel good :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Silly assignment, to decorate a pair of glasses.
Isn't this so cute, in a weird, almost disturbing way?!

Friday, October 8, 2010


More silly :)
for a better view, click the image!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I've had this shot in my head since I found out I was pregnant... It just took me untill this beautiful warm, sunny late Summer Sunday to take it!

There is something infinitely touching about a bare baby foot dangling...

Saturday, October 2, 2010


What a buzz!! I haven't drawn with our local version of (cheap!) Sharpies since... forever!

Friday, October 1, 2010


I overestimated growth spurts, I think. Or I added too much of Squirt's personality into the mix and expected the shoes to fit! I don't know why I thought this was a good idea. I do remember vaguely that I thought I was being a responsible parent on a budget. But I will deny that when confronted!
I'm sure they'll fit on his first day of school...

This drawing might not seem so silly, but I was when I bought these shoes! So there, that qualifies me ;)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


It's been a while since I last talked about Squirt's adventures. Don't want to overdo it on the 'my kid is awesome' stuff. Although he is. Of course. Mostly ;)

Today, he reclaimed some of the toys he hadn't played with in a while.
Putting the ladders in the train, he looked up at me and stated proudly: "fire truck train!"

Awesome! :D

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Still doing silly stuff. Like drawing a (very small) herd of elephants in one line. That's one line, pen not leaving paper, for four elephants! That is, elephants from memory, without reference. Drawing elephants is fun, quite unexpectedly :)

I'm well aware this course is not inspiring my best artwork, but it's plucking me from my comfort zone, at times sorely so! I'm trying to stick with each assignment that's making me feel funny (in the 'odd' sense of the word) - until it doesn't anymore. And it's hard, but good! Very good indeed!

Everyone needs to have silly fun at times. I sincerely believe that!

Monday, September 27, 2010

photo challenge: QUIET

So here I am with my photos for this round of the photo challenge Mridula & I set up a little while ago - a day late & all... It's not that I'm not taking this seriously - I do and I love it, too. It's just that I didn't have a lot of head space going spare over the past two weeks due to lots of snot - both my own and Squirt's, and the mounting - let's call it suspense - surrounding the house-moving-thing that's getting closer by the day.

I had all these ideas that I didn't get around to trying out. Scenes that would have taken me out of the house and into nature - soft leaves and moss, for example. And I couldn't think how I was going to get 'quiet' across in another set of photos taken on my trusted coffee table...

I'm not sure if these first two photos give you any sense of quiet at all, but quiet it was. That's what I ended up with, eventually. Squirt was picked up by my dad on Friday morning for a sleepover, so that we could have a little time; to think, talk, eat and drink ideas for the new house, and to sort a couple of things. Which we did. And it wasn't quiet at all. Not in my head, either!

Except for my early mornings. Which are sort of sacred every day, but got seriously extended by Man finally grabbing a chance to sleep very late! :) So I decided to use the light. And space both literal and figuratively speaking. And I ended up with these light filled macro still lives on my coffee table. Again.

I love light filled macro still lives on my blue coffee table. I do. Which must be fairly obvious, the number of times my blue coffee table (here, here, here & elsewhere) shows up in pictured scenes. Even if you're not a close observer! BUT... I wanted something different. Something outside. Something nature-y! But with every passing hour and rain cloud I sort of saw my chances floating away from me.

Until I decided on a fluke to bring my camera along on the drive to pick up Squirt at his grandparents late yesterday afternoon. And the weather gods decided to give me a break. And I ended up with water. Not the spot I wanted to go to; nor a place I would have picked. But light filled waterscapes of silence, none the less!

I don't have many words to add to this. Except a heartfelt 'thank you!' to Man who was willing and able to climb over slimy rocks for better composition!

It was hard work, this week's attempt! Due to circumstances though. Not because it isn't fun! Good stuff, when you end up with something worthwhile to publish after the moaning is done - at least in my own humble opinion ;)

Please click over to Mridula's post to see what she's done with QUIET, and to find out what the next challenge is going to be! If anyone is reading, interested and willing, you're very welcome to join us! Just leave a comment or send a mail; we'd love to see what you come up with!

Friday, September 24, 2010


Happy Autumn! If it is, where you're reading this.
Otherwise? Happy! Be happy, if you can!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

photo challenge: SPARKLE

A few weeks ago, Mridula from Blogaloorgirl's Blog sent me an email asking me if I'd done any photography recently. And I hadn't, not really. Which got me thinking. I love photography much! But at times it's hard to find objects or subjects to talk to your lens, especially when inspiration is running low. When there's a lot going on in my head, I find I'm not looking around at the world with as much wonder as I need to restock the proverbial well, to paraphrase Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way.

So... I suggested a photo challenge! I've done a couple of courses in photography, and I've found it's much easier to capture something worthwhile when you know what you're looking for! It's great to have a theme to work with; it gets the creative juices flowing and it helps me open my eyes to what's been staring me in the face all along!

Luckily, Mridula accepted, and she came up with the first theme: SPARKLE.
Which was a challenge for me, to say the least ;) I don't know whether anyone who knows me would actually classify me as the outgoing type, but in my own skin, I feel I'm more of an introvert. I get it, it's a 'duh!' thing to say. But much of the beauty I see around me gets chewed on and put away on shelves in my mind, never seeing the light of day. Never mind sparkle!
But I love a good challenge, it really works for me - as far as photography is concerned anyway ;) - so I set out on a quest to find sparkle in my world :)

Here is a rose from the bunch of beautiful flowers we got as a present for our wedding anniversary last Wednesday. The water drops didn't really want to sparkle much, even with the low sunlight I had to wait for - for days! Which isn't that strange, really, considering we've been married for 10 years now. Nothing wrong with that, just that it's more the soft light of a place to call home than it is the dazzling sparkle I was looking for ;)

Here are some shards of glass I found in the bike lane on my way to the shops. They shouldn't be there, for various reasons, and I felt they might do prettier work on my coffee table, too. Oh, the funny looks I got when I got down on my knees to pick some up ;) I love that - giving people something to talk about around the dinner table ;)

I still didn't feel like I got all the sparkle out of the challenge, so I added the one piece of costume jewelry I own into the mix to see what that would do... I don't know what it is, but - there wasn't any real sparkle to be had... You know, the kind with the light-star, refraction or whatever it's called... Maybe my lighting wasn't what I thought the early Autumn sun was going to be, and maybe I just didn't do it right, but I couldn't get what I was looking for.

So here we are, at the biggest cliche of them all, when it comes to sparkle... It suddenly hit me! If I'm such an introvert, at least by my own sense of being, then surely the sparkle must be inside! From the senses being tickled in every way imaginable to the world of possibilities behind it all - eyes are the windows to the soul (to stick with cliche!). If it sparkles anywhere, surely it must be there! Not brilliant photography, but honest sparkle if I say so myself :)

There. That's it. My ode to the sparkling beauty inside :) Hop on over to Mridula's post to see what she came up with!

Now I had to come up with a new theme, and here it is: QUIET.
That might not be a much easier thing to capture, but the word's been playing in my head (for various reasons - haha) for weeks now, and I couldn't ignore it...

Our next deadline is Sunday 26th September (if that's okay Mridula?) - but we might post sooner, depending on how it's going. If there is anyone out there reading this, who wants to give it a go too, whether it's sparkle, quiet or the next little/big theme, I'd love to see! Send me an email or leave a comment here or over at Mridula's!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Be happy whenever you can manage it.
Enjoy yourself.
It's lighter than you think.

From Learning by Heart, a book written by Corita Kent and Jan Steward. Immaculate Heart College Art Department Rule 9. I came across this somewhere on a blog yesterday, I haven't read the book myself. But this, this is beautiful & sage advise. Something to take to heart...

Edit: interestingly, I came across this and the other rules again this morning; here! By chance! I guess I'm really meant to take note!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I have joined The Art of Silliness 2 - an online class by Carla Sonheim! A combination of artsy inspiration and... well... silliness! And since I have been taking myself and everything around me way too seriously lately, I'd say that's a good thing ;)
The class doesn't start until Wednesday the 15th of September & you can join until the 15th of October since you can do the worksheets at your own pace. Click the above link or the badge to the right - have a look! I think it will be fun!

Carla sent out a test mail last Wednesday to see if all the links work properly, and there was a test worksheet, to get started! A drawing of a bird and the task to write it a story. I love taking orders, so to speak - especially when my own inspiration is running low - & it was definitely fun to come up with something completely different ;) Meet my bird, BillyBob, and his first wobbly steps onto the glittering stage of showbiz!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Yes, I can :) Things aren't really that bottom-of-the-pit-bad here, although I can see why it might look that way. My last two posts should really be taken with a pinch of salt & a wink.

I'm quite stressed with the house-moving-business - in my head, since we're not actually going anywhere for another two months - and find myself sort of at a loss. Sort of lost. Not gone yet but not quite here nor there either. Something like that. And apparently that leaves me with the mental flexibility of seaweed. About pretty much everything. I can't really see the light and the happy. Not all the time, anyway. But I still have my sense of humour, such as it is, and I can still smile!

Sorry Annemarie, out of cookies - you got the last bag ;) But I did make sense of your word-mush, and this works too, right?


Edit: That little spade is 'mine' because I'm well aware I'm the one who's throwing spanners in my own 'je ne sais quoi' here. That's how I cope - ha ;) I'm really good at rewriting world history & my own when I'm under pressure. And at seeing imaginary bears in the road and in surrounding suburban gardens. I excell at battering my sanity when I stress! But I know the colours are still there - if only I'd look up, and I feel well-armed with that knowledge. I'll be okay :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010


Magical wildflowers...

... a deer patiently posing...

... & a bit of babywearing :-)

I had to get out of the house this weekend. Needed to clear my head, breathe some fresh air & reclaim myself a little bit. & I really needed to hold on to my baby boy. But he's a toddler: busy-busy-busy exploring the world and all the cars in it. He wasn't much up for hugging his mamma as much as she wanted him to ;-)
Stroke of genius though, even if I do say so myself: a walk out in nature with Squirt in his own personal 'backpack' as soon as he got a little tired! He loved it, and so did I :-D
I won't go as far as to say "all's right with the world again", but I definitely feel better and ready for another week.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


* & that's not a bad thing, necessarily. Through changes we grow. I call it gathering Wisdom.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


and I’m a little bit lost without you
and I’m a bloody big mess inside
and I’m a little bit lost without you
this ain’t a love song this is goodbye*

*This Ain't a Love Song by Scouting for Girls. Not entirely appropriate but I can't get this bit out of my head. & I can't stop crying. Yet...
Serving a spoonful of very personal here. It's all I have right now.