Ninainvorm
a blog about art, craft, design and beautiful everyday life
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Maybe you can also find my stuff in your neighbourhood! Click here to see an up-to-date list of where you can buy my products.

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Interested in selling Ninainvorm postcards, posters, art prints or ceramics in your own shop? You can send me an email at ik_ben_nina@hotmail.com to hear about the possibilities!

No matter how much I'd like to pretend that we're really the hiking, nature-exploring, through rain and wind kind of people, truth is that usually we're lazy city dwellers who hardly ever put on our rubber boots to walk in the mud. Which is of course something we pass on to our kids: Rosa already starts to scream and comes running inside the house as if she's being chased by a madman as soon as the first drops of rain start falling. And Julie is, well... I can't really say that she's afraid of the spiders and their webs in our garden, it's more that she sort of gets angry at them: 'Spider, go away!', is what we hear her shout with a rather strict voice pretty often.

So when our friends asked us to accompany them on a walk through a little forest at only a fifteen-minute bike-ride from our home (a place where we'd never been before, even though we've been living so close for almost ten years...;-)) we thought this was our chance to become real good nature-loving parents. Especially now that Rosa is starting on a Waldorf school real soon, you know with all the love for nature and the changing of the seasons and such, we thought it was time for her to get to know about the beauty and the mighty powers of nature a bit more.

Well, let's say that at first she wasn't too pleased...

'You said we were going to do something nice, but I can't see any playground here!', was her rather indignant conclusion.

Meanwhile we were carrying around her little sister, who fell fast asleep during the bike ride. Of course we hadn't thought about bringing the carrier...

...which by the way did offer the opportunity to take some sweet sleepy photos that you don't get around to take that often anymore with en energetic toddler!

But after a bit of napping the fun began...

Rosa quickly realized that there was so much to explore in the forest, like mushrooms...

...frogs (or is this what you should call a toad?)...

...giant trees...

...and exciting shacks fully made of branches!

So I think we did fairly well bringing them a bit closer to nature. Well, at least a little... ;-)

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So blog readers, of course this instagram offer is for you as well!

Here's how it works:

If you place an order of 25 in my shop (shipping not included), you'll get a 6-postcard-set (this one or this one, it's up to you!) for free.

If you place an order of 50 in my shop you'll get a 12-postcard-set or any a3 size poster you like for free. Just leave me a message saying which postcard set (there are two different ones available, see details in my shop) or poster you'd like.

This offer is valid till Monday night (but I'm not too strict when it comes to time zones and such, so whenever it's Monday night where you live it's fine with me! ;-)) on all purchases from my etsy shop.

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And so I finally joined instagram... As always I have a lot of thoughts, ideas, enthusiasm, objections and questions about it, but I'm still trying to figure them all out and will then post some more about it soon!

For now it seems the perfect medium for the many work, family and everyday life pictures that I take all day, all those small moments, snapshots and images of little corners that don't necessarily fit into a story or a chain of thoughts. It's easy in a good way, and maybe also in a not-so-good way, but I still have to make my mind up about that a bit.

So chances are that I'll be posting less on this blog and more on instagram (you can follow me here if you like, my username is ninainvorm). Truth is that I have no idea if anyone is still reading here at all, or more than just a few people. When I lost my old blog design and tools about two years ago, I also lost my stat counter and never had anything new installed, so I really have no idea. It has definitely become a bit more quiet lately, so maybe by now it's just me and my mom and dad here ;-) (mom, dad, are you still there?).

So if you're interested in seeing some glimpses of our daily life, bits of work in progress and of course some home/interior stuff, there's probably much more action going on on my instagram account right now. On the other hand I think I still like to have this blog as an outlet for some more elaborate posts about basically anything.

Anyway, so this is not a goodbye or anything, just a little notification of where you can find me more often than here right now!

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A little while ago I was at my sister Olga's perfectly tidy and carefully decorated home. Oh, the joys of not having kids (yet)... Well no, of course I could only wish that all the mess at our place could be blamed on those poor girls ;-).

Anyway, it was time to take some pictures of my new Night swans posters, and all of a sudden I thought: I could spend hours tidying up my own living room so that I can show you the poster  on my by now slightly too familiar little library cupboard once again, or I could profit a bit from having a tidy younger sister who recently moved into her first apartment (and who enthusiastically spends her income at Ferm living and Hay each month ;-)).

I brought my sweet assistant...

... and then we took lots of photos!

The night swans poster is a pretty large poster (50 x 70 cm or 20" by 28"), that's available for purchase here.

Meanwhile I hope you've also enjoyed this little peek into my sister's apartment!

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Last week we took the girls to the famous dutch amusement/fairytale park the Efteling for the first time. It was a beautiful sunny autumn day, and besides the fact that Rosa was terrified of the big dragon (her dad was smart enough to show her a little movie featuring the famous fire breathing dragon a few days before we'd go) everything went quite smooth. (Oh, and besides the fact that both girls threw up in the car on our way there... But further, really, it all went quite okay ;))

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Almost a year ago, after our moving house adventure had slowed down a little, all of a sudden I found myself working on posters instead of (mainly) ceramics... From one came the other, and posters also became postcards.

Right now I love working on paper designs, there's something kind of attractive about doing some (okay: usually a lot of) work on a few sheets of paper and on your computer and then receiving large boxes of your 'finished product'. It's so different from ceramics, where you put quite some time into just one piece without even being sure if it survives the firing in the kiln properly.

But in a way what attracts me sometimes also feels like the downside of it. To produce or to make?

It's hard to describe and it might sound a bit whiny, but for a while I've been feeling that the art/craft community that I've felt part of for such a long time has started to change, or maybe it has already been changing for a long time. It's kind of difficult to put this into words because in a way it's just a vague feeling, and maybe it's just a natural evolution or the coming of age of a movement. But when I look at places like etsy, but also at blogs and other media and art/craft shops, it seems like the focus is changing from original, handmade and one of a kind pieces towards 'production' and making more of the same. Also I often feel that the independent art/craft movement and the big brands/shops are growing closer towards each other, which I think is a mix of mutual inspiration on the one hand but sometimes also blatant copying on the other hand.

I guess the independent art/craft/design movement grew big and popular because there was a real demand for new original, creative and handmade items, that weren't mainstream and easy to find for a long time. Then a whole subculture with blogs, shops, magazines and books grew around it. Artists and bloggers started to collaborate with big media, big shops and big brands, and some of the artists and indie designers also became real brands themselves. Handmade became quite a hype, the supply of 'unique, original handmade items' became larger (including the DIY copying) and maybe that hype has just more or less reached it's end, like all hypes sooner or later do. I think this interesting article by Design Sponge's Grace Bonney describes some of these developments very accurately, but then more focused on the specific (but related) world of the (interior) design blogs.

When I look back at all these years of online art/craft/design, I think for a large part it has sort of 'grown up'.  Almost everyone seems to be able to take the most beautiful pictures these days, the styling of pictures has become much more important and probably the items people make have also improved and become more professional. Maybe in a way the artists and crafters have become a bit more mainstream and less 'cutesy-crafty', while the big brands and shops have become a bit more inspired to try new things that are a bit more daring and artistic.

So is it a win-win situation? Sometimes I think yes, when I'm able to buy some really nice, well-designed stuff for little money at the department stores that used to sell only boring, basic stuff a few years ago. Sometimes I think no, when I see that those department stores are simply copying beautiful designs by small/independent designers and selling them for much less money.

For myself, I really want to keep finding the balance between enjoying a bit of production and enjoying the experiment and inspiration of one of a kind, handmade pieces. Though of course I sometimes also have ambitions to take certain things to a higer (efficiency/productivity/sales) level, somehow I still feel very comfortable just making small amounts of things with my own hands.

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Just a small visual diary of what I'm working on and what I see around me these days, to keep track of some very busy weeks! Oh, and I guess the word of the week is swan ;).

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They've been some very good days, these last few. Quite busy, but very manageable, which is always a good thing (and not always the case ;)). We seem to be somewhere inbetween summer and fall. I brought home some fall flowers from the market, but when I arrived home it felt like summer again in our garden. So good to soak up these last bits of summer sun!

Often I feel there's so much to do, so much to make and create, so much inspiration to be found. Do you know this feeling of your head exploding, but in a good way? It's definitely much better than to have your head exploding in a bad way, but it's still a lot of explosion. Can't say I don't like it though ;).

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Just a few pictures of our plate wall, that sometimes seems a bit like one of those puzzles where you can't just change one thing, but always have to change everything because each small change shakes the balance of the whole system. Today is the first day of school in our area again, which also shakes a balance, our life's balance. Not even in a big way: none of our girls is going to school yet, the only one leaving for school today was Helmut, to start teaching again. Which of course marks the end of our summer holiday, something that leaves me feeling sort of sad. Kind of funny actually, because in a way the difference between 'normal life' and holiday has never been smaller than in these last few years.

As far as I can remember, I've always dreaded going back to normal life after the holidays. As a kid I hated going back to school again, after the freedom I experienced during the holiday. I'm sure there were also reasons to be happy to be back in school, but in general the feeling of having to return to 'the system' with its ongoing rules and routines predominated.

I'm still not very good with routines and involuntary structures, and sometimes I wonder what it'll be like when Rosa starts in school in December. I'm sure the daily school structure will change our life's slightly chaotic balance, but mainly I hope that Rosa's going to enjoy being part of the school system more than I used to do. We've chosen the Waldorf school that's only one block away from our home for her, that seems so cozy and enjoyable that even I would want to go there every day ;). I really do hope that Rosa will feel the same way.

Meanwhile I keep rearranging: I bought the pink House of Rym plate in Antwerp last month, and when I finally had everything back in position, I bought a few more that are currently waiting for their spot. Ah well, I'm sure we'll soon all find our balance again!

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It's been a very good summer so far, both when it comes to enjoying our holiday and when it comes to work.

There'll be lots of new posters and postcards available next week...

I hope to give you an update on all of it real soon, but first we're up to some more (last) bits of enjoying our summer holiday!

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About Ninainvorm

My name is Nina, I'm a ceramics and paperwares designer and mom of Rosa and Julie. This blog is about making, living, liking, loving and so much more!

Want to get in touch? You can always send me an email through ik_ben_nina@hotmail.com.

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