Rosa is starting to develop more and more interest in playing in her own room, and Julie loves to play there as well. So I'm planning to make some small adjustments to make the room less 'just a bedroom' and more of a room for play. I'm still looking for a nice soft carpet so that the floor will be comfortable to play on.
I was thinking about adding a small desk or table and chair to create an extra corner for play. Besides that I guess I shouldn't bring too many more toys in, if we still want her to go to sleep when it's bedtime ;).
We already hung some of the little collages and drawings that Rosa and I made together on one of the walls. I thought this would be a fun thing to do together, but what I had underestimated was that Rosa resembles me more than I realized: she had such exact ideas about where she wanted to put every specific piece of paper that we almost ended up in a fight when I didn't hang things exactly the way she had in mind... Can't say I don't feel her! ;)
I don't get the chance to visit flea markets as often as I used to anymore, but in the rare cases that I can go for a quick hour or two, it's still a very favorite sport!
On this weekend's market, I noticed two little wooden animal figures in a stall that was completely filled with the most hideous plastic toys. Always funny how something special can catch your eye even (or maybe in particular) when it's in the middle of the ugliest stuff. The wooden toys reminded me of these vintage Czechoslovakian finger puppets that I once bought in Antwerp, and when I looked at the bottom of the figures I found that these were from that same country (and probably era).
What has changed as well is that I can't buy beautiful vintage toys just for my own visual pleasure anymore: from the moment they saw them Rosa and Julie wanted to play with these, and the fact that I've put them on display on a shelf probably only makes them more attractive! In fact I had to make the girls a tent to lure them away from my new toys ;).
Well, it already started years ago... and this animal collection of ours keeps growing!
January and February, they're my least favorite months of the year. These days I'm finding myself feeling so slow and indecisive (I haven't checked my blog archives, but if I would I'd probably find I'm always feeling this way this time of the year!). It's so annoying: it sometimes takes me days to come to the simplest decisions, and there's this sauce of doubt around literally everything. Like: choosing a large IXXI collage for our black wall. So much to choose from, I just never seem to reach a decision. Same thing goes for finding a holiday destination for just a short, simple trip. And then I'm not even talking about the more important decisions, like choosing a school for Rosa... (Montessori versus Waldorf... anyone? ;))
Hope this will pass soon... I guess it's mainly just waiting for Spring to arrive. Meanwhile I'm trying to surround myself with lots of color and happy things!
Really, it's the best clock ever...
... but I can't pretend I took this picture today, or yesterday, or even last week ;).
One of the good things about keeping some sort of blog or journal is that it's such a nice record of what's happening right here, right now. It's a fast and easy way to save some images of/thoughts about what's going on in our daily life that's flying by so crazily fast. I like the idea that I can go back to a certain date, even years ago, and see some glimpses of what life was like back then. And who knows, if blogs like these can be preserved in some way or another, maybe even Rosa and Julie can look back at those small records of their daily life as young kids when they're older.
But the disadvantage of this 'here and now' concept of blogs is that if you don't keep the record straight away, you'll probably never do it anymore. I take lots of pictures, but often I don't have the time or energy to properly edit them and turn them into something that feels worth posting. And then once I finally have some time on my hands, the pictures are already weeks old and their 'blog momentum' seems gone: cute pictures of a toothless Julie (who now already has nine teeth), some nice images of the house two or three incarnations before it's current one (I do still have some nice images of all our freshly wallpapered walls in a further still empty house, anyone interested?), funny images of a city trip during our Christmas holiday... They often already seem way too much 'in the past' once I get the chance to have a proper look at the pictures.
So I think it's about time to show you some of our 2013 summer holiday pictures... ;)
Back then Julie was only a 7-month-old baby and we were in the middle of our big moving house project. Before we bought the house, we had already booked a summer holiday to this nice place called Boheems Paradijs, a small holiday site where you can stay in original 1950s and 1960s circus and gypsy caravans. And though the timing turned out to be a bit inconvenient (the holiday was planned exactly halfway the month that we had for renovating and moving into our new house), we decided to go anyway, because everyone needs a holiday every so often, right?
It was very hot, Julie was sick for the first few days and we did have some moving house stress at the beginning of the holiday... But it was a great place for a short holiday with young kids, and the vintage caravans with their colorful retro interiors were fairly cool!
Well, that's about all I remember... Which once again proves that it's wise to keep track of things immediately if you want to keep some memories!
Another poster came from the printing office this week, that means another introduction offer! This A3 sized Mushrooms poster sells for only EUR 10 (instead of the normal price of EUR 16) all through the month of February (and of course through this last bit of January... ;)).
And psst... Shipping costs are only EUR 2.50 for the Netherlands and EUR 4 worldwide! You can buy the poster here, but if you live in the Netherlands or Belgium, you can also send me an email if you want to order from me directly.
By the way this poster came into existence in a funny way... When I'm crafting with Rosa, somehow I always get lots of ideas and feel tempted to do some drawing and doodling for myself. Of course she never lets me: so far she doesn't seem to get carried away by her own creativity yet, but always wants me to sit with her and make things for her. So when we're drawing or cutting and pasting together, I always secretly try to sneak in some quick cut/draw moments for myself when Rosa isn't paying attention for a split second. This often results in really quick 10-second-sketches and very rudimentary shapes cut from scraps of paper. And some of those rudimentary shapes became the starting point of this poster...
Lately I find myself being very much attracted to black. I guess it all started here, with the black chalkboard wall in the nursery in our previous apartment...
Then there was the black wall in our current living room, some more black wall in Rosa's new room, and right now there's also a lot of black in the things I make. I particularly love the way other colors pop up so brightly when being combined with black.
It always fascinates me how tastes and styles develop and change, and how trends work. I've never considered myself much of a trend follower or someone obsessed with the latest fashions, and I think throughout the years what I like has been very much a steady thing: I like color, I like patterns, I like vintage, I like bold graphics and I've never been quite the minimalist type.
On the other hand I follow quite a few blogs, and I'm an avid pinterest user, and I think from checking pinterest often you can very much distill what people like here and now. So though I may feel my own taste doesn't change that much, I guess I'm more or less aware of 'the latest styles'. I have no pretentions to be some sort of Li Edelkoort, but you don't have to be to see that there's obviously been a shift from the very girly, feminine, floral and colorful vintage/brocante style that was all over the place a few years ago towards a more graphic style: the black and white, the geometry, the simple graphic triangle, harlequin and diamond shapes. No crazy mix of bright colors, but a softer mix of ochre, grey, coral and mint.
And I think I'm fooling myself when I say it doesn't influence me. That my taste still is the same as five years ago. And who cares, really? It's good not to be stuck in the same thing forever. It doesn't make you more sincere or authentic when you always keep surrounding yourself with the same stuff. We don't have to stick to 1970s orange and green only because we once liked it ;).
But still it sometimes leaves me puzzled. Is this really me liking this, or is it just some sort of Zeitgeist thing that we eventually all fall for? If you keep seeing it, will you love it in the end? Is there something wrong now with the things we loved five years ago? Is it inevitable that we get bored and must move on to something else eventually?
I think these questions pop up in particular when it comes to the things you create yourself. Is this really mine? Am I still working from my own perspective, my own source of ideas and aesthetics, or am I being influenced too much by other people's espressions and ideas?
Well, I still like bright colors, even though people say we can't right now because we're in the middle of a crisis ;). With a bit of ochre... and lots of black.
It took me a little while, but now I can finally properly introduce this new poster here! This is an offset printed poster (size A3: 29,7 x 42 cm or 11.8" x 16.6") of my 'You are so so easy to love' print, printed on beautiful 170 grams paper. The paper is heavy, but not as heavy as the fine art paper that I normally use for my fine art prints, which means that it can be sent in a cardboard mail tube through normal mail, so the (international) shipping costs will be much lower than when it has to be shipped as a small parcel.
As an introduction offer, this poster will sell for only EUR 10 (instead of the normal price of EUR 16) all through the month of December. You can order it here (If you live in the Netherlands or Belgium, you can also send me an email if you want to order from me directly).
Seriously, I think a home should have buntings all the time, and not just on birthdays! We've been spending quite some money on making the house look nice and cozy, and guess what: we put up two 50 cent (!) buntings, and all of a sudden it looks so fun and happy in here! I immediately feel in a festive mood each time I enter the room... So that's a Euro well-spent I guess.
However I live here with a 'buntings-are-for-birthdays' man, so I guess if I'd want some more permanent buntings in our living room, negotiations will be necessary... Maybe just a small one somewhere must be possible?
Oh, and inbetween all the birthday preparations (like: baking five apple pies in one night, making forty birthday treats and more of that craziness) I also managed to do some work these days...
I've been working on so many new things lately, but in this busy December month somehow it's been so hard to finish anything...
Hopefully the weeks around Christmas will offer some quiet time to finish some long-going projects. And for some sleep!
Unlike most home/design bloggers (and my neighbors... our home currently is the one dark hole within a sea of Christmas lights! ;)) I've never been very much into Christmas decorations, but look: that's a small paper Christmas tree up there on the table! With the girls growing up I think it'll soon be time for a real tree, but for now this will do.
Three years already... Sweet, beautiful, stubborn, happy, funny, impatient playful Rosa!
On days like these I can't help but relive that day: the drive to the hospital, the music we listened to at home and in the car, that same song over and over again... The waiting in that weird, impersonal hospital room, putting on the surgical gown, all those fascinating preparations for surgery that you have no idea of when you don't regularly watch stuff like ER... Seeing the gynaecologist holding a baby above your head, only for a few seconds... And then all that happened in the three years after that moment.
Will it always be this way on December 13? Will I always keep remembering all those moments so ordinary, yet in a strange way so full of meaning? Parking the car at the small parking lot near the hospital, meeting our nurse, the view from the room, the large serving trays with the unsavoury meals... Will I always keep thinking about stuff such as surgery gowns and uncomfortable hospital beds with a smile? Or have I forgotten about most of those details by the time you've grown up, Rosa?
Anyway, today is your birthday, we'll make it a good one!
Your birth announcement
You didn't just come easily, sometimes we almost forget, but never really
I'm Nina, ceramics designer, art/ craft/ design lover and mom of Rosa and Julie. This blog is about the things I make (you can find my online shop here) and the things I love (design, art, craft, interior, fashion, photography). You may have noticed a special emphasis on my two beautiful girls and everything children's design related!
There used to be a second blog on children's clothing, Coolkidsclothes, but it's currently sort of asleep and all the images have vanished temporarily, but I hope to revitalize it real soon.
Meanwhile, lovely children's clothing will be an important part of this blog here as well.
Want to get in touch? You can always send me an email through firstname.lastname@example.org.