Cyber Monday or just some last minute Sinterklaas shopping? If you use the coupon code BLOGSALE in my shop, you'll get a 15% discount on all your purchases till December 5!
As usual my PR is terrible (and late in particular ;)), but tomorrow afternoon I'll be sharing a boot with Ellen Vesters from Urlaub shop at the Le Bazarre market in the centre of Utrecht. The Market is at Neude (the biq square) in the heart of the city, so super close to the Central Station as well. If the weather is not to bad and you're in the area, do pay us a visit!
I'll be bringing lots of new work that I've been making these last few weeks, particularly ceramics, but also new posters, prints and postcards. Since I like round numbers for markets, everything will be sold at reduced prices.
I'll be adding some of these to the shop as well today, but they'll be gone to the market tomorrow and I can't guarantee they'll return home again;).
Hope to meet you tomorrow!
I've added a lot of new art prints and larger (A3 sized) art prints/posters to the shop these last few days. First of all there's the You are so so easy to love print, printed on very beautiful heavy textured fine art paper, that comes both in A3 and A4 size.
Then there's the patches print, available in A4 size in this colorway...
... and another one.
... and also in pink.
And here you can find the new red version of the l'amour toujours print.
Some love, anyone? ;)
Still in the middle of this whole process... The more Autumn starts to surround me, the more colors pop into the designs. I guess I'm not really this kind of person who makes her home 'winter ready' by putting some 'warm neutrals and soft, natural materials' into her home, like you're supposed to do according to all the decorating magazines... ;) Bright colors for winter I say!
Print is scary. It's fun to just keep drawing, doodling and designing forever, to keep altering things and never reach a 'final design' that's ready for print. One of the nice things of making one of a kind ceramics is that each piece is a blank canvas, you can just try an idea and if it works out okay that's nice, and if it doesn't you just start something new. It doesn't have to be as final and perfect that it justifies a large print edition, one person who really likes it and buys it is enough ;).
Well lately I've been in this process of doodling, drawing, designing, cutting, pasting, altering and changing endlessly, and the good part is that I like it a lot and that I have an amazing photo printer here that makes the nicest prints, so that I can just print a few copies of each possible idea and don't have to go down the road of huge print editions yet. But the bad part is that it leaves me terribly indecisive, and that I may stay in this indecisive place for like ever.
Therefore I thought I'd share a few images of what I've been working at. Maybe some of these will be added to the shop soon, but -guess what- I haven't made up my mind yet which ones. Any thoughts that may help me are welcome!
So, a big box we had, and I realized that it would be the perfect testcase for a very rudimentary playhouse. You know, cut a door opening and a window in it and then just see if the girls would use their fantasy to make it more than just that big cardboard box. I had a busy work day in front of me, so I quickly grabbed a sharp knife and within five minutes the rudimentary playhouse appeared.
Since my technical craft skills are on a very rudimentary level as well, the cardboard playhouse of course looked terrible. Definitely not like the beautiful playhouse that I had envisioned when I first mentioned it to Helmut. So I quickly grabbed my camera and took the above picture, which I emailed to Helmut: 'Within a little while, you will be begging me for a beautiful playhouse instead!'
But of course even a very rudimentary playhouse needs a little bit of fun, so I added the paper bunting that Rosa and I had been crafting together a few days before...
And then I thought: wouldn't it be fun if they can peek through that front door?
And then I thought: this terribly ugly playhouse would look at least a little bit better with a roof on it...
And with their names written on it, and when drawing and doodling anyway, why not add some more?
But what a playhouse really needs, is curtains...
At this point I started thinking I was a little crazy, putting way too much of my time and energy into a big cardboard box that probably wouldn't last for more than a few days' play. But it was just such a fun thing to do, and I couldn't help but imagine how happy and surprised Rosa would be when she'd come home from daycare and see her little house. And well, okay, I was kind of challenged to win this argument too ;).
Since I like to win my battles based on the right arguments (something I've always been extremely good at ;)), I organized the whole offensive carefully. I prepared our video camera, so that I could immediately start filming once I brought the girls home from daycare. And their reaction to the surprise didn't disappoint at all: I was able to make an amazing little video of Rosa (and to a lesser extent Julie too) going crazy with enthusiasm when she saw her playhouse.
When he arrived home all I had to do was show Helmut the video, and when I saw the look on his face I knew this was a battle won. Well I guess you'd need a heart of stone to resist the joy Rosa expressed ;).
By now the playhouse has been played with for over a week, and it's been a big hit with both Rosa and all of her friends (even with the elder ones!). But with all this enthusiastic and wild play the house is already suffering quite a bit. So when I later casually brought up the subject of a real playhouse again, it was Helmut who said: 'This cardboard house has the perfect size for a playhouse, hasn't it? So we'd need something approximately this size.' And when I started explaining my idea to maybe build something ourselves with plywood sheets, he even nodded with something that could be explained as careful enthusiasm. At least that's what I'd like to think ;).
So to be continued I guess!
Hobbies, you'd better start not too many of them... I always hear myself complain about lack of time, yet I keep starting on new things. When I saw this super simple tutorial on printing on children's clothes at Anki's blog I knew I had to try it some time. And since I've always been a friend of buying way too many craft supplies and a huge pile of clothes at once, then getting started immediately without reading the manual properly, and that way destroying the whole bunch and throwing everything in a corner after the first attempt (remember this one?), I thought this would be something for me ;). Not to blame the tutorial for that by the way, which is good and easy, it's just me who does this kind of thing!
And guess what: it's fairly simple and lots of fun, the paint seems to last through laundry even though like always I hadn't read the manual properly (the manual is about thirteen words, saying something like 'use ink on already washed fabric and iron after the ink has dried', but somehow I had managed to miss the 'use on already washed fabric' part and had started printing on brand new stuff ;)) and therefore I haven't already thrown all the supplies in a corner, but in fact I've bought some more and now have a whole pile of clothes waiting to be printed...
And now I quickly must go back to all my neglected knitting projects, I still have a bunch of those to finish too!
I haven't quite chosen any kind of official career path, and when people ask me what I do I never know what to call myself. Periods of satisfaction and happiness about what I do are regularly alternated with periods of doubt, in which I feel that all of this isn't really leading anywhere. Then all the good things that happened so far seem a stroke of luck that I don't know how to continue with.
I often experience such a period of doubt after I've been 'absent' for a while. I felt this way when I started working again after my maternity leave from Rosa, and now after this long period of Julie's maternity leave and the months in which we were busy moving house I feel it again. There's this mix of lots of ideas on the one hand yet on the other hand not knowing if they're good ones and how to get started with them. The feeling that I should improve and renew, invest or take big steps, but not exactly knowing how.
And then in the middle of such a period the most beautiful book arrives on my doorstep: Print & pattern kids, this huge and gorgeous children's print, pattern and illustration bible by Print & Pattern's Bowie Style. With some pages showing my designs inbetween pages featuring the work of illustration, print and design icons such as Alain Gree, Marimekko, Orla Kiely and Cath Kidston, and many other great designers and illustrators. Yikes! Must have done something right somehow ;).
The book is crazily inspiring, so many different styles of print and illustration, you just want to immediately grab your pencils and start drawing. I suppose that's a warning ;).
... I guess I still hadn't fully realized that nothing in this house is really mine anymore!
Anyway, the scarf was finished a while ago and it's super warm and cozy, and Rosa seems to agree ;).
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 email@example.com.