Ninainvorm
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About a year ago we slightly impulsively bought ourselves a house. And I must say we're quite happy we did. Living here has been much fun and very comfortable, and sometimes it's hard to imagine what living in our previous apartment was like. Two kids, second and third floor, lots of stairs, no elevator! How did we do that? But of course we managed, and I'm sure it would still have been possible to live there in a more or less convenient way today. But this is much better!

However lately we've also been confronted with this other side of 'being homeowners'. And I must say I've started to revalue renting ;). Sometimes it seems like every other day something breaks down or needs maintenance. A leaking water boiler, a broken tap, a door that doesn't close properly anymore, a door lock that's broken, a leaking radiator, a toilet cistern that keeps flushing for hours... Things keep being added to the list, sometimes on a daily basis.

The house wasn't in very bad condition or anything when we bought it, and we thought we'd done most of the necessary maintenance before we moved in last summer. But apparently there has been some more deferred maintenance, and well maybe this maintenance thing is just some sort of ongoing task for the rest of your non-renting life. What I realize mainly is that when you're renting (from a good landlord) it's all so easy: just one phonecall with your complaint and they take care of it. But now often I even have to figure out first what kind of complaint I actually have and what kind of repairman could be the right person to solve it...

And I know that this is all 'investing in your own property' and all that, but it's just such a bummer to see such large amounts of money flood to all kinds of service men... Honestly I just want to spend hundreds of Euros on all kinds of frivolous interior items and not on new toilet flushing systems and boiler repairs! ;)

Ah well, I think if we keep going at this pace we'll have replaced the complete house by the end of this year ;).

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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!

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With a knit suit that perfectly matches her cheerful character, Julie's ready to face the cold. Though maybe we'd better not send her to Sochi, they might think she's on some sort of mission there ;).

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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!

Reliving those days... #1 and #2

Your birth announcement

The bellies (including the fear of shrinking... still hoping for a bit more of that these days!)

You didn't just come easily, sometimes we almost forget, but never really

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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!

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Right now I think it's best if I just keep knitting easy stripe scarves, but that doesn't mean there aren't any other ways to provide Julie with lovely knit clothes. I've already found some very good knitters online, but let's not forget about my mom, who recently made Julie the perfect red wool dungarees!

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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!

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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 ;).

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This saturday it's time again for one of the nicest handmade, craft & design blog events of the year: the Yvestown fair. Please come and visit us in Lommel, Belgium if you have the chance! Here you can find all the information about this year's fair and look back at the lovely one last year. I already look forward to get inspired again by all the beautiful handmade items and designs. For me this last year has been very much about having another baby and particularly about all the fuss that comes with moving house, and I have missed making things and being surrounded and inspired by the things that other people make. So I can't wait to be part of the Yvestown fair again, hope to meet you there!

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Each time I move to a new house I catch myself saying it: this time I'll go for lots of crisp white walls. No more crazy colors, no more carnival, I've grown up now and I will choose a more quiet, natural and sophisticated style... And to a certain extent I tried very well this time: particularly downstairs we have lots of white walls, a white kitchen and a rustic wooden floor. But the call of the fabulous wallpapers is so hard to resist! So I started collecting my favorites on a small pinterest board , and somehow within almost no time I ended up with at least one beautiful and bold wallpaper for each room of the house. But you must believe that there are white walls next to each of these! ;)

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About Ninainvorm

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 ik_ben_nina@hotmail.com.

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