Monday, May 31, 2010

An Idea that didn't make it

While working on new press material I came across a design suggestion for my first brochure. We wanted to situate the first pillow collection at a luxury hotel here in Amsterdam. The Hilton Amsterdam is famous for John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 1969 'bed-in for peace" which gave us the idea to reinvent the bed scene. Great idea but there were just too many legal issues to consider. So in the end we did the shoot at Sofitel/Accor's 5 star hotel The Grand. Still love the result (design work by Petra Bullee)!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Only a Glimpse

 "Owl 76" throw in yellow (detail)

 "Owl 76" pillow on the weaving machine

Bless the Dutch Textile Museum

"OWL 76" pillow in blue

I know I have made you curious and the full presentation for the Woonbeurs (Dutch "Maison et Objet") is not ready yet but here is just a glimpse of one of the products that will be on display. In the picture details from my "OWL 76" throw & pillow collection which I have created in co-operation with the Dutch Textile Museum.
I work in an old fashioned way. Graphic design is like algebra to me so I draw or paint all my designs first. My throw is inspired by a 70's owl necklace I bought a few years ago in a small vintage shop around the corner of my appartment. I loved its shape so much that I decided to reinvent it. The throw is woven by the Dutch Textile Museum and consists of 80% mohair and 20% cotton. It is warm and soft and my kids keep fighting over it when they cuddle up under it on the sofa!
The design is very different from my handpainted prints but my booth at the fair will have a bold mix of colours, patterns and styles showing that the not so obvious can work. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Nearing the deadline for my press presentation, hence my posting today! The image is from a postcard that I bought 10 years ago in New York at The Whitney which had a wonderful exhibition of Barbara Kruger. The work "Are we having fun yet?" was one of my favourites but there were many more that made me smile despite their "sharp" edges. Kruger really knows how to hit the nail on the head (this is a Dutch expression and but I am sure that when you see her work you understand what I mean). Still, I am having fun because the presentation is starting to look good and you will see some of it very soon.
Wishing you all the fun you deserve!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Colour Palette: Purple-Yellow-Turquois-Red

People often ask me about my creative process. Where do I get my inspiration from. How do I choose my combination of colours. Inspiration is all around me. My brain stores impressions, I collect things I find attractive, whether it is a piece of packaging, a vintage book or beads. I hardly ever make sketches before I start on a painting or design. I mix a cocktail in my head with all the ingredients I want to use: colours, objects and patterns. I don't follow rules but simply follow my instinct
To visualize I took a snapshot of some items that inspired me for my Red blossom oil paintings and pillows: coral coloured beads, Tiffany blue box, Aqua di Parma egg yellow box, vintage books in purple & yellow (altough I found the yellow "David Copperfield" after the process but bought it of its closeness in colour to the egg yellow of Aqua di Parma) and to conclude the result: a "Red Blossom" swatch in satin silk. Curious to know where you get your inspiration from!

And to my followers, especially the new ones. Thank you for all your lovely comments on my blog and sorry I haven't responded to you all yet. This bee is still busy working on her 1st of June deadline for a press presentation for the Dutch "Maison et Objet"!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Busy Bee

Limited edition Blue bird pillows 

 Mr Smith's Blossom (Limited edition of 50 giclee)

Today I am trying to catch up with a couple of things as over the weekend I was working non stop. Yesterday I was in Leiden all day exhibiting at the Japan Market organized by Het Sieboldhuis museum and sponsored amongst others by the Japanese Embassy. Sieboldhuis is a small museum where traditional Japanese artefacts and object collections are shown as well as Japanese modern art. It was a beautiful sunny day and the stalls were perched along the historic canal "Het Rapenburg" (dating back to 1360!) where the Sieboldhuis is located.  I am sorry to say that I have no pictures of the event this time. I was simply too busy talking to the many visitors. I love the whole interaction and feedback on my work, staying close to my (potential) customers. What I can share with you is some of the top items of the day.
1. Blue Bird Pillows. Made in Holland, printed on 100% satin silk, backed by Irish Linen. Available in 3 sizes 35x50cm, 40x40cm and 50x50cm.
2. Mr Smith's Blossom. A colourful giclee, 45x45cm. Limited edition of 50, printed in The Netherlands by Waterland Art Press.
3. Okura Boxed Notecards. 10 double notecards, with envelopes, blank inside (2x5 designs). The Okura hotel commissioned me to create 5 designs for their Michelin star chef Akira Oshima. The designs on the front each correspond with a Japanese recipe on the back. Fun to give as a present when you are invited for dinner or just to write a thank you note!


And I would like to anounce the winner op the beautiful gem pin handmade by Anook Cleonne, a gifted Dutch artist who's work is in the collections of many established Musea in the Netherlands. It goes to blog follower Jacqueline in Italy who dedicated the pin to an old friend that recently helped here out when she could not fly to Italy because of the ashes of the Iceland Vulcano. In stead he drove her all the way!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Miami Maven

Meet Eva Uribe-Roepers, Miami maven and founder of Interdecorations. A few months back Eva  approached me with the question whether she could represent me and become distributor of my textile designs in the US. She couldn't have come at a better moment as I was already tinkering with the idea having set my first step into Canada where Hollace Cluny (Toronto) sells my pillow line. The fact that Eva only recently established her company and that she has no formal background in the interior design industry did not withhold me to engage her. I love her dedication, passion and enthousiasm for my products. She called me today to share that the date for my first event in Miami has been comfirmed. I will share details with you within a week or two. Miami here I come!
Eva also sells my pillow designs, original oils and screenprints to retail through her webstore (until 31st of July free delivery within the US!). Welcome Eva and if my US blogging friends have any suggestions as to store locations in the US that would be the right fit for my products we would love to hear!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Yesterday I had time again to play in my studio. I spend a few hours working on a new series for which I have decided to paint over work that I am not pleased with. Nothing better than recycling. I have also been rearranging furniture and creating little dispays as I am having a photoshoot tomorrow in preparation for the Dutch "Maison et Objet" de "Woonbeurs" in September. Deadline for press kit is 1st of June (...."keep calm and carry on")! In the picture a new painting I am working on inspired by Gerberas and vintage vases.

At the end of the day I went with friend Josephine to an inspiring art opening of Contemporary Aboriginal Art at Leslie Smith Gallery. I love the purity and apparent simplicity of this artform. The dedication and patience of the artists is absolutely amazing. In the picture we are standing in front of a beautiful piece by Nancy Ross Nungurrayi I.M. Thank you David (son of Leslie) for showing this work in Amsterdam!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Beautiful Shari of Little Blue Deer blog is doing a give away! Her blog is one of my favourite daily doses of inspiration. Shari is very resourceful, creative & fun!
The give away is a set of boxed notecards that I designed for the Royal Delft museum last year in celebration of 400 years trade relations between The Netherlands and Japan. Each illustration contains a Delft blue object from the Museum collection combined with blossoms. There are 10 (2x5 designs) double cards in the box, blank inside for your own message, with envelopes. So far I have designed 16 boxed note card series with different themes, including a culinary range. You can check out all designs on my webstore. And if you are not winning this box there will be another opportunity soon at another beautiful blog...

A big THANK YOU to Shari for hosting my give away!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Highs & Lows

Everybody is familiar with days that are filled with highs and lows (and if you are not you must be from another planet).  To mention a few from my side:

* Featured by wonderful Louise on Table Tonic blog
* Featured with give away by beautiful Shari on Little Blue Deer
* Fabulous Dawn of The Alternative Wife blog as follower number 100
* Moving into my new inspiring studio
* Painting for 4 hours non stop in my new studio

* Hardly time for blogging, let alone responding..
* Hardly time for following my blogger sisters (and brothers), let alone commenting..
* MAJOR car trouble (bless my apple green bike as back-up)..
* A house that feels "amputated" as I moved 4 car loads into my new studio (probably my car feels it too)
* ONLY 4 hours of painting since a week

BUT I am still happy to live the highs and the lows, there is nothing more human!

NOTE: If you wish to add a bit of high to your day enter the give away on Shari's Little Blue Deer blog, a set of 10 boxed notecards that I designed for the Royal Delft museum.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thank You Table Tonic Australia!

We are all girls (and boys) doing our best, every day with what we are and what we have (after Elizabeth Gilbert). Since getting into the blogosphere last year October I continue to be amazed every single day by the enormous energy, passion, drive and talent of the blogging community. A whole new world has opened to me. The mutual respect and support, new friendships, bucket loads of inspiration and food for thought. Yes it is virtual but at times also very personal. Today I "appeared" on Table Tonic's blog. Every day Louise Bell manages to post so many fantastic impulses for our brain that I keep wondering how she does it, being a mum of two, running the succesful Table Tonic webstore, happily married to an equal busy man.....A big thank you Louise for taking time to do such a wonderful posting on my work! And for those of you who are not a follower or client of Louise yet do check out her inspiring blog and delicious webstore.

Note: The winner of the give away "You are a Gem" by Dutch artist Anook Cleonne will be announced this Friday. Entries are still welcome (we extended the period due to the 2 week May holiday in The Netherlands). For information click here!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Women with Passion - Elizabeth Gilbert

"I get up every single day and I do my very best with what I am and what I have.."
"My head isn't a neigbourhood you would want to walk in,  alone at night at certain times..."  Elizabeth Gilbert

YES I have on online subscription to Oprah's newsletters :). My daily good vibe injections.  One of the feautures today was a talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, gifted author of Eat, Pray, Love. A woman which many of us can relate to. She is clever, funny and knows oh so well she is only human as we all are with our shortcomings...She advocates not to beat ourselves up all the time as we are merely doing our best!
Do check out the video on to see her wonderful, up-beat talk. I can assure you it will make you smile at yourself (with maybe a little tear here and there..)!


Progressing slowly but steadily. The feature wall is purple and we have been moving easels, cabinets and lots more to the new space. My house feels a bit amputated. I have gotten so used to having everything around me. With time it will grow back I am sure.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Yesterday after signing the contract and receiving my keys first thing that had to be tackled was cleaning the space. My parents have always said that I must have fallen into the wrong nest because I am just not born for cleaning. Thank god I took the fabulous Patricia with me who made it all more bearable.
My new space is in an office building from the 70s that has been renovated to accomodate the growing population of Urban Creatives here in Amsterdam. Working from home is great but here I am surrounded by the creative vibes of others. Today we are going to paint and start moving stuff. Tomorrow I will post pictures of the progress. The feature wall is going to be purple, but it took me a a while to decide on the shade after Will's (Bright Bazaar) inspiring purple posting !

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Making a Move!

This morning I am getting the key to my new studio cum showroom. I am so excited! I will keep you posted on the progress, the before and after. Another space to play with....

...oh and I have put my old banner up on my blog again because some of my followers have indicated they prefer that one. I am not sure yet and it doesn't fit the recent changes I made on the layout (the banner is too short). well it wil just have to do for the moment!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Going in Circles

There are days that I feel I am going in circles. Too long behind my Mac browsing, tinkering with words and with one eye staring to the canvas on my easel. I am in the first place an artist and designer and find my self struggling with not enough hours in a day, trying to find the right balance between spending time on my art and designs, social media, marketing/sales, motherhood, book keeping, being a lovely man's girlfriend.... I love my work and have therefor decided to take action. I have rented a wonderful studio/showroom just 10 minutes cycling from my house where I can focus more on my creativity. No worries I will keep on blogging and reading and responding, but I will do it more "concentrated".
In the pictures my currrent workspot and the design I should have finished by now to send to my textile producer. All pictures are taken by gifted graphic designer and photographer Petra Bullee.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

To my Mum with Love


My Fabulous Mum

I love my mother to bits but when I was younger we had our differences at times. Especially in puberty I could be a daugther from hell. Walking away when I felt she wasn't right about things. I would smash the front door screaming "I hate you and I will not come back".. Oh boy.... Once you have children of your own you start to realize and consequently appreciate more and more how valuable your mother (and father of course) are. A mother will alsways be a mother and you will remain a child to her. Age is insignificant. She will continue to be the protective lioness. My last few years have been turbulent. Divorce, giving up my corporate carreer to pursue my artistic dreams. Diving into deep water leaving my comfortable life behind.  My mum (and dad) lovingly support me in all my drastic, at times scary decisions. I love you mum, happy Mothers Day xoxox 

...and don't forget to submit for the give away "You're a Gem" from Dutch artist Anook Cleonne. A beautiful gem pin!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Painting The Town Orange - Queensday revisited

Yesterday it was Liberation Day so I better do my post on Queensday (April 30) now before it is long overdue. On Queensday Amsterdam turns into a crazy town. People start claiming a spot on the sidewalk already days before the actual day by using tape, flags, ribbons etc. The freemarket starts at 6 a.m. in the morning and people often sleep outside overnight. It looks like one big homeless people town but eveyone has fun and it is difficult to explain if you have never seen and experienced it. All pictures are actually taken in one of Amsterdam's most expensive neigboorhoods (Amsterdam Zuid). On the day most people wear something orange and everyone is allowed to sell almost anything without having to have a permit. I took many photographs but here are just a few to give you a taste!


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