Tuesday, December 29, 2015

wilder mann - folk rituals in europe

Somehow European culture - the folk and rituals part of it - is in my genes. 

If I had time I would spend most of my days doing research on this particular cultural field. What I love about this pre-Christian culture is the leading role for nature and the cycle of life. 

Filling up my 'celebrate' board on Pinterest I came across these pictures taken by French photographer Charles Fréger for his book Wilder Mann. Fréger visited 18 European countries, photographing people performing ancient rituals. They dress up as savages, devils, bears and goats to celebrate the seasonal cycle, fertility, life, and death.

This book is an important European document. Not because I think that ancient traditions should be preserved at all costs. But it shows us how people gave and still give meaning to their simple daily life in a very personal and authentic way.  Maybe it can encourage us to invent our own beautiful rituals that suit the modern times we live in.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

christmas: 8 easy peasy projects - DIY

All I want for Christmas is...TIME! Just some little spare time to do a few small craft projects. Maybe more because of the meditative part of the crafting itself than for the stunning result. However, when I see these lovely easy peasy projects I found on Pinterest I might go for the results as well! 

From top left: 
  • For small houses, a flat wall-hanging christmas tree. www.domino.com
  • A complete advent village, cut and built in a few hours. www.abeautifulmess.com 
  • And my own free printable christmas lights, they were on my blog a few years ago, I still kind of like them. You can download them here: last-minute-christmas-lights 
  • Completely my cup of tea: a paper cut christmas wreath. www.fallfordiy.com
  • What about this easy wool bulbs? You can make wonderful variations with different kinds of wool I think. www.sinnenrausch.blogspot.es
  • If I can lay my hand on pine pipecleaners somewhere (never heard of before!) I will definately make these pine-snowflakes! www.camillestyles.com
  • I would love to make 10 small versions of this cranberry wreath/crown to decorate the plates on the christmas table with.  www.papernstitchblog.com
  • 'Words on the wall' version 2.0: moss-sheet letters! www.themerrythought.com

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

loena - magical glowing patterns in the dark

You might know them already, these Loena lanterns by Nathan and Tineke from the Dutch Design brand Ontwerpduo. I bought the lamp about one year ago and forgot to blog about it. In the meantime they have been designing dozens of new incredibly beautiful things (amazing glas pendant lights for instance). But I had to start somewhere catching up with my blogposts!
Besides: I love my Loena lamp, especially switched off, it makes me not want to leave the room, because of the magic that happens in the paper as soon as it gets dark. 

I love Ontwerpduo's dreaminess, their nostalgia and the fact that every one of their designs could be a prop in a beautiful fairytale. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

my autumn on insta

I guess September and October are my favorite months of the year to spend in nature. The fading colors, the fog in the morning, the sunrises... I tried to capture it during my morning walks and posted the pics on Instagram.
The gift (wrapped in paper and tags I designed for Ompak) was for my mother's birthday. She is heaving a hard time, seperated from my dad and in a nursing home. As for the autumn flowers: I bought 2 identical bunches, one for my father and one for my mother. Tried to connect them this way.
I received a lovely gift from a colleague/friend (last row, first pic). She produces these fantastic scented soy candles with pure etheric oils. This one has Basil as its ingredient, and it spreads a very subtle, refined 'small' scent in your home. I've become a big fan of LOCHT!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

leap & launch

I am back on the blog! Designing, doing business (trade fairs) and taking pics for Instagram was totally absorbing me in the past 5 months. I am so sorry for 'not being there' for such a long time...

LEAP: I am taking a huge leap here - from summer to winter - there's so many new things to share!


I never had a consumer shop, I saw myself as a designer/wholesaler in the first place. But in this last year I saw I was the last of the Mohicans: all of my fellow designers and wholesale colleagues had already started their own webshops. Finally I can say 'yes' to private customers that would like to buy one or two designs from me personally...

And there are lots of new designs! 

CERAMICS:  Maybe you can remember what a long and complicated road I had to travel to get my ceramic cups called Ode (see below) produced. 

The cups are now temporarily being produced in Holland (great to have short lines and good quality) but because of the high costs, there is no decent margin in it for me. I am busy finding manufacturers in Portugal. In the meantime my wonderful Dutch try out production is selling like crazy!

Somehow I felt like designing a softer and more mature version of the Sing angels (which were recently reprinted). The new ones called Himli angels have soft pastels, greyish colours and small patterns.

And last but not least I designed 2 new XL angels. A dusk blue one and a white one, both with graphic black prints. Of course the first XL angels from 2013 are still there (be it limited), so now there's an angel for every style and taste!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

1001 little lights - magazine and fair

1001 Lichtjes is a Dutch portal and webshop for contemporary, stylish and authentic products and services related to comfort, farewell, mourning and remembering.

Owner Liesbeth Steur was one of the first persons I told about the new Rite de Passage lightboats when I launched them. Because it was Liesbeth who contacted me years ago with a request for it, and back then I told her sailing lightboats were definately in my planning, just didn't know when...

1001 Lichtjes has it's own fabulous E-zine, and I am sorry dear readers: it's in Dutch, like the website. So for the Dutch readers: somewhere at the end there's an interview with me about my personal reasons to design the boats.

And....there will be a 1001 Lichtjes Fair on Sunday the 7th of June. It will be held in an historic industrial/religious location (it once was a church ánd a metal factory!): the Metaalkathedraal in Utrecht.

Amongst the fair participants there is for example Miranda van Dijk, who designs these wonderful textile photo flowers and leaves, see photo below. And of course you can see my Rite lightboats floating and my Weave lanterns shining (and everything is for sale!).

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

another reality

When I looked at my Photography Pinterest board today it struck me that I have a preference for poetic shadows and reflections and for people portrayed in an undefined way (without faces).

I use this board as a counterpart for the photo's of the harsh reality I find in the daily newspaper. My board may look dreamy but is not a dream; these photo's just depict another world, another reality... Thanks dear photographers for making it visible!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

NEW - doing the dishes

Yay, I am so happy: since last week I can say I have a Collection (capital C ;-) of 4 tea towels! Since my new tea towel designs Rosary Vine and Pear are now available too!
The fun thing is: producing these last two tea towels costed me hardly any energy.

Designing/producing the first 2 called Spore and LookUP was the hardest part: it took us almost a year of sampling before I had the right kind of  fabric, before the loop and the labels were correct and placed at the right corner, the cardboard sleeve printed on the right paper with the right colour...

Since the towel was ok now I only had to design 2 different new prints, nothing else. What a luxury!

The print on the Rosary Vine tea towel is based on a simple hanging plant in my studio. I had been looking for inspiration for days, while there it was, right beside me on the cabinet! I also found my inspiration for Pear close to home, in my fruit bowl: nearby, simple, and what a beautiful shape! 
My tea towels carry the GOTS organic logo and the Fairtrade label! These arent just any old pictograms. The entire chain from the seed to the stitching done in the factory meets the strict organic and fair-trade requirements. 
If you are interested to buy one (or two, or the complete collection, hihi) you can find a stockist near you (worldwide) here. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

a 'small life' on instagram

Looking at the pictures of my Instagram feed it strikes me that I lead a 'small life', in the sense that it fits in the palm of my hand. A great deal of my life takes place in my village, in my home, in the nature behind my house early in the morning. There are days (like once a week) that I feel the urge for people, noise, food for the eye (shops, museums). So I arrange some 'official meetings' in my old hometown Amsterdam (only 20 min. from here) with enough breaks in between to walk around, do a little shopping or visit an exhibition. This way I keep my small life balanced!