Monthly Archives: May 2014

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A sunday at the NDSM Docks

On sunday we went to the NDSM Docks in Amsterdam, in Dutch also known as the NDSM Werf. From Amsterdam Central Station we hopped on a ferry (free rides!) that took us over the IJ in about 15 minutes to the north of Amsterdam where the docks are located. A sign in the water tells you that the place is beyond belief and it really is. The whole area looks like an incredible movie set full of industrial buildings, some abandoned and some occupied by cool companies and cafe’s. But there is more that meets the eye. You can find lots of hidden places all around, like a city beach, old street cars, lots of graffiti and other great artworks made by talented artists.

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After walking around and discovering a little bit we dropped by Pllek for a drink. Their place consists of old sea containers in which they build a cafe and lots of places to sit. Outside they have a city beach and terrace with picknick tables. If you want to sit on the beach, you can grab a beach chair or bean bag from one of their sea containers. We grabbed ourselves two bean bags and had a drink near the water.
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Oh how I love swings, couldn’t resist this one of course!
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We ended our visit with a piece of cheesecake at Cafe Noorderlicht.cheesecake 1

How I learned to enjoy the little things in life

 

little things

I’m thinking a lot about life these days. One year ago I was so incredibly stressed out at this time of the year. I was about to finish my education (Office Management) which caused me so much stress and head troubles. It wasn’t sure if I would graduate in time and I had to do a last-minute internship in Amsterdam. I had been struggling for quite some years, never quite sure about what to do in life, which education would be the right one etc.. It resulted in me making the wrong choices again and again. It was so frustrating! Everyone else around me seemed so sure about what path to choose and what to do next that I felt more and more insecure about everything I did. In the end I graduated a little bit later than the rest, last September. Over the summer I was literally exhausted from all the stress and worries I’ve had for months. I took a long break over the summer, did a road trip in France and read a lot of books.

That summer I also learned to work with Illustrator and got myself a drawing tablet. Drawing is one of the things that have always calmed me down, ever since I was a young girl. Somehow over the years I lost that as a hobby. Coming back to it felt so good! I discovered that designing might be what I wanted to do in life, but I didn’t want to go back to school since I was 25 and totally done with school. I started teaching myself how to design with the help of youtube tutorials and Lynda courses. I loved seeing a flyer I designed unexpectedly turning up at a theatre while visiting. I’m making a lot of progress in these last few months and experienced that Illustrating is the thing I would like to focus on. I actually sold one of my designs recently which made me so happy and gave me the strength and courage to continue my designing career.

I hear from a lot of people that my life looks so good to them, based on photo’s I share. And they are so right! I love how my life has turned around in one year. I might be at one of my happiest moments in life and I realise that everyday. That doesn’t mean however that I don’t experience any though moments in life, because I really do. Starting out as an illustrator is not easy, the competition is crazy! All those people that make the most incredible designs, actually went to school for it, it can really make me doubt myself and my own designs. I also have very little money coming in which can be so frustrating since life is expensive. The thing that keeps me going at such moments is the happy feeling I  get when I’m designing. I am so thankful to Rene (who works fulltime) that he gives me the chance to do what I love. He encourages me daily and calms me down at the moments I’m freaking out or feeling anxious.

I’ve really learned how to enjoy the little things. Little things that I didn’t even notice in my stressful periods. Simple things as:
* drinking a good cup of coffee at a nice place
* flowers that are in bloom
* sitting at the table while having long conversations about life and love
* the way the light falls in from outside
* how a small breeze plays with my summer dress
* watching the world go by while going for a morning walk

urban gardening

 

Weekend Scenes

Weekends are for fuelling up, this was one of those weekends. We went to the saturday market to buy some local fruits and vegetables and made a smoothie. Saturday evening was spent at Bar Wolkers where we had organised an evening filled with live music. Sunday was a relaxing day spent drinking coffee, a walk in the forest and watching movies.

Today is an extra weekend day because we celebrate our freedom in the Netherlands, we did this ever since the Second World War ended. There are a lot of free festivals everywhere and the sun is out so I had a great time at the festival here in Haarlem. I think after these 3 days that I’m ready to start working again tomorrow!

How was your weekend?

DSC00005DSC00019Delicious green smoothie! Made out of pineapple, mango, avocado, almond milk and chia seeds.

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Goodbye April, Hello May

April was quite a productive month. I’ve done a lot of designing this month and am about to open up my Etsy shop (probably next week). I have been stuck in a designers block these first months of the year. I am very happy I can finally do some decent designing again. I will show show you some of my work as soon as my shop opens.

April was also a month full of chocolate (oh Easter!) and a lot of running and cycling to stay healthy. Here are some of my favorite moments of April:

bleijBleij Rotterdam

The first weekend of april was spent in Rotterdam for Motel Mozaique, a festival with lots of good music, art and theatre. Our favorites were Ásgeir, Matthew & The Atlas, Kurt Vile, Angel Olsen, Moddi and Erlend Øye. We also visited a lot of great places like Bleij above, they have the most delicious icecream and pizza’s. Love the colours they used in their interior.

RotterdamErasmusbrug rotterdamThe Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam and a posing seagull.

bageltimelunchtimefluffy pancakesA lot of time was spend at the table enjoying breakfast, lunch and dinners. I love to sit at the table and talk, read and draw for hours in the weekends. I also folded my first paper crane and it turned out pretty nice (beyond my own expectation).

Staal haarlemstaal haarlem 2Visited STAAL in Haarlem for the first time.

easter breakfastWe had two big Easter brunches, one was with my parents, with way too much food.

grandma's poffertjesLast saturday we celebrated the first Kingsday in the Netherlands. We had a ritual at Queensday to eat Grandma’s poffertjes (they are like tiny pancakes and very Dutch) so we continued with this ritual on this first Kingsday.

apartment corner

We found this old Atak Inka at an antique market and fell in love with it. We took it home and we’ll take it with us soon on a small holiday trip to a yet unknown place.