The houses of my village - The Goose

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As most of you might know, I live in a tiny typical old dutch village just above Amsterdam. There are many lovely houses in my neighborhood that are sooo drawable, I started a little project: Houses of my village.

This very first: a little dike house (as the name suggests it's build on a typical dutch dike along the road though the village). The funny thing about this house it that the front garden houses a little ceramic goose that wears a different outfit every season! I've been told that the neighbor knits the goose's capes and hats.  In summer the owner sells (delicious!) heirloom tomatoes on a table aside of the road. These things make me happy :-)

Botanical sketches

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Some flowers and plant sketches from the sketchbook. Even though I do draw other items for commissions and other assignments, I mostly enjoy drawing botanical themed things. Even when I doodle - the flower heads in the middle and the yellow ones on the left were done while listening to a lecture - flowers and plants automatically flow from my pencil ;-).

London + a surprise in the end...


Last weekend me and M went on a city trip to London (the toddler had his own party and the grandparents house...) while at home our bathroom was being renovated. Because we were both feeling a bit under the weather (as the english put it so elegantly), we decided to take it slow and mostly focus on good food ;-).

Our hotel was the Premier Inn in Shoreditch (which I can totally recommend. Not the most exciting exterior but inside is lovely and good quality for a good price) and lucky us, we had a room with bath and a very very comfortable bed!

With the good food in mind we went to Fifteen (by Jamie Oliver, location: 15 westland Place) on the first night and had a mouth watering three course dinner served by the superfriendly staff.

The next day, we decided to go look for a tiny little shop I've been wanting to go to for years: Ryan Town, the brick and mortar shop by british illustrator and paper cut artist Robert Ryan. When arrrived at the spot, the shop was still closed till 12 so we decided to wait for it to open while having lunch at a cute place nearby (second picture).
When back at the shop we discovered we were quite lucky to be there as the shop was about to close for good after february 28th! I bought a lovely book and a little plate.

At night we ate at Blixen (Old Spitalfields Market), under an orange tree :-).

Then, on sunday 14th I was in for a big surprise... We booked a table at Ottolenghi (the chef from the Plenty cookbooks, location: 50 artillery lane) and after a delicious dinner, while enjoying our desert M popped THE QUESTION!!! Whaaaaaa! (I said YES, by the way).
The lovely people at Ottolenghi came to congratulate us and brought some sweet presents (see below).
Wow, what a weekend!

Ps. Back home, I got hit by a serious flu but that could not spoil my good mood... I'll be shopping for wedding dresses soon!!! ;-)



Copycats, sadly enough I get to deal with this quite often... It's sad, uncreative and not cool!
I cannot understand how one can think it is ok to steal and use someone's work, something I worked really hard on (no, even if you're a professional illustrator, ideas and style do not come overnight, it requires hard work and dedication) and make a living with.

It varies from Asian companies printing your work on tees/ bags/ etc to happy crafters who do not understand the line between inspiration and stealing. This time it was someone who thought it to be ok to post a tutorial on how to make my Instant Comfort Pocket Boxes and using my cover design. After poining out to her this is in violation with copywrite law she promissed not to use my covers but to make them with her own design and added that she did credit me in the post (she even said to feel hurt by my accusations as 'she worked so hard to make her own designs'...). That sound to me like poring chocolate sauce over rotten meat, it still is stealing my idea! Unfortunately she did not understand this at all (even when others were commenting on her post that this was not ok)...

Every time it happens I promiss myself not to let it get to me but every time I feel so sad... And to be frank, I want to cry about it. Copywrite is such a delicate and hard thing to address that it sometimes feels that everything you send out into the world could be taken from you. It brings a certain cramped feeling to my work I do not enjoy.

My work is about joy, about being nice to each other, about being thoughful. I want to hold this feeling, I love sharing and bringing happiness, it makes me feel good and connected to others.
I truely hope that some day it will be universally considered not done to copy or steal work and everyone will be creative and honest enough to only spread their own original ideas and designs.

I wish you all an inspirational, creative and joyful week.

Super Bib DIY

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 I don't know about other toddlers but mine can make diner quite a messy ordeal (Oh horror - tomato sauce!). Since he started to hold his own spoon/ fork, bibs always seemed too small...
So, I took matters in my own hands and came up with the mess-proof bib: The Super BiB! Your child will be fully covered so no scrubbing on those hip (but oh so expensive) cute clothes.
Best of all, you can DIY it in about 15 minutes!

I've made my toddler a few and he is covered from shoulders to (about) knees. Because the towel fabric is thick and fluffy, no stains pass through the fabric and it holds shape (I've also tried dishcloths but these proofed too thin).

What you need
+ a kitchen towel
+ bias tape (that stuff with two fold edges) in a contrasting color/ pattern: about 30" / 75 cm
+ scissors
+ sewing thread
+ sewing machine
+ sewing pins

How it's done
fold your kitchen towel in two and cut away a quarter of a circle (about 2.5" x 2.5" / 6 x 6 cm) from the top corner at the folded side.

Now unfold the towel and pin the bias band round the cut half circle (make sure the bias band is evenly spread and you have two ends of the same size sticking out). Sew it in the half circle.
Fold the bias band over and sew the other side.

Make knots in the ends of the bias band and you're done! Now make a few more ;-)

By the way, this super bib also makes a great new-baby-gift (for those happily unaware parents who do not know what has hit them once their child starts with fruitsauce).



I'm making drawings for the Make Art That Sells course by Lilla Rogers. I enjoy receiving assignments with subjects I otherwise wouldn't have thought of, like drawing funny pottery pieces ;-) Normally I'm so busy with commission I don't get to do 'work for myself', with this course I'm sort of forcing myself. And, it's been ages ago I used colorde pencils but I like it!
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