woensdag, oktober 20, 2010

Be sweet

to yourself. One of the more powerful things I learned in The Artists Way is to  be nice to myself. I kind of suck at that. One of the tools it learns is to send postcards to yourself. It is weird and wonderful. It just feels good that someone took the time to find a nice card write a meaningful text and post it. Even if that one is you. Or maybe esspecially so!

maandag, oktober 18, 2010

What I do on sundays lately

Standing in a cornfield training my dog. Isn't this landscape breathtaking?

donderdag, oktober 14, 2010

My life list in motion Number 42: Spreading love

Not being able to draw is quite a stupid reason for not drawing so here is one new adventure of secret agent mom . I had so much fun again. First I wrote 100 affirmations wich was an enormously powerful thing to do in it's own right, then I started spreading them. I left smal pieces of paper in a thrifstore, a college, the library, small shops, big shops. In beercrates, nightstands, handbags, the spare change thing in a sodamachine, in clothing. I imagine  how it must feel to buy a pair of maternity pants and then pull a piece of paper out of the pocket and read you are not alone or you are a beautiful person. I didn't check what was on them I just trusted that the right message was going to the right person. Randomly. I also made sure it was as obvious as I could ensure that this was random. We don't want someone to think she has a stalker. It was just me secret agent mom! I have done 55 or so, so far!

dinsdag, oktober 12, 2010

My lifelist: Why writing things down makes things happen

Maybe this is a bit of a bold statement to start this post with. Why writing things down makes things happen. It assumes I know the answer and I don't. I think I might have and I hope to have a clearer answer when I am on the end of this article. Because that is what writing defineteley does for me. It makes things clearer. I can think louder if I use my fingers to do the thinking. But writing makes things happen too. For someone who chose a career in words it took me a long long time to realize this is actually true. As I've told before I was a sceptical person when I was younger. I was someone who thought she was who she was and that was it. In short I denied being able to learn, grow and improve. This very blog is one of the ways I tried to change and it has helped. But I don't think I would have formulated the sentence above when I just started this blog. I had been playing with affirmations at the time. All very much in secret because half of me thought I was going nuts. There were two reasons for starting to tell myself positive stuff.

* I knew exactly how powerful negative affirmations were. Didn't I tell myself all the time that I was chaotic and clumsy and stupid and not worth my job and my life. And didn't that get me down. So it might be possible that the opposite might work too.

*My first son birth was quite a traumatic event. When pregnant with my second child My therapist instructed me to visualise my perfect birthing experience. I resisted strongly but she is a therapist that loves a challenge and she got me fantasising about being all alone birthing this perfectly healthy baby. I thought it was useless because I wasn't even allowed to have a home birth let alone an all alone one. And I couldn't think my child healthy could I? (If that was true I would've failed my oldest, I didn't). And then I gave birth and I had two doctors talking about their vacation while I laboured and I told them to shut up and they did. Saying you're in charge here.. And I was but hadn't I visualised my ideal birth I hadn't had this clear idea of what I wanted. I would have gotten irritated when these ladies talked without letting them know what I wanted from them because I wouldn't haver realized what that was. I wouldn't have told them how hard it was to not go home for ten days with your baby and then the morning nurses wouldn't have come in at 6 in the morning to tell me I was definitely going home that day. A gesture that still melts my heart. I felt so much more seen that second time around and it was because I made my self visible.

So writing things down shows me what I want and who I am. At the same time writing things down is an action and action will be followed by reaction (Can't help it I live with a physicist). In others words other things will happen. And you want things to happen in your life and you want to have a bit of control on these things. You know you don't have all the control (If you don't know contemplate the idea and start to let go, it is freeing). Writing a list of things you want to do in your life will show you what you want to do in your life which is quite something. It will be a positive affirmative way of expressing who your are and what you want out of life and when you know what you want you will look for it and when you share your list it may find you.

Since I started my morning pages I see the effect of writing stuff down every day. My fears get smaller when bound to paper and my dreams get bigger. So when I was surfing the web mindlessly last week and came upon Karen Walronds life list and then Maggie Masons Mighty lifelist I knew it was for me. I tried to make a list with big and small things and things that push me just slightly out of my comfort zone. And I truly hope that this list will help me transform myself form a dreamer to a doer... So here the 100 things I want to do in my life (well 88, any tips for the last twelf will be appreciated.. I made it in Dutch and if it sounds not quite right it is because I am not a translator by nature!
1 write a book
2 write a paid column
3 set up a craft circle
4 learn to felt
5 learn to can properly
6 own a store
7 travel America in a camper van
8 witness a Japanese tea ceremony
9 plant a tulip bed
10 make a quilt
11 write an article for Flow
12 take a colour advice
13eat in five different non western restaurants I haven't been before
14 learn to sail
15 act at a historical day event
16 redo my reanimation course
17 go to a network meeting
18 do some sort of guerilla art project
19 leave 20 comments on individual blogs that touch me
20 learn to fold paper cranes
21 sell something I crafted
22 design my own pattern
23 learn to knit
24 learn to crochet
25 swim in sea at sundown
26 walk the Pieterpad in one trip
27 go on a dogsleddingtrip
28 try to live self reliant for a week
29 write letters to 10 people I love
30 write my children a letter to have later about who I am and what I see about them now
31 learn to fillet a fish
32 learn to cook game
33 go geocaching
34 take a picture a day for a year
35 have a nice day out in all provincecapitals
36 make my own personal poetry anthology
37 get our own photographs on the wall
38 Make a picture story with my children
39 make a list of parenting goals
40 go to a luxury spa for a day
41 send a doll travelling
42 spread 100 positive affirmations in town
43 burn a candle in 15 different catholic churches
44 make a wedding cake
45 make bonbons
46 make ice cream
47 own chickens
48 build a house shed by myself
49 make mustard
50 make our own play doh
51 preach in church
52 make my own friends book and spread around
53 eat a fish that I caught myself
54 churn my own butter
55 write four different kinds of poems
56 go to the theatre for a high culture play
57 try 50 different kinds of whiskey
58 write and illustrate my own picture book
59 keep an art journal
60 really photograph all my loved ones
61 make a stop motion movie
62 make a beauty of me self-portrait
63 make my own soap
64 listen to 1000 new songs
65 give a big party
66 visit my pen-pal Jim in jail
67 camp in the wild
68 camp with the kids
69 host an afternoon tea
70 learn to make 30 different cocktails
71 have a manicure
72 have a hot stone massage
73 make 5 new friends
74 make fries from scratch
75 have very short hair again
76 paint grandma's old cabinet and use it
77 buy myself original art
78 own a Helmantel
79 make a cooking book of my own favourite recipes
80 learn to bind a book
81 live and work on a farm
82 go on a primitive hike again
82 play zwarte piet
83 learn to photo shop
84 go see Sinead o'connor in concert
85 learn more about jazz
86 go on a holiday all by myself
87 earn a decent salary working for myself
88 taste 50 different mustards

maandag, oktober 11, 2010

and a bonuspic to check picasa uploading

 
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Embracing autumn




I had started before but I my heart wasn't in it. But friday I was ready! Welcome fall

zondag, oktober 10, 2010

Why I love Jane Brocket


I do not knit or crochet and I have a love for natural and soft colours. I drink any wine that you give me but you can make me really happy with a good beer too. I do have a love for chocolat and reading but is that enough to read the Gentle art of domesticity again every two to three months?

Apparently it is because I do reread it that often. I am captivated by how sure and proud she is about all those little things you can do in the house that are frivolous and unnecessary especially when you don't clean the toilet that day. I loved the way how she celebrates all those way to loud colours she loves so much. The fun and confidence just jumps out of the book. She got some harsh critics about being untrue to feminism but the book liberated me in a very healthy way. Here I was reading about a woman that won a fight I never realized I was fighting. The shame of doing crafty girly stuff the secret admiration of pink. The gentle books by wise women that I got out of the library but covered with critical harsh ironic tales of man. Books that won prizes because they were literature. Reading this book made me realize I can be who I want to be without being old fashioned. I don't want to be a cynical person who disses cooking form scratch and playing about. I don't want to be ashamed of making a lot less money then my love. The funniest thing I found was that Brocket got scolded for being a housewife and not making money while she wrote a book that got published. That is a job people!

It isn't a useful book in the normal sense of the world but it made me rethink so much. It made me list all the little pleasures that feed my soul so I can actually do them. It made me realize which delightful warm books are really close to my heart and it makes me want to plant a tulip bed and get my toenails painted.

The other domestic book on the picture is a 1950's housekeepers guide. I don't think I would have bought it without owning the frilly pink book!

zaterdag, oktober 09, 2010

vrijdag, oktober 08, 2010

Playing with my food


Creativity is just a posh word for playing. I accidentally baked a cloudshaped bread, so I let it rain blackberryjam on purpose.

donderdag, oktober 07, 2010

woensdag, oktober 06, 2010

How many shops do you really need?


I love shopping. I am a great lover of independant stores and I live in a city that fortunately has many very good ones. But a really good chainstore can be equally exiting. Especially an affordable and well thought out one. I must admit last time I was in London I loved seeing red busses again but visiting Habitat and Muji got my heart racing. In Holland Hema makes me happy every single time I go in there (stay tuned for my new fabric organisation!).
Another one of those great stores is Dille en Kamille. It's got this General Store vibe. It has most things you need to cook and live a simple but very authenctic and good life. It's one of those shops that makes other shops seem to loose their need. It has this real honest vibe. We had one in the town I grew up in and only after I had to do without I truly appreciated this great store. So when one opened close to our beachhouse I was a very happy girl and I took a picture to share with you.
Any one looking to open a good shop in a great town? We really need one of those.....

It must be still the 5th somewhere on this globe

but not here. I haven't posted yesterday but am determined to post twice today. I had quite a historical day yesterday. I was offline for the entire day. It wasn't really intentional but I had planned some stuff to do in the house and the laptop needed charging and the changer was upstairs and the laptop was here and then I decided to paint the frontdoor and clean the kitchen en read a book and go to the library and when I hadn't been online till after dinner I decided to make it a full day. And it felt so good!

I really recharged. I read and cleaned and organised. I haven't even put on the tv or even the radio. Thankfully the world didn't explode cause I would have missed it! In fact I haven't missed a lot and I gained an awful lot so I will do this more often!!

P.S. I got my husband quite worried. He is on a businesstrip in Spain and he has got problems with his cellphone. So he emailed me and I didn't reply.. Which is indeed so unlike me!

maandag, oktober 04, 2010

Artist date!

I am currently on week 9 of The Artist's Way and wow does this book blow me away. I really see changes in myself. I've bought the book as a present to myself for my birthday and that means that I am going slowly I had a pause in the summerholiday but still I feel so much growth and change. The thing I struggle the most with is the idea of an artist date. Treat yourself to something fun or silly. Have some playtime and get inspired. I so overthink these things and want to play by the rules..(Like it NEEDS to be 2 hours). Last week on a whim I decided to visit the new Asian supermarket close to my home and boy did it live up to my expectations. It felt like going on holiday for an hour. I visited Indonesia and Korea as sixteen year old and some how this so Asian shop made me feel 16 all over. I could have bought lots more but there was no need to empty the shop because it is down the road. (This just feels like ultimate luxury)

Things I didn't buy:Lots of cute hello kittenstuff, beuatiful japanese ceramic bowl, goldfish sushiplates a rice steamer, plum wine, loads of herbs, more soap more tea...

Here is what I did bring home:


So if you live near an Amzing Oriental supermarket treat yourself!

zondag, oktober 03, 2010

Signs of Autumn

around my house


I know this is a riduculous bad picute but look: It is a baby hedgehog it is cute even put of focus! Grown in our garden. I took the picture close to midnight with my tiny point and shoot and he hated the flash so I took just this.


harvest time!


and processing all the goodness of autumn in the kitchen....24 bottles of grape syrup so far...

zaterdag, oktober 02, 2010



Autum very bravely decided to blog every day of this month and on a complete whim I decided to follow her. So for now the treasures we found on the beach this summer washed by my great helper. I'm really looking forward to showing you what I've done with those!