29 August 2010

Drifting away

When I saw this picture I immediately loved it. It really portrays the way I feel sometimes: lost, a little absurd, drifting away on a stove, half stranded on a beach...

18 August 2010


Sometimes it's important to remember the things we can be grateful for. I've been working on this little booklet of all those precious things in my life... only a couple more pages to go. For the whole booklet click here

13 August 2010

Ever wonder what you've been up to?

This is a collage I put together in about 10mn of some of the tickets, cards, bits and bobs that were lying around on my desk. I always keep all these things and never do anything with them... I might try and do this every so often. It's funny to look back over the last few months and see where I've been and what I've been up to!

26 July 2010

A weekend away

I just spent a short weekend away on Terschelling, the biggest of the Wadden islands in the north of the Netherlands. The island is truly beautiful, with dunes, pines forests and gorgeous long beaches of white sand. We spent our time there enjoying the simple pleasures of life: feet in the sand, jumping photos, a long walk along the shore, much chatting and a lot of laughter, good food. It was so good to smell the ocean air, feel the wind and the sun shining on my skin, to see the beautiful landscapes. A weekend like this is enough to awaken all my senses, make me want to do new things and see new places (even not far from home) and give me energy for the next weeks...

02 July 2010

Note to self

These days I am busy looking for an appartment to buy here in Amsterdam. Of course I have very high expectations, I want a renovated sunny flat in very good state in a nice neighbourhood with equal sized rooms,a balcony, a not too tiny bathroom, not too expensive etc.

I know I will find the perfect place for me and I will probably realise it as soon as I walk in, but in the mean time I am visiting many flats that do not correspond to my dream home and sometimes I feel restless. I want to find the flat and I want to find it now! Or I start to doubt, should I buy this flat even if it does not totally suit me?

In the end I take a deep breath and remember to have faith, the Universe has always brought me wonderful things and to give it time to bring them, I just need to have patience.

28 June 2010

The things I dream about

Recently I read about the Arthouse Co-op, they set up projects which anyone around the world can participate in as a really interesting way of encouraging artists to make art. The art sent in will then be exhibited in a travelling art library.
There are all sorts of projects (from one word defined on a canvas to filling a whole sketchbook) for different budgets (some are free!). I participated in 'The things I dreal about' project, here's my piece:
It was fun to make and interesting to work on a small space. I liked posting it off to its destiny in the project library... I must say I'm very curious to see the other pieces!

25 June 2010

The longest days of the year

Just enjoying the wonderful sunny weather and long days where the sky is light until passed 10pm. Also, treated myself to some new art supplies to experiment with: stencils, acrylic paint, watercolour pencils, new paint brushes... Can't wait to try them out :-)

11 June 2010

Thanx for reminding me to be grateful

I have a thing for websites where the blogger repeats one idea nearly daily, and today i stumbled upon this wonderful blog a collection of thank you notes to the most surprising things in our everyday life written with a lot of humour. I love how even the most mundane or annoying things become a source of gratitude.

Funny I should find this today since the last couple of days I have been working on a little booklet of things (big and small) that I am grateful for (more about that soon...).

I guess being grateful is the best remedy to being down or unsatisfied. It all comes back to the title of this blog, the key is to focus on what beautiful things are there and not what's missing:

As you ramble through life, brother, whatever be your goal,
Keep your eye upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole.

04 June 2010

Dream, transform, inspire

Sometimes it's easy to focus on the wrong things and feel overwhelmed instead of letting them go. To me it seems like letting go means losing control, but in fact I need to realise I never had that 'control' as I can never anticipate how things will go, and all it brings me is a lot of overthinking.

My aim is to learn to really relax and slow down in order to grow space around the things that take a lot of my energy at the moment. I'm hoping to find there is more space and time than the limits my mind perceives, and that letting go allows truly unexpected things to take place.

Picture is a collage and words taken from keri smith's inspiration words picked at random (from her wonderful book 'Living Out Loud')

28 May 2010

Falling into the mind's trap

Despite all my good resolutions my mind went completely crazy last weekend, spinning dark thoughts all over the place without control. Turns out I fell into my mind's trap again (it had been a really long time since I felt so down). Now I've realised it, I can spot it easier and avoid getting caught in negative thoughts and focus on centering myself again... This little doodle dragon was inhabiting my brain, I got him out on paper, hopefully he won't get me again.

21 May 2010

Serenity and an open heart

At the moment I am struggling with letting go and accepting things as they come. I can feel I am tense and trying to keep things going the way I want or the way I believe things should go. It is exhausting and frustrating because in reality there is only so much I can control.

My reaction then is to want to completely give up on what I'm finding difficult, not even to give it a chance in order not to face my fears and potential 'failure'. But actually I'm realising I need to stop my constant thoughts and just accept to go along with what happens and see where it leads me, without tensing up and expecting the blow before I manage to make it fail. Maybe there is no bad surprise, maybe my fears and anticipation have nothing to do with the amazing potential of what could happen.

So I have written a magic message to keep in mind when I need to stop the thoughts in my head:

I decide to welcome whatever happens with serenity and an open heart.

Let's see if it works...

20 May 2010

Forest of visions

This is the collage I made with the flyers I got at the awesome balkan music party. The name 'forest of visions' brings up all sorts of ideas in my mind, like seeing things before they happen and lots of intertwined visions... I love the cat with x-ray vision (funny enough I was to meet a similar cat in the next days... coincidence?!)

04 May 2010

Random images

I've been busy trying to keep up with regular visual journalling. It sometimes feels like a need, spending a 1/2 hour on it really relaxes my mind. I also realise it leads me to having my eyes more open and picking out interesting images in magazines to play around with. This is an old car that was pulled out from a lake somewhere after many many years. A strange subject to start from but is was fun to work with.

However, I find that I am not always as receptive to images. Sometimes I can pick up a magazine with the intent of cutting out some pictures, patterns or words but I find nothing. At other times every snippet of colour is an inspiration.

I also start seeing the potential in other places too: I was handed loads of flyers at a concert last week and they were the basis for a collage. I'll post it once I have a chance to scan it in the next days.

23 April 2010

Speaking of inspiration

I am addicted to blog surfing to discover new things and find inspiration. Here are two blogs that have made me smile and started ideas boiling in my brain...

Michael Nobbs has a made a free eBook with tips and ideas on how to start drawing your life. It is in a more readable format than the printable versions on flickr, and beautifully presented with his own drawings, lots of suggestions to just pick up and draw! (and it goes for anything creative really)

A wonderful series on mini-journaling written by Lisa Sonora Beam with lots of beautiful colourful pictures, ideas of things to do and advice about fighting our fears etc.

21 April 2010


While I was making this page in my visual journal, I picked out a random word cut out from my the Living Out Loud book by keri smith. The word was INSPIRE. It got me thinking a little about what it meant...

I tend to mostly think in terms of looking for inspiration, rather than actually inspiring, though I hope I do and will inspire people from time to time, even without knowing it.

Then the thought came to me that inspiration in French means both: inspiration and breathing in! It seemed so appropriate to me who is always trying to remember to breathe properly in order not to be overwhelmed.

16 April 2010

Good mail day

I wish I could receive hand-written mail and coloured envelopes everyday! I love finding a package or an original looking envelope with unusual stamps on the stairs up to my flat (hell, I even like looking at my neighbours' envelopes and thinking about what they may contain and where they are from!).

Whilst surfing the web I just found a wonderful blog celebrating the joys of snail mail. I'm happy to know I am not alone in my passion for mail, in a world where most of my friends prefer to keep in touch via facebook. I totally love the concept of 'good mail day', the day where you find a letter you weren't expecting smiling at you with news from a far away friend, the day when you are running late and on your way out you find an envelope that sends you off on your day with happiness.

The blog has great pictures and ideas of awesome things sent in the mail. It's inspiring, I know what I will do this weekend, there a few friends I haven't written to in a while!

1 year

Today is the anniversary of starting this blog. Though I don't have a real direction for it, I really enjoy having this online platform to express my thoughts. To think a whole year has passed already and so much is happening in my life... At the same time I feel so much more grounded than I was a year ago, so much more ME in a way.

This simple collage I made shakes up something in me. I love the big open window with a large view and the letters vaguely seen through transparency, like a sign that it is OK to look wide and also show who you are underneath. I'm starting to realise that many unconscious thoughts come to the surface when I do collages, visual journal pages, doodles.

11 April 2010

Making sense

Spring is finally here, the days are longer, flowers are popping up all over the place after the long and cold winter we've had. It's great to see the growth of nature that nothing can stop, and the beauty of each little flower.

This is a period of shakiness on my feet, not knowing where to turn to and feeling a bit lost. But I'm hanging in there, with the hope that it will all make sense soon, or at some stage, like spring after winter...

26 March 2010

Playing around

More fun in the Moleskine... when I start I never know where it will go. Just painting the background is relaxing and it lays a basis for the rest, guides the colour code and chases away the fear of the white page. It's important to remember to play, like children, without the need to know where we are heading or if it will be good, just following the path the pens and paintbrushes take you...

Visual doodle

I'm loving my new Moleskine and the evenings I spend with it painting, collaging, drawing, doodling, experimenting... As I do this I like to listen to Triple J radio for the Aussie twang, to discover new music and for the pleasure of the absurdity of listening to a morning show at 10pm:-)

I really enjoy surfing on the site of Doodlers Anonymous and looking at all the imaginative things people from all over the world come up with. The site inspired the page above. Doodling is something I do spontaneously when I have a pen and a piece of paper at work or at my desk. But when given the freedom to push it to the extreme it becomes a form of meditation to get out of my brain and into the flow.

This was made with my faithful black bottle pen (recycled from plastic bottles) and gel pens. It's that simple

05 March 2010

Flirt to convert

I have decided to try visual journalling... I bought myself a beautiful Moleskine (my first!) and decided to just do it, without worrying about the result. It's a journal, remember? so no one has to see it! so I got out my paints and my glue and made a first attempt and left it to dry...

I felt like going a bit further, I guess my juices had started running! so I got out another notebook and made the collage above! I was listening to the radio at the same time and they talked of an expression I'd never heard: Flirt to convert. Apparently it's a technique hot Christians use to get people into church! Goes to show you never know what you will learn whilst listening innocently to the radio ;-P

17 February 2010

Travel preparations

I can pretty much split up my trips in 3 different categories: for work, to go visit my family and to travel somewhere new or exciting! I absolutely love the excitement of preparing for a trip to an unknown destination, there's a wonderful feel of adventure. I know it is not necessary to go far away to break routine, but right now I am savouring the anticipation of going away tomorrow...

I am going for a four day city trip to Warsaw with some girl friends that I adore and I am so happy first about having a well-deserved break from work, going to a totally new country, discovering the food, the streets, the funny sounding words, and doing all that with people I am very close to and who are really fun. I love the buzz of packing, trying not to forget anything important, thinking about what clothes to take so I'll be warm enough...

These last weeks and months have been quite trying and I am glad for a few days 'off' to do things for myself and I know it will bring me the energy I need for the coming period.

10 February 2010

Unforeseen chances

I am having trouble posting regularly on this blog. Really lately time has just been flying past me, and this despite the fact that I am consciously trying to make more time for myself.

The last months have been very difficult and wonderful at the same time. For once I have something 'real' to worry about, and yet I feel ok. Cancer has entered my life, well not mine directly but my father's. He is lucky to be able to take a very strong medicine treatment from home but it is still not easy. I feel very strongly for him as he is really FIGHTING a battle against the disease to stay with us, his family. I feel for my mother who is daily more and more impressive in her way of dealing with things, staying positive, supporting my father and my family and keeping on working her job.

It is a curse, really. But it is also a blessing. A chance for me to see how much my parents love each other even after nearly 30 years. It is a chance for me to be able to get to spend more time with them and go home more often than I have in the last 10 years. It is a chance to see that my sibblings are wonderful and loving (not that I ever doubted it). It is a chance to put things into perspective in my own life and enjoy the moment, whilst finding myself and growing stronger. It is a chance to have heart felt talks with my father unexpectedly and make PLANS for the future because we believe in it. It is a chance to feel more loving towards my family because they will always be there for me.

For all of this I am extremely grateful and I feel serene. I trust that things will become better, soon, and this will have been an opportunity to grow.

22 January 2010

Tasty deliciousness

It has been a pretty cold winter here in Amsterdam, with snow and ice which makes going around by bike a mess! I've found myself staying in home more peacefully, reading, watching movies and cooking delicious recipes. This recent one I had tried already once but this time it came out really well, maybe because of the organic veggies, who knows.

Pumpkin and Egg-plant green curry

Very simple. Cut a small pumpkin into small pieces about 2x1cm and do the same with the egg-plant. Chop and onion and cook it a little in olive oil, salt and peper it. Then add the veggies, when they are a little 'golden' pour a can of coconut milk into the pan and let simmer until the veggies are soft and tasty (Id say about 20mn). Near the end, add 2 table spoons of green curry paste (or more if you like it spicy!). I eat this with rice and it warms me from the inside.


11 January 2010

Man on wire

Man on wire is an amazing documentary about a tightrope walker in the 70s whose dream is to tie a cable between the Twin Towers and walk across. It is a truly amazing story told with very much emotion by the people who helped organise this 'coup'. I was hooked from beginning to end...

Some friends had told me about it and I watched it last week. Funnily enough it is one of the sources of inspiration in the Mondo Beyondo course I have started. Seems like a sign that this was preparation for listening to my own dreams ;-)

07 January 2010

Welcoming the new year

I am happy that this new year is here. Not because I didn't enjoy last year (on the contrary it was a year full of learning, many travels, the starting of this blog and regular journalling...) but more because I am excited in what this year has in store for me. If the first days of this new year are to set the tone for the next 12 months then I am stoked: time spent with good friends, outdoors trying new activities, enjoying the elements (fresh air, snow storm, sunshine), and indoors playing games and getting to know each other better... as always the simple pleasures of life.

I welcome this new year with arms wide open like this little guy sitting in my street one day on my way home from work. Imperfect, but ready to take on all this year will bring me!