Fulfilling

I received some lovely pictures from Australia! A few weeks back someone ordered two Christmas cards through Etsy and asked me to write and send them to two lovely boys. And they arrived! Look at the result…

That’s heart-warming… Very well done Lewis! And exactly what I hoped my cards would trigger (whether you’re 8 or 80). Happy me!

And, as if my day couldn’t have started any better already after the beautiful pictures from Australia, I also got promoted on Instagram via @AAApromotion. They featured my Christmas tree!

What a day… I’m content and I’m gonna share this feeling of contentment with you. If you still haven’t found the time to write your Nan, lover or lovely niece and nephew a Christmas card – and I know the thought is nagging! – you’re at the right address. I absolutely LOVE writing and sending the card for you. The thought that you can sit back and relax and have yourself a Merry Little Christmas, is so fulfilling to me. So, as Christmas is approaching real fast, just place your order with the address and text before December 20th and I will do the rest!

The last free shipping day

The day has come! The day (today, December 5th 2014 indeed) that will be your last chance to get your Christmas card order shipped for free. If you live in The Netherlands, USA, Brazil, the UK or Australia! So if you still want to get that little December-gift and are looking to send unique Christmas cards, have a look at my Corner Shop on Etsy

The other offer still stands – this whole month you can order my Christmas cards and have them written plus posted to your friend, mum, colleague, neighbour, brother, anyone, by me! No waiting for the order to arrive, no worrying about your handwriting… All in service, just for you.

A December gift for you!

When I started this blog I didn’t think anyone would read my figments. Except my parents.
When I listed my cards on Etsy I didn’t think anyone would buy them. Except my parents.

Turns out I was wrong. You read my blog, that’s for sure. And I even sold Christmas cards to people who – for all I know – weren’t my parents!

Here they are, six different designs.

Them cards.

Now it’s December. The month of giving and loving and caring. So I decided I wanted to give something too. Well, I always want to give, but December makes it a bit easier and I specifically wanted to give something to you readers.

I calculated a bit. I thought some things through. Other things I didn’t think through.

Outcome:
1. It appears 47% of my readers are Dutch (or: based in The Netherlands). Not surprising; I am, after all, Dutch.
2. On December 5th the Dutch Santa has his birthday and gives presents. Galore.
3. Giving away cards for free is not a budget-option.
4. Free shipping costs, however, is.

An idea:
From December 1st until December 5th 2014 the shipping costs are free for all people living in and ordering from The Netherlands.

The idea grew:
Why just one country? Why not make it a Top-5? I love Top-5’s! So, the 5 countries that hold the most readers…?

It finally resulted in this little thank-you-offer:
From December 1st until December 5th 2014 shipping costs for all orders from The Netherlands, USA, UK, Brazil and Australia are free. Hurrah!

Now, if you do not live in one of the afore mentioned countries, let me make it up to you a little bit by telling you I love and appreciate you dearly for visiting my blog. Thank you! Also, during December I will write and send my Christmas cards for you! No extra costs. Just add a note to your order with the address of the receiver and text you wish me to write down. And I will take care of it. You can pay a visit to my little Corner Shop right here.

Welcome to December everyone!

 

Isn’t she an Angel…?

PS: my beloved Christmas Angels will be back, fresh from the printers, tomorrow!

November round-up, December-focus

Tomorrow it will be December. We’re really nearing the end of 2014.

Today, however, it’s still November so let’s look back on that a little bit.

What a month it has been! Compared to October and its previous months November really has been my friend. Overall it was kind to me and filled with moments of tiny happiness.
I didn’t post too much of my own drawings, I realise that. My focus has, however, really been with drawing this whole month. Quite a big drawing project occupied my mind. It was so good to focus on that, to discover old passions and give it my all… Even my yoga class made me draw – and unravel myself a bit more.
November also helped me finish the quite big project – the printing of my first ever cards. For Christmas! It certainly won’t be my last printing project either.
The Channel 4 film about Patrick touched my heart so deeply, I had to share it with you. The joy on Patrick’s face, able to finally communicate! It “poked” another passion I once had: sign language.
An important part of drawing and creating is to have inspirers. People you look up to, you know. That make you want to challenge and improve yourself even more. Which, apart from the fact that I’m just madly in love with him, was the reason for me to tell you a bit about Dick Vincent. The artist that makes me happy! What do you think of his work?
As November is (usually) followed by December, Rebecca’s project drew my attention. AirmailChristmas is about connecting, caring and remembering. Which I believe is a perfect summary of what the month of December (and all months that follow) should be all about.

Boy, I needed November. It has left me quite impressed. The realisation that there still can be good weeks, months, periods. That the tendency of a low is “to be followed by good and happy times”. As that’s life.

With December knocking on our doors, now let’s make this new month about giving and loving and how we wish the world and ourselves to be. At least, that will be my December-focus.

Make December a good month!

Make December a good month!

 

Obsessive love

Dear reader, I’m in love! Or maybe “obsessed” is more accurate. The lucky bastard: Dick Vincent. A Manchester-based illustrator – whose work you may have seen in Flow Magazine par exemple – that won my heart about a year ago with his watercolour-illustrations. And since then I follow him where ever he goes: Instagram, Etsy, facebook… *sighs*
I’m drooling all over his work and desperately heart every picture he posts to Instagram. But when he posted the new print of “The Log Lady” from Twin Peaks (the series is returning in 2016!) he really set me on fire. Whoooosh! I mean, that clearly means he and I are meant to be – if he loves Twin Peaks and its characters then I don’t need any more proof.

Twin Peaks' Log Lady by Dick Vincent

Twin Peaks’ Log Lady by Dick Vincent

But before Dick Vincent is requesting a restraining order to stop me from getting any nearer, let me be clear: I’m exaggerating of course. However, I do love his work immensely. The dry sense of humour, a certain love for pets and other animals, simple yet (mostly) colourful and detailed – I can’t stop looking at him, er…it. With his amazing fantasy Vincent – who graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2007, having studied Illustration with Animation – always manages to put a smile on my face.

The best people love cats and dogs. Another of Vincent's prints.

The best people love cats and dogs. Another of Vincent’s prints.

In the new year (currently December-broke even though it’s only November) I’m gonna treat myself to the fantastic print of the Twin Peaks‘ Log Lady. Excited already! Dick also showed us a little painting of Twin Peaks director David Lynch on his blog, so I’m hopeful this means the start of a Twin Peaks series of portraits. I would love to have Cooper, Harold the Orchid man, Andy, Lucy , Leo “New Shoes” and Nadine on my wall too. Do it for me Dickie, do it for me!
If not, I’ll expand my Vincent-collection with the pictures of Mark Twain and his marvellous friends. All is fine by me, really Dick. Just promise me to never give up on illustrating. And tell me you love me… my! Christmas cards too.

Who doesn't want this Peruvian farmer and his larma on the wall?

Who doesn’t want this Peruvian farmer and his larma on the wall?

 

 

Tessie’s Christmas cards!

Ladies and gentlemen, they’re here: Tessie’s Christmas cards. Double cards printed on 100% eco-friendly paper, with envelopes, designed by me. These 6 different designs are ready for you to send and for the receiver to dig up the pencils and colouring skills!

Here they are, six different designs.

Here they are, six different designs.

Secretly, I am a little proud. And very happy with the result, beautifully done by Pantheon.
While the Christmas cards are selling, I’ll continue drawing. In the new year I hope to show you the designs for other occasions which I started a while back.

 

Go to my little corner shop on Etsy for a closer look at all 6 cards.

A balance challenge involving some chakras

This is going to be a little write up about a meditation experience. If you’re a meditation-sceptic or don’t believe in chakra energy – keep reading!

Over the last 2 – 3 years my life has been as hectic as can be. Depression, burn-out, months of being ill. It’s a bit of a struggle called ME. I thought I was getting there, getting back on track. But the last 3 months have been roller coasters again, to say the least. Something’s still not right and ME is definitely not helping. Simply put, I have to accept that finding my balance is a long term project.

Anyway, I do yoga. In my own pace – read: half of the class I just lie on my back or in child’s pose. And during my favourite class, Meditate and Breathe, I learn to meditate too. At a very lovely yoga studio in Amsterdam, Yagoy.

During meditation practice this morning the teacher led us through a chakra-meditation. I had done this meditation before, with the same teacher. Basically what you do is stop at and focus on all 7 chakras.
I hear you…what on planet earth are chakras? Chakras are the energy centres in our body. We all have them. Even you, pessimistic lot! As mentioned before, we have a total of 7 chakras. Each chakra represents a certain aspect of our being. If you want to learn more, I advise you to check this article from mindbodygreen. For the time being I’m leaving the theory of the chakras behind and will tell you a bit more about the experience I had this morning.

There we are. Meditation cushions under our bums. Eyes closed. Starting at the first chakra. The colour is red and the chakra represents our foundation and the feeling of being grounded. No matter how hard I try to colour the area of my tailbone red – visualising helps to focus – and concentrate on the first chakra, I’m like a radio that can’t find the right frequency: Kkgggghkghhhggggggggggggggg-redredred-kkkkgggkkkkkgghggghgggh-foundation-kkkkgggkk-focus-please-kkkgghg. Sitting up straight, dividing the weight equally. No no. No such thing. I’m convinced I look like the Tower of Pisa, all my weight comes together in the right side of me. Next stop: chakra number 2. Colour: orange. Same story all over again. This continues and I notice that frustration is starting to boil. However, the frustration is kind and cuddly. It tells me to fire away some questions at my yoga teacher after class. That doesn’t mean I’m not doubting myself. Why is it so hard for me to connect?

Then we arrive at chakra number 6. The third eye. Right in the middle, where your eyebrows would (or maybe do) connect. This chakra represents our ability to focus on and see the bigger picture, it’s the energy of our intuition and imagination. The moment my attention moves to this indigo spot, it explodes. It feels like an enormous beam of light and warmth coming out of my forehead. Travelling faster than light. A high pressure water jet. Coming right out of that tiny little place. It flows like a fountain. My whole body, head to toe, heats up. In a nice way. I realise that’s exactly how a radiator must feel when it’s on full heating-speed. Equally warm, throughout my whole body. This explosion, this fountain continues when I focus on the seventh – or crown – chakra where our ability to connect to spirituality lies. The sensation of overflowing, of energy and warmth. It just doesn’t stop.

To help you visualise (and because in November I focus on drawing) I made a little sketch of the experience:

Me and my chakras.

Me and my chakras.

The experience beautiful, the feeling of warmth and energy so comforting! Despite the feeling of failure at the start I felt rather good after the meditation. So good even, that somehow I knew I would be able to do the bridge pose again. Which I haven’t done for at least 10 years and which physically is just a no-go at the moment. However, it does show how good I felt. Yet I knew that there was a serious disbalance. How else can you explain that chakras 1 – 5 hardly do anything whereas when we get to number six and seven all I have to do is sit back and they do their magic for me? The chat with my teacher confirmed this. The energy of all 7 chakras ideally should be the same, a balance of freely flowing energy. In my case, the foundational energy seems like it’s nowhere to be found.

Whether you believe it or not, in everyday life this blocked energy in our chakras can lead to illness, emotional distress and such. A general feeling of being unbalanced and unhappy. And truthfully, it seems to me that this could be one of the underlying factors causing the disorder in my life.

Here’s to a new challenge. Namasté!

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