Funny reminders

Sometimes I forget, but I live in quite an awesome city. Amsterdam. And whenever I forget, the city itself hands me a kind reminder, telling me “Hey you, look! It’s pretty lovely around here”. 

Like today. I’d done my errands and picked up a massive parcel which made it impossible to cycle. So I walked the last 10 minutes, looking like a pack-donkey. Almost home, I passed the local florist. Of course, from the corner of my eye I spotted flowers that were perfect for my collages, so I made a stop to have a look. They were perfect, so I wanted a bunch. Two things you can do: 

a. Walk home, dump stuff, return later.

b. Buy the flowers immediately, embracing your inner pack-donkey. 

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t go with option b. The florist came to help me and the moment of payment arrived. Card at hand. He… only accepted cash. Solutions are there for those who need them, the ATM was two doors down. 

I started to clumsily fiddle with my bike and the several bags hanging from it. But “no, no, no, leave your bike and bags! Come on, in you go with that bike!” the florist said. Yes. He was bloody serious. I found myself riding my bike into the flower shop. Bags and parcels included. The florist would make sure it wouldn’t get stolen. 

He kept his word, I paid for my flowers, carefully rode the bike outside again, walked home and thought to myself “only in Amsterdam…what a wonderful city”. 

Flowers look so good on my bike.

Market day

Sometimes you can get possessed by a weird and sudden urge, without being able to explain why. A while ago my friend and I were selling our stuff at a little local Fleemarket. The evening before – I had packed everything for the next day and was ready to go to bed – I decided, very last minute, to go through ALL my buttons and sort them by shape and colour. ALL meaning my giant collection of two tins filled to the rim.

There I was, sorting. Almost meditative. I found so many pretty buttons I had forgotten about, thinking of items they could brighten up. And I found so many light blue buttons, too. Light blue is not really my colour (she writes, while dressed in a white dress with light blue polka dots… sometimes exceptions are to be made). I started bundling them, the light blue buttons, sort by sort. No use for me, but ready to be sold at the market I decided.

The next day, Market Day. The sun was out, bright and hot. We had a lovely day, selling this and that. The bundled light blue buttons were waiting on a saucer to be sold. A man came up to our stall. When he saw the buttons he started to collect them, every bundle. “How much for all these buttons?” he asked. And the deal was done. Curiosity came over me. “Why do you need so many blue buttons, if I may ask?”

He told me this: back in the olden days an alcoholic would get a blue button for every year they were sober. He was a recovering alcoholic. Therefor he was covering an old jacket with blue buttons all over, as a trophy and reminder for being sober, year after year. And he touched my heart telling me this in all honesty.

Sometimes you can get possessed by a weird and sudden urge, without being able to explain why. I can explain now, why I had to sort and bundle my button-collection that evening.

About a Discodipped and starry night

Last week I celebrated my birthday. I turned 31 but celebrated like I hadn’t even reached 13 yet. Growing up is something I’ll save for later.
I celebrated my birthday with a group of lovely people that I feel blessed to have in my life and call my friends. The theme was DiscoDip, after my favourite ice cream decoration.

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This accidental Discodip picture I took a couple of years ago. Copyrights by me, 2014.

I bet all my friends stressed out at the thought of a theme. That was the only true reason I decided to go with a theme – to make them feel a little awkward. And also the fact that Discodip is just too good and colourful to be true. It really makes me happy!

We met up at the TonTonClub in Amsterdam’s Red Light district. No red ears or under-age warnings needed; TonTon Club is kind of a modern game arcade where you can play Jenga or get lost in a car race (never ending if you keep on feeding the machine coins) and dive in a ball pit. You can also watch the prostitutes from a safe distance if visiting them is too much for you, guys.

Like any 13 or 31 year old probably wouldn’t… I made party bags for my friends. The kind my mother used to make for my birthday parties when I really was young. With a candy heart, confetti, a weird-shaped eraser and a lucky star. Because I love my friends, I love to give and I love to show my gratitude. The lucky stars I made myself and I added a little message to them before I folded them. Unless they’ve all unfolded their stars, they still don’t know what’s written on it.

So here it is, my message to you ‘unfolded’:


“Be the DiscoDip to someone’s icecream”. That’s the loveliest thing you can be: colourful, happy and full of love. And to share that is spreading it, like a colourful love-virus. So I won’t stop you from spreading. Enjoy!

If you want to fold Lucky Stars – it’s pretty easy! I just don’t like to write out the instructions so here’s a link to someone else who already did write the instructions down for you.

The colour-hunter

Today I received a card from a friend, and some words she’d wrote down for me coincided with a little day-challenge I gave myself. She wrote “…no matter how dark the days can be sometimes, you always manage to see light and make your life so colourful!” Her timing was perfect and her words touched me with all their might: after a couple of dark days – or more, weeks – this morning I’d given myself the challenge to go colour-hunting. As I felt I needed to see more light and colour again.

I sometimes give myself a single colour at the beginning of the day, with the simple challenge to notice that colour during that day. Where ever I go. It’s amazing how the whole day seems to burst with that given colour. You should try it! Today was multi-colour day and the colour-hunt brought me lots of colour, which was marvellous on a very grey-gloomy day.

 


These are some of the treasures I discovered today. Blue stood out somehow. Maybe as a tribute to my “little blue lately” ;-)

Which colour will you be hunting tomorrow?

Collect moments

Another year’s come and gone. An eventful year, 2015. As a new tradition, started in 2014, I collected moments throughout 2015.

Happy moments.
Beautiful moments.
Touching moments.
Mind-blowing moments.
Gestures of friends, total strangers.
Special things I experienced.
Surprising encounters.

Whatever floated my boat, made my heart jump, widened my smile, showed me beauty in everyday life. Things to read back on the last day of the year. It’s a great way to not only be more grateful throughout the year, but it’s an amazing way to kick-start the new year.
Why? When reading through your moments on New Year’s Day, you will realise it was quite a good year. All the beautiful moments and your very own achievements, all in one year? Pretty wow! Now imagine you enter the new year feeling like that, ready to collect more moments. Sounds good huh? In my blog post A Year in A Jar you can read how to.

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The jar.

I’ve been doing this for 1,5 years now – the last days of the new year my tummy starts gathering butterflies. The excitement to open the jar and let all the moments sink in, again. It is wonderful!

Today I did this again. In total I collected 52 moments – that’s one special moment per week! Going through all the pieces of paper I felt so happy and proud. My smile grew, my heart opened up. Some moments I forgot about and it was so good to be reminded of them again. It showed me how much I’ve grown. In only one year. It brought back the powerful encounters, the smile of a strangers, the good deeds I did, the love I received from dear ones.


With all these beautiful memories I’m ready to dance the night away. But most of all I feel ready for the new year ahead, 2016.

Wishing you all a new year filled with wonderful moments.

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I know that happy and new this year will be

This ain’t tree-hugging

While I sat down to write you a new post, I realised yesterday marked 6 months of Tessie’s Projects. Hurrah! And before I’ll continue putting down today’s figments, I want to say a very big THANK YOU. To all of you, where ever you are, taking the time to sit down and read the weird stuff escaping my brain. I honestly appreciate it.

One of the reasons for me to write this blog is so I can share happy moments and contentment. I like to tell about such experiences, hoping they put smiles on other faces too. And by writing about it – I’ve noticed – I learn to appreciate it even more.
Every day I hope for tiny moments and gestures that brighten up my day. Well, it’s not really hoping – the more I’m open for it, the more they seem to happen. These moments, I’ve come to realise, give me an extra boost when caused by connecting to total strangers. No matter how short the moment or how small the gesture.

I wondered about it for a while, about the why, but I think I know now.

In this massive and individual world we live in, there’s hardly any room left for acts of kindness and simple but true contact with our fellow humans. Apart from friends and family. But greeting someone in the streets, making eye-contact, a smile when passing by. They are the tiniest things, yes. But they make my day, always. The other day, strolling around the park, me and an old man almost bumped into each other. You know the awkward moment, when you both move in the same direction and then again… Often, myself included, this causes frowns and some sighing. This time our eyes met and we both laughed out loud. I took a big step to the right, to let him pass. We greeted each other. And that was it. A small thing, yet a moment to put in the 2015 Jar. Something we tend to take for granted. A situation we often allow to cause irritation. But there’s no need for irritation, is there? These moments may take 3 seconds off our time. Grab it with both hands and you’ll gain a big smile from it. Live these 3 seconds to the fullest and you’ll actually see this other person: how rare is that, huh? A person who, just like you, lives on this planet, breathes – or at least, you hope they do –, has a heart just like you and the ability to smile. Just like you.

Try it and soon you’ll realise it’s pure bliss. These little moments of contact, sharing a smile – for free! No judgement, because that ain’t necessary. Just two fellow humans. Passing by. Being aware and sharing a little piece of their heart. That’s all. And it’s no tree-hugging stuff.

After the nearly-bumped-into moment, I made a heart out of paper. And turned it into confetti. Confetti is always a good idea. My opinion. A confetti heart is a heart filled with feast and joy. A confetti heart is one big heart divided into many pieces you can share with others.

Scatter your confetti heart

Our hearts are our own, but sharing pieces of it with others will only make it stronger.
Make your heart a confettied one and scatter freely – it’s good and you know it!

 

[ the confetti heart I made, now has a double meaning. it is a huge thanks, right from my heart, to all of you ]