A gift for you

Imagine you’d had to choose between sending an email, a text or a postcard – which would you choose? I would go with snail mail, a good old greeting card. It’s such a kind way to communicate! Instead of a quick text saying “Happy Birthday”, a postcard can be a birthday gift on its own. It’s personal, as you take the time to write a kind message. You literally stand still and think of that person, carefully choosing the words. Can you imagine anything lovelier to receive? Wouldn’t you prefer a handwritten love-letter over a text-message saying “Luv U. XOXO”? I know I would!

Coming Monday October 9th it is World Post Day. IMG_0659And as a designer of greeting cards, I cannot ignore this very special day!
So to promote the art of handwritten mail, to promote taking more time for kind words… I have a little gift for you:

If you go to my Etsy-shop on October 9th and order a minimum of 2 items you will get free shipping. Holy moly! All you have to do is fill in WORLDPOSTDAY when you place your order, and hey-ho presto, no shipping costs for you.

So hurry to make a list of people who you want to send a lovely card and I’ll see you at my shop on Monday the 9th.

Let’s go old-fashioned, let’s write each other postcards again.

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.

Hold hands

The birds went silent and the children at the Kindergarten downstairs started crying in unison. I knew then Donald Trump was elected for president…

And so I also knew this could be the beginning of a very dark, if not pitch black, period. My first reaction was this:

hold-hands-image1

But I also knew I have a choice – like all those Americans had a choice although something went horribly awry there… And there was my drive! My drive to not give in nor up. My drive to stay on the positive route and know that I, and we all, can make this world a better place, with or without Trump. After 30 minutes of freaking out, ranting and feeling like the world had gone under due to a massive nuclear attack, the light inside me took over again.

So from now on here’s a few things I’m gonna do. And they may sound silly and small and naive, but it’s about the drive remember.

1) after I’ve finished this piece, I will not mention Trump ever again, nor invest any energy in frustrating over the  – let’s face it – dumb-ass mistake the Americans made on November 8th 2016.
2) I will focus on all that is good, beautiful and positive in my life and in the world.
3) I will keep adding positive input into this world.
4) I will work hard on establishing my new, re-born start-up, Confetti In Your Face (more on that real soon!). My work as a happy-maker will continue and grow and I will make products and create stories that feed happiness and compassion even if it seems impossible.
5) I will keep on believing we have the power to make a U-turn for the positive – as long as we unite and join forces, no matter the distances between us, the language barriers, differences in religion, etcetera.

In fact I’ve never felt more strong about my mission to make this world a happy place full of compassion. So thank you Donald Trump, for lighting up that flame inside me: it’s a fire now! Another ‘thank you’ to Donald Trump, for creating the necessity for me and so many others to feel strong about our missions and the knowing that love is all we need.
Maybe in a next life you’ll understand this, too, Donald.

So how are you and me able to keep on moving forward and what can we learn from Trump? Well, if – like me – you want to change the world into a beautiful, sustainable and happy place, don’t distance yourself from society to hug trees. You’re not helping anyone with that. Best thing to do is continue to live your life the positive way. That way you’ll show how it can be done too, that way people may be inspired – affected even? – by it; remember that for some positivity, good will and compassion are just things they never learned. So keep acting out of compassion, keep recycling paper, glass and plastic, keep on believing. And so on. And as for the learning-from-Trump aspect: clearly, if you stand up for your believes and make yourself heard, you will reach people. Trump did… So instead of shying away from sharing your hopes and believes, make them known. Instead of shying away from showing your compassionate self, act out of compassion.

As long as we do so, as long as we hold each other’s hands, listen to our hearts and keep listening to each other, we can make that U-turn. What’s your next act of compassion?

I made this heart for all of you as part of my #aheartaday challenge. I hope it will help you find the bright side of life again and the will to continue to act out of goodness, love and compassion.

img_9765

A Heart A Day #45

Confetti is one of the happiest things on the planet and I love making it. Thinking of confetti as “a mess” is not in my system – when people bring that on as a reason not to sprinkle confetti, my brain just suffers a little black out… Confetti can, in at least 97% of the cases, brighten up my day. Now today did not need brightening up for me, but maybe someone’s out there who may need some cheer! Here you go, a home-made-confetti heart, I hope this helps :-) 

  

A Heart A Day #44

Today’s heart turned into a little foodie-do.

#44 – a healthy choice!

A very healthy heart this was! I believe taking good care of yourself is also a form of (self)compassion. I can tell you: it was delicious. 

A Heart A Day #43

Not only was yesterday International Peace Day. It was World Gratitude Day, too! So my heart for today is inspired by gratitude. 

I like gratitude. Every morning and every evening I write down the things I’m grateful for. At least 3 things in the morning and at least 3 in the evening. In the beginning it felt a bit strange and it seemed hard to get to 3 things. But a year onwards and I easily write a list of 6 or 7 things, sometimes even 10. The smallest things, the most random things, all those things I tend to take for granted. The longer you do this, the easier being grateful comes to you. Magic! And the good thing is, gratefulness, like happiness, shines. It beams right out of your face! So I’m turning into this advocate for gratitude…and before you know it, so will you ;-)

At this very moment I’m grateful for so many things, that I’d like to share some with you. In case it might be inspiring to you…

I’m grateful for my very loving and golden friendships; I’m grateful for my amazing and loving parents and brother; I’m grateful for the sweet and thoughtful responses on my hearts; I’m grateful for my creativity that’s boosting; I’m grateful for the fact I live in a country where there’s no war; I’m grateful for you, reading this blog!

And now onto the heart of today. I drew one heart, created two others out of it and then failed to choose one. So you’ll get 3 hearts from me. An amazing 3-for-1 deal! Enjoy!

 

#43 – the drawing mixed with a confettied “thank you” I once made.

  

#43 – a negative

  

#43 – the original heart

 

A Heart A Day #42

Today, September 21st, is International Day of Peace. My heart of today is dedicated to this wondrous day. 

Peace, peace, peace…writing it down is so easy. Saying or reading it multiple times and it becomes a weird word, like all words that are said or written a lot of times in a row. But somehow, to me, with the word ‘peace’ this seems the case: the weirder it feels, the better it suits. 

  
So many fires are burning at the moment, so much hatred and frustration and miscommunication scattered around in the world. What is peace these days? Well…peace is a general concept, but sadly not available to all. What does peace look like? I guess my country is living “in peace” at the moment, but that doesn’t mean this country is Heaven on Earth. On the contrary. The tension is high, hatred simmers underneath the surface. Lambs and lions don’t play together. 

In other countries, of which we all can say that there is no peace at the moment, the concept of peace is just that: a concept. There is no time for exchanging thoughts on peace, just for surviving. 

So you see, I think overall ‘peace’ is complex. But it is non the less important. Important to think about, talk about, spend time trying to create small-scale peace. Maybe in your neighbourhood. Not just for one day though. Every day. Peace definitely needs effort, from all of us. 

For me peace means ‘a judgement-free world in which we live side by side, all of us equal to one another’. What does it mean to you?