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!

Happy Today to you!

Happy Brownie and Pretend to be a Time traveller Day to you all!

Jaja you forgot, but I didn’t. Today is December the 8th. The day we get to eat brownies and time travel to where ever it is we want to go (it’s raining here in Amsterdam so I’ll be travelling to the supermarket in my time capsule later on. I don’t have a car.)
Or maybe it’s December the 19th by the time you read this. In that case: have a ball this Underdog Day and Look For An Evergreen Day! And if it’s raining on the 19th too, no one will mind you time-travelling to the grocery shop.

These days every day is a “special day” (that’s just too many days in one sentence). Special days as moments to remember and be aware. Or simply celebrate funny facts and make every day a party. Whether you like it or not – I LOVE it – every day celebrates at least one thing. From Eat Red Apples Day (which you sadly missed as it was the 1st of December) to Disobedience Day (July 3rd) and Creative Ice Cream Flavours Day (July 1st). And, unbelievable but true, last Friday was International Ninja Day. Damn, you missed that one too!
The most creative days I’ve come across on my all-time favourite website Days of the Year. On this site you can check what day it is today, what day it is next Thursday – apart from being a Thursday – and even what month or year it will be. Believe me when I say: check this site if you are having a so called off day. I promise you you’ll find a reason to celebrate something, a reason to buy yourself cookies or caramel popcorn (April the 6th is going to be your day if you like caramel popcorn) or another good reason to take a day off. It always manages to make me happy anyway.

If you feel a resistance against the upcoming month of January – always a dreadful one – then comfort yourself with the thought January is going to be The Month of:
1) Oatmeal;
2) Brainteasers;
3) Creativity;
4) Hot Tea;
5) Soup;
6) Getting Organised (I’ve granted myself furlough from this one)
7) Being Kind To Food Servers;
and last but absolutely not least comes
8) The Celebration of Life Month.

Amen to that.

Me, I look forward to April 19th 2015. The day it will be Garlic Day (Luciana, you were born for this day!), Hanging Out Day and Bicycle Day all in one. My advice: cycle somewhere that day with your friends so you can hang out with them and feast on garlic sarnies with garlic butter and some extra garlic on the side. After you’ve done that, make sure you don’t come near other human beings for at least a week.
The whole month of April is going to be grand as far as I can tell, as it will be Decorating Month. And on April the 11th I’m having cheese fondue for breakfast, lunch and dinner to celebrate the invention of cheese fondue. I literally cannot wait!

The only day I haven’t found yet is Drink Tea With Milk Day. And that’s a loss for all of us, I find.
Which is why
*imagine drum roll*
I hereby declare April the 20th
*imagine more drums roll*
not only to be my birthday and Chinese Language Day, but foremost
*the drumming is now getting somewhat out of hand*
Drink Tea With Milk Day!

If that’s not gonna make your day then I don’t know what is… I guess I’ll just leave you be then.

Time for me to go and post the card I wrote for AirmailChristmas yesterday (it was, after all, Letter Writing Day and a card is almost a letter).

 

On my way back I’ll be resisting the brownies – which I’m pretty sure will be handed out for free in the streets of Amsterdam today – because for very unfortunate reasons I chose today to be the start of Skipping All Sugar until Christmas Fortnight… Exactly, that’s 14 days.

Have a good day!!

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!

Dreaming of an #AirmailChristmas

Short notice, but it has to be shared: Rebecca got in touch with me last week. She tweeted. If I were interested in joining AirmailChristmas. A worldwide Christmas card exchange that she’s now been running for 3 years. Obviously, that got me curious. So I did some digging.

Turns out a patient of Rebecca (who’s a nurse) died of cancer just before Christmas a couple of years back. This same patient had told her how she would send a card to a random stranger. Every Christmas! Ain’t that kind and heart-warming? This inspired Rebecca to start AirmailChristmas. And that inspired me to join in and tell you a little about it.

Every year AirmailChristmas is in memory of someone. This year it will be in honour of Anna Basso. I didn’t know her and probably you didn’t either. But that doesn’t matter. It’s about the gesture. It’s about thinking of those who are not with us anymore and those who may need some extra love, strength, friendship and the feeling of not being all alone.

For some reason these gestures are easier for us to make around Christmas time.
For some reason that’s when we tend to think of others instead of just ourselves.
For some reason that’s when we find our inner Altruist.
For some unfortunate reason this spirit fades away as soon as the Christmas days are in the past.

But I’ll stick with that Christmas Spirit and say “that’s also just fine”.

Back to the subject. AirmailChristmas. As I like to spread happiness and put smiles on faces, I had to share this initiative with you! I’ll be sending one of my own Christmas cards to “a random stranger” this year. And hope you will too. Can you feel it already? All butterfly and bubbles at the thought of Christmas and making others happy? Get into that festive mood!
If you do, see Rebecca’s blog. Make sure to email her before the 1st of December – I told you it was short notice and I’m fully to blame. Rebecca will then get back to you with someone’s address and the fun and goodwill can commence!

 

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 nearly finished project

I can’t help giggling. Big smile on my face. Giggle-giggle-giggle-giggle-giggle. Yeah! On the streets people look at me as if I’m a mad woman.

What happened? The printer happened! Paper everywhere. All different colours and structures. Oh joy! As if you let a little girl on the loose in a candy shop. And they are making test prints of my work as we speak. What’s not to giggle? Let’s just say I’m mildly enthusiastic. This is the first time I have something I made professionally printed. And it is wowzers!

Viaviavia I ended up at a really lovely printer just outside of Amsterdam, Pantheon. René and René (jaja) both have the patience of a saint, take a layman like me by the hand and make it a party. So helpful! Pantheon also prints stuff (books, brochures, stationary  and such) for pretty big names, so the first time I walked in it was kind of beyond daunting. However, the second time the excitement took over. I draw the old-fashioned way. Paper, pencil, fine liner. You know. And then…they scan! All of a sudden my work appears massively on their computer screens. STOP ME! But I mean, really: STOP ME! I could dance in the streets. And I haven’t even seen the test prints yet.

Testing some paper at the printer

Testing some paper at the printer

But yes, I draw. And from there a little project developed. No way!? Yes way. I know, more projects. Surprisingly this is a project – beginning to ending, all stages – of which I can almost say it’s a wrap. Who knew!

Not keeping you in suspense longer than necessary: I’ve designed a couple of Christmas cards. And other cards. But taking it slow I’m first tackling this Christmas project. The cards are supposed to be fun, keep you busy and creative. Whether you’re 3 or 97. That’s all I’m giving away. It took a lot of drawing. And the drawing took a lot of time. And pain. After half an hour my hands and arms are finished, you see. For the rest of the day. From the idea all the way to the final drawing that is ready to be scanned and printed…it’s not really a piece of cake for me to finish. Not done and dusted in an hour or two. However, it’s worth it – I love it. I absolutely do!

A sneak peek

Now it’s onto the next stage. The actual printing. My very own designed and hand drawn cards *giggles a bit more* being printed! The moment my Christmas cards are finished you’ll be the first to know. And of course the first to buy them from me, too. Honestly, the best Christmas cards are underway. For now we’ll just have to wait. Patiently.

I’m going to love and leave you and continue being overwhelmed and excited. Frankly, scared too. Why did I do this again? What if I’m the only person in the world to like them? Only time will tell…but already this experience is mine forever.

 

November, my friend

October 2014 and I weren’t friends really. No success was guaranteed by putting us together. Even when I decided to name the last week of October 2014 November, we didn’t work out. How could we, when on the last day of October 2014 my GP dropped a little bomb telling me to consider an electric bicycle.

Maybe you would blame it on the stars and the entire Universe. I want to believe that too. But isn’t that simply chickening out? When things don’t go your way: hands up and ‘It wasn’t me’? Reality is that my body is playing up, pain increases and my energy is only going more down. That didn’t just start in October 2014. It clearly is a message that’s been trying to come through for quite a while now. Maybe the Universe did feel it had to interfere getting it through and decided to make October 2014 a harsh one. Anyway, it’s pretty clear. I have to adjust to my body and energy. Instead of keeping on fighting it. And my brain finds that bloody hard! Scary even.

But, I’m always up for a challenge. New month, new pain killers, new therapies, new focus, new spirit. Ah November 2014, already I can say we got off on the right foot. You are not October, that’s one thing. And on your first day the one and only Enrique Iglésias (don’t we all know his songs by heart) liked a picture I posted on Instagram. Oh yes.

 

So, instead of beating myself up about the fact that October 2014 wasn’t very productive nor pain-free, November and I are gonna start all over again. Embrace each other. Ho hey!

This month I’m gonna focus on drawing. And meanwhile try and adjust to myself.