Friday, 31 January 2014

Incoming: Pay it Forward

I received a PiF (Pay it Forward) from mimstasjes. I had a bad day at work and I wrote her an email about my day. She send me these lovely small parcels! A long letter, a nursing keychain and a stamp. She is amazing at carving stamps. She teaches stampcarving aswelll! Check out her blog for really nice custum carved stamps.
The keychain went straight onto my work key cord. I have some paediatric patients who will love this! And it will be a good distraction for them while I do my nursing thing.
Really, I'm a bit jealous of her fine crafting skills. I can never carve a stamp like this or crochet so tiny. It would be a mess.
But thank you thank you Mim! You made my day!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Outgoing: Double Happiness

My little give away went to Carin from Moosetravelling! She had given me good feedback on my blog, which I found really helpfull. I sort of just started this blog without really thinking about it. There was no big plan or something, it just sort of developed. And then suddenly I wanted something different, but what exactly I didn't know yet. And I still don't know really. I've given myself a whole year to find out. I've sent the Chinese calender I promised I would give away. Although January is on its way now, it's still a funky calender! I enjoy looking at ours since it's on the wall right next to our fridge.

I thought I give this stamp carving another go to try to make Chinese stationary. On the chopsticks package was this sign I thought I could carve. I had no idea what it meant though. Via Instagram I found out it meant: "double happiness". Thank God for that! For all I knew it could have meant "made in China" or "Peking duck". Turns out I'm not really good at carving stamps.

Carin commented somewhere on my blog she likes matchboxes as much as I do! She has made matchboxes with little books inside them, really cool MIMB's (message in matchbox)! Go check it out! But I made a little people chinese mail matchbox for Carin.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Incoming: Mail from Marieke

I received this colourful envelope from Marieke and it was just stuffed with presents. Some were for me, and some were for one of our lovely guinea pigs who celebrated it's third birthday. Marieke is the former owner of our lovely cuddly animals, who stayed permanently with us after we looked after them while she was on holiday.

And here's the lucky recipient! She even got her own birthday card! Although she doesn't look very happy at her new nail clippers Marieke sent. But then again, she is a bit ill at the moment, the poor thing. These nailclippers will come in handy with their ever growing nails though!

But also some stuff for me. A Superman magnet! Well, I'm a superman magnet myself (ahum), no not really. But Marieke and I share a love for Superman! And a card which says "why women are always right". Well, that's stating the obvious!

A really cute stamp of a castle.

A wooden heart (love!) and a reflector heart.

And a belated vintage Christmas card with some small cards.

And last but not least glitter gel pens! These are always the gel pens that the kids get, but these are mine! And a thank you card from Marieke, to thank for the mail I've sent her. But now I thank her for this mail!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Incoming: Feathers from Australia

Mail from Australia! It took a whole month to arrive, but when it did it was pure joy! A lovely handmade envelope (very nice) landed in my mailbox. Teneille contacted me since she was interested in becoming penpals. And wow! How she managed to find the time to write is so amazing since she just gave birth to her second child, is doing a graduate in botany, owns tree horses and has done a degree in animal science. Triple points for Teneille! I have a lot of neighbours who own horses, and they are always quite busy with them. I know I'm always busy with the kids, house, work, or something else, so if I had horses as well I would have no time at all! That's why we own two guinea pigs :-)
But what a lovely mail! A lovely postcard with air balloons which reminds me of our favourite holiday spot in Italy and le Petit Prince postage stamps stickers! I just love the feathers she has put inside! So lovely! Just to imagine on the other side of the world Teneille has collected these feathers on her parents farm, took them home, thought of me and decided to put them into an envelope which travelled half way around the world to my mailbox. And that's why sharing and connecting trough mail is so amazing!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Inspiration: How to make beautiful stationary

You need a stamp, ink, paper and an envelope. That's all. I've used a clear stamp from Kaiserkraft (they have such beautiful stamps!) and a non acid waterproof ink.

I've put the clear stamp on the acrylic block and stamped carefully onto the envelope and the paper.

And easy piesy, here you go. Lovely stationary.

The only thing that's left now, is to write a letter. Done.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Outgoing: Birds!

I've sent this to Tanja. She was doing a 365 drawing a day challenge, but time caught up with her. She changed it into a 52 weeks challenge. I can totally imagine that, time is always catching up on me as well. To much I want to get done, so little time to get it done. There is always something else that needs to be done around our house. People need to eat and have clean clothes, I have to work or collect kids from somewhere, or something else to do. In the spare time I got left, I or pass out on the couch or do some crafting stuff which I find rather relaxing by the way.

I've sent Tanja my favourite drawing pen. It's such a great pen, the ink flows fluidly and smoothly while drawing. It's also a great pen to write with (but still I prefer a fountain pen for writing). It's from Pentel and a few years ago I ordered a whole box of them. Just because this always happens, I find a great drawing pen, and when I need a new one, they are just nowhere to be found again or they run out of stock or something.

I included some other goodies: wooden birds, tickets and some Project Life cards.

And with my own pen I drew some birds (Regulus regulus) on a label.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Outgoing; Vintage mail to Belgium

A mail went out to Yves. He had sent me this beautiful letter with his calligraphic Spencerian handwriting (so jealous). So I searched for my old dip pen I knew had to be somewhere amongst my stuff. But when I found it, there was no ink to be found! The nib of my dip pen was full of old ink I couldn't get of any more unfortunately. But still I didn't know if I could write with it. I always used it to make drawings. There's just something about dipping your pen in a ink pot.
Couple of days later I found some black ink at a bookstore and tucked away on the same shelf was this pot of brown ink. The saleswomen stated that really no one bought ink any more these last years, so that pot of brown ink could have been there for years and years! It's that brown ink that I used to write a letter with my dip pen. Not a great succes. The nib was to full of old ink (maybe twenty years old ink) and my handwriting was still as terrible as ever. I tried to make a drawing with the dip pen on a huge tag. Turned out I was a lot better at that.

I used my calligraphy stamp, also with brown ink to stamp the letter and the envelope.

I found these botanical vintage prints at a thrift shop last year. And included them in to the small parcel.

I also included a vintage needle book and a button holder (I think that is what it was) for Yves' wife. I follow her on Instagram and she has such a beautiful vintage taste!

Next time I'm just going to put a string to the label I wrote the adress on and tie it around the envelope. That would look so much better. Well, next time hey!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Inspiration: While the kids are away, the parents are out to play (part 2)

Next day without the kids we went out to Amsterdam. It was freezing cold! So after we got out of the metro, the first thing we did was pay a visit to the Hermitage.

The Hermitage is an annex from the famous Hermitage museum in St Petersburg. I found it a bit disappointing though. But inside there was no freezing cold wind and we did spend more time at the museum shop as in the museum itself. Everything was really expensive. But I found a postcard book full of birds for a good price. And I wished I bought more of them now.

After our hands were feeling warm again we ventured out to find a shop called de Vlieger. It's a paper shop and full of beautiful paper! I found a really beautiful pack of Japanese table mats. Such beautiful prints and perfect for a bit of paper crafting. I bought some other stuff and nice washi tape. The angels and Mexican game are from another shop by the way (Kitsch Kitchen). 

At Sissy-boy Homeland I found these lovely cards from designer Jurianne Matter. These are small notecards with pop up trees, I wanted them for ages but found them a bit expensive, but they were on sale now! And only two packs left (with 10 in each pack). So I bought both of them of course, but I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I would probably not ever use them, they are just so pretty! I can make my own Jurianne Matter forest now!

And having a bit of a glow around me from all the beautiful paper I found already, we ended up in a typical Amsterdam bar to have a sandwich with a typical Dutch kroket and mustard. And not soon after we settled, a family walked in. A family with kids. And we were secretly having fun listening to the parents negotiating with the kids about their order after one of the kids got in a bit of a tantrum, so we just smiled with that smile only parents know how to. And ordered another cappuccino. We wandered out again into the cold and stumbled upon a store called Kitsch Kitchen. I love the colourful stuff they have! Found some funky plastic bowls that would be great for all my washing tape!

After a whole day of strutting about our capital city in the cold freezing wind we called it a day. Our hands were sore from all the bags we were carying. So we treated ourselves to a lovely meal and secretly enjoyed our time without kids but also secretly missed them. 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Inspiration: While the kids are away, the parents are out to play (part 1)

After the holidays were over, the kids were out staying with their grandparents. And for the first time in about 12 months we had the whole weekend to ourselves! I didn't even have to work since I work every other weekend. What a joy and what to do? A whole weekend without kids! The only thing we knew, was that we definitely would go to a restaurant! Going to a restaurant without kids, is kind of a forbidden joy for parents and we were going to take advantage of that! I also wanted to take this oppurtunity to find some nice paper.
The first day we went to Nijmegen to the Valkhof museum. It's a museum located in a park on the riverside in Nijmegen, the oldest city of the Netherlands. And that was such a beautiful museum! I loved it! Full of Roman artefacts that were found in and around Nijmegen. There was a lovely view from the museum looking over the bridge over the river. Roman glassware on the foreground.

I love these medieval books. The beautiful illustrations and calligraphy. Luckily this was behind glass, I wouldn't be able to control myself to feel the thick pages.

The modern art section was very light and full of great stuff. I don't know who those people are on this picture by the way. I was looking for my boyfriend as we always drift into different directions in a museum. But then we always end up looking for each other. We are not very efficient at that.
I'm definitely going back to this museum though, but then with the kids. They would love the Roman section! I'm sure of it!

And the great thing about museums is, they have a shop! I love museum shops! Full of postcards and books. I bought some postcards as a always do, but I also found this really funny note holder! It's only small and whatever you write on a note will be visible inside the telly frame. Vintage hoarder as I am, I just needed this! Like it was a life necessity.

After our museum visit, we payed a visit to Flying Tiger. It's a store with lots of cheap home-ware stuff. I was a bit disappointed with their collection though. It's not that cheap as I expected. I found some paper-ware though.

And right across the street was a thrift shop! There's no stopping me at a thrift shop! I found some music books I can use for some paper craft or make envelopes amongst other things. And this swan thing. It turns out it's a ringholder.

And what a lovely day it was. After wandering through the city centre we ended up in a restaurant. With a glass of wine, and a 4 course meal. How lovely, and how strange without kids.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Outgoing: dutch mail to Foreign Geek

This mail went out to Wina from Foreign Geek. She has such a great blog! She writes in a humouristic way about her life and travels, just love her writing style. Anyway, she had contacted me on my blog last year (that seems like forever away now) and sent me this parcel with Indonesian goodies. Although Kalwina is a Singapore resident nowadays, she's originally from Indonesia. Well, to cut a long story short, I've sent her a dutch parcel in return.

Okay, I may have been gone a bit overboard with this, but once I get going, there is no stopping. I went for the Dutch colours: red, white and blue, although it's mainly blue and white like Delfts blue table ware (which I love!)

At the DIY store at the wallpaper section I've found these samples of a sort of Dutch style wallpaper. Although I needed six pieces of it, I felt a bit greedy though. So I tackled the kids to pretend they needed samples for their room or something. And as good citizens we left the store with each two samples. So mummy would have enough for her mailthing. And it sort of felt like a little victory. How silly is that, a victorious feeling of 6 samples of wallpaper. Anyway. I've sewn them together (as wallpaper can only be glued to walls, and believe you me, I've tried it! Glueing wallpaper together, it just doesn't work). I've perforated some holes, and tied a blue and white ribbon in. That does work though!

This was inside the wallpaper bags. Sticky tape with Dutch houses on them (well, they could have been Dutch) and a really Dutch Delft blue earthenware magnet. The magnet (yes another) with the saying on it, I found really appropriate since Wina was doing an E-course in happiness. Although happiness can not be learned, most of the time it's just right in front of you, we just need to see it. (oh my God! I've turned into a Zen master, which I'm not of course. I'm always the one who looks at the horizon instead of in front of me, until I sort of stumble upon a little happiness in the place where I wasn't expecting it)

This is my favourite winter tea this year! A lovely mix of redbush and vanilla. It smells really homely, really good for cold weather.

I even got a bit crafty and made this! An envelope with a Dutch texture! To be true, it was a placemat, but you can never tell now. The Dutch ribbon is from a plastic "I'm a winner" award from the kids, which I found somewhere lying around the house. The plastic medal wasn't really nice, so I didn't mind cutting that of to use the ribbon it was tied to. And vintage buttons I thrifted.

Inside a package full of sticky notes of apples and pears. We are surrounded by apple and pear orchards over here. Springtime is beautiful! Blossom everywhere (and hay fever too).

A Dutch card with a letter and a little something.

The little something. A necklace with a blue stone.

And a tin! Will tell you in another blogpost about these kind of tins.

I've altered the tin a bit to give it a Dutch feel. Even put a vintage picture inside and some small Dutch gifts.

Red, white and blue gifts inside! A Delft blue wooden shoe (which was not wooden by the way), a keychain with a girl with traditional Marken costume, a Dutch lucky hanger, a funky red hanger and red, white and blue origami crane birds!

It doesn't look it in this picture, but the crane birds were really tiny, but really sweet. And for a bit of luck of course. Or for a bit of Dutch courage. Yeah, that's better, Dutch courage.