Geschreven op 25 June 2014 door Flowmagazine

Each Wednesday we feature a guest blogger on This month we yield the floor to Suzy Ultman. Suzy is from the US, but used to live in Amsterdam for years. She recenly came back for a visit and she popped around to our editorial office in Hoofddorp. She’s working on illustrations for our new Book for Paper Lovers (due to appear in the middle of November). Have a look at her work on


Paper Is the Key to My Heart

Hello & Hoi Flow!
For the month of June, I have the honor of guest blogging about paper, one of my favorite subjects. As a young girl, I spent time collecting stickers, magazine clippings, fabric swatches, buttons, ribbons, notes, papers and envelopes. I organized boxes of my found treasure. On rainy days, I’d pull out the bits & scraps, and assemble them into books & letters. Paper projects always made my heart happy.

Today, in our busy world, I still take the time to make stationery and write letters. I actually prefer more personal forms of contact over email and social media. This brings me to today’s post. It had been several years since I created a ‘professional’ business card. I decided that this paper project deserved my special attention. I wanted to make an object, a small gift of sorts. I wanted the card to be something that would make people smile first, keep second, and eventually realize that it was my business card.

I am fortunate to be dear friends with Allison Chapman, owner of Igloo Letterpress, and goddess of letterpress printing. The letterpress printing process, with its clean yet imperfect quality, was just the right match for my paper project. I wanted the cards to feel very ‘Suzy’: both nostalgic and modern.


The process began with a sketch presentation to Allison where we discussed any potential production issues (to name a few — line weight quality, plate colors, die shapes). Then, I rendered the final art in the computer. From here, Allison created photopolymer plates for each color.


Hand-mix the colors. Print. Go gold!

We experimented with several secondary color ideas, and decided to move forward with pink. After playing with the color on the press, we found just the right shade. Hooray! The chosen pink sample, or ‘Go By’, was hung for reference. Time to start the presses.


My personal information is printed on the flip side, and finally the cards are sent to another vendor to be cut. The final product is a simply sweet key that just so happens to be my business card. I love paper, and the power of passing notes. I hope this little key helps spread the joy!


Till next week!


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Geschreven op 21 June 2014 door Flowmagazine

Fed up with office life, Nancy Veeken started her shop smack bang in the middle of the recession. Things could only get better. And they did.

140531_Saturday Market_RARE BIRD

Why did you start Rarebird?
“I went to Montaigne fashion academy in Amsterdam and after I my graduation I worked for years as a designer of children’s clothes. After a while I noticed it was starting to grate on me – making yet another collection each season. Designing wintercoats in the middle of summer, it just didn’t do it for me anymore. Because of a sad event, I came to a point at which I could change the course of my life. I wrote a plan and I visualized everything using mood boards. Of course everybody kept warning me about the recession, but I just thought: I might as well start something now, things can only get better.”

How do you like the combination of a ‘real’ shop and a web shop?
“I originally wanted to set up a web shop, but I didn’t want to be stuck somewhere on an industrial estate. Having both a shop that’s not on an A-location and a web shop was a great start. Customers know how to find me both ways. And I have great conversations with complete strangers every day. That was virtually unimaginable when I was still working for an employer.”

How did you figure out what kind of shop you wanted?
“Because of my work I used to travel a lot. On my travels I got inspired by special shops, as I could feel someone’s poured his heart and soul into his shop. That’s what I wanted. I currently sell a mix of old and new. For instance prints and illustrations I like. But I’m also selling the vintage and antique items my mum collected during her life. I couldn’t just sell them to some junk-dealer. So now they’re in my shop, together with my own collection of vintage stuff. In the future I’d like to design more myself, but all in good time. I am seizing the day, living my dream.”

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Geschreven op 17 June 2014 door Flowmagazine

Each Wednesday we feature a guest blogger on This month we yield the floor to Natascha Boel. After first working as a lawyer in a few big firms, when she was 35 she decided to follow her heart and go to art school. As of 2010 she works as a self-employed designer, making illustrations for magazines, bags, paintings and wonderful postcards. She does all this from her little old house surrounded by nature, to which she has recently moved. More about Natascha and her work at

Last week I had a meeting at What a great place to visit! They can make you any fabric you can think of. They use modern looms with unlimited possibilities, but sometimes they also employ really old techniques. Together with the people from the lab I had a look at how my designs can be turned into tapestries.



An important part of this is, obviously, choosing the fabric. And, boy, that’s not easy as there’s sooooooooooooooo much….. Linen, cotton, hemp, flax, synthetic, dull, (semi)shiny, thick, thin, smooth… And how about horsehair? And then there are the colors… Any color you want and possibly mixed (in fabrics it’s called ‘twining’, I never knew)  Once you’ve picked your yarn there are thousands of options for weaving: with height and depth differences, light&loose or sturdily packed, ‘mock’ embroidery, etc. Each choice leads to a different appearance.

In short: too much to choose from. And I always get lost when that happens.


“Candy store”

Let’s first have a stroll around to museum to ogle all those wonderful fabrics and old fashioned seeming machines for weaving, embroidering and knitting that are happily rattling around.


“Too much choice”

By now I have picked the first designs I want to turn into tapestries (yay, I’ve made a decision!) The tapestry won’t be an exact copy of the painting, because weaving is too unpredictable for that. The colors mix naturally and it will look different because of the texture in the fabric as well. So I am dying to see the result, but I have to be patient as it’s busy in Tilburg. If you’re curious I can show you the result on my website later this year.


“Designs and proofs”

Above and below you can see my preliminary designs for the tapestries with samples of other tapestries made in the lab. I hope you can see how gorgeous the structure of these fabrics is. Very cuddly all in all!


And that leads me to the end of my final blog post already! Flow, thank you so much for letting me write here for four weeks. And.. I even received some enthusiastic emails! Wonderful! Thanks for reading!

If you should want to see some ‘live’ footage of me working, you can find me on YouTube as well:

It’s an ad for the ‘idea day’ I go to every year. But the great thing is that the video has been shot inside my work shop while I’m working and explaining what I do, just like I did here the past few weeks.

I hope to see, hear or read from you and for now have a lovely day!

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Geschreven op 14 June 2014 door Flowmagazine

After quite a few detours Fanny Wanders started her little gem of a (web) shop, filled with presents and accessories. These items – and many more – she also sells in het shop in the village of Margraten in Limburg.

140524_Saturday Market_Watanders

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
“I was born in Margraten, South-Limburg, on May 24th 1972 and I am the mother of Oskar (19), Emile (16) and Juulke (10). Oskar and Emile are sons from my previous marriage with a German film director. We used to live in Germany for a while, and I worked as a makeup artist. When he was two, Oskar was diagnosed with Hunter’s disease. Because he could participate in a program for this rare, serious disease in the United States I went and lived there for four years. With my current husband Hans I had a little girl, Juulke, in the US and in the end we all moved back to the Netherlands, to Margraten.”

So why did you start your shop?
“I have always had a thing for art and interiors and I could only dream of one day owning a shop of my own. Until my mum retired and was able to help take care of my kids. I started working at Sissy Boy (Dutch fashion brand) in Maastricht, until this small property became available in Margraten. It was right across from the statue my, sadly deceased, father Mat Wanders (an artist from Margraten) made! The name Watanders (‘something else’) was derived from my dad’s name and the ‘different’ (‘anders’) stuff I sell. Setting up shop wasn’t difficult at all for me. It started out as a wonderful hobby and it’s like therapy – a counter balance for all the worries I have about Oskar. Which is why it all just flows naturally. But it’s really hard work nonetheless!”

What are your plans for the future?
“I don’t like looking forward too much…  go with the flow! I am grateful for each day we get to enjoy each other and Oskar’s company.”

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Geschreven op 12 June 2014 door Flowmagazine

Each Wednesday we feature a guest blogger on This month we yield the floor to Natascha Boel. After first working as a lawyer in a few big firms, when she was 35 she decided to follow her heart and go to art school. As of 2010 she works as a self-employed designer, making illustrations for magazines, bags, paintings and wonderful postcards. She does all this from her little old house surrounded by nature, to which she has recently moved. More about Natascha and her work at

Lavish decorations and beautiful patterns; I never grow tired of them. Which is why they always pop up in my work as well.

In the project I am working on at the moment I combine this with another one of my fascinations: pretty traditional costumes from faraway countries. As the world changes, the lives and appearances of a lot of traditional tribes are changing as well, and as they disappear, so do a lot of richly decorated clothes and jewellery.

I thought it would be great to take a few of these traditional decorations and somehow bring them up to date and preserve them a little. But how?

In my case you start by drawing and painting and I started by making portraits of beautifully decorated women.


 Some of the things that really got me started on the right track were pictures by Jimmy Nelson. He travelled all over the world for a few years, took gorgeous pictures of 32 tribes and put them together in a big, fat book called ‘Before they pass away’. There are a few of his pictures above here and there are loads more on

Apart from this I have all kinds of pattern books in my book case. Pepin Press is definitely one of my favorites: They stock wonderful wrapping paper and the books also feature the patterns digitally. Here are some examples:


“And more inspiration”

Time to get to work on the portraits. As I was painting the women kept seeming to disappear into their embellishments. Their pretty exteriors kept asserting itself more than they did themselves. I wanted to expand on that.


 “Getting to work”

As a source of information for the work pictured below I used a Tibetan woman with huuuuuuge jewellery. All that adornment seemed kinda heavy to me and while I was painting they imperceptibly changed into little stones.

Here you see how I created the piece.

First I made a background of wall paper with a thin layer of acrylics on top. Acrylics are great to work with as they dry very quickly and they’re easy to paint over. I will often use other materials as well, such as parquet- and metallic spray, fabric, yarn, fake flowers… all sorts, a bit of a collage really. In the background I draw the contours in pencil, which I then fill in with paint. The final details I usually add using Indian ink. And (not the best order really) I painted the tree last. This is why the woman seems to blend in completely with her surroundings.


“Construction of a piece of my work”

This painting turned out quite big: 1×2 meters. And as it was hanging on my wall I came up with the idea to enlarge certain details of my work and turn them into tapestries. I could really see it all!

This Friday I get to go to the Textiellab in Tilburg ( so we can discuss how to turn my drawings/paintings into tapestries. How great is that?

Next week I’ll show you which works I picked for this and hopefully I’ll be able to tell you about the next steps. I can’t wait to find out myself! See you next week!

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Geschreven op 10 June 2014 door Flowmagazine

If you look closely, they’re everywhere: beautiful quotes, insights and simple but handy tips. For this app, we’ve combined 365 of them with illustrations made by Lobke van Aar.

365 cards to make you feel connected, simplify your life, live mindfully or just to spoil yourself. You can start at any day of the year, share cards via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, email and save your favourites cards for another time. Available for iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones and tablets.

The app costs € 1.79 or $1.99 and is available in the App Store and Google Play and you can download it on your Apple or Android smartphone and tablet.

Tablet en telefoon samen met cover

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Geschreven op 31 May 2014 door Flowmagazine

An organic and, most of all, a very pretty whole: that’s Xandra van der Eijk’s web shop/web magazine.

140517_Saturday Market_I Wait Here(2)

Why and when did you start I Wait Here?
“I’ve been working on it since February of 2012, the website iwaithere.come has been online since 2014. Prior to that I traveled around with the graduation project I made for my master in Image & Sound at the Conservatory in The Hague. I did graphic design at Art School in The Hague before. As my graduation project was a big hit, it would’ve made sense for me to keep doing free work. But being an artist is very lonely for me. At this point in time I want so much more, and different. I want to feel connected, mean something to other people.”

Can you explain what I Wait Here is, exactly?
“I Wait Here really consists of three things: it’s an offline project where I try to help along designers to the best of my ability, in all kinds of ways. I am often surprised at how designers (and artists) are expected to know how to do absolutely everything themselves. Organizing production processes, doing their own marketing… Because the people who are being picked up are the ones who can do everything you see a lot of the same stuff in a lot of shops and magazines. Apart from this service, I Wait Here is an online magazine and an online shop. You can find the most amazing things on Pinterest and Tumblr, but the credits and the origin are often very hard to trace, On my site there are wonderful stories and images you can loose yourself in, but it’s immediately clear who made it and you can buy that unique item as well.”

What are your plans for the future?
“Ahhh, there are so many! Like the mini-festival I just organized together with  Sunday Mornings at the River, which we may want to repeat next year. I want to tackle the site some more and a paper magazine seems like a wonderful idea as well. Helping more designers and taking pictures of houses all over Europe (or outside!). So, this is only the beginning!”

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Geschreven op 30 May 2014 door Flowmagazine

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