HappyMakersBlog (1/5)

How lucky am I to be able to blog for you (fives times!) this spring month. I’m going to start with a personal “this-is-me-blog” this week, which is pretty unique as I usually blog about other people. Then in the coming weeks, I’ll tell you more about my work as an art director, the launch of my new HappyMakersBlog and my future plans. As well as being this month’s guest blogger, I’m also this month’s guest pinner for Flow’s Pinterest page. On the Friends of Flow board, you’ll find pins linked to what I’ve blogged about here, as well as other HappyMakers.

A paper lover from birth

I was born in 1968 in the village of Lopik, and I lived there while I was at elementary school. My family had a shop selling clothing and furniture; my parents, two brothers and I lived above it. A lot of my cousins lived nearby, so there was always someone to play with.

During my high school days, we lived in Bunschoten-Spakenburg. Situated directly on the lake’s edge, it was an ideal place for a water rat like myself. My parents started a new women’s clothing business there. I went to Farel College in Amersfoort, which I really enjoyed, and I would cycle there every morning from home.

I’m definitely an ‘80s girl. You’ll find some of these images on Pinterest.

I was barely 18 years old when I went to the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. I may have been very young, but I was also very ambitious. I studied graphic and typographic design. We had great fun there – it was such a laugh – and we learned so much. I would not have missed it for the world. It’s wonderful that my parents were able to give me that opportunity. What a luxury to be able to study, and focus on, design for five years. It’s a luxury that, actually, I still have to this day. I learn something new every day and I enjoy what I do. I can truly say with all my heart: my hobby is my work.


Haarlem: wonderfully close to the sea

I met my boyfriend Dick after graduation. We both continued working in the offices where we had our internship; he was in The Hague and I was in Haarlem. And then we entered the real world of work together: he as an interior designer and me as a graphic designer.

Last summer in the Northwest of the United States. I celebrated my birthday there, and I got the book “Whatever you are, be a good one” by Lisa Congdon.

After refurbishing two houses from scratch together, we then had two wonderful kids: Claire was born in 2004 and Cas in 2007. It’s incredible to think that this summer, they will already be 8 and 11!

Holiday snaps of our US trip: Gooseneck (Utah), National Park Grand Teton (Wyoming) and one of the most incredible camping places ever, Island in the Sky (Canyonlands, Utah)

From a very early age, my parents instilled in me the importance of going on vacation, taking time off, and enjoying one’s free time. But they also stressed the importance of hard work, of course. At home, we either worked hard, played hard or holidayed hard. It’s a great habit that I took with me when I left home. Which is probably why we underwent a serious “America-vacation-addiction” over the past few years, having gone there quite a few times! It was a huge indulgence, but in all honesty, I don’t have to travel too far to find peace…

Give me wind & sailing, freedom and being outdoors: I couldn’t be happier!

* Camping * Friesland * Boots * Swimming * Ice skating (on natural ice!) * Cycling * Yoga (especially in the dunes!) *