April 25, 2009

Birthday Boy!


Last Thursday, April 23rd, Albert turned 38. Our little tradition is to start birthdays at midnight by giving presents. This year the moment was extra nice: that afternoon a box arrived from our Swedish friends. So, after unwrapping my gifts (I'd chosen to give 6 gifts; one from each cat and one from me. I know that sounds cheesy but I don't care!), it was time to dive into the box! It was stuffed with all kinds of goodies and yummie candy, such a joy to open! On the picture above Albert is showing a few of the goodies :)
The next morning we went to the zoo Ouwehand's Dierenpark, a place that carries many happy memories for us. We started visiting it right at the start of our relationship and it still doesn't bore us. We love it so much that we even celebrated out wedding party over there!
It was an awesome day. Wonderful weather (sunny but not too hot) and we both were in a very good mood. We just enjoyed watching all the animals and each other's company!
Here is a little impression:



April 22, 2009

Retro!

Last weekend our dvd player died, a few secs before the end of the movie we were watching. Frustrating!
As we were longing for some more entertainment, we decided to take a look at the videotapes upstairs. A lot of dust had gathered on the tapes, but what great treasures we found underneath! A while ago we Albert tried to sell the whole collection because it was only in the way, but he couldn't get more than 30 euros for all the 200 tapes so he kept them. And now we're enjoying that decision! We've watched several romcoms already and plan to keep doing this when the new dvd player has arrived. Not all of them, though. Movies like The Ringmaster (Jerry Springer movie), The Dark Side of the Sun (horrible Brad Pitt movie) or Intensive Care (worst horror ever, bought it because my youth hero, Koen Wauters, is in it), those will keep on gathering dust...
Ain't it hip to go retro? Maybe the cd player should break down too, so we have to switch to tapes and vinyl :)

April 18, 2009

Bookmarks!

A while ago, a fellow BookCrosser from Florida came up with the wonderful idea of making a bookmark box: a box that would travel around the world, visiting book(mark) lovers so they could take out the ones they like and replace those with bookmarks from their own collection. I joined that project and was expecting a (large) envelope, but in the meantime the travelling collection has grown out of any envelope size; it has become a box indeed. I received it a few weeks ago and had a lot of fun going through the album, seeing all these different kinds of bookmarks, getting inspired, reading the journal that travels along and finally, making my choices of what to take out and what to add...
Thanks for organising this, CollegeLady!! The box is on its way to Australia!
The journal that travels along is from paperblank... (do not click on that link! it will make you drool if you're a book/journal lover!) (by the way, I'm the proud owner of this one, which I'm currently using as a diary)




Found these ceramic cat beads at aparte kralen, nice to use on a crocheted bookmark:
These I picked for others: the one on the left is for Albert's American Football collection, the other 4 are a surprise for a fellow bookmark lover:

And these two will stay with me:

As well as this one, it's so cute! I'll laminate it so it will survive living in my books :)


Kitties waiting to be cut out, laminated & cut out again. I promised myself that once I've got a good stack, I'm opening a tiny webshop to see if I'm able to sell some. It's not the most expensive hobby, but I'll need some cash if I want to keep on making them. And great for my self esteem if it would sell! :)

April 14, 2009

Big Mouth


Last week at Catharinaschool (my day 'job' which I picked up again recently), I overheard people talking about how handy it would be if the instructions for the sketch project they were working on, would have been in Dutch. They understood some English, but not enough to follow the intructions properly.
Before even looking at it, I offered to translate it. Why not? My English is far from perfect, but reading large chunks of text in English isn't much of a problem.
Got a copy of the text and am working on it right now, wishing I'd kept my big mouth shut. Should have known the text was very technical and now I understand why people were having difficulties with it. So here I am, chewing at this chunk of text, trying to find the right words in Dutch. And refusing to give it up.
It makes me grin to see myself wrestling with this, to notice I'm still stubborn. The past few years I've been so insecure about almost anything, so I think it's a good sign to overestimate myself instead of underestimating for once. Back to work! ;)

April 10, 2009

Ideas Unfolding

A few years ago, a dear friend & fellow creative mind and I were talking about creative blocks and how to overcome those. My friend adviced me to read The Artist's Way, a book by Julia Cameron. It had helped her a lot, she told me.
I put the book on my wishlist on my BookCrossing shelf, hesitated to buy it myself. Not because I thought the book wouldn't be good, no, it was the same fear of starting new things as the one that was blocking my creative flow.
One of BookCrossing's slogans is: the Karma of Literature. I'm a strong believer in Karma and I'd experienced already that it's a very true slogan when it comes to BookCrossing: spread some joy and it will come back to you. It came back: out of the blue someone sent me The Artist's Way.
Stubborn & insecure me was still finding excuses not to use the 12 week programme of the book: the book was in English, it would work better for me if I had a copy in Dutch.
Okay, next step: buy the book in Dutch. I did so, last year.
Did I start the programme? Nope, I read several chapters of the book, but put it right back on the shelf every single time. Kept this wonderful treasure unused, making up all kinds of excuses not to start using it.
Well, it's time for a change!
Yesterday I moved the book from the shelf to the table in the living room, promising myself to keep it there until I start using it.
Browsed the web, saw there are lots of groups that do the programme together, even here in Holland. Wonderful, but often with costs that are higher than my budget.
Would there be online groups? Yes, those exist as well! I think an ontopic forum could be of great help, and there is a forum right at The Artist's Way's website.
I want to find a way to make it work for me, cuz I already know writing morning pages will be a real challenge for me. Not to start, but to keep doing it, not quitting.
I wonder if it would work to write those pages online, where people can see them, as external pressure. My pages would be in Dutch, as the main goal for me is to get back into writing -essays, poetry, stories and hopefully a book!
Hmm, sounds like it's time to get in touch with others about this, starting with making an account at the TAW website!

April 3, 2009

Preview

Since a little while, I'm in the lucky position to write a review now & then for a publisher, Arena (part of Meulenhoff Boekerij). As a reviewer, you receive a book by mail and write a review about it, which the publisher uses for its website. As a thank you, you get to keep the book. Pretty awesome for a bookworm like me!
Recently there was a competition: a group of people received a book written by Torsten Kroll, Callisto, and the 5 best reviews would receive his latest novel before it's being published. Lucky me ended in the top 5 and yesterday the book already arrived! Haven't started reading yet, but I think it will be a good read. Haha, it's just so cool to own a book way before it appears in the book shops :)

April 1, 2009

Spring is in the Air

video

This afternoon, Albert, the cats & I enjoyed the sunshine in the back yard :)
(oh, the white cat is not a new family member, just a visitor!)