2018.08.22 A successor in the family

The youngest loves to draw (yeah, finally a successor!). Sometimes he points out what he is drawing, but at most you can recognize it in the dimensions, not in the shape.

For example he says while he is drawing 4 lines next to each other: ” This is daddy, this is mummy, this is Diego, this is me”. And I must say, he has the proportions right.

Otherwise, it is just scratching. Which I love, because that’s a big inspiration for me.

So the above drawing is not made by Alex, but by me, taken one of his drawings as an example. I use it to experiment in Procreate, because that app has so many possibilities, that I haven’t figured everything out yet.

Do you like it?


2018.08.20 Wrong fuel?

“Would you put diesel in your car? No? Why not?”

“It wouldn’t be the right fuel, because my car runs on gasoline”.

“So you take better care of your car than of yourself?”

That did the trick. I didn’t drink that much, I guess. At the most one bottle of white wine a week. But still, I do know alcohol is not good for me.

The funny thing is, I tried to quit on alcohol consumption before. Never for more than one month and then I would start again. But since that conversation I delved into the question “Why do I drink? Why do I need it?”

The conclusion of that self-examination is that I like “going for a drink”. I like the coziness of sitting with Tom, looking at people, enjoying our conversation and the resting.

I have to admit though that whenever I had the intention of drinking just one glass, miraculously that always turned into 2. Making me mad at myself afterwards. How stupid can I be?

At the moment I am officially a teetotaler for 3 months. The difference with the other attempts of quitting is unbelievable. I haven’t had one urge to start again. We still go out for a drink occasionally. I enjoy that even more now that I am not flogging myself at being weak. And I found several brands of sparkling water that are really nice.


2017.11.07 Demolishing the temple

Grote Kerk, Breda

Today I have been taking pictures in the “Grote Kerk” in Breda together with my friend Jenny. One of the guardians of the church saw me taking pictures of the ceiling and explained there are 84 crossings that are all different.

Nowadays the church is a public building. It’s build as a catholic church but the inside was badly demolished in the 16th century during the “Beeldenstorm” and has been a protestant church after that. What is it that people have to ruin things they dislike or don’t understand?


32 tips to get ideas to spend your free time

Inspiration: 32 tips to get ideas to spend your free time

This is a random list of all kind of things I occasionally do. If you feel stuck or just don’t have a lot of ideas at the moment to do in your free time, then it’s great to follow one of the suggestions. Get inspired:

  1. Is there anything you did in your childhood and stopped doing?
    For example coloring with crayons. Or use a soft pencil to color the edge of a piece of paper (torn or cut) and then smear it with your finger on another piece of paper. Or scratch on paper with a soft pencil while there is a penny underneath.
  2. Check out the pictures on Instagram
    Get inspired by the many photos you can find on Instagram. You can search for keywords by the hash tags that most people use.
  3. Look at shop windows
    What is the current fashion look? What resources have been used to decorate the shop and make it attractive? What materials are hip?
  4. Visit archives
    If you are looking for inspiration for a product, you can look for archives in design museums. Are you interested in old texts or letters than archives of newspapers or city archives are a treat. I spent quite some time in a regional archive to discover my family tree.
  5. schouwburgVisit the theater
    What do the decor and costumes look like? What has been used dramatically to make an often performed play or opera attractive or modern?
  6. Leaf through magazines
    If they are old magazines, you can tear out photos and try to combine them with new images. Make a collage.
  7. Do something you do not dare to do
  8. Dream
    They say you can’t thrust dreams. But they can be such a great inspiration for new ideas.
  9. Take pictures using a theme
    Just make photos of trees for a month. Or photograph only round shapes. Also try to find scenes in just one color (monochrome).
  10. Check what the color of the fashion season is
    Look at the trends. What’s hot. What’s not.
  11. Go to the movie
    One of my best recommendations is Bon Dieu. I have laughed until my face was hurting. Hilarious.
  12. Imitate
    Imitating has a negative meaning in our society, but in the time of the guilds an apprentice had to imitate the master to learn the craft.
  13. ideeen opdoenLook into a dictionary
    Open it at a random page. Or search for a specific word and see what terms are mentioned in the explanation and then look up those as well.
  14. Look at advertisements
    Promotional photos and commercials Have to pinpoint an idea in an extremely short period of time. How do they get their message across?
  15. Look at Pinterest
  16. Watch the empty space
    One of the exercises in model- or stilllife drawingclass is to focus on the negative space instead of on the subject.
  17. Listen to music
  18. Make a poem
    Use rhyme in the ordinary way. Or you can write the letters of your name in separate lines and take them as the first letter of a sentence.
  19. Make lists
  20. Model
    Give your own twist to an imitation
  21. Take a hot shower
    The best ideas come when you are relaxed and no longer consciously thinking about a problem. Eureka!
  22. inspiratie opdoenDo not just open your eyes, but also your other senses
    Or close your eyes and listen carefully. Only use your hands to ‘view’ an object. (It’s such a pity most museums forbid touching the statues!)
  23. Write with your left hand if you are right-handed and vice versa
    You literally use another part of your brain when you discard your own automatisms.
  24. Cut stamps of potatoes
  25. Speak a foreign language
  26. Draw
    Droodle, mindmapping, sketching, but also draw what you see in front of you are great sources of inspiration.
  27. Make things up that can not be
    Einstein has been able to develop the theory of relativity because he imagined that he traveled through space on a lightbeam.
  28. Walk
    Walking in the town the buildings and the crowds inspire. In nature the trees and the quiet are the sources.
  29. Sing
  30. Find an exhibition
    There are so many great museums that I always have a shortage of time. (Do you have my tips for a museum visit yet?)
  31. Find an object and make a lot of pictures of it
    Change the point of view. Go far away for an overview and get closer by to the details. Lie on your stomach or stand on the stairs.
  32. Zoek etymologische betekenissen op
    Of wat ook een geweldige manier is om los te komen: zoek woorden op in een andere taal en bekijk overeenkomsten met klanken of woorden in onze eigen taal.
    Find etymological meanings
    Or look up words in another language and examine similarities to sounds or words.

What do you do to get an stream of ideas flowing? Let me know in the commentbox below.

7 Ideas for crafting with material that is about to be thrown away

7 Ideas for crafting with material that is about to be thrown away

Once you start noticing how much material is about to be thrown away and is still usefull, you will find all kinds of purposes for them. In my eBook 100+ ideas for crafting with waste I have made a list to give you inspiration. And in this blogpost I have 7 more that you could follow.

Don’t have the ebook yet? Ask for it here:

[button link=”http://clevercreating.com/crafting-with-waste/” size=”large” style=”download” color=”green” border=”#172983″ window=”yes”]Send me the ebook[/button]

#1 Pallets

In the Netherlands, where I used to live, they use pallets for transportation. If you order a lot of stuff at the hardware store they deliver it on a pallet, that can be thrown away when you are ready.

Why not build furniture out of it. You notice clearly on the picture how they constructed these beach chairs. They are painted with leftovers from a maintenance job.

On the other picture you see how they used some as a flower box.

[twocol_one]beach chairs from pallets
Credits: BelcrumBeach, Breda, NL[/twocol_one][twocol_one_last]thrown away material[/twocol_one_last]

#2 Alternative hay box

A hay box is a cooker that utilizes the heat of the food being cooked to complete the cooking process. It is a way to save gas or electricity during the cooking process. Cook the food on an ordinary stove for a couple of minutes and then put the pan in the box.

A friend of mine made these retained-heat bags out of old blankets and fleece jumpers. His tip: make sure the end of the zipper is at the bottom side and not on the top. That way you can put a steelpan in with the handle peeking out.

Credits: Rein van Gisteren, Hoeilaart, B[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last][/twocol_one_last]

#3 Toilet paper holder

PVC sewer pipes are sawed in halves, glued together and painted in a nice color. Just the glue would be to weak to hold it in shape, so the outer halves are both fixed to the wall.

Credits: Podium Bloos, Breda, NL[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last][/twocol_one_last]

#4 Spool knitting

My mother sewed all my clothes when I was young. In those days the coils were made of wood. I remember vividly how we turned them into tools for spool knitting.

I am on the lookout for things to do with my grandkids this summer. So I rumbled through my own sewing things, only to realize that nowadays the coils are of plastic or cardboard. But I am lucky enough to have a friend who collects everything. 🙂

My tip: the best nails have just a slight thickening on the head. Don’t hammer them in too deep, because then the thread will come off too easily.

Credits: HM | wooden spool given by Jenny van Diggelen, Breda, NL[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last][/twocol_one_last]

#5 Decorating stones

Last spring I painted stones with my grandson. He is 3 years old and like most 3 years old he tends to add too much water to the paint. Add a bit of wallpaper glue to the water when your (grand)child does that as well.

Another tip: if the stone is too porous, paint it first with some left over latex paint.

You can demount cheap jewellery that you do not use any more and glue them onto a stone. The stone Hans used has an exceptional symmetry which made it obvious to turn it into a face.

Credits: HM, Puerto de Mazarron, ES[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]
Credits: Hans Lohman, Breda, NL[/twocol_one_last]

#6 A greenhouse of €10

In Holland are a lot of glass greenhouses and whenever there has been a storm the damage is huge. With this greenhouse you don’t have to worry about broken glass. Rein bought some electricity pipe, connector pieces, transparant plastic and nets (for extra support) and was all set for growing his vegetables and herbs.

And as you can see it grows and flourishes as the best.
In winter you can store it until the next growing season.

Credits: Rein van Gisteren, Hoeilaart, B[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last][/twocol_one_last]

#7 Always short on photo frames?

Pictures of the grandchildren; cards I receive and want to keep for a while; magazine clippings – I am always short on space to keep them.

I sawed a cork in halves and sawed these halfway in the middle. If the card or picture is not too thin or thick and not too heavy this works like a charm. When the pictures topple over you can glue a couple of them on a cardboard. That way you have a nice group and it will stay steady.
Another alternative is you cut it across in stead of in the length.

Credits: HM[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last][/twocol_one_last]

What is the best discovery for reuse you have made? Tell me in the commentbox below.

Even grown ups can play on the beach

Inspiration: Even grown ups can play on the beach

play on the beachIsn’t it a pity that we tend to forget how to play? Years ago my former colleagues and I went to a beach house once a year. We were all creative souls and we gave ourselves assignments to develop our creative skills even further. There I discovered again what fun it is to play on the beach.

The focus of the assignments was different each year. It could be flying objects or playing with the sand. Or we went beach combing and made 3D collages out of the junk we found. And sometimes we would just draw, because we all loved to do that as well.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. ~Pablo Picasso

What can you do on the beach?

sandcastlesI’ll give you some inspiration with a list and I hope you will add your tips in the comment box below. Because I am sure I forgot things. 🙂

  • build sandcastles
  • write in the sand with a sheel or a stick
  • go beach combing
  • take pictures of textures
  • draw what you see
  • go geo caching
  • record the sounds of the surf or the birds
  • invent water games
  • make sand sculptures
  • collect seashells
  • photograph the objects you see
  • make a message in a bottle

And yes, you can also sport, relax, read, swim and play beach volleyball. My objective here was to list activities which I think develop creativity. 🙂

Take lots and lots of pictures!

You might know I love taking pictures. Either with my DSLR camera or with my iphone. I enjoy not just the moment itself, but also the sorting and criticizing afterwards.

If you can’t draw after nature when you are actually there, because you master not yet the technique or because the weather conditions were not good, then a photograph is a handy tool.
Both taking pictures and drawing develop your sense of composition, color and creativity in general.

[twocol_one]taking pictures of sand dunes[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]drawing zand dunes[/twocol_one_last]


Our play on the beach in images

It goes without saying that you don’t have to play on the beach alone! It is a great activity to do together with you (grand)children, as I know from experience.

An advantage of the year we went beachcombing was we cleaned the beach. We threw all the stuff we hadn’t use in the bins.

A fantasy animal one of my colleagues made.

candle holders
Have you heard of the Memphis group? They inspired us enormously in our work as graphic designers and during the beach combing trip.

3d collage
This was so funny: I took this collage home, but what I had not noticed in the open air on the beach, became very soon apparent in the house. It smelled like dead fish!

My color box fell accidently out of my hands, giving me unexpected inspiration to look for lines and composition.

Intermezzo, get inspiration from creativity

Intermezzo, get inspiration from creativity

Inspiration and creativity are must haves for me. Irregularly I make drawings, collages or mixed media in some kind of theme. It helps me keep my creative skills flowing. Here are a couple of examples:

An intermezzo is a short piece of music written to be played on its own or as part of a longer piece. For me it’s a welcome break in my daily activities.

What do you get your inspiration from? Tell me in the commentbox below.