Hi, my name is Thinkie, welcome to my blog!
I'm a student in cultural studies, a museum enthusiast, a scrapbooker and an art journaler. I love to travel within Europe and I enjoy photography. You can read more about me on my homepage.


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Art (History)
Art Journalling
Books & Literature
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I enjoy:

Ali Edwards
Celine Navarro
Michelle LaPoint Rydell
Elise Blaha
Les ateliers de Karine
Amy Tangerine
A Beautiful Mess
Balzer Designs
Bram's tea blog

And in Dutch I enjoy:

Maarten Batenburg
Museum Meermanno
Roeland van Wely

I live, I love, I create, I capture, I learn, I enjoy.

In June...

I spent most of my time studying for my exam on Oldnetherlandish Painting. After studying up to eleven hours a day for almost two weeks, the exam itself was over in the blink of an eye. I made one mistake (I didn't read the question well enough, booh!), but still got a 10.

I worked a little on Project Management and started Cultural Heritage. Those are my study subjects for the summer.

My new neighbours (since the end of April):


And Purr

P. gave us a tour of Teylers Museum in Haarlem. Afterwards the three of us hung out at a tea room and we walked around town for a while.

We held another games day at Bram's place, with Bob. We played The legends of Andor and won from the monsters and I won Ticket to Ride: the Märklin edition. I was on a winning streak that weekend because the day before I had beaten Bram with Pickomino :-)
Roeland didn't have time to play but he did come over for dinner. And we took advantage of the nice weather for an evening stroll.

We had a picknick on the beach.

We saw the miniseries 'Childhood's End', after I had finished the book. I liked the book better.

We spent a day in Amsterdam. I needed to do some shopping and we visited the Stadsarchive (city archives), which has exhibition spaces.

We attended the Salon de Museologie. The topic was exhibitions by archival institutions.

I visited Maarten.

I saw some of the veggie and herb seeds I had planted turn into little plants.

Bram came over. Wilma and Fred hadn't seen him since before his birthday, so Wilma had bought some (gluten free) hazelnut cake and we had a little celebration with a couple of presents.

Martijn's grandmother was pretty much my grandmother-in-law for several years in the 90's. I have fond memories of our frequent visits to her and her husband. After Martijn and I broke up, his grandparents and I saw each other once in a while over the years. she passed away last month at the age of 89. I attended the funeral.

We paid a visit to the garden center to get some plants for Brams little outdoor space.

This was a couple of hours after my exam. Finally I had some time to relax!

There was a lot of rain fall in a short period of time, which caused problems. This is the underground parking at the neighbourhood mall, with the floor covered in water several centimeters deep.

Bram does 'Universele Gevechtskunst' (universal fighting art); it's a fighting art focussed on self defence which draws from several types of martial arts. Once a year his club has a public demo. It was fun to learn more about the sport Bram practises and to see him take part in some of the exercises.

JK and I spent a day in Breda. We bought tickets for a boat tour and then it started to rain. But at least we had the boat to ourselves, not counting the captain who told us things about locations along the route.
After the boat tour we visited MOTI: Museum of the Image, which was fun. We had dinner on a bench in the park (the sun was shining by then).

Bram, Bob and I held another games day. We played 'Bridges of Shangri La' (Bob won), Lord of the Rings (we defeated Sauron, but only just!) and Pickomino (Bob won). Inbetween games we had dinner, for which Roeland joined us.

Maarten, Bob, Bram and I visited Duinrell. We had a fun day, despite the rain. I rode two rollercoasters, flew an airplane and did a few other rides. Later in the day we said goodby to Maarten and headed for the Tikibad (a swimmingpool with lots of slides). We swam, hung out on the lazy river and I tried two slides. It's a 'tropical' swimmingpool but the temperature of the water and air was a little too cold for me (29 degrees celcius), especially after a day of being chilled by the rain.

Maarten and I went to see the annual sculpture exhibition in The Hague, at Beelden aan Zee and Lange Voorhout.

Geplaatst op 18-07-2016.
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In May...

On May 5 I visited the fair in Oegstgeest, where Bram was voluntering at the first aid-stand. Fortunately we didn't see any action. Afterwards we hung out at the Leidse Hout, licking a popsicle and laying in the grass.

We had easter breakfast. Again. Yes, it was 6 weeks after easter. But we had chocolate eggs left and easter breakfast is just fun! :-)

Bram and I went to Rotterdam. We visited art store Harolds and the Markthal.

We had a little pre-celebration of Bram's birthday, combined with Mother's Day, with Bram's family. His mother had found out that Hema sells glutenfree pastry :-)

Bram and I visited park Clingendael in The Hague. We went to see the Japanese garden, which was pretty and busy. Afterwards we hung out in the gras, and took a stroll around the park.

Bram totally crushed me with Pickomino (Regenwormen) again.

I visited Roeland and poes Poes. Roeland cooked me kip korma.

Bram and I spent a day in Amsterdam. We walked around in the sunshine, visited the World Press Photography-exhibition at the Nieuwe Kerk and attended the Salon de Museologie/Erfgoedarena.

I finally started swimming! I had an intake earlier this spring for therapeutic swimming in hot water, and in May I actually started going. It's possible to do exercises with fysiotherapists in the water but I have opted for just swimming laps. I'm happy with my choise because those different exercise groups seem to be training in ways either too mellow for me or too intense. And I just enjoy doing laps on my own.
Often times it's quite busy in the water and for many of the (mostly-quite-a-bit-older-than-me) attendees it seems to be a social activity as well as sports therapy. Many of them swim pretty slowly (but I bet some of them can keep it up longer than me) and sometimes several of them swim next to each other, blocking the way. The logistics seem pretty chaotic and I spend quite a lot of my time in the water dodging others.
My fibromyalgia has made moving around painful for me since 1993, to different degrees. I'm in a pretty good place now, especially during the warmer parts of the year. But apart from walking and infrequent, short bikerides I didn't get any exercise. I like to swim, but my muscles can't take the regular temperature of swimming pools. Swimming in warm water doesn't make moving painfree, but it is definitely the closest I can get, and that feels pretty good!

Another thing that my muscles are thanking me for is that I swapped out the narrow bed I was using for a double bed. That allows a wider range of sleeping positions and more turning and moving around during the night, which allows more of my muscles to get their share of relaxation and improves my quality of sleep.

I accompanied Bram to the birthday celebration of his friend D. She had arranged a tour of Museum Swaensteyn in Voorburg :-)

We celebrated Brams birthday by attending the yearly puzzle walk. This year's location was Haarlem. We saw lots of nice bits of the old city that I hadn't visited before and had a lot of fun. And... our team won! Which means we get to organize next year's puzzle walk.
Afterwards we met up with Bob at an Indian restaurant for a birthday dinner.

Bram hosted another games night, which was also another little birthday celebration (the bunting was still up anyway, and stretching out the celebrations gave us a good excuse to sample another variety of Hema's glutenfree pastry ;-) ). We had dinner with Roeland, Bob and Maarten. Maarten left and we played Seven Wonders. Then Roeland left as well and we played The legends of Andor.

I managed to get back into a pretty good study flow this month, even though I always feel like I should have done more, even after a long day of studying. I attended a study meeting on cultural history for 'Culturele vaardigheden 2' in Zwolle. In the weeks leading up to the meeting I had to read texts and conduct a little research on the Marshall plan. Those things were discussed during the meeting, and we saw a few short films about the Marshall Plan that we had to analyze.
Afterwards I went to Museum de Fundatie, where I met up with Bram. I had just enough time to get a quick impression of the exhibition 'Wilden', on the expressionism of Brücke and Blaue Reiter.
We had 'dinner' at MacDonalds before we traveled back west.

I had dinner with Maarten. He showed me photo's from his trip to Iran.

I attended a study meeting on old Netherlandish painting. I have an exam on that topic later this month and I've been working my way through the textbook but still have some way to go. The meeting was held at the RKD (an institute for art-historical documentation). There was a lecture on Max Friedländer and Jef van der Veken, a short introduction tour of the RKD and an introduction to the RKD's collection on technical research on paintings. Then we got a chance to practise searching for source materials in the database and locating them in the study hall. I picked Jan van Eyck and together with a fellow student I found a box with photo's of drawings (most of the originals have been lost during WW2 :-( ). After the meeting I stayed at the RKD for a while to conduct a little comparative research with those drawings and the drawing of the Fishing Party that Claudine Chavannes-Mazel has attributed to Jan van Eyck.

Bob, Bram and I visited Keltfest. Despite horrible forecasts with thunderstorms and hailstorms, we had a lovely, sunny day hanging out in the grass listening to lots of bands.

Bram and I attended Marcel's birthday party. Which was quite a challenge travel-wise, because of extensive railway works in that area.

Geplaatst op 04-06-2016.
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In April...

I started April by catching up with L, whom I hadn't seen for over a year (maybe even two) over drinks at Doppio in Zoetermeer. We had a nice philosophical chat.

I met up with Bram and Bob at Bram's place. We had dinner together and played Machi Koro and Pickomino (Regenwormen). Bram was ill and my sprained ankle was still bothering me, so Bram and I had to cancel our plans to visit the Drents Museum in Assen.

When my ankle was starting to get better, my back started bothering me pretty badly for over a week. It hurt less when I was moving, so I went on a little spring photohunt.

I tried growing chives, but to no avail. I might give it another try.

I had dinner with Maarten. We watched the last two episodes of Heroes.

Wilma and I visited Ikea. I got a cart to store some of my craft supplies. Thank you Ikea, for selling gluten free chocolate-coated marshmallow treats! ;-)

I visited Leo. He has a photo studio at home and we did a photoshoot of me in wood elf costumes.

Bram hosted a games night. Roeland, Bob and M came over. We had dinner together and played Robo Rally and Chicago Ganster. Fun!

Da gansta!

I spent a weekend with JK. We visited Liège and Gangelt and did some geocaching.

Cat Luka was unwell for several weeks. There wasn't much to be done about it, despite consulting the vet. We fed her from a spoon, Wilma gave her pain killers and everyone spoiled her with extra attention. She got to see the birds from her chair near the window and seemed pretty content most of the time. She died on April 17, a few weeks short of her 20th birthday.

Bram and I took advantage of the nice spring weather one day to go on a little walk.

I studied early netherlandish painting. I'm so glad that I've had a chance to see many of the works I'm reading about in real life, or at least other paintings of the same painter! I wish I could go back and study them some more!

Mark, Maarten, Bram and I met up at Marks place to catch up and have dinner together. We made ratatouille.

I caught a cold. Yuck. And right before Elfia, too! Wilma dug up my old wheelchair and I downed a couple of pain killers, OD'd on vitamin C and got to go for part of one day. I wish I could have gone the entire weekend, but at least I got a little taste of Elfia and had a nice afternoon with Bram, Bob, Mark and M. I was able to enjoy parts of the second day's concerts from my sickbead through Bram's phone :-)

We celebrated Wilma's birthday with a family dinner.

Bram hosted another games night, with Bob and Roeland attending. We played Legends of Andor.

I accompanied Wilma to a location of vereniging Kattenzorg, to pick up Wilma and Fred's new cats Purr and Zimbo. They're halfbrother and -sister, both 7/yo and huge. Zimbo is very outgoing and cuddly. Purr is a bit shy.

I ended the month with a quiet weekend at Bram's place while he was away. Did some shopping and checked in with poes Poes (Roeland was away on a day trip). I studied a little, recovered some more from my cold, snacked on fresh strawberries and played the solo puzzle game Road block. I got stuck on #44, for now ;-)

Don't let the innocent look fool you: I was playing 'catch the kitty' and she was playing 'catch the human' ;-) She almost got me a few seconds after I took this photo ;-) All in good fun, of course!

Geplaatst op 06-05-2016.
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Het Plantsoen

Last week, Bram and I took advantage of the spring weather to take a stroll along 'het Plantsoen' in Leiden. It's a park along the Singel. We enjoy hanging out at the volière. I love watching Bram chat with the birds :-)

Geplaatst op 28-04-2016.
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Adventures in Lino Cutting part 1 - Stamp Making

I remember one day during art class in high school, a couple of girls were experimenting with lino printing. I didn't get a chance to do so myself, but ever since I visited the Escher Museum in The Hague, that had lino prints by M.C. Escher on display, I've been interested in trying. Especially since the cutters can also be used to make your own stamps.

I bought a brayer at De Gouden Pluim at the Vrijdagmarkt in Ghent. I love popping in there when I'm in town, it's filled to the brim with art supplies.

I have lived near Terpen Tijn in Leiden for a while but only recently, after moving back to Zoetermeer, I finally allowed myself to pay this art supply store a visit. In a corner I found supplies for lino printing. Yay!
I bought two small sheets of lino, an Essdee lino cutter & baren kit and a set of essdee softcut printing stamps. I'm a little bit sorry that I didn't get the kit with ten cutters in stead, since it contains finer cutters which would have allowed me to work more precise. But the set I got offers me plenty of chance to play around! I didn't get any lino paint or block printing inks; I first want to try it out with the paints and inks I already own.

Later I realized that for lino prints, I need a brayer to add pressure while printing. The baren works for that too, but I got an extra brayer at Schleiper in Liège. Now I can use one of my brayers for inking, and the other one for pressure. The second one is wider, so I'm hoping that will make it easier to apply even pressure.
Only now that I'm looking up the website of Schleiper, do I realize it's a chain of stores. I've actually visited their store in Ghent once. I like how they offer craft and art supplies together in one store.

But back to lino cutting. First I tried my hand at stamp making with the softcut printing stamps, about which I want to tell you in this blogpost. The stamps are 45mm in diameter, so they offer a nice small surface for experimenting with this medium. Julie Fei Fan Balzer talks about stamp carving with these materials in this blogpost. I tried out some designs on paper but realized I was aiming for something way too detailed. I simplified my design but got a scratch on the surface. The store offers a sturdier version of the printing stamps as well. I haven't tried them, but I imagine they'll be harder to cut, which makes it more difficult to get the design you want but limit the chance of scratches. After getting some practice, I was able to work a bit more detailed.

This was my first attempt at carving a stamp.

The printing stamps are supposed to stick to the baren, but they barely do and tend to fall off. I tried my acrylic block that I use with my clear stamps, with the same result. That's too bad...

I took me a while to come up with designs. I didn't want to spoil them and perfectionism kicked in. And I didn't quite know what was possible with the material. The only way to really find out is to try, though! Recently, I had a bout of inspiration and started cutting away at the stamps and at my finger. Oops! I tried to apply different grades of detail and cut away part of a stamp around my design with scissors to see how that would work. I then tried them with stamping inks and some with acrylic paint as well. Some I liked better with stamping ink, others better with acrylic ink.

Be aware that the cuts tend to get congested with ink and more so with paint, especially the shallow cuts. You can see this in the leaf in the upper right hand corner. I've been cleaning them like I would my normal stamps, with baby wipes and sometimes water.

I saw people online working with a citrus stamp and decided to try and make my own. I really like how it turned out!

I had fun coming up with these designs and making my own unique stamps. They're a bit wonky but that's part of their charm. I see myself using them in my scrapbooking and especially my art journaling. I do feel I need to mount them onto something more permanent, since sticking them on the baren isn't working for me.

Geplaatst op 26-04-2016.
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Easter Cards

I made some very simple easter cards last month, while trying out some supplies I had on hand at Bram's place. He has a stack of A5 cardstock in pastels, which I folded double and used as cards. I used pieces of white cardstock to draw or write on and stuck them on the front of the cards.

My drawing style is pretty childish when it comes to easter bunnies. ;-) (Or anything else, really!) I think I used colouring pencils and markers for the first one. I used Neocolor I wax crayons for the second one, tracing the edges with markers. I used a spray fixative to keep the drawing from smudging and matted it on blue paper.

I played around with lettering, trying out Edding metallic markers (not too happy about the easter eggs I drew with them but they are cool when it's just letters or lines!) and a Faber-Castell broadpen in a nice shade of blue. I quite like how my writing turned out!

I started playing with Caran d'Arche Neocolor II water-soluble wax pastels, Prismalo aquarel pencils and Fibralo water-soluble markers on watercolour paper. I love the combination of those materials, using the pencils or markers for some details and bolder lines and the pastels for larger areas and more subtle colours. We've become big fans of Caran d'Ache lately!

Geplaatst op 11-04-2016.
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Me in 7 Objects

On Stacy Julian's blog I saw a post about picking a limited amount of objects that represent you and your life and interests right now. I liked the idea and went around my room to collect a few favorite and/or characteristic items.

Camera - I rarely leave the house without a camera. Photography is one of my creative outlets. But more importantly: I'm a memory keeper and like to catch all sorts of experiences, people and places on camera. Those photo's form the basis for my photo albums and blogposts. And sometimes they're useful for my studies: they help me analyze art, museums and exhibitions as well.

Museum card - This is my ticket to heaven. Museums are my happy place! The card costs €60,- and gives access to most Dutch museums for a year. Sometimes there's an extra exhibition fee, and there are a few smaller museums here and there that aren't a part of this system. But overall, this card saves me A LOT of money on museum tickets. There are months in which I visit so many (or such expensive) museums that I would have had to pay more on tickets during that one month than I pay for this year-long card. Without the card, I couldn't afford to visit this many museums. It's a life saver for a museum nerd, especially one that has to visit museums for her studies!

Nokia 6300 - It's so funny how people just assume you have a smartphone. I've even had people being a bit annoyed that I hadn't received their whats-app message! During group trips I feel pretty out of the loop when people are making dinner arrangements, for instance, and I have to keep bugging people for information if I don't want to be left out. Erhm, dude, I have a dumbphone! I'm actually still quite happy with it, but next week I'm migrating to the second hand Samsung Galaxy S3 Maarten gave me for my birthday. I've found a provider that offers unlimited calling and texting and 1Gb data for less than my current provider was charging for just unlimited calling and texting. I'll still be using the 'more advanced' functions of my smartphone with wifi mostly. And if all goes well, I'll still have the phone number I got with my first mobile phone in 1999. :-) The Nokia also signifies that I'm not one to jump on every trend that comes along. And that I'm good about taking care of my posessions and making them last.

'We kick ass'-card - Bram gave me this last year. It was funny, because I gave him exactly such a card too, on that same occasion! The text has a special meaning to us and it's good to have the card on display as a reminder. And it was just too funny that we gave each other the same card at the same moment!

Qwirkle - Qwirkle reminds me of how much I enjoy playing games with people and how happy it makes me that I'm doing that more often lately. And that I should keep doing it! It reminds me that I'm pretty good at playing games (I used to win games often as a kid) and that I especially love playing games against well matched opponents that pose enough of a challenge without beating you flat out ALL the time. It reminds me of Berlin last summer, where I saw some friends play it. I got curious so when we got home, Bram got out his Qwirkle and it became a new favorite. It reminds me of how I received Qwirkle last december during a Sinterklaas party. It reminds me how Bram is great at picking cool presents even if they're not on my wishlist. It reminds me of the good times I had playing it with people. Good times with friends!

Caran d'Ache Neocolor II - These water soluble pastels are one of my latest creative loves. It represents how I'm getting better again at nurturing my creative side, after neglecting it a bit for a couple of years. It represents how I'm mostly playing around in mixed media/art journaling lately, and how I'm trying out different materials. It shows my growing interest for water colouring. It represents how Bram is into drawing and drawing materials lately, and how cool it is to share that creative interest with him. It reminds me how sweet he was when he found just one (discounted!) box of these at V&D in February and let me have it, even though he wanted it too. (Fortunately, he found another box at another V&D store the next day. And I have now upgraded to a box with 30 colours, recently found discounted A LOT at V&D.) It reminds me of how Bram encourages me in my creative endeavours, as do some other people around me. It reminds me of how dangerous it is for my budget that Bram has an art store right around the corner, where they sell more colours of Neocolor II. It represents to me how I draw creative inspiration from following different blogs from scrapbookers, art journalers and mixed media artists.

Book - This book represents my love for reading and learning. It is a study book, so it represents my studies. It's on Old Netherlandish painting, and therefor represents my interest in medieval history and art, especially in Jan van Eyck and other 'Flemish Primitives'.

Of course these objects don't represent everything about me and my life. But still, this photo tells a lot about me. It's a nice snapshot of life right now. And a nice exercise in telling a story by showing objects. And it illustrates how many different things one object can tell.
So how about you? What 5 or so objects would tell a nice story about your life right now?

Geplaatst op 08-04-2016.
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Spring Photo Hunt

I went on a little photo hunt around the neighbourhood and garden yesterday, to look for signs of spring. I brought my point-and-shoot and my SLR with the zoom lens. In the courtyard of an apartment building the blossoms were out in full force. I wasn't the only one taking photo's, and I had a short chat with one of the residents about how pretty the place looks this time of year. The smell of mowed grass accompanied me on my walk, since the lawn mowers had been busy in the morning. People were cleaning and there were sounds of power tools; it's that time of year when people tackle chores around the house that they've saved up for spring, with doors and windows open, and start working in their gardens.
I sat in the garden for a while, hoping that the feeders would attract some birds for me to photograph. They were chittering and found me and the sounds of my camera a bit scary, but in the end I managed to catch one on camera while (s)he was visiting the bird house.

Geplaatst op 06-04-2016.
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