Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Giveaway!

Hello lovely people! It's time for a Christmas giveaway! I really can't thank all of you enough for being so wonderful and supportive, it has helped me so much over the past year! I'm a lucky girl, being able to do what I love the most :) And since Christmas is approaching fast, I want to share my passion with you!

One lucky winner will get one 8x10* AND one 5x7 photo! 
You'll have your own little instant collection!
* 8x10 may be replaced by 8x8 or 8x12!
The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve (Central European Time)!

So scroll down and enter through Rafflecopter! Just follow the easy steps to gain even more entries!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Moroccan Tale

Hello everyone! I'm almost sad to say that we're back from our week in Marrakech. We had such a wonderful time! Marrakech is truly a magical place, though you have to watch your step so you won't get overrun by one of the many mopeds or donkey carts! But believe me, you'll adjust ;) It's just not for the faint of heart, I guess.
Oh, but the colours!
The smells!
The food!
The madness of the Jemaa El Fna!
Although a week seems long for a city trip, we found it to be just perfect when traveling with a 2 year old. We stayed in the medina in a traditional riad, a Moroccan house with an interior courtyard, where we could sit and have some mint tea (they like to call it 'Berber whiskey') while keeping an eye on Ravi, who slept upstairs. We were the only guests most of the week, so plenty of privacy!
Our room was small, but gorgeous and the bathroom I would gladly exchange for ours! Lovely turquoise, chalk-painted walls and small indigo tiles... sigh.

Our host, Samata, was a really great guy who made us feel at home immediately. He provided us with his 'magic map', which we were happy to use, since the riad was in a dead end 'street' and we had to walk through lots and lots of small dark alleys and passageways to get there! Lol, and we only got lost once! Pretty good, huh?

We asked a man who was taking his three kids to school (on his moped) for the way and since he didn't have time, he got his neighbour to help us. The neighbour didn't seem to know the riad (or couldn't read, I'm not sure... and illiteracy is still quite common), but no worries, he knew someone who could help us. So he took us down yet another dark alley to a dark, heavy Hobbit-like door and knocked. When the door openend, it revealed a beautiful, quite modern riad with a small pond in the middle of the courtyard. It was run by a lovely Swiss couple, who invited us in, looked up our riad on the internet and even took us all the way back to the right street. Where we took a wrong turn (just for a sec!) and ended up in some lovely ladies' laundry. Well, they had a good laugh (and she got all her kids out to see the silly tourists!) ;)

Of course I couldn't resist taking photos of all the gorgeousness in the souks! Especially the babouches (slippers) and the spices were irresistable! So many pretty colours! Holland seems so dull now!

The next two pics were taken in the wool dyers souk. Here you see how the indigo colour is made!
One of the workers showed me a rickety staircase that led up to a roof from where I could shoot more pictures. Up there I saw a line of leather bags drying in the sun too. I love how you can see the process of how everything is made, from shawls and yarn to bags, baskets and sculptures. Even the food is made right in front of you and all fresh!

But that means that you see all the messy things too. Severed goat heads and all. But then again, it makes you think, right? Our western society is all about hiding the things people don't want to see. Neatly tucking away the process of how our meat lands on our plate. It doesn't seem fair to me. It's not that I like looking at things like that (far from it), but I do like the simple honesty of it.

Something else: stray cats. Marrakech is filled with them. And I guess |I could make a book of all the pics I took. You know I love my cats, right?
I loved the attitude of this biker kitty!

And last, but definitely not least: the people. We met lots of lovely people and I have to say that Moroccans are great with kids! However, if your kid hates being picked up and having his cheek pinched or even kissed (preferably by bearded man, lol) or if you don't like it, then Morocco is not the place for you! Luckily Ravi thought all this attention was fun :) He especially loved going to the bakery, where the baker tickled him and gave him a bonbon every time! Hmm, we might have to unspoil him a little now... ;)
By the way, he thought all the men wearing djellabas were wizards, lol! I love how kids think :)
Since Morocco is a fairly male-orientated country it was harder for me to ask people to take portrait shots, especially with older, more traditional men. However, it always is just something that has to feel right (and if someone says no, you just don't). And then there are my favourite shots, like this vendor and his cookies. He seemed so happy and proud, so I decided to wait around a bit for the right time to click the shutter!

This last photo of a Berber woman pouring tea was taken in a little village in the Ourika Valley, about 30 km from Marrakech. A great place to escape the madness of the city and get some fresh mountain air! I did a little mountain trek to the waterfalls (there will be pics later, I haven't sorted them all out yet!), while Erwin and Ravi stayed at some sort of hippie café halfway to relax. Erwin said it was too exhausting for Ravi, but secretly I think he was happy to skip climbing rocks ;) We had a fantastic view of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Just beautiful. There will be pics of that later too, but for now I'll leave you with these :)

I hope you enjoyed this little Moroccan tale! Some of these photographs will be available in my shop later this week, so keep an eye out for them. Have a fabulous week and don't hesitate to leave a message, I'd love to hear what you think!

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Walk in the Forest

I love autumn, don't you? It's such a gorgeous season, filled with golden light and amazing shades of green, yellow, orange and red... This week was all about taking it slow. Everyone in our little family is or has been ill and it just didn't seem to go away (which might have something to do with our little one going to kindergarten now), so we decided to all just take a little time off and enjoy the peace and quiet.
One morning we were up very early as our munchkin was too excited about the new day to sleep and after a quick breakfast I decided to wrap myself in a big coat and shawl, grab my camera and head out into the woods. I promised myself to do that at least once a week from now on! It was so incredibly relaxing to just stroll a bit, admiring the scenery, taking photographs of everything that caught my interest!

When surrounded by only the faint sounds of wind rustling through the trees and the chirping of birds, it's easy to let the mind wander. Drink in the magic of the hour. Feel the light on your skin. Imagine yourself in a fantasy world, where anything goes and everything is possible and where little Hobbits live and offer you the best (second) breakfast you ever had...
Can you feel it? It's like inspiration becomes tangible at moments like this!

Not having to go anywhere opens up so many possibilities. In my excitement I drove past the forest I intended to go to at first, so I kept on driving and saw a good place to park the car a bit further. The logical way to go from there was to head up into the forest from there, but then I noticed a smaller path behind me leading a little bit off-road into a less dense part of the woods, where beautiful fields lay bathing in the morning sun. Just glorious. It's moments like this that make me realise how incredibly lucky I am :)

I'm thinking of offering some of these photos as a set,  I love the dreamy mood! What do you think?

What do you do when you're up early? Do you like to take walks by yourself? Head into the woods? How do you clear your mind? I'd love to hear from you! xx

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Collection of Firsts

Finally a new blogpost! I've had some major issues with my computer lately. It kept blocking everything that is powered by Google, which includes this blog and I hate working on my hubbies computer (I'm weird like that), so that's why I haven't posted anything! Luckily all is (or seems) fixed again and we're good to go!

Wow, the past month was a complete BLAST! I'm not going to write much about it, I think the photos say so much more! First of all: I had my very first official photoshoot! I was so lucky to have the opportunity to shoot this gorgeous family (as a matter of speaking ;) How cute are they!? Such a magical day!

The lovely pretty lady in these photos is Rakhee and she's the owner and artist of Poppeke - Art for happy people, a wonderfully cute and colorful shop on Etsy! You can find her on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Poppeke-Art-for-happy-people and of course in her Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/PoppekeArt

I love this painting she made of a girl named Tickle! 

And now she's making these gorgeous little custom dolls as well! That's me on the right, see the camera? :)

Another first was our little boy going to kindergarten for the first time! It was a lot more nerve-wracking for me than it was for him, I have to admit.                          He's doing really well, he's been going for 2 weeks now and he loves it!
Proud mommy here! I love seeing him play and sing and dance with the other kids, our munchkin is growing up so fast! Here he is being all excited for his first day.

And finally I can proudly present my first calendar! It took me a while to make, but I'm happy with the result! Captain Peacock insisted on being on the cover and he got his way too (somehow he always does, the little brat...)!

And, since I haven't posted in a while, last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to have a photo shoot with these lovely girls! I feel so immensely blessed to be able to do what I love most! Please bubble, don't burst ;) I love shooting outside and these girls were just fabulous to work with! 

Ok, now I'm finally back blogging I'd love to keep talking, but I can't do that to you, so I'll save my rambling until the next post ;) So tell me, what is new with you? Any firsts you would like to tell us about (no, not those... pervert!) ;)

Have a magical day! x

Saturday, September 8, 2012

One Year Old & A Giveaway!

Yay! Today it is exactly one year ago that I started my Etsy shop! You wouldn't believe how scared I was! My very first customer was from Australia and I remember having trouble sleeping until she mailed me that her order had arrived. Wow, what a trip it's been! And I loved every minute of it :)

I have found so many wonderful, supportive people through Etsy, facebook and several other places and as a big THANK YOU to all of you, I'm having a giveaway! Just have a little browse through my shop and tell me which photos you would choose if you win and why. There are several more ways to gain extra entries! Just scroll down to the Rafflecopter menu and enter, it's really easy! 


And now for the PRIZES: ONE lucky winner will get one 8"x10" photograph AND two 5"x7" prints!! Pretty cool, eh? 
On to bigger, better and bolder things!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Road Trip!

Can you believe it's already September? I'm constantly wondering where the time has gone! Maybe I should buy a watch... ;) Lots of things have happened over the past few weeks, but I won't bore you with the details. However, I wanted to share some pics from our little trip to Germany with you! Erwins brother rented a house in a beautiful rural area called the Eifel region and invited us to come and stay with them! Sweet, huh? So we packed our bags, got in the car and started driving. I love road trips! One of the more fun things to know about us is that we are extremely lazy... Not lazy when it comes to the things we like doing, but lazy as in not doing the ironing and letting it pile up until we can barely enter the room, so we have to spend the better part of the week catching up. Or, in this case, having a GPS (got it from a friend who bought a new, fancy one) that hasn't been updated in years. Which led to some hilarious moments where we got stuck in a corn field, but all in all it made for a very adventurous trip ;)

One of our stops on the way there was in Monschau, a gorgeous historic town located in the hills of the North Eifel. This town has many, many preserved half-timbered houses, and its narrow streets give a true magical, medieval feel to it.  It's not even that far from home, so we will be going back! Such a beautiful place.

I loved this house! I could totally picture us living there!

Our little man had a lot of fun and even started talking a lot more during this trip. His favourite word by far? Car. It's so much fun driving on the highway hearing 'Car! Car!Car! CarcarcarcarcarcarcarcarcarcarCAR!' over and over again, haha! Luckily that changed once we got to the rural area. From then on it was 'COW! Cow! Cow! Cowcowcowcowcowcowcow  ...COW!'  When we stopped for coffee and waffles he even called the lady who served us 'cow'. I'm not sure she appreciated that.

Oh, and this cute little guy went with us! His name is Trubbs. He's on holiday with us and Ravi loves to take him everywhere. Trubbs was made by Polly from Polly Doodars and since Polly couldn't go on holiday this year, she decided to send a Doodar instead! You can find Polly here:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Polly-Doodars
Trubbs' adventures can be followed too! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dinky-Doodar-Days

Now.... on a completely other note (while still posting pics of our trip, sorry about that, my camera is just glued to my hand I'm afraid), Maximonstertje is almost ONE! Wow, and what a trip it's been! Can't believe it's already a year ago that I started a shop on Etsy! I want to THANK YOU all for your wonderful support, kind words and everlasting positivism over the past year, I am so grateful to have you! Keep an eye out for an upcoming giveaway (probably this weekend!)!!!  

I'm so excited and curious what the next year will bring!! Starting this Friday with a very special photoshoot with a very special lady! Weeeee! :D 

Do you like road trips? Remember your first or your favourite one? Tell me, I'd love to hear about it :) xx