Category: Other

Macrame project

Macrame – trying something new

Time off

A lot of things that have to do with art, don’t give me the relaxing sensation it used to do when I was a child. That’s why I like to look for new things to do in my spare time. That way I don’t have the feeling that I am working but I can still look for new art forms.

Macrame

Macrame is a form of art with knots. You put all kinds of different knots in pieces of rope. Then a pattern grows and you can even choose to put things in it like buttons. Here you can see a picture of a recent piece I did. And of course the internet is full of examples.

My own macrame

I quickly knotted a hanger for a plant but after that I was looking for a new project. I was just knotting away without thinking, without a purpose and just look at what happens in the end. I do like to work this way. I love the way things submerge under your fingers without thinking about it.

But then I could take everything out again because I thought something else would look even better then what I was doing. Right after that, I bought two tiny plants. I thought it might be nice to put them into the work. This gave me more of a purpose to knot for. It was easier to make choices. It was nice to work without a plan but it is a lot more practical to work with one.

Finally I had a plan and I knotted the day away. One the one hand I knotted for fun, practice and decoration. On the other hand with a target in mind, so the little plants fit nicely into the work. It’s almost like a puzzle. I keep on looking for the right kind of knots and shapes so the little plants and the knots look well together.

I’m open for suggestions for a next project!

Macrame project
Blog tekenen: waar was ik gebleven

Drawing: where was I?

New year, new chances

It has been busy the last couple of months. Not just at work but in my personal life as well. I don’t live in Haarlem anymore. I have a new extra job that gives me more financial security but takes up so much time that I can’t give workshops at the moment. This is a big part in the reason why I haven’t written any blogs lately. Now that it feels that I have time again, I’m ready to write you a new blog every week.

Assignments

I may not be giving any workshops but I still have some assignments going on. One of them is already finished. I would love to write about what I’ve been drawing but I can’t. I’m waiting on the green light of the ones who gave me the assignment.

In a blog some time ago I wrote that I’m illustrating a book. I’m still working on it. I took a break from drawing it but now with the corona crisis I’ve got more time to draw.

And I get to work on my handlettering! This is drawing letters and texts. It is not the same as calligraphy, the art of fine writing. Handlettering is about creating a pretty image, a great composition, etc., as you would expect from a drawing.

A new job

I just wrote that I’ve found a new job. Since a couple of weeks I work at Coornhert Gymnasium in Gouda. I’m the substitute teacher for the art lessons of a couple of classes.
I think it’s fantastic to work on my own speciality again, have my own classes again. It’s wonderful to see the progress the kids make and build up a connection with my students.

I notice I don’t want to choose between what my heart wants to do (give workshops, etc.) and being an actual teacher. But I did. I chose to work in Gouda. For now I have to say goodbye to giving workshops.
But it gives me a lot of joy to see what the kids are drawing, what they come up with. They can suddenly make huges steps forward and make a friendly chat at the same time.

Missed assignments

It is lovely to be in front of a class again. But this is a reason I ‘lose’ so much time in education that I have to force myself to say no to fun assignments.

Ondine de Hullu asked me to draw for her again. I did this before, as you can see HERE. Ondine, she always has a plan. And with the plan comes a schedule. This works great, because you know exactly when you should be done and how much time you can spend drawing. The downside is that if you don’t have enough time in a week, you don’t have time for her projects. Luckily she found someone else and I hope that this person will give her a just as pretty result.

Blog tekenen: waar was ik gebleven
Book cover

Book: nice girls don’t get the corner office

A book as a gift

As a Christmas present Joeks sister gave me a new book: nice girls don’t get the corner office, written by Lois P. Frankel. I mentioned this book last week.

How does this book work

It is a workbook of sorts. You can actively work with it, use it. In the first chapter you’re asked to fill in a questionnaire. You get a certain score; this helps you navigate through the rest of the book.

The book is divided in a couple chapters. Every chapter obviously contains a lot of text but not in the way you would expect it. The chapters are filled with ‘mistakes’, they are numbered through the book. In these mistakes you can read about what someone else did and how you can do it better to get a bigger succes.
Sometimes the writer tells you what someone did absolutly right.

After every subheading, every mistake, you find a couple of tips. Sometimes just the coaching tips from the writer. Sometimes tips from a professional.

A good book

I think this is a good book for a number of reasons.

Reason 1

Two years ago I picked up a book after years of reading almost nothing. I picked up a book and read it cover to cover. Since then, I started to read a bit more again.
I’ve read a couple of books these two years but you can’t say I’m a bookworm.

Now we’re at the point of why I like this book: it’s easy to read. The mistakes are written down on usually one or two pages. This gives you plenty of moments to put the book down. I wrote about how I like that earlier in this post about ‘The secret lives of color’.

Reason 2

I like to make notes in my books. With some books it feels like I’m not allowed to. In this book you are encouraged to make write in the book.
Of course you can choose to do this on a different sheet of paper so you don’t need to write in there if you don’t want to.

Reason 3

The book is about how to become a more powerful or empowered person at work. I already see myself as an empowered and/or powerful woman but not yet at work. There is a lot to learn and I am, thanks to this book.

Reason 4

It is very practical, with all it’s tips and tricks. There are a couple of things I can and want to use right away. These things make changing myself for the better very achievable.
There are a few things I’d rather keep or work on later because right now they aren’t relevant or seem too big.

Reason 5

It’s written by a woman for women. You will read about countless examples of strong women in the businessworld and comparisons between men in women. The book is about how to close the gap between men and women.

What now?

I’ve read a quarter, maybe a third, of the book. I’m going to continue making notes at the points I need to work on. And keep on reading through things I don’t want to work on yet.

All pages I think I can use right now, I write down. That way I can easily find back my notes and practical tips.

The missing scheme

The text I was reading spoke of a scheme. It was based off of the pyramid of Maslow. I had to look this up. The text said the scheme in the book was about working life.

At the spot where the scheme should have been, was just empty space. I had no idea what the text was about because it was so deeply connected to the scheme.
Because I didn’t understand a thing about this subject, I emailed the writer. I wrote about which book I was reading, the missing scheme on which page at what misstake and if she could send me the scheme.

I didn’t expect much to happen. A writer of a bestseller and a coach probably doesn’t have the time to reply to an email full of spelling mistakes and she even had to figure out what scheme I was talking about.

I was wrong. Within three days I had a reply with the missing scheme attached and the best wishes for the new year!

Book cover
Book page 213
Christmas vacations illustrations Marieke Noordhuis

Christmas vacations 2019

Intentions for the Christmas vacations

My Christmas vacations takes up two weeks. Two weeks of no workshops. I should keep myself busy in another way. First a couple days filled with the birthday of Joek and the two Christmas days we have here in the Netherlands.
Then it’s time to start working for a bit again. I was going to stay at Joeks place until after new years eve. I would have all the time in the world to work on the book I’m illustrating. When I would have drawn everything to my liking, the vacationdays would be over and I could start giving workshops again.

What book?

A couple of weeks back, I wrote about the new book I’m illustrating. I got two chapters of this book at home. Each chapter has 13 little chapters. Every little chapter is only one page long. The other page has space for my illustrations.

The book is about how to battle a depression; a subject that is very close to me. I’m honoured to be illustrating this book.

I got the text on paper. In this paper version I drew the sketches. I started a few on my laptop as well to make them into a digital illustration, like I always do.

The Christmas vacations so far

I enjoyed Joeks birthday and the two Christmas days with family. I had all the time I wanted to catch up with members of the family during some lovely meals. The first day, my brother coocked. The second day the preperations were done by all of Joeks family.

After these festive days Joek had to go back to work until new years eve. We’re going to celebrate new years eve in Diever and watch the carbid shootings.
Since Joek started working again, I feel the need and want to start working as well.

In good spirits I got up and grabbed my laptop. It didn’t power up, the battery was too low. That happens, that’s why we have chargers. Right? Where was my charger? I forgot to bring my charger. It’s still in Haarlem while I’m staying in Zwolle this week. Now I can’t do anything but take the vacation.

What to do now?

Somehow it’s a good thing I can’t use my laptop because I actually have to take the vacation. I can write a blog on Joeks laptop. And if I get desperate, even on my phone.

Luckily I got a wonderful book from Joeks sister: Nice girls don’t get the corner office, written by Lois P. Frankel. Now I’ve got all the time to read.

And I’ve got two more days to make a tax return. So thank god, there is still some work to do. Even if I can’t work on the illustrations for the book.

Christmas vacations illustrations Marieke Noordhuis
Christmas vacations wish Marieke Noordhuis
Teylers Museum

Museum teacher

Museum teacher – why do I want to know?

A few weeks back I wrote about Tin Figure museum in this blog. In that museum I spoke with Harry about the education program and how I might be able to improve it. I have a few ideas but I have no experience working for or with a museum.

Museum teacher – the expert

Because I have no experience in working for a museum, I wanted to talk to someone who has. So I send an email to Teylers Museum in Haarlem and asked if I could talk to the one who’s in charge of the education program. Apparently I could because a short while later I got an email back from Fieke Kroon. She agreed to see me on the 5th of December at 11 o’clock in the museum.

A chat in Teylers museum

We met in the cafe. I sat there with a cup of tea, a few questions and a notebook. A lady walked up to me and asked if I’m Marieke Noordhuis. We talked about who I am and why I emaild her. I explained that I used to be a teacher, I now have my own company, I give workshops and maybe I’ll be working with the Tin Figures museum in the future.

Then I could ask her my questions. When she answered one of my questions she also answered a few others. So in no time it became clear to me how I should approach the task of making and finetuning an educational program. She told me I could always come and seek her help if I needed to.

Her turn

After answering all my questions, Fieke had a question for me too; Would I like to work as a substitute workshop leader for Teylers? Of course I want to! What an offer. This is just steps away from my house. I did tell her that I plan on moving to Zwolle. She is going to figure out if I can get travel allowance.

What an hour! At 12 o’clock I stepped through the door of my house with a lot of extra knowledge and a new client.

Teylers Museum
Bright Makers just arrived

Bright Makers on an event

Bright Makers on Bright Day

Bright Makers asked me to work on the Bright Day event, presented by RTL. This is an event about Science and Technologie. I’m not super technical but I do know a couple of things about the workshops that Bright Makers offers.

Hydraulic dragon

On pictures on Instagram and Facebook you can see that I regularly give a workshop where dragons are made by kids. Of course this is not only about building a beautiful dragon. This is also about learning how a hydraulic system works.

It’s wonderful to see the penny drop in the eyes of the kids. They all of a sudden understand how hydraulics work and how this makes their dragon move.

Workshop of Bright Makers

Bright Makers offers more workshops, not just the hydraulic dragon. This company is promoting education where you learn by creating. I like that a lot. I think it is very important for your brain to learn while you play, learn while creating. They see how something works in their hands, like hydraulics. You could explain this with text and images but it sticks a lot faster when the kids can figure things like this out themselves.

The event

Bright Makers had a stand on Bright Day. I was working here with two coworkers. Together we set a couple hundred kids and parents to work. We let them make pretty dragons. Some came mostly to work with a hydraulic system and figure out how that works, others came by to make a wonderful creation. The fact that it is a flying dragon, was a bonus to some.

It was lovely to work my butt off for two days. The most tiring thing was talking over all the sound to explain what the kids needed to do. Around us were a lot of stands and almost all of them had a soundsystem blasting through the room.

Bright Makers just arrived
Bright Makers kids working
Bright Makers stand
Picture at Museum of tin figures

This week

VAT – last week

What a week! It started last week on saturday with my first official VAT tax return. Or like it is actually called: turnover tax return.

I explained already how little I used to know about the accountancy but it is starting to become a little more clear to me. I know where to put unpaid invoices in my online accountancy, I know where to add my receipts, I can import my bank details. But still – especially because I do a lot by myself instead of just importing it all – things go wrong.

So, my accountancy didn’t add up. I didn’t have the same number in my accountancy as in my bank account.

So I checked all the mutations I put in there. I could take out a few double numbers.

Still, it didn’t add up. I checked it all again. This time with my bank account next to me. Everything seemed to be in order but it wasn’t. I had an invoice sent to my mail and I had put it in my accountancy and I payed for it with my business bank account.

But I couldn’t find it in my bank account. I checked it several times. I took a while put in the end the penny dropped. The invoice was in dollars and my bank account shows me euro’s. So I still put a double invoice in my accountancy. One done by me and one imported from my bank account.

Handlettering in Tilburg – this week

Last week I had a calm schedule. I had only one workshop, on wednesday. I was asked to come to Tilburg with all the stuff for the workshop.

Kleinkunstig asked me to go to MBO de Rooi Pannen, department Marketing and Events.

Together with 11 more colleagues we gave all different kinds of workshops which had something to do with languages. Someone taught the kids to rap and another taught them how to act in soap series.

I was doing what I do best: making an image. Handlettering is a form of art somewhere in between writing and drawing. Languages and images. Right up my alley, my style!

The students were – probably because they chose to do a workshop Handlettering – terribly motivated. It was a quiet and large group of students. They didn’t really know each other and that made the group quite quiet. They still made wonderful drawings.

I gave them an assignment that I planned for them. Marketing and Events, those students are trained to plan everything around an event. I let them choose from three themes: Autumn, Winter and Halloween. Then they could choose what they would make: an A-board, a poster or an invitation. The students made beautiful artworks and very creative too! Some of them didn’t come up with a creative idea for an event because handlettering itself was enough of a challenge. These students made wonderful pieces of art as well!

Tinnen figuren museum – this week

On thursday of this week I was invited to have a conversation in Ommen, at the national museum of tin figures. This museum is looking for a little renewal in the education part. And I happen to have a degree in doing just that.

This museum – even though it doesn’t look like it at first sight – does a lot with education. Mostly history about Romans, the dark ages and Napoleon.

I’ve been asked to help this museum and the people who work there to elevate the educational program.

I spoke with two people who work there. There is a considerable age difference between us but we have the same view on art, culture and the development of a child. And the same kind of humor, thankfully!

This will be continued as soon as there is more information on what my work will look like at this museum!

Picture at Museum of tin figures
Picture during worksession

Renske the angel

Renske, the angel

My sister, Renske, is coming over to help me with my company. As you know, I’m a beginner at all of this. My dad helped me before, with my accountancy and now my sister is coming to the rescue.

Clients

In my last post I wrote about being very busy, because of the week of the children’s book. Workshops for this week were planned and booked by Kleinkunstig. Now winter is coming and schools are busy with vacations and test weeks. Therefore they are not very busy with planning nice and fun cultural activities.

Still, I would like to be able to pay my rent and buy some food.

To make sure I have enough income, I need clients. To get clients I need to do something. And I have absolutely no knowledge of this whatsoever. Fortunately I know someone who has this knowledge: Renske, the angel.

So she is coming over to help me work out my client acquisition. Or actually, she is going to tell me what client acquisition is and how it works.

What is coming?

I’m very curious what she is going to tell me. Until now the only clients I’ve had were people who already know me. The workshop at the petting zoo was through a friend of mine, the portraits that I made were for my mothers. The first and only assignment I got from someone other than a friend, was Kofi’s invitation. It’s time I reached more people to work with.

I’m looking forward to reaching more people. And I hope to come up with a system to make those clients stay with me. I need customers who come back to me to make sure I have a steady income.

In short, it is wonderful to have my own company. I only have to do what I really love to do. But the only problem is that it is very uncertain. I’m never sure there will be an income, let alone a steady income. I hope my sister, Renske, can help me set up a steady clientele.

Illustration Renske customer acquisition
Picture during worksession
Illustration of the garden of Ida

Ode to Ida

Ida de Groot

Ida is next to my mother the most important woman in my life. She is a friend of my parents. In the beginning I knew little of her. The only memory I had of her and Marcel goes back a long time and I still remember only a fraction. I remember that I was allowed to draw on the window.

If you’re curious about who this woman is, you can look at this illustration.

How it started

I was a couple weeks in my study to become a teacher of arts. I lived with my parents and twice a week I got up at six in the morning to be at the academy in time. Not my favourite thing to do.

During a party that my parents threw I saw Ida and Marcel. My mother told me to talk to Ida because maybe I could stay with them every now and then. I approached a woman I barely knew to ask if I could stay with them twice a week.
A short while later I rang at her doorstep and a new chapter of my life started.

 

Monday evening

On Tuesday and Thursday I had to be at the academy by nine o’clock. So every monday I packed my bag for two days. After the classes I walked a couple of streets further, to the backyard of Ida en Marcel. Then we sat outside, drank a speciality beer while Marcel cooked the most amazing dinner. Meanwhile Ida and I started to talk. Talking like you would do with your mother at the kitchen table: How was your day? What are your obstacles in life?

I always find it hard to talk about how I feel but with Ida I didn’t seem to have a choice. This is not in a bad way, by the way. This happened very naturally.

During dinner we usually opened up a bottle of wine and after dinner we drank tea. Sometimes I studied the history of art. Then I went to bed in the guestroom. The next morning I was usually alone. Ida was still in bed or already gone for work. Marcel had already left on his bike or I saw him just before he went as I made myself a cup of tea. Then I ate my breakfast and walked to the academy. From that moment on the Tuesday and Thursday mornings didn’t feel like early mornings but like sleep-in mornings.

 

Talking with Ida

After a few months I found a room in Utrecht and the contact I had with Ida en Marcel was crumbeling down. I was busy with my studies and I didn’t take the time to sit down anymore. I got overstrained.

Ida offered me to come by for dinner. We had a good talk, as usual. We agreed to see each other more often. That’s why I came by every monday evening to for dinner again. The same ritual started. We sat outside, we drank a beer, we had dinner and a bottle of wine. After dinner we drank tea and then I went home again.

Ida is a woman with an opinion and a vision on life. It turns out that we share the sime view on the world. I learned a lot from the conversations Ida and I (and Marcel) had. As well about myself as about life itself. She saw me grow into myself. She helped me become myself. She helped me through hard times and laughed with me through the easy ones.

Ida is a miracle. She has meant so much for me and I hope I can give that back to her. Partially through this post but a lot more in the years to come at her home.

Illustration of the garden of Ida
Accountancy theatre group Mucato 1992

Accountancy

Today I worked for several hours on understanding my own accountancy.
As you know I started this company on July the first. And if you have a company, you need to pay your taxes and your VATs. And I have zero knowledge of them.

Some of you know that I’m no hero with numbers. I don’t even know for sure if 1 + 1 is actually 2. That is why I wasn’t looking forward to the accountancy part of my company.

I tried to avoid doing this part but I can’t do that forever and the time has come now that I need to know what I’m doing and should be doing.

Of course I do something in it every now and then. I know I need to keep all the receipts, I know I need to pay taxes and that I need to save some money for that… But that is about all I know.

My dad is a clever man with a couple spare hours on a saturday afternoon. So there I went: armed with my laptop and some courage. My dad is a practical man and we think alike. The best way to understand something is to look at a simple version of it. He is the paymaster of theater group Mucato and took the accountancy from this theater group from 1992 out of the attic. This book is older than I am. There were all these loose words and numbers written down on the paper in a beautiful handwriting. On the basis of this book my father explained to me what ledgers are, how I can use them and this made me think about the ledgers I need for my company.

Together we had no idea how my accountancy programme works so the bigger part of the afternoon we were trying to figure this one out until we both had a pretty good idea of how it works.

And now, miraculously, I dare to say that I understand how to keep my accountancy accurate. And that is right on time, because it is almost time to pay some the VATs for the third quarter of the year.

Thank you for your help, dad!

Accountancy theatre group Mucato 1992
Example accountancy Theatre group Mucato 1992
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