beelikej: (Good girl)
Last weekend my family celebrated Sinterklaas, a Dutch holiday where we anonymously exchange gifts with each other. Just like with secret Santa we get to pick one person to do something special for. Our rule is to at least write a poem to go with the gift, it's optional to hide the present in a surprise wrapping. Of course I did both;) Here's a step-by-step picspam of what I made for my sister in law:

A giant tube of handcreme... )
:)

Now on with Xmas cards!!

J.
beelikej: (Good girl)
For those of you who are new here: Sinterklaas is the Dutch version of Santa Claus. His birthday is celebrated on the Eve of December 6th with exchanging gifts in his name. Except my family chooses the weekend closest to this date when most of us are available for a get-together. We had each picked a name out of a (digital) hat for whom we'd buy a big gift, accompanied by a poem describing events of the year. (The traditional crafty secret santa surprise package was optional;) This year we were all going to be present at my mom's house in Zwolle on Saturday.

Well, that was the plan, anyway.

On Saturdaymorning my youngest brother H. called from Amsterdam to tell us his father in law had a heart-attack and was in the hospital getting surgery. H and his girlfriend B. were going to travel to the South-East of the Netherlands as fast as possible. (As it turns out, B's dad had received CPR immediately from two friends who were running with him when he collapsed. This most likely saved his life. They discovered a big clot in his coronary artery. He is recovering beyond expectations)

Mom and I couldn't reach my other brother, because he and his family had already left The Hague and were on their way to Z. For the benefit of my 4 year old nephew Ruben we decided to continue festivities with just the five of us.

When my brother and B. had to get back to Amsterdam on Sunday to make arrangements for work, they invited us all over for another get-together on Sunday afternoon, so we could catch up in person and exchange left over presents.

I made loads of photos: the first set of 16 is the arts & crafs of the surprise wrappings I build for brotherdearest and my nephew. Part two and three are of our Sinterklaas celebrations in Zwolle (10) and Amsterdam (10)

The making of )

Sinterklaas celebrations in Z. )

Sinterklaas celebrations, part 2 )
If anyone is interested, I could share some (translated) poems. I'm so very thankful that everything turned out okay and we were able to get-together and hug and have fun despite the big scare of Saturday. I love my tiny family <3

J.
beelikej: (Good girl)
This morning I posted some nsfw paperart: a D/s J2 scene for those of you who missed it.

Now it's time for some good, clean family fun. Because besides fan-arting, I've been busy crafting surprise wrappings for Sinterklaas this week. Here are some photos of this year's creation, as well as some candy I redesigned. If anyone is interested in the poems I wrote to accompany presents, let me know. (They are in Dutch;)

Before I get creative, a little background information. Like with Secret Santa, we pull the name from the person you have to buy a present for. Our family's rule is to at least write a poem to accompany that gift and it's optional to make a surprise package, but usually everyone gets crafty with that as well. (Most of us also give small presents with poems to everyone else, depending on time, budget and cooperating muses;). The poem reflects either something that happened to that person in the past year or makes fun of their habits or wishlists.

Want to see what I made? )
Want to join the unwrapping of the presents? Go to the photopost in my blog:)

Also: check the tag if you want to know more about the previous editions of this Dutch holiday!

J.
beelikej: (Good girl)
Why does LJ demand to refresh every.single.page before showing it? Did the latest 'release' break the system again? Hrmpf. This makes it really hard to catch up on my flist. Hopefully this post is coming through: I'm quickly sharing a photo of my arts & crafts creations for Sinterklaas;) I added a link to yesterday's family festivities in my pictureblog (it was easier to upload the rest of the photos there.)

These are the surprise packages I build... )

Traditionally Sinterklaas is celebrated on the evening of December 5th, but my family got together yesterday to party with a pile of presents:)

What kind of holidays do you celebrate in December? (Feel free to ask questions about Sinterklaas if anything is unclear!)

Oh, also! You can still add your address to my cards-list here (less than two weeks before I go!)
beelikej: (Good girl)
We celebrate his nameday in December, but today Sinterklaas already arrived in the Netherlands to start the countdown \o/ Officially there is only one Sinterklaas, but he magically manages to visit every big city and small village on the same day. My sister in law and darling nephew travelled to my town so we could all enjoy the festivities together.

Two sneak peek pics behind the cut )

More fun photos in my pictureblog!

Such an awesome day. *happy sigh*

P.S. Speaking of the holidays; this year I'm sending my cards from Down Under. If you want one, you can let me know here!

P.P.S. Sinterklaas = St. Nicholas ~~> Santa Claus. <+:-)>
beelikej: (Good girl)
There was an article in the newspaper with statistics about people's height and weight in The Netherlands over the years.

Guess who's exactly the average height? )

PARTY-TIME!
Sunday my family celebrated Sinterklaas; the offical Eve is December 5th, but since we all live in different parts of the Netherlands we always get together in the closest weekend for gifts, poems and surprise packages... )

Want to see more? Here are tons of pictures of our Sinterklaas party (in my photoblog;)
beelikej: (AmyAdamsHands)
Holy holy, I spent over an hour answering all the wonderful comments on my paper art for the Reverse Bang! I am more than slightly overwhelmed by the response to that. The amount topped even the reaction to the clay Sam&Dean puppets! I had not expected that for my favorite pairing of JDM/JA, which is usually sadly underappreciated in this fandom. So this has been very validating. *grins*

I had meant to respond sooner, but I've had quite a busy week and I got very sick on top of that, boooh.

A day by day
On Monday it was posting day of the artwork mentioned above.
Tuesday was a workday, not usually worth mentioning, but with all the forced time off I only had two workdays this week instead of the normal five, ahem.
I realized on Wednesday that my mom had infected me with her throat infection (after I had brought her a get well bouquet in the weekend, tsk) but that didn't stop us from traveling to the East together to visit the grandparents and to have dinner at Ikea \o/ (Swedish meatballs, bb!).
Thursday was another day at work, even though I was already too sick to deal, but whatever.
By Friday I had completely lost my voice due the full on head cold that had developed. I worried I wouldn't be able to enjoy the visit to the family in The Hague. But no way was I going to miss my nephew's first Sinterklaas experience. Of course he had already enjoyed the family festivities last year, but this was going to be the first time he would see Sint arrive on the big steamboat. His mum Gayleen (my SIL;) had never seen that either and I absolutely wanted to share this huge Dutch event with the both of them on Saturday.

So I dressed up in the warmest clothes I had, brought loads of liquids and licorice and got on the train to the West on Friday afternoon for a sleep over (so I didn't have to get up freakishly early on Saturday;)

Gayleen and Ruben picked me up at the trainstation and we walked through The Hague for some windowshopping. I also made a couple of photos of the outdoors artwork.

PHOTO'S! )

We got on the tram at the underground stop at Grote Markt, which has such a marvelous design.

They saved all the ancient things they found during the excavations and put them on display IN THE FLOOR!! That floor itself is a wonderful design of three kinds of wood in the shape of the old houses that used to stand in this area. They put the finds in old fashioned wells, covered with thick glass plates, so you can walk right over history!

MORE PHOTO'S! )

I'll fast forward through our evening at their home, where I caught up with my brother Jaap and cuddled with Ruben. (No worries, his mom and dad were already infected with the germs of snot themselves, so I couldn't do more harm)

On Saturday the four of us traveled by tram towards the harbour; after we changed trams half way we discovered my other brother Hans in the same carriage! Together we walked the final bit to the already very crowded harbour of Scheveningen. What I love about Sinterklaas is that everybody has the same sweet anticipation; young and old, we're all there to enjoy the party, it's such a wonderful atmosphere. Before the steamboat arrived, Ruben already had his first encounter with a couple of Zwarte Pieten (black Petes) - initially he wasn't too sure about these painted and colourfully dressed creatures, but when they handed him some candy, he warmed up to them *grins*. He clearly loved the pepernoten (candysized ginger cookies).
I posted pictures of Ruben's adventures in my Dutch blog: EVEN MORE PHOTO'S!

For those of you who are interested: more on the history of Sinterklaas and Zwarte Pieten [Wikipedia]

Oh, this turned out long;) Will put my RB-art recommendations in a separate post!
beelikej: (Good girl)
Yesterday my family celebrated Sinterklaas; it was the first time for my nephew Ruben \o/

This year I only had to make one surprise package (previously I would make one for everyone;). The name I drew was Gayleen, and because of the arrival of baby Ruben I finally had an excuse to make one of the oldest traditional Sint pranks... (We usually avoid the dirty ones, but I couldn't resist;)

I bought (biologically produced) diapers and after taking two out I hid the present in between the rest of the diapers. But that was just the beginning: this bulky package was to be hidden somewhere in my mom's house before celebrations and I would hide a clue in the surprise package, made out of a diaper... Now this is where it gets a little bit dirty (you have been warned). *rubs hands with an evil grin*... Want to see what I made? Photos of preparations and the festivities Enjoy!
beelikej: (Ernie&Bert IDEK)
Before I forget in between all my chores - doing laundry, checking finances, scavage hunting for Gishwhes, modwork for [livejournal.com profile] nickngreg, artwork for the ReverseBang*, wrapping presents and writing poems for Sinterklaas** - here's a link to the photos I made yesterday when the parade from Sint (Saint Nicolas) and his Zwarte Pieten (Black Petes) was doing the rounds through my neighbourhood! I could hear them coming from afar.

*Well, I would be working on that, but my author is still/again incommunicado, so I haven't a clue what to do. IF YOU READ THIS, AUTHOR: PLEASE ANSWER YOUR MAIL ASAP? ~bats eyelashes~ Message received, new plan made... tbc...

**We're celebrating Sint's birthday next weekend (officially the Eve of December 6th, but weekends are more convenient to get the family together;)
beelikej: (Good girl)
A short update on life - I'm participating in The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt The World Has Ever Seen (Gishwhes;) so I don't have time for chitchat *grins*
Have been very busy at work with the yearly Christmas project. But despite a distracting intern and other 'small' orders in between, I managed to make my deadline and handed the document for proofreading to my client in time. Will hopefully get in back on Monday with final notes. At the last minute they decided to add four more pages, so I get to work on that too, woohoo. Everything should be ready for the printer's at the end of the week. I wouldn't be surprised if I had to work (more) overtime.

Had a couple of rough nights; my body is suffering from pms and it's exhausted, but I'm dealing. Was pampered by mom on Wednesday (awesome dinner and dessert) and we have been to the arthouse twice; first film Rabat was cool, second one (yesterday) was Code Blue which was nasty. (Both are Dutch films that probably won't be released anywhere else)

Today Jelle came over and we talked books and movies before sitting down for two films on the big screen: The Resident (in which landlord JDM and his beard are creepy to tennant Hillary Swank) and Recount (an HBO film about the Gore/Bush recount in Florida 2000, with Kevin Spacey etc.). First one was much better than I expected (despite the beard;) and second one was a bit too long but very educational and had loads of awesome actors.
(Before we went upstairs Jelle moved my spare monitor (a bulky old fashion one) from my downstairs bike-shed all the way up to my apartment. So glad I wasn't too proud to ask him for help, not so bad to have a man over once in a while;)

Oooh, almost forgot to show you the present Sinterklaas had left for me at my mom's house:
Look how cute! )

Only two weeks until official Sinterklaas celebrations start! Here are photos from previous years. I already have designs for surprise-packages in mind, but still have to buy most presents and then I can start the arts and crafts preparations:)

In between all of the above I'm also doing artwork for my second prompt in the Reverse Bang Challenge; that will be posted on December 7.

So if you don't hear from me until then, you know why;)

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