My friend Clem Sluijsmans is rebellious, hussy, energetic, handy, generous, and immensely creative. I met her 9 years ago at a web design course and still can remember this inquisitive petit lady exploring her surroundings with her shiny eyes.
Divorced, mother of three and grandmother of two, Clem began painting professionally in her late forties, and once she started there was not turning back. Art became her only tool of survival. Jumping in the ocean with no lifejacket, she organized controversial performances about the role of women in society and participated in several exhibitions and art encounters.
Many of her mixed media paintings relate to the subject “home“. When you live in a foreign country the sense of belonging disappears and your house, your soul, can be easily invaded. Sluijsmans moved from Holland to Valencia, Spain, after a love crush in Ibiza back in the seventies. Her background and modern ideas clashed with a society still marked by the catholic religion and the Franco regimen.
In the peak of the current financial crisis Clem moved back to her home country for new beginnings and second opportunities. Soon after she managed to find a job at Wageningen university while still involved in her creative projects. Last year she moved to an anti squatting building in the city centre with access to water, electricity and central heating. She is not allowed to paint on the walls or cook on a gas stove, but I’m sure her naughtiness will show up one way or another. “Life is what you experience”.
An endless summer could be compared to an extended flue, a sticky feeling impossible to fight. By mid October you start longing for an excuse for a hot cup of tea, a two layer scarf around your neck and a creamy soup for dinner. I was feeling sad for the old man selling roasted chestnuts in the square praying for temperatures to drop.
Finally autumn is among us. I’m glad Olivia is able to experience the change of season and how the weather determine the rhythm of nature and tradition. She’s already excited about the big puddles in the park and loves figuring out how to hold a crochet needle.
These wintery images belong to the illustrator Suzan Visser, her tiny birds couldn’t express any better the feeling of what the cold weather is all about. Have you heard of Suzan Visser before? I found one of her postcards Fast Essenszeit for first time at an art and craft shop in Dusseldorf. Soon I realized that her work is everywhere on the net, especially on Pinterest. If you love hippos or owls, then you will go crazy pinning her surrealist illustrations.
My friend Cecilia is a Mexican biologist, mum of a beautiful baby girl, Aquetzalli, and recently turned full time knitter. I met Cecilia and her Norwegian husband at birthing class in Palma and we’ve been in touch ever since. They are the most chilled couple I’ve ever come across.
Cecilia breathes positivism and joy, so when she first showed me her creations – Artesanías hechas tejido – I thought on the spot that they were so much like her. Earthy and colorful crochet and knit designs for all year round. Wooly neck warmers, comfy hats for the cold Nordic winter (the whole family is moving to Bergen this summer!) and tailored bikinis.
The star of the collection are her custom made crochet bikinis. Just email Cecilia your preferred color and shape along with your mesauraments and voila, the perfect two pieces to welcome this summer.
This is just a peep of what she has in stock. You can enquiry Cecilia directly at firstname.lastname@example.org