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✻ Thi s Flow belong s to ✻

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A while ago, I had to make an appointment with the local notary office. “If you can’t make it on a weekday, Saturday morning is possible,” the secretary informed me from the other end of the line. For a moment, I was surprised at this luxury; someone was making themselves available to work around my busy schedule. Saturday morning is usually sacrosanct for me, but making the appointment then would indeed keep my weekdays free for workrelated tasks. Recently, my neighborhood supermarket also started making life easier for me and my busy life, with extended opening hours and the addition of seven cash registers. Excellent, I thought. I won’t be wasting precious time while doing my grocery shopping, and I’ll have more time for other things. So there I was one Monday afternoon, mulling over the notary appointment as I waited in line at the supermarket. Impatiently waiting, in fact, for my basket to finally, finally have its turn at the register. My daughter’s dance lesson was about to end, and if the guy in front of me could please just not be too slow when packing his purchases, I could still get there to pick her up on time. But this gentleman showed no signs of speeding up as he chatted and joked away with the cashier. It wouldn’t have been hard for anyone to see the impatience and irritation on my face. Once outside, dinner safely in my bag, I jumped on my bicycle and checked the time again: my shopping trip had taken me all of five minutes. Here I was, so harried that I had been acting like a spoilt princess on a miniscule pea. Feeling slightly abashed, I stood, two minutes later, in front of the dance school, precisely on time. It

was a good thing my daughter hadn’t witnessed my behavior at the grocery store. FAST SERVICE

It’s safe to say that my life has become easier in terms of flexible hours and technology. So why am I still in a hurry all the time? And most of all, why am I so impatient? According to Dutch philosopher and researcher Marli Huijer, flexible hours don’t necessarily make us more relaxed. In her book Ritme, Op zoek naar een terugkerende tijd (Rythm, in search of a recurring time), she explores the impact of being on-call all the time and working more flexible hours, with no fixed recharge day, like a set weekend day. “Let us be aware of the risks of the 24-7 society, and what it does to our public sphere if we skip all those social rhythms,” she warns. That is why, for example, a full waiting room at the doctor’s office is experienced as a problem: because we’re expecting to have the appointment immediately, while in the old days it was a given for people to travel days to visit a doctor, or at least to have to wait an hour or so in the doctor’s waiting room. Ever since the 1960s, Huijer explains, fixed and communal rhythms have slowly been replaced by flexible and individual timetables, so that everyone can personally decide what to do and when to do it. But this lovely flexible timekeeping shatters the traditional rhythms of people sleeping, working and spending time together. Because of the lack of a communal rhythm of rest and activity, we just expect each other to be available all the time and anywhere. Saying “no” doesn’t seem to be an option anymore—


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1. Philippa with coffee beans and paint; portrait by David Woolley. 2. Hastings Boat, a drawing inspired by the Brighton seaside. 3. One of the Instagram photos, featuring ginkgo leaves and tea. 4. Working at home, a cozy corner full of flowers for photographs.


✖ 41 Brighton, UK ☛ Abstract artist, photographer, blogger Lives with her son Jules (14)

my garden, on the road or in local parks. I only have nasturtiums left in the garden now, so pretty soon I will move into appropriately bought, seasonal flowers.

You started as an abstract painter, but lately you’re known for your flower photography. How did that happen? I studied art and I paint senses; sound, taste and smell, as well as abstracted seascapes and boats. I basically started doing pictures for Instagram using my phone in its very early days. People started saying quite nice things about them. I was influenced by the Japanese Instagrammers and the Scandinavian artists I saw on there, too. The rounded shapes really inspired me; I liked the circles.

The photos are quite a departure from your painting style. I paint very texturally and abstract, and everything I make connects with the senses, but it’s all about connecting on a very basic level with your senses and your emotions. Although my photos are massively different from my paintings, to me they’re very connected.

You always seem to have a teacup with flowers. Why? There is nearly always a teacup next to me. It is a kind of constant companion. Usually, I like the cup to be in harmony, in form, with the flowers. It gives a bit of a human touch to it. There’s something cozy and calming about a cup of tea. But it has many different layers. Virtually all of the flowers, particularly over the summer, are from my own garden or walks I’ve taken. I’ve picked a few wildflowers, and sometimes it’s leaves from

What kinds of work has Instagram led to for you? Well, I guess it’s no surprise that I’m working with a tea company now. I'm putting together an exhibition of photos and paintings, focused around tea. I create installations as well, so I want people to be able to see and experience a piece of my whole artistic life, bringing all these strands of my work together. It’s a fantastic company, Postcard Teas, and they use small farmers and sustainable farming practices. They’re supplying all the tea for my research and development, so it’s a brilliant collaboration.



Hand lettering isn’t just a fun activity. Giving words a nice form emphasizes their meaning. Illustrator Deborah van der Schaaf made this little workbook for us, so you can try your hand at hand lettering with a few simple steps.

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ou don’t have to be able to write beautifully to draw beautiful letters,” says Deborah. “You can learn how, either by following the ‘strict’ method or using freehand—choose the one that suits you. In this book, I show you both. My boyfriend’s father used to be a sign painter; it’s very special that I could use his old textbooks (see p 6). These days in my city, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, you see more illustrated windows and walls: many young artists are taking it up. And on Etsy and Pinterest, of course, you can find lovely hand-drawn posters to inspire you. I think the ampersand is the most beautiful character: &. It has so many wonderful variations. But, to be honest, when I draw it from memory, I always get it wrong!” ●

“Just as writing can become calligraphy when it’s creatively, skillfully, and consciously performed, so can all other activities become art. In this case, we are reflecting upon life itself as an artistic statement – the art of living.” –H.E. DAVEY

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I MISS YOU The loss of a friendship or even an acquaintanceship can feel like a void, giving you a distressing feeling of being incomplete. But there’s also a positive side to loss: that sweet nostalgia for a more carefree time in your life, or that summer night when everything felt just right. Journalist Mariska Jansen explores.


ears ago, a good friend of mine moved back home to Singapore. From the moment I saw her pass through customs and into the departures terminal, I missed her. In the first few months, her absence sometimes made me really upset. After that, missing her was a nagging feeling that never completely went away. Even now, I still long for our intimate conversations, the hours we spent cooking the Asian recipes she’d share with me, or watching the films that we both loved. Missing someone can be a profound experience—or it can just be a part of everyday life. The cheerful intern who worked all summer at the desk opposite yours may leave a void when her internship ends. Without your even knowing it, she made an impact on your life with her funny, happy-go-lucky stories. Or the friendly neighbors at the campsite where you’re vacationing. You only knew them briefly, but when they left, there was a bald patch in the grass where their tent had stood.

most harrowing experience is that irrevocable loss: death. “And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation,” wrote Lebanese writer Khalil Gibran. American-born novelist Gustaf Sobin, who spent most of his life in France, explored the magnitude of loss in his novel The Fly-Truffler, in which widower Philippe Cabassac digs through the soil in his Provençal country estate in search of magic black truffles. Once found, prepared and consumed, the truffles produce hallucinations in which his wife, Julieta, appears. His loss is so great that soon the only thing that matters are the moments that bring his wife back to life. The widower neglects himself, is fired from his job at the university and slowly loses touch with reality. I’ve met such “truffle lovers” in real life, too. Until his death, an elderly neighbor of mine burned a candle every single day for his deceased wife. He told me once that without her, life was not worth living—though he did continue on.


Perhaps the essence of longing is that it seems like you’ve lost a part of yourself, because you can only miss someone else if they’ve gotten into you, become a part of you, in some way. You can miss someone because of distance, like when they move across an ocean. Or you can lose them over time, which often happens with people from your past. But the 72 _

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Eventually, for most of us, time can soften the sharp edges of loss, even if at first you can’t imagine how that would happen. “Although at first you feel like resisting the idea, you do know that time will do its job here, too,” writes Paul van Tongeren, Dutch ethics professor at Radboud University


“Perhaps the essence of missing is that it’s like losing a piece of yourself”

Joan Didion writes about losing her husband in her memoir, "The Year of Magical Thinking:" "Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it."

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Tif Fussell’s getaway spot in her own back garden

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...later, the Airstream became a vintage pop-up shop. Inside the Airstream: it used to be a combined studio and play area for the kids...

“You are alone with your thoughts, in your own world. Gladys was my happy getaway”

AMERICAN BEAUTY Crafter, writer, designer and wanderer Tif Fussell (45), better known as blogger Dottie Angel, set off from England and ended up in Seattle. She is married to Chris and has four children and lots of animals. And, for a while, she also had a large Airstream trailer. “About seven years ago, when we moved into an old house with a half hectare of mossy garden,” (about 2.5 acres), she says, “I dreamed of living like my fictional alter ego, blogger Dottie Angel. Dottie has several Airstreams: she uses one of them for a studio, another as storage for all the vintage stuff she collects... Now that we suddenly had the space, I decided to look for one. I couldn’t afford to buy a perfect specimen and found a 1962 Airstream California that had seen better days. “Gladys, as I called her—after Elvis’ mom—looked bad the first time I saw her. As a family, we gave her a total makeover and made her gleam again. We painted the inside a soft duck-egg blue and put down a kitschy imitation wood floor. At one end we made room for the boys to play with their Xbox, and at the other I created my own Dottie Angel world.

“A little later we turned it into a vintage pop-up shop, where I had plenty of happy moments. Not so long ago, with heavy hearts, we decided to pass Gladys on to someone else. I never thought it would ever come to that, but our life had changed. The children are leaving home, and Chris and I are looking forward to the moment when we, too, will pack our things and move on. “There’s something really iconic about Airstreams. You get nostalgic in one of these caravans, automatically transported to a place where time stands still, where you are alone with your thoughts, in your own world. Gladys was my happy getaway. I could look out my kitchen window and see her gleaming in the light of the rising sun, door open, flowery curtains gently billowing in the breeze, the chickens pottering around her... Happy moments that always made me realize, yet again, just how good my life really is. We never took Gladys out of our back garden, but I still dream of going traveling in an Airstream. I’m sure that dream will come true, just like the dream of owning Gladys came true.” ✼

CARAVAN HOLIDAY Want to try living the caravan dream for just a short time? There are now campsites that offer short stays in caravans and trailers, in Europe, South Africa, the US and UK. ✻ BaseCamp Hostel in Bonn, Germany has sixteen vintage caravans artfully designed by a movie set director: ✻ The Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa has a rooftop “trailer park” with seven classic Airstreams, each with a themed interior: ✻ At the “glampsite” Mad Dogs and Vintage Vans in the Wye Valley, UK, four retro campers are situated in a small wildflower meadow with views of the Black Mountains: ✻ Autocamp Airstream Hotel has a caravan glamping site in Santa Barbara:

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Miriam’s caravan was love at first sight.

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“Here you don’t need to lock the door.” TV? No need for it in a place like this.

“It’s a place for relaxation, strolling through the dunes to the sea, reading, having a drink and making things. Wonderful” SUMMER HOME “I bought my caravan at Camping Bakkum at [the Dutch coastal resort of] Castricum eighteen years ago when a magazine asked me to style one for an article,” says Mirjam van der Rijst, a stylist for lifestyle and interior design magazines and culinary productions. Besides that, she’s also always busy making and selling her own lamps, cushions and bedspreads. “A family I met through my son’s school— he’s now 22—had a caravan at Bakkum and they found it fun to work on,” she says. “I’d never heard of the place, it was a whole new world for me. The next day, I went there with my son to see if anything was for sale, and yes! This one was. We bought it right away. We call the caravan Casa de las Rosas. “It’s an oldie that needs lots of care and attention, but I give it that with all my love. I found Bakkum a paradise right from the very first day. We live in Amsterdam, which is always crowded with tourists and shoppers, and it’s so easy to get sucked into a fast pace. Bakkum is located right in the middle of the tranquil Kennemer Dunes. It’s a place for relaxation, strolling through the dunes to

the sea, reading, having a drink and making things. Wonderful. “I’ve only had electricity in my caravan for the past two years and still don’t have a TV or radio. Never needed them. From March to October, I’m at Bakkum every weekend, and during the school vacations I live there and just go to work from the caravan. “The site is actually a village. I’ve made a lot of friends here. You don’t have to lock your bike and you can leave the door open. The way it should be. The nice thing about the caravan is that you need almost nothing to be happy. “Although my Casa de las Rosas is fixed in place, I’ve got a great sense of freedom. Because life is so simple and you’re actually living in a cabin in the middle of the forest. What’s not so nice is that we all have to pack up and leave every year by mid-October. Then the caravan is garaged in the barn of a local farmer. That always makes me sad. But as the campsite is in a conservation area and in winter the terrain is allowed to go back to nature, that’s okay, too.” ●

WANT TO LEARN MORE? WEBSITES ✻ is fun to look around ✻ Iconic Airstreams are still sold via the site ✻ Find vintage airstreams for sale at ✻ is a blog with beautiful caravan pictures ✻ See (translates to English) for fun information and campsites in Europe BOOKS ✻ “My Cool Caravan” and “My Cool Campervan” by Jane Field-Lewis and Chris Haddon (Pavilion) ✻ “Vantastic” by Kate Ulman (Explore Australia, 2013)

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The Secret to Making

MERINGUES An array of meringues in all colors of the rainbow and every corresponding flavor: the Meringue Girls make the most amazing variations. On the following pages they share their recipes and the secrets of colors, flavors and piping.

CLIP OUT & CLOTHE Three illustrators made modern dress-up paper dolls for us. They work just as they always did: cut them out, fold the edges over and hang the clothes over the figures. 1. AIKO FUKAWA For Japanese illustrator Aiko Fukawa, dress-up paper dolls aren’t people, they’re poetry: “I give mine lots of different clothes, because I know how special it feels to be able to put on a beautiful hat or pair of shoes. As I child, I played with paper dolls much more often than I played outdoors. I think that I still like to make them because of how much fun I experienced with them as a child.”

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2. ERIKA HARBERTS Erika Harberts, the woman behind MikoDesign, is always crafting and illustrating, and she also makes dolls: “I think the dress-up doll is here to stay because it stimulates the imagination and provides hours of fun. And, it’s accessible to everyone, and very affordable because it’s just paper.”

3. JORDAN GRACE OWENS American illustrator Jordan Grace Owens likes to make art that people can touch, and do something with: “I used to be so crazy about paper dolls that I was super careful to make sure I kept the paper beautiful. It’s the simplicity that makes them so special. Plus, you can make them yourself pretty easily.”


Flow. A magazine for paper lovers. Celebrating creativity, imperfection and life’s little pleasures. Subscribe or order issues at You can follow us at or: Facebook (FlowMagInternational) ✻ Twitter (@theworldofflow) ✻ Instagram (Flow_magazine) ✻ Pinterest (FlowMagazine)

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Flow International issue 8  

Flow International issue 8