SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE - FEEL CONNECTED - LIVE MINDFULLY - SPOIL YOURSELF
A MAGAZINE FOR PAPER LOVERS
“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.” SØREN KIERKEGAARD (1813-1855)
THE BENEFITS OF A BEGINNER’S MIND ✻ THE NEW BOOK SHARING TREND: LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES ✻ MICHAEL POLLAN ON HOW FOOD CONNECTS US ✻ GIVE AWAY 29 THINGS (AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS) ✻ DIY: CROCHET GRANNY SQUARES ✻ EXTRAS: A BOOKS DIARY & DIY LABELS
In 1957, Ingrid married for the third time, to Lars Schmidt. They celebrated each summer with a monthâ€™s holiday on Dannholmen, his Swedish island. After her death, her ashes were scattered there.
BERGMAN STILL WATERS RUN DEEP
Swedish actor Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982) was the uncrowned queen of Hollywood, but when she fell in love with an Italian director, she was excommunicated from the American film industry, and prevented from seeing her first daughter for years. She had a comeback, and kept on acting until she died, because acting made her happy. Portrait as a 14-year old, made in the photo booth of her fatherâ€™s studio. Her father, a photographer, died when she was 13.
1. In Terry’s studio: a variety of work (birds, rabbit blocks, plates, and assemblages) plus collection of curiosities. 2. Finishing off a mixed media artwork, I Spy with My Little Eye 3. “I love quirky bric-a-brac and often use them in mixed media work,” says Terry. 4. Rabbits on plates, using illustration and collage.
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4?LLS!HA?FIM âœ– 45 years old Lives in Durban, South Africa â˜› Artist, designer, entrepreneur, and shop owner â™Ľ Lives with husband, Steve, son Michael (18), daughter Sindi (15), son Luke (12), and a student, Dominique terryangelosart.com Youâ€™re best known for your vintage plates. What kinds of images inspire you? I like to art-out vintage patterns and mix them with illustrations of deer, rabbits, bears, flamingos, and Cape sunbirds. Iâ€™ve also done skulls and birds with human legs. Thereâ€™s a bit of a dark edge to your work. Some of the images can be both appealing and unsettling at the same time. There was a similar undercurrent in South Africa during Apartheid. Our middle-class reality was filtered through a current of unease. A sense of optimism no matter what... even war and danger will not stop us having a good time. Things left unspoken, swept under the carpet. It was a combination of innocence with something dark lurking at the edge. Iâ€™m fascinated by that paradox.
How did you get started with crafting? The techniques I like to use â€“ batik, macramĂŠ, candles, crocheting etc. â€“ come from my motherâ€™s crafting culture of the 1970s. When I was growing up, all my clothes were handmade, with matching outfits for my dollies. My father is a retired high school art teacher. Living in a very small farming town meant you had to make things rather than buy them. I draw extensively on my childhood and things that are nostalgic to me: Scrabble (my granny loved to play), old typewriters, tapestries, enamelware, sweat peas, butterfly collections, vintage bird and biology books, fashion patterns, swans... What are you working now? These days, Iâ€™m busy with a pop-up shop I have curated, called Anthology. I love doing the shop displays and I approach them like installations. Right now, Iâ€™m busy planning a Frida Kahlo display. In my art, Iâ€™ve just done some 3D artworks by illustrating and painting onto calico/canvas fabric, and then stuffing and stitching over the artwork, and framing them in a box.
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You and Your Parents WHAT CHANGES, WHAT STAYS THE SAME? Your relationship with your parents changes over the course of your life. How do you deal with these changes? More importantly, how do you keep it all together? “Family lasts a lifetime,” wrote the poet Gerrit Achterberg. From the cradle to the grave, you will always be your parents’ child. You get older, wiser, change jobs, home, or country, but there is one constant in life: your family. They are the people you love, but who can also irritate, vex, or hurt you. They are the people you admire, but they’re also the people you must rebel against. And even if you’re adopted or have broken all contact with your parents, you still have a deep-rooted sense of family. The parent-child relationship is the most fundamental bond there is. How does this bond change throughout life? What changes, and what stays the same? And how can you grow in harmony with each other? BLUEPRINT FOR YOUR OWN RELATIONSHIPS “The relationship with your parents is the first you ever engage in. It’s your first experience of intimacy and connectedness. And immediately that makes this bond very important,” says family sociologist and educator Eva-Maria Merz, a researcher at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute. “This fledgling relationship is a blueprint for your future intimate relationships. If you felt safe with your parents, if you could trust them, and if you were allowed to be yourself at home, then you will assume that all relationships are like that. You will have a solid foundation for life that will be difficult to break. In contrast, if your parents were unpredictable and you couldn’t stand up to them, then you will be more wary of other relationships.” Clearly, not everyone will have a solid foundation. Parents are only human, and sometimes they divorce, or they have illnesses, or they struggle with themselves so that their offspring will have the same problems. Solid or shaky foundation? The relationship
with your parents in childhood is so intense that it will color the rest of your life. Or, as Pascal Mercier writes in his book Night Train to Lisbon, “I shudder at the mere thought of the unplanned and unknown but inevitable and unstoppable force with which parents leave traces in their children, which, like traces of a fire, cannot be erased.”
“Freedom does not lie in breaking loose, but in committing to yourself” The fiercest period for conflict is adolescence. A tornado of hormones is raging through your teenage body and you want only one thing: to do things differently than your father and mother. Somehow, that makes sense. As a teenager, you’re busy developing into an adult with your own opinions and identity. That by definition is different from your parents’ definition of themselves. All the while, you’re still hoping secretly for their approval. Your network grows, you would rather share things with friends, and you start challenging all the rules of the house. The infamous rebellion is actually a compliment to parents. “If the relationship is good, a child feels free to wrestle with his own problems,” says Merz. “He knows that his parents love him anyway, so he can openly practice ways of resolving conflict.” According to Merz, you become milder again in early adulthood and you ask your parents for more
Psychotherapist Robin Skynner and comedian John Cleese co-wrote "Families And How To Survive Them," a guide to family relationships
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A MAG FOR P AZINE A LOVERPER S
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ABOUT FLOW Flow magazine celebrates creativity, imperfection, and life’s little pleasures. It is for people who enjoy making things by hand, taking time to do things that matter, reading about philosophy and positive psychology, and living in the moment. Launched six years ago in an attic in Haarlem, near Amsterdam, it has grown into an international publication with Dutch, German, and English editions. Flow is now a platform for international illustrators, and a home for writers who share our ideas. We also publish other kinds of paper products, such as datebooks, stationery, and special issues devoted to a single topic.
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Meanwhile in Lebanon
BEIRUT Salma Abdelnourâ€™s family had roots in Lebanon going back generations, but she had lived most of her life in the US. Because of a nagging feeling of dislocation, she decided to give up her life in New York for a year and to return to her childhood home.
American journalist and author of several books on food, including his most recent, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, Michael Pollan offers us his thoughts on how cooking from scratch, rather than using prepackaged foods or ingredients, can change, well, everything. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR US TO LOOK AT WHERE OUR FOOD COMES FROM AND TO COOK IT OURSELVES?
Through my writing, I spent a dozen years or so following the food chain, starting with The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which is about where the food comes from. Then I looked at the other end of the food chain – the body part and nutrition – with In Defense of Food and Food Rules. And I kept getting these hints that the middle link in the food chain, where we cook it or process it – which is the word we use when corporations do the cooking – those transformations were really important to the whole food chain. How we cook and who’s doing the cooking has a tremendous bearing on the kinds of farms we’re going to have. The industrialization of agriculture is driven in large part by the fact that we are not cooking anymore, and we’re outsourcing our cooking to fast-food corporations. It’s those companies that, because they’re trying to make a standard product everywhere in the world, insist on giant monocultures of the same thing. Also, I learned along the way that one of the best predictors of a healthy diet is that it’s cooked by a human being. And preferably, you’ll be that human. If you’re cooking, you will be eating, without even thinking about it, a much healthier diet, because the
corporations don’t cook very well. They use way too much salt, fat, and sugar. These two hints made me want to look at that middle link in the food chain, the one I took for granted because it’s right in front of us. It’s not exotic at all; it’s our kitchens. YOU TALK ABOUT HOW COOKING AT HOME, OR FROM SCRATCH, CONNECTS US.
At many levels and to many different things. It connects us to nature: you’re working with nature and transforming nature into an artifact of culture. And cooking connects us to other people. If you’re going to cook, you’re not going to eat alone; you’re going to find someone to eat with. There’s just a gift aspect of cooking. And you put work into it, too. If you’re cooking, you won’t want people to go off to eat it in front of the television or in their own room. You’re going to want to be at the table, eating together. It connects and weaves families together as well. Cooking has always been social. It was a very important transformation when we went from eating raw food to cooking, which was about people agreeing to restrain their hunger until the food was prepared, and making the fire and keeping the fire going, cooking the meat. It’s by nature a social way of behaving. We are the only species that has meals, that sits down together and cooperates in that particular way. There are other species that cooperate in the hunt, but there’s no meaning to that idea of the meal if you’re a lion or elephant.
“IF YOU’RE GOING TO COOK, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO EAT ALONE, YOU’RE GOING TO FIND SOMEONE TO EAT WITH”
STATISTICALLY, WE’RE COOKING LESS, YET WE’RE EATING MORE.
"I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life." – Steve Jobs, founder of Apple "Ideally, it's the mind and – actor,
I approach everything as though first time - with a beginner's an amateur's love." Willem Dafoe
"You can learn new things at any time in your life if you're willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you." – businesswoman, Barbara Sher “A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.” – Graham Greene, "The End of the Affair" “I keep turning over new leaves, and spoiling them, as I used to spoil my copybooks; and I make so many beginnings there never will be an end." – Louisa May Alcott, writing as Jo March in "Little Women"
A LONGER AND RICHER LIFE
Looking at the world through the eyes of a beginner does something with your perception of time. That’s what Douwe Draaisma says. He’s a professor at the University of Groningen and author of the book Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt (Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older). He claims time compresses when you do things you have never done before. When we’re young, we collect many new experiences and our days are filled with new impressions. But as we get older, we find ourselves in the monotonous grind of life, seldom discovering new things. The scenery stays the same, while it seems the years fly past. If you want to extend the perception of time, Draaisma advises making a point of discovering new things. New experiences leave deep traces in our brain. Asked to look back on their pasts, participants in an experiment associated their most vivid memories with the first time something had ever happened: their first day at a new job, the first time they met the love of their life, the first night in their new home. You can experience many things as firsts, even just by pretending. For instance, at the start of a meal pretend that you’re tasting the dish for the first time. What kind of texture does the food have? Which herbs did the cook use? The key is to create memories because memories “slow down” time. A beginner’s mind is not only creative and happier, it also extends the perception of time. And naturally, that’s great, especially at an age when the years seem to fly by.
TEXT OTJE VAN DER LELIJ PHOTOGRAPHY INÊS SANTIAGO
SOME WORDS ON BEING A BEGINNER
to rest and interesting ideas bubble up from the subconscious. It’s the old story of scientists and artists getting their most brilliant ideas when they’re having a shower. Rousseau experienced it on his walks. Just seeing a desk and chair made him feel overcome by disgust, which took away all his courage. But when he was strolling along a path, ideas came to him and formed sentences in his head. The paths stimulated his imagination. You don’t get that a-ha moment when you’re busy thinking, judging, and comparing. You get it when your mind is empty and receptive.
A FRESH START Five Ways To Begin Again
If you let go of the idea that you’re supposed to have all the answers, life can become a lot more interesting and fun. Here are a few ways to cultivate a beginner’s mind. ✻ SAY: “I DON’T KNOW”
How many times have you nodded your head knowingly when someone made a reference to something you actually didn’t know about at all? As adults, we put a lot of energy into appearing to be savvy and knowledgeable, but you’ll learn much more if you’re willing to say, “Oh, what’s that?”
✻ DO JUST ONE THING AT
TEXT NINA SIEGAL
Do you walk down the stairs while talking on your cell phone and pulling on your coat? It’s efficient, but it also means that you’re doing each of those activities mindlessly. Try to only walk down the stairs when you’re walking down the stairs. Take each step separately, and bring your attention to each step. If you’re pulling on your coat, do it slowly, pulling one arm into each sleeve at a time, feeling each hand slipping through the cuff. Listen to the zipper as it zips. It sounds silly, but you’ll feel like you’re having a new experience just by doing things very deliberately.
✻ SIT DOWN, LIE DOWN
When was the last time you sat on the floor of your living room, rather than on the couch? Or when did you last let yourself lie down on the grass? Putting ourselves in a different physical position than we’re used to can often reorient our minds, too. And if we get down low, we can sometimes experience life through the eyes of a child. Explore different spaces in and around your home and see how it feels to experience things from a different vantage point. Give yourself five to ten minutes to be in that space and really notice what’s around you.
✻ REEXAMINE A FAMILIAR
Choose an object that you see every day, preferably one that you’ve had around the house for a long time. When was the last time you really looked at it? Hold it in your hand, find a quiet place, and set a timer for five minutes. Take a deep breath and give your full attention to this object. Do nothing else except to examine the object closely, using all
five senses. Turn it over in your hands, feel its texture, notice how it was made or the various materials it’s made of, smell it, bring it to your ear to listen to it – does it make any sound? – and even bring it to your lips to taste it. Giving your full attention to one object in this way helps remind you that even things that seem very familiar still hold certain mysteries. Try the same exercise with the food you eat. In mindfulness classes, they often start with a raisin.
✻ SAY, “I WONDER…”
Curiosity and exploration are the characteristics of a beginner’s mind. Often, we want so much to be in control of everything around us that we forget to be curious about things beyond our control. Remember what it felt like as a child to say, “I wonder what’s out there beyond the stars…” Or, “I wonder what it’s like to be a giant octopus under the sea.” Try to turn off the mind that’s always focused on practical matters, and allow yourself to have awe about all kinds of wondrous things.
SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE It need not be so complicated
Make Yourself a Home
Make your own mark on your interiors – and great gifts for friends – with the help of Jenny McCabe’s book, The Hand Printed Home. Inside, you’ll find 35 easy-to-follow projects that use stencils, potato stamps, linocuts, and other tools to enhance a range of accessories, from cushions to curtains, bed sheets to lampshades, and napkins to aprons. There’s also a handy sewing section for beginners and experienced stitchers alike. The Hand Printed Home (CICO Books, $21.95, amazon.com)
Cards with a Conscience Janneke Smeulders and Peter van den Hond are the couple behind FairMail, a social enterprise that produces fairtrade photo greeting cards. Poor teenagers in Peru, India, and Morocco took the photos used on the cards, and they receive 50 percent of the profits from the sales to finance housing and education. What’s more, FairMail also provides them with photography training, a medical fund, and guidance in planning their futures. Cards start at €1.60 each, and are available from fairmail.info/cards, and selected stores worldwide.
Known for its calming properties, lavender’s essential oil has been used in aromatherapy for centuries to help against stress and anxiety, and to aid relaxation. Place a drop or two on your pillow at night, close your eyes, and breathe in the soothing fragrance as you drop off to sleep. Alternatively, treat yourself to a lavender bag, which can be placed under your pillow or hooked over your bed frame. What’s more, you can hang it in a wardrobe to keep away the moths, or slip it in your chest of drawers to give your clothes a lovely scent. Make your own by sewing a pouch from pretty fabric, filling it with dried lavender, and tying the top with some ribbon, or find a wide range of all shapes and styles on etsy.com.
Simplify your life
A Girl’s Best Friend
Shopping with a girlfriend is good for your wallet and your waistline, too. In her research for her thesis at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, psychologist Eline de Vries asked people to describe a situation in which they had felt true friendship, and then she gave them a bowl of M&Ms. Those who could recall moments of friendship ate less than those who didn’t. Participants also said they weren’t willing to pay a lot for a pair of jeans if a good friend was with them. Eline says that thinking of friendships stimulates activity in parts of the brain associated with self-control, so simply thinking of friends is enough to tame your urge to eat or spend.
Easy Peel-sy You find a great recipe, but it involves peeling the skins off the tomatoes. Suddenly your heart sinks, and you decide to scrap the whole project… Well, not anymore. Thanks to those clever people at Victorinox, you can now peel right into the project with this tomato peeler. The serrated swivel blades make removing soft fruit skins a breeze. It’s suitable for right- and left-handed people, and is available in a range of lovely colors. So there’s no reason not to have one. €3.61 from swiss-knife.com.
TEXT JULIA GORODECKY, ALICE VAN ESSEN
On the Hunt Is it difficult to motivate your kids/partner/friends (select one) to go out for a walk? Well, here’s a lovely idea to stimulate enthusiasm: geocaching. This global phenomenon is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game in which you (the “geocacher”) use a GPS-enabled device such as your smartphone to seek out treasures (the “geocaches”) hidden by other players. Simply log in to find the coordinates of a cache near you, and use them to go hunting. Geocaches can vary from a simple logbook to any number of small items that you can keep (as long as you replace them with something else). The brilliant thing is that these caches are hidden everywhere: parks, forests, city centers, historical landmarks, or even possibly on your street. So you can turn every walk – from a trip to the shops to a stroll while on holiday – into a mini-adventure. Geocaching.com
Pocket Notebook Japanese brand Midori has been creating stylish and functional stationery products since 1950. Their Spiral Honey Bee notebook is a book of twelve envelopes with clear windows that allows you to collect memories, ideas, and inspirations rather than using the traditional method of writing them down. It also enables you to organize all those receipts, photos, tickets and any other bits of paper that constantly seem to disappear in the depths of your bag. Available in B6 and B7 sizes from notebook-maniac.com.
BASIC PATTERN FOR A GRANNY SQUARE WHAT YOU NEED ✻ Medium fine cotton (or acrylic) ✻ A crochet hook, size 3 mm ✻ Scissors ✻ Tapestry needle with a blunt point STITCHES USED Note that crochet stitches have different names (and abbreviations) in the US and UK. Here’s a handy overview. UNITED STATES ✻ stitch (st) ✻ chain (ch) ✻ slip stitch (sl st) ✻ single crochet (sc) ✻ half double crochet (hdc) ✻ double crochet (dc) ✻ triple (treble) crochet (trc) ✻ row/round (row/rnd)
UNITED KINGDOM ✻ stitch (st) ✻ chain (ch) ✻ slip stitch (sl st) ✻ double crochet (dc) ✻ half treble crochet (htr) ✻ treble crochet (tr) ✻ double treble crochet (dtr) ✻ row/round (row/rnd)
Make a basic slipknot, or slip loop. Repeat six times for a 6-chain.
Join up the chain with a slip stitch to form a ring.
Make three more slipknots, or a 3-chain (or a double crochet).
Crochet two double crochets in the ring, in the center gap.
Continue with a 3-chain and three double crochets in the ring.
Repeat step 5 twice.
Make another 3-chain. Finish this first round off with a slip stitch in the third chain of the first double crochet (see step 3). The first round of your granny square is now done: Four blocks of three doublet crochets, each separated by three chains.
Simplify your life
CHANGING COLORS A granny square looks very cheerful in one color, but itâ€™s even prettier if you change colors every row, especially if you decide to make a blanket or a pillow out of several granny squares. All you have to do is fasten off the current color at the end of step 7. Then attach the new colors at the corner. You will then skip step 8 (next page), leaving off the slip stitches that you need to get to the corner. Start the new color with a slip stitch on any corner, and continue the pattern from step 9 onward.
Flow. A magazine that takes its time. Celebrating creativity, imperfection, and lifeâ€™s little pleasures. You can order all the issues on flowmagazine.com/order.