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Inspiring Lives





Sonia Delaunay in the 1940s

Art and fashion: for many people, these are two distinct disciplines. But for artist Sonia Delaunay, they were inseparably intertwined. Because she was a woman, and also because fashion was so often considered frivolity, her artwork wasn’t taken seriously at first. Fortunately, that changed during her lifetime.

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Simultaneous Dresses (The Three Women, Forms, Colors), oil on canvas, 1925, from the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum collection.

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$CH;L;-CLN;FCJIP; ☛ Illustrator ✖ 31 years old Born in Uzbekistan. Lives in Sagamore Hills, Ohio, US with her husband, Sherzod, and daughter, Sabrina

we settled here in Ohio. We liked this place because it’s very green and beautiful and quiet, with gorgeous parks and forests; it’s one of the best places to raise a child, I think.

You’ve done illustration, paper cuts, fabric design and product design. What are you focused on lately? Lately I’ve been doing a lot of fabrics and textiles. I recently launched a fabric collection called Swim Team with Windham Fabrics. And now I’m working on a new one called The Wild Field, which will launch in autumn. I’ve also started doing tea towels for my Etsy shop; I’m working with a manufacturer in India to produce silkscreen designs. I’m trying to make it as personal to my nature as possible, so that they’re about who I am. For that reason all the imagery is folkloric, inspired by my culture, the elements and storytelling and folklore from Russia and Uzbekistan.

But your work still reflects your background. Yes, my mom is such a good storyteller, and when I was a little girl, she read me the stories of Hans Christian Andersen, and she was also really good at making up her own stories. My work is inspired by her, and by some of the folk stories or folklore songs of Uzbekistan and Russia, but also by myths of ancient Greece and Rome. I’m also very inspired by Uzbekistan and Russian patterns and costumes, as well as the traditional outfits of different nationalities around the world.

Now you live in Ohio. What’s that like for an Uzbek girl? I grew up in Tashkent City, which is the capital of Uzbekistan. I was used to a city lifestyle and thought I could only live in big cities. We traveled a little before

Any other projects in the works? I’m illustrating a book cover for Scholastic Press. The title is Echo and it’s by Pam Muñoz Ryan, a well-known children’s book author. The novel has a unique structure and follows three children who live in different times and places but are connected by their passion for music and by a single, mysterious harmonica that lands in each of their lives.



1. Swatches from Dinara’s Swim Team fabric collection for Windham Fabrics. 2. A gouache illustration, “Nightmares.” 3. A portrait of Dinara taken by an Uzbek photographer Azizamir, who lives in Brooklyn, New York. ( 4. Part of the Wild Field fabric collection, also for Windham Fabrics. 5. One of the tea towels from Dinara’s newest collection.



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Do you feel alone in your relationship? For many people that’s reason for worry and uncertainty. But is it so bad to sometimes feel lonely when you have a partner? And if you still want to get rid of that feeling, what are the options? Journalist Francisca Kramer investigates. Recently, a good friend told me that she was getting a divorce. For years, she told me, she’d felt lonely in her relationship. I was shocked because I’d always thought she had a good relationship, and when I compared her situation to mine, I realized that I also sometimes felt lonely in my own relationship. But to what extent is that normal, and when is it a cause for concern? I’d always felt that it was okay to feel lonely sometimes and, reading about it, I discovered that many relationship psychologists and philosophical thinkers agree that it’s perfectly normal to sometimes feel lonely or alone in a relationship. “It’s a huge misconception to believe that you’re not allowed to feel unhappy, or lonely even, when you’re in a relationship,” writes Dutch philosopher Jan Drost in his book, The Romantic Misunderstanding. “The point is, you’re not one unit; you’re two individuals. People tend to think that their relationship is no good if they go through an unhappy phase.” Drost believes it would make a huge difference to the longevity of relationships if people simply accepted that moments of disconnection are expected in relationships, and we should let them pass and move on. American psychologist Harriet Lerner, who’s written several books on relationships, including The Dance of Anger and Marriage Rules, sees no need to panic if you and your partner sometimes feel disconnected. “There is no correct level of need for closeness or distance,” she writes. “Distance doesn’t always mean that your relationship is bad. Emotional distance can sometimes be a way for your partner to go through a hard time. And if you have small children, every once in a while you just can’t connect with your partner, even if you’re happy together, and everything is fine at home. Sometimes you need all your energy for the practical things, and intimacy just isn’t available for a little while.” Belgian psychoanalyst Paul Verhaeghe, a professor at the University of Ghent and author of the book Love in A Time of Loneliness, thinks we ask a great deal more of relationships today than we ever have historically. We used to live in family clans, groups of about 30, including

parents, children and grandparents, but that’s changed into a small nuclear family of mom, dad and the kids. “From the psychological and anthropological point of view, that’s the worst form of society that you could think of,” says Verhaeghe in an interview in the Dutch current affairs magazine NRC Next. “You throw all the blame on the person you live with, the one you love the most. But when you live with some 30 people and you’ve had a bad day, that tones down automatically.” If you have a large group of relatives and family members around you, too, you’re not dependent on one single person when you need connection; someone else is always available. HOW MUCH IS NORMAL? But how much intimacy and togetherness should you expect in a good relationship? Unfortunately, there’s no blueprint for that, either, for the simple reason that everyone has different needs for connection. A lot of it depends on how you were raised – what kind of intimacy there was in your family growing up – and your personality. Some people prefer more constant connection and some are okay with less. According to many relationship experts, it’s mainly a question of how each of you cope and how well your needs match. If there’s a big mismatch between your needs for connection, then being in your relationship may require learning to cope with that difference. American relationship expert Mira Kirshenbaum says the key lies in finding a way to express your needs, thinking together on how you can meet each other’s needs (the famous give and take) and then sticking to the agreements. “It’s a process that never really stops,” says Kirshenbaum. “Keep talking, make an effort to understand each other, seek creative solutions, but most of all, do what you say you’re going to do. All this is important in a good relationship.” The trouble is that identifying and understanding your own needs for connection so that you can articulate them to your partner often

"It is better to be alone than in bad company" – George Washington

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JOIN THE WORLD OF FLOW Introducing Our New Interactive Website

We’re so happy to unveil our website,, renewed and refreshed as an interactive online community for Flow-minded folks. Here, you can engage with a world of creative people, including illustrators, crafters and bloggers worldwide. The Flow creative community gives you endless scrolling inspiration in categories such as: ✻ Everything We Love ✻ People We Want To Meet ✻ Stuff We Like To Make ✻ Goodies We Think You’d Like And many more! We hope it will inspire you to get creative, share, react and like.

ABOUT FLOW Flow is more than just a magazine. Six years ago, we founded Flow in an attic outside of Amsterdam, but since then, oh how we have grown! We now have Dutch, German and English editions, phone and tablet apps and all kinds of stationery, including a Flow calendar and weekly diary. Add to that: our brand new Flow online creative community. PLUS: We’ve improved our online shop, so it’s easier to subscribe to Flow (in English or Dutch), order any of our back issues and buy special editions and other Flow products. Go to


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Meanwhile in New York

Finding Balance in the City that Never Sleeps These days we think a lot about how much time to give to work and how much to save for our families and for ourselves. But what happens when we live in a high-stress city, where the message is go, go, go? Three New Yorkers talk to Flowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s International Managing Editor Nina Siegal about finding time for themselves between career, sleep and subway rides.

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CELEBRATE TODAY When Australian photographer Hailey Bartholomew decided to start a 365-day project to photograph one thing she was grateful for each day, it changed her life completely. Her related blog inspired many others to do the same. How do you shift your focus away from what you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to what you do have?

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ailey Bartholomew (32), a photographer from Australia, led a life that many people dream of. She had a creative job, two beautiful daughters and a funny, sweet husband. In a garden next to her lovely home in the south of sun-drenched Brisbane, she grew her own fruit and vegetables. The perfect life, you might say. Yet Hailey was unhappy. She felt restless and dissatisfied. At her lowest point, she wrote in her journal, “I am always tired, and although I love my children to bits and know how fantastic they are, I have little patience as a mother. I have everything, but I find my life uninteresting and I can’t enjoy a thing.” Hailey dreamed of the day when everything would change, and that finally she’d be satisfied. “When the kids are older, when my business has grown, when we can travel... then I’ll be happy.” She was so busy with this vision of the future that she forgot to enjoy all the beautiful things she had at that moment. A nun opened her eyes. After a couple of conversations, this wise woman took Hailey by the hand and said, “The key to happiness is reflection and gratitude. All you have to do is dwell on what makes you grateful every day, even the little things.” Hailey grabbed her Polaroid and decided that for a whole year she would take a photo of something that made her thankful: rows of newly planted basil, a friend's pregnant belly, old Lego blocks that her girls had enjoyed playing with, a special dot of maple syrup on a white Chinese plate. Through her 365 Grateful Project, which she shared via Flickr, and later turned into a film, Hailey became known worldwide. She has inspired many people and culled many followers. What is the strength of this project? How can gratitude change your life? LOOK AND FEEL DELIBERATELY

Everyone knows those feelings of gratitude that can bubble up spontaneously at unexpected moments. Yet, in our minds, there's often no room for gratitude. We’re too busy worrying, planning and thinking. According to psychologist-therapist Frans van den Berg, many people are stuck in certain patterns of thinking. We developed those patterns as protection from emotional pain, but often those defense mechanisms work against us. So, you might never start a relationship because you’re afraid of being abandoned. Or you avoid talking to

your partner because whenever you did in the past, it ended up in a fight. The problem with many such behavioral patterns is that they tend to shut us down, make us afraid of taking risks, and that makes us less open to noticing the good things. Besides that, our fast-paced society, which requires us to keep up with a constant stream of information, obligations, deadlines, phone calls and e-mail makes us distracted and anxious. We take so little time to rest and reflect, and as a result we sometimes simply forget to notice what’s good in our lives, and then we also forget to be grateful. But luckily, it’s not very hard to develop a sense of gratitude. Mostly, you just need to make a little time for it. Often, we overlook very valuable things in life or we take them for granted. We can start by feeling blessed if we are healthy, or simply for the fact that we are alive. We can be grateful for a

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Budi Kwan says his motivation in life is “To be happy,” and he regards his work as an out-of-control hobby.


Here they are: an assortment of fun, crafty and quirky items from shops around the globe that ship internationally. Ideas for gifts to give away or keep for yourself.


art print by Monorail Studio â&#x153;ą $25

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Spoil yourself

Happy Together

NOTONTHEHIGHSTREET.COM best friend tote bag ✱ €21.46


vintage Monopoly board game ✱ £29.99


vintage tandem bicycle print ✱ €18.11



his and hers mugs ✱ £17.95

friendship bracelet ✱ $17

BENTONPARKPRINTS.ETSY.COM kitchen print ✱ €9.06

VINTAGEXPLOSION.COM salt and pepper set ✱ €15

CATCHINGFIREFLIES.COM lovebirds magnet ✱ $13.95

David and Goliath BFF mug ✱ €8.89





enamel fondue set ✱ $12.48

friendship greeting card ✱ €3.57

book of love ✱ $9.99

Please note that prices may vary and that items on websites could change

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the Hedgehog There’s a little hedgehog hanging around on Instagram by the name of Ernest Hedgingway. He loves books, antiques and sleeping. He’s got 35,000 followers – a huge number for a little animal that is “at least as introverted as his owner,” confesses 27-year-old Nikki Fondell from Chicago.

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The four-toed hedgehog, or African pygmy hedgehog, is a very popular pet in the US. The European hedgehog, which is much larger and commonly found in gardens in Western Europe, may not be kept as a pet as it is a protected species

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SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE It need not be so complicated

The Next Little Thing Yarn-Bombed Phone

At, bind the modern with the old school, and answer the creative call by cross-stitching a cover for your smartphone. You’ll find a collection of kits for cases that are bound to liven up any conversation. There’s also a silicone iPad cover kit for those who want to move on to bigger things.

Pots of Plenty Since its invention in 1858, the molded glass Mason jar has been used to preserve food such as homemade jams and pickles. But it’s also gradually being used for a variety of other things, from drinking cups to dessert pots, soap dispensers to vases, and even in DIY designs. With a whole new range of lids, shapes and sizes now available, and inspiration overflowing online on sites such as Pinterest, their possibilities for use seem to be endless.

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It’s Getting Hot in Here The summer sun may have set, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop grilling outdoors. Thanks to the nifty BBQ Bruce Handrail Grill, which is designed to hang off walls or balcony rails, you can now barbeque all year round. What’s more, its compact size makes it the perfect cooking companion for even the tiniest of urban outdoor spaces. (€59).

“The bigger, the better:” There’s an expression we’ve all heard – and maybe even used – sometime in our lives. But is this still the case? Not if you’re part of the Small House Movement, which embraces living simply in small (sometimes mobile) homes. Ranging anywhere between 80 and 1,000 square feet in size, these increasingly-popular small houses allow folks to reduce their financial, environmental and physical footprint. Interested in exploring the possibilities? Take a peek at some of the homes around on and, or if you want to go that step further and build one of your own, check out The Small House Book by Jay Shafer (Four Lights Tiny House Company, 2012).

New Generation Thermostat With several devices now available on the market, it’s super easy to control the temperature of your home no matter where you are – be it upstairs, on your way back from work or even before you board a plane. Take the Nest Learning Thermostat, for example. It learns your schedule so it can program itself, automatically turns down the heat when you’re out and even provides a monthly Energy Report so you can track and manage how much energy you use. Connect the thermostat to Wi-Fi, download the free Nest Mobile app and you can change temperatures remotely using your iOS device. ($249)

Can’t Quite Name It…


That blissful feeling when you first catch sight of the sea; the sneaky sense of relief when your voicemail kicks in; the wave of dread that washes over you at the mention of a “get-to-know-you” icebreaker game; or the pride that swells inside you when your friends praise your playlist. These are just a few of the emotions we know only too well for which there is no single descriptive word. Author Mario Giordano has managed to capture some of them perfectly in one simple sentence in his book, 1,000 Feelings for Which There Are No Names. There’s even a section where you can add some of your own. (Penguin Books, 2014)

Home-Cooked Book

Whether it’s mother’s Sunday roast, grandma’s secret-recipe lasagna, a chocolate cake mix you discovered that does the trick or that delicious salad you had at a friend’s that you scribbled down on a napkin, we all have recipes we’ve collected over the years. Special recipes such as these are also memories, and they deserve a loving home within the pages of your own cookbook, where you can stick things in, like notes, reviews and photos. For example, try My Family Cook Book by Suck UK or the Recipe Journal from Moleskin.

Bed Exchange

Based on a different form of negotiating your way into someone’s bed, Night Swapping is the new way to travel. Founded in 2011 by Serge Duriavig, it taps into today’s sharing trend and allows homeowners and tenants to stay in accommodation while on vacation without having to pay a penny for the roof over – and pillow under – their head. Simply list your home or guest room online and every time you host a member at your place, you receive a night to stay somewhere else in lieu. And with more than 6,000 addresses already available, the world is definitely your oyster. Visit for more information.

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Forget therapy!

PHILOSOPHY FOR LIFE Until Freud, people who were struggling with life’s big questions turned to ancient philosophers for wisdom. Then therapy took over. Now more and more people are re-discovering philosophy and finding that it’s a great way to ask: what does it all mean?

It happens to us some time after we’ve finished our formal schooling, established careers, perhaps even married and had children. We start to ask larger questions about our lives: What does it all mean? Is this the life I’m meant to be living? Am I in the right relationship? Is there a job that would be more satisfying to me? Some people head to India on a spiritual quest when this happens; some hire life coaches or personal trainers and start a self-improvement kick; some consult a therapist; and others just take up a new hobby, like tango lessons or fly fishing. But increasingly, people are also seeking the help of philosophers – who have started to regain some of their lost societal status as sources of wisdom, and who are

increasingly employing their education to help people flourish in their lives. One sign of this phenomenon is the dramatic growth of the London-based School of Life, founded in 2008 by a collective of philosophers led by author Alain de Botton and “philosopher in chief” John Armstrong, and which offers classes in subjects such as “How to Choose a Partner,” “How to Find a Job You Love” and “How to Balance Work with Life.” This year, it’s opening new schools of philosophy in cities across the globe, including Amsterdam, Melbourne, Paris, Belgrade, Istanbul and Rio de Janeiro. Another sign of philosophy’s growing reception is the rise in members of the American Philosophical Practitioners

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Flow. A magazine for paper lovers. Celebrating creativity, imperfection and lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s little pleasures. You can now subscribe to Flow magazine at

Flow Magazine Issue 7 - Sneak peek  
Flow Magazine Issue 7 - Sneak peek