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Twitching for the Witching

26 Oct

So the dark hours are nearly descending upon us. No I am not talking about daylight saving, although that is coming very soon as well. I am talking about the spooking hours, as it is nearly Halloween. With many party celebrations starting this weekend, including the BAD ASS HALLOWEEN PARTY I am gathering inspiration for my costume and all things halloween.

So here are some quick links to parties and events this weekend.

Friday Night Skate Zombie Special, Film Museum, Vondel Park, 26th October 2012, FREE


BOSS, From the old to the New, Paradiso, 26th October 2012, 12pm, 13.50Euros


Halloween Parade,Van Metro-station Rokin, 8pm, Saturday 27th October, 2012,  FREE


BAD ASS HALLOWEEN PARTY, Barco, Saturday 26th October 2012, 9pm, 5 EUROS


Halloween Run, These zombies don’t walk, they RUN! Join Run2Day in their annual Halloween Run. Special flesh mob at the Odeon will take place midway during the run at 23:00pm, 27th October 2012, FREE


DEAD FAMOUS, Odeon Theater, 27th October 2012, 10pm, Tickets 22 Euros



ImageThe End is Near Party , Saturday October 27th 2012 , Tickets 24.50 Euros


The Freakiest Halloween Special Everrrr…, Amsterdam Beat Club, Paradiso, 11pm, 31st October 2012, 5 EUROS


Halloween at Roest! Authentic American Halloween bash, 31st October 2012, 20:00pm * Entree € 5

Art and Bloody Mary’s

13 Oct


Getting out to the further parts of Amsterdam can introduce you to the new artists and designers of today and tomorrow who are helping to build up social connections in local communities through creative involvement, participation and awareness.

This weekend you can see what they are up to in Bos en Lommer by following the art routes around and checking out some of the Ateliers and the artists work. There will also be performances, cake , food and a pop up bloody mary bar.


13 & 14 OCTOBER, artists [visual, craft, applied performance], writers and musicians see, hear and taste what they can during the 2nd edition of the BOLO-K Kunstroutes.

The route start s at 8 Kunstwandelingen from 13:00pm to 16:00pm

Taste the art life in Bos en Lommer, visit the workshops, participate in exhibitions, open stages.
Kids of all ages: drawing, dancing, bright flowers make the Apple Factory, Van Ghent Square Kinderplein

The website is in Dutch but there is a full program and route are online for more details on timings and events.


Highlights for the day


Visit the Novel for an expo and some cake, ran by the Bookstore Project initiative and the New Collagists. THE BOOKSTORE is a project in the Kolenkitbuurt, Amsterdam-West, initiated by The New Collagists and the housing association Stadgenoot. More than a dozen artists from six countries have been given the opportunity of living in the neighbourhood for an affordable rent. In return for this, they are expected to make a contribution to development of the area.


De Coppel


The Coppel sets its doors for the second edition of Bolo-K
On the program: The Movie: The Kaf and the Choirs of Stefan Wittekamp and Suzanne Arts, Photos of Odette Denis, collages and drawings by Marieke van der Velden and three-dimensional landscapes of Daan Holsmuller.

To top it all off to expose the girls From the Assign their photos AND for the opportunity they get the bloody mary bar out of the closet!


Waar: Coppelstockstraat 50
Tijd: 12.00- 24.00
Entree: gratis

Happy Saturday and have fun!



Love? Have you got enough?

14 Sep



Love Quota House Concerts

20th September 2012

Amstelveenseweg 324-1 1076CS

Another fabulous evening of music, movement, words and images


Esther Scheller – dance
Lennie St Luce – spoken word
Marko Bonarius – double bass
Naomi Noemin, Bree van de Zuidenwind, Rose Sarpong- music
Marloes van Doorn – images

+ surprise performance(s)

19:00 dinner – please book – €7.50 main €1.50 dessert
entry price max €10

Reductions for groups, previous supporters, natural red heads, the hard up and the tight

Please mail for discount info and for dinner.Love


Are you looking for some love? Another great set up initiative in Amsterdam, supporting and reaching out to creative people who simply want to share and be involved and to work and be inspired by each other, is LOVE QUOTA. It sounds like the MAKE mantra. Which is why I wanted to tell you about Lennie and Love Quota.

Lennie is what I like to call a friendly “pass along”, call it what you want 7 degrees of separation  (now 3 degrees thanks to face book), via via, a friend of a friend, by chance, by fate. We met. And I love her company and passion. We always have fun, and inevitably at some point there is always some discussion on creativity or performance involved. So if you are looking for some love via some creativity, I recommend you head along to the next love quota.




Quota started as an initiative, to support some special charities and to create an ideal performing sphere for Lennie and others.

Love Quota is a mixed media event, with the goal of bringing people together for an afternoon of entertainment, interactive consumption. ‘Enjoying while decreasing the ‘degrees of separation’’*!

Working on the five senses, LQ is music, film, spoken word , information poetry to a mixed audience.

The afternoon/evening normally consists with food of some description, for example a warm bowl of soup and ‘speed meeting’ to break the ice. Eating and talking bring people into contact to create an informal and friendly sphere.

Each edition introduces and donates to self help initiatives by or/and for women. Further it has performances by the LQ band, film by new filmmakers, poetry by Lennie St Luce, physical performer – e.g. gymnast, dancer, a spoken word spot and four musical performances one is established, two are new and one is an emerging talent.  Each month has a theme for example January; strings and things, February; beat to the rhythm, March; women with horny horns. The evening begins with the possibility of a delicious dinner by the resident chef. The performers receive some drinks and dinner. It’s a full, varied program to keep the guests sharp and on their toes.


Originally it was 3 Sundays on 3 consecutive months. The first 3 years it was in the Cafe Wilhelmina Pakhuis but that didn’t work. In good weather everyone went outside on the water and in bad weather lots of people found it too far/inaccessible. Also the only thing that earns any money is the bar. Lennie wanted to treat performers and workers the way she wanted to be treated so even if there’s no money there is drink and food. So now LQ is hosted by equally passionate people in interesting locations and homes.



The next one will be held in Amstelveenseweg 324-1 1076CS, and if that is too far for you, why don’t you get in touch with Lennie, open your home and heart to some creativity and become a host.

Contact Lennie:

POETRY BY LENNIE (or should I say some word mongering)

Growing up means no more temper tantrums
Growing up means thinking about the consequences of your actions
Growing up isn’t always growing older
Growing up isn’t necessarily getting to be bolder
Growing up learning to deal with pain
Growing up is knowing shit happens but in essence things remain the same
Growing up is loosing your youthful looks
Growing up is starting to or wishing that you read books
Growing up is facing the fact that maybe you’ll never find true love
Growing up is having a personal inner certainty of what’s deep inside, all around, down below and up above
Growing up is seeing cycles repeat
Growing up is a preference for being on your belly, arse or back instead of your feet
Growing up can be growing together
Growing up is the realization there is no forever
Growing up can hurt it is also a joy
Growing up is leaving behind the things of girls and boys
Growing up is when you find you’re no longer naive
Growing up is when seeing that you know how to grieve and an inner certainty tells you when it’s time to leave
(even if you ignore it)
Growing up is growing to love self
or find you have to work hard to get self off the shelf
Growing up is finding you have a distinct circle of friends
Growing up is loosing track of the latest trends,
but not caring because you know that ‘life’ never ends
Growing up is being at ease in many different places
Growing up is a heart that’s scarred and the memory of too many faces
Is growing up is accepting that maybe you’ll never get where you always dreamed you’d be?
No, growing up is the knowledge that I am my life,
that you and your life, that we and our lives are as we choose them to be
and the acceptance of that knowledge is the power that will set us all free

May ’96 A’dam © Lennie St Luce


Lennie St Luce – born and raised in the UK.
“I thought I wrote poetry, it’s been called doggerel, spoken word and a whole heap of other negatives which may all be true – some people like it. I call myself a word monger” Lennie

The Art of Travel

18 Jan

Having just returned from a three month travel adventure, consisting of six weeks around Holland, in a tiny boat with my husband and Mr Parker Bond Ives- Whittle International dog of mystery  and one month in Indonesia with a few weeks stop off back home in the UK for good measure, I feel inspired to write about, The Art of Travel.

Why do we travel? Is it Art? We, I say we, human kind have evolved through the means of movement through the need for survival, from when time began, to grow and to live. Movement encouraged finding food, water and increasing territories to sustain and multiple the pack, the herd, the family. And indeed this in itself is art, purely to stay alive. And as this blog is about creativity, craft, words, design, music and more. I feel Travel comes under this category as it is an art for the definition of art is

a skill at doing a specified thing , typically one acquired through practice.”

Through practice, travel can become an art, to some and in fact it become’s such an obession it takes over their lives, and for others it is purely an escape.

Travel has always intrigued me with its own evolution, in our society today why do people still travel and move around? Especially when there are so many more reasons to stay at home and actually not bother going anywhere. There are amazing places out there to see, so much so, certain places have been deemed the “wonders of the world”. Whether that still applies, I’m not quite so sure. Apparently the Taj Mahal is about to sink in anything from 2 -5 years through subsidence, but its one of the seven wonders of the world , how can this happen? But I digress.

And why bother to travel all that way, when you can see it or look it up online. And there are other excuses, that home you have nested in, the family, friends, work, your favourite soap, you say you cannot afford it. Basically you believe you have comfort, security, stability. So many people never go away, even on a well deserved holiday after spending 40 hours a week working. I’ve often received comments from friends that I’m lucky I have so much time “off” and that they have clocked up several months worth of holiday from work, with allocated days/weeks even being carried over form previous years. They perceive it that they just cannot afford to take that time off, not even bearing a financial reason but that they will be missed at work.

Some might say this is survival, to stay ahead at work, to be top of your career, to simply pay the bills. I think its purely existing. But what employer in the world wants a tired, stressed out, cant be bothered employee whom has lost all enthusiasm for their work just because they didn’t give themselves some rest  or a well deserved break?

There are so many reasons now for travelling. Sorry for those that are carbon friendly, but flying is budget and affordable nowadays, there are charter flights that are running like buses , meaning you can and could if you wanted to, commute to another country for work quite easily, or go on that well deserved weekend break. Even trains and buses do amazing tours and routes now for the slightly more eco travellers out there. Due to economy and people feeling more at ease with travel, more and more people are setting up second homes in more economically friendly countries. Meaning there is also no need for even thinking or having the fear in you losing stability and security, when you can equally have roots else where. In fact sometimes that reason to go away can re-afirm those things that actually mean something to you by not having them around, it makes them even more meaningful and also strangely at the same time, more at eases about not having them around all the time. I was one of those people. Less can be more.

Having been lucky to start traveling at an early age, (17 I went inter railing around Europe by myself) I think I developed the desire to find adventures new. When most were just happy if they could go to Ibiza and get hammered with their mates , stick shots of sambucca glasses to their nipples, drink irresponsibly , pass out drunk in the street showing their hairy Mary,  to quite frankly the ugliest most disgusting creature on the planet. To then somehow glorify it that they had an amazing times with their BFF’s and had snogged 12 men (he was two years older than me, yeah) in one night. Nice! Anyway I digress, but I’ve heard many ugly stories. It wasn’t what I wanted, and most will also think Mummy and Daddy paid for me and that most cannot afford even the beer swilling, puke adventures of Ibiza at 17,  let alone travelling around Europe for a month. I in fact came from a single parent family, by 17 I’d already been working part time whilst at school and college for sometimes up to 25 hours week, as well as studying, looking after my brother and still seeing friends. I paid for myself to travel because I really wanted to do it, and that was washing up dishes in a boozer. Anyone that ever says they cannot afford something, really should just re-arrange their priorities, or work harder at trying to achieve something that they want.

Anyway back to why I wanted to travel, where did it come from? As I said there are lots of reasons for, but at 17, most of those reasons didn’t apply to me. And it didn’t come from either of my parents as neither of them ever went anywhere. I put my intrigue for travel down to two reasons. Number one being my Grandparents. Unfortunately out of war comes travel for most, the youngest of family members can be suddenly up rooted and dispatched with little information as to where they are going, to any corner of the world, all in the call of duty, and that is indeed what happened to my grandparents in the second world war, they ended up being posted in India. In fact this is where my Nana met my Grandad. They got married in India and my Granddad documented everything. Ever since I have been old enough to understand their adventures I have pawed over the black and white photos in the huge leather bound photo album that sits under their g-plan coffee table and was totally mesmorised. I hope one day to share these amazing photographs. India looked to me like another planet. Even in black and white I knew it was probably one of the most vibrant and colourful places on earth. I was taken literally on a journey to somewhere I could never possibly imagine in REAL life. I still haven’t visited India, even though I’ve been to a lot of other countries. One day Id like to go, to follow my Grandparents adventures there and to write some of their memoires, but part of me is scared, in case it never is the way that I imagine. And even I know that is ridiculous, as you never see the wonders in the world unless you get out of your comfort zone, and more often than not they go beyond your expectations, if you really look for the true adventures in life. Anyway number one I owe it to them they opened up my eyes to the mysteries of the world, that I wanted to explore!

Number 2 is Creativity. I’m not sure what came first the pictures or the words  or the noise, for my fascination in other lands were often due to the arts. Pictures by meaning of, all the greats and their wonderful inspirations through where they live and their travels.

                                               Claude Monet and that bridge (France) the water lilies

                                                Andy Warhol New York

                                               Jean Michel Basquait, (New York)

And words and noise, by meaning the musicians and their lyrics and their sounds, their strange accents and out there music videos,  to whom I was obsessed with growing up as a teenager and even still now. From the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and looking at their travels, landing in foreign countries and being screamed at by all their adoring fans, to the cultures they became exposed to (India and The White Album for the Beatles) that became so influencial in their music.

                                               The Beatles (India)

Hell the rollingstones wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t from their collection of USA imports of blues records.

Cocksucker Blues is an unreleased documentary film directed by Robert Frank chronicling The Rolling Stones’ North American tour in 1972 in support of their album Exile on Main Street 

To the wonderful and exubrant artisits such as Bob Marley, Jamaica.

What a place, I still want to visit Jamaica, all these worlds opened up by music legends. I could go on all day but Im sensing this blog post is getting pretty long already.

So in a nut shell here are some of my “The ART OF TRAVEL” top tips.

1) Meeting People –  new, interesting, worldy and wise people. Life is pretty short so embrace any new person, culture and experience with open eyes and an open mind, as you never know what it may bring. New inspirations, creative collaborations, or just new friends.

2) Arts and crafts from unique cultures and places. Some crafts are developed and learnt through many many families  and traditions passed onto the next generation, there are many that in a modern society are starting to lose the battle and will get forgotten.

3.) Cooking – Take in a traditional or local cooking course where ever you travel. What better way to get creative than with food, you learn about the local produce and then you get to learn new cooking skills and share with some new like- minded people and then you get to stuff you face with all the yummy ingredients.

4.) Reading – Wether its about the places you are traveling to or around, or just some time to actually get your head into a good book. As quite frankly TV kills absolutely everything that is a lot more fulfilling in life. Read Read Read, there is nothing like a good book to escape when you are errrr escaping…..

5.) Listening – Yes strange I know but listening is an art, most of us forget to do it, most of the time. Its all too easy to get wrapped up in your own world and generally go about day to day, conversing, gossiping, interacting with others, going about your daily buisness, but how much of it is positive and how much do you actual listen to yourself and to others. We all too easily forget to just listen. Traveling can open you ears to what is actually going on around you. And if not you can find the art of meditation or other relaxation techniques along the way, to maybe guide you.

6.) Music – music travels. We learn and discover whole new countries and cities and cultures through music. Try it yourself, music workshops are out there on your travels, or if not take in a show and experience the local sound.

7.) Writing – Travel journals are a great way to keep your thoughts on travels as a memento, privately or for some to tone their creative writing skills. Some even turn it into work. Freelance travel writers get the luxury now with internet connections and self published blogs of reaching out to a wider audience. An absolute favourite laugh out loud travel blog writer I know is Saul’s Regurgitations in Foreign Nations here is his first ever blog entry and the beginnings to his adventures:

Number 1′s

Posted on January 17, 2009

OK.  This is how its been so far (my journey i mean, not my life, dont wanna put you off before we start!)  Bruce (our li’l home on wheels) made it to the Alps.  You have no idea how much this means to me.  Basically, it means the start of my new life can move forward rather than having to retreat back home, tail between legs, whimpering for forgiveness to all those i spat in the face of and ran off assuming i’d never see them again.  Phew!  During our 4 or 5 day journey (i’ll explain in due course), we stayed in some pretty mad places in ol’ Bruce.  Namely, and a photo of this will appear in due course, a parking space off a main road, shrouded in fog, resembling something out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  When i heard footsteps outside in the dead of night, it was all i could do to stop myself calling my boss and asking for my job old job back at 4 in the a.m.  Anyways, other than the scene from a Romero movie, we stayed in town hall car parks and service station truck stops.  On Thursday, i showered for the first time in 6 days!  Ive been writing a li’l diary of events and just read the first line.  It goes like this…”Whilst writing, Steve (my travel buddy) urinates in a bottle.  I can see my breath without even breathing, its that cold.  Gotta be minus 5 in here, yet we are excited and prepared for adventure”.  Let me tell you, the excitement has abated somewhat due to the fact that that wasn’t our last experience of low temperatures, as everynight in the heart of Bruce, with Steve alternating between sniffing and snoring, as well as the occasional guff, the temperature has decsended to well below freezing.  That means that it’s very cold.  In fact, everything inside Bruce freezes.  EVERYTHING!!  Ever had iced milk on your cerials?  Ever had to sit on your toothpaste for 20 minutes for it to defrost?  Ever been too scared to get up in case your frosted nipples chafe against your ice’d vest and fall off?  Ok, you get the message.  Its cold.  DAMN COLD!!  But you know, in a funny sort of way, its part and parcel of adventure and at this moment, i wouldn’t change it for anything….. except for maybe some warm soup, a fireplace, running water, the safety of knowing my house isn’t about to be towed away by the authorities!  Leaving Dover and seeing England departing ever further from the boat i was on felt like some kinda Goodbye i’ve never experienced.  A finality that was self-induced and that felt like a re-union that would never evolve.  My decision but few goodbye’s are forever, i must remember to myself.  Oh Lord, i just remembered something slightly amusing.  We stayed a night in St Dizier, named after Dizzy Rascal i’m sure, and we stumbled upon a bar/tabac (crazy li’l places that sell every type of tabacco and well expensive, crap beer.  We entered and it was like that scene in American Werewolf in London when David and Jack enter the slaughtered lamb.  I thought maybe Steve had taken his clothes off behind me and reversed in on all fours, the way we were greeted.  Luckily, i didn’t mention the Alamo!  Anyhoo, we get our double whiskeys, for we knew the events that would unfold back in Bruce (oo-er) and sat down amid middle aged soft rockers to be serenaded by a dvd of ZZ Top live in Texas!  These mulleted dudes in this bar were rockin’ to ‘The Top’ like it was Saturday night… which it was, but still.  Can you adam an’ eve it?  ZZ Top at full blast and it wasn’t even an accident.  Someone actually put it on and everyone was rockin off on’ it!!  2 things i learnt immediately after that episode.  Never ever go to Texas.  And fuck ZZ Top.

By Saul Abbott.

He is currently traveling around India,  read about his adventures!

Just imagine what great creative things can come out of traveling, even traveling on your way to work, make it an experience not an endurance!

Crafty Night is back!

13 Oct

Crafty night is back with the crafty girls at Katie’s Cosy Craft Corner and I’m sadly in the UK still and can cannot go tonight. But I recommend you go along even if it’s to just treat yourself to a yummy craft-tini cocktail!

Claire’s Christmas Crafty Club and a whole lot of HO HO HO!!!

10 Dec

What happens when you put a selection of ladies together from the UK, Holland, Poland, Austrailia, South Africa, Texas and Slovakia with a bunch of glitter, glue, cards, paper, tinsel, wool, and fabric?

A HUGE amount of creativity!

Claire’s Christmas crafty club supplied a whole heap of crafty goodies, a warm cosy Amsterdam Apartment, some hot spicy mulled wine and some Christmas vinyl to a bunch of lovely ladies whom well and truly got in the Christmas Spirit to make traditional and not so traditional ( Zana’s knitted condom holder for a present to someone!) gifts and presents for their loved ones and friends.

Every year we see more and more mass produced gifts, decorations and cards, and the ever prescence of online social media also has meant in the last few years more and more people send cards via email. So crafty club brought back some good ol’ hand crafty traditions and there will be some lucky people out there getting very special , hand made, personally created cards and stockings. I suggest you all get inspired by these girls, you got time before Chritmas! Go on MAKE something, show someone you really did think of them , and MAKE them something special.

Here is some inspiration from the night!


Thank you to Miss Kat, one of the ladies from WINK WINK whom made the fabulous mulled wine and also to Mirabai from Dikke Lepel for her gorgeous cup cakes. All the ladies were truly spoiled.

MAKE will  hopefully be running more workshops in the new year. Maybe starting with a Vaelntine’s Special end of January 2011! MAKE will also be available for any events, and tailored workshops, maybe for a birthday, a suprise, or just a girlie get together.

For more information email:

In the meantime a very happy Christmas to the ladies………

Big Hug



Penny for the Guy

4 Nov

MAKE is sadly missing getting crafty with a GUY! Ooh er misses and no it’s not what you think.

This time of year back home in the UK many are getting ready to celebrate GUY FAWKES NIGHT by making their very own HOME MADE Guy Fawkes . Buying a shed load of fireworks, sparklers, jacket potatoes, hot dogs and building huge bonfires ready for a fun-filled explosive night of sky works, and dancing and running around a big fire.

What is Guy Fawkes?

So what is it all about, well after Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, English Catholics who had been persecuted under her rule had hoped that her successor, James I, would be more tolerant of their religion. James I had, after all, had a Catholic mother. Unfortunately, James did not turn out to be more tolerant than Elizabeth and a number of young men, 13 to be exact, decided that some kind of action was needed.

A small group took shape, under the leadership of Robert Catesby. So a plot was planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament. In doing so, they would kill the King, maybe even the Prince of Wales, and the Members of Parliament who were making life difficult for the Catholics.

To carry out their plan, 36 barrels of gunpowder were placed and stored  in a cellar, just under the House of Lords.

But as the group worked on the plot, it became clear that innocent people would be hurt or killed in the attack, including some people who even fought for more rights for Catholics. Some of the plotters started having second thoughts. One of the group members even sent an anonymous letter warning his friend, Lord Monteagle, to stay away from the Parliament on November 5th.

The warning letter reached the King, and the King’s forces made plans to stop the conspirators.

Guy Fawkes one of the conspirators, was in the cellar of the parliament with the 36 barrels of gunpowder when the authorities stormed in during the early hours of November 5th, he was caught, tortured and executed.

The tradition of Guy Fawkes-related bonfires actually began the very same year as the failed coup. The Plot was foiled in the night between the 4th and 5th of November 1605. Already on the 5th, agitated Londoners who knew little more than that their King had been saved, joyfully lit bonfires in thanksgiving. As years progressed, however, the ritual became more elaborate.

Why Penny For The Guy?

Kids and adults get crafty and make home-made almost life-size Guy Fawkes. Some get carried, put on sticks, stuck in shopping trolleys and pushed around. Often with a sign saying penny for the guy. The money collected with the guys is then used to buy fireworks and sparklers. Then on the BIG night the guy fawkes get tossed into the large bon fire and burned.

There are also rhymes and songs that go along with the ritual night and burning.

Please to remember
The fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

Please to remember
The fifth of November,
The poor old guy
With a hole in his stocking
A hole in his shoe
A hole in his hat where his hair comes through.

Guy Fawkes, Guy
Hit him in the eye,
Hang him from the lamp-post
And leave him there to die.
Umbrella down the cellar,
There I saw a naked fella
Burn his body, save his soul,
There I saw a lump of coal;
If a lump of coal won’t do,
Please give me a ha’penny.

Sadly MAKE cannot even honor the tradition in Amsterdam as surprisingly although come New Year the city is almost a war zone with fireworks, bangers, crackers, fire it is actually illegal to purchase fireworks in Holland unless its 2 weeks before New Years Eve.

So all those UKers have fun making your Guys and those Ex-pats in Amsterdam, maybe make one anyway and burn it on a terrace somewhere! (Safely of course)

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