Friday, 21 December 2012


new york.
last week i left holland to take a trip back to the states. ( now i am back in NL) i was struck by how incredibly beautiful the recently snow covered dutch landscape was thru the plane window. as we ascended, it became even more beautiful and the ocean ( see above photo) looked like it was glowing...
golden and heavenly looking. it was hard to leave
i arrived in nyc ( where i lived for a stint in the early 2000's) and it rained for the first few days but i still ran along the west side hwy park and walked the highline. i think this is my favorite place to go nowadays, especially early am and late afternoon when there are no crowds. ( middle photos) the view from my window in the west village ( thank you H & J)  serendipitously looked out at a typical dutch brick building, possibly from the 17th or 18th century, that could be one you see in holland quite often
i had a very nyc experience, one that is hard to put into words, suffice it to say, it was mezmorizing, memorable, fun  and so peaceful.  i encourage anyone in nyc over the next few weeks to go see Ann Hamilton's "event of a thread"  installation at the Park Ave Armory. you will enter the armory, leave the city behind and emerge inspired, relaxed and smiling......
nyc, i miss you but its always so immensely enjoyable to come back and visit.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


decided to do another post on AMSTERDAM with a few more of my favorite spots
 * Museumplein - spend time here even if you have no intentions of going to a museum or if you, like me, have a one museum a day max but your traveling companion wants to hit is a wonderful open park with a skatebaan, cafes, a huge green lawn, a pond that people skate on in the winter and amazing people watching. this is where  the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum (the collection is currently housed in the Hermitage museum), Stedelijk Museum, and the  concert building Concertgebouw are located. 
( the photo of H & i was taken here as well as the woman sitting on top off the letters  M & S,  perfectly color coordinated)
* Cafe De Jaren -  a cafe‑restaurant  that occupies a rather enormous former bank. it is situated on a canal with gorgeous views, the ceilings are unusually high and flooring is multicolored tiled mosaic. it is said to be:  " fashionable without being pretentious." they have the best assortment of magazines, newpapers, they offer free wifi and its always buzzing with people working onlaptops or just relaxing.
just over a nearby canal is  the famous * Droog  "concept" store filed with dutch design ( including gorgeous woodburning stoves for sale) . i love the beauty shop upstairs and the cafe. 
* Haarlemmerstraat - such a fun street for window shopping, eating, or hitting the "coffee shops" of which there are plenty.
* Foam  which is an extensive photography center, with classes, exhibits,  a museum - i recently saw a Diane Arbus show there.
* westergasfabriek park where i saw the Unseen Photo Fair earlier this fall 
( these are the photos of photo-billboards - stunning)
more  AMSTERDAM  soon

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


amsterdam - its an extremely urban yet feels-like-a-cozy-village city. i could never cover it in one post - so here are just a few of my favorite images & places,  focused mainly on the centrum close to jordaan & westerpark where i keep returning again and again.
love the gasfbriek & westerpark - the old water & gas works buildings restored and now used for events. they house a cinema, nightclub/jazz club, restaurants, cafes and events spaces. huge green park space too.  i love de bakkerswinkel for breakfast or lunch. amazing bakery & wonderful people watching with a lively & creative interior. 
the sailboat is an original ship model ( from 1600's) used for building and equipping naval ships and instructing their crew. it is housed in the rijks museum collection of historical objects. a "must see" but go early and on a weekday
the car & the dog in a bikebasket - these are just some of the koooky, fun, unexpected things one will stumble upon when walking around amsterdam.....the canals and architecture alone compel me to go into amsterdam about once a week to just take it all in. 

Friday, 30 November 2012

nacht. la nuit. night

now that the days are shorter i am quite aware that even some mornings can feel like night time.
i was biking the other day at 7:30 am, the full moon & stars were out and it felt like midnight.
because of this big shift  (lets be honest,  lack of daylight hours)  i was inspired to do a post on my "night" images. amsterdam, berlin, wassenaar, strasbourg and paris ( my favorites) its true that some cities and especially architecture are best seen at night ( or early am), especially the city of get out there early or late and take it all in.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


 a fascinating, vibrant, historically complicated yet fresh and exciting city.
we were so lucky to be invited to two wonderful, quite social thanksgiving celebrations with german/american expat couples. we stayed in possibly the nicest guest apt. with the best art  & photography collection ever. we met some amazing berliners - who all LOVE living there (and the younger ones all rave about the height of their ceillings & size of their apartments.) everyone kept saying : " you should move here, its fabulous.."
 with the exception of attending the holiday celebrations, the opera and  a never-to-be-forgotten  private house concert ( trio from berlin orchestra) on a lake we just walked and walked.
its the best way to see any european city, add in a bike ride or two  ( easily renteable now in all major european cities) to cover more ground.
this is my short list of not to be missed: 
*the berlin zoo, situated right in the heart of the city, a mere walk from our apartment.
i saw animals i have never seen in nyc, brooklyn and CA zoos, i was pleasantly surprised.
they had these very colorful, old fashioned carts ( see photo) to wheel your kids around in, makes one appreciated the way things used to be.
*seeing a concert or attending the opera in schiller theatre. we were gifted tickets to see mozart's la finta giardiniera. it was an amzing experience. the berliners are a tough crowd. 
 some - booing the director at the end. i had never experienced that before.
* walking around Kollwitzplatz  -  one of Prenzlauer Berg’s best-known and (arguably) most attractive squares.  saturday  is an especially fun day to be there - they have a most amazing farmers market...replete with typical german wool garments, baked goods, green groceries, wine stalls - its a fun people watching scene - with baby strollers outnumbering us all. the hip stores and cafes around the whole prenzlauerberg area are great for window shopping & eating.
* a meal at SET cafe  ( sitzen/sit essen /trinkin ) in the neighborhood of charlottenburg where we stayed

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

juwelen bijoux jewelry

 my other identity, besides my current  expat - mother- wife - art director  is jewelry designer
i had no idea how much i would miss my craft, my studio, my tools, my ability to pop into my little work space and create something in metal......even just tinker.  i purposely did not ship all my gear here - it just seemed like too much of a nuisance, too expensive, a burden and i thought i would fill my time with so many other great things...but alas, if i had to do it over - i would have.
as a  fiercely creative person, i find it essential to make things. daily. 
creating,  playing with materials or even planning photo shoots.  (here - all of it has been a challenge)  luckily i am making collages. paper, paint, pen & ink and there happens to be a lot of INSPIRATION. everywhere i turn.
that comes easily with living in a new place, a country with a breathtaking landscape, a country that pays so much attention to design, detail, architecture, fashion, a country with such history. i have been looking thru all of my photos recently from various photo shoots of my work. some i took myself, some i did with friend-collaborator-photographers.
(if you have a particular jewelry site you like or designer - please pass along to me here, leave a comment.)

Friday, 16 November 2012

b o l o g n a ( part two)

Bologna's university ( one of europes oldest) is bristling with students & energy, bikes, signs & political graffitti. we found a most intriguing museum of natural history within one of the academic buildings.  the collection of stuffed birds,  preserved snakes, fish & other  creatures - it was well worth the search ( i had read about it in a semi out-dated guidebook)

two distinct vino experience highlights : sitting outside at night after dinner at  tamburini at giant oak barrell - tables with a blazing fire. the second, osteria del sole , i was introduced to by my native italian friend. it is a gathering spot,  nestled in a tiny strada since the 15th century - where you can get glasses of spumante/ prosecco or wine by the glass and sit at long farmhouse tables with others. not to be missed.
as for eating - the totellini in brodo ( in broth), lasagna bolognese, bread with chunks of parma baked into it and cheeses - buonissimo.
i feel grateful to be here, to be able to travel to so many great places so easily and especially this past week - to keep my family's Corelli roots alive ( my grandfather was rocco corelli) by visiting italy after too long a stint away.....

basha goes to b o l o g n a ( part one)

my latest trip was to ITALIA to stay with dear artist friends from the states who rented an apt. in the center of bologna. ( thank you V & P)  i have decided to jump on all opportunities to travel in europe and the chance to visit friends, visit a country i once lived in and have my go at speaking italian again - i couldn't resist.  
most of our time in bologna was spent wandering the winding steets soaking up the amazing architecture, piazza nettuno & piazza maggiore, visiting a few museums and of course - eating. 
unfortunately the wet, overcast weather frequently found in holland followed me but that did not deter us from walking up ( 2.4 kilometres) to the chiesa san luca under the portici, covered arches. a real live italian pilgrammage was happening along the way.
one of the funniest moments was being mistaken for a traffic polizie - ( city police woman) luckily i know enough italian to joke with the elderly gentleman who was trying to ask me about his parking situation.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


its november and i am in holland, not maine
i am finally taking the time to look back at all the amazing photo shoots i got to work on last year.  i never had the time to actually play around with the film and while here, that is one of my most enjoyable  projects. so you may begin to see more of this...
these images were from a shoot for MAINE magazine. (many of our photos couldn't make it into the printed magazine story so i am sharing  them via my website. )
the very talented  and fun photographer/stylist couple, ryan goodrich & brienne neumann came from all the way from austin  texas to work with me on this story.
we were blessed with blue skies, a one-of a kind pink dinghy and  beautiful local  children.
 ( * see full story & lots of photos here) 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

L A N D S C H A P # 2

the sky, when it wasn't over cast this week, was amazing, super dramatic. just the way Vermeer and the other well known dutch landscape painters experienced it.
the two top images were taken while driving back from amsterdam on the highway. i had booked a private class with CS from amsterdamgentlemen designers and was heading home after a great learning experience & inspiring day. i pulled over into the breakdown lane just to grab some i phone photos. the sky was ON FIRE.
other images: a view into Delft ( vermeers hometown) and the polders ( fields along canal) right near our house in wassenaar. they are always full  of grazing sheep, horses and cows and a beautiful deep lush green color.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


               c o l l a g e s
it started in marfa, TX.  i had shipped all of my jewelry making tools & equipment one winter and none of it had arrived. to pass the time, i began making drawings of found wire. then i made them into collages.
since my arrival here in the netherlands, i have resumed making collages. i have been drawn to using text in various languages, cutting up paper "fashion" newspapers picked up in paris, leiden, amsterdam, wherever and combining those with my ink drawings..  i think missing my photo art direction career mixed with the thrill of hearing and attempting to speak a few languages  - its all come together. 
luckily i am fortunate enough to participate in a group show at one of my favorite spots on the planet - the perimeter gallery within chases daily in belfast maine.
stop on by if you are in vacationland in dec. or jan.

Monday, 29 October 2012

mengelmoes { mishmash. hodgepodge}

mengelmoes. ( love this word, now need to learn to pronounce it correctly)
this post is a bit of a visual hodgepodge, a mishmash, snipppets from my week. 
i was fortunate enough to go on location with dutch interiors photographer marjon hoogervorst  and see how the dutch do it (same as we do, only in a more simplified fashion)
she and her stylist femke were lovely to work with. to get inside some of these homes and apts - what a treat for a curious cat like myself. (images of homes & stills)
the piled up books pic - i took this while visiting our author & artist friend marion bloem's home - imagine this times ten - that was one wall in her library. . . piled, stacked art books, non fiction & novels. obvious love of books. it made one want to sit and paw thru her collected treasures for hours.
other images: our neighbor/pirate, a courtyard, my favorite bike path thru the dunes of wassenaar.....

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


cars. trucks. vans. - i am compleletly and totally wild about looking
at them here in europe. so many colors, great old styles, new smaller,
more efficient ones......
i still want to buy that DAF ( center photo red) and bring it back to the states.

to read/see/experience more of the above, plus great writing check out autoliterate

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

kastelen. chateaux. { castles }

Traveling in europe with a six year old boy makes one seek out
Kastelen/ Chateaux/ Castles. The towers, lookouts, turrets & armour - 
all make for a happy and engaged young travel companion.
We recently visited the 12th century Chateau du Haut Koenigsbourg ( photos to the left).
It sits atop the Stophanberch mountain in Orschwiller in Alsace, France and it can been seen from many towns away. It is a beautiful sight - we could see it as we drove from in from Strasbourg,  the political, economic, cultural capitol and largest city in Alsace. If you have never been, Alsace and the Vosges mountains, situated along the Rhine valley and close to the german border, is an area full of medievil towns and vineyards - a region of France not to be missed.
In Leiden, just a bike ride away from where we are living in the netherlands,
the De Burcht ( photos to right) is tucked away right in the center of town, encircled by two canals. It is from the same era, 12th cen., and is considered a shell keep, a style of medieval fortification best described as a stone structure circling the top of a motte ( rasied earth). In Holland it is rare to have a view as eveything is so flat so it was very exciting to get a view out and over the gorgeous town of Leiden, one of my favorite cities here in NL.
 *if you have a favorite castle - do share/comment - we will try and visit

Sunday, 21 October 2012

heemstede { my old hometown }

Heemstede. i spent a formative few years (i was the age that my son is now) 
in this great little dutch town just 40 kilometers from where we are now. here are snapshots from a wonderful daytrip; the waterworks, an architectural - 
lettered bridge, our old townhouse, flowers upon flowers.....
fall has arrived in the netherlands and the damp, fallen leaves give off a distinct, lovely autumnal smell.
change is in the air.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

op vakantie {vacation}

yes, its true, these two are taking off on their first real ROAD TRIP to france
(thats me circa 1971 in holland and H currently)
will be back here soon......

Monday, 8 October 2012

landschap {landscape}

.....couldn't decide if this post should have been vogelstand  {birds }  or landschap. the beauty of the dutch landscape does not seem to escape me on a daily basis. even when in rains, it almost always opens up to dramatic clouds & light. these photos i took in and around wassenaar & the neigboring seaside town of katjwik en zee. on one of my bikerides thru the dunes i encountered this flock of birds, sweeping & dashing & looking like clouds themselves. 
having only a bicycle for transport forces one to get out and see things at a level & depth you wouldn't when you jump into your car.
( please join my blog and leave me a comment.  have YOU ever just had a bike? do tell....)

Friday, 5 October 2012

in de stad { around town }

this past week was peppered with visits to Den Haag, Amsterdam, Leiden...
stumbled upon this unexpected tumbling-book sculpture outside the museum meermanno
H and i went to the corpus museum ( FYI - good rainy afternoon activity for kids in NL, all about the human body) which was quite fascinating. the exterior walls were rocks-enclosed-in-wire and quite you can see H was quite intrigued.
there is a similiar one in marfa, TX. at the Capri events space at the thunderbird.
striking metal bridge signage : rotterdammerbrug & beulingsluis.
 bikes galore outside the amsterdam central station
top series of attached buildings: The Binnenhof, Den Haag, which houses the Dutch parliament, since 1446, and the centre of Dutch politics for many centuries.
bottom row leiden- loved the askew middle buildings.....can your OOG see?

Friday, 28 September 2012

roze. rose. pink

bright hot pink has always been a favorite color of mine. the dutch use it everywhere, including on trains, bikes, cars...i saw this pink fiat in amsterdam last week. i was struck by the juxstaposition of the typical dutch architecture and the modern car. ( but SO VERY TYPICAL here) pink bikes are a very common sight and kids here delight in decorating their bikes with very functional pink baskets  & plastic flowers.
a welcome discovery at unseen ( already mentioned in my post BLAUW) was was the work of  Tina Berning & Michelangelo Di Battista  - their collaborative face project ( she is an artist, he a photographer) was a intriguing hybrid of fashion photography and painting/drawing/colage. The two artists met for the first time on a photo shoot for VOGUE ITALIA in the summer of 2007 and began collaborating. 
the crazy photo of brightly colored headphones on the bottom left was from a ceiling installation at MERCI in paris. an incredible "concept" store with a twist - they donate % 100 of their profits to charitable causes. ( they were the founders of Bonpoint)  there are housewares, books, fashion and lots of other goodies...the visuals & displays are worth the trek.
see here for great photos & indepth description.
do YOU see pink in your daily life? if so,..leave me a comment.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

BLAUW. bleu . Blue

a highlight of last week was my visit to the Unseen Photo Fair in the monumental Gashouder & Transformatorhuis in Amsterdam. (* see photo in center - this was exhibited outside of one of the amazing brick buildings) over fifty leading contemporary art and photography galleries from around the world ( new york, tokyo, paris...) participated.  they showcased new work by established photographers and/or work by emerging photographic talent. the "galleries" were housed in "stands" ( like pieces of a pie radiating out from the center of the round building) designed by Amsterdam-based design studio Müller Van Tol. 
it was thrilling to stumble upon the work of Jocelyn Lee, an old friend from maine, now a professor at princeton.
the fashion exhibit came from Camera Work Collection in Berlin it takes an inspiring look at fashion photography of the last from legends: Edward Steichen, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Steven Klein, Horst, Ellen Von Unswerth, Albert Watson Peter Lindbergh and many others.
i took myself out for lunch within the westergasfabriek at bakkerswinkel - a very lively, local scene...
other blauw images are:  the kitesurfers at scheveningen beach, our back alley improvised skatebaan..(H is a big fan and we spend a lot of time at the local skateboard shop inconcrete), local buidlings & signs and finally - another of the many vintage citroen around town which i keep finding and covet.

Monday, 24 September 2012


on sunday we were invited to attend the dutch polo masters in vreeland. what an exciting sport - and fascinating scene all around. it was a blustery day but it did not deter the crowds from drinking their
veuve cliquot and cheering for theirs friends, family & teams.
our host plays polo so lucky for us we had a play-by-play explanation of what was happening. i was entranced, very excited ( we sat SO close) and completely fascinated.
the ponies ( all from argentina) were gorgeous and strong.
the players hailed from argentina, new zealand but were predominantly dutch.
apparently polo has only been an organized sport in the netherlands since 1988 - at least thats when the first club began. now there are several, the largest & oldest one in our lovely town of wassenaar.
this sunday my son & i will go to see the ladies play at our local club.
if you get a chance - go see a match - you will not regret it.

Thursday, 20 September 2012


i  was recently invited to join a friend in paris, stay in her fabulous hotel 
                     and spend 2  fun-filled days walking and biking throughout the luminous city.
                      i included a pic of myself on the Velib rental bike which i think is a MUST - DO
                     a few highlights : walking in the tuileries  & place du louvre as the sun came up
                     and across a few of the ponts ( bridges) at night. biking right at the edge of the seine.
                     seeing the apairy   in the jardin de luxembourg.( bee hive & bee school that has been
                     in the garden since 1856) window shopping in the "haut marais" and the boutique merci
                     next visit : december. on the agenda - ART.


Friday, 14 September 2012

HUIS { maison} {home}

                                  HUIS   {house. home. place. family. premises}
             thinking a lot about the differences between my huis here
             in the netherlands and my home in the states. the simplicty
             of the layout & the materials within the interior ( lots of white 
             laminate!), the furnishings, the integrity of the overall design, the fact          
             that nothing is actually ours with the exception of a few personal 
             items, mostly clothes. 
             luckily i brought some small art supplies and have been
             decorating with our own artwork to try and personalize things a bit.
             but honestly i am loving the austerity and the freedom it allows us.
             and - i must be honest - I LOVE WHITE, so i lucked out (as you can
             see from my huis photos).

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

oranje. orange

     Orange is EVERYWHERE here is holland and is actually the color of the Dutch Royal

     family. The lineage of the current dynasty - the House of Oranje-Nassau - dates back to
     Willlem van Oranje, dating back to 1544. and in doing a little looking around i discovered 
     that the current Prince of Oranje lives right here in Wassenaar with his wife, the princess   
     and their three children.
     My oranje sightings will continue daily as i mentioned before - its everywhere you look - 
     cars, boats, bikes, postal boxes, at cafes, doorways, floral shops ( where all the pots &  
     flowers are color coordinated)...and once i start to see a color - i can't seem to NOT see it.
     more ORANJE soon.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

geel. jaune. yellow

the light is still late summer - early fall. bright & clear. bright yellow sun.
this week has involved a solo bike trip to leiden,  (its a mere 30 min ride) , an inspiring, very academic evening at NIAS ( the reason we are here ) a lot of kid care ( sick son home from school) and more town & beach exploration. its been relatively warm and evenings at the beach are a must while the weather holds.
one highlight of my week is the local outdoor market where i discovered a gouda type cheese with caraway seeds which we love. this was its wrapping Boerenkass - and Boer means 'farmer' and kaas means 'cheese'. Seems simple - but hidden behind that straightforward name is what holland's cheese is really all about and this one falls into the category of cheeses that have been hand-made on the farm using pure unpasterised milk from the farm's own herds. its delicious.
still taking it all in.
tonight  just home from my son's school - information for parents night ( i barely understood a word!) . trying to learn my dutch numbers, days, months, as many words as possible,  and using them daily......
ik ben blij

Monday, 3 September 2012


color. color. color - its everywhere in the netherlands. 
nautical flags, doorways, bikes, kids clothes ( oililly has always been one of my favorite childrens clothing lines), kindergartens  & nursery schools - like this one pictured above - right across from our home here.
saw this tree close to the out-door market recently. wondering if the knitta artist magda sayeg has been to this teeny town? i used one of her pieces, a knitted trailor at el cosmico for a kids photo shoot. they are magical, inspired, bright, completely original.
( make sure to comment  if YOU have a favorite artist or designer whose use of color excites you)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

strand. plage. beach

apologies for all the beach shots - but  this is one of holland best kept secrets: the beaches  that stretch from Scheveningen to Katwijk, Wassenaar being the quietest, most remote and breathtakingly beautiful...

a great quote i just read ( which does not mention the beaches..)  from smashing magazine  : The Netherlands, also known as the “Low Countries,” is a small, crowded, muddy piece of land through which a few big important rivers fortunately run. In this country, you can find coffee shops, wooden shoes, tulips, windmills and a lot of water.  
And everything is rather small! Well, at least most of the architecture is. How cute is that? But it’s also the land that brought the world many great painters, famous architects, and excellent graphic, fashion and interior designers. We all know Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Mondriaan, Rietveld, Koolhaas, Escher, Droog Design and Viktor & Rolf, right?

i will go to  the Droog shop in amsterdam this week.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

zwart & wit. noir & blanc. black & white

this week  so far in a nutshell. 
many trips to our local beach, a mere 15 min. bike ride thru town and then along beautiful paths thru the dunes. the chalkboard menu/ drawing from a cafe nestled deep in the dunes - was so striking. so dutch.
H loves visiting a local farm with baby goats - here one of the curious moms. outside of his school - this funny ( very 70's era) sign in the pavement which traslates as : hound in gutter. 
we have had painters all week working on the exterior of our apt/townhouse. this is their cart. 
i think oranje  { orange!} might be next.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

groen. vert. green

Ended up doing two photo collages for groen as the vintage Mercedes van was just too cool, it needed more attention. H's patagonia fleece & NB sneaks were serendipitously perfectly in sync with the color. plus he was just as excited about all the surf stickers as was his mom. this dutch surfer gets around. (i was just in SB working where  Channel Island Surfboards shop is located. plus Volcom  - our buddy bummy also happens to be sponsored by them) the astroturf step-seat at the back was perfect. the amount of wear & tear & rust reminded me of vehicles in maine.
in the top collage - the canal is right near our townhouse. i run or bike along it daily.
the tractor in the ocean was scooping up shells and dumping them in piles along the sandy beach. (why?) the bikes line the entrance to the beach, hundreds & hundreds of them on a weekend. the beautiful bushes & wall are right outside the entrance to my newly- found yoga studio - yogawise.

Monday, 27 August 2012

rood. rouge. red

                                      ROOD { red in dutch}

 Slices of life in The Netherlands from this weekend. Scheveningen Harbor. 
food shoppping at Di Gros with only a bike to transport groceries for a family      of  three. a DAF , a car i covet. ( for sale, $ 1,400 euros) 

beach tents . wassenaar. first weekend. 8.18.12