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Postcards from Amsterdam

September 12, 2008

I can’t wait to tell you about my recent journey to Amsterdam. Would you like to travel to this lovely Dutch city with me today? Please, be my guest. Here’s a recap of my adventures in Holland. At least the Friday evening part. I may have to wait until Monday to share the rest…

Okay, first let me say that I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I arrived last Friday. You see I had arranged to go meet with my friend Danielle and do some shopping for my apartment. Then as our plans were confirmed, I decided that since a few decor8 readers heard I was going to be in town and they wanted to hang out with me, that it would be really fun to meet them so I decided to blog about a small meet and greet. You know, nothing formal, just dinner and drinks. So last Friday evening a small group of peers — bloggers, blog readers, designers, creative types — joined me and my husband for dinner and drinks at De Kroon. In the end, we had 25 show up, between 8-10 per table (3 tables) and wow! What a great night! Would you like to see a few photos?

Postcards from Amsterdam Business cards collected from our meet and greet.

All I kept thinking before the meet and greet was that I’d arrive in Amsterdam wildly enthusiastic about meeting people and no one would show up. I was nervous to meet people who read this blog, I sometimes feel like in person I won’t ‘measure up’ to whatever image people form in their mind as to what I’ll be like. Of course, I don’t let stage fright stop me, but it was definitely in the back of my mind. I think that it’s part of being human, we all wonder how others will perceive us especially when one takes a friendship from the internet to the real world. In fact, I’m willing to bet that others felt much like I did as they entered De Kroon but you know, we all walked through those doors, cast our fears aside, and my goodness what a great evening we had. I felt completely comfortable with everyone there. Some I’d known already from following their blogs, so it was just as exciting for me to meet them in person as it was for them to meet me. I felt such enthusiasm, warmth, and an overall gracious spirit — all were super appreciative that this event was planned and that they could participate. We even had a few editors show from one of the Netherlands top decorating magazines, 101 Wohnideeen, and they arrived with a huge bag of magazines to share with every person in attendance. They also brought back issues and gave those to us as well so I now have about 6 issues to look over. What an honor to have these ladies attend!

Postcards from Amsterdam Yvonne from Yvestown (left) and me on the right.

I was over the moon to see how many showed up, and eagerly, each enthusiastically introduced themselves and took a seat next to complete strangers chatting and becoming quick friends. The vibe was very positive, the energy level was high, and the result was better than I had imagined. I have to thank everyone reading who attended for making my visit to Amsterdam so very special and memorable.

Postcards from Amsterdam
Danielle from The Style Files and I.

Postcards from Amsterdam
Per, Sia, Pia, Riley, and Emma. I’m next to Emma but you cannot see me. :)

Postcards from Amsterdam

Who showed up? Danielle from the Style Files (blogger and Le Souk owner), Emma from Emmas Designblogg (all the way from Stockholm!) and her friend Per, Pia Jane Bijkerk (amazing stylist and blogger) and her partner Roman, Sia Grafica (lovely illustrator and blogger), Fab fashion designer Riley Salyards from Jackson, Johnston and Roe, Yvonne Eijkenduijn with the lovely home from Yvestown and her husband Bo, Femke de Bont and her boyfriend Peter, Claudia Brown from the Sofa Blog, Ingrid Quinn (not a blogger but a blog reader and soon to be in Sri Lanka as Women’s Advisor to the UN), the very dear Jane Schouten from All the Luck in the World and her lovely daughter, Two editors from Dutch decorating magazine 101 Woonideeen magazine (Ann-Marie Ross and Kim van Rossenberg), Nina van de Goor from Nina In Vorm (blogger and ceramicist who also has a great house), Erika from Miko Design (you must visit her etsy store), Dane from Leilialoo, and a few others that I didn’t have an opportunity to exchange cards with (or meet) so I’m very sorry for that if you are reading. Please comment and let me know who you are if you’re reading this. :)

Postcards from Amsterdam More great ladies!

Postcards from Amsterdam Anne-Marie and Kim from 101 Wohnideeen.

Other than drink and eat, we chatted about design, art, culture, entertainment, decorating, and of course blogging! Our favorite subject of the night. My hope is that these ladies will form a little ‘creative girls’ night out now and then to keep the lines of communication freely flowing because it’s not only motivating for creatives to get out there and meet people but it can stimulate new ideas and alternate ways of thinking. Sometimes we get so holed up in our ateliers or offices working primarily alone on our projects of blogs that we can lose touch. I can go for several days without leaving my house! This isn’t good and I’ve come to realize that I need to get out more and meet some of my online friends and have these much-needed exchanges with them. If you are a blogger and have local readers, I encourage you to arrange for ‘real life’ meet and greets in your city because it can be a lot of fun to take these relationships from virtual to real time. Go for it! Who knows what can happen. I met Danielle in 2006 and Emma in 2007 and we’ve remained friends ever since, all because we took our online friendship into real time and it really worked out nicely.

So after this fun evening that ended pretty late, we went back to our hotel called NL Hotel (13 room boutique hotel on the edge of the Jordaan district around the corner from The Frozen Fountain) and called it a night. The rest of the weekend (up until Monday evening) was spent shopping, taking a canal ride, and enjoying the Fall-ish weather that was a bit moody but overall nice, cool and crisp.

Next let’s talk about some of the shops that I visited and a few good restaurants that I highly recommend. But this part has to wait until Monday because I’m ready to say goodbye and start my weekend. I have a flea market to hit in the morning, so I need an early start. Until Monday then! Have a lovely weekend!

More photos here from our night out.

(images from anne-marie ross, me and others from my cutie husband thorsten)






19 Comments

  • Reply JENNIFER RAMOS September 12, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Looks like it was so much fun and that place your eating at looks super nice!
    Girls night out are always fun…! : ) Maybe next time I’ll join some gals somewhere.

    Jen Ramos
    ‘100% Recycled DESIGNER Cards & More’
    http://www.madebygirl.com
    madebygirl.blogspot.com

  • Reply amy September 12, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    what an amazing night to be surrounded by all that fabulous-ness!
    i say ‘ya come visit l.a. next so we can do the same here!!

  • Reply Rebee September 12, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Ahhh, that looks like SO much fun! I wish I could go to things like that but they’re never in my area. Oh well.

    Rebees last blog post: Creativity

  • Reply Diana September 12, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    Sounds like you had a blast! Oh how I wish I could have teleported over to Europe and joined you. Think you’ll ever have a similar get together back in New England?

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply magikquilter September 12, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Glad to hear it went well and good to see a lot of people brought their partners too. Nice to see some of the people I know from flickr there too!

    magikquilters last blog post: Remembering This Day, Seven Years Ago, 9/11

  • Reply Ratu Victoria September 13, 2008 at 4:05 am

    wowww!! all you blogger ladies in one place! what a blast!
    it sounds really nice, Holly..
    i’m wondering how everyone’s next blogs will be after the meeting..
    am gonna check them out now.. LOL

    Ratu Victorias last blog post: Reunion..

  • Reply Yvonne September 13, 2008 at 6:01 am

    Yay!! It was so much fun, such a shame we had to leave so early. We should do this again soon. There’s still so much to talk about. I see you had a great time at the Hema!!!

    Yvonnes last blog post: International Blog Weekend

  • Reply Nina September 13, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Hey Holly,

    Yeah, we did have a great time, and as I read it here, it went on for a while after I left… Well, I’m really glad you set aside your doubts and little fears and made it all happen. It was exciting and also a bit frightening for all of us I guess, to meet all these ‘strangers’ and see what would happen, but in the end you had the confidence to just try and organize it! We jusrt had to come…
    Afterwards I thought: isn’t it a bit funny that we (mainly) dutchies need someone all the way from America to organize this all for us, in our own country? We should have invited you instead! What does that say about dutch hospitality? (okay, let’s not start about that, we don’t seem to have a really good reputation in hospitality…) So next time we’ll be inviting you!
    Thanks for getting it all started!

    Nina

  • Reply michele m. September 13, 2008 at 10:15 am

    what a great night out and thanks so much for sharing with photos. We do get tucked away in our cozy computer cocoons and forget what its like to socialize in person.

  • Reply Rosa September 13, 2008 at 11:39 am

    It sounds like a wonderful visit. So good to see so many attended! Don’t you just love Amsterdam? On my way to see more pictures.

    Rosas last blog post: Date Night

  • Reply Elisa September 13, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    What a great time you all had, great photo’s.

  • Reply petra September 13, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    hey !that looks so gezellig! bummer that i wasn’t there…we were in the midst of moving our shop to the new location, so there was no way i could get there in time…
    i’m definitely in for the next meeting!
    love,
    petra

  • Reply Uncle Beefy September 13, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Wow! Like a U.N meeting of style! What FUN!!! Wish I could’ve been there to boot! But I guess I’d have to become an “Auntie Beefy” to be a part of girls’ night out and, for the moment, seems like rather drastic measures. ;)

    Lovely post! :)

    Uncle Beefys last blog post: Friday Flotsam

  • Reply maryam in marrakech September 14, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    This sounds like it was an amazing evening!!!

  • Reply Laurelsl September 14, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Wonderful gathering, the images shown the great ladies from the wonderful blog!!!

    Laurelsls last blog post: My Bird Stuffs

  • Reply ChrysRT September 14, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    What a fun night it must have been! I wish I had been there, I love Amsterdam! Sniff!

  • Reply irene September 15, 2008 at 1:29 am

    Holly, I totally wish I could have been able to join you for this great get together! Some of the fantastic women I have already met before, bit it would have been my absolute pleasure to finally have met you and the other very inspiring women! It really touches my hart how warm you speak about Amsterdam, my hometown. Next time I definitely try to be there! Thanks for giving such a nice update.

    irenes last blog post: The Weekly Gallery

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