Saturday, February 26, 2011

Passion for Life

Jewelry! Slowly but surely I am introducing you to what makes my heart beat faster. We have had Music Africa, Art, Wax, Tulipes, but I should be telling you about my passion for jewelry! Since I was a little girl I starting creating jewelry with beads. I have done quite a few pieces I am still proud of, but really missed my calling. I am now sure that if I had to start my life again, I would have become a jewelry designer and creator! So I compensate my passion by admiring (unfortuntaly not buying, for that I would need to meet a rich man ;-) jewelry created by beautiful artists around the world. Today, I introduce you to Ippolita, created by a woman. She is the queen of Bangles to me. Her bracelets have all my favourite ingredients: colour, simple design but beautiful quality and an modern, edgy look. Enjoy!

Friday, February 25, 2011


I can feel it... sometimes... at least I am sure that it will soon happen! In my garden green is starting to grow: tulips! I have bought my first tulips in the shop 3 weeks ago and it made me so happy. For those who don't know me they are my favourite flowers. Is it because they are among the first of the season? Do I have Dutch ancestors (God forbid ;-)? Or because they come in so many different colours? I like them that much that I nearly called my daughter "Lale" which is Turkish for tulip. When I imagined how it would be pronounced in English I abandoned the idea... but still.... Tulips represent SPRING and spring is in the air! Can't wait... and you?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Material Girl

Second post in series of Music & Afrika, and a second piece from Guinée Conakry... It's by accident, I don't have any specific ties with the country, but their more recent Hip Hop seems to seduce my ear! Material Girl exists in French too, but to stay local, here is the version in "Susu" (I think). Leg Def is doing it the US way, but would need some boost to get onto the foreign TV's! Not that I wouldn't mind giving him a hand personally ;-) Enfin, Enjoy, next time we'll try to go East Coast (African East Coast hein)!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wax, wax & Art

In my fascination for fabrics and more specifically African (Dutch) Wax, second angle today: Art and Wax! As explored by this great artist who grew up between London and Lagos: Yinka Shonibare. Just click onto the website, and under "Artworks" you will find some stuff that really inspires me! Vive les couleurs, vive les tissus, vive l'Afrique...

Black Hole

I received the most beautiful necklace and earrings from my favourite brand Reminiscence from my former colleagues during a drink organised by my team-mate Evi... didn't even cry then! Since I resigned a weight has fallen from my shoulders but today that weight is replaced with a void... I have time on my hands, and still can't get my act together. I am supposed to spend more time with my kid, sort out my company, create new contracts, paint Mila's bedroom, have extra time for Lais, clean my house in every corner... and I do NONE OF THOSE. So I have to come up with a strict action plan, a project plan so to speak! I start as of tomorrow... will sleep on it one night. That way I can stop dreaming about all the things I forget to do as of tomorrow night ;-) Holidays are for sissy's!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Beautiful Africa

Talented artists... there are plenty; beautiful creations... there are many!

Just surfing around the web, I have stumbled upon fantastic websites from fantastic African artists.
My blog will have you discover few of them between my posts, as a "fil rouge". Hoping they will delight you as much as they do me...

Today, quite a famous one already, definitely not the underdog. I have chosen Serge Mouangue because the ingredients used by this Camerounese are surprising: African wax and Japanese kimono's. Also because Cameroun is very close to my heart, for having lived there for some time as a teenager... enjoy and take your time to discover!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Managing the French

Did you ever hear of a course for managers to learn how to manage Dutch teams, Belgian teams, Italian teams,... ? No? Well, I have spent the past 2 days in a course to learn how to manage French people...
The sole existence of this kind of training shows how difficult it is to effectively manage teams of French people without stepping out of line, without being accused of bullying. How do I get them to come in earlier? Come to the meetings on time? Take shorter coffee and lunch breaks? I am not kidding, we addressed it all. It also teaches us managers how to go about firing people when the system actually prevents you from doing so (of course after the needed reminders on how to motivate people, how to manage performance etc). I can tell you that I learned a lot. We - a bunch of Dutch, English, American and Belgian managers - were god-smacked.
Useful? Yes. Funny? Hell yeah... at times it resembled group therapy. And lots of hilarious moments...
The icing on the cake was that apparently French managers struggle with the same problems as we do. Go figure that out!
We have only one additional pledge: please make our Executive Committee members take this course too ;-)