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34 posts categorized "Interview"

Passion for Crafting

Bloesem Gazette | Interview with Mer Mag's Merrilee Liddiard

Merrilee Liddiard has spent most of her life crafting. Her insatiable passion for creating has led to her book Playful. For the 4th edition of the Bloesem Gazette we had a little heart to heart with the craft queen herself and it was hard not to immediately bust out the art supplies! 

Author, well-known blogger and mother, Merrilee Liddiard wears many hats - most probably elaborately crafted paper ones since she is undoubtedly the queen of crafts. You might know her as Mer Mag, the name of her blog, or the author of Playful, her craft book that is a collection of 26 unique do-it-yourself projects parents can create together with their children.

We talk more about her love of craft and the making of her craft book after the cut..

Bloesem Gazette | Interview with Mer Mag's Merrilee Liddiard

Bloesem Gazette | Interview with Mer Mag's Merrilee Liddiard

How did you start your crafting journey? Did you always know that you would publish a book of crafts one day?
I grew up in a creative and crafty home with my father making us dollhouses and my mother sewing us costumes so it’s always been a part of me. I remember pouring over Make and Do kids craft books and we had a tradition of doing something crafty when babysitters would come. When I went to college I studied illustration and went on to illustrate books but when I had my own kids the kiddo crafting bug came back and we just dove right in. Once I was really into it I knew I wanted to do a kids craft book of my own so that my kids and other little ones could have their own book to pour over, inspire, create from on a rainy day, and pass along to the next generation.

What about your kids, do they have a passion for crafting as well?
I think all kids have a penchant for creation. It’s just a matter of finding what ticks for each child. My kids bring different things to the table which birth many of our online DIYS and tutorials. My oldest is mathematical-minded so has always loved shapes, patterns, colours, order, etc. We do a lot of geometric and repetitive crafts for him in that vein. My second son is very imaginative and lives in another world a good majority of the time. He’s very character-oriented and loves toys so we do a lot with that for him. My daughter is two and so is of course very hands on and loves all things sensory. I recently did a floral stamp craft with her and she was very interested in touching, squishing, colouring and patterning whatever mom did. She’s also big into dressing up already.

Bloesem Gazette | Interview with Mer Mag's Merrilee Liddiard

How important is “play time” for kids?
Play time is soo so crucial. It’s the time when children can craft their own world and apply what they are learning on their terms. It breeds creativity, confidence and light heartedness - something us adults could all use a good dose of now and again.

How was the process of working with other creatives on the book?
I loved working with others. It was so important to me to bring on board creatives that I respected, worked well with and would only bring the book to another level I could never get to on my own. I really wanted this book to be set in a world in which a little one would want to escape to - so when you opened its pages you not only wanted to create but you became lost and inspired, to dream and to really be Playful! My editor, Melanie Falick, photographer Nicole Gerulat, designer Brooke Reynolds, and stylists Meta Coleman and Brittany Watson Jepson (as well as all the darling children, props, clothing, hair stylists and so many others involved!) really helped me bring this vision to life! It’s truly a dream come true.

Bloesem Gazette | Interview with Mer Mag's Merrilee Liddiard

What is your favourite craft in the book?
Oh that’s a hard one as it changes all the time! I’m smitten with the cardboard brownstones, but the paper puppets are so fun and versatile, and then there are the doll face necklaces that I really love, but the tiger pinata - that might be my favorite shoot so, oh I don’t know! What’s yours? We are smitten with the tiger pinata (picture to the left)! It’s such a great party decor idea.

Could you share one unforgettable behind-the-scenes moment of making the book? I’m still so fond of the story behind the cover. Meta Coleman had the idea for the overhead shot of the girl with the trapeze doll and I came up with painting the entrance to the circus tent. Then Nicole, who was 8 months pregnant at the time!, climbed a tall ladder (which we spotted her on) to get the shot! It was sort of crazy but so much fun. At the time we just intended this to be the shot for the trapeze doll craft and shot about two days worth of what we thought could be cover shots. We had so many ideas that were almost there but nothing was screaming “Hey, I’m the cover of Playful!”, so seriously a day before having to finalize what the cover would be, and not feeling 100% about anything, I suddenly had this epiphany that we already had the cover, and it was from our Trapeze doll shoot! I quickly comped together a rough cover idea using this photo and sent it off to the editor. Everyone loved it and marketing signed off on it the next day! It was like it was meant to be all along.  

Bloesem Gazette | Interview with Mer Mag's Merrilee Liddiard

Image via Playful.

.. Merrilee Liddiard
.. Grab a copy of the craft book: Playful
.. Read the entire Bloesem Gazette Kids edition

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At home with La Fête


Sometimes a connection just works right away ... and this was certainly the case with Nora Vrba from La Fête   and me. Ever since Nora has become a regular contributor to the BKids craft projects page she and I often chat via email ... so it wasn't only logical that we met in person when i was in AMsterdam last month. 

It always feels a bit like a blind-date when meeting someone after being friends online for a long time. Nora was kind enough to invite me to her home. So I brought my camera (only with a very small close-up lens) and was hoping she would allow me to take some shots. To give you an impression how this lovely Mom of 3 year old Puck has decorated her home.

Nora lives in an apartment on the third and fourth floor in Amsterdam. They completely renovated and connected two floors to each other ... and they have a rooftop garden which is not very common in Amsterdam.




At the end of november 2011, just when Nora decided to quit her job and start as a freelance art-director, she was diagnosed with breast-cancer. After intense treatment Nora was able to fight the cancer and we are all very happy to say this horrible disease has left her body! Of course I was a bit hesitant to ask Nora about this tough period in her life. But she was very open about it and I was in absolute awe about her strength and positive attitude towards the future. Truly inspiring and admirable!!




LaFete_Nora_party_paper  LaFete_Nora_bedroom


The moment Nora found her strength back she wanted to do something productive and so she started her online shop La Fête. All the beautiful party decorations are carefully handmade by herself.

Next to that Nora loves to collect art ... soon she will be writing posts for Bloesem Living and tell us more about where to find, to buy and what to look for when bringing art to your home. 

Today just some lovely impressions from Puck's little corners in their home. Hope you enjoy my images!



All images by me, Irene Hoofs, founder Bloesem blogs.

Nora from La Fête

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Bedroom Love


I am a bit excited and so are my boys ... opa and oma (grandma and grandad) arriving today for a three week visit! Lot's of nice things to do here in Singapore and I will do my best to share a thing or two with you on BKids.

After the lovely start with cute pana I have a lot more eye-candy for you this week ... like the home tour on BloesemLiving including pictures of the daughter's room ... isn't the wallpaper not just perfect?

Couple, Jorine and Egbert-Jan from Buro Jet live here an Sandra from BijzonderMOOI* spoke with them about design, what they like about their home, how they work and life in general. Marjon, the photographer knew exactly how to capture this home in the best way possible and focusing of the charming characteristics of this home.

Buro Jet is amongst many other things known for their fun ceramic snout cups and the beautiful laser lights.

Face to face: a designer's profile with BuroJet



All images by MAll images by Marjon Hoogervorst 

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a new Open House Tour


I can't tell you how happy I'm to finally being able again to show you a beautiful house from a very inspiring mom and artist...this time it's a mom from the Netherlands, her name is Julie Hendriks and she creates and sells unique wall (art) pieces for childrens rooms, Beerlala ....her story and home are both very inspirational...  

Please click here to see the whole Open House Tour... 

..Other Open House Tours..


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The last Open House Tour from this year...but we will definitely continue sharing Open Houses with you on B:Kids in 2010, because it is so much fun to see how artists and talented people like Rebecca from Children Insipre Design lives...thank you Brittni for creating the wonderful tours for us since the last couple of months! Today you can see a bit more how Rebecca has decorated her house, where she works and she gives some very good answers on how to run a handmade business...

Please click here to see this Open House Tour...


..Children Inspire Design..

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A really really nice new Open House Tour today from Berlin ...  Brittni has done a small interview with Tania Patritti from Ninon, who has been making imaginative, one of a kind creatures and other bits and bobbins for the last four years. I loved Tania's answer to the question :: How would you describe your design style? I don't know if there is a word that can describe it...it is me plus him ... ::

Please click here to see the whole Open House Tour...


..Visit Tania’s shop, Ninon, on Etsy..

..Thanks Brittni..

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