For all in NL, I can’t wait to see you this week, Friday @theamericanbookcenter in Amsterdam and Saturday @boekhandelwagner in Sassenheim.
There was a time where I didn’t have the faith. When it was hard for me to believe I would not only succeed but be worthy of publishing a book. Authors to me were a different kind. Capable of magic, possessing some kind of super power that I didn’t feel fortunate to have. One day when my anxiety got a hold of me and I was at crossroads to take the leap of entering the book process, I decided to visit my favorite bookstore. I forced myself to walk past and gaze at the hundreds if not thousands of books in my favorite store, literally telling myself you can do this too. ‘It’s been done, you can do this too.’
For more than 20 years (at times weekly) I visited my local bookshop @theamericanbookcenter in the city center of Amsterdam. The loyal staff (some I know by name) have worked here for decades. They would congratulate me at the counter if I would pick up multiple copies with features in US magazines. To have copies of my book in their window and an upcoming floral demonstration and signing at their store this Friday means everything to me. Author is still somewhat strange to me and if only I possessed super powers, but the book is here. The window (previous reel and stories) a tangible confirmation. When you write a book you are dependent on Amazon but local book stores will always be the real deal. They are part of our community and therefor of our heart. And yes, maybe when leaving a bookstore after visiting, experiencing their magic dust, we all carry a bit of those magic super powers.
In season, dahlias once more, have a lovely Sunday and magical new week everyone. Hope to see you this week and remember…. If it’s been done, don’t ever think you can’t do it too.
#shoplocal #bookstores #dahlialove #neverstopdreaming #littlestoriesofmylife #currentmood

Beyond excited, join me this Friday, September 22, for a floral demo and signing at 17.00hr @theamericanbookcenter in Amsterdam. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought to see my book in the shop window of my favorite local book store
Ever since moving to Amsterdam over 2 decades ago, this is where you would find me browsing books and magazines. The most loyal staff with most working here for over 30 years. Not enough words to describe how honored I am to be granted a demo and signing session with window display at this special place.
When you support a book store you support a community. I can’t wait to meet you here❤️

#booksigning #excited #asweetflorallife
#flowerdemonstration #currentmood
#booksarelove #ilovemybookstore #americanbookcenter #shoplocal #flowerarranging #littlestoriesofmylife #persuepretty #gardenlove #flowerlove #dsfloral #weddingideas #botanicalart #inspiredbypetals #flowermagic #happyweekend #flowerstories
#colourlove #roses #gatheringslikethese #livethelittlethings #happyweekend

The most perfect dahlias, a memory from a lovely day. I had the honor of being a guestspeaker at this year’s @hollanddahliaevent @kasteelkeukenhof It was so wonderful to share my love and admiration for all the work of these amazing growers. As an artist you are always as good as your material so to be able to say thanks has been a highlight for me this week. Working with real dahlias, I also brought a few my sugar dahlias. Wish I had recorded their responses with a secret camera! I addressed that there is always room for improvement when it comes to sustainable flower cultivation. One thing I know for sure though is that these growers do everything they can to preserve their land, not just for themselves, but for generations after. I urged them to share more about their commitment and measures. Dutch folks don’t like to boast. Due to our culture, It is simply not in our DNA. Hopefully soon you will hear more about the responsibilities and actions they take. These dahlias cultivated as a cut flower from @mtsvanderlindenenzoon and Anja’s garden @de_tulperij
What does happiness mean to me? Flowers most certainly are a great part of my well-being. They literally can bring color to my life when my mind wonders off the darker places. I believe this counts for something. Warm memories from this past week, so wonderful meeting everyone. I hope you’ve seen my previous post for the next events in the Netherlands. Favorite dahlias for a happy Sunday. Wishing you have a bright, colorful new week everyone.
#dahlialove #dahlias #colorlove #coloralways #currentmood

So many highlights from Vietnam but this one in my heart forever. Only a few blooms left but this didn’t stop my heart from beating faster and adoring this field.
Aim for June to see the blooms. But then, no leaves, no flowers right.

A country so authentic and if you love flowers it will gift you the best time.
Thank you for all your lovely messages.

I was wondering, would you like me to save all the stories of Vietnam in my highlights?

#vietnam #traveldiary #travelstories #summerflowers #currentmood
#littlestoriesofmylife #persuepretty #gardenlove #flowerlove #dsfloral #flowermagic #flowerstories #flowerarranging #gardenlove
#inspiredbypetals #vietnamlove #colourlove #postcardsfromtheworld #summerlove #lotusflowers #persuepretty #hello_worldpics #gatheringslikethese #livethelittlethings #traveltips #happysunday

Floral still life cake for Friday flower day. Stepping away from sugar for a moment for another sweet adventure. Please watch my instastories, hope you will follow.
This time last year in August, I was choosing the cover of the book during our holiday. I kept working throughout our travels in Asia and this part one of the hardest decisions I ever made. What a difference a year makes, I hope we chose a good one.
Stay tuned, for book signing dates in the Netherlands in September. Will share more soon!
Hope you are enjoying this month of august. Wishing you a happy Friday and great weekend everyone.
#asweetflorallife #sugarflowers #flowerfriday #sweetadventure #dutchstilllife #currentmood

What is your favorite flower my most frequently asked question. We are in the last stretch of Peony season and each year I tell myself, peonies… peonies are my favorite flower. And just when I thought I was sure, dahlias enter the chat.
I was super lucky this week. A lovely meet up with Anja from @de_tulperij who brought with her the most special dahlias from @mtsvanderlindenenzoon The wonderful thing about these dahlias is that they are cultivated for the cut flower industry. Pompon dahlias among other specialty dahlias as a cut flower, I could barely believe it myself. Just as dainty as their windblown garden friends, these dahlias have an amazing vase life.
If you are in the neighborhood I can highly recommend visiting the @de_tulperij dahlia garden where you can pick flowers. I loved, loved the cardboard bucket that can hold water she brought with her (in my instastories!) Dates to mark on calendar September 8/9/10 @kasteelkeukenhof the annual dahlia garden event.
I’ll never turn down color, bold hues to start the week. Have a lovely Sunday and bright new week everyone.
#detulperij #dahlialove #dahlias #colorlove #coloralways #currentmood

Summer holiday has officially started, a year has come to an end. For some New Year’s Eve may be the end of the year but for me, last day of school always evokes the same feelings with one more chapter closing. At the beginning of the school year I shared about the challenges our son was facing. How the transition from middle school to secondary school had been quite a shock. His vulnerability at math class in particular. At the time, so many of you responded with so much kindness and encouragement. I don’t think I ever shared that I read your words of empathy to him but they made such a difference. It was the same for our daughter having a challenging time these past months at the end of middle school. Without having to go into detail, many of you knew exactly what I was saying, immediately offering warm words of understanding.
I’m relieved to share our son did well. Math may not be his favorite subject (for now) but his grade has been sufficient enough to pass the school year. I can’t tell you how proud I am. As for our daughter, she is excited to look ahead. Although sometimes scared for the next fase because of what happened, she keeps the faith in meeting new friends at secondary school.
Often times, you have thanked me for the flowers but I have been equally thankful for the solace, care and kindness from so many of you in vulnerable times.
‘Celebrating Abundance’, one of my favorite summer arrangements (with complete step by step instruction) from my book, A Sweet Floral Life. Happy Sunday and a wonderful new week from my home and family to yours.
#summerlove #asweetflorallife #endofyear #sothankful #currentmood

Only a few more days, my limited edited prints are available until July 27th with 8 days worldwide shipping guarantee. My print shop will close for summer break opening again in September.
Details of these finest quality prints at the link in my bio.
Always honored for every floral work welcomed in each home and venue.
#floralart #limitededitionprint #flowerprint #dutchstilllife #homedecor #colorlove #flowerlove #floralartist #flowerphoto #beautifulsummer #persuepretty #delftware

Some of you might know this story, how it actually all started with a Barbie cake. I always loved baking but creating that Barbie cake for my daughter’s fourth birthday was the beginning of where I am today. For 20 years I had designed wedding dresses for private clients and whenever I could embellish a wedding dress with silk or beaded flowers, I would become elated. I never knew you could decorate a cake with fondant and discovering its malleability got me completely obsessed. An unexpected twist of fate that resulted from a desire to give my daughter everything I had wished for at her age. A Barbie covered in plastic wrap from the waist down, inserted in a baked dome shaped cake, dressed in pink fondant and white cut out sugar flowers with edible beaded centers. My past couture life evolving into a new found cake life with my deep love of flowers at the center of it all once again. One of the first times working with sugar, that Barbie cake was far from perfect but everything that happened because of it, was great. My book, A Sweet Floral Life the ultimate dream.
Dahlias and roses, sugar flowers for A&Z, the sweetest wedding couple this week. Flower friday, hope you have a great weekend everyone. A Barbie cake (never shared before) and where it can lead in my instastories.
#barbie #mybook #creativityfound #sugarflowers #flowerlove #littlestoriesofmylife #currentmood

The strongest summer storm in Amsterdam ever recorded, today. The two hottest days ever recorded in the world this week. Reminders at the start and end of another record breaking day.
#amsterdam #lookingoutthewindow #codered #stormyweather #mycity #myneighborhood #sunset #roofgarden #healing #flowerlove #wemayfeelbrokennotallisbroken

Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ and ‘Alexander Fleming’. One of my favorites, emphasis on one. What is your favorite flower my most asked question. I wish I had an answer but these peonies definitely in my top 10 if not 5. Flowers are always part of celebrations but it is days like these I’m especially mindful of their significance. How special it is for me to always be surrounded by these inspiring, beautiful blooms.
I’m hearing the festive sounds coming from the Dam square while I’m typing these words. A commemorative weekend on my side. Keti Koti which means broken chains in Surinam language. The abolishment of slavery 160 years ago in our Dutch colonies, Dutch Antilles and former Dutch colony Suriname, my country of birth. Yesterday a speech from our King offering apologies for the role of the Netherlands in the slave trade. At the time of writing the book, I never could have imagined his words of apology. For me personally they mean so much to hear, I shared the link of his speech in my stories. It is my hope more countries will follow and take his words and actions as an example.
Have a lovely Sunday and beautiful new week everyone. Let’s continue to hold hands in acknowledgment on our journey for collective healing.
#peonies #asweetflorallife #mynewbook #flowersalways #currentmood

Still going strong with peonies and roses. Spring kept us in the cold longer than usual, but the weather now is simply delicious. I can’t remember spring ever making way for summer in such a glorious way. No rain, just gorgeous sunshine and warmth on our side.
We are surrounded by blooms in our city. Inspiration is every where and all around. I want to work and capture all the blooms (preferably in sugar), but I also want be there for my daughter who is experiencing turbulent times in her final year of middle school and starting secondary school after summer. Some wonderful assignments I’m working on, which I hope to share soon. One thing I know for sure, this time with my children is never coming back. I also know that when working on creative assignments it is important to take my time. We have to protect ourselves and try not be all over the place, ending up nowhere in the end.
Summer solstice only a few more days, a reminder to celebrate and nourish. How often have we not dreamt about summer? The moment is here to savor. Have a lovely week everyone.
#summerlove #creativityalways #peonylove #currentmood

“To live in Amsterdam is to be surrounded by history and flowers. From the iconic seventeenth century canals to the houses that line them, the past lingers on architectural facades and further below, submerged in the wooden beams that hold this city only slightly above water.”
The very first 2 lines from ‘A Sweet Floral Life’, my new book. Summer in Amsterdam living up to its expectation once again with roses blooming bigger and more beautiful than ever before.
Last clips, we planted our own roses only a short while ago. Just start somewhere and blooms will grow.
Hope all is coming up roses on your side.
#asweetflorallife #mynewbook #booksarelove #floralstories #creativityfound #botanicalart #currentmood
#homedecor #persuepretty #littlestoriesofmylife #gardenlove #flowerlove #dsfloral #inspiredbypetals #flowermagic #flowerporn

The charm of peony Coral Charm. Clouds and clouds of Coral with blooms as big as my hands. I hope you are still okay with all the peony spam. First weekend of June, I can’t help reminiscing about this past month with so many milestones. Sometimes still, it doesn’t feel real. This morning I woke up with another milestone. A number of followers I never would have thought possible. This platform that started with stills and only squares has changed into many shapes and forms over the years. But what has remained the same is the kindness and connection from all of you. So many things in my life wouldn’t have happened, if it wasn’t for you. ‘A Sweet Floral Life’ is 40 days old and in these past days you have shared the sweetest words about the book. Please know I never take it for granted.
Thank you everyone, for joining me. It truly means so much. Wishing you a lovely Sunday and beautiful new week. #instagram #igfriends #gatheringslikethese #currentmood

Happiness is cycling through Amsterdam with a basket filled with flowers. Saturday’s market, my favorite moment of the week.
#persuepretty #favoritemoments #floralstories #amsterdamlife #myneighborhood #homedecor #familylife #littlestoriesofmylife #flowerlove #bicycling #happiness #floweraddict #flowerarranging #peonylove #weekendlove #saturdaysmarket #flowerreel

Red, white and blue. A long weekend for many of us. Hope everyone enjoys a beautiful time. I love this time where we transition from spring to summer on our side. Peonies in full bloom and if we are lucky a few tulips before we say goodbye for another year. Because of time and our children’s Saturday activities, I usually visit Saturday’s market alone. But yesterday, my daughter and I went together. No rush, just taking it all in. And by taking it all in I mean literally. Fried fish followed by freshly baked stroopwafels and poffertjes (our Dutch dollar sized pancakes) and then moving on to the strawberries which sweet scent we could smell before noticing. Flowers, food and the kindest vendors, not much else makes me happier. Late breakfast tomorrow, a little bit of baking and a 3D cinema visit. Summer hasn’t started but all this feels like a holiday.
Arrangement of fresh and sugar flowers. A variety of real and sugar peonies with sweet columbines. The how-to of the sugar peonies in my previous post, a new reel! Have a lovely Sunday and beautiful new week everyone. Enjoy all that is sweet.
#flowerfriends #gatheringslikethese #thelongweekend #currentmood

Over 40 steps, that’s how many it takes to create this life like sugar peony. All info and details in my book ‘A Sweet Floral Life’. Available at link in bio. Have you tried this flower yet?
#sugarflowers #asweetflorallife #mynewbook #creativityfound #botanicalart #currentmood
#happysunday #peony #peonylove
#homedecor #persuepretty #littlestoriesofmylife #gardenlove #flowerlove #dsfloral #weddingideas #botanical #cakedecorating #inspiredbypetals #sugar #flowermagic #flowerart #flowerporn #stilllifegallery #edibleart

There are many people involved when writing a book. I didn’t realize at first but learned along the way and took me by suprise at times. A little story that might explain the amount of work and people.
I can’t tell you how joyful it was to have found a publisher who believed in ‘A Sweet Floral Life’. Real floral arrangements with sugar flowers and to top it off a cake, this hadn’t been done before. Although the book explains into detail how to craft sugar flowers, I thought it would be nice to offer a live demo over zoom to my editor. This was about 8 months ago, the time the book was almost finished. I hoped it would make the manuscript I handed in, come to life more. She happily accepted and where I thought it would be just us and the designer of the book, she replied with much excitement that the team would join as well. How lovely I thought, not paying much attention to the Zoom invite.
The day of the demo I had everything prepared with my camera mounted. I joined the meeting and there it was. My screen with 20+ staff members. All tuning in from various offices across the US. My editor, production editors, proofreaders (several), designer and production designers, color editor, copy editors, acquisition, marketing and publicity staff just to name a few. Expecting a small gathering, my mind froze seeing over 22 squares. Completely shocked I managed to raise my hand to say hi to welcome everyone and with fingers shaking and voice trembling, I started to unpack the sugar paste. I don’t remember exactly how it went but I do know I made it through all the steps explaining how to create a sugar rose in 45 minutes. It was one of those moments where others would say, “you did great” but I had to work hard to believe those kind words in the days after.
It takes a village to publish a book and I owe much to all who participated. Flowers are a perfect example of how much we depend on each other. I would be lost without all the growers taking risks, offering blooms. Same nerves, a lovely chat about this subject with @kcrwgoodfood link provided in stories.
Have a lovely Sunday and wonderful new week everyone. You’re doing great❤️
@tenspeedpress @penguinrandomhouse