Winterfeest Hooi & Stro, a collab by Snor and Urlaub!

Waiting for Urlaub to move into it’s new dynamic home, there has been a lot of tea-sipping with the upstairs neighbours: all time favourite publisher, Snor (check out the Soepkalender!). Of course, only a completely impulsive act could come of this.

Fortunately, in this case, we seem to be pretty good at being impulsive.


Check out the fabbest christmas fair Utrecht has to offer: Winterfeest Hooi & Stro!


More information here and at the 101 Woonideeen-blog!

winterfeest flyer kim welling ellen vesters urlaub snor


Would be great to see you there!


Hello Etsy 2012

This weekend I was one of the lucky ones attending Hello Etsy 2012.

I was blessed with stomach flu the day before.
So I fit my lovely bordeaux stockings perfectly.

The day looked even brighter when in the train me and compadre Femke Veltkamp found out that our telepathic skills had made us dress completely compatible.

Oh my, the world problems us modern girls have to deal with.


ellen vesters illustrator and graphic designer and femke veltkamp at hello etsy 2012


Everything was forgotten when Janine Vangool opened her mouth. How one shy woman can silence dozens of people telling us all to just follow our hearts.
Actually, the whole day could be summarized with this sentence.

When you hang in there, doing what you love, staying true to what feels right to you, you will find success.

Call me (and a whole Piet Hein Eek factory filled with people, for that matter) unrealistic, but I am a strong believer in this mantra.


janine vangool of uppercase at hello etsy 2012 by ellen vesters illustrator graphic designer


The reason that I love Etsy so much, is because they are not just about commerce. Etsy is truly dedicated to supporting a new economy, a world where big companies have less power and relationships amongst people will be more important again.

(Okay, after three talks from people who seemed to have had the same workshop in storytelling I felt some allergies kicking in, but hey, the higher message is cool!)


Matthew Stinchcomb told us that at every Etsy event they try to include speeches that trigger social awareness.
This group of Etsians had the honor of meeting 87 year old  Satish Kumar, former monk and peace activist, sharing his inspiring views on sustainability.
The energy this dude had!
87 Years old!

The man deserves a gif don’t you think?


animated gif satish kumar at hello etsy by ellen vesters illustrator graphic designer


Watch all the different Hello Etsy talks below. Be sure to check out the inspiring speech of Satish Kumar, all the practical advice for starters by Diana van Ewijk from MamaMarketing (a MUST follow) and by my mate Kim Welling, and the fantastically sobering talk by master Piet Hein Eek:



If you have the time to watch, you may stumble onto this particular funny scene…


chair dance with piet hein eek etsy 2012 by ellen vesters illustrator graphic designer


***I have met so many lovely New York people the past weekend. My thoughts are with them in this storm. I really hope everyone is safe…***

The truth about The Woonbeurs

So. The Woonbeurs.


The truth about the Woonbeurs…is that after all the craziness and mania that is called Woonbeurs, for a week I lived like a zombie.
From different sides I had been told that this was completely normal post-fair behaviour.




“Never mind”, I told myself, “the enjoy-your-succes-part will soon arrive”. Unfortunately when the end of the zombie era came in sight there were some nasty family circumstances to deal with. And well… at that point in time super-grumpy Ellen kicked in.

My recipe: a nice night with friends and a walk with Mr Rockstar through the always welcoming city of Antwerp. My clearer head told me: circumstances can’t be changed and no one wouldn’t want me to enjoy my success.


So. I gave myself a good kick in the butt to have a little Woonbeurs blog party tonight.


Even though the Woonbeurs is a subject that’s already long gone in blog country.
Even though everybody has already moved on to write about autumny stuff.
Even though I really have to start working on me OD’ing you guys on exclamation marks.

I’m turning back time two-and-a-half weeks, when:

  • I got to build my own little living room together with friend Kim Welling.
  • I got to work together with a very talented designer I admire: Femke Veltkamp!
  • I got to meet so many online friends, which for me, always is the best part of events like these.
  • We were a huge success with people calling us a fresh breeze after all the hardcore designs out there. Woohoo! Exactly what we were hoping for!
  • The whole reason I dreamed of having a shop was to see for myself how people react to my work, to meet and interact with like minded people. That was exactly what happened. We had such fun!
  • My favorite magazine published an interview with Urlaub on their blog!
  • And then afterwards… over 15 blogs rewarded our hard work with lovely pictures and words about the shop! (check for links)


Yaaaay for The Woonbeurs! Thanks everyone! ;)


Check out these cooooool pictures (and the nice blogs they originate from)!



woonbeurs spaziale

woonbeurs spaziale


woonbeurs mikodesign


woonbeurs refreshbug


woonbeurs liefgeval

A good friend of mine was just there as this nice lady bought three of my prints all at once:


woonbeurs enigheid

And for the Grand Final a big thank you to the friend that was watching me the whole fair and offered a welcome little break every now and then.  (Look at it! I so so so wanted to take that gorgeous thing home!)