This season, we partnered with some of our favorite mothers who happen to be multi-talented artists, photographers, and designers. We asked them to capture their littles in their natural elements. The result has been a series of beautiful images from around the globe.
We talked motherhood with Nora, creative director and mother of two girls. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, Nora channeled her creative energy into a beautiful handmade arts and crafts business called La Fete. Read on to hear how Nora balances career, family, and a big move from Amsterdam.
B+G: What are the biggest gifts and challenges of motherhood?Nora: The biggest gift is motherhood itself, since we really wanted children for quite a while and weren’t able to have them. With a lot of medical help for four years I was so happy to have Puck! I always try to tell people that becoming a mom is a gift itself, not something you should take for granted. And it is heart breaking if you have a strong wish to become a mom and are not able to. A big challenge for me is to divide time for my children, my husband and me. I found out I need a lot of time for myself and you don’t get that. It will be a challenge for the rest of my life I guess.
B+G: What motto do you live by or try to instill in your children?Nora: Enjoying the little things. Stop and look. I always point out all kinds of things, did you see the little Robin in the yard, or what kind of colours are the flowers. And I am a big believer in independence. They are smart and learn quick. And I trust my children. So instead of shouting all the time to Puck to come back or not going here or there. I take her aside, explain to her where we are and where she is allowed to go or not go. Pointing out a tree that she isn’t allowed to pass or a door until where she can play.
B+G: What is your favorite thing to cook for your children? Or what is their favorite thing to eat?
Nora: That would be the spaghetti bolognese I make with lots of grated cheese of course. Perfect to make in big batches and pull out of the freezer when you don’t have time to cook.
B+G: Describe your ideal family day.
Nora: Waking up (not too early hopefully) and getting the girls into our bed and cuddling. Reading some books, having a good breakfast in our pajamas. Getting dressed and walking somewhere, visiting a museum. Or, even better, when the weather is good, going to the beach. Staying all day, meeting with some friends and having dinner. Kids are playing and we can relax ;)
B+G: What are your favorite things to do with your children?Nora: Reading books, both of them love books! Drawing or making things together with Puck. I love chatting with her and listening to her telling me all kinds of things. How she sees it. The best thing you can do with Mia is going for a bike ride. She loves to sit in front of the bike and always starts to sing and wiggle with joy.
B+G: What is your philosophy when it comes to motherhood?
Nora: I am not a big philosopher. I think of my children as little independent individuals. That need to explore the world and learn about themselves by doing that. But... with strict guidelines set by me. Children need boundaries. And us parents need to set them and keep them. So you create a simple and safe environment. Within those boundaries they are almost allowed to do anything they want ;)
B+G: What was the biggest surprise about becoming a mother?Nora: The instant love you get and feel for your children. BOOOM! Nature works perfectly in these things.
B+G: If you could go back 10 years, what would you tell yourself?
Nora: Be patient. Which I am not. Still ;)
B+G: What excites you most about motherhood?
Nora: To look at things the way they look at things. Hearing their logic and seeing how they discover the world. Sometimes it’s really smart and I feel that grown ups are sometimes very dumb. So I hope to stay a bit childish with them. At least I try.
B+G: You run your own online craft business called La Fête, featuring some of the most beautiful and creative DIYs we've ever seen! What inspired you to start this business? Have you always been a creative?
Nora: Actually, La Fête has it’s own story.... 21 November 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Puck was 1,5 years old. The treatment took about 7 month. I had the whole shabang, 2 operations, 6 chemo’s and 28 radiations. It worked big time. I was declared ‘clean’ and then what.... I wasn’t able to go back to work right away, but am not the person who sits around and does nothing. That’s when I started making stuff that makes me and other people happy. That’s why it says ‘because every day is worth celebrating.’ Anyway, now that I am a few years ahead and mom of a second beautiful girl, it was time to get back on track with my ‘real’ job. I am an art director, designing magazines and identities for big and small companies.
B+G: How has it been balancing La Fête and your career with family life?
Nora: I love my work, but since we just moved and I don’t have regular daycare for Mia it’s a bit stressful at the moment. No balance at the moment here... ;) Most of the work I do when Mia sleeps and the rest at night. Which is tough. La Fête has been closed since the move, and I really miss it. So I hope to get that back on track as soon as possible.
B+G: Any upcoming work projects you're excited about?
Nora: I have a huge project this summer, and a very small one for an independent entrepreneur in natural cosmetics, which I think is really cool. But most of all I can’t wait to get some more time to work on my La Fête items. There might some cute collabs coming up :)
B+G: How would you describe the aesthetic of your home?
Nora: I have no idea how to describe it. Actually we buy the things we love. Old or new. Used by aunts or design pieces. I think I like things to be timeless and basic. We also have quite a big art collection and at the moment it’s stored in one of our rooms. Our house doesn’t feel like our home without our art. So I hope to put that up soon!
B+G: How would you describe your own style? How has it changed since becoming a mother?
Nora: I think comfortable and basic would describe it best. Since I became a mom I spend probably most on my kids, since they grow and I don’t. I should size down as a matter of fact, to fit in my old ‘nice’ wardrobe. I check labels to see if it can go into the washing machine. Dry clean is a no go. And a lot of basics, so I can wear anything with everything. Lots of black and navy with a pop of colour. Yellow, coral, red or purple.
B+G: What pieces would you consider staples for your wardrobe?Nora: A comfy pair of boyfriend jeans, black leggings, different cardigans in different colours, the perfect black T-shirt, some light cotton tunics and linen tees for summer. Sneakers, boots and sandals with bright, contrasting nailpolish.
B+G: What do you love most about raising your kids in Amsterdam?
Nora: Actually, we just moved out of Amsterdam. Because of the kids. Now we have a wonderful old house with a big shared garden. Heaven for our little miss independent, who can now just go out and play whenever she likes. I miss the dynamic and diversity, but Amsterdam is about 20 minutes from here. And we are a lot closer to the beach now!
B+G: If you could choose another city to live in for a year, where would it be?
Nora: Berlin! Love it over there. Loads of creative people and a very child friendly city.
B+G: What is your favorite room in your house and why?
Nora: At the moment no room is really done, but I can’t wait to get my own studio finally finished. And I love our living room/kitchen/garden, since that’s the space we hang out the most as a family.
Be sure to check out Nora's creations on her website, and follow her and her sweet family on Instagram!