Saturday, May 26, 2012

Top Three Best Good News Items Today

Beach BBQ Party Invitation Card - art by Anne Vis
It does not often happen that one can find more than one happy event in the news, but today there were quite a few news items that in my view are good news:
  • Germany has been investing big time in solar energy and today the best news came out: just this day there was so much sun in Germany that the production of solar power exceeded that of more than 20 nuclear power plants! Yeah!
    Go Germany, go!
  • And more good news on the environment: Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff has vetoed a law that would enable further deforestation of the Amazon. In June there will be a big meeting again on sustainability. This decision is a great step, which will hopefully be implemented in a good way.
  • And last but not least:
    It could be that there is now a solution to tackle bacteria that are resistent against antibiotics. This resistance has been a HUGE problem in health care and if not solved will not only cost many lives, but will also drive up the already tremendous costs of health care. So thumbs up for this news as well!
And as you can see the cats are having a happy BBQ party tonight ... :-)
To join them, visit, Anne's Cats Online Store :-)
Wishing you a delightful weekend!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Stop the banks from creating money out of thin air

4th of July BBQ Party Invitation Card - art by Anne Vis
While the cats are roasting a fish on the beach, and I have been busy creating a lot of new invitation cards, a group of English thinkers have created a video to show us how to stop the continuing robbery of your bank account. This documentary flies into the face of all that the media are trying to tell us and apparently the politicians don't want to know:
In the west some people still downplay the economic crisis and continue a luxury life, but also here in the Netherlands, a growing group of people is plunging into poverty. This is more serious than just not having much money, it affects relationships, health and can cause serious depression. It is well known that the rates of suicides are going through the roof. Thus it is no exaggeration to say these banksters are serial murderers ... that go unpunished ...
This documentary proposes to disallow the banks to create money and democratize the process of distribution. The video lasts for about an hour (which is the short version), but I strongly recommend watching it and please make it viral!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Healing the Economy

Housewarming Party Invitation Card - art by Anne Vis
Could it be that after all the stressful news about the economy there is hope?
Apart from all the new small businesses (previous post) that are starting, I saw a documentary on the Dutch television that I thought is very hopeful indeed. It suggests that the exodus of labor and manufacturing to China has come to a halt and that the Netherlands is going back to producing it's own products.
Something similar is happening in San Francisco where Zazzle has organized hand made manufacturing of messenger bags and several other products locally, as I mentioned in a previous post about outsourcing.
One of the reasons behind the reversal of this process also sounds like really good news: the Chinese workers are earning more money and there is more attention for the environment.
For those who understand the Dutch language:

And on another note: the Housewarming Party Invitation Card you see on top of this post, is part of a series of new invitation cards in square format. Some of them are in Sunny Sites Online Art Store and others in Anne's Cats Store. More to come! :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Transforming the labor market

Child therapist or counselor business card - art by Anne VisCat care or cat sitter business card - art by Anne Vis

Where Obama used to talk about "Change", the Dutch government goes even further and talks about "Transformation". Both are of course empty words, as the policies of Obama are just a continuation of the Bush administration and the "transformation" by the Dutch government is just a huge increase in taxes and other costs for ordinary people.
But what is really derailing our societies so much, apart from just having had the biggest bank robbery ever and leaving the culprits free to continue to steal even more ...?
I think one of the most devastating causes is the mentality of "competition". Everyone has to compete with each other, because the government seems to still think that that will increase "productivity" and lower prices.
Instead it just increases anxiety in people and everyone knows the disasters of this policy as it is ripping health care apart and has caused grave accidents with trains. And where exactly has it lowered prices? It has only increased prices.
One interesting side effect of all these crappy policies, is that a lot of people are now starting their own business. Of course the government does everything it can to thwart these efforts with difficult bureaucratic rules and extra taxes, but people see no other alternative. On the one hand this is a very promising and exciting development, as it makes people less dependent and may eventually break the power of multinationals. Or: genuinely transform the multinational's policies. On the other hand: not everyone is made to be a business person. It will be fascinating to see where this goes.
Because the bottom line is of course that we need to learn to cooperate instead of compete. An interesting development in that field in the US, but also in Spain and other countries now, is that of cooperatives, where every employee is also shareholder. It turns out that this is a very successful business model in which the participants feel committed and the collaboration on a mutual project creates of course a much better atmosphere than when you have to be fearful that someone else will take your job.
Another example of individualism combined with cooperation is of course the field of art. Somehow being an artist does not mix very well with being a business person in general and this has oftentimes led to artists cooperating and organizing shows together and promoting each other instead of just themselves. I can tell you from experience that this creates a lot more joy!
Cooperation is not always easy, it is supposed to be a basic skill acquired in preschool, but somehow the idea of working together has also left the education. Bringing back cooperation as main focus, as opposed to competition, is the real transformation that needs to happen will we survive ...
Cremation or funeral service business card - art by Anne Vis Insurance business card - art by Anne Vis

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Climate and the green parrot

A hot spring night canvas print - art by Anne Vis
This past winter hundreds of wild horses died in the Netherlands, the fruit harvest is ruined for this year and trees have only a few flowers compared to the abundance we saw last year. Weeks of temperatures of -15 degrees Celsius have created havoc in nature. Still the media call it a "mild winter". Honestly, even today the temperature has not been above 10 degrees Celsius ... (so much for "global warming" ...)
Yet, this spring (or is it still winter?) I noticed a new species in my neighborhood: the green parrot.
Given that this is a bird that used to live in much warmer areas, it is absolutely remarkable that the green parrot has been able to come back in such large numbers, announcing it's presence with loud squeaks, paling the beautiful black bird's song. The bird is of course famous from Coit Tower in San Francisco and has been housing for years in Amsterdam as well as in other European cities like, London.
I would not expect to see it in such large numbers after such a horrible winter, a miracle?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sunny Sites: new website!

new website - art by Anne Vis
As you can see, I've been really busy this past week creating a new website. The navigation and design have been completely restyled.
The focus is now much more on the three Zazzle stores to bring art into your daily life experience, coloring and brightening up products you use every day.
It comes with my vision that art is not just a wonderful thing on the wall, but is embedded in all of life. Art as a way of living and then I am referring to not just the visual, but the creativity and inspiration of life. The way you design your contacts, that smile to the driver of the bus, the joy of interacting with animals ... it is really everything.

One of the things I discovered through the new site, happened when I started debugging and found that my contact page did not work any more. My server had disabled PHP scripting and I somehow had missed that information ... So sorry to folks who tried to reach me and did not get anywhere! You can find a new email link on the "about us" page.
Anyway: enjoy the new site and all the new products and inspiring art that is available!
And let me know what you think! :-)