Inspired by | Talisman

Inspired by: a monthly creative blog series by Riikka Kovasin and Marsha Valk

Hi! It’s the 10th of February! Can you believe it?! Feels like January 1st was just last week… Although nature is weirdly acting like it’s Spring already in these parts of the world.

Anyway… It’s time for Inspired by!

Inspired by is a blog series my friend Riikka and I started over 3 years ago. We decide on a theme (and that theme can be anything from a film, a book, a painting, to an item, colour scheme or material) and then we create something with that theme or thing in mind.

We keep what we’re making a secret until reveal day on the 10th, when we show you and each other our creations.

Finding our theme

This time the theme is something that came by in one of the many, many videos that flooded the internet during and after Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Trade Show in the US.

Riikka send me the link to the video in question. It was an interview that Scrap Time Videos had with Susan Lenart Kazmer and Jen Cushman from Ice Resin. It’s kind of long, but if you are into (mixed media) jewellery making it’s definitely worth the watch!

I think Riikka was in love with everything she saw in the video. But I was thinking: what can we do with this? I have never worked with Ice Resin, I don’t have it and I have no quick way of getting it here. How can we be inspired by a video about a product that we don’t have access to?

I jotted everything down that I heard or saw watching the video. One of the things that stood out was ‘talismans’, something Susan mentions only briefly.

Now that’s something we can work with! So this month’s theme is…


According to the Oxford online dictionary, a talisman is: ‘An object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck’.

My first instinct was that I could make myself one. A talisman. But I thought I should know more about talismans in general first. So… I went to the library to get a couple of books.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Talisman

Which were very interesting looking… But I didn’t have a lot of time to read… So I just leafed them through.

I also thought about talismans… What does a talisman mean to me? Do I already have one?

I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t. Not a real one. I have a couple of ‘lucky charms’ hanging from my wallet, but they’re just there for fun. I wear the same jewellery most of the time, but not because I think they bring me luck. I don’t even own a pair of lucky underpants!

So if I don’t have one now… Did I have one in the past? Ah, yes! One in particular comes to mind immediately. I will tell you what it is in a minute!

Remembering this talisman made me realize that there is no way I can make one. At least not without a purpose in mind and certainly not one for myself.

I could be wrong, but I somehow feel a talisman is something that is either gifted or something that becomes a talisman over time.


So what about that talisman of the past? Here it is:

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Talisman

Yes… That’s a little pouch… Made out of a sock… LOL!

Don’t even ask me who’s sock it originally was… I don’t think I have ever given that fact a second thought and I have had this pouch for almost 24 years. 24 YEARS!

Pouches made out of old socks apparently made perfect sense to me back then!

Anyway: this little pouch, made by my best friend, accompanied me during my final math exam at secondary school in 1992. I sucked at math (I still do) and I had to sit through many, many hours of tutoring to help me make more sense of it.

My friend knew that. She knew my tutor too. And she knew that I would need all the help I could get to pull through this final.

This is what’s inside:

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Talisman

Isn’t that sweet?!!

And… better still: it helped! I didn’t exactly do well, but my score was enough to pass the exam! I was so happy!

Looooooooooong story short: a talisman doesn’t always have to be pretty or sacred… It just has to be special and precious. It’s the thought that counts and that makes it work.

The result

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Talisman

This story begged to be scrapbooked… How else would I explain to someone why there is this intriguing little sock pouch among my most prized belongings?!

I can’t wait to see what Riikka has made! You can visit her at Paperiliitin.

Have a wonderful day!

2 thoughts on “Inspired by | Talisman

  1. I adore that sock! What a special gift and I’m even more happy to hear it helped! You are so right, the story just needed to be scrapbooked! It’s charming, it’s captivating and it’s telling so much about you, kind of even a part of who you are. Just splendid! And the page itself is gorgeous, too. Loving the bold colors and patterns!

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