StencilGirl® Column | Cyanotype Printing with StencilGirl® Stencils

Marsha Valk | StencilGirl® Column: Cyanotypes
Marsha Valk | StencilGirl® Column: Cyanotypes

There’s a new column up on the StencilGirl® Talk blog!

In it, I tell you all about my gratitude journal, you get a glimpse of what I did in London last month, and I share how I tried my hand at cyanotype printing using StencilGirl® Product stencils!

Go to the StencilGirl® Talk Blog to read the column and to see the complete list of stencils, masks and materials used!

Have a wonderful week!

Inspired by | Volume 10 – 2018: New Beginnings

Marsha Valk | Gelli Arts®: Scary Portraits
Inspired by: a monthly creative blog series by Riikka Kovasin and Marsha Valk

Hi there! It’s October, it’s the 10th… Time for a new Inspired by post!

September is like the start of a new year, isn’t it? It’s when a new school year starts, we return to the ‘regular’ routines, and it’s when we exchange the shorts and flip-flops for sweaters and scarves.

I feel like September was like that for me this year. I didn’t see it coming, but all of a sudden I started a new course, I started a new part-time job, and I really had to rethink my routines and the way I go about my days.

So I’ve been making plans, I’ve made a big schedule that I’ve taped to the inside of a cabinet, I’ve brainstormed and researched a ton for upcoming trips, workshops, assignments and… Of course, I can’t tell you anything about most of it yet!

All will be revealed in time though! For now, let’s talk about what I have been creating this month and where my inspiration came from.

Printmaking course

The course I’m taking is a printmaking course. I’ve wanted to take this course for years now, and I was super lucky to get accepted into it this year. I feel so happy and immensely grateful!

Four weeks in I’ve already learned a ton. I’ve also realised that I know way more than I thought I knew. The course isn’t what I expected at all. But in the very best way possible!

I look forward to it every week, and I always come home inspired to research more, to learn more and to create more.

The Stencilfied Journal

Last week I caught up with all the Stencilfied Journal prompts I still had to do since last months blog post. The current prompt is #19, so that means I can share the results of seven prompts with you.

From June through November fellow StencilGirl® Columnist Tina Walker is posting one prompt a week (24 in total), and we’re creating a ‘Wreck this Journal’-esque journal StencilGirl® style.

Check Tina’s Instagram or Facebook feed to find out more!

Scary Portraits

For my recent Gelli Arts® video tutorial, I was inspired by… myself. You know how sometimes you can combine a couple of older ideas to form a new idea? That’s precisely what happened here.

I wanted to recreate a craft project I did as a kid, but I didn’t want to use the same theme. So I thought about something seasonal, and that made me think of Halloween. Which then reminded me of this craft tutorial I did for DoenKids last year:

You can watch the Gelli Arts® video tutorial here: Create Scary Portraits with DIY Chipboard Texture Plates and Gelli Arts® Printing Plates

Find last years Halloween craft tutorial for DoenKids here: Vrolijke knutsels voor Halloween: de monstergalerie

Talking about autumnal projects for kids, here’s another fun one that DoenKids has published recently: Kiezelkabouters

That’s a wrap!

OK, that’s it for this month’s edition of Inspired by!

I’m curious to see and read what has inspired Riikka this month. Hop on over to Paperiliitin to see it for yourself!

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

Inspired by is a blog series by my friend Riikka and I.

On the 10th of each month, we share what inspired us that month with you and each other.

It can be anything from a person, a film, a book, a painting, to an item, something found in nature or in the city, a colour scheme or some materials we bought or discovered.

We will also share how the source of inspiration affects our work. Consider it a window into our creative minds!

Inspired by | Volume 9 – 2018: A Change Is Gonna Come

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Modersohn-Becker-1

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

Hi there! It’s September, it’s the 10th… And it’s time for a new Inspired by post!

How are you?!

Autumn snuck up on me, and now it’s here to stay. Summer was hot and dry, but halfway through August moisture came in out of nowhere: it started quite innocently with me dunking my Stencilfied Journal in tea (on purpose) and intense workouts in new surroundings which caused a bucketload of sweat.

But by the end of August, it was flowing. There were tears of grief, I dunked my MacBook in tea (not on purpose) and then last week, on top of that, it poured rain not only outside, but also inside of our house.

And yes, I freaked out. But at the same time, I tried my best to keep calm. Because what else could I do.

My aunt is never coming back, but I’m grateful for the memories and the fact that she was a part of my life for such a long time.

My MacBook was rescued. I’m ecstatic to be typing on it as we speak and I’m super thankful that I had my old laptop and my husband’s laptop as a backup to meet my deadlines while this computer was away for repairs.

The jury is still out on the dormer on our roof and the damage inside. The culprit was a blockage in the drain, and it looks like it has wreaked havoc for a considerable amount of time because we weren’t aware of it.

We think the dormer is beyond repair, but thankfully it doesn’t look like it’s going to cause any more immediate damage inside now that the blockage is gone.

So… was I inspired by anything while all of this was going on?

In short: I was. But it wasn’t necessarily the kind of inspiration that contributes to creative output. I just had a lot to contemplate (again). And I think it’s time I made some (more) changes going forward.

But let’s see what got me creating first.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Modersohn-Becker-1

Paula Modersohn-Becker
I think this may have been the day the accidents started to happen. My mom hurt her hand in the morning we went to see the Paula Modersohn-Becker exhibition at the Rijksmuseum Twenthe together, and we ended up seeing a doctor after our visit there.

Modersohn-Becker’s work is mesmerising and walking through the exhibition I wondered a lot about how her style would have developed had she lived a longer life.

It also makes you think about what other women artists would have painted had they been taken seriously and given the same chances as male painters. Because Modesohn-Becker’s approach was so different from that of the men in her community at the time and they didn’t speak very highly of it. Even her own husband criticised her painting style!

I would love to see more of her work and to see if I can learn more about her.

I documented this day for prompt 10 of the Stencilfied Journal, and you can see the girl with the hand (that also fitted the story of my mom’s injury) on the page:

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Stencified Journal

The Stencilfied Journal
The Stencilfied Journal is currently at prompt #15, but I’m still stuck at prompt #13. Which is the one that involves stencilling on/with the sole of a shoe and that was something I just could not deal with at the time. I will catch up soon though!

From June through September fellow StencilGirl® Columnist Tina Walker is posting one prompt a week (16 in total, but there are more to come!), and we’re creating a ‘Wreck this Journal’-esque journal StencilGirl® style.

Check Tina’s Instagram or Facebook feed to find out more!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Notification

A Facebook notification
Facebook sent me a message saying that someone had suggested I change my website URL to my Linktree bio link. Which is ridiculous, because Linktree isn’t a website, nor is it mine and, although you can find all the relevant links there, it’s obviously never going to replace my site.

That said, I kind of got the point this person was making. Because I haven’t been as active in updating my website in the same way I’ve been updating my Linktree bio link. So I took this nudge to do better, and I spent a couple of days on a long overdue website update.

It isn’t done yet, for the obvious reasons I mentioned at the top of this post, and the website still may need a more significant overhaul at some point, but I’m happy with the solutions I came up with for now.

Please let me know what you think! I would love to hear from you, especially if there is something you feel is missing from the site!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: September Issues

The September issues
Of course, I was inspired to buy a couple of fashion magazines! Just to forget all about them until now… LOL!

I also asked my Instagram friends about their favourite home decor magazines because I couldn’t find one I liked. All of my Dutch friends answered that they miss ‘101 Woonideeën’ terribly, which is a Dutch magazine that unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore.

The other suggestions were of British or American magazines that I can’t buy locally, but that I might be able to find at Schiphol or in an international bookstore in Amsterdam. I will look into those soon, so… To be continued!

Stop-motion filmmaking
Wes Anderson’s ‘Isle of Dogs’ wasn’t part of my inspiration this month, but it has to be mentioned because it was the primary source of inspiration for my most recent column for StencilGirl® Products.

I approached this column as I would do an oldfashioned Inspired by post: I went all the way in, researched everything I could think of and even watched Japanese anime in the process.

Stop-motion filmmaking also came up in a chat I had with Marieke Blokland, and she mentioned the stop-motion filmmaker Trisha Zemp to me. And while I was searching for her videos on YouTube, I also came across videos that featured Terry Gilliam. So very inspiring!!!

Instagram accounts
@the.flo.show This is the account of Flore Vallery-Radot. Her Insta Stories are such a pleasure to watch. Flore is currently in Greece, and before that, she spent a couple of weeks in Paris. In her stories, she takes you along on her on her daily walks and errands and shows you all of her favourite shops, foods, views, cinemas and restaurants.

@lerenvankunst.nl This account is run by a Dutch lady called Roumayne, who goes live every weekday to share a quick creativity exercise that you can do at home. I’ve watched the daily ‘show’ each day of last week, and it was super fun to play along.

@plasticdieet / @hetzerowasteproject These accounts do not fall into the ‘fun’ category, but they are inspiring. Both focus on low impact, zero waste and plastic-free living. The first one is currently hosting a challenge called ‘the plastic diet’ and the second one is by two local ladies that have a book on zero waste coming out this week.

Thinking about plastic makes me sick to my stomach. Simply go into a supermarket and try to find anything that isn’t packaged in plastic. It’s a challenge. Even most of the produce is covered with it! And don’t get me started on how much plastic I have in my craft room alone…

There is so much I can do to reduce the plastic in my household. Being aware of it is only the first step. 

That’s a wrap!
OK, that’s it for this month’s edition of Inspired by!

Hop on over to Paperiliitin to see what has inspired Riikka this month!

Inspired by: a monthly creative blog series by Riikka Kovasin and Marsha Valk Inspired by is a blog series by my friend Riikka and I.

On the 10th of each month, we share what inspired us that month with you and each other.

It can be anything from a person, a film, a book, a painting, to an item, something found in nature or in the city, a colour scheme or some materials we bought or discovered.

We will also share how the source of inspiration affects our work. Consider it a window into our creative minds!

StencilGirl® Column | Create Themed Monoprints with StencilGirl® Stencils

Marsha Valk | StencilGirl® Column: Themed Monoprints

Marsha Valk | StencilGirl® Column: Themed Monoprints

There’s a new column up on the StencilGirl® Talk blog!

In it, I share a video of me creating these monoprints inspired by the film ‘Isle of Dogs’, a Van Gogh exhibition and a couple of recent personal projects, using StencilGirl® Product stencils designed by Mary Beth Shaw, Nathalie Kalbach, Carol Wiebe, Daniella Woolf, Andrew Borloz and Rae Missigman.

Go to the StencilGirl® Talk Blog to read the column and to see the complete list of stencils, masks and materials used!

Have a wonderful week!

Inspired by | Volume 8 – 2018: Keeping It Cool

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

Hi there! It’s August, it’s the 10th… And I have a new instalment of Inspired by for you!

OK, so this summer thing is getting ridiculous. It was so sunny, hot and dry in the past month that all Dutch weather records have been broken.

Yesterday was the first rainy day in a long, long time in the city where I live, and I was so relieved that I didn’t even mind having to bike through the rain while running an errand.

The hot weather has had some effect on the amount of creative time I spent in the past month.

My craft room is situated on the back of the house, and it catches the sun all afternoon and evening. It’s not a pleasant room to be in during a heat wave. We don’t have air conditioning, you see. Most Dutch houses don’t have air con, because it never gets this hot for long.

Anyway. Here are a couple of things I can share!

The Stencilfied Journal

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: The Stencilfied JournalI’m currently one prompt behind, but The Stencilfied Journal is still going!

From June through September fellow StencilGirl® Columnist Tina Walker is posting one prompt a week (16 in total), and we’re creating a ‘Wreck this Journal’-esque journal StencilGirl® style.

I love it!!! If this sounds like something you’d like too, then check Tina’s Instagram or Facebook feed, grab a notebook, and follow along with the prompts!

Esther (@badass_paperlover)

Badass_paperlover InstagramWhen Esther posted this photo on Facebook, I was reminded of my own stash of 1950s ladies magazines!

I have been using a lot of magazine clippings in my art journals recently, and though I regularly do cut up vintage books for collage and transfer purposes, these vintage magazines had completely slipped my mind.

Marsha Valk | Gelli Arts: Mini BookThe cutouts turned out to be just what the mini book I created for my latest Gelli Arts video tutorial needed!

What I didn’t realise it at the time is that Esther actually sells these 1950s cutouts (among other vintage ephemera) in her Etsy shop. So check out BadAssPaperlover on Etsy if you fancy a stash of vintage cutouts too!

Books and films

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: BooksNot only did I cut up books this month, but I also listened to (audiobooks) and read some. Because when the weather is too hot to do anything, I think reading is the very best way to spend your time.

I’m also just inspired to read more. I keep wanting to buy books, but I can’t justify buying them if I keep adding to a bookshelf that is already full of books that I haven’t read. So if I want to buy more books, then I will need to read more books!

When I didn’t read this past month, I tried to watch films. I’m deliberately choosing films over TV series because that can be such a black hole and I would rather spend that time reading one of those books from the shelf!

I did go through the whole second Netflix series of Anne with an E though… But that only proves my point!

That’s a wrap!
OK, that’s it for this month’s heatwave edition of Inspired by!

Hop on over to Paperiliitin to see what has inspired Riikka this month!

Inspired by: a monthly creative blog series by Riikka Kovasin and Marsha Valk Inspired by is a blog series by my friend Riikka and I.

On the 10th of each month, we share what inspired us that month with you and each other.

It can be anything from a person, a film, a book, a painting, to an item, something found in nature or in the city, a colour scheme or some materials we bought or discovered.

We will also share how the source of inspiration affects our work. Consider it a window into our creative minds!

Inspired by | Volume 7 – 2018: A Little Bit of Everything

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

Hi there! It’s July, it’s the 10th… And I have a new instalment of Inspired by for you!

Pinning a theme to the past month is hard. Looking at my phone photos it was part clothing and style-type things, part creating, part enjoying beautiful sunny summer days and part filling the creative well.

If you discount the endless full-length mirror selfie attempts, there is less photographic evidence than I would like there to be.

In other words: this time I really did fall off The 100 Day Project wagon. So let’s start there.

The 100 Day Project

Marsha Valk | 100 Days of Using a CameraAfter last month’s Inspired by post, I was determined to finish my #100daysofusingacamera. So I made an effort.

For about a week.

And then I let it peter out again.

On my Marshas100DayProject Instagram feed it looks like I’m stuck at day 61, but in reality, I probably made it to day 65. I know I have at least one video and I certainly have a couple more photos that I could add.

I think I know exactly what happened this time. When I look at my calendar, I can see that there were a couple of impromptu appointments and activities around the time that I stopped posting. Work-related stuff got postponed to the following week. So I had two weeks in which my schedule got mixed up, and I chose other things to come first.

I didn’t quit photographing altogether, but I didn’t upload anything to my laptop, and I didn’t edit right away. I simply lost track. And from there it went all downhill.

The 100 Day Project is wrapping up this week. I don’t know what I’m going to do about mine yet. I can continue (or rather: restart), I can leave it for now and maybe pick it up again in September, or I can just post the photos and videos I do have, draw my conclusions about the project and pull the plug.

What do you think I should do?

Van Gogh & Japan

Now onto the things that did inspire me to create!

I visited three museums in the last month: the National Military Museum, the Van Gogh Museum and CODA Museum.

I think the visit to the Van Gogh Museum (to which my friend Birgit invited me) was the most successful one regarding inspiration, though the other ones definitely gave me food for thought about what I like and what I don’t like in a museum.

The exhibition Birgit and I went to was ‘Van Gogh & Japan’, about Vincent’s fascination with Japan and his vast collection of Japanese woodcut prints.

I have always loved Van Gogh’s studies of Japanese prints, but I had never really thought about what it was that I liked about them.

This exhibition has helped me better understand what I love about (woodcut) prints and to pin down what it is that I personally see and love when I look at Van Gogh’s paintings.

Marsha Valk | Gelli Arts Summer Postcards

I didn’t consciously link what I did for my latest Gelli Arts® video tutorial with this recent visit to the Van Gogh Museum, but in hindsight, it may well have been of influence!

The Stencilfied Journal

Marsha Valk | Stencilfied Journal

Something that is still going strong and that is super fun to participate in is The Stencilfied Journal!

From June through September fellow StencilGirl® Columnist Tina Walker is posting one prompt a week (16 in total), and we’re creating a ‘Wreck this Journal’-esque journal StencilGirl® style.

If this sounds like something you’d like too, then check Tina’s Instagram or Facebook feed, grab a notebook, and follow along with the prompts!

Marsha Valk | Stencilfied Journal

We’ve officially arrived at week 6 now, but I’ve yet to share my take on week 5. It still needs some finishing touches, and I will post it on Instagram later this week.

Marsha Valk | Stencilfied Journal

The tag is still hanging outside, but it’s now a bit hidden from view:

Marsha Valk | Stencilfied Journal

Online classes

Marsha Valk | Creative JumpStart Day 22

Speaking of The Stencilfied Journal: working in the small journal reminded me of how much I loved working in my even slightly tinier Creative JumpStart 2018 (aff. link) journal.

It made me decide to catch up on the Creative JumpStart videos I didn’t have time for in January, and I’ve created five more little journal spreads in my passport sized Traveler’s Notebook.

Marsha Valk | Yolande Avé Eerste Hulp Bij Styling

In June I also started with a different kind of online course: Eerste Hulp Bij Styling (Dutch). This one is all about style and clothing, and I love it!

I’m having one epiphany after another and I immensly enjoy doing the homework and exercises.

Summer!

Marsha Valk | Painted Pebbles FBThe hot summer weather we’ve been experiencing here in the Netherlands has had an impact too.

With summer on the brain, I thought about easy summer crafts, and I came up with this little video for Carabelle Studio.

Marsha Valk | Summer

And in the last week of June, we tried to BBQ all of our dinners. Which was super fun because we discovered that BBQ-ing on weekdays is perfectly doable for us!

Crayon: An artist’s colorful guide to drawing on the go! by Monika Forsberg (aff. link)

Marsha Valk | Monika Forsberg: Crayon

Last month I mentioned that I ordered a couple of creative books to read over the summer. One of them is Crayon: An artist’s colorful guide to drawing on the go! from the Anywhere, Anytime Art series.

Crayons… Oil pastels, wax crayons, water-soluble crayons… I have quite a selection of them, but I always feel that I’m not using them to their full potential. So when I was browsing for creative reading material, this book jumped out at me.

What I didn’t realise at the time is that the crayons that are predominantly used in this book are Caran d’Ache Neocolor II’s.

At first, that disappointed me a little because these are precisely the crayons that I do use quite often.

But then I figured that there still must be something new I could learn about using them, and I started to do the exercises in the book.

The exercises are simple and easy to follow. You can dive deep and spent hours or even weeks practising on just one of them (which is perfect for developing your own style).

Or, you can do what I do: pick one thing from the exercise and do just one sketch/drawing to get a better feel for the material.

This does mean that I’m staying reasonably close to what Monika Forsberg is showing in her examples. But that’s OK. It’s not my intention to share my results with the world. I’m just practising!

The cool thing about Neocolor II’s is that they’re perfect for taking with you in an art-on-the-go kit and Forsberg has terrific tips in the book about how to decide what colours to bring.

I keep my Neocolor II’s in jam jars, and when I want to create in the yard, I can just grab the jars, my sketchbook, a water brush, the Crayon book and I’m good to go!

That’s a wrap!
OK, that’s it for this month’s Inspired by!

Riikka, unfortunately, has been coping with a painful hand injury. She’s only slowly trying to create again at the moment. She does have a post up for us today, and I’m curious to see what she has to share! Hop on over to Paperiliitin and please send her lots of love and well wishes!!!

Inspired by: a monthly creative blog series by Riikka Kovasin and Marsha Valk Inspired by is a blog series by my friend Riikka and I.

On the 10th of each month, we share what inspired us that month with you and each other.

It can be anything from a person, a film, a book, a painting, to an item, something found in nature or in the city, a colour scheme or some materials we bought or discovered.

We will also share how the source of inspiration affects our work. Consider it a window into our creative minds!