Inspired by | Volume 6 – 2018: Slowly Getting Ready for Summer

Marsha Valk | 100 Day Project

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

Hi there! It’s the 10th… Here’s the June instalment of Inspired by!

Let’s keep it short and sweet today!

I don’t feel like I’ve been that creative… This month was more about digging deep, dusting off, blowing away cobwebs and letting go. There just wasn’t much room in my head for anything else! It also affected my #100DaysOfUsingACamera, so I’ll start there in a moment!

Marsha Valk | Inspired By: Ceramic Museum

I did spent time filling my inspiration well. I saw Wes Anderson’s new animation film ‘Ilse of Dogs‘, I went to the ceramic museum the Princessehof in Leeuwarden with my mom, and I visited Flehite, one of our local museums, on the last day before it closed for renovations.

I also ordered a couple of creative books to read this summer, and watched ‘Krabbé zoekt Gauguin‘. In this television series the Dutch actor, film director and fine artist Krabbé tells the story of Paul Gauguin’s life, who he was, and what influenced him and his work.

None of these things has inspired me to create. Yet. But you never know when it will come in handy!

The 100 Day Project
I made it to day 56 of the project. I missed nine more days since last month’s post, twelve in total. Which doesn’t have to be a huge deal, but I did skip five days in a row at one point. In my defence: I’m still in the middle of a major decluttering session, and there was scaffolding in our backyard. Everything was in a massive state during that week, and I just forgot about photographing altogether.

I decided against quitting though. Because something is percolating on my Marshas100DayProject feed. It may not be apparent to anyone else, but I’m learning ‘things’. And I want to see if I can get clearer on what it is I’m precisely learning in the next 44 (or more) days.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: The Stencilfied Journal

The Stencilfied Journal
I started a new journal last week! Fellow StencilGirl® Columnist Tina Walker initiated a super fun collaboration challenge called ‘The Stencilfied Journal’.

From June through September Tina will post one prompt a week (16 in total), and we’ll be creating a ‘Wreck this Journal’-esque journal StencilGirl® style. Tina already had me at ‘collab’, but the idea of ‘wrecking’ an art journal is just irresistible.

The second prompt will go live tomorrow, and this one will reveal a bit more of what’s in store for the next prompts!

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

For the first prompt, I stencilled my pages using StencilGirl® stencils, a mini Gelli Arts® gel printing plate, and Dina Wakley Media acrylics. I drew the circles with Posca markers, and the übercute die-cuts are designed by Marlene Meijer-van Niekerk for StudioLight.

I’m using a tiny 3.5″ x 5.5″ sketchbook, but any journal size will work. Just keep in mind that the journal *may* get wet, ripped up, stomped on, etc.!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Feathers

Feathers
Here’s a perfect example of how filling your creative well can have results long after the fact.

Back in March one of the prompts for Birgit’s ‘31 Days of Gel Printing Challenge‘ was to gel print on feathers. The feathers I had in my stash were too fluffy, and not suitable for printing on, so I decided to use them to print with instead.

The results were stunning!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Feathers

Fast forward to this month when Gelli Arts® sent new supplies for upcoming videos. The package contained these beautiful white feathers! They came in just in time for my next video tutorial, so I didn’t have to think twice about what I was going to demonstrate!

You can watch the video tutorial here: Gel Printing with the Gelli Arts® Feather Printing Kit

Krijt
The last thing I want to share is another visit to a local museum. You really do not have to go far to seek artful inspiration and to have a little fun.

I only went to KAdE to escape the renovations at home for a bit, and I came home with fun video footage and lots of inspiration!

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

Don’t forget to stop by Riikka’s blog Paperiliitin to see what she was up to in the past 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 | Creating Bangles with StencilGirl® Stencils

stencilgirl-columnist-marsha-valk-printmaking-with-stencils-banner

Have you seen my big news?! I’m now part of a fantastic team of StencilGirl® Columnists!!!

StencilGirl Columnists collage

Meet Debi Adams, Tina Walker, Kate Yetter, Janet Joehlin, Gwen Lafleur, Kiala Givehand, me, Anne Marie Fowler, Kristin Reese Williams, and Jennifer Armstrong!

Mary Beth Shaw created the StencilGirl® Columnist positions for professional and established artists and has paired up each selected Columnist with what she believes to be their mixed media specialty.

You can learn more about each Columnist and their speciality here on the StencilGirl® Talk blog: StencilGirl® Columnists

And whilst you are over there, you can read the first column! MY very first column!

Marsha Valk | StencilGirl® Column: Bangles

In it, I not only share how I transformed these plain wooden bangles but also my thought process and what inspired me.

Check it out here: Creating Bangles with StencilGirl® Stencils

Have a wonderful week!

Inspired by | Volume 5 – 2018: Accessorise

MarshaValk | Inspired By Volume 5-2018: Accessories

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

Hi there! It’s the 10th… And it’s time to share the May instalment of Inspired by with you!

Unlike last month when I wrote that it felt like I had just shared my previous post, it now feels like I haven’t posted in ages.

I don’t know whether that’s a good or a bad thing, but I do feel a bit like there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel. It also feels a lot like summer is here with super sunny days and high temperatures. So who am I to complain!

I’ll start with an update on my #100DaysOfUsingACamera!

MarshaValk | Inspired By Volume 5-2018: 100 Day ProjectThe 100 Day Project
The good news is that I’m still going! Here’s a list of my realisations along the way:

  • I’m recording things that I haven’t recorded before or at least not in a while.
  • I missed a couple of days, and apparently, Fridays are particularly bad days for picking up a camera.
  • I never feel like bringing a camera along when I have to go out and about. Both cameras are too heavy and bulky. I don’t have a huge purse, and when it comes to taking a (note)book or a camera or my sunglasses or a camera, the camera never wins…
  • Most times I only seem to think of picking up my camera when I sit down. Which is often at the table in the living room. Or when I’m watering plants. This reminds me of how my husband always complains about the amount of food and drink related vacation photos. It’s just because when you sit down at a table you aren’t busy looking, following directions or doing anything else!
  • I don’t feel like picking up the camera when I already spent a portion of the day on work-related photography. Which is OK. I’m rolling with it.
  • The problem with work-related photography is that I can’t always publish a photo right away. But I still want all the entries to appear in the right order on my Marshas100DayProject feed, so I’m archiving these photos until the project I was working on goes online. In theory, this means it’s possible to catch a glimpse of something secret on my feed. But only if you watch it like a hawk. And don’t blink.
  • I caved and ordered a small tripod. I didn’t think I would ever need one. But stacking books will only get you so far. And said books aren’t always around either.
  • I promised myself beforehand that I wouldn’t have to take the look of my Instagram feed into account for this project. And I don’t. I just post what I have for that day. I do notice when/where the order of the feed could be better, BUT it surprisingly doesn’t look half as bad as I thought it would look! I even have an accidental colour scheme going on! I’m excited to find out what my conclusions at the end of the 100 days will be in this respect.
  • On the note of just posting what I have: I’m still flying at the seat of my pants. I have collected a couple of photography challenge prompt lists, but I haven’t used any of them yet. All of my posts were spur of the moment ones or event or work-related. I do read Studio Polle‘s daily prompts for #100daysconceptualplayground every morning, and sometimes my photo is influenced by it. I never use the hashtag though because I don’t want to mess up the artful hashtag feed with my ‘real life’ photos.
  • At the moment I feel neutral about the project. It’s not a huge deal. I’m not particularly enjoying it, but I don’t hate it either, and I’m determined to keep it going. I’m mainly curious about how I’ll feel and what I’ve learned once I’ve completed the 100 days. I think slow and steady wins the race in this case!

34 days down, 66 to go!

Now let’s dive into my primary sources of inspiration this month!

MarshaValk | Inspired By Volume 5-2018: 100 Day ProjectThe 100 Day Project(!)
Knowing that I spend a lot of time at home, I anticipated going into the project that the subject of home decor and clutter would come up for me. So I made sure this was in a way part of Marshas100DayProject.

Well over a month into it there are only minor changes visible. But there was a fair amount of decluttering going on in April, and I think both my husband and I are now much clearer on what we’re missing, what’s in need of change (or repairs) and what we would like to add (or get rid of).

I’ve been studying interior design, home decor, styling etc. too. To be honest: it’s daunting. Especially if an interior designer sums up what makes a delightful home and your house doesn’t seem to tick any of the boxes. Is that going make all of my efforts pointless?

MarshaValk | Inspired By Volume 5-2018: 100 Day ProjectAnyway: we’ve been gardening too. Sowing some climbers and sunflowers. Adding potted plants. Nothing too shocking because we have an idea about how we can change the yard to make it work better for us. We’re just not ready to tackle that project yet. Small steps!

MarshaValk | Inspired By Volume 5-2018: Susan's GardenSusan’s Garden
On the subject of flowers: I can’t remember if I wrote this already, but I enjoyed meeting Susan Tierney-Cockburn at the Elizabeth Craft Designs booth at Creative World in Frankfurt this year. And I’ve been dying to try my hand at making some flowers with her dies ever since.

So in the build-up to Art Specially (which took place 14 & 15 April) Esther of Artchicks Studio lend me some of the dies to play with. Of course, I didn’t have enough time to complete any project with them yet, but at least I gave it a go. I have a list of project ideas though, and I will get to them eventually!

Volume 5-2018: Accessories - PHOTO OF INDIAAN IN JE KAST PHOTO BY YOLANDE AVEChiara Spruit (Stijlcoach Indiaan in je kast) – photo by Yolande Avé Stijlcoach & Personal Shopper

Accessories
I don’t know why and I don’t know how but accessories were a reoccurring theme this past month. It started with helping my aunt sort through some of her accessory drawers.

Then I attended a fun and eye-opening workshop about accessories by style coach Chiara from Indiaan in je kast (which was organised by ‘my’ style coach Yolande Avé).

Chiara gave a lot of useful information during the workshop, and there was a lot to think about afterwards. I organised my own jewellery and scarves the next day… And from then on I started to try on different earrings, rings and bracelets every day. Just for fun!

I didn’t buy anything new until I visited the Jewellery – made by, worn by exhibition in Museum Volkenkunde. I could not resist some of the bangles that are sold in the museum shop. And I only went to see the exhibition because Chiara had mentioned it!

MarshaValk | Inspired By Volume 5-2018: AccessoriesI also found two new scarves, and I bought a couple of hair accessories to try out.

But please don’t think that I’m now going to fill my closets with random new stuff! That’s not what I want, and I’m glad to report that I don’t have to. Because a huge point that Chiara makes is that the best accessories have stories.

That’s why some of them are just ‘meh’ and others you will hang on to for the rest of your life. Chances are you will not find the latter on the highstreet anyway. You could. But probably not.

There’s lots more to say about the workshop, the exhibition and the museum but because my inspiration didn’t end here, I’ll share more about it in my first column for StencilGirl® Talk. Which is coming up very soon, so the wait isn’t too long!!!

Volume 5-2018: Gelli Arts Multilayered Gel PrintingMultilayered printmaking
The last thing I want to mention is printmaking. Layered printmaking. For my latest Gelli Arts® video, I was initially inspired by screenprints and those layered stamp sets that are all the rage right now.

I went on a wild Google chase until I had an idea of how I could create something like it with the gel printing plate. And I found so many awesome things along the way that I wish could take a course in printmaking techniques!

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

Don’t forget to stop by Riikka’s blog Paperiliitin to see what she was up to in the past 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 4 – 2018: Projects and challenges

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - April 2018: The 100 Day Project 03

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

Hi there! It’s the 10th… And I can’t believe it’s time to share the April instalment of Inspired by with you!

It feels like I only posted last month’s yesterday! But the good thing about these monthly posts is that when I write them, I take inventory of the things that happened, what I worked on and also how much time I spent to fill my inspiration well.

March felt like a whirlwind, not in the least because I travelled to Germany twice. But I still somehow found some free time to play along with my friend Birgit Koopsen’s Gel Printing Challenge, and I’m also happy to report that I visited not one but two museums last week!

Five things stood out to me inspiration-wise this month, so… Let’s go!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - April 2018: Birgit Koopsen Gel Printing Challenge

31 Days of Gel Printing Challenge
If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen that I managed to share photos for 24 of the 31 prompts Birgit cooked up for her fabulous and immensely fun challenge.

This was gel printing without thinking about it too much, trying to catch up, having fun with it, working techniques I had never done before, and of course, I did lots of printing like I always do.

I love, love, loved seeing what all the other participants were posting. So many cool ideas. So many cool results! Check out the hashtag #birgitkoopsengelprintingchallenge on Instagram to see for yourself!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - April 2018: Vacation Home

Bochum
My first trip to Germany took me to Creativa in Dortmund. I was there to help at the Elizabeth Craft Designs booth.

The show was massive, and though I did some quick walks through a couple of the halls, I didn’t find my primary source of inspiration there.

It was the vacation home we stayed in!

The house was small, but it had everything you need. It looked so cool, it was welcoming, comfortable and styled to a T!

I loved it so much that I wished I could have taken it home with me.

I’ve tried to analyse what it was that appealed me so much about it besides the bold colour choices. I liked the dark kitchen and the layout of it.

I liked that there were coat racks everywhere where you would need them. The lighting was very cosy. There were bright orange curtains in the living room!!!

But the one thing I immediately noticed was the use of natural materials. Because that’s something that is not lacking in my own home, but it isn’t as prominent.

So I know what my next interior decorating mission is going to be!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - April 2018: Basquiat

Frankfurt
The second trip to Germany took me to Frankfurt. Not for work this time, just for pleasure!

My goal was to visit the Basquiat Boom For Real exhibition at the Schirn Kunsthalle. It was the first thing Harold, and I did after checking into our hotel.

Everything we saw and did after that was a bonus!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - April 2018: The 100 Day Project 01

The 100 Day Project
Whilst we were in Germany, The 100 Day Project started.

This is my first attempt at the project after admiring so many Instagrammers do it before me. It’s about doing one (creative) task every day for a 100 days.

I listened to all the advice. I chose a daily task that seems doable to me, and that doesn’t have to take me more than 5 minutes per day.

So no sketches or collages or gel printing or anything like that for me.

I chose a task that will get me off the phone and that will (hopefully) help me use my ‘real’ cameras better.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - April 2018: The 100 Day Project 02

I simply called it #100DaysOfUsingACamera.

I purposely called it ‘using a camera’, because in my heart I really want to do videos. But I know I don’t have time to tape and edit a video a day.

So that’s why I’m initially going with photography and who knows… I might eventually get to use the video part of the camera too!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - April 2018: The 100 Day Project 05

I’m starting off with getting to know my compact camera better.

It’s a camera I purchased last year for taping video, but it’s a different brand than the cameras I’m accustomed to, and I just haven’t taken the time to find out how to use it.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - April 2018: The 100 Day Project 06

That’s why some of the photos I’ve been sharing on my Marshas100DayProject Instagram account aren’t that great. It’s because I don’t know what I’m doing!

I’m confident that it will get better with practice. That’s the whole point!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - April 2018: The 100 Day Project 04

Gelli Arts® Gel Printing In My Traveler’s Notebook
Last Saturday I taught a workshop at the ArtChicks Studio monthly Mixed Media Café.

It was a super fun group of people, we had a great time together, and I hate to say it, but I have no photographic evidence whatsoever.

I do have the project I taught because it’s in my latest Gelli Arts® video tutorial!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - April 2018: The 100 Day Project 03

The inspiration for the video and the project came from gel prints I made during Birgit’s challenge, but also because the workshop required me to print directly into a journal.

I loved the result so much that now I can’t stop making pages like this!

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

Don’t forget to stop by Riikka’s blog Paperiliitin to see what she was dying to create in the past 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 3 – 2018: Taking Time Out

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - March 2018: Ecoline

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

Hi there! It’s the 10th… And I have the March instalment of the ‘new’ Inspired by for you!

It doesn’t seem like February was a very inspiring month.

Perhaps it’s because I felt a bit under the weather and that resulted in me working extra hard on some days and then having even lower energy levels on other days.

This has inspired me to think about better ways to deal with my time. I’ve started to look more closely at where I spend my time, and I want to get better at batching chores and get more of a routine going.

I did manage to do a couple of things to fill my inspiration bucket though!

Ecoline

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - March 2018: Royal Talens Ecoline WorkshopI attended a class about Ecoline at the Royal Talens Experience Centre.

Which immediately prompted me to create swatches of all the liquid watercolours I have in my stash, but… I didn’t finish the piece I started in class, and I didn’t practise any further either.

And I need practice because my watercolour skills are still limited. So yesterday, in an attempt to clear my head for a bit, I finally gave it another try.

The paper they gave us to use in the class was far more forgiving than my Moleskine watercolour journal. Better quality, a lot smoother and of course it was taped to a board to prevent the paper from buckling.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - March 2018: EcolineAnyway: It didn’t go well. Which is OK. I was practising after all!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - March 2018: EcolineBut I also wanted to show it here. So, in the end, I decided to admit my defeat (for now) and called coloured pencils and felt tip (brush) pens to the rescue.

Antwerp

I also visited Antwerp.

Antwerp is a familiar place. I know my way around, and I always find something to photograph.

We mostly just wander with no end goal in sight.

That’s fine because we’ve been there many times before and we know we will be back again. There is no need for haste to see the sights.

Sure, there are some we haven’t seen yet. But there is always next time!

Vacation photos

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Vacation ModeI revisited vacation photos and let them inspire me to create my last project for the n*Studio Creative Squad.

Needlework

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - March 2018: StitchingAnd maybe you remember that I told you last month that I was interested in fabric printing and stitching?

In the end, all I needed was right under my nose!

There is a book on my bookshelf on needlework that I’ve used for at least three decades to figure out how to knit, crochet, macramé and embroider.

No idea why I thought I had to look for inspiration elsewhere. And I’m super happy with the result!

You can watch my video tutorial for Gelli Arts® here: Create a Fabric Book with the Gelli Arts® Patch Printing Kit

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

Don’t forget to stop by Riikka’s blog Paperiliitin to see what she was dying to create in the past 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!

n*Studio | Vacation Mode

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Vacation Mode

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Vacation Mode

It’s my 25th turn on the n*Studio blog today! Which is super cool but also bittersweet as it’s actually my goodbye post…

I’m leaving the n*Studio Creative Squad!

I’ve just had a look at all of the projects I created in the past two years. Wow, did I make a lot of different things! And I remember all of the projects well, not in the least because Nat and Kim always make sure that there is an excellent theme for each month.

I can honestly say that there is a story behind every single n*Studio project I did and to me that makes my time with the Squad really special. The combination of the themes and Nat’s stamps and stencils challenged me in the very best way possible.

I experimented, even made some videos and always tried to come up with something fun. I’m incredibly thankful that Nat invited me to be part of her awesome team and it was an absolute pleasure to be a part of it!

There’s an overview of all of my projects (and that of my fellow Squad members) on the Creative Squad page on Nat’s website, if you’d like to have a look too!

This month’s theme is Vacation Mode, and there’s a step-by-step of how I created the cards above here: Vacation Mode – Marsha Valk

Enjoy your day!