Creative JumpStart 2017 | Jump into Summer SALE


Are you looking for some Summertime inspiration? And did you miss out on Creative JumpStart 2017 in January?! Then you are in luck!

Nathalie Kalbach (aff. link) is running a 20% off sale on Creative JumpStart 2017 from June 16th 12:01 am EST – June 23rd 11:59 pm EST!

Sign up for only $40 (instead of the regular price of $50) and have an awesome resource for creative inspiration to last you all Summer long!

Having watched all the videos myself back in January, I can assure you that it’s a true treasure trove of stunning projects to watch come to life as well as countless techniques and fun ideas for you to try.

You’ll get 27 downloadable instructional mixed media videos by leading mixed media artists (+ me!) and access to the CJS2017 classroom and galleries until November 2017.

For more info go to Nathalie’s website (aff. link)!

Give yourself permission to JUMP this Summer!!!

Inspired by | Throwback

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Throwback // Mixed Media Accordion Fold

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

It’s the 10th and I’m back with an instalment of Inspired by!

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

And… this month we chose a throwback. But not any throwback: a throwback to our very first blog post.

Hello!

Ten years ago today I posted this post. I wrote in Dutch and it was a brief one:

Welcome to my blog! I have no clue what I’m doing at the moment, but the idea is that you can see my activities here. And this is what I created today: a photo display after the example of the British Mandy Anderson. I attended her workshop ‘Dubious Doily’ at Scrap-A-Ganza last week.


It really is a blast from the past… Seems a lifetime ago! Definitely longer than 10 years. But the stats don’t lie, so I have to believe it.

Scrap-A-Ganza was one of those huge scrapbook events with lots of workshops and a market where you could get the latest and greatest scrapbooking supplies. This was probably the first one I visited.

I remember Mandy Anderson as a blonde, but I don’t recall anything else about her… I haven’t found her online, so I wonder what she’s doing now.

I still have the photo display. I keep it in a little cupboard with the rest of my mini books. I hadn’t looked into that cupboard for a while and I was surprised at what I found. I have forgotten about a lot of the scrapbooking projects I’ve made over the years.

To keep

As my first post was about a specific project, I decided that I wanted to re-create that project, but in a way I would do it now.

Now, this project was the result of a workshop and knowing me, I probably followed the teacher’s instructions to a T. So I can’t say that this project is something that I would have made on my own. But I do know that I would not make anything like it today!

So what would I make today?

Instead of a photo display, I would most probably make a little book. I really like accordion folded books and I pulled out one of the ready made ones that are in my stash.

The me of today also wouldn’t scrapbook photos from a holiday in Spain. But the one thing I really like about the photo display are… the photos. So they had to stay! And as I could not print them directly onto the pre-made accordion fold, I decided I would have to transfer them.

Lazertran

Gel medium transfers didn’t seem like a good idea because I wasn’t sure how the paper of the accordion fold would hold up. But I remembered that I had a couple of sheets of Lazertran waterslide decal paper for inkjet printers, that I’ve had for years, but never used.

This is how it works:
1 | Print photos (with your inkjet printer) onto the chalky side of the Lazertran waterslide decal paper for inkjet printers
2 | Leave them to dry for about 30 minutes.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Throwback 3 | Cut (or tear) your images to size.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Throwback // Mixed Media Accordion Fold 4 | Drop the image into a dish of water and wait until the decal releases.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Throwback // Mixed Media Accordion Fold

And then this is what I did:
5 | Put the decal on a paper towel to get rid of the excess water.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Throwback // Mixed Media Accordion Fold 6 | Apply a thin coat of gel medium to the back of the decal and glue it onto the accordion fold.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Throwback // Mixed Media Accordion Fold

Once I had all the photos adhered to the booklet, I trimmed the edges and started to paint to make it all flow together.

I didn’t want to make it too serious, so I added little clouds and drew some lines around the images. I also added Ecoline in some areas and I added the titles with india ink and a brush.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Throwback // Mixed Media Accordion Fold

Conclusion

Lazertran is fun stuff! There is so much more you can do with the decals, like putting them on a wooden or metal surface or over a gelli print, patterned paper or a drawing.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Throwback // Mixed Media Accordion Fold

It is kind of delicate though and it was hard to paint or write over. On the other hand: it took the Ecoline really well. So maybe it’s just a question of more experimenting. Or… maybe I should have applied a coat of clear gesso before I worked on top of it…

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Throwback // Mixed Media Accordion Fold

Maybe next time! That is if I can still find it somewhere, because I only had four sheets and I used them all up!

Now, don’t let me keep you any longer! I’m super curious to see Riikka‘s first blog post and what she was inspired to create!

n*Studio | Live Like it’s Spring

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Live Like It's Spring

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Live Like It's Spring

It’s my turn on the n*Studio blog today! Which means that it’s time to share last month’s project with you here!

Live Like it’s Spring

Last month the assignment, in short, was ‘Create in the Spirit of Spring’, using any of the new Wanderlust stencils.

It made me think of ‘When it’s Spring again I’ll bring again…’ Tulips from Amsterdam! Created in my craft room about 50 km east of Amsterdam… but that’s near enough I think ;-).

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Live Like It's Spring

You can read the how-to in this post on Nathalie’s blog: Live Like it’s Spring – Marsha Valk.

And just in case you are curious about my creative and photographic take on today’s Artful Adventures Stroll Challenge prompt, then head on over to Nat’s blog too: Out and About – Marsha Valk.

Materials used
Stencil Girl Products – n*Studio Amsterdam Stencil 9″x12″
Stencil Girl Products – n*Studio Buenos Aires Stencil 9″x12″
Stencil Girl Products – n*Studio Manhattan Stencil 9″x12″
Stencil Girl Products – n*Studio Mesa Verde Stencil 9″x12″
Stencil Girl Products – n*Studio Santiago Stencil 9″x12″
Stencil Girl Products – n*Studio Toledo Stencil 9″x12″
Copy paper (80gsm)
Drawing paper (Fabriano, 160gsm)
Gelli plate (Gelli Arts, 5”x7” and 8”x10”)
Brayer
Acrylic paint (Royal Talens Amsterdam)
Matte medium (Liquitex)

Please note that though a couple of these materials were given to me, I will not benefit from sales generated by the links!

n*Studio | Artful Adventures

n*Studio: Artful Adventures

n*Studio: Artful Adventures

My friend Nathalie Kalbach has written a book! It’s called Artful Adventures in Mixed Media (aff. link) and it’s full of mixed media art and techniques.

The official release day is June 8th and Nat is hosting an Artful Adventures Stroll Challenge in the 30 days leading up to the release.

We’re now on day 10 of the (photo) challenge and it’s not too late to join in!

You can view the prompts at the end of my post and start right away or you can go to Nat’s website and register to get access to the optional classroom.

I’m sharing the photos I take for the challenge on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there, especially if you want to read the thoughts and explanations that go with them!

I’ve also started a new art journal for my creative takes on the prompts. On Tuesday I’ll be sharing my take on the ‘Pattern’ prompt on Nat’s blog for my monthly n*Studio Creative Squad post!

I hope you’ll join us! Enjoy your weekend!

Marsha Valk | Artful Adventures: 1 Home

Marsha Valk | Artful Adventures: 3 Fence

Marsha Valk | Artful Adventures: 4 Mailbox

Marsha Valk | Artful Adventures: 5 Shiny

Marsha Valk | Artful Adventures: 6 Window

Marsha Valk | Artful Adventures: 7 Sky

Marsha Valk | Artful Adventures: 8 Ground

Marsha Valk | Artful Adventures: 9 Plantlife

n*Studio: Artful 30 Day Prompts By Date

Inspired by | Eino Leino: Nocturne

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Nocturne

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

It’s the 10th and I’m back with a regular instalment of Inspired by!

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

This month the theme is (again) something we’ve never tried before. I think the first idea was to find something that would evoke a feeling. And Riikka immediately thought of a poem.

The poem she chose for us to work with is:

Nocturne by Eino Leino (translated by Keith Bosley)

The corncrake’s song rings in my ears,
above the rye a full moon sails;
this summer night all sorrow clears
and woodsmoke drifts along the dales,
I do not laugh or grieve, or sigh;
the forest’s darkness breathes nearby,
the red of clouds where day sinks deep,
the blue of windy hills asleep,
the twinflower’s scent, the water’s shade
of these my heart’s own song is made.

You, girl as sweet as summer hay,
my heart’s great peace, I sing to you,
O my devotion, tune and play
a wreath of oak twigs, green and new.
I have stopped chasing Jack-o’-Lantern,
I hold gold from the Demon’s mountain;
around me life tightens its ring,
time stops, the vane has ceased to swing;
the road before me through the gloom
is leading to the unknown room.

According to Wikipedia, this is the most famous Finnish poem and it describes the natural mystique related to Finnish summertime. Leino wrote it in July 1903 and it was first published in 1905.

I’m sure Riikka has a lot to say about Eino Leino and this poem in particular. I, on the other hand, don’t think I can even begin to grasp the entire meaning of the poem. I’m guessing most of it has gotten lost in translation and I suspect hidden meanings or cultural references, but I have no clue what they are.

The feeling

I do know that Leino was a neo-romantic, so it makes sense that this poem is about feelings/emotions, love, nature and death/ending.

To me, it describes that feeling you can have at the end of summer. You just don’t want it to end, but there’s the inevitable change in the air and a yearning for new adventures.

Anyway, that’s what it evokes in me. That feeling of the last day before school would start again after six weeks of summer holidays. You don’t want the holidays to end, but you also look forward to seeing your friends (or colleagues) again, going back to a normal routine and the return of crisper air.

The words (in this translation) also seem to describe a meditative state: standing still, aware of all the sights, sounds and smells around, feeling feelings, listening to the heart.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Nocturne

The project

It’s weird to think about the end of summer, when spring has barely begun!

I thought about the end of summers long ago, I thought about the last BBQ of the season in recent years, I thought about the end of vacations, of other things I never wanted to end… And I decided that I didn’t want to go there. Not literally.

I also really liked the images that formed in my head through the words of the poem. So I asked myself what I felt like doing (Gelli printing… what else!) and then I went to work.

First I sketched a landscape, then I cut out each element so I could use them as masks and then I started printing.

Once I had everything printed, I went back in with more acrylic paint, water-soluble crayons and a fine-tip paint pen.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Nocturne

I worked on two prints at the same time, thinking that if I messed up, I would have a duplicate. They both ended up pretty decent!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Nocturne

Conclusion

Despite that I didn’t want this to be about my own memories, they’re still there. A real sunset (without clouds moving into view at the last moment) is still on my bucket list, but pine trees, a lake, smoke, the stars and a full moon are all things I associate with summer and (one or more) vacations.

It’s funny how that works!

Now… I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to learn more about this famous Finnish poem and what it means to Riikka. You can visit her blog here: Paperiliitin!

Enjoy your day!

Inspired by | Lollipop Box Club

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

Soooo… April is (almost) over and I still owe you the second part of this month’s Inspired by!

Riikka and I teamed up with Lollipop Box Club this month!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Lollipop Box Club

Lollipop Box Club is a monthly subscription kit club for those who like all things crafty, papercrafts, fun stationery, pretty planners or you just simply love receiving happy mail.

And oh, do I love receiving happy mail!!!

I’m not a subscriber though. Riikka is, but for this Inspired by Lisa from Lollipop Box Club kindly sent us each a free kit to play with.

Here’s a quick look at the super cute contents of the April 2017 kit:

I received my box just before Easter and I had travel plans later in the week. This meant that I didn’t really have time to play with it until after my trip.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Lollipop Box Club

I did some faffing around with it though, filmed the unboxing and published a couple of Boomerangs in my Instagram Stories. I also took a couple of photos, but decided to think about a project later.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Lollipop Box Club

At least that’s what I thought I would do… But instead I kept thinking about how much fun I had just pushing the contents of the box around, creating little square flatlays! I also got obsessed with the little word strips in the ‘Treats’ package.

So in the end I decided to just give in and create more ‘vignettes’ (not sure if that’s the proper word for it…)!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Lollipop Box Club

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Lollipop Box Club

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Lollipop Box Club

I loved receiving the Lollipop Box Club April kit. It really is übercute and I can see myself using up all the little bits and bobs in my planner, on gifts and mail etc.

And as you can see, I’ve also discovered that the contents can be very useful and fun to use as photo props!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Lollipop Box Club

Riikka has already posted the gorgeous clustered cards she made with the kit on her blog Paperiliitin.

PS. Last time I checked there still were a few April kits available at the Lollipop Box Club website and Lisa is already taking orders for the May kit!