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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
When 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.
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
Not 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!
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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!
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 Princessehofin 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.
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.!
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!
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!
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!
The 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!
The 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?
Anyway: 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!
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!
Chiara Spruit (Stijlcoach Indiaan in je kast) – photo by Yolande Avé Stijlcoach & Personal Shopper
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.
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!
I 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!!!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.