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!

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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!

Inspired by | Volume 2 – 2018: Colours and Trends

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - February 2018: Creative World

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

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

Much of the past month has revolved around Creative JumpStart 2018 and around Creative World, the massive annual trade fair for hobby, craft and art supplies that is held in Frankfurt.

And though I also managed to sneak in some artist dates, I haven’t been able to process those yet, so I’ll save them for another time.

This post is about what has truly inspired me in the past month. So… let’s go!

Max Ernst

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - February 2018: Max ErnstRemember that I told you last time that I didn’t think the impact of my visit to the Max Ernst Museum was over yet?

Because of the frottages, I did as a result of that visit, I accidentally discovered that crayon and monoprinting are a match made in heaven!

Check the Gelli Arts blog to see how I created these prints in my most recent published video tutorial.

Creative JumpStart 2018

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - February 2018: CJS2018I managed to create along until my own video went online on January 21st. That means that I filled a total of 21 pages in my passport sized Traveler’s Notebook!
Marsha Valk | Inspired by - February 2018: CJS2018Some people say that it takes 21 days to create a habit, but unfortunately, in my case, it didn’t. I just stopped on the 21st.

In my defence, it was the de week before Creative World, so that was my main priority at the time.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - February 2018: CJS2018I plan on watching all of the remaining videos eventually, but I have started new projects that need my attention first before I can dive back in.
Marsha Valk | Inspired by - February 2018: CJS2018The student gallery is a huge inspiration too. So many talented people joined Creative JumpStart 2018!

It is a delight to see what inspiration the participants took from each daily lesson and especially to see what they created after seeing my CJS video.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - February 2018: CJS2018Work shared by Jacqueline van Zuiden, Mary Thoma, Sue Sharp, Jennifer Reardon, Anne Aitken Anderson, Karen Hall, Debbie Kreischer, Cath Sheard and Tracey Gurley

I can’t believe the event is already over. Creative JumpStart is always such a blast!

Instagram Stories

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - February 2018: Instagram StoriesI’m inspired to get the hang of posting InstaStories. My regular Instagram feed is suffering because of it, but it’s such a relief to not (have to) overthink posting.

I mean: of course, I do! But I try not to.

Pantone Fashion Color Trend Reports Spring 2018

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - February 2018: Pantone Spring 2018Llama marionettes created for DoenKids.nl

I know the trend reports were published months ago, and the Pantone colour of 2018 was announced in December, but I guess I can’t wait for Spring to arrive and I wanted to play with a springlike colour palette.

I’ve created a colour chart, and I’ve already been using it for a couple projects this month!

Books

Fabric printing and stitching have been on my mind, and I’ve been checking the craft department of my local library for books on art quilts, patchwork, embroidery and/or stitching.

I found a couple, but I feel the library collection is somewhat dated. So if you have any book or source recommendations for these topics, then please do leave them in the comments!

I’ve also been reading The One Thing by Gary Keller (aff. link) which was recently recommended by Andy J. Miller on his podcast ‘Creative Pep Talk‘.

Creative World

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - February 2018: Creative WorldDina Wakley’s art journal and table at the Notions booth

And then there was Creative World!

It’s too soon to tell if and how the things I saw, heard and tried will inspire my work. It will take a while for specific items to hit the stores and besides I haven’t even had a chance to use any of the samples and goodies I brought home with me yet!

It always takes time for me to process what I saw, what I want to try, what I want to explore, what items I would like to add to my stash, what I want to do and who I want to work with.

One thing I know for sure is that we are all going to be affected by the trends. I always make sure to visit the trend shows at Creative World as well as Paper World, and I take photos of anything that catches my eye.

According to Creative World, the 2018 trends are:

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - February 2018: Creative WorldThe Purist
Marsha Valk | Inspired by - February 2018: Creative WorldThe Gardener
Marsha Valk | Inspired by - February 2018: Creative WorldThe Colourist

As you can probably guess, this last one was the most exciting to me, though I liked some of the ‘botanical’ stuff too and that has actually sparked some ideas.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - February 2018: Paper World

The stationery trends at Paper World showed similar colours, patterns and ideas, but in a sleeker and more elegant way.

A lot of what I saw of the stationery trends made me very happy. Especially the colourful and graphic patterns.

As for everything else that I saw: it just needs to percolate a bit before I can tell. You’ll have to stay tuned for that!

Siegfried Woldhek

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - February 2018: DeventerYesterday I went to Deventer for a portrait drawing workshop by Dutch artist and illustrator Siegfried Woldhek. I was allowed to take photos, but not allowed to share any on the internet.

It was super inspiring though!

It came as no surprise to me that I was one of the lesser skilled students, but I soon discovered that materials make all the difference. And my results are much better with materials I never use. My portrait drawing confidence is officially boosted!

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

Don’t forget to stop by Riikka’s blog Paperiliitin and read what has been on her mind 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 as a window into our creative minds!

Inspired by | Volume 1 – 2018: Chasing away the gloom

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: December Reflections and Gentle January

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

Hi there! It still isn’t the 10th… But I do have the January instalment of the ‘new’ Inspired by for you!

Inspired by is a blog series by my friend Riikka and I. As I explained in this post, we’re no longer deciding on a theme beforehand, and we’re also not creating something with that theme or thing in mind anymore.

From now on, each month, we’ll share our personal sources of inspiration with you (and each other) from the past month.

I decided to make a list because I’m finally getting my mojo back and I found I got excited and inspired by a lot of things. Which feels good, so good!

And it’s a long list… So let’s dive right in!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: December Reflections and Gentle January

Susannah Conway inspires me to keep looking. Even if the weather seems too gloomy and too dark to take photographs (I like).

Susannah hosted the photo-a-day project ‘December Reflections‘ in December and to create a soft(er) landing, she’s currently hosting ‘Gentle January‘.

I can’t seem to manage to take daily photos because December was so busy (and January appears to continue in the same fashion), but projects like this always help me see things in a different light.

Just this week I spotted a particular door on my way home from the gym and some things about the graveyard in my neighbourhood that I haven’t noticed before. At the very least it makes running errands a lot more enjoyable!

Xanthe Berkeley continues to inspire me to keep trying to catch stuff on video.

I’m not very successful at staying on the bandwagon yet, and I’m also not taking the time to edit the footage very often. But I’m determined to really make this happen at some point in 2018. Sooner rather than later!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: Frottage

Max Ernst. A visit to the Max Ernst Museum in Brühl, Germany at the beginning of December turned out to be a massive influence on my work the rest of the month. And I don’t think its impact is over just yet.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: Frottage

Max Ernst developed frottage (a rubbing technique) in 1925, and there was a wall full of his frottage artworks on display.

I tried my hand at crayon rubbings for my January n*Studio Creative Squad post.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: Frottage

I also looked into how I could best present the rubbings, which prompted me to look into frames and mats.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: Pastels

Mystele Kirkeeng inspired me to put some pastels on my Christmas wishlist. She also continues to prompt me to create crazy backgrounds and to draw girls.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: Lykke Moodstore

Lykke Moodstore inspired me to buy an Araucaria which then led me to change all the plant pots in the house!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: Carve December

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and lots of people that followed along with her Carve December challenge inspired me to carve two stamps.

Those stamps (and a couple of others that I’d carved before) found their way into my Gelli Arts video.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: Gelli Arts

Lou Ann Gleason of Gelli Arts inspired me to try Gelli printing on transparencies for my January Gelli Arts video.

It was so much fun!!! And in the process, I discovered a technique that I will show in my February video for Gelli Arts.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: Serious Request

Babette Schrijft and all of her Dutch handletter pals who raised money for the Red Cross with their Serious Lettering!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: Central Park Apeldoorn

They not only inspired me to give generously during the annual 3FM Serious Request fundraising event but also to visit the Glass House in Apeldoorn and explore the city.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: Makelight

Emily Quinton (Makelight) inspired me to create a flat lay with some of the German cookies and yummy chocolates we bought for the holidays.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: Recipes

Allerhande inspired me to pick up meal planning and cooking again. This is a magazine that is published by Albert Heijn, a Dutch supermarket chain.

Having braces installed unfortunately has meant that I had to radically change my eating habits in 2017. And frankly that I lost my appetite… It’s not back yet, but at least I’m making an effort again!

And last but c e r t a i n l y not least: Creative JumpStart 2018

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: Creative JumpStart 2018

I thought about how I could follow along with CJS2018 and make it work for me.

I figured I was more likely to keep up with it if I could work in a small journal. I settled on a passport-sized Traveler’s Notebook insert.

Which is a lot smaller than I usually work on/in. But it seems to do the trick because I’m now creating on a (semi-)daily basis!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: Creative JumpStart 2018

I love Creative JumpStart so much!

You never know what the featured teacher is going to show that day and what materials you are going to use. I’m going from acrylic paint to Pan Pastels, to crayons, to watercolours and back to acrylic paints again.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: Creative JumpStart 2018

I’m taking the time each day to learn, to try and to figure out what I like and what I don’t like about the lessons, the materials and the techniques.

If you want to follow along with what I do: I tend to share my results in my Instagram Stories.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by - January 2018: Creative JumpStart 2018

And… If you want in on Creative JumpStart 2018: it’s not too late to join us! There is plenty of time to catch up!

Go to Nathalie Kalbach’s website (affiliate link) to find out more and to register!

That’s a wrap!

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

Don’t forget to stop by Riikka’s blog Paperiliitin and read what has been on her mind 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 as a window into our creative minds!