Inspired by | Tea

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

Hi! It’s the 10th again… Time for another 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’s theme is a beverage we both love and drink everyday:


I don’t remember how I came up with this month’s theme exactly, but if I have to take a guess, I think I had either tea packaging, a tea story or tea dyeing in mind and as Riikka and I are both tea drinkers, it just made sense!

Riikka sent me tea, called Lumi-kellot, which Google Translate tells me are snowdrops. At first glance I thought it would be a winter tea, flavoured with cinnamon or apple or berries, but it isn’t. It’s banana tea!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Tea

Anyway: I really wanted to try tea dyeing, because I had never done it before. Well, I have… I’ve used tea splatter in workshops by the fabulous Finnabair, but that’s about it.

I grabbed some watercolour paper and I chose four teas from my stash that I thought would make different tints of colour: the black banana tea, a Christmas tea that I hoped would make the paper turn pink, nettle tea and remnant of rose green tea. Then I put the kettle on and the experimenting began!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Tea

I flooded, submerged, steeped and double steeped the paper and I dripped tea onto it. I even attempted ‘watercolouring’!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Tea

The black banana tea worked the best and it turned the paper a lovely tea colour. The Christmas tea didn’t turn the paper pink, but a nice lighter tea colour and the flowers and other stuff in there made nice marks on the paper.

The nettle tea turned the paper a beautiful soft green and the rose green tea just gave the paper a faint yellow colour. I think that I could have gotten more colour out of that one if I would’ve had more tea leaves.



So… my take on the theme was mostly tea dyeing and then I thought: oh, but I also have to make something!

I’ve drawn as a pastime over the holidays, because it was something I could do in the company of others and I could easily stick a couple of pens, a pencil and some paper in my purse.

I also already made some tea inspired prints in November, so kind off inspired by that I created a couple of fun ATC’s with the tea dyed watercolour paper.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Tea


Tea dyeing is as fun as I guessed it would be. I’m inspired to try other dye methods too, but maybe I should wait for Spring or Summer to experiment more.


I used up some watercolour paper that was collecting dust in my craft space. It’s too textured for my taste and it was hard to draw the tea cups on, because of the bumps. But… I went with it. I also used coloured pencils, which I hardly ever do and I even broke out my sewing machine, which I don’t use that often any more!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Tea

This was a good experiment and a good exercise in looking what I have on hand and using stuff I usually don’t give a second glance. I call it a win-win!

Now, let’s take a look at what my awesome friend has created. Visit Riikka here: Paperiliitin!

Edit: I’ve created an Inspired by | Tea board on Pinterest, if you would like to see more tea inspiration!

myStampBOX Fall Showcase

Fall is here! It feels like summer though: it’s been very warm and sunny over the last couple of days… But even if it looks like summer outside, the calendar tells us it’s autumn and that’s why there is a Fall Showcase over on the myStampBOX blog today.

I’ve created this fabric ATC with the myStampBOX sets Abundant Blossoms, Back to the Basics, Funky Flowers and Mini Alpha. Other materials used: StazOn, lots of Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist and Ranger Adirondack Color Wash, WRMK eyelet, Pink Paislee Mistable ribbon, felt and fabrics, green ribbon, string, bead.

The text is part of a Albert Camus quote: ‘Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower’.

Visit the myStampBOX blog for more fall inspiration!

Nieuwe ATC swap


Ik verveel me allerminst! Vandaag begon regenachtig, dus had ik een prima excuus om te werken aan een serie ATC’s voor een SIS TV Swap. Zo’n swap heeft altijd een thema en dit keer is het thema ‘retro women’. Ik had eerst wat moeite met het vinden van geschikte plaatjes, maar toen herinnerde ik me het mapje met mooie vintage ansichtkaarten van Doris Day, Romy Schneider en Gina Lollobrigida, dat op zolder lag. Die kaarten, die mijn moeder en mijn vader in hun tienerjaren hebben gespaard, kwamen me nu goed van pas! Eigenlijk zou ik er eens iets meer mee moeten doen. Ik moet ook nog ergens een schriftje hebben dat mijn moeder heeft volgeplakt…

De afgelopen week was een beetje druk. Harold en ik zijn onder meer naar een aantal examenexposities van kunstacademies geweest. Ik heb daar veel interessant werk gezien! Ik heb ook wat gescrapt voor Piens Atelier en ik heb voorbereidingen getroffen voor een aantal opdrachten die de komende weken af moeten. Het belooft een zeer creatieve zomer te worden!