Inspired by | Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Stenen Matras // art journal page

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

Hi there! It’s the 10th today, and I’ve got a new instalment of Inspired by for you!

The theme this time is… Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Stenen Matras

Het stenen matras

I read the Dutch translation, which I found in my local library. As the English title suggests, there are nine stories in the book. The first three stories are connected, and that confused me, as I was expecting stories, and then it seemed like I was reading chapters instead.

I’m not a massive fan of bundled stories. I prefer a longer, more in-depth story that I can’t wait to get back to when I have more time to read. With stories, you have to start over again and again and again.

I didn’t like all of the stories in this book, but I did enjoy most of them. The characters are dark, strange, evil, revengeful and a bit crazy.

Whilst I was reading, I kept seeing scenes that made me wish I was an illustrator: the indigo and emerald bees of Alphinland in the first story, the twins in the third story or the contents of a storage facility in the fifth one.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Stenen Matras // art journal page

The project

The bees kept popping back into my head, so I decided to try and draw those. Which was even harder than I imagined, but it was nevertheless a fun exercise.

I used Derwent Inktense pencils to sketch and colour with. They are water-soluble, but permanent once dry, so I could work in several layers.

I also used red watercolour for the background, a black permanent fineliner for the outlines and a white Stabilo All to write.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Stenen Matras // art journal page

I finish the page with gold and bronze ink splatters. They represent the tears of the lady that is connected to the long black hair.

Conclusion

It took a long time before I felt like this page was presentable. Watercolour skills have been on my wishlist for far too long. Drawing skills too ;-). Maybe that’s something I can work on in the new year.

Of course, I’m also bothered by the colours of the bees in the middle panel. The blue one should have been green and vice versa. But I realised too late, and because I sketched with coloured pencils, there was no turning back. Which is fine. Life is too short to fret over sketchbook pages!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Stenen Matras // art journal page

Be sure to check out what Riikka has made this month on her blog Paperiliitin. I’ve already seen a glimpse, and I love it!

Take care and have a wonderful week!

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. 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.

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n*Studio | Each Day is a New Adventure + Colours Are My Friends

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Each Day is a New Adventure // art journal page

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Each Day is a New Adventure // art journal page

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! In fact, I have two to share this time, because I seem to have missed one…

Each Day is a New Adventure

Last month the n*Studio Creative Squad was asked to try something new in our art-making.

I had just bought a brand new set of Ecoline Brush Pens, and I decided to break them in on this little journal page, using some of Nathalie’s stamps.

Read the how-to in this post on Nathalie’s blog: Each Day is a New Adventure – Marsha Valk

Colours Are My Friends

Aren’t you wondering what I was wearing whilst creating this journal page? Well… my new apron of course!

Marsha Valk | n* Studio: Colours Are My Friends // apron stamped with ArtFoamies

Read the how-to for this one in this post on Nathalie’s blog: Colors Are My Friends – Marsha Valk

Marsha Valk | n*Studio : My Fire Burns Bright // detail of art journal page

My Fire Burns Bright

Curious about my project for December? Head on over here: My Fire Burns Bright – Marsha Valk

Don’t miss it, because I talk about Creative JumpStart and how it always inspires me!

Not signed up for CJS 2018 yet? I would love it if you would join us! Go to Creative JumpStart 2018 (affiliate link) to find out more!

n*Studio | Artful Adventures

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Artful Adventures // BeautifulDay

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!

Artful Adventures

Last month the n*Studio Creative Squad worked with Nathalie Kalbach’s new book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media (aff. link), to help find inspiration as we travel (or roam around the neighbourhood).

I didn’t leave the country this summer, but I did have a couple of artful adventures in Amsterdam. I documented one of them in my Traveler’s Notebook.

Read the how-to in this post on Nathalie’s blog: Artful Adventures – Marsha Valk

Curious about my project for September? Head on over here: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Marsha Valk

Materials used
n*Studio for Stencil Girl Products Amsterdam Stencil
n*Studio for Stencil Girl Products Chicago Stencil
n*Studio for Stencil Girl Products Mesa Verde Stencil

Other supplies:
Derwent Inktense Pencils (I have a set of 36 of which I used: Cherry, Fuchsia, Ink Black, Peacock Blue, Poppy Red, Sun Yellow, Teal Green)
Pentel Aquash Waterbrush
uniPosca markers (black PC-5m and PC-1m)
Sakura Pigma Micron 05

Please note that though some of the supplies were given to me, I will not benefit from any sales generated by the links!

n*Studio | Free For All

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Free For All

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!

Free For All

Last month the n*Studio Creative Squad didn’t have a theme, we could just do whatever we liked!

I have piles and piles of printed paper sitting under the desk in my workspace, waiting for a fun project to use them on.

Whilst sorting through the prints, I also came across an illustration I did a couple of years ago.

And that’s how one + one became this:

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Free For All

Read the how-to in this post on Nathalie’s blog: Free For All – Marsha Valk.

Curious about my project for August? Head on over here: Artful Adventures – Marsha Valk.

Materials used
n*Studio Buenos Aires Tile Foam Stamp
n*Studio Santa Fe Positive and Negative Foam Stamp Set
n*Studio Stroll Through the Hood 1 Cling Rubber Stamp Set (Brownstone, Lady Liberty, Star Tag)
n*Studio Stroll Through the Hood 2 Cling Rubber Stamp Set (E-Train, Mailbox, Warehouse)
n*Studio Cardboard Cling Rubber Stamp Set (Pie Top)
n*Studio Embroidery Cling Rubber Stamp Set (Cross Circle, Star Fish, Grannies, Love Knots)

White cardstock (I used A4 size)
Acrylic paint
StazOn Jet Black
Silhouette electronic cutting machine (mine is an antique, but it’s similar to the current Silhouette Portrait)
Adhesive
Scanner
Black pen

Please note that though almost all stamps were given to me, I will not benefit from any sales generated by the links!

Inspired by | Surprise Surprise

Inspired by: a monthly creative blog series by Riikka Kovasin and Marsha ValkIt’s the 10th, and I’ve got a new instalment of Inspired by to share!

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.

Christmasworld

In January, Riikka and I both attended Creativeworld at the Messe Frankfurt. Christmasworld is being held at the same time, and it’s the fair where new products and innovative trends for seasonal decorations are presented by manufacturers and wholesalers from all over the world.

I’ve never been to that part of the Messe, but Riikka found time to go this year and got bedazzled by the glim glam and madness of it all. She described it along the lines of Easter meets Christmas with rainbows, fairies, lollipops and fluffy cupcakes in pastel colours.

But don’t take my word for it: go to Riikka’s blog post to read about it first hand!

She gave me this brochure when she got back and said it would be awesome for Inspired by.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Surprise Surprise // art journal spread

Surprise Surprise

The inside of the brochure isn’t super special. I think the cover says it all, so I decided to use it as a mood board.

I toyed with the idea of creating something 3D but decided to go with my art journal instead for practical reasons.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Surprise Surprise // art journal spread

The idea for the elephant came from a photo of one of the Christmasworld displays I found on Instagram.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Surprise Surprise // art journal spread

And this is what I ended up with:

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Surprise Surprise // art journal spread

Conclusion

This was interesting!

I thought the colours of the mood board were out of my comfort zone, but in the end, I think that only the peachy pink colour isn’t one I use very often.

I really enjoyed drawing and painting the girl. I’m not that comfortable drawing ‘human’ figures, but maybe I should just explore it a bit more.

I loved mixing older and newer (to me) supplies: DecoArt Media fluid acrylics, Nathalie Kalbach’s Elephant stencil, WOW! Sparkles (Pumpkin Spice), the cute washi tape with baby animals that was kindly sent to me by Tapegarden and of course my favourite uniPosca pens!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Surprise Surprise // art journal spread

Now head over to Riikka. I can’t wait to see what she has come up with!

Enjoy your week!

n*Studio | Retrospective

Time flies when you’re having fun! Next month marks my one year anniversary with the n*Studio Creative Squad!

There’s a brand new project up on Nathalie Kalbach’s blog today. This time the theme is Let’s Go Somewhere and I even created a video tutorial to go along with it, so be sure to check that out here!

I haven’t shared any of the completed projects I made for the Creative Squad so far, so if you haven’t been visiting my friend Nathalie’s blog, you’re in for a treat!

Looking back on everything I created in the past year, I see some of my absolute favourites among the n*Studio projects. Nat (and her awesome assistant Kim)’s monthly prompts always seem to bring out the best in me.

Nat’s designs are of course also right up my alley, so I truly enjoy working with her stamps and stencils and I think that shows!

But you don’t have to believe my word for it… Take a look for yourself!

Click on the photo if you want to know more about the project, the materials I used and what prompted me to create it. The link will take you to the original blog post on Nathalie’s blog.

Opposites Attract
Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Opposites Attract \\ Gelli Prints

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Opposites Attract \\ Gelli Prints

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Opposites Attract \\ Gelli Prints

My City Speaks to Me
Marsha Valk | n*Studio: My City Speaks to Me \\ art journal page

Elephants Never Forget
Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Elephants Never Forget \\ Mixed media woodpanel

My Own Drum
Marsha Valk | n*Studio: My Own Drum \\ Mixed media cards

Letter to My Future Self
Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Letter to My Future Self \\ Mixed media art journal page A4

Say Yes to New Adventures
Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Say Yes to New Adventures \\ Gelli printed accordion booklet

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Say Yes to New Adventures \\ Gelli printed and doodled accordion booklet

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Say Yes to New Adventures \\ Gelli printed and doodled accordion booklet

From Small Beginnings
Marsha Valk | n*Studio: From Small Beginnings \\ Mixed media scrapbook page A4

Today is the Day
Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Today is the Day \\ DIY Mixed Media Planner Dividers

Good Things Just Keep Happening
Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Good Things Just Keep Happening \\ Mixed Media Gelli Prints

Return to the Light
Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Return to the Light \\ DIY stenciled votive candle holders

Dream a New Dream
Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Dream a New Dream \\ Mixed Media Art Journaling Page

Let’s Go Somewhere
Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Let's Go Somewhere \\ sneak peakCheck out my latest n*Studio Creative Squad project on Nat’s blog.

Enjoy your day!