Inspired by | Warmth

Marsha Valk Inspired by: Warmth // Mini book 2007

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! This time we chose a word for the theme…

Warmth

The days are getting shorter and shorter now, I’ve already started wearing cardigans and sweaters, and I’ll have to bring out the knitted scarves and gloves soon too.

I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m not a huge fan of winter or gloomy autumn weather. I don’t care about the cold, but I do mind the days in which it feels like dawn all day long.

We’ve had days like that this week in fact, and I’ll just have to get used to it again, but it’s still a bit frustrating especially when you really need to photograph or film something.

The word

Warmth – when Riikka suggested it as a theme, it immediately made me think of ‘hygge’.

I don’t know if it’s still as big of a ‘thing’ as last year. I haven’t felt the need to read any of the books about it because I think I already get the concept.

It’s very similar to Dutch ‘gezelligheid’ (though not entirely the same), and I totally need lots of it to get through the winter months.

Marsha Valk Inspired by: Warmth // Mini book 2007

I even made a mini book about it once, long before I had ever heard of the term ‘hygge’.

Old-school scrapbooking

I’ve had a look in the blog archives to see if there is a post I could link to, but… it seems I’ve never shared it here. I think it must have been a design team project (for Piens Atelier) that was exclusive to the DT blog.

Marsha Valk Inspired by: Warmth // Mini book 2007

Marsha Valk Inspired by: Warmth // Mini book 2007

Marsha Valk Inspired by: Warmth // Mini book 2007

It’s oooooold. I made it in December 2007! But the funny thing is that although I maybe would not use the exact same supplies, I could still make a very similar book today. It’s actually one of the very few scrapbook projects I’ve made that doesn’t feel super dated!

Marsha Valk Inspired by: Warmth // Mini book 2007

Marsha Valk Inspired by: Warmth // Mini book 2007

Marsha Valk Inspired by: Warmth // Mini book 2007

All of the small pleasures I feature in the mini book are still valid too, though I’m sorry to admit that I’ve gone a bit off chocolate ever since I’ve had my braces installed…

Marsha Valk Inspired by: Warmth // Mini book 2007

Marsha Valk Inspired by: Warmth // Mini book 2007

Marsha Valk Inspired by: Warmth // Mini book 2007

Marsha Valk Inspired by: Warmth // Mini book 2007

Conclusion

Sometimes I’m tempted to just throw all of my old scrapbook projects away. I’ve gotten rid of some already. You know: the ones that I didn’t like in the first place.

Honestly: it would be okay if I chucked the lot because most of the pages and projects are documented in photos anyway. But for some reason I still hold on to many of them, and this mini book is one of the few that I really like.

It was created at a time when I was only a couple months into blogging. Receiving product to create with was brand new to me. I wasn’t drowning in supplies yet and I was super stoked to get a pizza box full of new scrapbook goodies in the mail. It made me feel so inspired!

I also remember being really pleased with the photos I took. I didn’t own a DSLR, no iPhone: my compact camera was my best friend, and I carried it everywhere. I took photographing (and memory keeping) seriously. Eager to learn and get better at it.

That all seems so long ago now.

Nowadays I have several good cameras to photograph with, but I mostly use my phone. I still enjoy shooting photos, but I’m not taking memory keeping seriously at all.

I seem to be more interested in random things that just catch my eye, and most photographs I take are work-related. I haven’t scrapbooked in a long time, though I do enjoy composing digital photo books.

It will be interesting to see where I’m going next. What will change and what will stay the same? Will I still enjoy the same small pleasures in 10 years? Will I still love photographing more than anything else? And what will be the primary device to shoot with?!!

We’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we!

Before you go: be sure to check out Riikka’s Inspired by post for this month on her blog Paperiliitin!

Take care, make things ‘hygge’ 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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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 | 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!

Inspired by | Vivian Maier

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

Happy Friday! Almost weekend and… it’s time for a new 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

This time we choose a photographer!

I’ve mentioned Vivian Maier here before, because I took a Vivian Maier inspired street photography workshop once. (You can see some of the photos I took in this post: 141108 Amsterdam).

What I didn’t mention there is that I also went to an exhibition of her work, I watched both documentaries and that I followed one of the blogs where her photos were first published over six years ago. I can’t remember which one and I also don’t know how I discovered it. The only thing I do remember is that the images and the story blew me away!

That said, it might surprise you that I wasn’t the one that suggested Vivian Maier for this month’s theme. Riikka did! I believe she saw the documentary ‘Finding Vivian Maier’ and I think she was as intrigued like I am!

The project

So… what was I going to do with this theme? If I would have had more time to think and play, I would probably have made this into a bigger project. I could have gone into the city to shoot new (black & white?) photos or to make a little movie for this Inspired by.

But I had too much going on and not a lot time to ponder over it, so I rewatched the documentary for added input.

This is what I wrote down:
Street
Garbage cans
Self portraits
Pack rat
Receipts
Brought ‘her life’ with her
Kids
Film
Reporter
Photos shot from the hip up
Square
Adventures (with the kids)
Found junk
World trip
Newspapers
Dark side

I cannot even begin to tell you all the possible leads that popped into my head! But there wasn’t enough time! I decided to go with the low hanging fruit… self portraits.

And even that was a challenge, because I hardly ever take selfies. I’ve only got a handful of recent photos with me in them and they are really crappy. I’ve never been a huge selfie taker, but lately, if I do take one, they usually do not turn out good. Because I just want to get it over with. So it has a lot to do with me not making the effort, but it’s also a definite sign of me not being happy with the way I look at this point.

So… photos. What do you do with photos? You scrapbook them of course! Another challenge for me to conquer… I hadn’t scrapbooked in months!

I had noticed Denise Morrison‘s approach to pocket page scrapbooking on her Instagram feed and I decided that a baseball card pocket page was the way to go. I dug out the Scrapdelight December Daily kit I purchased last year, but didn’t use… and came up with this:

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Vivian Maier

Conclusion

I can still do it. I can still make a decent scrapbook page! It is simple, but fun. Even with crappy photos. And I enjoyed making it!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Vivian Maier

The one thing that I struggled with, is actually quite obvious if you know me and my scrapbooking style… There is no journaling on this page.

It’s not that I don’t know what to say. Because I know exactly what this page is about. This page is like a mirror. Hence the title. It’s the story I tell myself. And there is no need for me to put it on this page.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Vivian Maier

Sooooo… Let’s see what Riikka has created! I can’t wait!

Inspired by | Talisman

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

Hi! It’s the 10th of February! Can you believe it?! Feels like January 1st was just last week… Although nature is weirdly acting like it’s Spring already in these parts of the world.

Anyway… It’s time for Inspired by!

Inspired by is a blog series my friend Riikka and I started over 3 years ago. 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.

Finding our theme

This time the theme is something that came by in one of the many, many videos that flooded the internet during and after Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Trade Show in the US.

Riikka send me the link to the video in question. It was an interview that Scrap Time Videos had with Susan Lenart Kazmer and Jen Cushman from Ice Resin. It’s kind of long, but if you are into (mixed media) jewellery making it’s definitely worth the watch!

I think Riikka was in love with everything she saw in the video. But I was thinking: what can we do with this? I have never worked with Ice Resin, I don’t have it and I have no quick way of getting it here. How can we be inspired by a video about a product that we don’t have access to?

I jotted everything down that I heard or saw watching the video. One of the things that stood out was ‘talismans’, something Susan mentions only briefly.

Now that’s something we can work with! So this month’s theme is…

Talisman

According to the Oxford online dictionary, a talisman is: ‘An object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck’.

My first instinct was that I could make myself one. A talisman. But I thought I should know more about talismans in general first. So… I went to the library to get a couple of books.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Talisman

Which were very interesting looking… But I didn’t have a lot of time to read… So I just leafed them through.

I also thought about talismans… What does a talisman mean to me? Do I already have one?

I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t. Not a real one. I have a couple of ‘lucky charms’ hanging from my wallet, but they’re just there for fun. I wear the same jewellery most of the time, but not because I think they bring me luck. I don’t even own a pair of lucky underpants!

So if I don’t have one now… Did I have one in the past? Ah, yes! One in particular comes to mind immediately. I will tell you what it is in a minute!

Remembering this talisman made me realize that there is no way I can make one. At least not without a purpose in mind and certainly not one for myself.

I could be wrong, but I somehow feel a talisman is something that is either gifted or something that becomes a talisman over time.

Wiskundezakje

So what about that talisman of the past? Here it is:

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Talisman

Yes… That’s a little pouch… Made out of a sock… LOL!

Don’t even ask me who’s sock it originally was… I don’t think I have ever given that fact a second thought and I have had this pouch for almost 24 years. 24 YEARS!

Pouches made out of old socks apparently made perfect sense to me back then!

Anyway: this little pouch, made by my best friend, accompanied me during my final math exam at secondary school in 1992. I sucked at math (I still do) and I had to sit through many, many hours of tutoring to help me make more sense of it.

My friend knew that. She knew my tutor too. And she knew that I would need all the help I could get to pull through this final.

This is what’s inside:

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Talisman

Isn’t that sweet?!!

And… better still: it helped! I didn’t exactly do well, but my score was enough to pass the exam! I was so happy!

Looooooooooong story short: a talisman doesn’t always have to be pretty or sacred… It just has to be special and precious. It’s the thought that counts and that makes it work.

The result

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Talisman

This story begged to be scrapbooked… How else would I explain to someone why there is this intriguing little sock pouch among my most prized belongings?!

I can’t wait to see what Riikka has made! You can visit her at Paperiliitin.

Have a wonderful day!