Replenish (OLW #92)

Marsha Valk | OLW: Replenish

This month’s One Little Word is REPLENISH.

I created this art journal page last week. I used working on the page as a REPLENISHMENT after a crazy week followed by a fun-filled weekend.

I’m an introvert, so I really do need to fill the well again after running around and being around people. Going into my craft space, turning up the music and playing with paint and stencils, a white marker, ink, a couple of NeocolorII’s and charcoal did the trick.

I’m curious to see what REPLENISH means to you. Please consider playing along with us this month!

Sing (OLW #91)

Marsha Valk | OLW: Sing

There is a new word up at the One Little Word blog!

It’s a special word for me this time, because I not only got to choose it, but it actually ended up my word for 2015… Here’s the story:

January 1st 2014: I read this blog post by Katie Fox. The post was about how she didn’t believe in new years resolutions but that she felt she needed ‘a new song’ for the new year. She quoted the U2 song ‘40’:

I will sing, sing a new song

The concept is simple: we all have a song to SING, a voice to be heard and if you crave change, you need to change the tune.

So when it was my turn to choose a word and I realized it would be the first word of the year, I did not have to think about it. It had to be SING!

Fast forward to December. As always, I was brainstorming on a new word for 2015. I wanted it to be a happy, positive word, related to feeling fit and energized, to confidence, freedom, growth… I kept switching words. None of them seemed to fit the bill.

But then… I started to prepare for this word up. I thought about what SING meant to me:

I love to SING. Out loud… I’m pretty sure it’s not (always) in tune. But I don’t care and frankly: I couldn’t stop it if I wanted to. It just happens without thinking!

Whenever I’m happy, content, in the flow… I SING. When I feel a bit down or tired, I turn on the radio and I will be SINGing along in no time, making myself feel better and more energized…

Hey! What?! Wait a minute! What was it again that I wanted in 2015? How did I want my word for 2015 to feel?!

So there you have it: SING. Not just this month’s OLW, but also my word for this year.

I aspire to letting my heart SING (more) in 2015 and I hope you will do the same!

Release (OLW #90)

Marsha Valk | OLW: Release // art journal spreadThere is a new word up on the One Little Word blog!

Beautiful Jessica chose the word RELEASE for us. This word can be a great reminder for yourself. A reminder to let go of negative feelings, thoughts, expectations… anything you want to let go of. We all need that sometimes, especially at the end of a year!

The art journal spread started out like this:
Marsha Valk | OLW: Release // underpainting for art journal spreadI worked on it over the course of a couple of days.

(Almost) all of the stamping and marker doodling eventually got covered by paint:
Marsha Valk | OLW: Release // art journal spread detailsI used one of my new Japanese bamboo brushes for the script. It makes a world of difference!

Please visit the One Little Word blog. We would love to see your RELEASE inspired creations!

Aglow (OLW #89)


There is a new word up at the One Little Word blog! Jessi wanted us to think about the word AGLOW.

If you are Dutch and you Google translate the word, it might get you on the wrong foot. In English it makes much more sense:


adjective \ə-ˈglō\

: glowing with light or color
: very excited or happy : feeling or showing excitement and happiness

Now when you look at my page, you might still think I’ve misunderstood…

The butterflies are a reference to the book I’m reading. ‘Flight Behaviour’ by Barbara Kingsolver is in short about a colony of Monarch butterflies appearing in an unexpected place. When it is introduced into the story, the butterflies make a forest seem on fire: … ‘every tree aglow’.

To create this page I drew a butterfly, scanned it in and used it to create two patterns in Photoshop. I printed one pattern onto watercolour paper and coloured that in with markers.

The other pattern was printed on vellum and coloured with Ecoline (on the back of the print, because the printer ink will run when in contact with fluids). The vellum buckled a lot, so I used just a few tiny drops of glue to adhere it to the watercolour paper.

I finished the page off by adding the text ‘Revlie-style‘.

I’m curious about what the others have created with AGLOW in mind. If you want to play along and create something using this word up, please share your link at the One Little Word blog! We look forward to seeing what you create!

Lost (OLW #86)


There’s a new word up on One Little Word! This time Denise asked us to create with the word LOST in mind.

The story behind my project begins a long time ago. About 6 or 7 years ago I felt stuck at my job and didn’t know what to do about it. Did I want to switch careers? Was there another job I could do within the organisation? I had the chance to do a career path assessment course. It was a group course and the group members were fascinating and a huge inspiration.

At one time I think we had to tell about something we enjoyed doing in our spare time. One guy told the group about how he photographed random things that people had LOST on the go. You know: that shoe lying in the gutter, a shawl hanging in the bushes. Or maybe one lonely sock…

I know that when I see something like that just lying in the street I always think: but how do you loose just one shoe? Did someone throw it at someone else? Was it Cinderella being hasty? What the heck happened here?

The man called his project ‘Verloren lijfheden’. At least that’s what I remember… Maybe I’m wrong, because ‘lijfheden’ isn’t actually a word in Dutch. So I wouldn’t know how to translate it for you. Something (but not exactly) like ‘Lost body-parts’. No matter what the exact name of this project was, I thought it was so awesome that I’ve never forgotten about it.


Fast forward a few weeks ago: I was attending an illustration course at Elle Aime. On the second day of the course we worked with paper and one of the assignments was to create a book cover. I already had this months One Little Word on my mind and all of a sudden things clicked… The subject of my book cover had to be ‘something’ LOST and then… it was obvious to me it had to be about ‘Verloren lijfheden’.

Every single thing on the page was hand-cut by me. Even the title… Ha! Who needs a Silhouette?! No, of course I’m keeping my Silhouette, but it’s pretty neat to know I can do without!

Thanks for stopping by today! Go and see what the others created here at the One Little Word blog!

Evoke (OLW #85)


Remember the summer break mini album pages I created for Inspired by?

I’m still in love with Sanna Lippert’s wonderful background technique. I’m not sure I can stop using it… So the page I created for One Little Word this month is again heavily inspired by one of Sanna’s pages, published in the June/July issue of Scrap365.

The word Ronda wants us to work with this month is EVOKE. It made me think of all the ‘things’ that EVOKE ‘things’…

We all know that music can EVOKE memories of certain places or people or stories… and for some people it also EVOKES questions. Questions about the artist(s), about the year it came out or when it was a hit. Or whether it was a hit or not. Yeah… really!

Harold and I love to ask each other these kinds of questions and then check which one of us is right. Back in the day we used to look up the answers in books like the Top 40 Hitdossier… Now of course it’s just a matter of typing a key word into the Google search bar.

These days the questions mostly occur when we’re driving somewhere and there’s a song on the radio that EVOKES the questions. And that’s exactly what this page is about!

If you haven’t seen this month’s OLW post yet, you should check out the OLW blog. If you want to play along and create something using the word  EVOKE, link up there and you can even win a little something!

Will (OLW #83)

There is a new Word Up over at the One Little Word blog! This time Sharmaine wants us to explore the word WILL.

I certainly could have come up with something more reflective with the word WILL in mind… But of course there was a specific song that became my ear worm as soon as I saw WILL appear on my schedule… So I just went with it!

I’ve been playing with paint, paint and even more paint in my art journal(s) again. It’s been fun! The best thing is that I can let go of expectations when I’m art journaling. There is no need to see a finished page in my head. Whatever WILL be WILL be…

Just slab a bit of paint here, glue something down there, try this new (to me) glazing technique there… It doesn’t have to become anything. If it’s ugly I can turn a page and try again. Que sera, sera!

I’m exited to see what my fellow team members created with WILL in mind. Go here to see what they made!