Elizabeth Craft Designs | Through the Lens Scrapbook Page

I’m over on the Elizabeth Craft Designs Blog again today, sharing this scrapbook page I created with the new Els van de Burgt Studio Through the Lens patterned paper!

Marsha Valk | Elizabeth Craft Designs: Through the Lens // Scrapbook Page

Els has shot all the images for these papers herself and some of these were even photographed in the Dutch city that I live in!

My page is about a different city though: Brussels in Belgium. On a beautiful sunny Saturday in September I took a train there to meet up with Krisje and she showed me the sights!

Steps to create this page:

1 | Create a photo collage.

Photo collages are my go-to method to get more that two photos on a scrapbook page. The one you see here was created in Picasa and I printed it to a size of about 7,75 x 5 inches.

2 | Trim a sheet of 12″ x 12″ white cardstock to 8,25″ x 11,5″ and adhere it to a sheet of 12″ x 12″ kraft cardstock.

3 | Choose three to four coordinating patterns from the Through the Lens paper packs.

I used the red and teallish blue one from the Metal pack and I choose the wood patterns with red accents from the Wood pack to go with them.

4 | Back the paper with Clear Double-Sided Adhesive and use the Fitted Circles die-set to cut circles.

For the multi-patterned circles I just taped some of the different patterns together with a bit of washi tape on the back before I die-cut them.

Marsha Valk | Elizabeth Craft Designs: Through the Lens // Scrapbook Page

5 | Adhere the circles to the paper in any pattern you like. Place the photo too.

6 | Add a title and journaling.

For the title I backed black craft foam with Clear Double-Sided Adhesive and then cut the letters I needed with the Alphabet 1 – Caps die.

Marsha Valk | Elizabeth Craft Designs: Through the Lens // Scrapbook Page

7 | Die-cut the triangular banner from the Banners die-set out of a scrap of white Soft Finished Cardstock. Cut it in half and place the two arrows on two of the circles.

8 | Add peel-off sticker circles and (leftover) Shimmer Sheetz confetti to finish the page.

Happy scrapbooking!


Elizabeth Craft Designs:
967 Alphabet 1 Caps
1117 Fitted Circles
1153 Banners
TTL001- Through the Lens Metal 6” x 6” patterned paper (coming soon)
TTL003- Through the Lens Wood 6” x 6” patterned paper (coming soon)
2571 Jacky’s Dolls in Circle
Shimmer Sheetz
Clear Double Sided Adhesive Tape or Sheet
Cardstock (12″ x 12″ coming soon)

Cardstock (12″ x 12″ kraft)
Craft foam (black)
Fineliner (black)
Date stamp
Ink (black)

Inspired by | Light

Inspired by: a monthly challenge by Riikka Kovasin and Marsha Valk

Hi there! It’s January, it’s the 10th… It’s time for the first Inspired by of 2016!

Inspired by is a monthly challenge. My friend Riikka and I 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.

When we were discussing themes a while back, we both agreed that January’s theme had to be ‘easy’. So no books or films, but something ‘light’, like… Well we really didn’t know! We decided to think about it for a couple of days.

I don’t remember how many days it took, but one day as I was planning a light-bulb went on in my head. I was going to write ‘Inspired by: something light’. And then I thought… hmmm… LIGHT! So ‘light’ it is!

I took my time coming up with my take on it though. I was thinking lamp, or something lightweight or maybe something about winter darkness/light.

But I also happened to have video-making on my mind… Creative video-making, but not necessarily the craft kind, if you know what I mean.

I would love to explore and learn more, so I’ve recently signed myself up for a course. And you know that the French word for light is lumière, right?! As in the Lumière brothers, the first film makers in history!

So in my mind it became plausible to make a video for this Inspired by. The course hasn’t started yet, but I have already started to record some footage for when I need it.

Last Thursday we visited Antwerpen and whilst we were driving into the city, I saw this poster that said ‘Anselm Kiefer’. I couldn’t read the rest, so I googled it: there was a free exhibition of one of his works in the former Raamtheater. So we decided to go see it!

We had no idea where or what the former Raamtheater was, so that was an unexpected bonus. That’s why I love following my curiosity: you just never know what gem you might find!

Please remember that I didn’t record the footage with publication in mind. You will see that I don’t seem to have a steady hand and that the quality is poor. But hey… I have to start somewhere!


I can’t wait to see what Riikka has come up with! Be sure to visit her at Paperiliitin!

Inspired by | Kyoto

inspired1It’s the 10th today! And that means Riikka and I have been creating something with a particular theme or thing in mind again and it’s time to reveal the results in a new Inspired by post!

For this month we chose to be inspired by a far away city in a far away land: Kyoto, Japan. We were both lucky to visit it individually. Riikka stayed in the city a couple of years ago, I was there more recently.

My visit Kyoto was very brief. I guess I was there for a mere 6 or 7 hours on a mostly grey Saturday last November. Needless to say: I only scraped the surface of what Kyoto has to offer:

Marsha Valk | Inspired By: Kyoto

I have so many more photos of that day… I’m planning to create a photo book with all the photos I took that week in Japan.

Scrapbooking this trip seems too overwhelming right now. And one scrapbook page about this day in Kyoto definitely will not do. So for this Inspired by, although I certainly could have, I deliberately chose not to scrapbook.

But what was I going to do then? Well, I first thought about the things that stood out to me thinking back. And this is what I came up with:

Marsha Valk | Inspired By: Kyoto

It’s all comes down to colours, smells, tastes, sounds, patterns and textures…

I was there the end of November, so there were beautiful fiery red maple trees everywhere. The sun came out in the afternoon, but before that it was kind of grey and gloomy. It made the red of the maple leaves, but also the red of the temple buildings and especially the colourful looks of the maiko/geiko in Gion look almost neon coloured to me.

I love incense, so I distinctly remember the smell of incense. I remember the chopstick and ceramic souvenir shops. Bamboo… A kimono shop… The (zen) garden at Ginkaku-ji… More maple leaves… I also remember it being really crowded with people, especially at Kiyomizu-dera.

OK, so I still hadn’t decided what I would do. But then I was trying out some of Finnabair’s mixed media products for Prima Marketing and the Art Extravagance White Sand Texture Paste reminded me of a zen garden!

I decided to add Liquitex soft body (neon) colours, a couple of stencils that reminded me of maiko attire, my sumi-e brushes, black ink, silver Tulip Pearl 3D Fabric Paint and a couple of different paint markers into the mix:

Marsha Valk | Inspired By: Kyoto

And here’s the triptych:

Marsha Valk | Inspired By: Kyoto

Conclusion: I really seem to like this fairly small rectangle format, so that’s why I used it again.

I’m not really sure if I like the white paper maple leaves… In hindsight I think I should have created them out of paper clay. I might still go back and do that.

I loved using the texture paste! It provided me with a bit of a challenge for the following layers, but it was fun!

And last but not least: I really hope I can go back to Kyoto some day. There is still so much to explore!

Now that you’ve seen my Kyoto, it’s time to visit Riikka’s. I’ve heard some of her Kyoto adventures already, I also know she has scrapbooked it in the past, so I’m really curious to see what she has come up with! You can see it for yourself here!


Marsha Valk Yesterdaygrams150120

Had to run some errands in our beautiful city centre yesterday. Tried to focus on the colour red on my walk.

It’s not really like I need another thing to focus on right now… I’ve taken on the task of (re-)establishing some routine habits. But I think I can handle a little added colour adventure.

It’s fun and easy: once the colour is in my head, I have no trouble finding it everywhere.

141108 Amsterdam

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Saturday was all about missing tram stops, cool ceramics, photography, inspiring people, great food and truly wonderful conversation.

In the afternoon my dear photographer friend Liesbeth and I participated in a Vivian Maier inspired street photography workshop at FOAM.

I carried my compact camera with me for the occasion. It isn’t my favourite camera and I’m not entirely accustomed to it, but I thought the DSLR would attract to much attention. I couldn’t use my trusty iPhone because I needed to be able to share the photos with the class afterwards.

Using the compact meant that I missed out on some shots because it was too slow or I didn’t have it on the right settings for the shot at hand. I’m still pretty chuffed with the result. I don’t tend to photograph complete strangers very often…  And I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed myself photographing these strangers!

Adventure (OLW #82)


The new word up on the One Little Word blog is ADVENTURE.

I didn’t have this assignment prepared before I went to Version Scrap. I was thinking I could make an art journal page, or maybe a scrapbook page about a little everyday adventure. And then the weekend trip to Paris came up and it turned out that the Universe wanted me to document a brand new ADVENTURE instead.


As if travelling to Paris on my own wasn’t ADVENTUROUS enough, I found out at the airport that my flight was overbooked. This was at 06.15 in the morning and clueless me was still hoping I would make the flight. Instead I was one of the five people to miss it. I was booked on a second flight that would depart 1,5 hours later. It didn’t depart until 10.00 o’clock… And all this time I was telling myself to please stay calm and to not freak out!


Fortunately because of the flight delay, I was able to text with Riikka (who by this time had just arrived in Paris) before I had to turn off my phone. I was supposed to meet her at the airport in Paris, but now at least she knew I wasn’t going to be there on time.


When I finally got to Paris, I quickly found the train station. I had to get a train ticket, but found that there were three kinds of machines… I had to go to the info point to find out which one I needed.

The guy at the desk not only pointed me to a green ticket machine, he also took his time to find out which train I should take (which I actually already knew, but he didn’t like it when I tried to interrupt him, so I kept my mouth shut…). When I stood in front of one of the green ticket machines, it turned out that said machine only took credit cards and coins. I on the other hand had a purse full of fresh bills and no credit card…

I found a money changing machine… that didn’t work. I kind of gave up on catching the train and went to the ticket office to stand in a very long line… All was not lost though, because although the line was impressive and the ticket sales persons weren’t exactly friendly, they were fast!

The train rolled in almost immediately after I had set foot on the platform. But… the sign on it didn’t read the destination I needed to go to. There was no other train… And my train was supposed to depart in the next two minutes. All the other tourists occupying the platform were looking as clueless as I was! So we all took the chance. Fortunately it turned out right!


I paid attention to all the stops, just to be extremely sure I wouldn’t miss the stop I needed to change to the metro. I didn’t and I miraculously found the platform to the connecting metro line without any problems.

When I got to Vincennes, the promised little train that supposedly took visitors from the metro stop to the venue wasn’t there. I didn’t see a stop for it, so I decided to walk. I knew it would take me approximately 25 minutes, but I didn’t know it would involve dragging my suitcase (small one on wheels) over various dirt paths, that had a variety of stones sticking out of them…

I finally made it into the venue just before 01.30… I was so sure I was going to miss my first class, Birgit’s class… I had been sure of it from the moment I had learned that my flight was overbooked at 06.15 that morning. But… I miraculously made it! And if it hadn’t been for a lady at the entrance having an argument with the woman at the desk… I would have been EXACTLY on time. Birgit hadn’t even started her class when I came in. It was unreal!


And all this was only the story of the first morning! This trip was full of observations and ridiculous situations. I wanted to record it right away!

I thought it would be fun to be ADVENTUROUS with my documenting method too. I wanted to incorporate the supplies and class projects I gathered during the trip. It took some time to figure out how… but I think I’ve got it. I bought a Snap album and I mixed the pocketed pages with the tags from Birgit’s class, the mini book pages from Magda’s class and I’m also going to use the covers I made during Françoise Melzani’s class.

I still think the idea that pocket scrapbooking makes everything quicker and easier is a misconception… I’ve only just about finished the pages for the first day.

It’s not a pretty book either. It’s a mash up of everything. But I like that. It’s just as confusing as the trip was, with loads of writing, artsy stuff and towards the end there are going to be loads of pretty pictures of Paris!


As you can see, it’s still in progress. I’ve got the pages for day two planned out and I keep all the photos and memorabilia for day 3 behind one of the Snap album tabs that I’m going to take out later on.


I hope you enjoyed this peek into my process and I’ll be sure to share the finished pages with you in the near future!

Please check out this month’s ADVENTURE projects on the OLW blog too. We would love for you to play along with us!

Inspired by: Stroll through the hood


Hi there! I’m back again with a whole new Inspired by!

Riikka and I were both in Paris this weekend for Version Scrap 2014 and some sightseeing. I promise I will tell you more about that soon! In the meantime you can check out my Instagram feed for a visual update on what we saw and did.

We came back brimming with ideas, of course, but because this Inspired by was scheduled so close after the trip, we prepared something else ahead of time. Don’t worry: there will be an Inspired by connecting to the trip in the future! This month however, we chose to be inspired by Nathalie Kalbach’s awesome blog series ‘Stroll through the Hood’.

You must know by now that I can draw inspiration from almost everything. I also see photo opportunities everywhere. I don’t always take the actual photo because it’s not always convenient to stop (while riding a bike for instance…). So for some time now, if I get the chance, I try to walk where I need to go. Sure, it takes more time, but one of the pay offs is that it enables me to stop and take advantage of a photo opportunity when I see one!

Because I take my iPhone everywhere, I didn’t really need to stroll through the hood for this challenge. I already had more than enough photos of my neighbourhood! Most of them aren’t of buildings or people though… It seems that I’m especially attracted to the colours, textures and patterns of the hood:


Riikka and I had agreed on using 12 photos for this challenge (I cheated a tiny bit there) and I think the brief was to write about what you like about your neighbourhood… So that’s what I did:


It will be fun to revisit this idea sometime, because I’m sure that in a couple of years (or even months!) some of it will have changed!

As said, the journalling is about what I like about the place: that I can always find something to attract my attention, that everything is within walking distance and I also like that there is a forest nearby, even though we don’t go there very often. It’s not perfect, but it’s a pretty good place to live and we don’t have plans to leave any time soon.

And now it’s time to visit Riikka’s hood… I can’t wait to see!

140313 Groningen


Last week I took the train to Groningen to see Birgit and to visit the Groninger Museum.

We spent hours and hours and hours chatting and exploring the museum, drinking at a terrace and browsing a couple of shops without even noticing how much time had actually passed. This day went by way to fast!

I didn’t take a lot of photos in the museum, but I truly enjoyed the Jaime Hayon exhibition. Especially the combo of the finished art and then seeing the rough sketches and ideas in his art journals!

I also loved the Marilyn Manson presentation. In first instance you see beautiful watercolour and mixed media pieces. The colours alone are stunning! And then when you take a closer look, the subjects are just what you would expect: bizarre and discomforting.

Only downside was that the glass reflections (from both the museum lights and the windows) on the art were annoying. And I would have loved to see more of his art… this presentation was tiny!

Anyway: this was another fun and inspiring day! Thank you Birgit!!!