Gelli Arts® & DecoArt® Collaboration | Summer Fun

Hi there! Gelli Arts® has teamed up with DecoArt® for some ‘Summer Fun’, and I’m here today to share the video I contributed to their blog collaboration!

For the collab, each of the participating Gelli Arts® Artists was gifted a box of DecoArt® Americana Premium paints and mediums to play with.

The theme ‘Summer Fun’ made me think of summer days in the yard and of vacations abroad.

Marsha Valk | Gelli Arts® + DecoArt® collab: Summer Fun mixed media collage monoprint


I’ve recreated a photo I found in Elle magazine. I started by sketching it on computer paper; then I scanned the sketch to reverse it, and to print multiple copies.

I used the multiple copies to cut several stencils of the scene, each to use with one or two print colours. The stencils (and cut out masks) also helped with printing multiple layers.

I mixed the DecoArt® Americana Premium paints to create colours that (kind of) matched the original photo, and I created texture plates by applying Texture Medium to scrap pieces of cardboard with a Gelli Arts® mini printing tool.

The ‘Summer Fun’ theme also reminded me of colourful dresses, so I decided to use another photo from the same magazine as a reference to draw a lady onto computer paper.

I painted her head first. Then I used Matte Medium and gel printed tissue paper to collage the multicoloured dress.

Once the collage was dry, I pasted the lady onto the gel printed scene with the same Matte Medium, and then I enhanced the print with shadows and added details using paint markers and coloured pencils.

Preserve summer memories

As mentioned, I used photos from a magazine as a reference to create my gel print, but you could also use a personal photo as the jumping off point instead. Wouldn’t it be fun to record a summer memory this way?!

Visit the Gelli Arts® blog to see what the other participating artists have created.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful summer (or winter)!

Materials used

Gelli Arts® 12” x 14” gel printing plate
Gelli Arts® 8” x 10” gel printing plate
Gelli Arts® mini printing tool
4” roller

DecoArt® Americana Premium Mediums Matte Medium, Texture Medium, White Gesso
DecoArt® Americana Premium Acrylic Paints Burnt Umber, Cadmium Orange Hue, Carbon Black, Cobalt Teal Hue, Dark Grey Value 3, Dioxazine Purple, Phthalo Green-Yellow, Primary Cyan, Primary Magenta, Primary Yellow, Pyrrole Red, Quinacridone Magenta, Titan Buff, Translucent White

Please note that none of the links in this post are affiliate links! However, if you use the code MarshaV at check out on the Gelli Arts® website, you get 10% off an order over $20, and I earn a small percentage of the sale.


StencilGirl® Products Letters on Box stencil by Daniella Woolf
AALL & Create Stencil #9 by Autour de Mwa, Stencil #12 by Autour de Mwa, Stencil #32 by Carol AndCo, #36 by Aida Domisiewicz


Magazine (Elle)
Computer paper (A4)
Cardboard scraps
Paper (A3)
Tissue paper
Craft knife + cutting mat
2” roller
Black pen
Paint markers
Coloured pencils

n*Studio | Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Coffee Filter Flowers

Just in case you missed it: it was my turn on the n*Studio blog last week! Which means that it’s time to share last month’s project with you here!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Last month the n*Studio Creative Squad used what we already had, in an attempt to make our carbon footprint just a tiny bit smaller.

I recycled a recent project idea and shared another take on my Gelli Arts® Gel Printed Coffee Filter Flowers. These are so much fun to make!

Read the how-to in this post on Nathalie’s blog: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Marsha Valk

Curious about my project for October? Head on over here: Colors Are My Friends – Marsha Valk

Materials used
n*Studio for Stencil Girl Products Amsterdam Stencil
n*Studio for Stencil Girl Products Batik
n*Studio for Stencil Girl Products Buenos Aires
n*Studio for Stencil Girl Products Chicago Stencil
n*Studio for Stencil Girl Products Manhattan
n*Studio for Stencil Girl Products Mesa Verde Stencil
n*Studio for Stencil Girl Products Ornament Wallpaper
n*Studio for Stencil Girl Products Santiago
n*Studio for Stencil Girl Products Toledo

Gelli Arts® 12″ x 14″ Printing Plate
4″ Pop-In Soft Rubber Brayer
Coffee filters
Acrylic paint (Royal Talens Amsterdam Titanium White)
Spray bottle with water
Spray inks (Ranger Dylusions: Vibrant Turquoise, Calypso Teal, Royal Talens Ecoline: Light Yellow)
Embroidery floss
Glue dots (Scrapbook Adhesives Dodz)

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

StencilGirl® Products | Guest Designer

Marsha Valk | StencilGirl Products: Accordion FoldI’m super honoured and excited to tell you that StencilGirl® Products has invited me to guest post on their blog!

As you know, I use the stencils Nathalie Kalbach designed for StencilGirl® all the time, and I’m a big fan of the product as well as the designs!

StencilGirl® Products has a huge team of artists working with them, and there is an extensive collection of fab StencilGirl® designs available.

I got to pick three new (to me) stencils to play with for my guest post.

It was super hard, but I seriously love the ones I chose, and they go really well with the Nathalie Kalbach designs I already had!

Want to see which ones I picked? Click on the photo to go to the corresponding blog post on StencilGirl® Talk!

Enjoy your day!

Carabelle Studio | June 2017 Guest Designer

Marsha Valk | Carabelle Studio: DIY Midori Art Journal

I’m super honoured to be a guest designer for Carabelle Studio this month.

Click on the photo to go to the corresponding blog posts on the Carabelle Studio blog!

Marsha Valk | Carabelle Studio: Pop-Up Zinouk Cards

And that’s not all!

A couple of weeks ago, I also shared a process video and tutorial for this cute art journal page over on Birgit Koopsen’s blog:

Marsha Valk | BMMAC: Little Birds Mixed Media Art Journal Page

Stay tuned for more guest post projects coming up soon.

Happy Saturday!

n*Studio | Live Like it’s Spring

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Live Like It's Spring

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!

Live Like it’s Spring

Last month the assignment, in short, was ‘Create in the Spirit of Spring’, using any of the new Wanderlust stencils.

It made me think of ‘When it’s Spring again I’ll bring again…’ Tulips from Amsterdam! Created in my craft room about 50 km east of Amsterdam… but that’s near enough I think ;-).

Marsha Valk | n*Studio: Live Like It's Spring

You can read the how-to in this post on Nathalie’s blog: Live Like it’s Spring – Marsha Valk.

And just in case you are curious about my creative and photographic take on today’s Artful Adventures Stroll Challenge prompt, then head on over to Nat’s blog too: Out and About – Marsha Valk.

Materials used
Stencil Girl Products – n*Studio Amsterdam Stencil 9″x12″
Stencil Girl Products – n*Studio Buenos Aires Stencil 9″x12″
Stencil Girl Products – n*Studio Manhattan Stencil 9″x12″
Stencil Girl Products – n*Studio Mesa Verde Stencil 9″x12″
Stencil Girl Products – n*Studio Santiago Stencil 9″x12″
Stencil Girl Products – n*Studio Toledo Stencil 9″x12″
Copy paper (80gsm)
Drawing paper (Fabriano, 160gsm)
Gelli plate (Gelli Arts, 5”x7” and 8”x10”)
Acrylic paint (Royal Talens Amsterdam)
Matte medium (Liquitex)

Please note that though a couple of these materials were given to me, I will not benefit from sales generated by the links!

Inspired by | Eino Leino: Nocturne

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

It’s the 10th and I’m back with a regular 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.

This month the theme is (again) something we’ve never tried before. I think the first idea was to find something that would evoke a feeling. And Riikka immediately thought of a poem.

The poem she chose for us to work with is:

Nocturne by Eino Leino (translated by Keith Bosley)

The corncrake’s song rings in my ears,
above the rye a full moon sails;
this summer night all sorrow clears
and woodsmoke drifts along the dales,
I do not laugh or grieve, or sigh;
the forest’s darkness breathes nearby,
the red of clouds where day sinks deep,
the blue of windy hills asleep,
the twinflower’s scent, the water’s shade
of these my heart’s own song is made.

You, girl as sweet as summer hay,
my heart’s great peace, I sing to you,
O my devotion, tune and play
a wreath of oak twigs, green and new.
I have stopped chasing Jack-o’-Lantern,
I hold gold from the Demon’s mountain;
around me life tightens its ring,
time stops, the vane has ceased to swing;
the road before me through the gloom
is leading to the unknown room.

According to Wikipedia, this is the most famous Finnish poem and it describes the natural mystique related to Finnish summertime. Leino wrote it in July 1903 and it was first published in 1905.

I’m sure Riikka has a lot to say about Eino Leino and this poem in particular. I, on the other hand, don’t think I can even begin to grasp the entire meaning of the poem. I’m guessing most of it has gotten lost in translation and I suspect hidden meanings or cultural references, but I have no clue what they are.

The feeling

I do know that Leino was a neo-romantic, so it makes sense that this poem is about feelings/emotions, love, nature and death/ending.

To me, it describes that feeling you can have at the end of summer. You just don’t want it to end, but there’s the inevitable change in the air and a yearning for new adventures.

Anyway, that’s what it evokes in me. That feeling of the last day before school would start again after six weeks of summer holidays. You don’t want the holidays to end, but you also look forward to seeing your friends (or colleagues) again, going back to a normal routine and the return of crisper air.

The words (in this translation) also seem to describe a meditative state: standing still, aware of all the sights, sounds and smells around, feeling feelings, listening to the heart.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Nocturne

The project

It’s weird to think about the end of summer, when spring has barely begun!

I thought about the end of summers long ago, I thought about the last BBQ of the season in recent years, I thought about the end of vacations, of other things I never wanted to end… And I decided that I didn’t want to go there. Not literally.

I also really liked the images that formed in my head through the words of the poem. So I asked myself what I felt like doing (Gelli printing… what else!) and then I went to work.

First I sketched a landscape, then I cut out each element so I could use them as masks and then I started printing.

Once I had everything printed, I went back in with more acrylic paint, water-soluble crayons and a fine-tip paint pen.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Nocturne

I worked on two prints at the same time, thinking that if I messed up, I would have a duplicate. They both ended up pretty decent!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: Nocturne


Despite that I didn’t want this to be about my own memories, they’re still there. A real sunset (without clouds moving into view at the last moment) is still on my bucket list, but pine trees, a lake, smoke, the stars and a full moon are all things I associate with summer and (one or more) vacations.

It’s funny how that works!

Now… I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to learn more about this famous Finnish poem and what it means to Riikka. You can visit her blog here: Paperiliitin!

Enjoy your day!