A couple of months ago I got my own stamp line released with Carabelle Studio. Six beautiful sets of rubber stamps designed to be used in mixed-media, scrapbooking, art-journaling and card making. An amazing list of talented artist friends helped me promote these stamps and created some beautiful work.
In the upcoming weeks I will place these artist in the spotlights one by one, as they deserve, and today I'm introducing to you my dear friend Marsha Valk!
Marsha is an all-rounder. She goes from painting to scrapbooking and from art journaling to altered objects. I love her use of color and her brilliant out of the box ideas! I mean, come on... turning leafs into little fish... you just gotta love that, right?!!
The Dutch quote Marsha used says: Are you going to the beach? When you come back, can I have the sand from your shoes to put on the bottom of my aquarium? :D
Aren't those fish just awesome?! For this page Marsha used the "Leafs" set, which is one of my personal favorites.
I love the colorful strips Marsha created with the "I Heart Washi Tape" set on the next layout. And of course the picture of a happy Marsha who just received the stamp sets :) And how about the cool background paper of which she stamped the bottom half with the "Punchanella Background" stamp?
Note how the colorful circles, punched from stamped leafs add a fun extra accent to the page!
The colors on this mixed media canvas are to die for!! Oh my, I love them!
And the texture in the background created with modeling paste and the "I Heart Washi Tape" set is so yummy!
If you are just as enthusiastic about Marsha's work as I am and you would like to see more from her then don't hesitate to visit her blog here.
Or find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marshavalk or on Instagram: Marsha Valk.
Thank you for stopping by today!
And in case YOU created something with one of my stamp sets, please drop me an e-mail with a picture or a link. I would LOVE to see!!
Stamp Marsha used in these projects:
Information on where to buy these stamps you can find in the "Where to buy my stamps" section in the navigation bar or by clicking here.
With Christmas coming up I think this is the right time to share a layout that I created for the december issue of Histoires de Pages Magazine last year. The challenge was to create a christmas layout in non-traditional colours, which is not a difficult job for me to do as I love bright and happy colours and am not so much a fan of the traditional green, red and gold.
I used a wintery background paper in teal and white and added my favorite colours on top.
To create the Christmas trees I cut some Shimmer Sheetz by Elizabeth Craft Designs in to triangles and run them through my Sizzix Big Shot using some fun embossing folders that fitted the theme. Click here to find tons and tons of the most beautiful embossing folders!!
Then I cut the triangles in horizontal strips and coloured the edges with black Stazon and applied the strips to the background with random space in between. I used Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L Crafty Power Tape to apply the Shimmer Sheetz which works perfectly to keep this material in place.
The wooden snowflakes (from Studio Calico) where covered with Adhesives Sheets, also from SAby3L, and then covered with Silk Microfine Glitter from Elizabeth Craft Designs. The glitter is very fine and after applying it you rub it in the adhesive with your finger. This gives a beautiful shine and you can be sure there is no excess glitter coming off the ornaments at any time anymore! Of and the colours... they are just brilliant :)
So yeah.... why would you hope for white when you can have full colour?!
Wishing you all a bright, colorful, happy and sparkling Christmas!!
Whohoooo!!! It's almost that time of year again!!!
I'm very excited to announce that I'll be participating as an artist in Creative JumpStart (CJS) 2015, run by Nathalie Kalbach again. If you're not familiar with CJS, it's a one-of-a-kind online event to fire up your creativity in Jan 2015.
Learn techniques, discover new materials, and connect with artists and crafters.
Throughout January participants get 25 videos from 23 featured artists. I'm proud to be one of those artists, called “JumpStarters.” See for yourself:
To head on over to Nathalie's site to sign up and for more details, click here:
You get 25 videos for just $25 (USD).
But wait – it gets better: if you sign up today you’ll get $5 off. Just use this coupon code during checkout:
*This is a limited offer valid from 9:00 am Dec 1, 2014 to 8:59 am EST on Dec 2, 2014.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up here, and apply the coupon code during check out process.
CJS 2015 is proudly sponsored by Liquitex.
I hope to see you in January!
Yesterday I took my very first painting class ever and I loved it!
I thought we were going to paint with acrylics but I didn't read the announcement right (Hmmm yeah, typical me :)) and it appeared to be gouache. But, when I found out, I thought that was actually a nice surprise as I had never used gouache before. So a new medium to try out and discover.
There was a nice group of 16 men and women and after coffee and a short hello we went from the gallery to the community center where we spent the day.
I learned a lot about how to build a painting like this from the back to the front and about working with gouache. I found it much harder to work with than acrylic paint as it is more translucent and not so forgiving.
We were told to work very disciplined because it is very hard to cover up mistakes. Hmmm, me and discipline is not a really good combination I'm afraid. So I also learned that I'm more the acrylic kind of person :)
And I also got confirmed that I don't really like painting from a photograph. I rather use my fantasy. The point is that if I have a photograph to work from there is this perfect picture of how the end result has to look and my work will never be good enough to me because I can't paint it exactly that way. I know that is silly. I know it doesn't have to be perfect and that the picture can be only a guide, the painting an impression, but it's hard to let go of that image in my head...
This one is 30x40cm (12x15 3/4")
When the first one was done I started the second one. It's not completely finished yet and since I don't have any gouache I will probably finish it with Indian ink.
This one is 30x50cm (12x19")
At the end of the day all paintings were exposed and discussed in a positive, stimulating way. It was great to take some time to see all the beautiful paintings and learn from each others work!
Here are all the paintings together. I bet you could have pointed out mine even if I hadn't shown them before, right? :)
It was fun and I really enjoyed the day!
In 2 weeks there is another workshop. That one really is with acrylic paint like I thought yesterdays would be. I was afraid that it would be full but I just got an e-mail that someone canceled today and that I now have the last spot! Yay! Looking forward to that!!
This week I was invited by my dear friend Nat Kalbach (check out her wonderful inspirational blog: n*Studio) to join the Around The World Blog Hop and answer 4 questions.
Now, I always like a challenge so here we go!
1. What am I working on right now?
I’m working on a couple of exciting things that I can’t share right now, but pretty soon I will. Besides that I’m working on some exciting things just for me, just for the sake of fun, and those I can share so here they are:
1. Acrylic painting on canvas.
I’m experimenting and trying to figure out what works best for me. Abstract, Figurative, Intuitive… there is something in all 3 area’s that speaks to me, but right now on my table is this piece that I would categorize in Intuitive painting and I have to say that I really love working on this!
I love the process of creating a background with no outcome in mind, just keep adding paint and colors and shapes and splashes until I feel that it’s enough. And then I look at it and start drawing whatever comes to mind. No need to be perfect, it might change anyway along the way. It is not done yet and I hope I can stop in time :) That I don’t feel the need to make it "perfect" in the end. Just letting my feeling decide when it’s done whether it’s perfect or not.
(work in progress)
2. Gelli plate printing
One of my favorite techniques right now. I love the uniqueness of the prints, the look of several layers on top of each other, the beautiful texture and interest that gives.
I also love that the outcome is always a surprise. After experimenting a lot I have a pretty good idea of the process and what will happen when I this or that, but still, sometimes I lift up the paper and am really disappointed, another time I lift it up and I get all giddy and excited because it turned out so well. And a couple of times like that make up for a lot of disappointments.
So here are some prints I made lately that I really like:
2. How does my work differ from other’s:
Pfff, that is a hard question to answer. First thing that comes to mind is color. I use lots of bright and bold colors and I’m not afraid to combine them. I love to experiment and find new ways to use products and there always has to be balance. Everything on a project is there for a reason even if it’s only to connect the whole piece together, make it pleasing for the eye... Argh, I don’t know, these things are true, but do they make me unique? I don’t think so… Yet there are people that tell me they pick my work from a gallery without seeing my name, knowing I created it. I think that is a great compliment but I can’t explain why :)
3. Why do I create?
That’s an easy one. Because I have to!
There are so many ideas in my head, all the beautiful things and colors I see around me, all the inspiration my mind is soaking up needs to get out somehow. I guess I maybe could have chosen to become a writer or a professional photographer but I love to make something nice from scratch, work with my hands, feel the paper, the paint, getting my hands dirty. I just don’t have a choice, I need to create or I would become very unhappy! I choose to be happy :)
4. How does my creative process work?
Well, I’m quite a perfectionist and when I started a project I usually had an exact image in my head of how the final project should look. When I started scrapbooking 11 years ago I was working only with paper, pictures and embellishments and I was pretty much in control. I just layered all pieces on my page and didn’t glue anything down until I was totally satisfied with the result. I even applied letter stickers to the edge of a ruler so I could move them around over the page before I decided where to put them.
And then I discovered art journaling and mixed media, which I love! But working with paints, inks etc. made it harder to be in control. When using spray paints and stencils for instance it is not so easy to predict exactly how the outcome will be and you can’t layer paper and pictures on top to see how it looks until the background is finished, so I had to learn to go with the flow.
It was a long process but it’s getting easier. I now often just start a project for the sake of creating and don’t care that much anymore how the outcome will be. I start with adding color to the background, add stamps and stencils and then see where it takes me. I don’t mind throwing away or painting over a piece when it didn’t turn out nice. I like contrasting colors but it’s not until the first layers of colors are dry before I decide what the contrasting colors are going to be, because it depends on how the background turned out.
I learned to let go of that final image in my head although I have to admit that I still can't start completely blanc, there are always some ideas in the back of my head of which way I hope it will go :) But it's getting better. And I have to say I like it very much. Working this way is very relaxing and you can end up with unexpected, lovely surprises. I guess that is why I’m so attracted to intuitive painting and gelli plate printing at the moment :)
So, these are my answers to the 4 questions. It’s become a pretty long post and I hope you enjoyed reading it.
I’m challenging Marieke Blokland (Bloknote.nl) from The Netherlands and Janna Werner (Papiersalat) from Germany to answer these 4 questions as well. I hope they accept the challenge and keep this Around The World Blog Hop going. Either way, their blogs are worth a visit!
Thank you for stopping by!
Today I've added a new page to my blog!
See the INSPIRATION GALLERY tab in the head bar?
If you click there you will find lots of amazing projects made by a bunch of my awesome talented artist friends using my stamp collection!
And I will keep adding projects as they come, so defnitely a place to come back to. Not ONLY to see projects with my stamps but also to find amazing artists and their wonderful work.
Here is a little collage with some sneak peeks, just to get you curious :)
Like what you see? Don't wait any longer, click on the link or HERE and be inspired!!
Two years ago I received a little 4"x5" piece of a Gelli plate in a workshop. I loved it right away and ever since I've wanted to have a big one, but I kept telling myself that they were way to expensive and that my little piece was doing just fine. Last month, when I was demonstrating with my stamps for Carabelle Studio at Stempel Mekka, I saw the big ones (12"x14") in the booth next to us and I couldn't resist anymore. I had to bring it home :)
So a little while ago I had been playing with my new Gelli plate, just experimenting, creating random backgrounds, using Carabelle stamps and stencils and then a few days later I needed some hearts for a project. I decided to cut some from the gelli prints using the Sizzix Bigz Die Hearts #4.
This was the result, aren't they great?! I love them!
But then I dropped the negative of the hearts on another print and I thought that looked just awesome. I thought that would make a great card and it did :)
I cut the negative and the other print the same size and glued them together. Then I took a black Posca pen and added the dots and the outline of the hearts. I inked the edges of the card, applied it to a white cardstock double card and splattered some black ink on.
What a quick and fun way to create a colorful card!
I am definitely going to experiment more with negative die cuts and Gelli plate prints!
It's Friday! Have a wonderful weekend and happy crafting!
There are some free paper downloads and project sheets waiting for you at Sizzix.
So get ready for Halloween!
Our FREE PAPER DOWNLOADS include a blend of orange and grey spots, stripes and other patterns which work fantastically with Tim Holtz’s Halloween inspired designs! Follow designer Pete Hughes’ instructions for creating some fun bunting decorated with spooky designs using a variety of Sizzix® technologies, such as spider webs on Sizzlits®, Pumpkins on Movers and Shapers™, ghoulish text on Bigz® and Texture Fades Embossing™ Folders to add more of a grunge detail to your creation. These are perfect for transforming your home for Trick and Treaters!
Here's a little sneakie:
Click here to get your free papers and project sheets!
Happy crafting and enjoy your weekend!
Today 3 weeks ago I flew to Toronto to teach there at Bizzy B's. Wow, time flies when you're busy and having fun!
Barb picked me up from the airport and guess what... she has a Bizzy B license plate! How cool is that?! I know you can do that in the US and Canada but here in the Netherlands we can't so for me this is fun!! :D
Since I had to teach my first workshop on Friday evening Barb took me out on a Toronto sightseeing tour. She has a lot of fun and interesting stories to tell so we drove around for a while, whilst she was pointing out places to me. Then we went to the CN Tower. With a hight of 553m the tower was the largest in the world for 34 years until 2010. We decided to go up and enjoy the view.
But before we went up Barb took a picture of me with the Canadian mascotte and of course we had to take a selfie in front of a picture of the tower :)
Then we went up, the Sky Pod is at 447m and the view is amazing. We were so lucky that it was bright and sunny!
One of the attractions is a glass floor where you can walk on and look down 447m, what a fun experience!
After we came down we had a delicious lunch at Batton Rouge. From there we went to the store to prepare for the workshop.
The beautiful street art was found under a bridge just around the corner of the Bizzy B's shop.
There was a welcome sign waiting for me in the window :) And I loved all the altered tiles in the bathroom!!
The first workshop was the Technique Tags class and we had lots of fun from the moment the first girls sat down! Oh, I laughed so much!! The best thing was when we staged a picture of me reprimanding Diane for using Nathalies stamps in stead of mine, hahaha! And when Laura send Nathalie a message that her Canadian girls are now mine, LOL!
Nathalie admitted that she snorted when she saw the pictures on Facebook, LOL!
When we got home Tony made us a lovely dinner! He is such a good cook and he loved that I said "Oh, yes please" on everything he suggested :)
On saturday I taught my "For the Love of layers" canvas workshop. I know this was kind of scary for some girls and it took a while before the understood the process but then they did and I think they loved it. Here is some work in progress, of course using Carabelle products again :) plus acrylic paints and Posca pens.
This is a group picture half way the day, just before the scariest part, covering it all up :)
And here are the results at the end of the day.
After class Barb and Tony took me to a Chinese restaurant for dinner and it was sooo good! The food was delicious. I had to laugh about the waiter! He knew Tony and asked me if I was single. I said no... Later Barb told me he is always serving them and he was there too when they took Julie and Nat to this restuarant. So I thought it would be fun to have a picture of him to show to Julie and Nat. When he came again at our table I asked him if I could take a selfie with him and he said no... LOL, he said "everybody has a bottom line, and this is my bottom line!" Haha!!
After dinner we drove through Toronto by night. Of course we went to see the CN Tower enlighted and we drove through China town.
On sunday I was teaching my last workshop "Embossing and Beyond" a mini album class with lots of different embossing techniques and more. We worked with Carabelle stamps and stencils, Sizzix embossing folders, Wow! Embossing Powder, Fab Foil and Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist, Shimmer Sheetz from Elizabeth Craft Designs and Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L products.
This is a beautiful page in one of my students little books, I love it!
And a bunch of happy students with their finished mini albums.
After the workshop Barb, her daugther, a friend and I went to the Distillery District for dinner. What a great place. The former Distillery area with more than 40 buildings was transformed to a pedestrians-only village entirely dedicaded to arts, culture and entertainment. If you are ever in Toronto, go there!
Fun thing was that we ran in to Cat Scanlon and Karen Ellis who also came to have dinner here. Of all places in Toronto they could have gone they went to the same restaurant as we did :)
And that was my last night in Toronto. The next morning Barb drove me to the airport. On our way we saw dozens of squirls, black and grey ones, that were busy collecting nuts for winter. I thought they were cute, we hardly ever see squirls here in an urban environment, but I can understand that if you live there they are not so cute anymore.
It was an awesome weekend, my first time in Canada, I hope I can come back one day!
From here I flew to Newark, Jersey City, to spent a whole week with my dear friend Nathalie, but more about that in another post :D