Mailart Sunday - Dream Big

As I have mentioned before in a previous Mailart Sunday post, the CityScape stamp is one of my favorites and since we're celebrating our new Challenge blog in which we have a New Stamp release event going until July 22nd, it is getting a lot of love from me this month :) This piece is inspired by the movie Upside Down which I have seen recently. It's such a cool idea, two worlds colliding like that!

A few years ago I found a cool marble set which I had stored somewhere for ages. And I finally used it to make wonderful backgrounds for journal/mailart pages. Like the background I used for this piece. I simply stamped the city scape on the top and bottom and embossed with black embossing powder. To fill up the stark whiteness in between the marbles, I sprayed chalk mist powder in blue over the card. (it is handy to create a 'spray box' to put your projects in so you don't spray it all over your desk or clothes etc..) DREAM BIG in the middle to finish off the piece. I used doodle letter stamp set and colored in with black fineliner.  A reminder to always let myself dream, desire and aspire!

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Zenspirational doodles inspired by Joanne Fink

A while back I received this wonderful care package from my friend Mel and her son Jakob. And at a weekend away a little while ago, I got to try my hand this wonderful activity book "Zenspirations Dangle Designs; expanded workbook edition".

Plans for the afternoon #zentangle #zenspiration #joannefink #tangle #drawing #aquarelle #steadtler #sakura #fountainpen #midori #activitybook #writinginstruments #drawingtools #writingtools #pencils #pigmentliner
I wanted to make a dangle border/top design as you see on the workbook cover.

As pictures say more than words, I will show you my zenspiration creation process step by step:

#zendangling is very fun and easy to do. My top 5 tools for #zentangle activities are 1) mechanic pencil 0.5 point 2) steadtler micron liners 3) pilot kaküno fountainpen M nib with namiki black cartdridge 4) sakura pigment liners 5) sakura black gelly rol
My top 5 tools for #zentangle activities are 1) mechanic pencil 0.5 point 2) steadtler micron liners 3) pilot kaküno fountainpen M nib with namiki black cartdridge 4) sakura pigment liners 5) sakura black gelly rol. I made a few rough sketches with pencil and then just started doodling away with the fineliners. 

zenspirations 2
You can make some basic shapes and tangle/doodle in the downward pillars/sock dangles. I used a really fine 0.05 micron steadtler fine liner for the really detailed doodles.

zenspirations 3
I got inspiration from the book to do the 'tops' and 'ends' but thinking up some fun patterns/designs yourself is all part of the wonderful creative process.

zenspirations 4
Got the line work done! And the fun thing is I had no idea it would turn out like this when I started. It all happened gradually without having to think too much about it. Though I like the black and white version, I did want to see what it would look like with some color. Before I used the water colors, I erased all the pencil lining with a soft eraser so the graphite would not mix with the colors. 

zenspirations 5
I used my caran d'ache prismalo aquarelle pencils and a pentel water brush to color it in. I decided to leave the insides of the doodles and columns white and keep a simple color contrast on top while having a nice color gradient on the bottom. Red in between the columns and yellow on the bottom. Used the water brush to make them blend and it became orange where the two colors meet. 

zenspirations 6
The finished piece. I ended up using the contrasting colors in the smaller dangle 'endings' to make it 'complete'. I'm quite pleased with the end result. I love how the colors make the dangles pop out more. 

NB I did find out though that the black cartridge in my Pilot kaküno fountain pen was not entirely water proof. But when dried and mixed with the colors, it looks like shading so the piece wasn't completely ruined. So a fair warning; if you do end up using watercolors, make sure you work with completely water proof liners/ink if you don't want the bleed/blend through happening.  

Inspired and enthused? See Joanne Fink's blog for more inspiration! Also the book is being translated to a few different languages! As she would love to hear from people all over the world, who tried the book or their hand at zenspirations, so be sure to leave a comment on her The Global Connection blogpost :) 

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Craftorij Zomer Challenge

Well I have been a bit quiet on here, but that doesn't mean that nothing is being done ;) The craftorij zomer challenge has been going on in full swing and I have been doing the daily challenge prompts at my own pace. It's been going on for 3 weeks now and so far I have only shared CZC1- use two or more tags and CZC00 - use only green on my blog. I have been doing them randomly and have been posting on my flickr and instagram. But I though I'd share an weekly update on what I have been making here to chronicle it better. Since I already shared the CZC01 I'll start off with

CZC02 - Use a quote 
CZC02 - use a quote
It says 'Be loving, happy, spontaneous, curious, tender, but always be yourself'

CZC03 - Use Inchies

CZC03 - use inchies

The inchie stamps I used are from hero arts and they were on my 'to sell off' pile... 
I might reconsider selling them now...

CZC04 - Circus

CZC04 circus
 Was difficult to get started on this one so in the end I used one of my premade backgrounds.

CZC05 - your hobby room/space
CZC05 - your hobby room
This was inspired by my blue craft room and inspiration board

CZC06 - Upside Down

CZC06 - Humpty Dumpty - upside down
CZC06 humpty dumpty - upside down
The egg stamp is hand carved by me.

CZC07 - use only blue
CZC07 - use only blue
I do love the stampotique and carabelle stamp combination. 
Got the stamps at this year's art specially event.

My toughest challenge this week was Nr4 - Circus. I do not have anything or any feeling with this theme. and Nr7 all blue was challenging too. Blue is my fave color and that can be extra difficult. I actually made 2 different pieces on this theme, but the one I chose has the best result I was looking for.
If I had to pick a fave of the bunch it would be Nr. 5 - I love my blue room :) It was fun making the background and I like the composition of how it all came together. 
Out of these which one would you choose as your fave?

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Thriftfinds Thursdays - Porte Plume

A little while ago I stumbled upon a great art and vintage market in Amsterdam at the Spui. Of course I can't walk by without checking out what they had for sale. And boy am I glad I did. A vendor was selling a lot of vintage adverts, stationery, papers and other paraphernalia and in a corner also a box with dip pens, pencils and yes... fountain pens. I scored the above beauties there for a really good price. And the fun thing was, he put them in an envelope of an old fountain pen store in Brussels as a wrapping. It has the 'Le Tirge' logo on it (which would make an awesome rubber stamp)! My little archivist heart just beated faster, so awesome to add this to my collection of fountain pen related goodies :)

The pen bodies do need some work to get them into full working order. The Crown one is the most intact one. Such a beautiful striated body! Of course I had to dip test them and the Crown and Onoto ones are really flexy. The duofold is a firm medium one. Sadly the caps of both the duofold and onoto are broken. But perhaps at the Tilburg penshow this year I might be able to find a replacement for them. 

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Mailart Sunday - Wigging out

One of the 'Warm up's' for the Craftorij Zomer Challenge 2015 was 'use only green' and this is what I made. The background is made on a green paper bag and splattered Peeled paint and Moss Green Distress Stains on it. The large stamp is Steampunk Profile Head by Carmen's Veranda. I stamped it with versamark and added a bit of green patina perfect pearl and embossed other parts with Mint Green WOW embossing powder. The text on the left is about how to fit a mens wig is a copy from a vintage text book, ripped and colored with distress stains. As I like word puns, I stamped 'wigging out' with my fave typewriter alphabet font rubberstamps with memento green ivy and tuxedo black on some green cardstock and colored it similarly as the text paper to complete the piece.

With a little more light and offset back ground you can see the details of this piece a bit better.

Close up of the mix of perfect pearls and embossing powder. I really like the end result and effect is has on the whole image.

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CZC1 - Playing Tag

Challenge no.1 'use two or more tags' - I like word puns... #craftorijzomerchallenge #czc2015 #CZC1 #crafty #summerchallenge #crafting #mailart #collageart #hansengrietje #tikkertje #tags #wordpuns #wordpun

The craftorij zomer challenge 2015 started off with the challenge 'Use two or more tags' and this is what I made for it. Yes I like wordpuns ;) The Hansel und Gretel rubber stamp is hand carved by my friend Kate Lee which I received a while back. Gretel's hand is touching Hansel's hand so it looks like they could be playing tag ;) The small tag stamp is from a HEMA stampset which I got a while back. I used it many times for snailmail in combination with my fave typewriter font alphabet stamp. I stamped both the hansel and gretel stamp and the tags on semi transparent paper, colored it in with promarkers and cut it out & glued on the background. I used scrapbook paper and a marbled bookpage as background. I sealed it with artist medium. 

I'll be sharing more of my creations for the summer here but they are at 'random' as I'm doing the challenges as inspiration hits me. Just to keep it fun and not add any pressure of having to do said challenge on the day it's posted. 

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Craftorij Zomer Challenge 2015

'Every day inspiration' - inspired by the #craftorijzomerchallenge Making something on a #10x15 format everyday in the months june and july. I sorta already started 😉

Today starts the summer challenge organized by the Craftorij Shop keepers/members. The challenge is explained in Dutch on the website, but everyone is free to join in. The idea of the challenge is to make something everyday for the months of June and July (=61 days) on correspondence type cards inspired by a prompt given by the challenge hosts. Style and material choice is completely free, the only 'rule' is that it has to be 10x15 cm in size. I have a pack of HP 100 photo cards I bought at the kruidvat for 99cents at one point which would be perfect for this. I have already started to 'warm up' to the feel of creating something every day and made the above inspiration card a little while ago. It's a mixed media collage with 'found' papers, flyers and stationery. 

Getting inspired by the #craftorijzomerchallenge #elkedag #crafty #crafting #correspondencecards #mixedmedia #mailartists #mailart #collageart #collage
The art Nouveau lady stamp is Profile with stars by Lost Coast Designs and alphabet stamps are from Image Tree Stamps - Antique Typewriter Lowercase Font which is one of my faves to use.
The text in Dutch 'Elke Dag Inspiratie' means "Every Day Inspiration" which is what I am hoping for with this challenge. Not sure if I can actually make one every day, but am sure going to give it a try ;) 

If you want to join in the fun, here's the facebook group page where the prompts (in Dutch only) are being given out. But you can use google translate very easily to figure out the prompts in a language you can understand :)

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