07 July 2017

Unbirhday

Let's-Celebrate

Today is my official Unbirthday. Yay me! For years I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday, because all my childhood trauma weighed too much and it simply had become a day I felt sick and scared. So, a couple of years ago my best friend suggested I picked a new date to celebrate. A date that was free of any negative association. I chose 7-7 to be my new date and in the style of Alice in Wonderland, I called it my unbirthday. It totally suited my new position towards life in general and my survivorship in special.

You know what they say, a party without cupcakes is just a meeting. So I’m sharing this imaginary cupcake with you. And while I’m writing this blogpost, I’m thinking what’s the fun of celebrating when I’m the only one having cake. You sure want a taste of it too, right? So, I’ll put this post in draft and work out something for you to have. While I’m working on that, you may want to have a look at what I’ve been creating.

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I started with adding some paints to the canvas using my fingers. I love the complete contact with the media I’m using and I also feel I have more controll. Next I added some texture using stencils, stamping, doodling…anything that comes to mind or my eyes spot on my working table. Ater that I traced a sketch from my sketchbook with tissuepaper and a waterproof pen (Pigma Micron), I heat set it to make sure it was completely dry before gluing it to the canvas with Matte Medium (any decoupage kind of glue’ll work).

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Next I coloured the cupcake with paints (Amsterdam acrylics).

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Finally I added some random background stamping to give it a more playful look. Also I splattered some thinned down white paint with a fan brush (make sure you’re area is free of stuff you don’t want covered in paint splatters).

Truth must be said. I didn’t make this recently. When the Craftorij shop in Ede, The Netherlands celbrated their sixth birhday, I made this as a present. It’s such a bummer shortly after that Lia decided that six years of tremendously hard work was enough. She wanted to spend more time with her family and who could blame her. I’m happy I had the chance to experience the fun of at least one live workshop (I’ll make a blogpost about that soon).

So, now my present for you, dear blogreader. I stayed in the theme of celebration. Of course it crossed my mind to do a giveaway, but that would mean only one of you would benefit. That’s no fun, right? Why not share something you can all enjoy? So, I decided to share my cupcake sketch with you, so you can make your own festive canvas or card. Since all the places I know from the past, require you to sign up, I’m just going to share it here directly through my blog. Just click the image to get the original size and then right click the image and choose “save image as”. You’re free to use my design for your own artsy projects, but please don’t make profit of something you got for free. Private use only. Of course you’re welcome to gift your project to someone, but no transactions involved. And please, if you want to share, link to my blog. It’ll stay here as long as this blog stays on air, which will be for at least another five years.

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A comment always adds to the pleasure of blogging. And if you happen to use this cupcake image, I would love to see the result. You can send me an email (I’ll make sure to reply!) or share and tag me on Instagram. My IG name is @mebearc

Another thunderstorm is coming over and it’s pretty close, so I better shut the computer down before the lightnet gets hit and my computer says boom. Poor Teddy is so much afraid. He’s been hiding behind and under the furniture. Poor kitty.

Happy craftings!!!!

12 June 2017

Knights and Horses

Goodmorning to you all! It’s Monay again. I hope you had a nice weekend. Here’s a bunch of photos for you of a school event a couple of weeks ago. There were real knights and horses in the park down my apartement. So cool! When I heard what was going on downstairs, I grabbed my gear and hurried to see if it was true there were real horses involved. I mean, the park’s really not that large, so I doubted if real horses would even fit. It appeared all true. Knights and horses. And a monk called Quasimodo.

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Here’s Quasimodo holding an apple. The kids could volunteer to do some quests with which they could win the title of shield-bearer. In this particular quest the kids needed to slice the apple with a real sword. They were all excellent shield-bearers to be.

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Now the boys were batteling to become shield-bearer, but what about the girls? Was there something in there for them as well? Of course there was! What would a knight be without a true lady to be pleased and admired. There was a very delicate quest for them and only a true dame would pass the test. Quasimodo volunteered to show what the girls needed to do.

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As a real lady, your hand will be kissed by a knight.

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This knight hesitated a bit at first. This was not a real dame, even he could tell the difference, but Quasimodo persisted and got kissed.

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And immediately fainted, because after all, that’s what real ladies do. Lots of drama for the girls with this quest. And one true dame was chosen to sit on the throne while the games between the knights began. She got to choose a fellow companion to sit by her side and the shield-bearer got to choose one companion to help him help the knights.

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Meanwhile Quasimodo kept his unicorn company.

Let the games begin!

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Both knights went to get their horses. It was a majestic entrance.

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This is knight Red Roderick.

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He did a fabulous job with the games.

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And on the white horse there’s knight White Wilhelm.

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Knight White Wilhelm is a fierce opponent for knight Red Roderick.

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These games are not for wimps.

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Red Roderick and his horse are full of spirit.

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And White Wilhelm and his white horse are faster than the speed of light.

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If there was a contest for the best looking horse it would have been a true competition. Both horses did their very best to score some bonus points here.

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Both knights and both horses are in top condition and it’s a tight call.

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So they need to battle each other.

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Look at these lances splicing apart!

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Beauty bonus points for the white horse.

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When the games are finished, good Quasimodo takes care of the horses.

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Both horses are equally beautiful.

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But knight White Wilhelm is crowned winner of the games.

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One last proud pose of the winning team and all can go home.

It was an amazing activity to watch. Because of the privacy of the kids involved (I don’t know their parents, so I can’t ask for permission) I choose not to publish the photos that have the kids as a main subject.

If your from the Netherlands or Belgium, here’s the link to the site of the organisation “Ridders op School”. They can be booked for all kinds of festivities, not nesecarrily for schools only.

Thanks for watching! This lady is going to make some art now. Bye!

04 June 2017

Art Journal Goodness

Hello! It’s been such a long time since I posted anything art related, other than photography. I am terribly sorry for my absence lately. If you’d like to see my work on a more regular base, please follow me on Instagram. I’m mebearc over there.

I’ve been quite busy making all kinds of art projects. Sometimes inspired by challenges, sometimes just inspired by whatever comes to me. I’m not going to bore you with small talk, because I know you are here to see art, right? Well, let’s go then!

In February I made two series of ATCs (Artist Trader Cards) and with each set a matching card for the host of the swaps.

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ATCs

Kiss_Me A6 size card

In April I made something for Dina Wakley’s monthly challenge in her Facebook group. The prompt was to make something from recycled material. Like all the challenges in Dina’s group, there should be used at least one visible DWM (Dina Wakley Media) product in your project.  I made this art journal page with the Scribble Birds stamp set, which was the start of a new project: a complete art journal made from recycled carton packages.

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Since I made the page for Dina’s challenge, I haven’t stopped making new recycled pages. For all the pages I start with a Gelli printed background that I glue onto the carton package (cut to size) and from there I start building my page. And when I feel like joining another challenge, I simply incorporate it with this recycled journal.

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This page was made for a challenge in the Miss Kate Cuttables Facebook group, which was to use at least one of her files and make something with the animal theme. This cute cat really spoke to me. In the PNG file the cat was grey, but it was easy to make him a ginger cat when cutting the parts with my Silhouette. Of course I had to use him with a photo of Teddy. This photo was taken short after Teddy came to my home.

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After the challenge expired I decided it wasn’t quite finnished yet, so I added some extra details until I was satisfied.

Some days I just made a bunch of backgrounds, that I could work on later. At this poing another project started: recycled coasters. I’ll come back to this in a later blogpost as there is a secret mission with these. Here’s a peek at some of these backgrounds.

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On Pinterest I collect quotes that appeal to me for whatever reason. I mostly save those I think will come in handy when I’m looking for words to add to my art journal pages. A lot of them are quite sarcastic. It’s my kind of humor. I think they go perfectly together with those women I got in a digital kit by Tumble Fish Studios.

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There’s a page about Teddy’s Easter shoot. On this page I used the most adorable easter washi tape by Hema (Dutch brand) and an image by Miss Kate Cuttables.

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Sometimes I just go through my stash with ephemera and use what appeals to me. Like this image transfer of a foal that I did years ago as a first try before doing an image transfer on a large page. It was in my stash all these years and now I found a good place for it.

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With my new stencil by Dina Wakley I created this background.

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And it resulted in this page. The colours may look different, but that’s because I took the first photo in the light of a lamp. The stamp is of the Scribble Girlies set by Dina Wakley. You’d think I get sponsored, but nope, I’m just in love with her gorgeous creations and a big fan of her art. Her books are really amazing, wheather you’re new to art journaling and mixed media or have been doing it for years.

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Alright. Well, I’m going to finish this post now. Otherwise there’ll be too much graphics which will make the page slow to load and we don’t want that to happen. I have plenty more to share and am making new stuff on a daily base, so don’t forget to subscribe as a follower to this page or to check and see if there’s any new stuff up. Like always, I’m giving a shout out on my social media when a new page is up, but I’m very much aware that not everyone gets to see my new messages due to Facebooks ever anoying algorythms.

As I’m finishing this writing, Teddy is getting very impatient. It’s an hour past his feeding time and he’s making clear he’s very hungry. Depeninding on what part of the world you’re in, have a great day or goodnight (it’s goodnight at my part of the world).

Much love!

21 May 2017

Still Shining

Day 6 of the free online photography class I'm taking, hosted by Else Kramer. Today was about using side light to show texture.

In this painting by Jan Steen called “The Sick Woman” you can see how the painter gives you a great image of what the fabrics look like. You can really see the texture of the clothes. I imagine the skirt of the woman must feel very soft and smooth.

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So today our prompt was to use side light to show texture. Not sure if I succeeded, but at least I got a nice bokeh *smile.

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Teddy has been complaining about an empty food bowl for nearly two hours, so I’m going to take care of him. Have to take care of me too. It’s time for bed. Nighty, nighty everyone!

19 May 2017

Tomato Tomato

It’s day 5 of the free online photography workshop I’m taking, hosted by Else Kramer. Today it’s all about making contrast by using complementary colours. One of the famous painters had an exeptional eye for complementary colours. Of course I’m talking about Vincent van Gogh.

Basicly you take the colourwheel and every colour on one side, has a colour on the exact opposite side. Those two are complementary colours to each other. If you narrow this down to the primary and secundary colours, there are the following three combinations: red-green, yellow-purple, blue-orange. In this painting by Vincent van Gogh  you can see how well his combination of orange and blue works.

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I love the vibrant colours Vincent van Gogh used in his paintings. Hey what can I say? I really love bright colours! So I went with a subject that also had bright colours and made sure it would really pop.

Usually I start with a subject that's given to me, like something I see in the park or an event I'm visiting. This class teaches me to really think about a photo, because now I'm going for a certain look. In this case, I'd never have thought the tomato would need a blue background to really make it pop.

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Techinical info for those who like to know:
Pentax K5-II, Vivitar1 105mm macro
settings: Iso 200; 1/20 sec; F8 (I think? Geez, I really have to start writing this stuff down when I shoot, I changed the aperture after this shot, so I can't check it).

Tomorrow will be the final day of this uber fun class. Awww… I’m sure there’ll be more fun things to come on my path. Also, I have this bunch of art journal related stuff I’ve been promising to share with you, so don’t forget to check for new updates!

Taking Care of Myself

Day 4 of the free online photography class I’m taking, hosted by Else Kramer.

It’s been a busy and mainly exhausting day, because Thursdays are for therapy. Going through all the horror of my past is extremely hard, but after two years, it’s already starting to make a difference. I’m able to actually find the beauty in life and sometimes there’s a spark of being happy. I’m not there yet and I’ve got a long way to go and some very hard work needs to be done, but I know I’m a hard worker and I can do this. It’s like the quote I saw on Pinterest “Sometimes I feel like giving up, but then I’ve got a lot of motherfuckers to proove wrong”. Too many people have tried to make my life a living hell, but I’m determined to make my life livable.

Today’s photo challenge was about capturing movement. The Golden Age painter Frans Hals was really great at making his portraits vivid. I absolutely love this one of a drunk man who clearly couldn’t sit still for a second.

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I experimented with all kinds of things, but ended taking a self portrait again. I actually like it. I didn't even have to crop the photo, which is a major improvement for me.

The photo looked like someone elses hands were gently going over my face in a very caring way. With the therapy session still on my mind, I came up with the title “Taking Care of Myself”, which is one of the things I’m learning.

Taking Care of Me

I don't own any professional studio equipment, so I used the light of the lamp that hangs over my dining table. That gave too much of a shadow behind me, so I took a standing lamp that has 3 spotlights (from Ikea), set it at the side of me with only 1 spot pointed at me. That cleared the shadow.

I only did a few adjustments in post processing (whitebalance, exposure, saturation).

Exif data for who wants to know: Pentax K5-II, Vivitar1 100mm macro lens, F22, ISO 400, 3 sec.

Thank you so much for visiting. There’ll be another challenge in my mailbox tomorrow. I’d love to hear your feedback, so please leave me a comment. Bye for now!

18 May 2017

La Chambre Bohemique

Today is day 3 of the free photography workshop I’m doing this week, hosted by Else Kramer. We got another set of inspiring paintings by the famous painters of the Golden Age. This one by Rembrandt really spoke to me. It’s called “An Old Woman Reading”. The prompt was to take a photo of someone looking at something, just like the woman in this painting is looking at her book.

I was initially thinking about doing a self portrait that would come close to this painting. Later I changed my plan and packed my backpack to take a self portrait in the beautiful Sorgvliet park. Time was not in my favour today. Actually, I have this problem the whole week. Either I am going way slower than usual or time’s going way faster. It takes a quick rational thought to say it’s me being awfully slow. Time has it’s own pace and I don’t think it has ever changed since earth came alive. Long story short, by the time I packed all my things it was 4:30 PM. It takes me an hour to get there and the park closes at 6 PM. That would leave me a short 30 minutes. I wouldn’t be able to make it in that time.

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I set up a very simple kind of home studio, using a white door as a background and covering the floor with a dark piece of fabric. A stool would be my seat. I set up my tripod and camera, adjusted the settings so I was good to go. I was using a wireless remote control to fire the camera. While I had an apple in my hand to use for this shoot, Teddy got very interested in what I was doing. So I decided to pick him up and do some shots with him in my arms.

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After choosing my most appropriate photo, I did some basic editing. And that’s when I got wild and lost track of time again. I thought it would be a fun idea to really make this into a picturesque scene. A while ago I purchased several digital kits at Mischief Circus. I used elements from different designers, resulting into this final piece. I’m quite happy the way it turned out!

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While being so busy and focussed I completely forgot to make and have diner. It’s been quite a warm day in the Netherlands and as usual I don’t have a lot of apetite on such days. So my stomach wasn’t telling me it needed food either. Oh well, I guess one day of poor eating won’t be a problem. I’ll have some extra Greek yoghurt and fruit after I launched this blogpost. I’ll be a good girl tomorrow.