14 February 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day – Teddy’s Photoshoot

Hello friends! Teddy and I want to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day! This year we took some serious business and really prepared for it. We didn’t do just one shoot. No, we actually did two! What can I say, Teddy’s so adorable and if there’s anything to celebrate, it must be love. Although Teddy likes to add having fun is equally important.

Our best pics from the first shoot:

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“I don’t know who you are, but you smell funny”

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“Ooh what’s this…looks interesting!”

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“Ooh fun!”

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“Playtime!”

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“Birdie?”

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“What to do with this?”

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“For you!”

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“What’s next?”

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“What do you mean, we’re done for today?”

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“Aren’t there any treats involved?”

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“Saving my best smile for last”

That first shoot didn’t go too bad. Teddy really enjoyed himself with the fake rose. Best part of his game was throwing it on the floor, so I had to pick it up and lay it back on the dresser again. He also loved it when I used it as a feather toy. What I’ve learned in these nearly 18 months Teddy is with me, is if I want to have a chance of any nice photos, aka making him cooperate, it needs to be fun for him. As soon as he feels I want him to do something, he’ll do exactly the opposite. After all, he is a cat and that’s what cats do. Dogs like to please their owners, but cats can be little rebels. The challenge for me is that I have to do it all by myself. No extra pair of hands to help me keep him in place so I can stay with my camera. I’m learning with every shoot.

On to the second shoot. After viewing the photos of the first shoot, I found that all the extra props were quite distracting. Especially that toy cat with his big eyes. So I decided to do another shoot and keep it real simple. Just Teddy with his bowtie, some paper hearts and of course the rose.

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He was in a very playful (read: naughty) mood. At the same time there were some wild parakeets flying around the house and their happy chattering always draws his attention, hence the look in his eyes. He’s never been an outdoor cat, yet nature tells him he needs to catch every bird he sees or hears. The pigeons are always taunting him by sitting in the balcony, close to the window, where he can see them.

I’ve save the best photo for last. He’s really playing irresitable mister Valentine here.

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I hope you find a way to have a nice Valentine’s Day. If you don’t have a mister or miss Valentine in your life, there are other ways to still make it a good day. Spoil yourself. Make heart art. It can be a masterpiece or just some doodled hearts. Listen to your favourite love songs. Watch a cheesy romantic movie. If nobody sends you chocolats, go buy them yourself. And if they ask if it’s a present, tell them yes, because they will decorate it for you. It’s none of their business that it’s a present for yourself. Sometimes I like to do that. Especially when they have really nice wrapping paper. Or when I’m a bit embarres to confess it’s something I buy for myself. That happens as well.

Thanks for visiting! Oh and please do leave a comment, so I know you were here. For more regular updates, come over to my Instagram account. I try to upload a picture there every day. Bye for now!

01 January 2018

Happy New Year!!!

Hello world! How are you doing? Did you have a good start of the new year? Well, here in The Hague we went with a boom. Aparently it’s not a tradition all over the world, but here in The Netherlands we are allowed to light our own fireworks. Not all kinds though. There’s legal fireworks and illegal fireworks. I can assure you there’s always an aweful lot of illegal fireworks. But there’s also a lot of gorgeous fireworks and it’s all over the place. So you don’t need to go anywhere to see a beautiful show. I had the most amazing show from my balcony. Here are some photos I took.

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Phoenix

This last one may not be one of the best photos, but I thought it was so special to see a firebird was flying over my neighbourhood. The magic of photography.

I hope you enjoyed this photo journal. See you back soon!

31 December 2017

Top 2000 Blog Party – Day 7 (finale)

Welcome to the very last day of 2017. Outside there’s an awful lot of noise as the neighbourhood is having fun with their own fireworks. We do have an organised firework show in the city centre, at the parlaiment building, but as long as people are allowed to light their own fireworks, I’m staying safe inside. Besides the fireworks there’s this weird tradition in my city of making bonfires wherever people like. For that one’s there’s also an official alternative at the beach. There’s even a contest for that one. Two revelling city parts (both former beach villages that are now part of the city) have been working for a whole week to build the tallest bonfire. I’ll come back to that at the end of this post. First, music!

For today I’ve chosen the song “Private Investigations" by Dire Straits. It’s been one of my favourite Dire Straits songs since my childhood. The instrumental part left plenty of room for my imagination to make up a movie in my mind. It was a bit a too high aim to try and image that movie on my pages, especially since I had to finish it today. So instead I went for a minimal approach with a big chance of success: a Gelli Plate party. When I thought about a private detective, I thought of Sherlock Holmes, who is as a matter of fact the most famous private detective. I found a very usable image at the Open Clipart website, which I cut with my Silhouetten Cameo. I decided to use the mask part of the cut out. My explanation for my colour choices: I wanted to have something that represented the old of the stories about Sherlock Holmes, for which I chose brown. And I wanted to add the atmosphere of the mystery for which I chose the purple.

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#69 Dire Straits – Private Investigation

Here’s a few extra pictures for you.

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Work in progress

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The bonus I got out of this printing session. Left the print in my journal. Right the bonus print.

Now about those bonfires at the beach. The winning citypart is Duindorp. They built a bonfire measuring almost 30 meter in height. Pretty awesome right. The other citypart, Scheveningen, built a bonfire of a good 25 meter.

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Photo credits: Ernst de Heer

Have a fabulous New Year’s Eve. Stay safe!

30 December 2017

Top 2000 Blog Party – Day 6

Perfect timing. The minute I’m writing this blogpost, the radio plays the song this artwork is all about. The great Sinéad O’Connor and her epic song “Troy”. So without further ado, here’s a tribute to my hero!

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#260  Sinéad O’Connor – Troy

It was a tremendous lot of work and a very ambitios challenge to do this lino carving all in one day, but I managed. Yay me! That is, if I hit the upload button right now. Bye!!!

Edit: okay, maybe a few BTS pictures?

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Teddy taking over my workspace

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The sketch transfered onto the linoleum

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The aftermath… I spent two hours cleaning up my table prior to today’s art session. Looks like I can start anew tomorrow.

Okay, that’s really it for today. Teddy’s been complaining about a rumbly in his tumbly (yes, Pooh refference) and I can do with a late night yoghurt as well. Besides, it’s time to go to bed. For a change I might try to be in bed before 3 AM.

I’ll be back tomorrow for the last day of the Top 2000 Blog Party, but I don’t know what time that will be. So if I don’t speak to you before old turning to new, I wish you a happy New Year’s Eve. Stay safe and enjoy whatever you’re going to do. For me it’s going to be home alone with Teddy (so not really alone), watching comedy on telly and hopefully making some good pictures of the fireworks once the clock strikes 12.

Top 2000 Blog Party – Day 3, 4 and (not) 5

Hi there! I’m so sorry I haven’t updated my blogposts these past few days. It was a race against time and of course I lost. I finished my page for day three at day four and only finished my page for day four past midnight. So, you’re getting a bonus in this blogpost: three days in one! Which means more artwork pictures in this one post.

I am having a blast with this combined art and music event. There’s so much great music on the radio. Some even worth checking out the singer or band to find out what else they make. And the art journaling’s also giving me tons of fun. One of the reasons I’ve run behind, is that I don’t want to rush my work process. If a page takes more time, then I give it the time it needs. For the page of day three, I added lots of layers, which took time, but with every layer the page got so much more depth. I also love to challenge myself by creating things that I’m not really used to. Like a full figurine, a ballet dancer in this case. And that hand was a huge challenge too! Let me show you the page I’m talking about.

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#1371 Elton John – Tiny Dancer

At the moment I’m going through a very difficult time and it can affect my mood badly. When I listened to the radio and heared the song “Lemon Tree” by Fools Garden, I realised after hearing this song a million times before that it’s actually quite a sad song. Sometimes it takes a sad mood to understand these things. I alsways thought this was a happy song and I loved it. I still love it, but last night the meaning of the song made a shift. I found it interesting how the chorus described a happy world, while the phrases described sadness. It was that contradiction in mood that I wanted to express on my pages. And while being in this sad mood myself, it actually felt great to image the sadness into art. Bare with me as this is only my second attempt of doing a 3/4 face. The nose is better than my first attempt, but now I see the eye is way too close to the nose. I’ll pay attention to that next time. We’re learning by experience, right?

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#906  Fools Garden – Lemon Tree

And just because life happens, I have just decided to totally skip day 5. I got hit by fatigue this afternoon and just had to go to sleep in order to respect my health. I’m very sorry for this disappointment. To be honest, I mostly disappointed myself, because I had a great idea for today’s part of the list. I guess that has to wait. Maybe I just save that idea for next year hehe. Trying to think smart now. Tomorrow’s another day. Only two more days left.

If you want to learn more about this Top 2000 Blog Party, go visit Marit’s blog. Here’s where you can find the information if you want to join. It’s free and fun, so why not! And if you just want to see what everyone else’s been creating, you can follow this link.

Hope you’ll be able to make something fabulous, weather you join this blog party or just have your own project going on. Or maybe you’re here because you like to see other people’s work, but are not much of a crafty person yourself. In that case, I want to ask you if you are sure about that. Many of the people I now respect for the art they make, have thought of themselves as being non creative for decades. Apparently many High School teachers have ruined our trust in our own creativity. Maybe you should reconsider their opinion. After all, it was nothing more than their own opinion. And their concept about what makes good art doesn’t necessary have to be the truth.

26 December 2017

Top 2000 Blog Party – Day 2

Hello art lovers! Yesterday I was at my bestie’s celebrating Christmas with pancakes. Best Christmas tradition ever! Because I stayed there until way too late, I didn’t have time to prepare for today’s Blog Party. You’d think with so much work on your scedule, you’d make sure to not waste any time. Well, that would be true if you weren’t me. I stayed in bed way too long, played games on my phone, went grocery shopping (okay, that one’s a necessity). So I managed to do this one page, but right now it’s past 10 PM and I have to prepare for tomorrow. This chaotic mind of mine doesn’t really work for me. However, I have tons of fun making art while listening to the radio.

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#1656 Nina Hagen – Unbeschreiblich Weiblich

And my mind may be very chaotic, it’s also quite creative. Look what sollution I came up with when I wanted to add ink splatters to my page. I took my art journal to the bathroom, layed it on the floor, did the messy splattering and afterwards it took me less than a minute to rinse the ink off the floor.

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Now back to making more art!

25 December 2017

Top 2000 Blog Party – Day 1

Merry Christmas, everyone! Outside it’s grey, cold and windy. Inside it’s cozy with Christmas lights shining and the radio on, because like every year the Top 2000 has started this Christmas day. Until New Year’s Eve the radio will play the 2000 most voted songs of all times. It’s always been my pleasure, but ever since I discoverd the event Marit Barendsen hosts, it’s a bliss. Follow this link to check out Marit’s site where she explains everything about her Top 2000 Blog Party. It’d be fun if you’d join in!

For this first day I managed to do two songs.

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#1897 The Beatles – Yellow Submarine

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#1821 K’s Choice – Everything For Free

Fun fact: I took this photo of K’s Choice lead singer, Sarah Bettens, at last weeks concert in my city.
Also on this page: some stamps I carved for Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s Carve December.

Have a fabulous day, whatever you do. See you tomorrow with at least one new page!

14 August 2017

When Life Gives You Lemons

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When I just went to check something on my blog, I noticed these Photobucket messages appearing all over the place. Apparently, Photobucket suddenly doesn’t support the free option of sharing your photos on another website anymore. I’ve been using their service ever since I started this blog, but now I need to upgrade my account, which will cost me over $300 a year! It’s insane, right? So, I’m trying to figure out what photo hosting website does still allow me to show my photos on my blog, but I’m afraid it’s going to take me some time. So from now, this blog is officially under construction. I’m very sorry for the inconvenience. I guess this is the Universe giving me a kick under the butt, because I’ve wanted to alter my blog for such a long time, but kept postponing it. I really much rather create art instead, but well, to translate an old Dutch saying for you, which my grandmother used to say to me a lot “rather cookies aren’t being baked”. Meaning not everything in life is about the things you’d rather do or have. Sometimes there are necessities too and they cannot be ignored. Even if you try.

Have a cookie while you’re waiting.

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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!!!!