A walk in the woods


art books WIP by AppleApricot


Hello sweet people,

Last weekend we went to my favourite woods here in the area: the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. It's huge (for the Netherlands that is, we are only a tiny country). This time we went to an area of it which we hadn't visited before. And we were in for a beautiful surprise at the very end of the walk, a field of gorgeous wildflowers.

Here's a short film I made, come enjoy this walk with me:





Does anyone know which flowers those are? I googled it and couldn't find it, but would love to know.

Of course I brought back some little treasures from the woods like nuts and sticks. But I left this beauty below where I found it.






The woods inspired me for the art book - or journal or whatever you'd like to call it - I am making. The foundation of the book itself is finished, but I will add more and more later on. I'm going to use it as my nature journal, adding little paintings, journaling, embroidery snippets, found objects like leafs, and so on.




The pages all have something on it, so I will not have to start with a blank canvas. I added snippets of fabric and lace, found papers, I added some paint strokes here and there. The pages are of a variety of papers. Watercolour papers, book pages, fabric pages, wrapping papers, printer paper, scrapbook papers. And the cover is made out of cardboard.






Gosh, I really want to know which flowers these are. They're so gorgeous! A whole field of them, blooming somewhere in the middle of the woods.




On the back I added a snippet of fabric on which I did some embroidery. To my book I will also add inspiring quotes that I find. And photos I took myself of all things nature.







These gorgeous wildflowers gave me the inspiration for my next art book, for which I started with making the front cover painting:

Book of Bloom




Which, of course, will be about wildflowers, blossoms and other flowers, but also about blooming as a person.

I make these books with the help of a bookmaking workshop by Nellie Wortman. Unfortunately she retired this class, so it will no longer be available, but you can find other awesome classes by Nellie (and other art teachers) at Creative Workshops.

Now put on your hiking boots and have a stroll outdoors, my friend. I know we spend way too much time indoors and also behind our computers. I know I do.

Big hugs and happy day wishes,

xx Wen



Linking this to Nature Notes

Isle of Skye Edinbane Pottery




Hello dear friends,

When on the Isle of Skye we visited the Edinbane Pottery. Actually we spent hours and hours there, watching the potters at work and admiring the beautiful art pieces they created. I've never tried this art form, but it's fascinating to watch.


Stuart


It all started with Stuart and his father when they founded the pottery in 1971. Today, besides Stuart, his wife Julie and German born Andreas also work here, occasionally joined by other potters.

We visited a couple of times. The first few times, Stuart and Julie had some days off. So we spend most of our time with Andreas. I made a short film to give you an impression:





The clay mixture they use and the glazes are made by them as well. So the whole process from clay making to the finishing touches are all done by this team of potters.




There are many steps in this process from rough clay to pot. In their shop they have a list of all the steps. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of it.




What's so nice about this pottery is the openness. You can see the potters at work while literally standing next to them. They are very happy to tell about their work and answer all our questions, which no doubt they have had to answer many times before, over and over again.




The potters each have their own unique style. And I must say I loved them all equally. Work inspired by the island's nature and the sea, like the Ebb and Flow series below.




Not long ago part of the pottery burned down and had to be rebuild. When we were there they were still busy building a new oven. Stuart showed us around so we could see the ovens they have.




We watched Andreas at work on a huge teapot. I mean, really huge. Not exactly something for daily use unless you drink a whole lot of tea or have a very large party, but it's a beautiful decor piece. We had to leave though before he could add the glazing and paints, so we haven't seen the end result.


Andreas




I always love to see what tools artists work with. I'm tempted... may be there's a bit of room in our home for a potter's worktable? Who knows...




Visit this wonderful pottery on their website:


Or better yet, go pay them a visit on the beautiful Isle of Skye!




Wishing you a happy day!

xx Wen


Go create!


nature inspired mixed media by AppleApricot


Hello my dear friends,

Do you have any idea how much time we use up with art-related things without making art ourselves? Be it the hours we spent on pinterest or instagram in search of inspiration, or watching how-to videos on youtube, visiting inspiring art blogs and spending hours scrolling through their wonderful articles and photos, or getting excited over an online art workshop (buying the thing and never get to finish or even start with it). Any idea?


forest mushrooms by AppleApricot


May be I even don't wanna know the answer for myself, because my goodness could I have used a big portion of that time to actually DO something with all that inspiration! Here's a great quote I found on the blog of Roben Marie Smith:

The potential to be an artist is there in each of us - consistent creation is what helps unleash all that possibility.


— Roben-Marie Smith



Read her awesome article about creating art consistently HERE.


leafs by AppleApricot


A great tip is to get offline more often and search for inspiration in other things than pinterest or instagram.

In my case, nature is my muse. I know that my soul gets more alive when wandering through a beautiful landscape and soaking in the majesty and paying attention to the small details.

What's yours?

Get out there, be inspired, and go create!

You already know what to do and how to do it.
Now do it.

(I'm so talking to myself here as well!)

Wishing you a beautiful day,

xx Wen


A happy heart


mixed media art book by Dorthe of DenLilleLade


Hello my sweet friends,

Recently I was the happy receiver of some gorgeous art made by dear Dorthe of Den Lille Lade. I'm a big fan of her nature inspired work. She is a true mixed media artist. She makes both shabby romantic art and nature inspired art, in which she combines her nature finds like leafs and driftwood with paints, fabrics and laces, and other media. Last year I had the pleasure of interviewing her and it was really nice to learn more about her artful journey.


mixed media art book by Dorthe of DenLilleLade


Last week a beautiful package of hers arrived. In this blogpost I'll share with you the nature inspired art book she made. The other gifts in the package I'll leave for another time.


mixed media art book by Dorthe of DenLilleLade


When I opened this, I had no idea what to expect inside. Was it a wrap? A folded collage perhaps?

Untying the knot and lifting the lace on the outside brought me to this beautiful first page. A happy rose petal heart. "Oooh yippee!" I thought, it is something made with nature finds!


mixed media art book by Dorthe of DenLilleLade


And then page after page, filled with nature's beauty unfolded. It turned out to be a gorgeous nature inspired fabric mixed media art book! With her beautiful stitching...


mixed media art book by Dorthe of DenLilleLade


... leafs, birds, butterfly and feather images, paints...


mixed media art book by Dorthe of DenLilleLade


... and of course the beautiful driftwood which holds it all together.


mixed media art book by Dorthe of DenLilleLade


When I first started crafting, I came across Dorthe's blog Den Lille Lade and since then my work is greatly influenced by the inspiration I find in her work.

Thank you so much sweet Dorthe, for your gorgeous art book and gifts, your generosity and kind heart, and for the friendship we share!

Read more:

***

There are more artists and dear blogfriends that have greatly influenced me and shared with me their talent, kindness, friendship, and generous hearts, and I truly hope to be able to share with you some more artist interviews in the future. But for now I wish you all a...


mixed media art book by Dorthe of DenLilleLade


... happy heart :)

Big hugs xx
Wen