Simply Neutrals #55 - taking a break


mixed media illustration by Wen Sylvestre


Hello dear friends,

Believe it or not, it's the first Tuesday of the month again, so it's Simply Neutrals time!

So, I've been busy with creating illustratrions for some months now, but I felt there was something I was missing in my work... And now I know! I was missing playing with mixed media and fiber stuff and pressed flowers and leaves and such!

I've been thinking about how I could incorperate my love for mixing all kinds of media into my world of illustration. So I'm experimenting a lot! I shared one of the first of these experiments in an earlier post, which you can find here. I liked it so much that I wanted to do more with these kind of things. And today I'm sharing another one of these experiments.

Let me explain how I created this piece.

The floor I created with a gelli plate print that I made with acrylic paints, bubble wrap, and a lace fabric. The girl and doggie are done with watercolour paints, neocolor 2 watersoluble crayons, coloured pencils, and derwernt inktense pencils. Then there are the crochet flower and tatted flower on the left, and the pressed flowers and leaf on the right. Oh, and the birds are done in gouache. And everything mixed together and edited digitally in photoshop. Lol.

And you know what? I love it! And it's so me!


***

SIMPLY NEUTRALS IS TAKING A BREAK


Then there is something else I have been thinking about.

I think it's time we take a break from Simply Neutrals. I need a break anyway, because there are very busy months at art school ahead of me, and I don't want to spread myself too thin.

I'm very sorry, the gatherings at Simply Neutrals are very dear to me, and I know I'm not alone in this. I know how much the gatherings mean to us. So I'm not taking this lightly. Nevertheless, I know very well that from May onward there are a couple of very busy months for me, so I have to take care of myself and take a step back here. If anyone wants to carry on with the party on their own blog, please let me know!

So let's go on with this month's party, which is the last one before taking the break. There will not be a new party in the coming couple of months. I'll let you know when we will start again!



FEATURE OF LAST MONTH


You all know I love birds very much. And textures too! Oh, and everything French :) So it's no small wonder I chose this beautiful collage by Dorthe of DenLilleLade as the feature of last month.


mixed media collage with bird by Dorthe of Den Lillle Lade


I'm always amazed by the beautiful textures Dorthe creates!


Dear Dorthe, here is your feature blog button if you like:




On to this month's party!



SIMPLY NEUTRALS #55


I think you already noticed, but things changed with the linkup tool. The look is different, but they added ad-links too now. After every 5th link. I hope you don't mind, I can't delete those unfortunately.




To join the party, please keep the following things in mind:

1) Please link only to the blogpost that contains the photo(s) you want to share, and not to your blog's homepage.

2) Kindly link back to AppleApricot by putting a link to my blog in your blogpost.

Of course you're most welcome to use the blog button of Simply Neutrals Tuesday as well
(which can be found in the sidebar of my blog)

3) Link ups to both new and older blog posts are welcome.

4) You can link up from your blog, but if you do not have a blog but would love to link up from your instagram or other social media account, that's perfectly fine too.

Beware though, that may be not everyone can come visit and/or leave you a comment there.

5) Please take time to visit some of the other link ups and send them some love.

Time for the link up!

xx Wen


Simply Neutrals Tuesday linky party at AppleApricot


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Simply Neutrals 54 - taking care of yourself


Magnolia illustration for journal cover by Wen Sylvestre


Hello dear friends,

These last months have been a bit of an eye-opener for me. I think I was too hard on myself, expected too much of myself, and pushed too hard to get everything done the best I could. Of course I was feeling exhausted. What's new. So I took the time to get enough rest, clear the space around me, go on a trip with my family, meditate, read books, and so on.

For art school we had to make a journal cover with Magnolias. Since I was in the "zen"-space because of all the things I just mentioned, I came up with this journal cover. The Magnolias gave me this inspiration based on Asian art, and I read a little about the art of Kintsugi, which is the Japanese art of repairing pottery with gold. I created golden cracks in my image above, to symbolize the healing of our own brokeness.

Why not repair our own cracks with gold too, by being gentle with ourselves and taking good care of ourselves?


quote on kindness by AppleApricot Wen


I hope you will take this message to heart yourself as well, my dear friend.

***


FEATURE OF LAST MONTH

I was stunned by the gorgeous cards created by dear Suzy of Suziqu's Threadworks.
Oh   my   goodness   !!!


collaged cards and plant dyes by Suzy of Suziqu's Threadworks


What I absolutely love about these cards is
1) the stunning image of a rose she created herself from a photo she took,
2) the fact that she plant dyes her own papers and fabrics and gets such stunning results,
3) how beautiful everything looks together in colour, texture, prints, etc.


Dear Suzy, here is your well deserved feature blog button if you like:




On to this month's party!




SIMPLY NEUTRALS #54


I think you already noticed, but things changed with the linkup tool. The look is different, but they added ad-links too now. After every 5th link. I hope you don't mind, I can't delete those unfortunately.

And there is another change: Google+ is no more. So if you wish to keep this blog on your blog reading list, make sure to follow my blog through Bloglovin or the good old Google Friend Connect widget. Or by any other way you can follow blogs.




To join the party, please keep the following things in mind:

1) Please link only to the blogpost that contains the photo(s) you want to share, and not to your blog's homepage.

2) Kindly link back to AppleApricot by putting a link to my blog in your blogpost.

Of course you're most welcome to use the blog button of Simply Neutrals Tuesday as well
(which can be found in the sidebar of my blog)

3) Link ups to both new and older blog posts are welcome.

4) You can link up from your blog, but if you do not have a blog but would love to link up from your instagram or other social media account, that's perfectly fine too.

Beware though, that may be not everyone can come visit and/or leave you a comment there.

5) Please take time to visit some of the other link ups and send them some love.

Time for the link up!

xx Wen


Simply Neutrals Tuesday linky party at AppleApricot



Inlinkz Link Party

Gorgeous collage received by Jesse of Lace Age Girl


fabric collage by Jesse of Lace Age Girl


Hello dear friends,

Today I'd like to share with you a gorgeous gift I received, which I mentioned earlier in the last Simply Neutrals post (which you can find HERE, it's still open for new entries). This gorgeous collage is created by dear Jesse of Lace Age Girl. Jesse was so sweet to also send me a beautiful rose patterned piece of fabric, gorgeous lace, sheer fabric, and strips of vintage sewing measurement tape. Dearest Jesse, thank you so much, you're a sweetheart!

You can find Jesse on her beautiful blog Lace Age Girl.


blog header by Jesse of Lace Age Girl

Wishing you a beautiful day!

Big hugs xx

Wen


Simply Neutrals 53 Winter Gatherings of Memories


cat illustration and collage by AppleApricot Wen


Winter gatherings of memories...

Remnants of last year's garden,
forgotten postcard found at an antique market,
stone with holes made by the sea around Great Brittain and picked up on a journey,
ginger cat I painted after a meowing one that followed me around on the streets of an old village,
and some vintage butterflies I found some time ago on the wonderful blog of The Graphics Fairy.

Hello dear friends, it's good to see you again! I've been really busy with art school. It helped me go through a rough time this last month with a dear family member passing away unexpectedly, and a friend who lost her fight against cancer, both in the same week.

But the sun is shining, a new year full of possibilities is ahead of me, and I'm surrounded by love. What else do I need?

Speaking of love, I received some gorgeous mail these last weeks:




Beautiful cards by (clockwise from top left): Kirsty, Odetta, a family friend, and Suzy.
I also received a gorgeous package from Jesse, but I will share this another time with you.


Before going on with Simply Neutrals I have some important news: Blogger / Google is going to stop and delete the Google+ features in the coming weeks. Which means you will no longer be able to follow blogs through Google+.

If you're following my blog through Google+, please make sure to subscribe to my blog in other ways, like Bloglovin.


FEATURE OF LAST MONTH


So many beautiful entries again last month, thank you so much! I love seeing your art works and photos, it's so inspiring! Tracey of HotchPotchCreations shared this beautiful lace collage:


Lace collage by Tracey of HotchPotchCreations


Dear Tracey, here is your feature blog button if you like:




On to this month's party!




SIMPLY NEUTRALS #53


I think you already noticed, but things changed with the linkup tool. The look is different, but they added ad-links too now. After every 5th link. I hope you don't mind, I can't delete those unfortunately.




To join the party, please keep the following things in mind:

1) Please link only to the blogpost that contains the photo(s) you want to share, and not to your blog's homepage.

2) Kindly link back to AppleApricot by putting a link to my blog in your blogpost.

Of course you're most welcome to use the blog button of Simply Neutrals Tuesday as well
(which can be found in the sidebar of my blog)

3) Link ups to both new and older blog posts are welcome.

4) You can link up from your blog, but if you do not have a blog but would love to link up from your instagram or other social media account, that's perfectly fine too.

Beware though, that may be not everyone can come visit and/or leave you a comment there.

5) Please take time to visit some of the other link ups and send them some love.

Time for the link up!

xx Wen


Simply Neutrals Tuesday linky party at AppleApricot




Simply Neutrals 52 and happy New Year


collage crazy quilt in fabric journal by AppleApricot Wen

Happy New Year dear friends!!!

And a warm welcome to our (very blue here) Simply Neutrals gathering of January 2019!

May 2019 be a blessed year for you. A year full of love and joy and interesting adventures. Do you have plans for the coming year? Or wishes or dreams or goals?

Besides doing a lot of illustrations, I'm learning how to make pattern designs. Both surface pattern designs as well as patterns for embroidery designs. I have this dream of having my own fabric line and using my own fabrics in my needlework projects. I love creating with threads and fabrics and it will always be a big part in my creative life. And I also really love illustrating and making pattern designs, so I thought, why not combine? I have a lot of ideas and plans, a bit too many really, so we'll see how it goes. I'm looking forward to seeing everything materialize! I'll keep you posted :)

One of the things I want to learn is how to quilt. Do you have tips and tricks to share with me? And where do I start??? I know how to embroider, but my sewing has never been very neatly done. I'm a bit of a messy stitcher. As you can also see with my project for today. I call this my crazy collaged little quilt thingie.


collage crazy quilt in fabric journal by AppleApricot Wen

Er... it's far less neutrally coloured as I had in mind, lol!

The quilt thingie itself has a lot of neutrals, so I thought it would do for our party. But then I added it on a very blue page of a fabric book of mine, and well... It will have to do though, because everything else I could share is all very colourful.

The fabric journal is one that I had started a looooong time ago, but never came to work in it. It is meant to become a heirloom book. You can find the beginnings of it HERE.

I gathered some scraps of fabric. Some come from old blouses, some from an old pillow case, and some is new (or was new I should say, it's been around here for a while already). I collaged these scraps on a piece of white muslin, keeping the raw edges visible. And then I started to embroider and add some embellishments. I let my intuition guide me. The embroidery stitches I used are daisy stitches, French knots, (double) feather stitches, satin stitches, bullion knots, whipped backstitches, ... I think that's it, but I have the feeling that I'm forgetting one or two stitches...

Anyways, on to the party of this month!


***


FEATURE OF LAST MONTH


Dear Alison was really on the roll with neutral projects last month, which she shared with us. One of these is the feature of last month, because it reminds me very much of a vintage Winter with a hint of Spring. (And I do long for Spring!!) And the tags she created are just gorgeous! Plus, I really loved the story she shared with them, how they came to be when she was creating with others. I so much enjoyed their creative gathering story, you can read it HERE.


vintage inspired tags created by Alison Bomber


Dear Alison, here is your feature blog button if you like:




On to this month's party!




SIMPLY NEUTRALS #52




To join the party, please keep the following things in mind:

1) Please link only to the blogpost that contains the photo(s) you want to share, and not to your blog's homepage.

2) Kindly link back to AppleApricot by putting a link to my blog in your blogpost.

Of course you're most welcome to use the blog button of Simply Neutrals Tuesday as well
(which can be found in the sidebar of my blog)

3) Link ups to both new and older blog posts are welcome.

4) You can link up from your blog, but if you do not have a blog but would love to link up from your instagram or other social media account, that's perfectly fine too.

Beware though, that may be not everyone can come visit and/or leave you a comment there.

5) Please take time to visit some of the other link ups and send them some love.

Time for the link up!

xx Wen


Simply Neutrals Tuesday linky party at AppleApricot


(Inlinkz has updated to a new interface, so I hope it all works fine...)

UPDATE: since Inlinkz uses a new interface, the linkup looks different. Also, there is an advertisement link added (number 6 on my list, but it might be a different one in your list), which I cannot remove. Inlinkz they told me it's normal, because I use their free plan, which (unfortunately) is ad-based. Oh well...