The Sugar Plum Fairy


It has almost been two months ago I made this drawing and attended the MATS childrens book cover competition, but I didn’t want to keep it from you (and the blog).

The given title for the fictional book was “The sugar Plum Fairy’s Adventure” and this is my approach:

Russia 1890s ….

This story is about a girl who had two great loves; ballet and eating sugar plums.
One day she ate her mothers entire stock of sugar plums and ended up being in a plum herself.
Because she couldn’t dance anymore with this big “plum belly” she reached out to the people in the village and asked them if they wanted a piece of the plum. Unfortunately nobody was interested….
The mayor, for instance, had his own sugar plum – pineapple flavored -addiction when he was a child and still wasn’t covered from his yellow skin.
She had to find other ways….

Because my proces of getting to the above result was full of sketching, colouring, making  “kill-your-darling”decisions, learning about time-management and lots of other things I’d like to share this with you in the next photos.

The Sugar Plum Fairy appeared in the ballet the Nutcracker, written by Tchaikovsky, and stood for all that was sweet. It seemed a nice starting point for my story and imagery.
I collected a lot of pictures on Pinterest…

I selected a few for my colour palette…


Now I had the story in mind, the characters, the mood and colours, the sketching could begin…




I scanned al the images, blackened them in Photoshop and placed them in Illustrator to find the right composition. There were so many objects to work with, so Illustrator seemed the best way to use. I also learned I loved my new fine working printer ….


Using my colour scheme and coloured pencil (OMG it has been too long I did use them….) to colour the characters. During this, I must say, very therapeutical colouring I listened to some of the Jealous Curator “Art For Your Ears” podcasts I recently stumbled upon (although she’s been interviewing for a few years now). What a brilliant combination…..


The coloured arch above was added after the next photo, where I first tried to think of the best colour combination matching the leading character, roughly coloured in Illustrator.


But then I thought…..Oh…no…..what about the other characters….They HAVE to be on my cover…..all that work! For nothing??!! Oh no!

To question or convince my troubled mind about ‘yee or nee’ colours, while the world outside was still on fire and Trump was slowly marching to the “President Elect” spot, I made a quick sketch of how my coloured characters would appear on the cover:


Oh no!

I made up my mind. Didn’t  I want old style characters…think….old brownish, slightly damaged photographs… One and one is two… And a little lavender for the plum.





Flashback Friday #1 (why not?)

A few minutes ago I was clicking through old holiday pictures for a project research and found this photo…I actually always like shared (inspirational) holiday pics on Instagram and Facebook, especially when I’ve been there too, and I always think of sharing some of mine too after holiday (because I make so so much….of course also for working material (!). But when it’s over I don’t feel like it anymore…

But one picture at the time is doable.

So here’s the first one!

mf-fbf-1-copenhagen2015Artistic vandalism in Copenhagen, Denmark 2015.

Patterns around the house #July’16

The 15th of July I’ve started a weekly Instagram project to get more pattern minded. Last year and this year I found myself buying more clothing with patterns all over it. It’s a nice contrast seeing them laying between my dark colored stuff in the closet and I find it a nice change to wear them as well!

To get even more pattern minded (for creative purpose) I thought I’d collect them as well, captured in a pic as reference material. And I thought, like many people do, Instagram is a good medium for this…It brightens my account too!

So…every week a pattern, shared on Instagram (and Facebook) and I’ll post them once a month on this blog, categorized ‘PATTERNS AROUND THE HOUSE’, found in the right menu.

This one’s for July!


Pillow cushion on the couch.


Tablecloth on the balcony table.


Puppets my mother brought me once from one of her travels.

Working space ready for 2015

Today it was time to do a bit of cleaning and clearing in my working space. Not much changed, though, and not much cleared either, but it’s the idea and action that counts. In a FB group I’m in someone asked about how everyones working space looks like. It was also a preparation-item for the MATS Bootcamp, (starting tomorrow, yay!), so I thought it would be nice to share it on my blog as well. Killed two birds with one stone…….Ew, that’s not a nice saying…. In Dutch we say “two flies in one slap”. Better…..

So this is a kind of a 360º view of my +/- 8,5 m2 room.
I really love the colour and inspirational pictures and little notes around me, plus loads of arty/diy/design books. I also love love love my big light-box and A1+ chest of drawers(?), my “culture”-dolls (travel gifts from my mother when I was little), my A3 printer AND scanner(!), second hand (maybe Gispen??)desk, although the top can be very cold, and last but not certainly not least: MY VIEW!

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