Sunday, 24 July 2016

My personal fairytale route

There is an official german fairytale route that is visited by many tourists, but this here is my personal one! I live in a river valley with lots of castles, and there's plenty of stories, folktales and history woven around them. So when Minted announced the Spaces and Places Art Challenge – for artwork and photography that was inspired by a location – I knew that I wanted to show "my valley" and some of it's castles.
The Lahn River Valley is a tributary valley of the Rhine and in many parts it looks a bit like a mini version of the big stream. More quiet and secluded and with canoes inspite of the big container ships, but definitely beautiful and worth a visit too.
So here's four fairytale castles in watercolour! The blue colour scheme was initially inspired by the region's blue dyeing tradition. But I as well found that it helped me to come up with a more special interpretation, without loosing the original features of the buildings and their recognizability.


"Fairytale Route Count's Castle Germany"


Starting right at my doorstep this is Count's Castle, perched on a high rock above the river, my daily view out of my studio window. This medieval castle has a rich history and was used as residence for several counts, as dower residences for two dutch countesses, as administrative seat, as prison and almost unbelievable, as stonemason workshop. Nowadays it houses a youth hostel, a café and the local museum.


"Fairytale Route Oranienstein Castle Germany"


Just a short distance up the hill you'll find this serene baroque castle with a beautiful park – Oranienstein Castle. It was built by one of the said dutch countesses that longed for more comfort than the old Count's Castle could provide. It is one of the four ancestral castles of the Dutch Royal Family. Nowadays it belongs to the German Army, but can be visited with guided tours and often houses classical concerts.


"Fairytale Route Nassau Castle Germany"


Nassau Castle is another medieval hilltop castle overlooking Nassau town and hills. It had been in ruins but has partly been restored. The view from it's high keep is magical and you can as well get married there in a beautiful wedding chamber. Historically it is the home of the Counts of Nassau who again are closely related to the Dutch Royal Family. It is as well the source for the name of the capital city of the Bahamas: Nassau in the Bahamas was named in honour of Wilhelm III. from Oranien-Nassau, Regent of the Netherlands and King of England in the 17th century, and a descendant of the Counts of Nassau.


"Fairytale Route Lahneck Castle Germany"


Lahneck Castle is located at the estuary of the River Lahn into the Rhine and is often called the "Guardian of the Valley". It as well has a long history dating back into the 13th century, including being the last refuge for the Order of the Templars when they were hunted and finally destroyed in the 14th century. It as well has a resident ghost, the soul of a young english girl who visited the castle to sketch the view on the river, got trapped on the tower and sadly died there.
Lahneck Castle can be visited with guided tours and there's special candelit tours as well.

I hope you liked my little history tour along the Lahn River!

Please feel free to visit my Voting Page to have a look at all my submissions to this challenge and to vote for them if you like them. Thank you so much :-)

Friday, 17 June 2016

Last one of the season!

I just finished my last card designs of the Minted "Holiday Season". It was a fun experience! Though pretty strange too as since April I have been thinking about snow, mulled wine and Christmas while it was getting more and more summery outside …

Anyway, I am curious if it will lead to something. Competition is strong! There are amazing stationary designers contributing to the Minted collection, and my experiences are from veeery long ago, so I am feeling pretty rusty. But ok, I wanted to "do the Season" to learn and to get into stationary design again, and that definitely happened. My discovery of the season is that I enjoy doing expressive handlettering in brush and ink!

Sooo … here's some of my fave last cards – with handlettering! This time no Christmas, but New Year's greetings, all submitted to the "Cheers to a New Year" challenge on Minted. Minted is looking for photo card designs, i.e. cards that are personalizable with the customers own photos and text. All photos that I used for my designs are courtesy of Minted.
Like always, votes are very welcome! Thank you! Please just click on the title of the images, that'll lead you directly on my submissions on the Minted page.


"Take Flight"
Love this one for it's simple, reduced and elegant look.


"Twinkling New Year"
I simply had to do this one! Since I called my design studio "Eva twinkles" I am partial to any word play with "twinkles" or "twinkling" ;-)


"Ampersand Cheers"

Phew, I have been fighting with this design … it went through many stages! I wanted it to be fun, playful and expressive. Definitely not too clean as real life is messy! But on the other hand not too cluttered … I was aiming for a light and fresh look. Finally now I am quite happy with it :-)


"Let's get lost"
And this last one is definitely a card that I would send myself!


Feel free to have a look at all of my submissions (just 7) on my "Voting now" page here.

Ok, and from now on I'll happily think about icecream, swimming and summer – good bye winter, good bye Holiday Season!

Friday, 3 June 2016

Reverting back to winter … and loving it!

Firstly I'd like to share a new (wintery) win:


Pretty chuffed that my little winter birdie made it into the top 30 winners of the Minted & Pottery Barn contest for kid's wallart! ! (Only just … on the 27th… but in nevertheless!) It will soon be available as art print – and hopefully will sell well in the next holiday season!
And I only learned later on that this was the biggest contest Minted ever did with over 600,000 votes!!! and more than 7300 submission :-o Good that I didn't know before entering … prob wouldn't have dared. So double happy over here now! You can see the gallery of all top 30 winners here.


And secondly here's more Christmas cards coming up! I have entered these designs into the current stationary challenge for holiday cards on Minted, so votes are very welcome, as always :-) Thank you so much!
(Just click on the title of the image, that'll lead you to my submission on the Minted site).


"Starlight Angel" (foil pressed)

"Watercolour Prayers" (non foil)



"The Journey" (foil pressed)


I hope you like them! Motifs and lettering were all done in brush and ink, which develops into one of my fave techniques at the moment.
Please feel free to have a look at all of my submissions here. Thank you!
And you can have a look at the foil pressed version of the Holiday card challenge here and at the non foil version here). 

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Springtime in the Lahn River Valley

Recently I participated the "A Nature Photograph per Day" challenge on my Facebook page, which basically meant to post 7 nature photos on 7 consecutive days. Somewhere along the line – I think it was on day 3 – I decided to keep my photos "local". There might be more spectacular landscapes out there but the Lahn River Valley is what surrounds me daily. And I have always been in love with the river! I thought it would be nice to share my photos here too:

The Lahn River near my studio on one of the first hot spring days of 2016.

That's Hain Forest which is just a few minutes up the hill from my studio.
 
Queen Ann's Lace. I love them, so we tried to grow them in our garden, but no way – it is a wildflower …

The local lake, one of our fave summertime hideaways.

In spring and autumn we often get these fog banks along the river. They make our evening hikes a bit more magical.

A little meadow with a view on the lake.

Wildflowers on the riverbank, casually arranged by nature.
 
 I hope you enjoyed this little river jaunt!
You can find more nature photography from this challenge on Facebook, looking for the hashtag ‪#‎challengenaturephotography‬

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Some updates … and more Christmas …

Wow, it's been quite a while since my last post – I just realize!
Sometimes there's just a bit "too much life" around to stay in the loop with my blogging …

So here are some updates!

Most recent there is another challenge for Holiday Cards going on at Minted, the "Making Spirits Bright" challenge for Photo Cards (foilpressed and non-foil). These cards will be customalizable with the customers own photographs and text. Here are some of my submissions – I hope you'll like them! (Votes welcome, as always – please just click on the title of the images. Thank you so much!) You can see ALL of my submissions here on my "Voting now!" page. All photos used here in place of the real customer's pics are courtesy of Minted.

"Dreaming of Snow"

"A Splash of Gold"

"Starry Night"

"Winterwood"


And I simply have to feature this design for cat owners who might like to send their furry friends around for Christmas:

"A Feline Christmas Wish"



Ok, that was the Christmas part, back to Spring now :-)




Happy to report another win from the Minted + West Elm Challenge for art + photography! My "Connemara Reflections" were chosen as an Editor's Pick, hurray :-) There had been a HUGE number of submissions (6107!) and I had kept my hopes quite low, so I am really happy about it! "Connemara Reflections" will be included into the Minted collection of wall art and will be available as fine art print soon.




Speaking of wall art – my "Melancholy of Stones" (a win from January's Drawing and Sketching Challenge) has now launched on Minted and is available as fine art print in various sizes. You can get yours here!




And I almost can't believe that I didn't post this yet, but I didn't! My kid's fabric with the "Woodland Foxes" pattern has launched as well on Minted. It is now available as fabric by the yard in 8 different colourways. As well as on various products, like curtains, tablerunners, and even lampshades. Will do a post soon featuring the products! The bolt fabric is available here and you can find all the other products in my store here.

Ok, looong post, but all updated now :-) … hoping to be more current with my next posts!

Monday, 11 April 2016

Spring sunshine mixed with Christmas carols

It's kind of weird to work on Christmas designs when Spring is finally here! But that's what I did last week.
There is a new challenge on at Minted, for Christmas cards. In fact, there are more holiday challenges coming up, so this blog might look a lot like Christmas in the next weeks …

This first holiday contest, the “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” Religious Christmas Photo Card Challenge is for designs with religious or spiritual themes and greetings. The cards will be personalizable with the customer's name and own photography. There is a foil pressed and a non-foil version of the challenge.

I felt this was not an easy brief but an interesting one. While I am not overly religious I liked the idea of working with a spiritual text. Back to the basics, so to say!
I had to whipe off the dust of my calligraphy brushes – it's been a while that I worked on handlettering and calligraphy – but after some trials I really got into it. I aimed for cards that have a fresh, spontanious, expressive and uplifting look. Here's my three faves! (All photos are courtesy of Minted.)


"Bold Brush Hallelujah"


"5 Blessings"


"Bold Night Divine"

I hope you'll like them!

Votes are very welcome :-) You can vote for the designs in this blogpost just by clicking on the title of the image – the link will lead you directly onto my submission on the Minted page. You as well can have a look and vote for all my designs (6 of them) here on my voting page. Voting is open until Tuesday, April 19. Thank you so much!!!

Monday, 28 March 2016

Happy Easter! … and an early Easter present













Just popping in to wish you a good one! (Quickly, before it's already over again …)

And to show you my early Easter present …
Last week, the results of the Minted Drawing and Sketching Challenge from January were reveiled. Finally!
And I had a fab double surprise:
My aquatint etching "The Melancholy of Stones" won! It came up 7th within the top 20 winners.
And my watercolour "Lush Coast Kenmare Ireland" received an Editor's Pick!
Thank you so much everybody who might have voted for me! And thank you, Minted editors!

















Both works will be for sale as art prints on Minted soon. My Minted Wall Art collection is growing :-)
You can find out more about the challenge and see the gallery of all winners here.

Now off to have a very lazy second Easter day tomorrow :-)
Wishing you all a nice bit of sunshine and some time to relax and be together with family and friends!