Your “word of the year” on canvas?

Personalized "word of the year" canvas - a reminder for you about what's really important
Do you pick a word of the year?

And do you happen to love feathers?

If you answered both questions with yes, then I have a special offer for you!

(If you don’t know what the word of the year refers to – check out my blogpost on rituals for the new year.)

You can custom order your “word of the year” canvas (size about 30 cm by 60 cm, which is about 12 inches x 24 inches) in the colors you choose for 100€! That includes shipping and everything. (And yes, I do ship worldwide.) You pay 100€ and get a gorgeous feather canvas with your word of the year to hang in your space to remind you all year … and beyond.
This is a special and the offer – my custom work usually costs more, especially in that size – is good until the 31st of January or until 3 spots fill up. Yes, there are only three spots, so if you’re intrigued be quick. ;-)

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Imagine, being reminded all year of your word of the year by this lovely canvas. Each time you pass it in your home you are reminded of what is important to you this year.

If you’re interested in ordering your personalized “word of the year” canvas or would like more info about it, simply send an email to

ursula@ursulamarkgraf.com

And if you already have a reminder for your word of the year, please tell me in the comments – what is your word of the year?

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Do you need some peace, love, and healing?

There haven’t been any new blog posts for quite a while. To be honest, this year so far has been rather rough. There have been many changes … many struggles. There still are. But I’m feeling a lot better now. I’m looking forward to the rest of summer, to fall … to creating new art, to writing.

I actually haven’t stopped creating over the last couple months. But creating has been rather inconsistent and I haven’t shared all my work. So I thought I share a few pieces now. Hope you enjoy.

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The first one is a piece I loved so much to create. To me this piece is extra-special as it was the first really big piece I created. It measures 62cm x 81cm (about 25 inch x 32 inch). I still can feel how wonderful it was and what a freedom I felt while creating it. And so much fun! It has sold rather quickly after I showed a few progress photos on instagram. I was and am grateful for the fact that now it is enjoyed by someone just as much as I enjoyed creating it.

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As I loved the process so much I created a little lotus-collection on smaller canvases. The pieces are called PEACE, LOVE and HEALING. And isn’t that what we need to mend ourselves? To live? To thrive?

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LOVE – mixed-media on canvas, available HERE

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PEACE – mixed-media on canvas, available HERE

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HEALING – mixed-media on canvas, available HERE

I’d be thrilled if these pieces put a smile on your face when you look at them – just as they did when I created them.

And of course I’m curious – which one of the lotus-collection is your favorite?

 

P.S. Of course those weren’t the only pieces I created during the last months. If you’re curious what else I came up with and what changes will happen around here in the future, be sure to check back or sign up for my free newsletter.

Gifting love (including DIY tutorial)

 

The cards read “You are my angel” in German.

Are you wondering what to give – gift – someone you love? Maybe your kids? Or a dear friend?

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This card reads “You are my sunshine” in German.

How about telling them what you really want them to know? How you feel about them?

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This card reads “You are strong” in German.

In a way that they can always read what you want to tell them.

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This card reads “Follow your heart” in German.

Or maybe gifting them your “truths”. Or simply little messages you want to share with them?

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This card reads “You are my star” in German.

For Christmas I made both my kids some “message cards”, basically cards with little messages I want them to always remember.

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This card reads “You are my treasure/ my dearest” in German.

I thought I share a few of them – maybe it inspires you to create something similar for your kids or another loved one.

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This card reads “You are my star” in German.

I made these cards similarly as I made my affirmation cards. If you want to you can find a free online-mini-workshop for my mixed media affirmation cards HERE.
The process is pretty much the same. Just instead of adding affirmations I added little messages personalized for my kids.

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This card reads “You have a special gift” in German.

You can gift these anytime – for a birthday, Easter, Christmas, Valentine’s day … or just a regular Monday. ;-)

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This card reads “Let your inner light shine” in German.

You can make one card. Or you can make MANY!

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This card reads “I love you” in German.

You can make them in a color scheme, or all in the same color – or in a rainbow of colors. Whichever you like most!

 

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This card reads “You are a miracle” in German.

You can make a big batch all at once … or spend a few weeks making one card a week.

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This card reads “I’m so happy that you exist” in German.

Which message would you want to create for a loved one?

P.S. And of course it’s perfectly okay to make such “message cards” for yourself as well. We all have some messages that we need to hear again and again, don’t we?

You’re a star – mixed-media star ornament tutorial

A little while ago I made a bunch of origami stars out of old book pages.

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Even though I really liked those stars I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I add a bit of paint, a few stitches with my sewing machine and some words. ;-) So I finally tried it ….

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… and loved it so much, that I made some more.

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I’m planning to use some of them as tags on Christmas gifts, some will go on a little Christmas tree and the rest will probably looks sweet in a window.

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If you wanna create your own mixed-media stars, you can. Just for you I filmed how I made them.

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But first, here’s a list of what I used. Of course, please feel free to swap out stuff or simply use what you have on hand. This is meant just as an inspiration.

List of materials:

-origami star made out of old book pages, instructions on how to fold the star can be found HERE
-gesso (alternatively white acrylic paint)
-sewing machine
-silver acrylic marker or acrylic paint
-white acrylic paint
-materials for mark making like old credit card, little tube cap, piece of drinking straw or similar
-decoupage glue or matte medium (if you don’t have either you can use any clear drying glue)
-printed out words or similar, scraps of fabric
-little silver stars or similar decoration
-button
-wire
-little glass bead(s)

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And this is how I made the stars:

I’m wishing you lots of fun making stars! If you make some, I’d love to see them! :-)

And if you have any questions, just ask in the comments!

 
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How to create mixed media postcards (Video)

Mixed-media postcard tutorial video with Ursula Markgraf

I finally managed to film and edit my first ever video. And here it is:

I hope it inspires you to get creative!

If you have any questions or would like to show me your creations, just leave a comment! :-)

And of course I’d be thrilled to get any feedback!

And if you’d like more videos like this – please sign up to my newsletter. :-)

 
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What you definitely should do TODAY!

Mixed-media postcard tutorial video with Ursula Markgraf

This is a little reminder to up your selfcare. :-)

Over the last weeks I was working on a project where I had to think about selfcare ALOT.

I just published a little booklet in German that’s all about selfcare. If you do read German or are just curious, you can take a peek HERE

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But the thing is, as the deadline drew closer and there was still so much to be done … what did I drop first? Even though I was reading, writing and thinking about it all the time? Of course. My selfcare. And what happened?
I did not feel good, I got even a bit sick, and my mood was of course nowhere near where it should be. I did not enjoy life, bitched at my husband and kids, and simply did not feel like my usual self. (I really hate that feeling.)

Art print “Tree” – to remind you of your selfcare – new in the shop :-) 

Lesson?

There is no right time for selfcare. It is ALWAYS time for selfcare. Selfcare is not the luxury you add on top of a good day.

Selfcare is the underlying foundation of everything else.

Yes, I know. I probably will have to re-learn this lesson over and over and over again. Cause even though I know by now how important selfcare is for me, my well-being and ultimatley everyone around me – I still forget.

I still work too much or too late. Or both.

I still eat in a rush cause I want to finish something for work and did not take the time for lunch that I should.

I still skip my yoga or meditation when I think I’m short on time.

I still try to “push through” when there is alot to do.

Yesterday I stopped. Even though I had a gazillion things to do – I took a break – or rather – I slowed down. I meditated first thing in the morning, I ate my lunch outside in the yard on the swing, I read a chapter in my fav book on my way to pick up my son instead of doing work on the train … and you know what? Yes, I did not get everything done that I wanted to.

BUT – noone died! Everything is still fine. AND when I went to bed in the evening I actually felt good. Not completely exhausted and edgy and irritable. But good.

So, this is my gentle reminder for you to take better care of yourself today. TODAY!

What will you do? Tell me in the comments?

Will you drink an extra glass of water? Sit for 10 minutes in the sun? Or just stop working early? Can not wait to read your comments!

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Why do I create what I do?

Quite some time ago I took part in an artist bloghop, where one question I had to answer was: Why do I create what I do?

And to be honest, I get asked this question quite alot. In different versions. With “What is mixed media art?”  and “How did you end up doing this?” it is dfintely in the top 3 of questions I get asked.

Why do I create what I do?

So, why do I create what I do?

Because I want to change the world. Even if it is only for one person.
Because I believe that each person has to live their life THEIR way, in order to be happy.
Because I am certain that everybody can live their dream but we often simply forget our dreams or where discouraged in the past.
But figuring out what makes YOU happy is the only way to live a happy life. Which everyone deserves!

"Trust" -mixed-media art by Ursula Markgraf

I create in order to remind women of their dreams. I create to remind YOU of your dreams. I create mixed-media art pieces. I create sketches. I create books. I create postcards. And I am certain many more things will follow. I create because I love creating – it is what I just HAVE to do – and it helps me to tell women that their dreams are imporrtant. That it is important to listen to them. And that it is not selfish to follow them. That you need to find your own definition of success in order to be happy. And that it is possible to live your life according to your own beliefs.  I want to encourage you to take your life into your own hands. I want to inspire and empower you to follow your own dreams.

Just recently I started to re-write an ebook about how to create a wonderful year for yourself, which I had published in German in January. I wanted to make it better and put together a questionnaire so I could figure out what customers would like to see differently or would want improved. There also was a field for “Other feedback” and in one of them I read:

„Your workbook, dear Ursula, has given my life a new direction. I am now clear on what I want and what I do not want and I even created directions on how to get there. This is something that no money can buy and I am endlessly thankful to you.”

(This is my translation of it as the original feedback left was of course in German. But I tried to stick to the actual words as closely as I could.)

The questionnaire was filled out anonymusly, so I have no idea who wrote this. But while I had tears in my eyes when I read it I thought to myself – THIS is exactly why I do what I do!

So thanks to whoever wrote this – it made my day and showed me that what I do can make a difference. And I am endlessly thankful for knowing that!

"Hug" - mixed media art by Ursula Markgraf

Now, I’d love to know – what do you do? And why do you do it?

Did you ever have such a moment, where it was just crystal clear to you WHY you are doing what you do?

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Wanna know what you are?

Honestly, I am not a huge fan of Valentine’s day. But I do love to make people feel special. Putting a smile on someone’s face is just wonderful. Telling someone with a little something that you care. Showing someone that they are appreciated.

"Du bist ..." Postkarten-Kollektion von Ursula Markgraf

That is why I created my new postcard collection with some of my mixed-media art on them. To tell someone with a little card that they are loved. (The writing on the left side of the art piece reads “Du bist geliebt” which is “You are loved” in German.)

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To remind them that they are worthy. (“Du bist wertvoll” in German.)

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To make sure that they never forget that they are free. (“Du bist frei” in German.)

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What do you think of my square postcards?

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Of course you can see more pictures of the postcards in the SHOP. And as the postcards are brandnew they will be available for a reduced introduction price until the 21st of February, 2015.

Who would you want to send one to?

 
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Have a wonderful year 2015 (plus ressources)

A new year started …. and I am a lover of new beginnings. I love the feeling of endless possibilities, that nothing is set yet, all open. Explains probably why I love Mondays, moving and new notebooks. ;-)

And even though most people do not share my Monday-love, most of you probably agree that the beginning of a new year has some sort of magic to it. Many people start a new year with resolutions. Unfortunately that has never worked for me. I always ended up not feeling good about myself and about what I had achieved cause usually I would find my list with resolutions sometime mid-year and realize that I had worked on none of them. :-( A tad frustrating.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Steve JobsAt some point I simply gave up and ditched resolutions for good. But by now I  have found some awesome alterantives – rituals that work for me and that help me to create a wonderful year:

1. Word of the year

Two years ago I tried something new. I decided on a “word of the year” which stayed with me the whole year. Last year I wrote a blogpost about it. For me this works really great as it is alot easier to implement than resolutions. And it is alot easier to remember, too. :-)
My “word of the year” for 2015 will be EASE. What is your word of the year?

Mixed media "Brave" by Ursula Markgraf

2. A workbook or planner for the new year

Last year I tried something else that was new for me. From a friend I got a wonderful workbook which helped me to plan out goals, to write down ideas, wishes, dreams. I loved this idea so much. I also used the wonderful free New Years Revolution kit by Do what you love. You can find this year’s version HERE. Go download it and try it out.

3. A visionboard for 2015

Last year I also created a vision board for 2014. You can see it below. I LOVE creating visionboards. You can make them big or small. I even created one in a notebook. You can create them for the whole year or for a project. They are so much fun to make and such a strong and powerful visual reminder. I hung my visionboard in my bedroom, so I can see my dreams each time I wake up or I fall asleep. :-)

Visionboard von Ursula Markgraf

If you would like a bit more instruction on how to create a visionboard you can check out this offer by the lovely artist Desiree East – she will lead an online-workshop on how to create your own visionboard January 11th.

So, now you have three ritual- ideas that you can use to jump-start your new year – having a “word of the year”, working in a planner for the new year and creating a visionboard. Which ritual do you like best?

Or do you have another ritual that you use to make certain that 2015 will be YOUR year?

 
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Some gifts from St. Nicolas – for you

"Calm Christmas" - mixed media art by Ursula Markgraf

Today on the 6th of December we celebrate St. Nicolas day here in Germany. It’s a sweet tradition – I think – that goes back to the story of a good man called Nicolas (who became bishop) who gave the poor money. The story says that he would sneak up on the roof at night and throw little pouches with money down the chimney … and the money would end up in socks and shoes that were put on/near the chimney to dry.

So to celebrate that day kids have to clean their shoes and put them near the door in the evening of the 5th of December. Then the Nicolas will come at night and put small treats, candy, nuts and oranges or little toys in there. Of course my kids totally love that day and are totally excited about it.

But I also wanted to give YOU something, so I created these little pictures with my art-work on them that you are free to download and share in your newsletter, on your blog, on facebook, on twitter … or wherever you might hang out in the virtual world. :-) If you wanna link to my site that would of course totally thrill me, but it is not required.

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To download just right-click on the file you want to save – choose save as – and pick the location where you wanna save it. Then share and spread a bit of joy and calm around. :-)

Have a wonderful St. Nicolas day! xxx

P.S. And if you need some special Christmas cards, you can find some right HERE. I ship worldwide. ;-)

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