Mixed media fairy house – inspired by Ireland-vacation!

Mixed media fairy house – inspired by Ireland-vacation!

Every day is a bit longer. The sun shines more and more often. Birds are chirping. I can find new sprouts shooting up in the garden every time I visit. It’s spring!

To be honest, I’m not a “spring girly”. My favourite time of year is fall or autumn. But after the long weeks of grey and it getting dark early and getting light late … I’m just happy that spring is here!

I enjoy working in the garden, going for walks, going hiking … and of course, riding my bike (cause that really isn’t much fun in winter!)

While tidying out some shelves I found some tiny wooden birdhouses and instantly had an idea! But the idea wasn’t just sparked by spring, but also by our last vacation. Out of the ordinary, we didn’t travel to Scotland last year, but we visited Ireland!

And one thing that I loved about Ireland was the fact that their houses are often painted in the most vibrant colours! You find houses in dark pink, bright yellow, a combination of red and blue (which I thought would never work – but it does!!!), purple …

I found it so inspiring and couldn’t get enough of those colours and colour combinations. Also, in Ireland, you often find fairy houses or fairy doors in the gardens. Sometimes it’s just one door … sometimes it’s a tree full of many different doors. It looked so enchanting and magical!

I really wanted to create my own fairy door for my garden. So far I haven’t done that yet. I will and you’ll be the first one to know. But I created …

A mixed media fairy house!

mixed media fairyhouse-ursula-markgraf

What do you think?

I tried a combination of dark purple, dark pink and yellow … and am super happy about how it turned out!
All the shingles and stones were a lot of work, but it really paid off.

mixed media fairyhouse-ursula-markgraf

And the little sign that can be hung on the house can be switched out. So you could have little messages for someone that you’re gifting the house to. Or just sweet reminders for yourself.

mixed media fairyhouse-ursula-markgraf

And this was the wooden birdhouse before I used acrylic paints, cardboard, wire, and lots of love (and time!) to create the fairy house:

mixed media fairyhouse-ursula-markgraf

Would you like to have your own fairy house for your apartment or your balcony?

There are two options for you :-)

Order your very own mixed media fairy house

For 29€ (plus shipping) you can order your very own fairy house. If you’re quick, I will personalize it for you. All you have to do is just send me an email at ursula@ursulamarkgraf.com and let me know which 2-3 colours you would like and tell me 5 little messages for the signs for the house.
Alternatively, you can of course also just order them once they are in my etsy-shop (without personalization). I only offer the personalization until all my wooden birdhouses are gone. Once all are painted, you can only buy them as they are.

mixed media fairyhouse-ursula-markgraf

Create your very own mixed media fairy house with my online workshop

Would you like to create your very own fairy house? Or even better – a whole village of fairy houses?

I’d love to show you how I made mine. I’m planning to create an online video workshop. So, if you’re interested in that one, please let me know either by commenting or sending me an email.

At the moment I have a few options of online workshops that I’m planning to create. So if there is a lot of interest in the fairy house one, then I will create this one first.

Also, if you do send me an email and let me know that you’re interested, I will send you a coupon code to buy the finished workshop at a reduced price, once it’s done. Just as a little show of appreciation that you took the time to email me.

And if you’d like to be among the first ones to know when my online-workshop is finished, then just sign up to my newsletter!

P.S. Of course, you don’t only find colourful houses in Ireland. There is also gorgeous nature and breathtaking scenery. Here are just a few impressions:

Mixed Media Easter Egg Tutorial

Mixed Media Easter Egg Tutorial

Easter is just around the corner … and I’m really looking forward to it. A few years ago on a whim, I created these Easter eggs with faux calligraphy. Back then I used ink and a nib on them, which was a pain. Even though I really LOVED the result, I was not really willing to create more of them, as it simply was super hard for me to write with the nib on such an awkward surface. (Rounded, small, bit bumpy from the collage … ) I had an idea in my head that would eliminate that faux calligraphy/hand-lettering bit, but never really got around to trying it. This year I finally did it. This is the result:

Mixed Media Easter Eggs


What do you think?

Here are some more with cute images instead of words:

mixed-media-easter-egg-tutorial-ursula-markgrafThe cute images are free to download from The Graphics Fairy.

I love how they turned out! But I do love the ones with the words most!

What words would you put on your DIY-Easter eggs?

mixed-media-easter-egg-tutorial-ursula-markgrafAnd if you want to create our own Mixed Media Easter Eggs and would love a bit of help – I created an easy-to-follow step-by-step PDF-tutorial for you.  It has 13 pages and guides you through the process.  Super beginner-friendly! No tutorial videos (yet!) unfortunately, but I think it’s still easy to follow along with the photos and descriptions. Also, as it’s not a video workshop the price is of course much more affordable!

Easy-to-follow beginner-friendly PDF-tutorial in my etsy-shop

Until the 24th of March, 2024, you can buy the tutorial e-book (PDF) for an introductory price in my etsy-shop.

So hop on over … and start creating some fun Easter eggs to decorate with or give away as gifts!

Calm inside – my „wrong“ meditation practice

Calm inside – my „wrong“ meditation practice

If you’re in a room with me for more than a few minutes, you will realize pretty quickly … I’m not a calm person.
For much of my life, I’ve tried to change that. I attempted to change who I am or at least how I appear. To no avail. Even if/when I tried to appear calm on the outside – and for simplicity’s sake let’s assume that it worked (which of course it usually didn’t) – on the inside it was a whole different story.

The fact is, I’m simply not a calm person.

Just like I don’t have black hair or blue eyes. That’s it.

wrong meditation practice calm inside

Mixed media art “Loved & enough” – available in my etsy-shop

By now I’m trying to accept and embrace it. I mean after all, what would happen if all people on this earth would be calm by nature?! It sure would be boring as hell.
Also, think about the effect it has to constantly try to be someone, who you’re simply not. Let’s just say, it’s frustrating, at least.
(That is a big understatement, of course.) And by now I’m feeling like – I’m too old for this shit. I am who I am.

Of course, it’s not always this easy. As a bubbly energetic person, you don’t only get nice feedback. (I guess for a super-calm person it’s similar. I wonder why it is, that people can’t be accepted as who they are?) So embracing myself, it’s not something that I just decided and did. It’s a way I started walking on … and I’m still working on it …

wrong meditation practice calm inside

Mixed media art “Loved & enough” – available in my etsy-shop

The thing with being „not calm“ – for lack of a better word – is, that it’s not only the outside that might be hard to handle for some. But my inside also isn’t „calm“. And I have to deal with that, whether I like it or not. I can’t just walk away from myself and from my thoughts. Believe me, I have tried.

All my life my thoughts have always been bubbling …

My head is always spinning. My mind never shuts up …
I thought that’s normal. That’s how everyone lives. I’m just now starting to realize, that not everyone experiences life this way.

The way my brain works makes it easy for me to have ideas. It has always been something that I’m good at. I can come up with new ideas in no time. Often, ideas just pop into my head throughout the day, without me even trying. I could fill notebooks with them. Actually, I HAVE filled notebooks with them. I love how my brain works like that. It’s amazing.

But of course, it also has downsides. For years I thought it was completely normal to go to bed and lay awake for a few hours before finally falling asleep. I have done that since I can remember. As a child, a teen, during my university studies, during my first years of being employed … Sleep was always a big struggle for me. I only realized that my experience actually isn’t normal at all, when I somehow ended up with a leaflet about sleep disorders in my hand by chance in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. I still remember the moment that I read through it and realized. It was a bit of a shock.

wrong meditation practice calm inside

Mixed media art “I am enough” – available in my etsy-shop

Another downside, I have never been good at taking breaks.

I don’t know how to “do nothing”.

Just sitting down and enjoying time … I literally have no idea how to do it. I always did something. For most of my life, I actually did several things at once, like knitting while watching a movie, painting while listening to audiobooks, and doing housework while learning something new with a podcast … I was always striving for „efficiency“, not realizing that the fact that I actually couldn’t do „nothing“ was a bit odd.
The thing is, I actually got along like that fine for quite some time. Especially during university studies, I felt I was thriving. I could work the way I wanted to and I managed quite well, I thought.

It kinda started falling apart when I had kids. (Not wanting to blame my kids at all – I love them and they are the best thing that ever happened to me!) Suddenly there were demands that I could not schedule the way that they fit in for me. And especially sleep got so much worse. That’s when I came across meditation. Again.

wrong meditation practice calm inside

Mixed media art “I am enough” – available in my etsy-shop

I actually had come across meditation before, but the idea of „thinking about nothing“ … just sounded nuts to me. How on earth should I do that? I do remember trying it a few times – failing of course. The whole concept was completely insane to me and I could not imagine how any human being could think of nothing for more than a second!
So I decided that meditation clearly was not for me. It was just too frustrating and I felt even more like a failure than before trying it!

When I had kids and the sleeping problems had increased even more I somehow found an audio meditation for moms. I was so desperate, that I tried it.

It was a guided meditation, that was just 3 minutes long.

A lovely voice talked me through it. And I was shocked to feel how it worked. I could literally feel my body relax! Do you know that odd feeling when your intestines somehow relax for the first time that day and you hadn’t even realized that you’re completely tense all the time?
I actually did relax while listening to it! I could feel my body reacting to it! It was amazing!

After that, I listened to this one meditation every day for weeks and it helped me to relax. Then I tried other guided meditations … and they worked, too. Some were better than others. But I realized, that even though I could not meditate by myself – when I had a voice to listen to and focus on, it did help me to relax immensely.

I started to listen to guided meditations every evening before going to sleep. And after a while for the first time in my life, I actually had a „normal“ sleep. I would go to bed, listen to the meditation, and fall asleep listening to it and – a totally crazy thing – would sleep through much better than before! Before I used to wake up so many times at night, even though there was no apparent reason for it.

I can say, that meditation completely changed my life!

wrong meditation practice calm inside

Mixed media art “I am loved” – available in my etsy-shop

To this day I have this ritual of listening to a meditation before sleeping. Sometimes, I fall off this habit and stop doing it … The thing that I have noticed though is, that even if I can fall asleep easily without the meditation, I still usually sleep much better through the night if I listen to it, compared to if I don’t. So, eventually, I always get back to the habit again when I realize I’m not sleeping as well as I’d like to.

I also got into the habit of listening to a guided meditation throughout the day. Sometimes I do it in the morning after waking up, sometimes during my lunch break. It helps me to calm down, to get my body back into a relaxed mode, at least for a bit. Somehow I usually don’t realize how tense I am. Even if I lay down and try to relax … my body is still tense, and my mind races … I don’t relax just because I don’t do anything or I „have time“. I’m often totally tense, without even realizing it. The guided meditations help me to consciously relax and make such a huge difference in my day and in my body.

wrong meditation practice calm inside

Mixed media art “I am loved” – available in my etsy-shop

I’ve been listening to guided meditations now for years. At some point, I had this idea in my head that I really should be learning how to „properly“ meditate. I should be able to do it without relying on a „guide“. I should be able to learn to do it by myself …
I tried many times. There are moments after doing some yoga or while sitting next to a river, where I actually can do some meditating without listening to a guided version. But I still can’t do it just by stopping in the middle of my day and sitting down. It just doesn’t work and trying again and again was super frustrating.

At some point, I even had a „friend“ telling me, that I was not doing it right. That what I call „meditating“ actually is not meditating.
(Maybe the fact that he told me that I was wrong, without considering that it actually was helping me, should have been a clue that he wasn’t really what a friend should be.)
It did make me doubt myself at first … but then I thought, does it matter? Does it matter if someone thinks I’m doing it wrong? Does it matter if I actually WAS doing it wrong?

Who am I hurting by meditating my way?

What is the point, of making it hard for myself and trying over and over again something that is not working for me?

(I don’t wanna say that it generally isn’t worth trying hard! I’m all for working on a skill to achieve it if it’s something you enjoy or something you want to master. But frustrate yourself just to fit into a concept that someone else has? Why?)

Why do I have to do it „right“? Or, is there actually a „right way“? Isn’t it enough if it works? Isn’t it ok to do it in whatever way works, as long as there are benefits?

wrong meditation practice calm inside
Mixed media art “I am loved” – available in my etsy-shop

I kinda decided I was fine with doing it „wrong“.

Actually, I did decide, there is no wrong. It helps me. So I’m using it. Yes, other people do it differently. I don’t mind. I don’t judge. As long as it benefits the individual – isn’t that awesome?!

And if you have tried meditation before and thought it’s not for you – hey, play around!

There are so many different ways to meditate!

If you’re someone like me and the idea of „not doing anything“ makes you break out in sweat due to fear – there are so many other ways to meditate than just by sitting down and thinking nothing! These are just a few ideas:
– guided meditations
– walking meditations
– yoga meditations
– mantra meditations
– body scan mediations
– breathwork
– nature meditations

In my opinion, meditation is a bit like art making – you have to try and see how it feels to find your preferred way!

What is your take on meditation?
Have you tried it?
Has it worked for you?
And if yes, in what way?

Time for you ~ New Beginning ~ 21-Day Creativity Journal

Time for you ~ New Beginning ~ 21-Day Creativity Journal

Each year between Christmas and New Year I sit down and spend quite some time reflecting on the past year and “planning” the new one. I think about what is important to me, what are my goals, and how I would like to spend my time. I also look back at what I achieved and what I really enjoyed about the past year, and what I would love to take with me into the new one.

This year I somehow didn’t manage to do this after Christmas. Time flew by and before I got even started on it, it was already January. But I didn’t want to skip it as I love this little ritual for myself. However, I also didn’t have time to just take a few days off and spend them reflecting … So I started doing a little each day and while doing that, I realized it would be fun to do this “reflection time” in a similar format as the Advent Creativity Calendar. So I started working on that idea, wrote down topics, collected journal questions, collected and created sketches and … put together a 21-day creativity journal for your “New beginning”. I’m so excited to share this with you!

I know it’s already the end of January, so it is a bit late. But, if you haven’t really had time yet to reflect on the past year and would like to put a bit more intention into the new year … this is for you!

Also, it doesn’t only work for the New Year! It also works when you have a birthday … or really anytime that you feel like a “fresh start”. And here it is:

21-Day Creativity Journal: Time for you ~New beginning~


You can buy it here on Etsy.

Topics and prompts to reflect on the past & coming year

For 21 days it encourages you to spend a bit of time each day just for yourself. Each day there is a topic to reflect on, either about the past year or the one ahead. The questions encourage you to think about things that happened and be more intentional about the coming months.

Room to get creative

Also, there is room to get creative. Whether you like to sketch, draw, paint, watercolor, glue collages, create mixed media pictures … or simply “just” write – it’s totally up to you! You can use it as an art journal – or just mix and match and do each day whatever you feel like. It’s supposed to be fun and stress-free! No pressure!


Easy to print – black and white only

Just like the Advent Creativity Calendar I designed the creativity journal in black and white. The only exception is the cover, which is colored. This way it’s easy to print the journal at home and if you like you can color it in afterwards any way you like.

Affirmation for each day

To make it extra enjoyable I added an affirmation for each day! I hope you enjoy them!

Perfect personalized gift

It also makes a lovely gift, as it will be personalized. Where it says “your name” – it will either have your name – if you buy it for yourself – or the name of the person you are gifting it to. When you order it I will create your very own copy within 24 hours. And as it’s a PDF download it’s perfect for last-minute gift giving and for sending to your friend that lives further away! No standing in line at the post office, no waiting for it to arrive … you just download it and send it off by email.

Want a sneak peek?Freebie-Time for you- NEW-BEGINNINGS

Then sign up to my newsletter and you’ll get 4 pages directly out of the creativity journal for free!

If you do decide, that you like it … you can buy the full creativity journal in my Etsy-shop!

I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

And if you have a suggestion on what topic the next creativity journal should be (I do have a few ideas already) – let me know in the comments!

P.S. If buying the ebook is not for you right now, but you’d still like to support me – the easiest way to do so is to share my work!

Here’s the direct link again – if you want to check it out or share :-)

Big hug to you!

How to make a cute recycled gingerbread house tag – tutorial


To be completely honest, I have a bit of a divided opinion on wrapping gifts. Of course, I do love beautifully wrapped gifts. But I also always am super conscious about the fact that I’m using up resources just to wrap a gift up pretty, that is going to be unwrapped within seconds and then the wrapping is most likely going to be thrown out.

(I personally actually often use wrapping paper or tiny decorations from wrapped gifts in my art journaling and mixed media stash. But of course, I can’t use everything … and not everyone does that, either.)

So, I’m always happy when I find a way to make gift wrapping a bit more ressource- and environment- conscious. Recycling is one of the ways that you can do that. And as I had quite a few cardboard boxes standing around from past orders, I was thinking … why not make some cute recycled gingerbread house gift tags for Christmas?

I enjoyed this so much. It’s a low-key and super relaxing activity. No measuring. No being exact and precise. Just some loose drawing. You can do it while listening to an audiobook or just while relaxing after a stressful day. Light a few candles, brew a nice tea, and just sit down and doodle.

What you need:

– cardboard
– scissors
– white acrylic pen (I love POSCA-pens!)
– hole punch
– some sort of ribbon



1. Cut the cardboard into a house shape. This doesn’t have to be perfect. I did not measure anything and it’s not exact at all. I think if the house is a bit wonky, that makes it even more adorable! To make the house look more like actual gingerbread, make sure that the edges are all rounded.

2. With the white acrylic pen add “sugar icing”. You can draw anything you like. Just doodle! Windows, door, hearts, fun lines, and flourishes… Lots of dots! Here’s a little video, if you need some inspiration:

3. Add a hole with the hole punch and add some cute ribbon!

That’s it! You’re done. Quick and easy!

Do you have some ideas for other easy-to-make gift tags? Leave them in the comments!

In a rush and don’t have time to create your own Christmas gift tags? Then check out the printable reindeer gift tags in my etsy-shop.


Printable Christmas reindeer gift tags

Printable Christmas reindeer gift tags

Just a quick note to let you know … if you enjoyed my reindeer Christmas cards … you might also like my printable reindeer gift tags. I just popped them into the shop. They are downloadable and you can print as many as you need (for personal use only of course).

reindeer-gift-tag christmas ursula markgraf

Perfect for those little panic moments when you’re gift wrapping and realize you forgot to buy tags. Again. Please don’t tell me that this only happens to me!

Hop on over to the downloadable reindeer tag printables on Etsy and enjoy!

reindeer-gift-tag christmas ursula markgraf

And if you like, leave me a comment here and tell me what else you’d love to see in my shop!

Oh, and if you still have enough time to create your gift tags … go ahead and try this tutorial for gingerbread house tags. :-)

Art journaling & creativity Advent calendar

Art journaling & creativity Advent calendar

A few years ago I ran an Advent creativity challenge on Facebook and Instagram. I enjoyed it so much and got lovely feedback! Some of the participants also had asked me whether there was a printable version of this challenge, that they could give away. I didn’t have such a version back then, but it stuck in my mind.

Ever since I wanted to create a “proper” Advent calendar. And now finally I did! Here it is:

So, for the price of a Latte Macchiato, you can have your very own Advent calendar just for you – personalized! – that will inspire and encourage you to take some time for yourself each day!

You can buy it here on Etsy.

Topics and prompts to get creative

It has 24 Christmas-themed topics to get creative. One for each day until Christmas. You can draw, sketch, watercolor, paint, art journal, create a mixed-media page or just write … whatever you feel like that day! No stress, just fun!
Each day or topic also has prompts, just in case you need a bit of “extra” to get your creative juices flowing.

Designed in black and white

I especially designed the calendar – with the exception of the cover – in black and white, so that it is easy to print on any printer from home. But even though it’s “only” in black and white, I made sure the 53 pages still look cute! I made them whimsical and lovely with hand-drawn elements and my own illustrations – which you are free to color any way you like.

Affirmation for each day

Each day features an affirmation. Just to remind you how wonderful you are!

It’s for YOU

Yes, it’s personalized. When you order it I will make your very own copy – just for you – within 24 hours. You can then download and print it. Btw, that also makes it a wonderful special little gift for someone creative you love.

Perfect gift

Also, as it’s a PDF you can easily send it off via email or wetransfer to the one who you want to gift it to – no worrying about taking it to the post office and delivery delays. Best last-minute gift ever!

Wanna take a little peek inside?

Now hop on over to Etsy and check it out! And if it resonates … buy your own copy! :-)

And if you have creative friends – would you mind telling them about it?

Starting on the 1st of December I will post the daily topic in the story of my Instagram and Facebook accounts. So, if you like, you can also participate in the daily creation without purchasing the PDF. You will simply not have access to the prompts and the nicely put-together booklet for your creations. But I did want everyone to be able to join in on the fun. So, if you wanna create along – feel free to do so and share with the hashtag:


I can’t wait to see your creations!

If you would like to support me – it would mean the world to me, if you would purchase the ebook. I decided to make the price very affordable – even if I did put quite a few hours into this project – so hopefully many can enjoy it. If buying the ebook is not for you right now, but you’d still like to support me – the easiest way to do so is to share my work! Thanks so much!

And here’s the link again – if you want to check it out or share :-)



Let go – about setting goals and finding joy

Let go – about setting goals and finding joy


To be honest, I wanted to write this blogpost already months ago. And I started a couple of times … But now that I actually finally sit down to write, I realize, it will be a lot different from what I first imagined.
I have let go of many things over the last few years. And it does feel good. Not always easy, but … progress. Especially letting go of THINGS has become a slight obsession of mine. No, I‘m not even close to being – or becoming – a minimalist. But since I started traveling again I realized again and again that I own WAY TOO MANY things. And it doesn‘t feel good. Letting go of them actually does make me feel lighter, happier, and freer. But still – not easy. Progress.

Letting go of things – only one aspect you can let go of

So I always kinda assumed that when I write about letting go, that would be what I would write about. My journey in letting go of THINGS, in decluttering (over and over again), my take on minimalism or my why …
But that‘s actually not what I will write about today. The topic I will write about actually has been in my life for … years. And it has been bugging me for years.
If you have followed me for a while you might remember that at some point I said (or rather wrote) that I will create an online course. And when I created the freebie workshop or the tutorial for the origami stars – I was kinda „practicing “ for that. And I thought that‘s the direction I‘m heading into. It was my goal – my ONE BIG GOAL.
I wanted to create – and share with the world, with you – my very own online-course.

And this goal has been in my mind for … well, years. (It is kinda embarrassing to share. But … what the heck. Maybe you have experienced something similar and can relate.)

Goal setting over and over again …

So, each year when I would review the past year – which I love – and think about and plan the new year – which I also love – one of the goals I would set was MY ONLINE COURSE.

And I always felt like … SO close to it. But I never … reached it. I felt like … I have everything I need. I just need to sit down and do it.
And I did sit down …
I came up with ideas.
I sketched out workshop lesson plans.
I thought of projects which would be great for a first course.
I bought a camera to film with, a stand for the camera, …
I bought a course to teach me how to create my own art courses …
I did all the (f******) work.
Except … I did NOT create the course.

And you know what. It kinda drove me insane.

I‘m a rather disciplined person. If I set my mind to something – I do it.
If I don‘t know how – I figure it out.
If I lack the skill – I learn. (I LOVE learning! So that one never stood in my way!)
If I don‘t have the right equipment – I get creative.
So, why the freaking heck was I not able to create a simple online course???

To be honest, I still don‘t know.
I have accomplished SO much over the last years. I‘ve learned SO MUCH. And I‘m sure that I have all the equipment, all the tools, all the knowledge to actually do it. I do not know WHY on earth I can‘t seem to just do it.
I talked to a few people about it … and once in a while, one answer came up …

Maybe it isn‘t time yet. Maybe it‘s not supposed to happen yet.


You know, this answer – at the time – made me a bit angry inside. I‘ve been working for this for YEARS – how can it not be the time YET. WHEN will the f***ing time be?

So – I just brushed that answer away when it popped up and fought on. The thing is … in terms of this one goal, I got nowhere.
Actually, I even got more away from my goal to be honest, than I would care to admit.
When I was looking back over the past year – over 2020 – I realized with a bit of a shock that I had hardly created any art at all! And that was not the worst. I actually had tried – and miserably failed – to get back into creating over the past year … But somehow … there was no joy in it.
And when I look at it now in retrospect it made me wonder … Was it maybe – just maybe – that I put so much pressure on myself with that f****** course, that I totally lost my joy in creating?

Whenever I started drawing or painting, I always had in my head that looming online course … and this thought:

„I should be creating for the course.“

I probably don‘t need to tell you that this was kinda a mood – or joy – killer and as soon as I tried to start a creative routine, I stopped it again. I could not seem to stick to anything creation-wise. And the worst bit – I just didn‘t feel the JOY when I tried.

Also, I had not written even ONE blogpost. And the thing is – I love writing. If I had to decide what I love more – creating art or writing – hugh! No idea how to decide. I love both. They are both so different, but both so utterly enjoyable. Or at least, they used to be.

So in the end – after another year – I had not created art, I had not written, but I also had STILL NOT created that (stupid) online course of mine. And it made me feel SO miserable!

And that is when I realized, this approach of mine – trying to just push through – clearly is NOT working.
Also, it‘s just stupid. I have accomplished SO much last year. I have had my third successful year as a freelancer – yes, not as an artist, but STILL – and I have grown so much and reached so many other goals. But this ONE stupid goal that I keep chasing, just made everything else feel like nothing and me miserable even though I should be grateful and happy and content!

So, I finally gave up. I surrendered. I let go!


I thought very long and hard about what I REALLY wanted for 2021!
Yes, it was VERY tempting to put „create own online course“ as my number one goal again. I took some time and let go of that goal. And as always with letting go – I‘m not gonna lie – it wasn‘t easy.

But I thought about what I had really really missed over the last year!
And I realized – I didn‘t miss that online course!
I missed CREATING.
I missed making art.
I missed paint on my fingers … (and sometimes on my shirts, too).
I missed the wonderful happy feeling of looking at a finished piece. (Even though no piece ever really feels „finished“ to me – but that‘s a whole other topic.)
I missed writing.
I missed … this. Talking to YOU.
Yes, it probably sounds a bit crazy, but this – creating art, writing about it, sharing it with you – that is what brought me JOY! And this is what I was missing. This JOY!

So, instead of putting the online course on my goals list … I put

„Follow my JOY“

And that is what I will try to do this year!

I will try to – once again – make it a priority to do the things I love, just for the joy of doing them.
I will put paint to paper, glue, sketch, horribly ruin pieces, but also find treasures, that I didn‘t know exist. And I will write.
Not everything will be on the blog – because that‘s simply the way it is with writing. Some of it is meant to be shared, and some is just crap. But it‘s the process that counts! The process that brings JOY. So, that‘s my plan. And I will try to share with you how I get along.
So, if you have been following me for a bit and were hoping for an online course to come out soon – I‘m telling you now that there will be no online course in the near future. However, I will hopefully share with you once again my creativity, art, writing … and hopefully inspire you!

Do you have any plans or ideas for 2021?

Or have you let go of something?
Can‘t wait to hear from you in the comments – or if you prefer – via email.

P.S. If you happen to enjoy my “Let go” piece of art … it’s a mixed media piece on wood. And I’m willing to let this one go, too. ;-) You can find it in my etsy shop.

Tealights with secret message – tutorial


Today I have a little tutorial for your for a very sweet gift idea. It’s not my typical “thing” as it doesn’t involve any paints or such … but it’s quick and easy, you can send it via mail and even kids can help. So I just thought I had to share.

As you can see in the photo above I made a little tealight Advent calendar with this idea and mailed it out. But you can also easily create candles with your wishes for a new year for New Years Eve or candles with secret messages, wishes or even gifts for birthdays or just because … I love that the tealights look like ordinary tealights … until you light them and they burn for a while and reveal the secret message.

You have to let the tealights burn for quite some time until all the wax has melted. Then the white wax becomes translucent and you can see the secret message underneath. (Just a little warning – it takes quite some time until all the wax melts. It’s not done in 30 minutes!)

You need:

-paper and a dark pen
-optional a Candle-Liner

How it’s done:

First you cut out the message. You can print out the pdf below if you like and write your message into the circles. But of course you can also simply draw some circles (a bit smaller than your tealights) on some paper and write down your message on those.

I wouldn’t recommend writing your message in the middle of the circles as that’s where the flame of your tealight will be and that might make it hard to read. Also, you should use a darker color to write down your message so it will be easy to read it through the liquid wax. A light pencil does not work too well.

Once you cut out the message, take the candle out of the metal tealight capsule. Put your paper into the capsule and put the candle back on top. Done!

With some tealights you can very easily take the candle out of the metal capsule. With some it takes a bit more persuading. If possible already check when buying them whether you can disassemble them easily. I had some that were quite persistent not to be parted …. so I actually needed some metal pliers to persuade the candle to come out of the metal …

If you wanna make an Advent calendar then you need to make 24 (or 25) tealights with secret messages. Once you’re finished you can write the numbers on top of the tealights with a Candle-Liner. I had a glittery one, which I really liked. But you can of course also use any other color. I think red would also be very pretty for example.

If you just wanna give them as a gift, obviously you can make any number you want. And you can either draw little symbols or such on top – or just leave them as they are. I would however recommend to add some sort of instruction to them when giving them as a gift as they really look just like ordinary tealights and really takes some time until they reveal their hidden secret. And it would be rather sad if the person you gave them to missed their secret message just because they didn’t expect it … and didn’t look.

What do you think of this idea?

Write me a comment and let me know who’d you like to give a tealight with a secret message to?

Or tell me what little gifts that are easy and quit to make you like to give?

P.S. Here’s the pdf – just right-click and choose “save as”. Have fun creating!

Blanc circles PDF


Meditating reindeer Christmas cards are here!

Finally they’re here. The new Christmas cards! And this time with a meditating reindeer.

After all, Christmas is not only stressful for us, but for reindeers, too. That’s why they do some yoga and meditation to be able to have a wonderful and relaxed Christmas time.

And if you do feel stressed, too, then just try it! Do a bit of yoga or meditation!
If it helps angels and reindeers, it’s gotta work for you, too. :-)
And afterwards you can finish wrapping the gifts … relaxed …

I’m especially excited that I was able to get the new cards printed on the lovely mother of pearl cardstock I love so much. It has such a gorgeous shine to it!

Unfortunately my photography skills aren’t good enough to show that shine off. :-( But if you have ordered Christmas cards from me before you might be familiar with it’s wonderful look and feel.
(Not all of my Christmas cards are printed on it. Some had to be printed on linen-cardstock as the mother-of-pearl cardstock wasn’t available when I got cards printed last time. So I’m super excited that it is again available now.)

And in case you’re curious how this Christmas cards actually developed … here are some snapshots. :-)

From the first sketch to the “salted reindeer” and to coloring … I had so much fun creating this. I hope you’ll have just as much fun writing and sending them off.

They are available in my etsy-Shop – of course with matching envelopes – either as single cards or in a more afordable set.

And of course the “old” Christmas card designs and Christmas postcards are also available. And if you’re rather stressed about the idea of having to write Christmas cards, why not read my five tipps to make it a calming ritual.

I’m wishing you a wonderful and relaxed first of Advent!

And if you have ideas or suggestionsn for me what kind of Christmas card motives I should create next year – just let me know in the comments! :-)