Simply Neutrals #37

winter leaf shape by AppleApricot

Hello dears, welcome to Simply Neutrals!

Nature is still providing us here on the northern hemisphere with beautiful winter neutrals. Like these leaves that I found in the woods, in decay, still hanging on by a thread to their branches. Soon they will be replaced by fresh green new spring leaves.

winter leaf shape by AppleApricot


Feature of last week

The seasons and elements have their influence on man-made stuff as well. Like the beautiful old walls and window dear Mascha of Maschas Buch shared with us.

textures photos by MaschasBuch

Mascha often shares beautiful photos of old buildings on her blog.

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

On to this week's party!


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.
Of course it would be nice if you link up to a new or recent blog post, but if there is something from the archives you'd really want to link up here, then please feel welcome to do so.

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.
The most recently added link ups will show in the list first.

Time for the link up!

xx Wen

Simply Neutrals Tuesday linky party at AppleApricot

Simply Neutrals #36 - I think I'm a Magpie

Owl and Nest collage by AppleApricot

Hello dears, a warm welcome to Simply Neutrals #36!

We went to the Utrechtse Heuvelrug again this weekend, but a different part than last time. We now chose only the woodland part for wandering, collecting, and taking photos.

Inspired by this beautiful land I created a little woodlandish collage. I used wallpaper samplers, music sheet paper, pieces of two antique French postcards that I scanned (one of which you can find as a freebie HERE - the other one I will share another time), a piece of old packaging tape that was torn of a box (the brown paperish thingie), a small piece of a little digital scrapbook paper I created some years ago (the green text on green - which you can find as a freebie HERE), vintage images of an owl and a nest that I found on pinterest, some distress inks, and a bit of machine stitching.

Owl and Nest collage by AppleApricot (detail)

Of course I couldn't help myself and took pieces of the woods back home with me. Little things that spoke to me. I think I'm a Magpie.

On my worktable a collection of things I found in the woods this time:

pine cones
fern (I think it is?)

woodland finds at AppleApricot

... Yes, pottery!
Well, pieces of tiles mostly.
On some of the bigger lanes you can find them :)

Owl and Nest collage by AppleApricot


The stillness of early Spring

copied illustration and dye experiments by AppleApricot

I'm having fun experimenting with several media. I think I will do a whole lot more experimenting because I'm really enjoying it! First of all, earlier I had tea dyed some papers for a junk journal (of which I'm still in the progress of editing the video footage I took of it). I thought this was so much fun that since then I'm begging everyone's used tea bags when their tea is still hot, lol! Then I run upstairs to "paint" with these bags on paper and cloth.
When doing so, a flower head of a bouquet dropped on one of the papers and I noticed the colour the stamens were making on the paper. So I started rubbing some of these on paper and cloth. (Some result are on bottom of the photo above, both left and right.)

I also started experimenting with the copier machine. I copied a bird illustration I painted earlier and really love the result. And when I saw two little leaves that had fallen from house plants, I picked them up, put them under the copier again and again, creating a pattern. I then copied some vintage French text on top of that. (See top right of photo above.) I think this is so cool and will definitely experiment more often with the copier machine!

It's freezing cold outside. We had a tiny bit of snow a couple of days ago, but it's all gone now. The howling wind is icy. "Wind is spoiling skating fun, natural ice still very unreliable" the news headlines read. Dutch people love to skate on natural ice. Well, many of them do, not all.

But the sun is shining happily, making my room comfortably warm. If I didn't hear the howling wind, I would say it's a nice Spring day. But it's not, it's still Winter. There are some first signs of Spring though. In a neighbouring garden the ground is littered with Crocuses. Happy little dots of purple in a neutral coloured surrounding. This gave me the inspiration for an Early Spring fabric heart. Which is finished, but I cannot show it to you yet because it will be send to a dear friend. So you'll have to do with a little sneak peek for now. See on the left of the photo below.

embroidery by AppleApricot

On the right is the beginnings of a small journal, with a birdie I embroidered.

I also gather flowers and press them. Not flowers from outside, not yet. But from bouquets that are on their return. And I have so many flowers and leaves dried and pressed last year. Here are some Hydrangea flowers that I used on a tag. The tag I will show you later, cause again this one goes to my dear friend. Patience my dears :)

pressed flowers Hydrangea by AppleApricot

More experimenting: I made my first two erosion bundles and put them in the garden. I wanted to try this for some years now, but never did. So here's my first attempt. Now I have to wait two or three months and see what the elements of wind and moist create with it. In the bundles there are papers and fabrics, pieces of lace, flower heads, rusted iron and copper bits, and some cheap water colour paint splashes here and there. I hated painting with this paint and thought this would be a fun way to try something different with it in stead of disposing of it.

And then of course there are some of the photos I promised earlier, of the walk we did on the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. In the land of bogs and woods and heather fields. It's such a beautiful area and it's not far from where we live, so we love to go there often.

Utrechtse Heuvelrug by AppleApricot

There was a thin layer of ice on the water then.
I'm sure it's grown much thicker now with this icy cold.
But the strong winds make it treacherous to walk or skate on it.

In the woods we found beautiful textures of bark and fungus.

 textures of bark and fungus by AppleApricot

And I love the beautiful mirroring in the water.
There was no wind that day, so the water was peaceful, like a giant mirror.

lake mirroring by AppleApricot

Small fungus growing on fallen bark.

bark and fungus by AppleApricot

You know what I forgot to look for?
Skeleton leaves!
I'm sure there must be skeleton leaves now, don't you think?

artwork and texture photos by AppleApricot

Well, it doesn't spoil the fun I had :)

I was just thinking, funnily I named this blog post the stillness of early Spring. But indoor as well as outdoors it's not so still at the moment, with my happy experimenting and the howling wind, lol!

Wishing you a beautiful day!

Big hugs xx

Simply Neutrals #35

bark texture by AppleApricot

Hello sweet friends and welcome to Simply Neutrals #35 (no less!).

Ain't time flying like crazy? To think it's the 35th SNT already, wow!
Today I share two of the photos I promised last week, of the nature walk we did recently. We went to the heather fields, woods and bogs the Utrechtse Heuvelrug, a beautiful area not too far away from where we live. We go there often and I promise to share more photos of it this coming week.

I found many gorgeous textures. Barks and mushrooms in particular. Below is the mushroom photo that I used for the background of my digital scrapbook paper that I shared last week, which you can use as a freebie for your own work if you like (the digital paper, not the photos of this post of course).

mushroom texture by AppleApricot

I just love love textures. At our walks I'm always on the lookout for beautiful and interesting textures. I even have a special Pinterest board for it. I noticed that I should update the board, but there are already some gorgeous yummy textures to be found!

Let's continue with the party, shall we?

Beautiful gifts received

Recently I was the happy receiver of some beautiful creations in my mailbox.

First, dear Suzy of SuziQusThreadworks sent me one of her gorgeous mixed media dolls, dressed with layers of the most beautiful fabrics, laces, pearls and a gorgeous "waist belt".

Along with this beautiful fairy queen lady, Suzy also sent me this gorgeous tag,

gorgeous laces and fabrics, paper napkins,

and a whole lot of birds and flowers!

As you might know, I love LOVE sweet little bird and flowers.
Well, who doesn't?

Thank you so much dear friend, I'm so grateful for the gorgeous parcel you sent me! Me thinks I'm going to make a bird book with these beauties :)

I also received a gorgeous card from Alice of CreAlice, with this sweet little girl photo, adorned with flowers and butterflies.

Such a beautiful card, thank you so much dear Alice!

On my worktable at the moment is a hodgepodge of happy little scraps of paper and fabrics.

As you can see I'm in Spring mood :)
Bring it on bring it on!
We have sweet little purple Crocuses already, yay!

Wishing you a sunny day,
big hugs xx