Today's Wednesday Wonder hails from Belgium, and she has a most romantic name: Godelieve (rhymes with "GO-believe"). Some of you may know her better as "Stamping Matilda." But by whatever name you associate with her, there's no mistaking her presence in the world of paper craft.
Now seems like an appropriate time to put a face with the name, so please take a gander at Godelieve Tijskens.
Godelieve had her picture taken in front of some of her stamps because she doesn't have a dedicated craft room to share with us. Which is either really inspiring or really depressing - I mean, she turns out incredible stuff, and it's all without having a dedicated space. So you can either feel hopeful that you, too, can bring forth works of genius despite a "handicap" of having no dedicated space; OR you can feel wretched because you HAVE a space and still can't produce masterpieces - and now you can't blame it on not having a space, either!
There are many things to like about Godelieve's work, so her style is very hard for me to pin down. She's so comfortable working with a variety of mediums that I'm hard-pressed to capture recurring characteristics - although I will say that I'll bet she enjoyed making mudpies as a little girl. I say that because she is fearless when it comes to getting into the thick of it with the inks and the paints - she's not afraid to get her hands dirty! Godelieve's work regularly incorporates inked backgrounds that require more than a little time, effort and skill to lay down. I find her work with Ecoline ink particularly fascinating, and she has several good tutorials on this technique at her blog.
I'm also pretty impressed that Godelieve takes found materials and does stunning things with them - like this:
I can just see it, can't you?
Get up, have breakfast, yawn and stretch a little, pick up the empty cereal box, knock out a few masterpieces.... And she hasn't even had lunch yet!
I can't wait to see what she does with her sandwich wrapper....
I read on her Flickr photostream that she likes to take her scraps and make cards on Sunday mornings. You know, I have plenty of scraps, but I lack the capacity to make my sow's ears into the proverbial silk purses that Godelieve creates with hers:
She also takes amazing photographs that she sometimes incorporates into her cards - I laughed out loud when I saw this one:
Godelieve's talents are in very high demand. She is currently a member of three design teams: Odd Bird Planet, Art Journey, and Aud Design. She has also guest designed for Dark Room Door, the Hero Arts Blog, and Angels Landing. Godelieve has also been published - and more often than she shared with me, I suspect. Her work most recently appeared in Art Specially for You, a Dutch publication that gave her six pages in its last volume. (And if getting six pages all to yourself isn't impressive, consider that this not just a magazine - it's a book - and it included an article Godelieve wrote on Ecoline inks.)
And then our girl has definitely made a name for herself in the weekly challenges over at the Hero Arts Blog: Man Week (1st Place), Flower (1st Place), Paper (HM), Monochromatic (HM), Photocard (HM), and she won accolades in some of the pre-blog Hero Arts challenges: an HM in the 2005 Hearts & Love Contest, a 1st Place in the 2005 Watercolors for Summer Contest, and a 3rd Place in the 2006 Lots of Love Contest.
Yes, Godelieve is the Real Deal, alright. And we're lucky to not only have her work to admire, but she is very generous on her blog, sharing instructions and techniques. So, if you pay attention, you can have a little Godelieve in your life with very little effort. And let's face it - that's got to be one of those Good Things that Martha Stewart is always yammering about, right? A woman who makes art out of cereal boxes at her kitchen table is good to have around!
With no further ado, lift your Diet-Cokes to Godelieve Tijskens, a true Artiste!
1. Do you pre-sketch a design or do you just leap out of the gate? How long does it usually take you to make a page? A card?
No, I don't pre-sketch my cards. Often I don't know what I'm going to create. I just start with what's in front of me :)
2. How many, on average, pages per week do you make? Cards?
About 10 cards I think. I really want to stamp something each day. Sometimes even more, depending on DT assignments.
Holy mackerel! I should just go crawl under a rock. Ten?! TEN?!
3. How has your process evolved to make you a leaner, meaner crafting machine? (In other words, what are some lessons you've learned or tips you can share that allow you to make better and faster design choices?
Usually I try not to use too many colors on each card, just 2 or 3.
4. What's your stand-by, FAST dinner solution for those times when you really want to get to your scrap space ASAP (or stay ALAP)?
Let hubby do the cooking :)
You know, I'm sensing a pattern here - seems like a lot of us are very generous. We're so willing to share the joy of cooking. Aren't we nice to sacrifice all that joy? We're such good people....
Oh. My. Word. That's a merry-go-round. The woman made a merry-go-round....
I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!
5. If you were stranded on an island that had a billion supplies but NO tools, what ten TOOLS would you HAVE to have? (All the stamps in the world are available, so you don't need to list them as one of your tools. EX: we've got all the embroidery floss in the world, but you're going to have to bring your own needle if you want to use any of it!)
I would bring my craft knife, embroidery scissors, grid ruler, cutting mat, paper piercer, daylight lamp, sponges, Cuttlebug, Nesties, and stamp positioner.
6. If you were still on that island, what kind of noise would you want (if any) in the background? List as many as five different favorite musical artists.
I would hopefully hear songbirds, but I enjoy the music of Leonard Cohen, Tracy Chapman, Tom Waits, something classical (Vivaldi, Grieg, etc).
Godelieve, I believe you have just revealed yourself to be very deep and intellectual (as if that merry-go-round wasn't a tip-off)! None of those artists are frivolous lightweights - that bunch tends to chisel into your brain and stir the pot of thought!
7. If you could have anything you wanted, (concerning scrapping or stamping) what would it be?
It would be something you can't buy: time and inspiration.
8. What about your style/artistry are you least satisfied with?
I love vintage work to look at, but often I don't like my own vintage style cards.
Okay, so remember what I said about Godelieve being deep. This next little project shows she's more than deep. She's an ENGINEER.
9. What cameras have you tried, which one is your favorite, and why? (You can shorten this to just the one you're using now if you like.)
I'm using a Canon 450D, also known as Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi, which I like a lot.
10. What's the word or phrase that comes to your lips when you mess up while creating? ("Unprintable" is definitely an option!)
That's my girl! (I'm always mildly relieved to learn that I'm not the only one who is fluent in blue language.)
OPTIONAL (These are new questions that readers have expressed an interest in knowing. You can answer none, one, some, or all.)
11. Give us a quick description of your family.
Hubby and I got married 30 years ago. We have 2 grown sons: Rik has his own business. Happy to have Bert living with us; he needs special care and constant attention, which takes a lot of our time.
12. Got a fun or little known fact about yourself you’d like to share?
I get up very early - 5:00 a.m. sometimes - to have a few quiet creative hours.
I need to do that more often, I think.
13. What’s your favorite stamping technique?
I have a few: heat embossing on vellum, and all resist techniques.
You can see more of Godelieve's creations at a variety of places: her blog, Stamping Matilda, and her Two Peas gallery, and her Flickr photostream and her Splitcoast Stampers gallery. She also has a photo blog: Up Close.