Google+ LISTENING TO THE SQUEAK INSIDE art by Kirstin McCulloch of LilliBean Designs: 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

☆ Illustration Friday

Wow - I cannot believe another Christmas has past us by and here we sit on the eve of the new year! Craziness huh?

We had a great chrissy with Santa being a very generous fella with every one, not just the girls, we are very spoiled and very, very lucky - I am so thankful.

So I managed to squeeze time to do my IF prompt this week while we were away on the coast. No chance last week to do my IF prompt, although in crazy Kirstin Land, I had grand plans to squeeze it in between last minute xmas shopping and cooking chrissy dinner!

Something a bit different this week, I had limited supplies whilst I was on holidays - a few pens, my water colours, not much else...

I had to dig a little deeper this week since it is 30 odd degrees here at the moment - and yes that is centigrade and not fahrenheit!

I hope you all had a fabulous and chilled christmas, and the new year brings you prosperity and love.

I'll see you next year!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

☆ Decemberness

December is of course a very busy month for everyone, and for us, especially this year - our first in our new home, it is about making the month as festive and as painless as possible.

We've been....

Painting our toenails 'Pink-Pink'...

Making Xmas pudding with my 90 year old grand mother...

Me: 'Nan what do you want me to do?'
Nan: 'Just ask me lots of questions'
(How awesome she is!)

Painting the girls room Pilot Grey and Paparazzi Pink
(How crazy are we??)

Playing Christmas Fairies
(How Cute is She!)
Carolling at the Japanese Gardens in our new tutu outfit
(With wings 'borrowed' from a random family)

Decorating the new Christmas Tree
(Me: 'Bean if you keep taking those ornaments of the tree there will be no Tinkabell movie')

Beautiful Girls in their Christmas dresses after photos with Santa
(How adorable are my girls!)

Putting our awesome goth Christmas Faery on the top of the tree
How your Chrissy lead up going? Are you excited yet? Or just over it?

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

☆ Illustration Friday

I have to say that inspiration for this weeks prompt was very slow in coming. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to do, how it looks before I even put pencil to paper. Other times, like this week, I have no idea. I am blank.

After a quick google search (gotta love the internet) on phenomenon, I thought I would try something outside my comfort zone. No plan, no initial drawing, no practice. Free fall.

And this is the result...

I am not sure about the result - I left it open on the coffee table yesterday to just mull over it, stand back and look at it, not sure if it was finished or not, and I am still not sure. 

But what I do know for 100%, is that if I tinker with it any more I will wreck it!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

☆ Illustration Friday

After weeks of leaving my IF project to the last minute, I was inspired to finish this weeks a tad earlier.

So here is my take on prehistoric...

Sic 'em Rex

How cool to have your own pet t-rex. No one would sass you then!

I did this prompt in my journal - so when I scanned it there was black line from the page bend... one day I will figure out photoshop! Maybe I will add this to my 2011 goals.

Have a cracking day.


Monday, December 6, 2010

☆ Christmas Trees and Advent Calendars

I hope you all savoured your weekend! What did you do to stay present?

I am not sure in the end that we savoured our weekend, we seemed to be in and out all weekend - xmas tree purchasing, craft shop madness, work parties, lunch with the parents - we both felt like we'd be away all weekend!

But we have our tree - it may be a plastic fantastic tree, but it won't die before xmas day and drop all its needles, and it won't be a disappointing droopy tree with threadbare branches, and no proper point for a star! Does anyone else from Australia find they're disappointed with what their christmas trees look like?? That they never live up to the stereotype of what a xmas tree is supposed to be?? I guess I really am a shallow creature when it comes to xmas trees cause I usually embrace the quirky and unique!

Anyway - we haven't put it up yet because we are waiting for it to come up in the advent calendar I made for the girls - well for Bean, cause really although I think that Bug is the smartest thing ever, she is really only six months old ; )

Bean was given this by her granparents when we had Bug and it comes with 6 mice - but ever since she recieved it all I could think was 'advent calendar'! So we bought some sticky foam numbers, and I spent the last week before December One, filling the pockets..

with things like - make cookies, go for a swim, have a baby cino, go to the play park and watch a xmas movie, (any suggestions for good xmas movies for a two year old - I suspect 'It's a wonderful life' would be slightly above her head!)

as well as some little trinkets, hand made felt tree ornaments and a few sweeties.

So that's what I've been up to this last couple of weeks, along with the odd sketch, and the cross stitch I dug out that I feverishly worked on for about three days, before again putting it aside again for my pens and paints!

Have a great Monday


Friday, December 3, 2010

☆ Illustration Friday

So what a crazy couple of weeks - and this week was no exception! Although my girls are feeling much better, and we have teeth (finally thank god!!) my other half has been away working all week and it has rained and rained and rained....and rained!

What the?? Isn't summer in Australia all about the endless, hot, baking hot, days, nary a rain cloud in sight let alone a few wee drops of rain? Not only that but it is snowing in the UK and the hills of Skye that I would see out side my bedroom window every morning are absolutely covered in snow - I miss Scotland so much around this time of year! The rainy days make me feel like I am back home again.

The Cuillin Hills of Skye.
To paraphrase author of 'Almost French', Sarah Turnbull - It's a terrible thing to love two countries...

I am torn.

Anyway this is not really what the post I had intended to write ; )

The point, I guess is that this weeks Illustration Friday prompt struck home a bit - savour.... savour life, savour the wee moments of your day, stay present, and don't wish away the weeks, don't mark your time here.

(Of course being of a slightly dyslexic nature I checked the IF page a couple of times to make sure it was savour and not saviour - HA! I just had to check again!!)

So just a quick sketch for the prompt this week - trying to stay present and savour my girls, meant very few minutes for me this week!

I have lots of great little projects that I have been into to share with you later and hopefully I will have more time to post next week too.

Have a great weekend - savour it and let me know how you did.


Friday, November 26, 2010

☆ Illustration Friday


Just sneaking in this week with my IF project - not much art completed this week - we are still a house hold of sickness, but now on the mend (fingers and toes crossed!)

Have a great weekend.


Friday, November 19, 2010

☆ Art, Heart and Healing - Week 3

So I am posting this a bit later than I planned - my gorgeous children have lovingly passed on their cold to their parents! So A LOT of Tinkerbell has been watched in the last week to keep tanties at a minimun, and to save mums pounding head!

If you haven't already checked out the Art, Heart & Healing course you should - it is absolutely fabulous, I have learned heaps in regards to technique, letting go, being open and celebrating the now.  And if you don't have time at the moment to do the course, Tam is leaving it open, make sure you spend 10 minutes checking out the fantastic art that people are creating - and OMG the monstahs (week 3) - they are soo cute and I wanna cuddle them all. I can't wait to make to mine - but i suspect i'll have to share with my girls!

So here are my pages from week 3 -

The cover of my book:

My first quote is one I have had scribbled on a post-it and have carted around the world with me!

I decided that I needed to have a second quote about courage and/ or letting go of fear and I found this one:

My 'I celebrate' page was funnily enough just as hard to do as my 'I wish for you' page. Not that I couldnt think of things, i could have written an essay, but I really wanted to be specific about what I celebrate the most, or whats most important to me at this stage in my life...

This was such a great exercise, it really made me focus on the now and whats great in my life at the moment. When I was in my 20's I used to keep a very small journal in which I would write everyday 5 positive things that happened that day, and if I had a really crap day, what was positive about the crap...It was really hard to start with but in the end it was really easy to find the positives in my day.

Thanks Tam for reminding me to celebrate my life and not wish it away...

Have a great weekend everyone!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

☆ Illustration Friday


Sometimes when that lump sits in the back 
of your throat like a burning ball of acid
all you can do is relinquish control 
and scream it out...

Monday, November 15, 2010

☆ Busy Times and Sick Girls...

Well it has been a very, very busy couple of weeks at 'casa de mac' - I hope like crazy this isn't the beginning of the festy, oops I mean festive, season. I am not sure we can survive six more weeks of this.

And isn't that crazy - six weeks until the biggest, most stressful holiday of the year. More alcohol drunk than at any time of the year, more chocolate consumed than at Easter and more diplomacy and tact needed than a UN meeting! But that rant is for another post!

 So anyway, our weekend in Sydney was so much fun. We stayed in Manly, right on the harbour, and our old stomping ground. Walking around Saturday morning, having coffee in the rain, the corso empty of tourists, I remembered why I loved living in a city like Sydney.

Later that afternoon going to the mall, not able to find a car park in the entire place, waiting in cues for everything, and having to visit seven shops to find a pair of jeans, for my very picky husband, I realised why I love living in a small town!

The reason we were in Sydney was for my youngest brothers engagement party, and we had a fabulous time catching up with family. Of course Bean was sooo excited to see her cousin they went absolutely feral....

The next day we had a BBQ with family at one of the waterfront reserves, before beginning our 4 hour plus journey home.

But we had one detour to make - to Ikea! I love this giant home wares heaven, I love looking at all the displays, I love the bright colours and sleek designs. My husband tolerates it, and as long as I feed him caffeine he copes very well (although he said he was desperate for a smoke after our time in there and he quit 10 months ago!) My brother-in-law believes that Ikea is straight from hell, and never, ever wants to visit there again.

So Ikea'd up we joined the hordes of other suburbanites wanting to pay for their bulging trolleys full of Ikeaness, and proceeded to spend one hour in a cue to pay for our goods - crazy, why yes we are, thank you very much! Another reason we fled the city when we moved back to Australia!

After such a great weekend, the week following began badly and finished worse. Both the girls came down with colds, snotty noses, hacking coughs, no sleeping or eating. Then they both had jabs - so cranky and unsettled, and to top it off we jumped from 16 degrees (celsius) to hot and muggy 28's. Finally both G & I caught whatever the girls had, and spent the weekend on the couch watching disney movies to entertain Bean....

But after a 7 o'clock bedtime for the girls and me, and after sharing our bed with Bean last night, we are once again a fairly happy family. (Touch wood - quickly touch wood!)

So apart from my IF project, not much art completed, and I missed a couple of days on my sketchbook challenge but will pick it up again tonight. And I also managed to quickly finish week 3 of my Art, Heart and Healing course - will post pics tomorrow.

Hope you all had a better week than us, and that this week is better than the last!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

☆ Illustration Friday

Just a quick post today, as I am trying to catch up after our weekend away, but  I finished my response to the IF prompt 'afterward' last night.

Over the weekend I caught up with my sister and cousin, both of whom are first time mums this year, and we were talking about how much life changed after babies...

When Fred was born, I found this fantastic quote for the card I was making:

"a baby changes your dinner party conversations from politics to poop"
                                                                 - Maurice Johnstone

So true!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

☆ Art, Heart and Healing - Week 2

I managed to finish my two projects for the Art, Heart and Healing course before taking off for the weekend - Yah!

Here's what I posted on the forum:

I don't have many photos of myself as a child at my home, they are all stored at my mum's and I thought I would need to go raid them (which I need to do anyway!), but synchronistically my aunty gave me three photos she had taken of me as a child so I instinctively choose the one of me in a bath
Which in hindsight I feel is symbolic of my innocence and vulnerability, both of which I felt strongly when I was completing this piece (and again as I post it here ;)!)

It took me a while to think of an idea for the second page, I was very blessed as a child and had a very happy childhood but when I was a teenager I was friends with a group of girls who would take turns in hating each other for a day each week (this was of course led by just one girl whom we never hated!) It was all so dramatic, confusing, vicious and painful as only it can be to twelve year olds.

Close up of my whimsy girls:

Have a great weekend


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

☆ Illustration Friday

It has been a crazy week so far. and it doesn't seem like it will get any saner over the rest of it!

I have been working on my Art, Heart and Healing week 2 projects, trying to finish them before we go away for a long week end in Sydney, I finished my Illustration Friday prompt, had a Bug whose teeth are all seeming to come through at once, a Bean who has a persistent cough and clingy for mama, a husband who ended up in the emergency department for stitches (only 3 and not a bad cut!) and a slice to be made for playgroup (what am I mad - why haven't I bought one??)

So I can only hope that our weekend away will be a calmer and less hurried time, but I know with parties, BBQ's and family catch ups planned (as well as some well deserved retail therapy!) it will be just as manic - but heaps of fun!!

Thanks everyone for the lovely and supportive comments - I will reply...soonish?

So anyway Illustration Friday..

I was inspired this week by a quote about fairies by J.M. Barrie:

"Every time a child says I don't believe in fairies, there is a fairy somewhere that falls..."

She spent to long time not believing in fairies..
(watercolour, mixed media)

Hope you've had a great week so far and happy hump day!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

☆ Octobers Sketchbook Challenge

Another challenge completed - tick! 

This one was much harder than I could have ever thought, and I have to say the first half of the month seemed to take forever to get through - but I persevered and the second half of the month seemed to fly by.

So what did I learn from this months challenge?

I learned..

..that their dummies didn't necessarily make it easier..

..that I had really, really bad days when nothing made sense..

..that it was easier to draw them asleep..


..that G was often in the same reclined state when I drew him..

..that Bug often looked scared or surprised..

..that my family are full of character and fun..

..that they were much more interesting to look and easier to draw at when they weren't happy..
(no children were harmed in the making of this sketch challenge! ; ) )

..that I am proud that I accomplished this challenge no matter how difficult,
that noses are much much harder that you would think..
that i actually enjoyed this challenge at the end..
that noses don't translate to paper - unless you begin with them..
that I'm going to keep persisting with portraits..
and that I think Novembers Challenge will be portraits again..

What challenges do you have for November?


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