Google+ LISTENING TO THE SQUEAK INSIDE art by Kirstin McCulloch of LilliBean Designs: 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011


Farewell to a year of love and laughter. Farewell to a year of huge amounts of creating. Farewell to a year of illness and death. Farewell to a year of stress and worry. Farewell to a year of huge success, and incredible highs, and some pretty shitty lows. Farewell to new connections and to new family members.

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
But most of all farewell to the past, not to be remembered in sorrow, in despair or in shame, but to be remembered as a journey to a brighter future

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
 I can't wait to take all I have learnt from 2011 and move forward, to make the next step in my journey and to remember to always immerse myself, in whatever I choose.

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
 See you in the new year - have a great night.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

☆ Messenger [Illustration Friday] + Season Tidings

I had just finished this painting for my niece when the email alert come in for this weeks illustration friday.

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
It felt very synchronistic!

I can't believe that it is Christmas Eve already, where has the month gone? And after furiously sewing and creating, at the last minute I hot glued the last felt circle onto the last hair clip. The presents have all been wrapped and ready to transport, and salads for our BBQ tonight are prepared.

I am ready to relax and indulge.

I hope that you all have great festive season, no matter what holidays you celebrate, and that 2012 is a year of growth, happiness and love.

I am taking a week off to enjoy my family, in this time of sharing and giving.

Much love.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

☆Sink [Illustration Friday]

Sink or swim?

Under pressure which do you do?

It used to be that I sank, I gave up and I gave in.

But I think since the birth of Bug, things have been changing. I have been changing. I am less likely to give up, I feel that I am no longer sinking, sinking in self doubt, and self worth, sinking in helplessness and hopelessness, and sinking in an abundance of ideas and dreams with no direction and no clue where to begin.

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
I am not going to sink anymore.

And a big 'Thank You' needs to go to you guys. Thank you for your inspiring comments, your helpful suggestions and your support. You guys have helped me so much on this journey. Thank you for encouraging me to listen to my squeak.

So how do you keep your head above water, and not sink. What is the inspiration behind your motivation to keep going? I would love to know.

Have a great day!

Monday, December 19, 2011

☆ Hand Made Christmas [Part Three]

Continuing the hand made christmas theme, along with a sign for my brother-in-laws 'man land' room (aka the xbox room, aka don't enter if you hear guns blazing cause im in the middle of a 'gears' session) - incidentally how many of you out there are xbox widows like me?

Anyway, I made a 'manland' sign and we made them a cool wire photo holder from an old frame similar to this, but in the rush to wrap everything before the secret spiller [aka Bean] woke from her sleep, I forgot to take a photo of them.

But I did remember to take a photo of the iphone holders I made them.

I found a great tutorial here for these, and they were so easy to sew, but such a practical gift - I don't know about you, but I've lost my phone in my purse so many times!

I think they will come in very handy - I may have to make one for myself.

Have a great day!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

☆ Home Made Christmas [part two]

I have some more home made gifts to share with you.

My sister in law is a beautiful sewer, and she too has aspirations of starting a home made business, sewing purses, bags, glasses cases in beautiful retro patterns.

I wanted to make her a book that she could write her ideas in - she has so many ideas, such great ideas, so with a bit of a Kaiser Craft album, some ring binders and some beautiful scrapbook paper, I decided to create a note book for her - a 'Little Book for Big Ideas.'

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch

The best thing is she can rip out pages and add more, as her ideas change and grow and come to fruition.

I hope she likes it.

Have a great week. Only seven more sleeps til the big man comes!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

☆ Christmas Goodies + the Joy of Giving

Well since I have been going on and on about these hand made gifts I have decided to make for family this year, and how like usual I have procrastinated so much, that now I have only two weeks left 'til christmas, and crap wasn't it a great idea in July!

I thought it only fair that I share some of the finished pieces with you all. Perhaps you might see it as a small reward + a thank you for listening to me whine about my own stupidity, and my terrible habit of leaving things to the very last minute!

Stone markers for my sister in law - she is a mad keen gardener.
These were super easy to make - I just collected rocks on my walk (sometimes my pockets has so many rocks my pants would fall down as I walked!) They need a final coat of lacquer and a pretty bag and they are finished.

These mermies were made from a pattern in Hillary Lang's book Wee Wonderfuls with a few personalised differences for the girls...

Aren't they just divine?

I am pretty sure the girls will love these - well I do! They are wrapped and under the tree, and every time one of the girls looks trying to figure out what that present is, I smile, thinking of what they will say, their expression, their joy when they finally open them.

So really that is what a hand made christmas is all about isn't it? - that feeling that you get, the pleasure, the joy of some one just enjoying, appreciating and loving a gift that you made just for them. 

That feeling really is worth the stress, worry and slight anxiety that surrounds the whole thing of giving something I created.

Well there are more presents to finish - back to the desk!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

☆ Separated [Illustration Friday]

We have just made it through one of the biggest weekends. Our baby, Bean, danced in her first dance recital. And she was amazing. At three and a half she just went out and danced. The crowd, the lights, the other stage shy girls just didn't phase her. She amazes me, and inspires me!

During this weekend, I found myself sitting on the couch surrounded by family, but feeling separated from the group. This is not unusual as I am sure everyone has these moments. I have had them in the past too, but while my 90 year old nan was talking to my brother in law about the latest gossip in the magazines,  (is so and so's son really his??) I felt a huge disconnect to everything around me.

I know its probably due to my brain processing a huge amount of stuff, things to do, presents to buy, shopping to do for the next two weekends, all the freaking present making I have yet to do.

But it was an odd feeling. We were together but separate. (And I wouldn't mind betting I wasn't the only one in the room, feeling the same way!!)

The boy and his horse will not be separated
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch

This is my first serious attempt at a male character, I find the much harder, but I think he turned out ok. But I would love to hear of any tips you might have about drawing and painting 'boys'. I have another planned as a christmas present for my nephew.

I was feeling pretty good about my first attempt until Bean asked where her long princess hair was!

Have a great week

Saturday, December 10, 2011

☆ Bauble [Inspiration Avenue]

I have been so busy lately. Hand made Christmas presents (oh what WAS i thinking!!) But the mermaid plushies are done (tick) and the princess fiona's on their way and I will post some pics of soon. My presents for my sis & bro in law are still to be completed - but I have seven more days (.... eeek!)

So I just haven't had a chance lately to do a piece for Illustration Avenue, despite the tempting prompts, so this weeks prompt 'Bauble' was a relief.

Painting or illustrating things in baubles is a favourite of mine. I love imagining what is in the bauble, underneath the paint. The other week, Illustration Friday's prompt round inspired me to do a christmas faerie in a bauble. But this week, I decided a mermaid was in order.

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
I struggled to get involved with this painting and finish it.  I started it at least three times before I was happy with the beginning sketch ;) (I am sure you understand those moments - I think it was because I hadn't invested myself.) But in the end, I finished it.

We have a full on weekend at the moment, a house full of family, christmas carols in the gardens and we are off to my Bean's first dance recital tomorrow - which I am alternating between being very proud and slightly sad! (my baby - she is growing up!!!) I am sure she will be awesome!

And not to stress you out, but some one mentioned to me that it is only two weeks. fourteen days, until christmas. Holy crap I think I am about to freak out!!!

ummmmm. have a good one?!?


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

☆ Brigade [Illustration Friday]

The festy season is well and truly upon us. Every where I look there are decorations going up, lights turned on at dusk, and this seasons best sellers - solar candy cane lights, mixed in with last years - inflatable rein deer.

We put our tree up over the weekend, which seemed to take all day with our two little elves helping us. Our own christmas tress decorating brigade.

Mixed Media
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch

How are your festy season plans coming? Are you slightly panicked like me or are you disgustingly organised and had everything sorted in July?

Have a great day

Monday, December 5, 2011

☆ Angel's Sigh

The beginning of the festy season brings lots of new challenges for me.

Not so much related to art or painting, more crafty stuff for gifts. In July my sister in law and I decided to make hand made gifts for christmas for each other, and not just each other, but for our significant others too.

It seemed such a great idea at the time. Of course in July there was six months until xmas. Now there is three weeks, and huge amounts to do. 

Angel's Sigh
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
But instead of sitting in front of the sewing machine, I have been painting for the new illustration friday prompt.

It's too wet to scan and post today - you'll have to check in tomorrow to see it!

Have a great week.


Friday, December 2, 2011

☆ AEDM - The end of a Journey.

I can't believe its the end of AEDM. November seems to have speed past on wings.

Were did the month go?

Anyway to finish the end of AEDM, I wanted to do a bigger piece, a happier piece, and use a colour that I don't particularly favour.

Let your Dreams Escape.

Acrylic Mixed Media on Canvas
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch

Acrylic Mixed Media on Canvas
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch

Acrylic Mixed Media on Canvas
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch

Acrylic Mixed Media on Canvas
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch

I have had a blast on this journey. AEDM has definitely opened a few windows creatively. I am a little sad that the month had to end, but I have so much planned this month. If possible it will be busier than November!

Have a great weekend

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

☆ Round

What a hellish week.

Absolutely. Hellish. We farewelled my beautiful cousin and it was just about the most painful thing I have ever been through.

But we continue on, because we have to don't we? We move forward three steps, take a few shuffles side ways, and continue on.

We go round.

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch

Thank you those who left such lovely and supportive comments last week. It meant a huge amount, during such a terrible time.

Have a great week.

(Linking to AEDM)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

☆ Vanity [Illustration Friday]

I would like to thank everyone for their lovely and supportive comments, over the last week. I usually try to thank everyone personally, but I this week has just been too overwhelming. I appreciate each and every one of your lovely comments and the support means a lot.

 ☆  ☆  ☆  ☆  ☆
So this weeks IF prompt is Vanity. Before I started sketching this prompt, I watched as Bean and Bug preened in front of the full length mirror in my bed room.

Bean was twirling, and swishing, singing 'I am a beautiful princess, with a pretty tutu, and beautiful hair, and cinderetta shoes'. et cetera.

Bug, at 15 months is not speaking yet, but was swishing, and preening, patting her hair and holding out her tutu, too.

She's a mini princess.

I often ask my mother how I ended up with two diva's, when I was such a tomboy. She says it divine irony.

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
So this weeks life lesson from Bean & Bug is... Celebrate your inner princess.

And spend a moment or two of vanity, admiring your hair, your tutu and your cinderetta princess shoes, and your total and utter awesomeness.

Linking to AEDM

Sunday, November 20, 2011

☆ AEDM - Day 20

This week my family and I had some tragic news, one of my cousins, my beautiful, vibrant, twenty-two year old cousin, died. He was such a gorgeous soul, and he is so missed. My heart is breaking not only for a life cut short, but for his family, his parents, his brothers, his grand mothers.

My family has been such a comfort, Mr Mac has looked out for me, my girls, not sure of whats different, have been giving me extra hugs, and I love yous. And my art has given me comfort, a place to escape, but I feel raw.

I am raw.

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
So give your loved ones extra hugs and kisses, tell those you love that you love them, and don't waste a single moment of this life that you've been given. Listen to your squeaks, your whispers and to quote Oprah 'live your best life'.

Have a great week.
(linking with AEDM)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

☆ The Harlequin [Inspiration Avenue]

Harlequins, Jesters, Clowns... they all seem so sad to me. Laughing on the out side, but crying inside.

I suppose their mask is more obvious than others.

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
Have a great weekend.

(ALSO linking to AEDM)

Friday, November 18, 2011

☆ AEDM - DAY 18

AEDM is the most incredible challenge, just when I think I must have exhausted all my ideas I sit down with my pad and this is what ended up on the paper. 

Bird Song
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
My own little princess wants this one in her room, but wondered - where the princess birds hair, dress and legs were?

Nothing like a three year old critic!

Have a great weekend

Thursday, November 17, 2011

☆ AEDM - Day 17

Day 17 of AEDM...
Captain Midnight
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
I don't even know where to start with ole captain here! I have no idea where her inspiration sprung from - but there is something about her that really speaks to me.

She needs a bit more pondering I think.

Linking to AEDM over at Create Everyday

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

☆ AEDM - Check In Day 15

Wow - I can't believe that its half way through the month, half way through the AEDM challenge.

It's amazing how quickly the month is progressing, and I am amazed that there is no resistance or procrastination on my behalf - because that happens a lot when I take on a challenge. Once I move through that phase its usually all good, but getting beyond it can be really difficult.

This is a princess that I sketch early on in the year, and decided that she needed painting.

Princess of Hearts
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch

Check out what the other participants of AEDM are up to here


Monday, November 14, 2011

☆ Silent [Illustration Friday]

I remember a time when I tried really hard to be silent. I tried to silence my thoughts during yoga and meditations, I turned off the radio and tv for ten minutes to collect myself, but I found these enforced periods of silence were awful. I hated them. Resented them, and they felt unnatural.

When I was studying for my HSC (my final school exams) my mum, who is a teacher, came back from a conference full of studies that dealt with how children with learning difficulties brains work and how traditional study techniques don't work for them/ me. So armed with a cassette of baroque music (oh I am so showing my age now huh!!) I studied with that music day and night and in the end I am positive it helped me pass my exams.

So instead of heading off random thoughts during meditation I encourage them, and followed them through. Instead of turning off the radio or tv, I turn them up. It feels natural.

©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
Ironically just after writing this we had our first power outage of the summer, so for 45 minutes I've had to actually talk to my husband eeek!

Have a great week x


(also linking to AEDM.)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

☆ Inspiration Avenue

Before I begin on this weeks IA prompt I would love to thank everyone for their wonderfully supportive and lovely comments of late. I have tried to reply to everyone individually, but I encountered a few 'no-reply-blogger' email addys so I am not sure everyone has recieved a reply. But know that I am very thankful for the encouragement and support xx


This weeks inspiration avenue prompt was paying homage to the seamstress and the crafts woman.

Well I am no seamstress, but I do love the occasional sewing session. Sometimes though, my projects  end up half done - like the owl mobile I made for Bug's birthday that took two months to hang up or the beautiful curtains I made that are still hanging unhemmed. (and thats a good 15" hem fyi- not just a few cm's!)

I have grand plans for a hand made and crafty christmas - there is the princess fiona plushie dolls, the art suitcases, the reciprocal home made gifts for my sister and brother in-law, the cake pops, the rum balls and home made pudding.

But these are all works in progress that haven't yet progressed from scribbled notes or even left my head!

So this is the piece that was inspired by this prompt.

'Princess Illona would rather eat cake.'
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
Bean helped me with the final touches - shoes were a must, a crown obviously, and she told me that she was missing a baby - a green shrek baby. When I asked her what I should write - she said 'The princess wants a green shrek baby.'

Of course I said what about 'I'd rather eat cake?' and she said 'no mama - she'd rather a green shrek baby!'


(Linking with AEDM)

Friday, November 11, 2011

☆ AEDM - Check in

AEDM - Day Ten & Eleven....

I am having so much fun! I was slightly worried that I wouldn't have any ideas, that the creative spark would fail me but they have flowed continuously so far. I guess its like any muscle once exercised it continues to grow stronger.

So here is day ten:
Open Your Heart
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
 And day eleven:

'your heart is a licious'
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
'Your heart is a licious' is inspired by my eldest daughter Bean who couldn't say delicious, so she would say, while devouring chocolate or ice cream or broccoli (perhaps trying to convince herself) 'mmmm this is 'a licious mama!

Speaking of 'a licious, how cute are bean and bug dressed in their wedding finery?


Have a great weekend

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

☆ Inspiration Wednesday

I thought I would share with you some amazing, quirky, and cool things that I have snapped over the past few weeks.

Things I thought that I would never see, things that I perhaps wouldn't have seen if for that instant I was open.

Jackson Pollock and Salvador Dali inspired Gnomes at Floriade
The old watch tower in a summer fog 
This Baby Kookaburra decided to shop at Aldi's with Bean, Bug and I
 Pink pink sparkle shoes under UV lights - who knew?
I should take advice from my McDonald's coffee more often!
Sunrise over Sydney Harbour from the botanic gardens
The colour of this Bamboo - gorgeous
Most places tell you to keep off the grass and not to hug the trees! Loved this welcoming message
Graffiti wall in a random lane way

What's inspiring you this week?
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