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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

☆ September Challenge

Last September I challenged my self creatively, sketching daily in my moleskine.  And I enjoyed it so much that I tried again this July to recreate the challenge, but with colds, holidays and visits to family, it fell to the wayside.

This month, I am trying again, but with a twist!

My latest obsession (read time suck) is Pinterest.


But that is for another post.

Cruising through people boards, I found this fantastic 30 day drawing challenge....

Image source: but if anyone know who the original creator is please
let me know so I can credit them.

....and the best thing is I am going to get Bean and Bug in on the act too. I thought this would make a great yearly challenge to document their growing skills and to highlight their favourite things!

So who's with us? Are you up for the challenge? Maybe just one or two? Feel free to draw, paint, collage, sketch or sing along with the Mac family and share your drawings with me.


Monday, August 29, 2011

☆ Disguise [Illustration Friday]

Once upon a time I was disguised. I didn't realise fully that I was, but I knew something was missing.

And then one day I had to be brave and leave the disguise at home.  I had to rip of the mask, and to turn my face to the sun, and just sigh.

It's tiring being some one your not.

And now I am lighter, fuller and very surprised with the twisting path that my life has taken.

I'm not so tired any more.

'Angel in Disguise'

Where has your journey taken you so far? 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

☆ Work in Progress

I thought I would share a new painting that I am working on.

It is part of my 'Always' series, which is inspired by a mental list that I started writing for Bean and Bug.

This one is tentatively titled - 'Alway's....Listen to Grandma'

You might recognise this character she featured recently in a Illustration Friday submission and an ATC exchange, although like everyone she has undergone a bit of a metamorphis from her original incantation as red ridinghood! 

What would you advise your children, friends or family to 'Always' do? Reach for stars? Follow the Rainbow? And would you follow your own advice?

I hope you had a great weekend

Friday, August 26, 2011

☆ Creative Project - completed!

Do you remember the owls I made for Bug's birthday? The ones that were supposed to be a mobile over her cot?

Well after weeks of thinks I must finish them off, pulling them out to work on, being distracted (Ok, procrastinating!) and Mr Mac putting them away only for me to forget about, I finally sat down, strung them, and hung them.

Bug is fascinated with them and Bean...

... well Bean, she wants her own - but mermaids of course!

Have you completed a long over due project lately? Did you have a huge sense of satisfaction (and a sigh of relief that it wasn't five years down the track?)

When my procrastinating tendencies kick in, I must remember to recapture this feeling, it might motivate me more!

Have a great weekend everyone


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

☆ Illustration Friday [Influence]

A bit of a change this week for me, instead of pulling out my trusty markers I kept out the paints I'd been using for the mermies.

go on - just try one! 

(although I am not 100% sure whether she is the influencer or influencee? What do you think?)


Sunday, August 21, 2011

☆ The Mermies

Remember I showed you a work in progress shot of the mermies that Bean wanted me to paint? 
Well I finished them over the weekend. And Bean was so excited when I showed her! (Nothing beats the excited thanks of a three year old!)

When it came time for bed, she wanted only to ‘read’ the mermies!

Any way here they are: 

And of course, I couldn't getaway with out an Ariel-esk mermie!

Have a great week

Friday, August 19, 2011

☆ New ATC's

July's ATC exchange on the willowing website was 'Dream'.

Usually I would have been bursting with ideas for this theme. The word dream has a lot of meaning for me, especially since I have been having vivid, full colour, full immersion dreams since I was a small child.

I have, on occasion, been accused of dreaming instead of paying attention, my doodles would often cover school books, pencil cases, backpacks, and of course my big dream at the moment is to life a full and creative life.

But I was strangely blank, nothing was grabbing me, the 10 sketches I did were useless, and I procrastinated. And procrastinated.

Until Mr Mac, sick of my moaning, sat me at the dining room table and told me I wasn't to move until they were completed.

And this is the result...

Have a great day


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

☆ Illustration Friday [Swell]

Everything is just swell...I promise...

'Melancholy' - Promarkers
We had a great weekend in the big smoke, catching up with family for Beans birthday. I have masses of very cute photos of Bean, Bug and my niece at the zoo - I will share some with you later this week!


Friday, August 12, 2011

☆ Work in Progress

I thought I would share some photos of a series of paintings that I have started this week.

I found some old frames, that I had once put some beautiful postcards into, but sadly they had faded over time, so I thought it would be nice to paint a few mermaids for Bean and Bugs play room.

I'm really excited by these paintings, these mermaids are vibrant and each has their own personality. 

At one stage I thought that I might attempt to write a novel and I remember reading a lot about how some authors didn't have control over their characters, that they tended to take over demanding their own story. 

At the moment I haven't any burning desire to write, the characters that were once swirling in my head seem to be appearing before me under my pencil. They are demanding their own story told.

Have a great weekend


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

☆ Creative Projects [A Mermaids Tail]

After much discussion with Bean about the perfect mermaids tail, we visited the local fabric shop on a mission for pink sparkly material for a our mermaids tail.

But we live in a rural area and the need for pink sparkly material in locals quilting projects is surprisingly...nil. We were shown nice green material with a sparkly thread through it, but of course Bean was insistent that only a pink tail mermies tail would do!

So we compromised and found this awesome pink fabric which looks as if it could be scales! Bean was happy and so was I because I knew if I had to wait until we made it to the city it would be another six months down the road.

In the end, I was surprised how quickly it all came together after the measuring, and drawing a pattern. The sewing was very, very basic!

I stuffed the tail to give it more body, but I am not sure I wouldn't change that or have a different style of fin, if I did it again...

I designed the tail to sit just under her armpits, and to face the rear, but Bean has her own style and turned it around, and has it sitting just below her hips. (my own little style master!)

In light of the change in style, I will probably sew a bangle or elastic circle to the tail so she can carry it without tripping over! 

Bean loves it. LOVES. IT! So in many ways, the effort, the trauma of no sparkly pink material, and the mental frustration involved (math ain't my strong suit) it was all worth it!

Of course now I have to sew one for Bug and Isabella (her favourite doll)... Piece of cake!


Monday, August 8, 2011

☆ Imperfect [Illustration Friday]

My perfect morning starts with me awake and up, (at least half an hour before the girls), savouring that first cup of coffee, watching our street wake up as the fog of sleep lifts, musing about what the day will bring, how we will celebrate life today, how I will live creatively and in the moment....

But I am flawed, imperfect, and that morning dream is often a reality of a croaky sleep soaked voice -  'Girls! Please! Mama needs 5 minutes...please... just 5 minutes.'


Saturday, August 6, 2011

☆Life Lessons [as taught to me by Bean and Bug]

A few weeks ago we had a week away in Sydney and as part of our girls week away (we'd left poor Mr Mac slaving away in the cold) I took the girls to see Disney on Ice.

Now never having gone to one of these events I wasn't sure what to expect, but our journey there was anything but serene! An hour and a half of rushing to various forms of public transport, a cranky child who wouldn't eat anything except a pink pink donut (and only the icing at that!) and then having to run from one end of the arena to the the other to find our seats as they were announcing three minutes to curtain time, dragging said cranky child past all the glittery and exciting concession stands, and finally scooting our way to our seats right at the very end of the aisle. sigh!
By the time I sat down I was tired, and hot, and cranky, and so didn't want to be there, and then the lights were turned down and Minnie, Micky and Donald drove out in their cars...
 and even Bug stopped fussing for a time!
 and when Ariel appeared Bean started to cry with joy...
(which of course set me off!)
and she was so mesmerised by the whole show she didn't move once!

In the intermission I asked Bean what she thought of the show, and she just looked at me and sighed 'Oh. Mama... mama!'

And it made me remember that life is not about rushing from one train to the next, its about living in the present and even though Disney on Ice is no Torvill and Dean performance, there is joy in every moment if you look for it, and at that very moment, I wouldn't have traded my tickets. 

Bean still hasn't stopped talking about the show, the colours the mermaids, the faeries, so I think we'll end up doing it again next year, and that little Ariel doll that we bought as we didn't rush for the train home? Well it didn't leave her hot little hand for a week!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

☆Creative Projects

I found this awesome tutorial for making a handbag in an hour. And although it took me longer than the hour to make (I have VERY rusty sewing skills and my favourite tool is the un-picker!) I love my bag.

It's not a great photo, but it is the cutest black tartan fabric

It can carry all my crap

I added extra pockets for my phone, glasses, the pens I can never find and my moleskine.

I felt so accomplished finishing it, like I could sew anything - mermaids tail? bring it on! Art case for travelling? boring! Owl mobile for Bugs birthday.... mmm... still not finished.

Bean has been begging for a mermie tail so that may very well be the next project.


Monday, August 1, 2011

☆Obsession [Illustration Friday]

Beans current obsession is anything princess. Disney princesses in particular. I used to think that I preferred the disney option over some of the current TV shows that are out there aimed at toddlers, but now I am having a rethink...

Especially when she crosses her arms, pouts and stamps her foot when she doesn't get her own way, or the way she cries dramatically into her arms saying things like 'but I love him!' and my most favourite moment when she asks me to sing the mermaid song, and says (in a fair imitation of usular) 'Now Sing' and 'Keep Singing!'.

It is so bad that mermaids HAVE to be drawn a certain way - tails must always be to the right, and they most certainly cannot wear crowns!

I love her creativity, her drama, her singing stories and her flair, but I do not love the throw down tanties over watching her movies. It might just be time to wean ourselves off the princesses, [sigh!] and I suppose that is why I am the parent!

Inspired by bean - 

The Guide

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