Google+ LISTENING TO THE SQUEAK INSIDE art by Kirstin McCulloch of LilliBean Designs: January 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

☆ Blog Button Requests

I have had several requests from some amazingly generous people, who said they would love to share a blog button for Listening to the Squeak, if I were to make some.

Well...Finally I have some made, based on three of my most popular paintings.

Clicking on the images above will take you to the 'Listening to the Squeak Button' page where the code is for each image.

If you have a little bit of time, and a little bit of space, I would love it if you would take the time to grab and share one of my buttons. 

Thanks for your support.

P.S. I would love to share your stories with others, so let me know if you have your own blog button - I would be happy to share them on mine.

Monday, January 30, 2012

☆ Forward [illustration friday]

Face Forward
©2012 Kirstin McCulloch
I finally had the chance to use a new journal, that I was lucky enough to receive from Maggie (or Magpie) during an inspiration avenue give away.

Its a beautiful journal, and I couldn't decide what I wanted to put in it, but today I decided to use it to paint my big eyed girls, to paint paintings that are not done by route, and pushing my boundaries.

So my first painting is for the illustration friday prompt forward.

And I am looking forward to creating more pieces like this, to experimenting, to free falling. 

I am not looking forward to sorting out the mess that has become my printers I ordered wrong ink cartridge for one and dealing with ink from Australia in a UK printer (which apparently doesn't work thank you very much Mr HP! Fifty bucks to learn this lesson! Sorry rant over)

So I would love to know what you are looking forward to this week, this month or this year. It will cheer me up...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

☆ Alphabet [inspiration avenue]

I have wanted to do something like this for Bean and Bug's bed room - big cards with cute animals. 

Did you know that according to a google search I did that Quails are the only Q animals? 

This was such a hard challenge - I was procrastinating so much. But once I was in the zone, it was really fun. 

I am not sure what was going on with my racoon though  - I would definitely do a re-design there!

I hope you had a great weekend.

P.S. I have put up some close ups on my facebook page

Friday, January 27, 2012

☆ Blue Bird Winter [new painting]

Blue Bird Winter
©2012 Kirstin McCull
In past posts I have mused about my... well... muses. About what inspires me, about when it hits,   about what happens when you least expect it.

This painting is a funny one, I was looking through the back catalogue  of one of my favourite authors, and  the title of her book was Bluebird Winter.

I immediately thought was an awesome title for a painting, and this the result.

I have probably read over that back catalogue twenty times, and yet this time was obviously the time that I was open.

It made me think how often I might be closed to ideas and inspiration. And how I might be open more often. 

So I wanted to ask you, how do you stay open?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

☆ Life Book 2012 [week 3]

Embrace Your Fear + Leap Forward
©2012 Kirstin McCulloch
Week three of life book had us looking further into ourselves, into our light and darkness. The amazingly talented Bonnie Rose guided us on this journey, and as hard as I found it to begin, I think I came through the process feeling joy and peace

That may sound a bit weird but when I look at this piece I feel peace. Comfort. Which is great because that was the intention behind the piece. 

Sometimes I don't connect to a painting when it's finished but this time I have.

The marbling was fun, shaving cream and food colouring, (thanks to an ingenious member on the willowing site) and I just had to do some more on blank bits of paper I had laying around. 

(I think they will be too waxy to draw on, but great for mixed media pieces.)

Anyway, in the end such a fun and slightly messy project.  I haven't crossed hatched in eons, and it was nice to get back to the way I first began to draw.

P.S. For all those in Australia like me - Happy Australia Day, (is that the correct phrase?) I hope your day was a chilled out as mine, that the BBQ ran hot, and the beer was cold ;)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

☆ Twirl [illustration friday]

 Kirstin McCulloch
I love to watch my girls twirling, their tutus swinging out and swishing around their skinny legs.

They love to watch their tutus twirl too. They twirl until they're dizzy and fall over and laugh hysterically.

It's awesome to watch, especially the way Bean's eye roll back in her head...ok, it's slightly poltergeist kind of way. But hysterical all the same!

I was inspired to use the same technique used last weeks Life Book class. I love black pen and cross hatching. Such a detailed way to work.

And my eyes are as crossed as Beans when she twirls.

It was fun to do, it felt good to stretch myself and to step outside the box I've been painting in the last wee while - but I am so itching to get back to the paints.

So have you managed to stretch yourself lately and paint outside the box? It's hard to do, but it's quite freeing - like twirling in a tutu.

P.S. If you come back thursday you can see the life book piece that inspired this picture. x

Monday, January 23, 2012

☆ ATC's [january]

©2012 Kirstin McCulloch
 Usually I try to have my Illustration Friday piece up on a monday night. It's a great way to start off the week, to accomplish something, finish something on day one. (Well ok, I know that technically sunday is day one of the week, but..)

Anyway, this weeks prompt twirl had me a little stumped, but I have started, and I have been inspired by week three of Life Book 2012, so it is something a little different to what I have created recently.

So you'll have to come back tomorrow to see the finished piece, or have a sneak peak on my face book page to see work in progress.

©2012 Kirstin McCulloch

This months ATC exchange on the willowing.ning site was lady birds, or lady bugs as we call them. (Does anyone know - Is there a difference?)

My youngest is nicknamed bug (as in cute little lady bug) and has been bug since I first found out I was pregnant. And both my girls are obsessed with the one and only Kimmi doll in our house - huge screaming fights ensue when she is found in a hiding spot I or Mr Mac put her to save the peace.

So for this months challenge I was inspired by my own baby Bug, and we'd just had a huge kimmi doll fight the day I sat down to create these!

The scanner obviously focused on the stick on bug on my second card, so the facial details are out of focus.

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

☆ Butterflies [inspiration avenue prompt]

©2012 Kirstin McCulloch

This weeks prompt for Inspiration Avenue is butterfly. Which is such a timely prompt for me.

A lot of last week was spent in our very over grown garden and we saw heaps, (I mean HEAPS) of butterflies. 

I loved watching Bean and Bug run around pretending to be faeries, they decided to try and capture a butterfly so that they could ride one - 'cause that's what faeries do mama!'

So this painting is inspired by the butterflies we spied last week, and tried, unsuccessfully, to capture.  

What has inspired you to create this week?

Friday, January 20, 2012

☆ Alis volat suo [new painting]

Alis volat suo
Mixed media on canvas
 Kirstin McCulloch

So this January has me creating a lot of art with wings. I am slightly obsessed.

I think it is because I like the idea of flying free from all the crap that happened last year.

And, I was also flitting through the pintrest boards and found a tattoo with the words "she flies with her own wings" written in latin - Alis volat suo. [the latin according to google translate.]

So simple. So true. So what I aspire to do. Fly with my own wings - a more whimsical way of saying she walks to the beat of her own drum.

I think its time. Time to shake of others' wings, and don my own. And perhaps time to get my first bit of body ink!

Anyway, I just love this painting. She immediately went up on my wall (she's approx an A2 size - not sure what that is in cms or inches + I will start adding dimensions), but she just totally resonates with me.

So I would love to know if you have been inspired by a tattoo, or art work to change, or act? I would love to know.

P.S I have some close ups in my facebook gallery if you would like to see more detail. x

Thursday, January 19, 2012

☆ Life Book 2012 [week 2]

My husband is so awesome, I am so grateful that he bought a place for me on Life Book - I am having such a great time with the weekly classes. Thank you Mr Mac!

Week two's focus was on a dream/ vision/ goal boards and colour theory.

I decided to focus on a monthly dream page, because my dreams and goals change every month.

Through this page I wanted to remind myself of my solid goals - like create everyday, and loose a few pounds, to organise myself (the clock), but also looser ideas, like that it ok to fail, and I should try everyday to fail at something (I am so bad at this!), to express my love to others outside my immediate family, and to remember that I am brave. 

I also finished my special box for storing all my Life Book art in which is just an old gift box that my girls had trashed the lid of. I sticky taped it back together, gessoed the lid, and painted + stamped it.

I am really happy with how it turned out, she sits there looking at me and reminding me to keep going. To fill her up - and it is such a large box!

So that is what I was up to life booking this week, I am procrastinating slightly with week three's class, I am struggling with the idea of light and dark with in myself, and how I want to represent it!

How would you or what would represent the  light and dark in you? 

P.S Congratulations to January's give away winner, I was super organised and have the painting in the post already - I hope you get it soon. If you would like the chance to win an original painting I have a new give away planned for February 7th. x

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

☆ Winner of January Give Away

I am so excited to give away this piece of art.

Thank you every one for entering, so the winner of January's give away is...

NatashaMayJan 11, 2012 04:52 AM Hi Kirstin! I love your little painting. So generous of you to be giving it away. :) I popped over to you FB page and it looks fab. :) Oh, yeah! Enter me! :) Thanks for the chance.

Congratulations Natasha, I will email you shortly.

Again thank you to every one who entered, since this is a monthly give away, there will be more chances to win, starting next month.

Monday, January 16, 2012

☆ Prepare [illustration friday]

Prepare for Flight
 Kirstin McCulloch
There is only one more day left before entries into my very first give away close - BUT there is still time left to enter. You don't have to do anything to hard just leave a quick comment on this post here. Good Luck!

So if you have been following my blog you will know that I am a planner. I prepare. Obsessively at times! My note books, my organisers, my idea books, my lists (oh. my. god. my lists!) they litter the house.

At the moment, I am working toward opening my online store, and holy hell, I have more lists! 

List to do with packaging, list to do with marketing, lists to do with money, lists to do with creative projects, and a list of how to live normally with my husband and kids.

ACK! I am making myself slightly crazy, but inside I feel right. This is the right move for me, I know it deep in my soul.

But... the lists!

So I would love to know are there others out there like me - compulsive list makers? Are you preparing for something new, something exciting? Or are you organising you pantry, or your day? How do you cope with list overload.

Have a great week - I am off to create another list - this time of things to do with my lists when I cross everything off!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

☆ Paper Dolls [inspiration avenue]

Before I tell you about my paper doll, I wanted to give you a wee reminder about this months give away. As part of my year of bravery, I am giving away an original painting every month, and there is only a few days left to enter January's. So quick, pop over to this post and leave a comment to enter + and good luck!
So, how fun was this weeks Inspiration Avenue prompt Paper  Dolls? I had so much fun creating my very own paper doll.

I drew + coloured her with pro markers, and then cut + glued her onto some card for extra support. Put in some brads and voila my very own paper doll!

Bean has named her Mellia.

So after I constructed and photographed her, I decided to have a bit of fun.

You see I had all these images left over from my Life book dream page  and I thought it would be cool to have Mellia doing some stuff... like holding a teapot, sitting on a lounge that kind of thing, and then I started thinking about all the possibilities - Mellia in the faery garden, Mellia at the Koi pond, Mellia having a glass of wine, Mellia in Paris ....

Endless possibilities + so much fun in store - so keep an eye on the Mellia photo album on facebook to see what she's up to next!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

☆ Life Book 2012 [week one]

Goddess of Bravery
 Kirstin McCulloch
Week one of Tam's Life Book 2012 had us claiming our goddess super powers, and so, in fitting with my year of being brave, I decided to make mine a goddess of bravery.

I gave her a tiger mask, as tigers are an animal symbol of bravery. And it wasn't until after I finished the painting I realised how synchronistic this painting had become!

(Some of you may recall a post late last year in response to an Illustration Friday prompt regarding fear, where I talked about my stuffed tiger tiffee, who I would clutch to my side when I needed some bravery. )

I think I'm going to make my own a tiger mask that I can wear when I need a little boost. As well as dig out Tiffee tiger out from under my mums house and put her somewhere to remind me to be brave!

So, anyway, back to Life Book, I have a whole year of creating and learning from so many fantastic artists, a year of exploring new techniques and different styles.

I know it's only week one, but it felt so good to be creatively learning, I totally enjoyed Tam's Mythical, Magical course last year, and I credit it for beginning the evolution of my art to where I am today.

I wonder where my art will have evolved to in a years time?

Are any of you on the life book journey? What are you loving at the moment? 

 P.S. Have you seen my very first give away? All you have to do is leave a comment on this post...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

☆ January's Give Away

I am so excited. I am crazy nervous too!

So as part of my Year of Bravery, I decided to give away an original piece of art every month.

This months give away, is a piece I painted as part of the Art Every Day Month in November.

I was a reminder when I was feeling so over whelmed by the challenge, to let go and immerse myself.

This painting on canvas and is about the size of an artists trading card, (approx 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"). She comes with her own easel so you can pop it on your shelf, on your desk, where ever you need to be reminded to immerse yourself.

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment - 'enter me' would suffice!

Entries close 9 am Tuesday 17th or Jan (that's Australian summer EST), and the winner will be announced soon after.

So easy huh? Good luck!

P.S If you have a spare moment, I would love it if you visited my new Facebook page for LilliBean Designs, and let me know what you think. The link is in the sidebar. x

UPDATE: Winner announced here Thank you to everyone who entered, please come back in February for my next give away x

Monday, January 9, 2012

☆ Grounded [Illustration Friday]

©2012 Kirstin McCulloch

 She felt the wind in her hair, and ruffling through her feathers, her wings lifted, and she forgot for just a moment that she was still grounded...

P.S. Make sure your here tomorrow for my very first give away for a chance to win one of my paintings x

Sunday, January 8, 2012

☆ Damask [Inspiration Avenue]

©2012 Kirstin McCulloch
Do you know what damask is? I didn't.

I though damask was a type of fabric like muslin or satin. My entire knowledge of damask (sadly!) was from when I was sixteen and read every medieval romance novel on my nan's bookshelf! (Thanks Nan!!)

So when I found out what damask was (thank you inspiration avenue!) my entire month in Turkey suddenly made a lot more sense...

I had such issues with this painting. The first one I started was drawn on pretty crappy quality paper (a cheap water colour pad that I picked up for $2) and it started to wrinkle and peel, so I had to quickly do a redraw and tried again. 

My medieval princess has a damask butterfly broach. (not sure if this is relevant to the era thought!)

I hope you had a great weekend

p.s - don't forget to check back in on tuesday 10th for my very first 'Year of Bravery' give away! x

Saturday, January 7, 2012

☆ A Belated ATC Exchange Reveal

This week has seen a huge amount of work being completed.

*New paintings (can't wait to show you this one in particular - in my opinion one of my best yet!)

*I have up a new face book fan page

*I am part way through a redesign for Listening to the Squeak, 

*Lifebook 2012 started (so. much. fun and its not too late to join!) and 

*I am half way through my submission for Inspiration Avenue's Damask Challenge 

But I have been meaning to share these ATC's with you before the start of 2012, but in the frantic lead up to christmas, lots of planning and reflection around the new year, and the start of Lifebook this week, they we lost for a wee bit.

Last months ATC exchange on willowing was baby animals. Too cute! And I had the fabulous Kyles from Blissful Pumpkin as my partner so I was very excited to receive mine!

Anyway here are the cards I sent to her.

©2012 Kirstin McCulloch

Unicorn in Training
©2012 Kirstin McCulloch
This months challenge is lady bugs and I am very excited about this one as my youngest was called Lady Bug, and now just Bug, since I first found out I was pregnant with her.

I have another huge week ahead planned, including, as part of my year of bravery, a new monthly give away, and the next life book class.

Have a great weekend


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

☆ Highlight [Illustration Friday]

AGGGH - another prompt from illustration friday that I struggled mightily with.

Highlight is such a difficult thing to put on paper. So I created this picture, intending to use the lantern as a highlight, but it as I was painting, it didn't quite work. (I am going to blame to sweltering hot day here, and no air conditioning!)

Follow the light
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
As I was sitting down to post this I had a mini epiphany - for the past year, one of the highlights of my week was receiving the saturday morning email with the coming weeks challenge, spending most of the weekend pondering the many interpretations of the prompt, figuring out how to illustrate it, drawing and colouring it, then posting it and finally seeing everyone else's choice of interpretation.

I loved this routine, the weekly puzzle, the highlight, and I can't wait to see what twisters they throw my way this year.

Have a great day, one that is hopefully cooler than here!

Monday, January 2, 2012

☆ 2012 - the Year of Bravery

Do you have a word that you connect to? A word that speaks to your soul, a word that becomes a part of your daily living?

Last year I was inspired by Ali Edwards and her One Little Word for 2011. Last year the word that was in my mind was intent. But it was a word that didn't sit comfortably with me. It was a word that was to describe my 2011 dreams, and intent was a good word, but I think it was to broad.

This years word was different. This year I knew the word for 2012 before the end of November.

This year is the year of bravery.

Let me share with you a little story. (ok so its not so little)

I was out for a walk one afternoon, listening to my ipod, when my mind began to wander, and I began reminiscing. When Mr Mac and I were in our mid 20's we took what we called a mature age gap year. Scrimping and saving, then quitting our jobs, storing our possessions, and selling our cars, we booked our 'round the world tickets and took off for Europe.

As I was reminiscing, I marvelled at how brave we were to do that, to go on our grand adventure and laughing at how naive we were. We travelled mostly in Eastern Europe and we didn't have a clue what the next day would bring us, what new adventure, and we probably, in our naivety ended up in some very dodgy places.

But for six months, we didn't have a plan, except to go where ever, do whatever and see what we wanted. Now I know that many people have done this before us, but for us it was a huge leap of faith and bravery.

So, (and yes I am going somewhere with this), as I am congratulating myself on this act of bravery that changed the course of our lives, I realised two things, firstly that it was exactly ten years ago this year that we left, and secondly that when I moved back home from Scotland, I started to slide back into the way I had been before we went overseas.

Yes I was creating, and painting that's not what I mean, I was playing it safe and I was starting to fall into a rut.

The year of Bravery is inspired by life and all the crap from last year, inspired by the other amazing artists out there, and inspired by the support and concern of you guys, I am going to spend 2012 being brave.

So do you have a word that you've connected to? That inspires you? That pushes you? I would love to hear if you are inspired by a word and how you came to choose it?


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