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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

☆ Life Book [week 7]

Front of my House
[some how this post became a saved draft instead of being published last week - sorry if you've been looking for it from face book - damned technology!]

Week Seven of Lifebook  had Connie teach us to create house to keep our dreams in. A space to keep them safe. Some where we would write down our dreams and then let them go.

On the back of my house front I wrote my dreams. Dreams for my art, for my girls, for my marriage, for my house, for anything that came into my mind. I free wrote. That is, I wrote what ever came into my mind at the time. I think there were a few umms, involved too. I didn't re-read it, I glued the front to the back via the hinges, then cut around the door and a centre line through to the roof and then I put it in my life book box, not to be seen again..... well ok, so until I go through it at the end of the year!

Pretty cool huh. A house for my dreams - to keep them safe and sound while they grow and develop.

Do you have a house for your dreams? Have you thought about your dreams lately? I mean really thought about them? Perhaps it time you revisited them if you haven't already. 

P.S. Guys - As you probably know Google friend connect changing for non-blogger users! It's just crap yeah? Just as I get a hang of this blogging stuff the rules change yet again! 

So I would love for you to keep reading my ramblings, and if you have a moment, to chose one of the new 'follow me' options I have on my side bar - that would be awesome. x

☆ Work in Progress

I thought that I might share a little bit of work in progress. At the moment I have a few pieces on the go. Lately, beyond my Life Book pieces, I have been working solely in my journal, but at the moment I have a painting for Inspiration Avenue on the go, as well as a canvas, and a half done journal page.

There is a very small art of me that is overwhelmed by the amount of work on the go. I am usually a one piece at a time gal.

Inspiration Avenue work in progress.
Slightly scary looking half finished journal page
Almost finished canvas.
What are you up to at the moment? Do you have multiple works on the go, or are you a one at a time kinda person like me?

P.S Google Friend Connect is ending for non-blogger users, so if you would like to still receive updates make sure you take a moment to choose another way to subscribe (in the side bar). Thanks x

Monday, February 27, 2012

☆ Capable [illustration friday]

Sometimes you just need a reminder, a little boost.

Sometimes you need to remember you are human, and not a super hero.

Sometimes you need to go to bed at a ridiculously early hour, and try not to fit everything into one day.

Sometimes you need to realise that you are more capable than you know.

Have you recognised your capabilities lately? Have you looked a bit deeper and seen that you are a super star?

Maybe it is time you did.

Have a great week.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

☆ Wild Hearted [inspiration avenue]

Wild Hearted
©2012 Kirstin McCulloch
This weeks inspiration avenue prompt was texture. So I decided to play around a little in my new journal. 

Digging through a paper draw I found some gorgeous blue mulberry paper that was threaded through with silver left over from our wedding. 

This time I didn't have a plan in mind I just drew what was... well what was in my heart at the time!

What makes you wild hearted? 

P.S. Don't forget that Google friend connect will very shortly close and I would love it if you switched over to another way to follow my adventures that are found in the side bar. Cheers.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

☆ Winner Announced [februray's give away]

....And this months winner is....

 ☆ Amy M ☆ 

Congratulations Amy!

Please send me an email with your addy so I can post of your painting.

Thank you to everyone who entered - I want to give you all something, but don't worry March's contest will be here very shortly. (and that my friends is a very scary prospect that we are nearly into march. eek!)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

☆ Diva [inspiration avenue]

©2012 Kirstin McCulloch
This weeks challenge at inspiration avenue combined with the death of one of the greatest divas Whitney, had me thinking that these days there are all kinds of divas.

My daughters are divas, they prance and pout and twirl and sing, demanding beasties that they are! They are cute divas!

But I think these days we have two types of divas - we have 'classier' divas - like Beyonce, Adele, J Lo, and then our fifteen minutes of fame reality TV star divas.

I know which I would rather my kids have a role models.

My inspiration this week was found in the toy department of Target. I think Bratz are the divas of the plastic fantastic world of 6" dolls. And I am resigned to the fact that these dolls (which I am not all that fond of), will some day make there way into our play room.  And to be honest I am not all that fond of my painting - perhaps because I didn't really like the inspiration I chose?

So this is my Diva's. Make sure you pop on over to inspiration avenue to see what the other participants chose.

OK, time to move on.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

☆ Life Book [week 6]

Follow Your Star
 Kirstin McCulloch
This weeks Life book lesson centred on achievements. Any achievements from finishing school, to loosing weight, to painting a picture, to travel. Big and small achievements. 

It was a collage over technique using a magazine photo for a base of the face, and I also used it for the  wings. 

The technique gave me awesome butterfly wings (mine are never that cool) but a somewhat freaky face. 

I don't mean its freaky as in 'freaky', I just mean it is more realistic than my normal paintings, so I find my self looking twice.

I guess I don't recognise the style as mine. (which, by the way, is kinda cool 'cause that must mean I finally have my own style!)

I didn't use a quote, as many life bookers did, just a few words that resonated at the time - 'Follow Your Star; celebrate the failures and revel in your achievements.'

The achievements I chose to revel in were things like traveling, creating, the girls and Mr Mac, my family, loosing weight, living overseas and moving home to Australia. 

It was so good to remind myself of these. How often I beat myself up because I was a cranky mama, or I vegged out instead of doing, or I didn't get up in the morning to walk, or I was a bitchy wife. Perhaps I need to slow down more often and remind myself of my achievements - big and small. 

Do you remind yourself of your achievements? Have you revelled in your achievements lately? (If your a fellow life booker and have done week sixes lesson - I bet you have!) I would love to hear your stories.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

☆ Beautiful Failures

Totally Epically Failed
magazine picture transferred onto wood
I am trying to celebrate my failures.

In the past I would have given up. Put the pencils aside, glared at them with a mixture of longing and despair, and ignored them for a day. a week. three years. ten.

I swore when I began this journey I would never revert back to long held habits, that I would work through the funk, that I would celebrate every piece of art I created.

Sometimes it works, sometimes I  need a day or two off. (or a chocolate cake, or a glass of wine or three, or a good cry all of these work fine)

I try to celebrate the failures. I try to see them for what they are - not failures but successes.

They are a successes because I tried something new, I stretched myself. And even when the process was flawed or the final product was not to my satisfaction, I have learnt something new.

And I keep going.

So I will celebrate them and share them with you guys. And maybe you can celebrate my beautiful failures with me!

I would love to know how or if you celebrate your failures? How do you cope when something doesn't go to plan?

P.S. It is not to late to enter this months GIVEAWA- It is so easy to enter. Check it out here. x 

Monday, February 13, 2012

☆ Popularity [illustration friday]

Art Journal
Acrylic mixed media
 Kirstin McCulloch

"Although she wasn't miss popularity at the dance - it didn't matter, she only wanted to dance with him"

Mr Mac and I are not great believers in Valentines Day, we are of the belief that every day should be Valentine's day, but I remember a time before Mr Mac that I wondered if I would open the mail box and find a card from a secret admirer.

So Happy Valentines day every one - make sure to tell the special people in your life you love them, and hold them tight.

P.S. It is not to late to enter this months GIVEAWA- It is so easy to enter. Check it out here. x

Sunday, February 12, 2012

☆ Here comes the Sun [inspiration avenue challenge]

Here Comes the Sun
Art journal - acrylic mixed media
 Kirstin McCulloch

Well here in the southern hemisphere our summer is nearly over, but I think a lot of people would say that we haven't really had a summer - no endless 40 + degree days, no endless sunshine, no venturing out of the house cause it's too damn hot.

We've had quite a mild and comparatively wet summer. And to let you in on a little secret, ever since coming home from living in Scotland - I hate the hot, endless summers. Can't stand them. So I have been secretly doing happy dances when I see the weather report for cloudy mild days. Unfortunately some places in this vast country have had too much rain and had to be evacuated from their homes and would probably do their own happy dances for a forecast of hot sunny days on end.

I guess its all relative.

So this is my entry for this weeks inspiration avenue prompt - 'Here comes the sun'. If you have a minute pop on over and see this weeks entries - there are some amazing artists and art works.

P.S. It is not to late to enter this months GIVEAWA- It is so easy to enter. Check it out here. x

Saturday, February 11, 2012

☆ Lasso the Stars [new art]

©2012 Kirstin McCulloch
"Lasso the Stars"
Acrylic on Canvas
18" x 18"

I was watching an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition - you know the show where they come in and tear down some deserving persons home and rebuild a house, and often save and rebuild lives?

The show where the deserving persons life is usually so hard, so desperate, so bleak, yet they some how find the light is the darkness?

The show that has me in floods of tears - every. single. episode!

Anyway I digress (and really what else is new?) on this one show, the father says something like 'I teach my kids to shoot for the moon, and if they miss grab a star instead'.

How awesome is that? It really resonated with in me, and I had a moment of extreme clarity. There is no best or worst, there is no first and last and there is no succeed or failure. You aim high - and sometimes you need to grab a star instead.

So this is what I was immediately inspired to create and I ignored everything to finish her. I will frame her and put her some where to remind me - lasso the stars.

Have you ever had such a moment of clarity? What did you become inspired to do? I would love to hear your stories.

P.S. It is not to late to enter this months GIVEAWA- It is so easy to enter. Check it out here. x

Friday, February 10, 2012

☆ Life Book 2021 [week 5]

Kyles form Blissful Pumpkin was our guide for week five of Life Book - and what a fabulous lesson it was. Thanks Kyles x

I was so excited to begin, and even more excited to find that the image transfer I did worked! First. time. ever!

(I must show you some epic fails I have had with image transfers!)

So anyway I had my face, and then I created my inner princess around it.

I keep looking at it and do a double take - it's me... but not me. (any other life bookers have that sense of deja vu?)

Kyles had us write behind our image, princess/ goddess qualities that resonated with in us.

Things for me included; artistic, strong willed, brave, loyal, loving, quirky, unique, hopeful. This is me - and my inner princess, and she is all these things and more.

Maybe instead of my bravery mask, I might just make myself a crown to wear when I need some inspiration or some bravery.

So what inner princess qualities do you need to embrace?

P.S. It is not to late to enter this months GIVEAWAY - It is so easy to enter. Check it out here. x

P.P.S - Kyles has an awesome give away happening on her site -  check it out here

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Acrylic on Canvas
©2012 Kirstin McCulloch
As part of my year of bravery, I decided to give away a piece of original art each month.

'Reach' is my choice for February's give away. 

She's the size of an ATC and comes with her own little easel so you can put her somewhere to remind you to reach for your dreams, to reach for the moon, and if you miss catch a star instead.

So here's the important bit - how can you win this? 

It is so easy! All you have to do is leave a comment saying 'enter me' or even 'hi' would do if you have less time!

This month I thought we should have some bonus entries. So if you like this image thats another entry, and if you like my LilliBean Designs facebook page that's worth another one as well. (If you do either of these make sure you mention it in the comments, so I don't miss it) 

Easy as pie (Where does that saying come from any way? Making pie is really hard so maybe I should say easy as eating pie)

Good Luck and thanks for entering

P.S. I forgot to mention that closing date for this month is in two weeks time (Tuesday 20th Feb 8.30pm Australian EST)

Monday, February 6, 2012

☆ Suspense [illustration friday]

The suspense is just killing me
Acrylic mixed media in journal.
 Kirstin McCulloch

Are you one of those story tellers, that has people hanging of their every word? Where you spin a story so well, that you have people squirming in their seats with the suspense or rolling on the floor with laughter?

I'm not - not really. I get distracted, I ramble, I forget parts of the story and then try to add them in at the wrong time, I laugh at the punch line before the end. Nope - I am no good at spinning a yarn - even my essays at school had red arrows all over them because point a should be with point d and point e should be before point b.

So I guess I am lucky that my burning desire is to paint, and not to write that life changing novel (although at one stage I thought maybe that was where my creative passion lay!)

So if you are one of the lucky ones, some one who can capture people with a story how about you share your tips on how to spin a great yarn - god know I could do with some!

Have a great week

P.S - Tomorrow's post is February's give away post. Make sure you visit and you could be in the running to win an original piece of art from me (it is sooo easy to enter and takes two seconds!)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

☆ Rocking Horse [inspiration avenue]

©2012 Kirstin McCulloch

This weeks inspiration avenue was rocking horse.

Such a fun prompt, invoking memories from childhood.

I never had a rocking horse, but we had a rocking rabbit that my grandfather built for us.

(It was alway very handy having a carpenter for a grandpa!)

Have a great weekend.

P.S. My second give away of the year begins this Tuesday, so make sure you pop on by for a chance to win an original painting!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

☆ Sketchbook Bliss

Three Muses
©2012 Kirstin McCulloch
So I seem to have been struck by the creativity bug this week and I am in sketchbook bliss.

I am drawn to black hair beauties at the moment. Black hair is such a challenge, it's hard to add tone and texture. Sometimes my black hair is a bit monotone.

But I am loving this sketchbook. I have some how given myself permission (with out really thinking about it or verbalising it) to explore and be freer with my brush.

Usually my sketches are very detailed before I paint. In this book, I have a few lines as a guide, and go with my instinct. 

Loving. It.

Do you have a journal that you can be free in, that it doesn't matter if you stuff up? One which you a free to be imperfect? 

I would love to hear how your stories of sketching bliss.

©2012 Kirstin McCulloch
©2012 Kirstin McCulloch
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