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

Friday, March 30, 2012

☆ Mean Pirates [+ pirate hat pattern freebie]

The Mean Pirates of Casa de Mac
My girls have been playing a new game with their friends called 'Mean Pirates'.

Now I am not 100% sure what Mean Pirates is about, or how it came to be, but I know you have to pull mean faces and growl 'ahhhhg'

And its funny, I mean its rolling on the floor funny to watch these 3 year olds, running around pulling mean pirate faces and behaving how they think mean pirates should act. 

Some times they are Mean Princess Pirates (of course!) which is even funnier because some one has to be in a high tower.

So one day when I asked the girls what they wanted to do that day, they decided they wanted to play Mean Pirates with their very own Mean Pirate hats, and Mean Pirate patches.

And I was procrastinating. I mean I could clean the house (Bleah) or make pirate hats.... tough choice. 

And of course you can't just make a pirate hat out of cardboard. It'll be trashed before the glue dries (well in my house hold it would have been!), and I had just been sorting out some fabric, and found a heap of felt, I had bought for christmas gift that never eventuated.

Casa de Mac now has two very cute, very mean pirates (some times princess pirates) who terrorise our halls and bedrooms.   (and if I have to watch Peter Pan again I might walk the plank myself!)

So I thought I would share with you guys the pattern I used to make it (so simple) and some basic instructions to go with it.

Click HERE

I would love to know if you've made your own version of the Mean Pirate hat. I would to see your versions.

And as this is the first tutorial I have really written, let me know if you have any questions.

Have a great weekend - don't forget to practise your mean pirate faces!

Monday, March 26, 2012

☆ Swamp [illustration friday]

Some times life can swamp me. I feel over whelmed, scared, and all around bitchy.

Sometimes, life is brilliant, I am high on love, and everything just goes as planned.

Sometimes, I start a painting in one mood, and finish it in another.

I was feeling swamped when I began this painting, I had over committed myself with family, I felt tired, I was irritated. I longed to do something but I couldn't figure it out.

Not that anything earth shattering happened, although, maybe finishing my commitments, and having a solid 8 hours sleep for a couple of nights, meant that my frame of mind was in a much better place.

By the time I finished the painting I no longer felt swamped.

I felt joyful instead.

How do you cope with being swamped? Do you internalise it? or do you scream and shout?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

☆ Dolls [inspiration avenue]

Did you have a favourite doll growing up? One that you took every where, slept with, or dressed and undressed 10 times a day?

I wasn't really a doll child. I had the odd dolls of course, but I was more a stuffed toy kinda gal. I had my Tiffee and my very ratty panda!

I was the kind of girl who wanted a pound puppy rather than a cabbage patch doll. (Is it just me or are they slightly freaky?)

My sister, on the other hand, was a doll girl, with her 'Snuggles', a sweet smelling baby with her blonde hair matted and tangled. Her Snuggles was her constant companion.

You may ask why the reminiscing? And why dolls? Well, this week the Inspiration Avenue prompt was doll.

A very cool prompt with huge ideas, but this week I found I struggled with the actual painting.

I struggle with liking this image I came up with, part of me thinks - 'cute!' the other half of me thinks - 'meh'. There is something about this image that confounds me...

Anyway, today I was working on another painting and I noticed that these girls were very doll like in their baldness! So before I added hair I took a photo.

Maybe dolls in progress?

If you have a moment pop on over to the inspiration avenue website to check out the entries.

Have a great week

Friday, March 23, 2012

☆ Life Book [week 10]

Life Book week ten, was really difficult for me. We celebrated our positive contribution to the lives of others, as well as how people have contributed to us and our growth. 

I decided to concentrate on those I have contributed to, and it was really difficult. It was hard to really, deeply think about my contribution. Just how I did contribute to those around me, and was it a positive influence, or not. Do I just phone it in or do I actually meaningfully enrich those lives. 

I haven't ever really thought about this, and I had a few  D&M (deep and meaningful) moments for me.

I focused on my immediate family (Mr Mac and the girls) and my Nan. on the back of the double page spread, I wrote down what I felt I gave to these gorgeous people in my life. On the other side I will write down what they contribute to me.

I had a very big sense of achievement when I finished, and a huge feeling of warmth and love.

Have you thought about your contribution to your friends and families life? I guarantee that when you go beneath the surface you will find you contribute in all kinds of amazing ways that you never would have dreamed!

And if you have time over the weekend, grab a cup of tea, sit down with a pen and paper and write down how you have contributed to their lives and how they have contributed to yours.

Instant uplift!!

Have a great weekend

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

☆ WINNER [march's giveaway]

Whooo - hoo! March's competition is officially closed.

Done and Dusted.

Well except for a very minor detail..... Who won it?

Who indeed? Thank you to every one who entered, but congratulations to....

Linda from Serendipity Art

Congratulations Linda!

If you can send me an email with your addy and I will pop it in the post.

Keep an eye out for next months give away on the second Tuesday of the month (10th April) for more chances to win.

Monday, March 19, 2012

☆ Shades [illustration friday]


Such a fun challenge for this weeks illustration friday.

I haven't really tried a wash over effect before (like the sunglasses) so I was pleased how it worked out.

I think I might be ready for the  water effect that I would love to try now...

P.S. Last chance to enter this months give away! Entries close tomorrow evening (Australian time!)

Click here to enter

Good Luck x

Sunday, March 18, 2012

☆ Vintage Photography [inspiration avenue]

This weeks inspiration avenue prompt was such fun! 

I had so many ideas to illustrate the vintage photography prompt.

But in the end, I went with this!

Her hair became a slightly 1970's style instead of the one I had originally sketched, but I liked it.

If you have a moment pop over to the inspiration avenue website to see the other entries!

Also don't forget that my monthly give away is now  open - but only until Tuesday.

It's super easy to enter and you can win a wee canvas with its own easel.

I hope you had a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

☆ March Blahs

I have been having a bit of a slump. The March Blahs. I have fallen a bit behind with life book, my desire to be in the studio has been surpassed by my desire to surf mindlessly online, it is so dark in the mornings, that getting up is a struggle.

I think I have the March Blahs every year, summer has ended, the sun is less bright, the newness of the year has worn off. 

I had to shake my routine up a bit, I had to remember that I am just human. (WHAT?? I am not a super hero? Yeah I know it was news to me too!) I needed to learn that taking a break even for an afternoon, will not result in five years of ignoring the squeak. 

And I did. I took a day off. I spent the next day creating some back grounds, and asking myself what I wanted to paint, and I didn't beat myself up for not writing when I had planned to.

And you know what the next day when I went into the studio, I painted something that I really liked. 

So I wanted to share with you how I deal with the blahs and I wanted to know what you guys do when you have the blahs. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

☆ GIVE AWAY [march]

It’s that time again gang. GIVEAWAY time!
This month I have another small canvas and easel to give away.
She is a reminder to dream, to dream everyday, to dream your wildest dreams, to dare live.
Because dreams are just wishes unless you decide to live them. That is something that I am constantly reminding myself about lately. 

So how do you enter? Easy Peasy!

Leave a comment on this post ('enter me' will do!) for an entry. 

You can have bonus entries by following my blog, liking the photo, and by liking the LilliBean Designs facebook page (if you haven't already.) 

If your already a follower or a fan let me know in your comment and I will add an extra entry in the draw. 

So this month, the competition is only open for one week. Next Tuesday at 9pm AEST I 
will close the comments and draw a winner. 

Next month, I am thinking of something wee bit different up my sleeve - I am still mulling it over.... so you'll have to make sure you pop back in!

Monday, March 12, 2012

☆ Yield [illustration friday]

I am battling the will of a 3 year old who is going on sixteen.

I know this is a battle that I will keep fighting, especially as she grows older, but jeez I am tired.

Tired of the battle of wills, tired of this beautiful little girl, turning into an ogre that would put her beloved Shrek to shame. (That is Shrek pre Fiona, cause we all know he's a pussy cat after he meets her)
In my head I am shouting in the voice of an ancient warrior who wants to defeat his enemy - 
‘You will YEILD to me’. 
In reality I am saying 
‘that will be three more minutes on the thinking step’..... where is my wine!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

☆ You've Got Mail [inspiration avenue]

You've got Mail.

I am such a mail junkie! I love receiving mail. I love the feeling of opening the mail box and seeing a letter or parcel addressed to me. I used to write to magazines, fan clubs, subscribe to catalogues, just to receive something in the post. 
And although the times have changed and we no longer receive everything in the post, I still listen out for the postie’s bike, and rush out for the mail. I still send away for the Ikea catalogue, and even though its bills, a sad part of me feels loved.... I am so sad!
So this weeks inspiration avenue prompt was ‘you’ve got mail.’ And this was my response to the prompt. 
Are you a sad mail junkie like me? What is the most extreme thing you’ve done to receive mail? I think mine was writing to psychics in the magazines to ask for information for a school project - I never heard back from them - maybe they were psychic?!? (I repeat... I am so sad!)

(P.S. AGH My internet has been shaped again - slower than slow so I am not able to visit everyones creations just now. I am hoping to sort it out tomorrow, but it may be McD's for coffee and internet!)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

☆ Saving my Sanity (with a sketchbook + a pen)

With all the rain we've had over the last week my kids are going insane. They are itching to get out. In turn they are driving me insane, especially because I'm not getting out for my own daily dose of sanity.

So in a moment of desperation, we went to McDonald's. Bundled up in our rain coats, some morning tea, I bought myself a very large coffee, and I let them loose in the play park. (Thank god for that play park. It has saved my sanity on many occasions!) And as long as I sat in there with them, they would play for ages.

Usually I would read a book on my iphone, but I couldn't concentrate, I tried to do some planning, but it wasn't happening either. And then in the bottom of my hand bag was a red moleskine journal. I don't really use it, because the paper is too thin for the fine liners I like, but I dug out a pen intending to doodle, but instead a doodle or a mandala, girl appeared, and then another, and another.

And it seems I am slightly obsessed, cause I am drawing more and more of these girls, in a style that has evolved even in the last few days.

And it is sitting so right with me at the moment. They are cute and whimsical, and sketched a way I haven't sketched before, no guidelines, no fear.

I am really enjoying the process.

And instead of being really irritated because my daily walk has yet again been spoiled by rain, I curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea, and spend five minutes sketching. (If only those five minutes of sketching would burn as many calories as an hour long walk!)

Have you rediscovered an old sketchbook, or trying something new? I would love to hear what you are up to.

Monday, March 5, 2012

☆ Intention [illustration friday]

I am so excited today. I was the red carpet winner for my inspiration avenue piece 'The Three Graces'. See my shiny new show case winner badge? I broke out and did a couple of happy dances through out the day, much to Bean and Bugs amusement. Thanks to Lisa for choosing my painting to join the other winners (and if you have a moment it is well worth a visit!)

Anyway, todays painting is for my Illustration Friday's 'Intention' prompt. 

My intention is to resist this brownie.
Journal page
When I was painting this I was remembering the intentions I had so carefully set out at the beginning of the year, and yet now we are in March, and I think I need to revisit them. 

I think it might be time to remind myself of how important these goal were to me, and still are. Remind myself to look forward to full filling my dreams for this year.

Have you revisited your dreams lately? Have you managed to cross anything off your list yet? (I was able to cross off 'set up monthly budgets'. Yah I hate that job!)

P.S. And my intention was really to resist the brownie, but because it was a 'healthy' brownie (hey it had zucchini in it...hmmm.... could that count toward my five a day?) I decided to go for it.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

☆ Primavera [inspiration avenue]

The Three Graces
Acrylic Mixed Media
16 x 11" cold pressed watercolour paper.
©2012 Kirstin McCulloch
Botticelli's painting Primavera was this weeks Inspiration Avenue challenge. And what a challenge!

Of the nine figures in Botticelli's painting, three of them are the 'Graces'. They are the goddesses of Charm, Beauty and Creativity.

I didn't need to read any more, (although of course I did!), because I knew what I wanted to paint this week. I wanted to put my spin on the Three Graces.

So here they are, goddess of charm, creativity and beauty.


Thanks to Lisa, for this weeks challenge.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

☆ Life book [week 8]

This weeks life book lesson was from the fabulous Mystele.

Simplified, Mystele's lesson was a 'pulled art' collage creation. Pulling the picture from background elements, giving up control, and going with what the painting shows you.

I am not great at giving up control, (yes, everyone, I am a control freak, and proud of it!), so this was a really challenging piece to create.

In fact after I made the background, it sat there, taunting me, telling me there was nothing there, telling me all I had was a pretty background, so I threw it in a cupboard, and left it for a week.

I was determined this week, to conquer the beautiful background and create something!

And eventually this is the figure that emerged.

She started off looking really cranky, then lost and now I think she alternates between annoyed, bewildered and sad. Not surprising, as these were all the emotions I was processing when I created her.

And after all that angst, I love her. She is so different from my other big eyed girls, and yet she is just as powerful to me.

It never fails to surprise me how much emotion creating can pull from me and just when I am running dry, a new flood of creativity washes over me. I loved this style of creating, and I think you will see more of it from me in the future. Especially when the ideas start slowing down.

Have you discovered a new style or tried something new lately? How did it effect you? I would love to know.

Have a great weekend.

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