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

Friday, August 31, 2012

☆ What's behind your Door? [inspiration avenue]

I need your help to decide the theme of Septembers give away. 
I will only take a few seconds to have your say. Just click here
Thank you!

Behind the secret door.

When Mr Mac was a pimply teen, he was lucky enough to live in Rome. Which meant that on our 'mature age gap year' tour, I was the lucky one and had an insiders guide to off the tourist track Rome.

I loved meandering through the back alleys, scoffing down gelato for lunch (on our budget it was gelato or salami + bread - guess which I chose!) I found beauty in the smallest things, a door handle, a sewer cover, I would marvel that the buildings in Rome were centuries, (centuries!) older than Australia's oldest city.

And I often wondered what was behind the many huge doors that we walked past,  and what secrets they were hiding.

And then one day we walk past an open door, and I was stunned.

I never imagined that those doors could hide the beauty that was in that courtyard. 

There was a central fountain, lush greenery surrounding the sandstone walls and the staircase that went to the apartments upstairs. Hidden in amongst the greenery were wrought iron benches, and amazing mosaics covered the floor.

Behind me this little old italian woman murmured, 'bella eh?' as she walked past into the courtyard with her shopping.

Once I had seen behind the first open door, I began to see open doors everywhere. Each was a surprise waiting to explore, some were lavishly designed, some were dated and tired, but they all had their own beauty.

I would fantasise as I walked past, that I was living in one of those apartments, with my a coffee or wine, and I would be sitting in the tranquil courtyard, ignoring the city sounds, as I spent a few stolen moments day dreaming.

If you had a door that opened onto anywhere, what would be behind it?

Don't forget I need your help to decide the theme of Septembers give away. I will only take a few seconds to lend a hand. Just click here.
Thanks x

[Linking to Inspiration Avenue]
[It's my first time Linking to Paint Party Friday]

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

☆ I Need Your Help [for september's giveaway]

I need your help.

I have this cute little canvas and easel that needs a message that will inspire the lucky winner of September's give away.

So if you were Septembers lucky winner would you prefer

  1. Waken your Dreams
  2. Small Steps - Big Changes
  3. Believe in You
  4. Something else? 
I was going to be all tricky, and put a flash poll thing in, which would have made this so much easier, but alas bloggers poll app isn't working.

So I am hoping that you wouldn't mind leaving a quick 1, 2, 3 or 4 below in the comments. (Of course if you decided on number 4 it would be fabulous if you shared your 'something else' too!)

Alternatively you can pop over to facebook and leave your comment there (click on the photo or here)

Everyone who takes part in the poll, which closes Sunday 2nd September, will receive an extra entry into September's give away.

Thanks for stopping by

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

☆ Works in Progress

I have been a busy bee this weekend.

I have several paintings and projects all happening at once.

I've been using my markers again - they are like an old friend that I haven't seen in
five years, but it is like only yesterday that we caught up.

They are comfortable. 

These photos always look a bit spooky when I take them before painting the eyes!

I am excited to share these with you..... but I can't. Not yet.

[But if you'd like to have a sneak peak before everyone else - just sign up to my mailing list! ; ) ]

p.s - I need your help. I have a dilemma regarding next months give away. I am going to let you guys decide which inspirational message you want on the canvas. (Everyone who votes gets an extra entry!) 

So I would love it if you can pop back in tomorrow and let me know your thoughts!
Til then x

Monday, August 27, 2012

☆Tall [illustration friday]

Tall Poppies

Tall Poppies. 

Some tall poppies are continuously knocked down.

Yet some tall poppies just bend in the wind, only to continue to grow sky ward, once the storm has past.

Some times the fear of putting yourself out there, can be crippling.

But I have found that when   I do something I desperately fear, I receive so much more that I ever expected.

It's hard to take that first step. It's nerve wrecking, stomach churning and finger clenchingly scary.

But for me, it has always, always, been worth taking that first step!

And isn't it time I started to believe in myself?

This morning I took a step that has been scaring me, and I know it is the right step, because the butterflies that had taken up residence have scattered.

Deep in my heart I am content with my decision. 

Is there a step that has been scaring you into not taking? Isn't it time to believe in yourself? I'd love to hear your stories.

Friday, August 24, 2012

☆ Comfort [an inspiration avenue prompt]

If you could be anywhere where would you be?

For this weeks inspiration avenue prompt I was at a bit of a loss.

I would be some where warmer, I would be back on the Isle of Raasay in Scotland, I would be having a coffee on the ski slopes, I would be sleeping in, having breakfast in bed, reading an awesome book that you just can't put down with out interruption.

But after I twanged my back, had a very sick Bean, and a Bug who decided to be her cheeky best, all I needed was to be given a comforting hug by someone and be told I was a good mama. 

(A big glass of wine would have been a close second, but it is another four months before I can have that!)

So this painting reminds me of that feeling of comfort and security that a hug from your loved ones can give.

So right at this very moment, right now, where do you want to be? I would love you to share.

'Comfort' is available for sale through LilliBean Designs on Etsy. Click on the link for more details.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

☆ Snaps of Life

I thought I would have a new painting to share with you today, but when I lifted Bug up into her car seat this morning I threw my back out, and so went any plans to paint while Bug and Bean had their afternoon rests. I am really disappointed - I was in the zone last night and I really wanted to finish what was on my desk. I hope that a nights rest will help and I'll be back into it tomorrow.

So instead of a new painting I have a few snaps from my life to share with you....

Having coffee with my friend who bought both Green Leaf Angel + Gum Tree Faery and she pulls out the framed paintings to show me. They. Look. Awesome! 
She chose such beautiful matting colours to highlight my paintings.
It's just a pity the photographer too such a rubbish shot and hasn't done it justice!
[fyi - McDonalds lighting and an iphone do not make for a brilliant photo! I am too embarrassed to show you the other photo!]

A sneak peak...
The painting I am currently working on - I meant to take another photo as I finished up last night, but you'll have to make do with this teaser!

Bug + I waited an hour and a half to see the doctor yesterday. We were so bored we ended up taking heaps of photos. [Four year old gossip mags are the most boring thing!] 
This is her 'big' smile. [I love this face!] Her photos of me ended up being of the ceiling or a really unflattering nostril shot! [Sorrry - not sharing. I do have some dignity]

So thats what we've been doing - what have you guys been up to? 

Monday, August 20, 2012

☆ No One Ever Told Me....[no. 36]

aka 'Teacher' [an illustration friday prompt]
The Mermies Child

When I first bought Bean home from the hospital, there were many things that I thought my role as a mama would be.

I knew that I would be a mama, a healer, a hugger, a cheerleader, a consoler, a protector.... the list is endless really.

But what no one ever told me was that in essence I was to be the most important teacher that my girls would ever have.

That life was going to be our class rooms, and the lessons would be every minute of every day.

I, my husband, my extended family are all teachers of our children. 

We teach them many of life's lessons, right from wrong, to be kind and patient. To be the best they can be - always.

And I know it is a cliche, but no one ever told me that it takes a tribe to raise a child.

And most days I am thankful for the tribe that surround my girls, 'cause sometimes the responsibility of raising my precious beasties is over whelming. [and sometimes they are just....well they are just feral beasties and then I am doubly thankful for the support!]

What was the greatest lesson that you were taught by your teachers? Be they conventional school teachers, mentors, or other inspiring people in your life.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

☆ Another Gum Tree Faery [an inspiration avenue prompt]

Purple Gumtree Leaf Faery
mixed media painting 8.3 x 5.8"
This weeks inspiration avenue prompt, was so great. 

Besides faeries being one of my favourite things to paint, it gave me an excuse to paint another 'Gum Tree Leaf Faery', which are currently my favourite faeries to paint!

Gum leaves give me such a buzz of inspiration. Every single one is different, some are perfectly formed, but mostly the ones I pick up are the malformed, the tatty, the ones with holes and tears.

The imperfect ones are the ones that call to me most. They remind me that there is beauty and inspiration in imperfection. 

I have an awesome leaf that I am currently desperate to use, but so far the faeries haven't been co-operating. 

But I believe that one day soon the perfect faery will come along to claim this leaf.

I would love to know how you all use everyday inspirations in your creative life. Feel free to share below.

Have a great week.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

☆ SURPRISE [a lillibean designs spotlight]

Original available for sale here
8.3 x 5.8" (210 x 148 mm), mixed media acrylic.

I would love to one day wake up with my own set of wings.

And because I am not totally living in fantasy land, I know that if I want my own wings, they I will have to tattoo them on.

And while I am totally ok with having wings as a tattoo, I am equally hesitant - I can't imagine being ninety with my own wings tattoo. 

But on the other hand, exactly who is going to be seeing my naked back at ninety, except of course Mr Mac? (because he and I have a pact that he can't die before me....)

And maybe the grand kids will remember me as cool granny K with the wrinkly wings?

So out of this internal debate came this painting - 'Surprise' was inspired by the idea that one day I might sprout my own wings.

'Surprise' is a mixed media original painting on quality water colour paper. (a collaged instructional paper base, acrylic paint and graphite pencil.) 

The painting is 8.3 x 5.8" (210 x 148 mm) and will slide easily into a standard sized frame with out alteration. 

Surprise is available from my Etsy shop - LilliBean Designs.

In other news, the Mac tribe is going to be expanding in the new year. Wee Beastie Mac's eta is New Years Eve (well timed I know!) but we are all super excited!

Have a great day

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

☆ Frozen Heart [illustration friday]

Frozen Heart
Some times all it takes is a hug to unfreeze a cold heart.

(linking to illustration friday)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


It's that time of the month again!

A big thanks to everyone who left such gorgeous messages, both here and on the LilliBean Designs face book page. They mean the world to me!

But sadly there is only one painting to give away.

And this months painting goes to....

Kyles from Blissful Pumpkin!

Congrats Kyles. Thank you so much for your support and for entering this months give away.

I will email you shortly.

Again thank you every one for entering and please come back for next months give away.

Monday, August 13, 2012

☆ Work in Progress

I had a later than usual start to this weeks illustration friday prompt. Usually I have painted it over the weekend and ready to share with you on a Monday. 

But over this weekend, my Bean turned four. 

Holy Crap. 

How did she become a big four year old. (And if your wondering - the answer is yes. Yes, I will probably make similar claims every year, for all my beasties!)

So there was a huge party with many kids and lots of family. And another freaking rainbow cake. (and of course the cake had to have very distinct layers - so no getting away with a marbled rainbow cake for me!)

But we had a glorious day, and a park to ourselves, and it was great to see everyone. And even better was the few texts I had later that night to thank me for the sugar highs, that had kids awake well past their bed times. (Well why should I be the only one who suffered the sugar crashes?)

Anyway this means that I have only just started this weeks IF prompt, but I am very excited with where it's going that I thought I would share it with you all.

Also a quick reminder not to forget to enter this months GIVEAWAY. The winner will be announced tomorrow evening (Australian time). So if you would like a chance to win one of my original paintings click here to enter.

Have a great week!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

☆ A Zentangled Inspiration Avenue

Follow Where Your Heart Leads You.
I love doodling, and zentangling.

I love the freedom that I have when I am in the tangle zone.

Nothing seems to switch of the irritating inner bitch than a good tangle.

I just zone out

I often think I should do a quick five minute tangle first thing every morning cause nothing would clear my head more effectively than this.

Kinda like the way Julia Cameron's Morning pages do.

Anyway this is where my tangle took me this morning. A visual reminder to follow my heart. And that it wont lead me wrong.

Such a fun challenge this week at Inspiration Avenue. You should pop over to check out the other tangles.

Also please don't forget to enter this months GIVEAWAY. There are only two day left to enter. Just click here to enter 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

☆ RIght in Front of Your Eyes [inspiration]

Sometimes I sit in my studio and stare blindly at the wall, trying to find some inspiration, when I realised that I have a board of inspiration right in front of my eyes.

Right. in. front. of my eyes.

So when I realised that I had been staring at a wall of inspiration with out seeing it, I wondered what else I have been seeing with out seeing it?

What else have I have missed?

Time to pay attention, to stop and take the time and to be more present.

I am going to smell the flowers.

P.S Don't forget to enter this months GIVEAWAYClick here to enter

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

☆ Life Book [Week 22]

Week 22's 'mini' lesson was a hodge podge from Mystele.

I love this style of painting. I love the freedom of slapping paper and paint and ephemera onto a piece of paper and just letting go.

And I learnt a few things.

* I learnt that bleed proof paper, (the type I use for copic markers) isn't a great mix with acrylics.

* I learnt that said bleed proof paper isn't bleed proof when water is added

* I leant that I love letting go and slapping paint on left and right, but I am really uncomfortable with doing that with the finer details, but I managed to be looser than normal.

*I learnt I can only be what I can be, and the inner critic can bugger off until next time.

Super fun lesson. Thanks Mystele and Tam. 

P.S Don't forget to enter this months GIVEAWAYClick here to enter 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

☆ Open Your Heart [August Give Away]

This months give away was a fun one to paint.

'Open your Heart' is a reminder for me to keep my heart open, to love and to be open to new possibilities and opportunities.

She comes with her own easel so you can prop her up where ever you would like a reminder to keep your heart open.

So it is easy as to enter into the draw to win. All you have to do is leave a comment below.

And this month you can earn three extra bonus points. As usual if you become a blog follower or face book liker (is that the term?) there is two extra points and just let me know in the comments.
(and if you are a follower already let me know in the comments and I'll add the extra entries)

Also I am setting up a monthly letter to let my subscribers know about news, new products and general information about LilliBean Designs, so to grab a third extra entry, just sign up for my newsletter. (And I promise I will never send you more than one email per month - I am not that organised!!)

Anyway - you can end up with four extra entries into this months draw.

This months give away is a short one, I will be drawing the winner, next Tuesday 14th of Aug around 8pm Australian EST.

Good luck to all who enter!

Monday, August 6, 2012

☆ Bounce [illustration friday]

A bit of fun for this weeks illustration friday prompt.

And a scene that is all too common in my house hold.

Even after both Bean and Bug have fallen off and hurt themselves.

But they have so much fun.

Maybe I should break the rules too.

Maybe I should jump on the bed with the girls instead of rousing on them. 

And maybe it's time to break out and bounce things up. 

How can you bounce things up this week?

P.S. Please pop back tomorrow for a chance to win a piece of art in August's give away! x

Saturday, August 4, 2012

☆ Wander Lust [inspiration avenue]

Wander Lust
For Sale Here
This weeks inspiration avenue prompt, Pink, was great fun. I love how my pink haired angel ended up. I wonder where she is wanting to be, where she needs to go?

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

☆ Life Book [Week 21]

Week 21 on life book had Rhomany show us some lettering styles to honour our present.

I loved the lettering detail that she went through for us, and I love the effect that it has on the shading of my name.

I cut out a decorative pattern and had a backing of red card.

I keep looking at this piece thinking it is too simple, that it needs something else, but on the other had its simplicity is equally effective. One to ponder upon I suppose.

(But what ever the out come, it has definitely highlighted how dirty my scanner is!)

A fun lesson to do, I loved being able to zone out with the lettering and the shading!

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