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

Friday, September 28, 2012

☆ Listen to Your Heart - Always

It has taken me a long time to listen. To listen to my gut, my heart, my squeak.

It was hard to trust at first. But they have never steered me wrong.

When I listen to my heart, I have this feeling - it is so hard to describe, but it is like a gladness that spreads a warmth through me. It feels like my whole body is smiling.

And then I know that I was right to listen to my heart, my gut, my squeak.

So I want to know - do you listen to your heart? And what has it told you lately?

[Linking to Paint Party Friday]

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

☆ Work in Progress

I was going to share these yesterday, but after a whole half day in the spring sun, I was zonked! 

It was worth it though, great friends, great conversation, kids who played (mostly) well together.

But I was so zonked later that night, that I was in bed ridiculously early, and I am still slightly zonked today.  I could blame the sun shine - but in reality it is probably the nearly seven month old beastie!

Anyway not to digress, after working on all those mini canvases, I was looking to do something a little easier on my back. And her sketch has been staring at me for months now, so I thought it was probably time.

If you have a work in progress that you would like to share feel free to leave the link in the comments below. I would love to see what you're up to.

Monday, September 24, 2012

☆ Crooked [illustration friday]

Something a bit different today. I was feeling lazy and didn't want to leave the comfiness of my couch for my cold studio today. And it took me ages to come up with something for this weeks prompt.

But in the end I went with the crooked painting. And I have to admit that sometimes I will leave a painting or frame hanging slightly crooked as a test.

Admittedly they are never quite as crooked as the one I depicted above, but I love seeing who comments on the fact that something is crooked, or even who goes up to readjust it.

Because if something is slightly off centre it doesn't bother me at all. In fact I quite enjoy the unusualness of, the non conformity of, and uniqueness of it.

Mr Mac finds this annoying, he prefers to have things symmetrical and in order. He and I have a standing joke. I would move something to slightly off centre, and he would arrange it so that it was just right.

It amazes me that we see things so differently, yet there is a time and place for his organisation, as there is a time and place for my disorganisation.

And every now and then he surprises me and will arrange something so uniquely and asymmetrically - it makes my heart soar.

Sometimes you just need to shake things up, look at a problem crookedly and try something asymmetrical.

A little something to mull over this week - and I would love to hear your crooked stories!

Friday, September 21, 2012

☆ Friendships + Hearts Desires [inspiration avenue]

This year I came out to my friends - as an artist that is.

At first I was tentative. Unsure. And yes, I was absolutely freaking out.

But I had lunch with some friends who I have known for twenty years, had a drink or two for courage and blurted out that this year I wanted to open an etsy store

Although it was something that I had been thinking of for years, for them it was a total surprise. They knew I painted and yet, they were (and still are) some of my biggest supporters. 

It has been easier since that day to confide in friends. And although I am still crap at talking about my painting, I am more at ease with sharing my art with people. And the more I share, the more confident I become.

So in response to this weeks inspiration avenue prompt, (celebrating friendships), I thought about my various friendships and what,  for me, makes the best of friends. 

And I realised, for me, at the very heart of friendship is some one who will keep safe your hearts deepest desire. 

And those that can't or wont - well they become acquaintances. 

I would love to know what you think is at the core of friendships. What for you makes the best of friends? Feel free to share in the comments below. 

[Linking to Inspiration Avenue]
[Linking to Paint Party Friday]

Thursday, September 20, 2012

☆ 10 Years ago [A Year of Bravery]

It is ten years ago this week that Mr Mac and I bravely packed up our life for a 'mature age' gap year.

Ten years ago we were living a life that we 'thought' we wanted.

But I hated my job. I hated that none of my friends lived near by. I hated that the only thing I could think to do on my weekends was go to the mall and spend more money I couldn't afford, on items that were supposed to make me happy. But didn't.

I was so unhappy.

One day I came home and told Mr Mac, we were going overseas for a year. And Mr Mac being the awesome man he is said 'ok'.

And the dream was born.

The reactions from family and friend was telling.  Some were behind us 100% and eager to discuss and contribute to our plans, but others were doubtful and thought we were just dreaming - we would never have the nerve to pack up and leave.

I was totally committed, and knew deep in my soul that this was right. But once we bought our tickets, I became doubtful.

I mean what was I doing? Who was I to jump of the hamster wheel? Why should I expect to be different? Why should I live my dream? (My inner bitch was in her element.)

But of course we went, we left on an adventure for a year and ended up being eight. And in those eight years the course of our life was changed. They changed me.

I became open to living a life that is authentic and honest. I realised that living a life that is imperfect and flawed, is one in which is full of joy and happiness.

So guess the point of my long and slightly rambling post, is to ask you to think about what if you were brave?

What if you were brave and you picked up that paint brush, opened the book, made that call, sent that email, took that risk, or wrote that first line?

What if your life changed beyond your imagination if you took that first step? I would love it if you shared your experiences below.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

☆ Purple Gum Tree Leaf Fairy [a LilliBean Designs Spotlight]

Purple Gum Tree Leaf Fairy

I am constantly inspired by the shapes and colours I see on my daily walks. Although I walk the same way most days, every day there is something new that I notice. The burst of colour from the spring flowers, the way the sun has highlighted the garden gnome in that houses front garden, the cracks in the side walk, the shape of white pebbles encased in the dirt, the gum tree leaves laying on the path.

The Gum Tree leaves are my favourite. The are such a variety of colours, shapes, lengths, and I have always thought that they look like wings. Tattered wings. Imperfect wings. And that appeals to me the most. The more tattered and imperfect the better. 

Because life is imperfect and tattered.

But even so, I believe there is beauty and inspiration to be found in the imperfections and I find flaws so much more attractive and interesting than perfection...

Sometimes I need a reminder that life is full of beauty and inspiration and my gum tree leaf fairies are a reflection of this need. 

Purple Gum Tree Leaf Fairy is a mixed media acrylic painting, and is 8.3 x 5.8" - the perfect size to fit into a standard sized frame. I have applied a matt acrylic varnish (after photographing) to preserve the painting.

More details about the painting are available here.

How are you inspired by the every day -  I would love you to share your stories below (or even leave a link to your every day inspiration!)

Monday, September 17, 2012

☆ Burst [illustration friday]

Mini Canvas with Easel
Mixed Media with Acrylic Paint
Some days are just awesome.

Some days every thing flows just the way it is supposed to.

Some days my heart is so full of happiness it feels like it will burst.

(and somedays aren't worth hoping out of bed!)

But today was one of those perfect days. 

And even though there were hiccups during the day (a child throwing her lunch on the floor, a huge tantrum about watching a movie this afternoon, Mr Mac late home from work), it was all manageable.

And it made me wonder what the difference is between days like today, and the days where I haven't coped, where I have upset by the food throwing, the tv tantrum, or the late from work days. Where I have been counting the hours, minutes and seconds until the kids bed times. (And you know its a bad day when that countdown starts before breakfast!)

Obviously the difference is in me - in my frame of mind. I wish life could be this way everyday, but this is real life and not a hallmark card. And I am flawed. 

All I know is that if I could bottle the good days into a magic potion, I would be a gazillionaire! 

I hope you have had a awesome day, a day where everything flows just right. (and if not I hope tomorrow is better!) Feel free to share the good (or bad) below!

Friday, September 14, 2012

☆ Dragonfly Tattoo [inspiration avenue]


Where do I start with these amazingly beautiful and delicate creatures.

Well maybe I should say that they are hugely significant and comforting to me and my life.

My grandfather died when I was living in Scotland. He was an amazing person and before I left Australia, we came to an understanding. 

I agreed to explore the world fearlessly, like he had taught me. And if the worst was to happen I was not, absolutely NOT, to come home. He was adamant.

So when the worst did happen, I honoured our agreement and didn't go home. 

It was one of the hardest decisions of my life. 

So on the day of his funeral, I was sitting staring at this incredible view of the highlands, (and not seeing it you know?), when this pair of dragonflies buzzed around me.

And they kept me company for close to four hours. Unheard of. Unbelievable. Utterly Symbolic.

Later, I found out that dragonflies symbolise rebirth and since that day, dragonflies constantly pop up in my life when I am contemplating, or facing a rebirth of sorts. 

I take them to mean I am on the right track, and when I see them I feel such a sense of peace and comfort.

Do you have any reoccurring symbols or animal totems in your life that pop up when you need them the most? I would love it if you shared them below.

Have a great weekend.

[linking to inspiration avenue]
[linking to Paint Party Friday]

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

☆ Work in Progress

Not much of a progress, but some initial layers were put down.

some paper...

and some ink...

and that's about it tonight.

Waiting for things to dry is one of the most frustrating things.

Have you some work in progress that you would like to share? Leave a link below in the comments.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

☆ Who's the Winner? [Septembers Give Away]

Thank you to every one who entered into this months give away - and a big thank you to everyone who helped me decide which quote to use on this months painting.

So who is this months winner?

The winner (who is randomly selected) is....


Coincidently her journey is one that is close to my heart, and I hope that this painting will inspire her on her journey.

Congratulations Aloquin,  I will email you shortly.

Make sure that you keep in touch, because next month there will be another give away. There are only three left before the end of the year! (Gah I can't believe it's september already!)

Monday, September 10, 2012

☆ Imagination [illustration friday]

Have you entered into this months give away yet? 
Entries close tomorrow - so pop over here to enter (it'll take you five minutes!)

"There is no 
Life I know
To compare with pure

- Willy Wonka

Have you ever had a day when the world that you've created in your imagination is a much better alternative to real life?

And okay, yes, this may be where loved ones become slightly concerned about my mental health - but haven't you ever had one of those days?

I used to have a lot of them.

I used to have days where I would fantasise about my life being something other than what it was.

Once I spent an entire week fantasising about other careers, an alternative life, being something that I wasn't.

But then I realised that living in this fantasy wasn't making me any happier. It was making things worse, and in realising this, I knew that in order to become a happier person, a happier partner, and a happier employee I needed to make a change.

A big change as it turned out.

With in a year, Mr Mac and I had saved up enough money, sold most of our belongings, quit our jobs and had two passports and two round the world plane tickets in our possession, to leave for our mature age gap year.

An inside, deep in my heart I knew that this was the right path for me, for us. I knew that it would lead us to a happier, a richer life.

And it has.

So while occasionally visiting my imagination was (and still is) something that is very necessary to my very existence, taking up residence in my fantasy world, is a huge big warning to me that something is not right.

What does your imaginary life look like? And is it trying to tell you something?

P.S. Have you entered into this months give away yet?  Entries close tomorrow - so pop over here to enter (it'll take you five minutes!)

Friday, September 7, 2012

☆ Wheel [an inspiration avenue prompt]

'I am here'

This weeks prompt had me so stuck. I had no idea what to paint. Wheel of a ship? Wheel of a car? Wheel of ......?

I was blank.

And then sometimes my brain works in the most amazing ways.

Then the other morning morning I woke up thinking of King Lear. A I couldn't for the life of me think of why I woke thinking of King Lear - it has been years (I mean YEARS) since I studied that play.

And a couple of hours later I had the phrase 'wheel of fortune' pop into my thoughts. What the? (I think I was making a sandwich at the time, and telling Bean + Bug to sit up at the table for the fourth time)

Sitting down for lunch, I realised that I had the perfect quote for this weeks prompt.

This quote is so symbolic of my life right now. My past has come full circle. And I am here.

Have a fantastic weekend - and if you haven't had a chance to enter in this months give away? 
Pop over here to enter.

[Linking to Inspiration Avenue]
[Linking to Paint Party Friday]

Thursday, September 6, 2012

☆ FLOW [a LilliBean Designs Spotlight]



An ebb. A flow

I was feeling lost inside this huge flow of inspiration I was experiencing. I had all these ideas, and yet I couldn’t manage to put one thing onto paper that excited me. Nothing. 

But finally after hours of sketching crap, she flowed onto the paper.

I think I pulled her from the depths of my heart and so for me she represents a huge change. 

A change in the way I processed the flow of ideas, a change in how I processed disappointments and frustrations, and surprisingly it wasn’t only related to my creative processes. 

She symbolizes that you can flow through the set backs, any set backs, and not to spend hours. days. weeks. flogging yourself for your disappointment or frustrations. (and also you can ignore your inner bitch that tells you otherwise!)

And finally she inspires me to keep moving forward when the inspiration ebbs, and there is only a trickle left.

If you love her as much as I do, then Flow is available for sale in my etsy store: LilliBeanDesigns.

Have you had a chance to enter in this months give away? 
Pop over here to enter.

Flow is a unique acrylic painting, on a collaged water colour paper base. Flow is 8.3 x 5.8” which means that the painting will easily fit into most standard sized frames. She would look awesome on a shelf somewhere surrounded by loved ephemera, on a wall on her own or surrounded by other inspiration art.

Flow is finished with a matt varnish, so there is no extra care required. Flow is also signed and dated and comes with it’s own certificate of authenticity.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

☆ Life Lessons From Bean + Bug

Have you taken the time to realise that the people closest to you are probably teaching you valuable life lessons? Take a moment to really think about it.... 

I am constantly surprised by the life lessons that I have learned from my girls. 

I had no idea that I would learn from them as much if not more that they are from me. I shouldn't have been surprised really!

This past month, Bean (the pink pirate) has been reminding me about bravery. About how to be brave even when you are scared witless.

About how to be brave despite being scared witless. 

And considering that my word for 2012 is 'bravery', [you can read why I chose this particular word here], it is a synchronistic reminder that I need to step up, and start being braver.

Bean has been through an ordeal this last month: her four year old injections, she's seen a doctor for an ear infection (and dealt with the ear drops that followed), had eye drops for gunky eyes, and is starting her first day of preschool tomorrow.

And she has resisted, and cried and run away (from the ear drops that is!), and decided she didn't want me to leave her behind, but in the end she has persevered and bravely faced each challenge head on.

I have also resisted, and cried and run away, from my challenges, and just like Bean I am trying to bravely face each one. But sometimes I need visual a reminder too. [I am after all a visual kinda girl.]

Lessoned Learned. 

So did you think about it? And what did you discover? I would love it if you shared your story! 

By the way - did you know that Septembers FREE GIVE AWAY is open for entries? It is so easy to enter - JUST CLICK HERE

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

☆ September's Give Away

So here it is - this months give away.

Thank you to everyone who left their feed back on which inspirational quote to use. 

In the end it was a close one, but the winning quote was "small steps - big changes"

It really was a close one so keep an eye out next month because I will use the runner up for inspiration.

To win this lovely little piece of inspiration, to encourage you on your journey, which ever journey that may be, all you have to do is leave a note below saying you want it. 

(and you don't have to but I would love to know which journey your going on, be it a creative, spiritual or wellbeing one - I'm just curious)

But you can easily grab some extra entries into this months draw. You can become a follower, or a facebook liker, and you can subscribe to my monthly email group. (all the link are in the side bar.)

For each extra one you undertake, you receive an extra entry into this months draw. (And if you have already become a follower, a liker and subscriber let me know and you'll receive the extra entries.)

To easy huh. The give away runs for a week, and the winner announced next Tuesday evening (Don't forget I am in Australia, so that could be Monday evening/ Tuesday morning your time.)

Best of luck.

Monday, September 3, 2012

☆ Identical [inspiration avenue]

Identical but not the Same
When I was growing up, I would often have people say to me that my sister and I were identical.


But what always puzzled me (besides the fact that I was older by three years), was that she was a blonde with dead straight hair, and I was a brunette with wild curly hair.


What I eventually realised, was that people didn't really look past the tall skinny girls with matching widows peaks.

It made me sad that people didn't look beyond the surface. 

It made me realise that many people were guilty of not looking deeper. 

And it made me realise that I was just as guilty.

It made me realise that I need to remind myself that you can never judge, that you never know what lies beneath.

Have a great week.

P.S - Make sure you pop back tomorrow. This months give away will be up and ready for your entries. x

[linking to illustration friday]
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...