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

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

☆ Art Every Day Month [novembers challenge]

Have you signed up for Art Every Day Month? Every November Leah Piken Kolidas from Creative Every Day hosts Art Every Day Month. 

I signed up last year, and I really, really enjoyed it. I don't think that I managed to create every day, but I went close, and I enjoyed the challenge + playing with different materials, styles + stretching my creative imagination!

So I am taking the plunge and am going to play again this year. I am not sure if I will manage everyday, but I even a 10 minute sketch is creating isn't it!

I am too lazy (opps) busy to post every day, so I am will post a round up every of my work on Saturdays. 

So have you signed on for AEDM? I would love to see your work, so if you would like to share your creativeness, please leave your link on this post, and on the weekly round ups. (we could be each others support crew, because I learned from last year that November can be a long month!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

☆ Mermaid [a page from my sketchbook]

Last week I shared with you a work in progress that I had started in my sketch book. A yellow- eyed mermaid.

(I seem to be fascinated by yellow eyes. They seem so piecing to me.)

Using acrylics, water colours, water soluble wax pastels, water colour crayons, ink + pencils, she is finally finished.

And it felt great to just let go, and to spend some time contemplating her and what I actually felt like using.  It feels good to let go and play - which is really the whole point of my sketchbook. 

I just forget that sometimes.

Have you played lately? Or have you, like me, been walking a set path + been caught up in your 'way' of doing things? I would love to hear your stories. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

☆ Haunt [illustration friday]

Have you ever had one of your creative ideas just haunt you?

Almost two years ago, I had an idea for a painting. I loved the idea of a powerful woman, with long black hair, who knew here own inner power. (I think at the time I was trying to claim my own inner power.)

 So my sketch, in my head,  became a yellow eyed, black haired woman, and she was called Raven.

About six months later I felt brave enough to try and paint Raven. But it didn't work. I just couldn't translate the sketch and the image in my head to canvas.

Her yellow eyes looked like crap (so I changed them to green) the feathers didn't look right, her hair didn't move the way I had envisioned, the collaged robe, never felt right. Seriously, I hated her. And I remember there were a few tears of pure frustration.

So I packed the canvas away in a cupboard and there it sits to this day. (One day I will repurpose it I guess...)

Fast forward to a year and a half later.

And 'Raven' was still haunting me, I still wanted to capture her in paint, and I was feeling brave again. And so I started to paint her - very tentatively. 


And I through persevering with 'Raven' I learned a few things about myself. 

I learned that a really crappy painting isn't going to send me into a tail spin of self doubt and self loathing any more, which in the past would lead to weeks (or years) of not creating. 

I learned that sometimes you need to have a bit more experience to fully translate a spark of an idea. And that is ok.

And I learned that sometimes you need to put an idea away for a while, and let the spark grow and mature a little more.

She has become one of my favourite paintings of 2012!

So have you had an idea that has ignited you, that has haunted you? Are you still letting it grow? Or have you attempted to capture the spark? I would love to hear your stories.

Friday, October 26, 2012

☆ Trick or Treat [inspiration avenue]

Growing up in country town Australia, I was never really exposed to halloween or treating, unless I watched disney movies - or the Halloween movie franchise!

I loved Halloween when we  lived in Scotland. Mr Mac used to carve some awesome pumpkins + the village kids would go from house to house in one large gang. 

They would have a song, or a dance, or a joke to earn a 'treats' and it was all over by about half seven at night.

There was nearly always a halloween disco with bobbing apples, treacle scones on a string, and monster music.

It made me wish I grew up on Raasay.

And although we didn't celebrate when I was little, I have no doubt that I would have chosen to be a Indian Brave

I was obsessed with cowboy + indian games,  I was always the indian, and I wished on everything you could wish on (from evening stars to dandelions) for my very own set of bow + arrows. So I think I would have chosen to be that.... or maybe a dog.

So I would love to hear what was your favourite costume, or if you grew up in a place where halloween wasn't celebrated (like me) what you would have dressed up as.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

☆ D.I.Y Project [Christmas Tags]

Yesterday I shared with you my new Christmas tags that are available now.

Today I want to share with you a D.I.Y project based on those tags that you can use to make your very own LilliBean Tags this year.

I have uploaded the template of my Christmas Tags, which you can use to create your own, use as inspiration, or if there are children in your life, print off for them to decorate.

Bean Bug + I printed them off last week and decorated our own. The girls do as much as they wanted so I took theirs and add a few wee details, but I think I will print them again and let them just go nuts with embellishments and this glitter paint that we have in house.

Left to Right: Mine, Beans + Bugs
They turned out pretty cool. I love that not only do I have the printed versions to give to friends + family, but I can now have the girls make their own for each other, their teachers + friends.

Left to Right: Bugs, Beans + Mine
So, if you do end up using my templates to make your own christmas tags, or as inspiration for your own, email me a picture. I would love to see how you use them. And I would love to feature them here in December, so be inspired! (and include your web address!)

I've also been thinking (Ohhhh those five words are going on my gravestone - no doubt about it..), about how nice it is to receive gifts in the post and especially at christmas time. And was thinking that maybe if there were enough people interested wouldn't it be nice to organise a 'tag' swap in time for christmas.

So if you are up for relieving a little something special in the post this christmas, and would like to receive a special something in the post, leave a message below. (And don't worry if you've never been in a swap before - I have never organised one!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

☆ 2012 Christmas Tags [a LilliBean Designs Spotlight]

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you the christmas cards I had designed and printed. 

(And I have to tell you I am overwhelmed by everyone's amazing response to them! Thank you guys!)

I really wanted to have something a bit special for my family and friends this year, so at the same time, I had these cute little tags made up.

And according to my midwife I only have ten weeks to go (OMG seriously! Ten weeks - okay freaking out slightly!) 

But this means that christmas is only nine weeks away. (Sorry guys - it is coming sooner than we all think!!)

On the back is a simple For + From which leaves plenty of room to write a special message (or not!) for your gift recipient. 

So for less than $5 you can have a set of your own set of unique tags for your special gifts this year.

Check them out here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

☆ Are you the Winner? [octobers giveaway]

Are you this months give away winner?

Thank you to everyone who entered in the draw.

As you know I don't require you to leave comments beyond 'pick me' but I was blown away (Blown. Away!) by all the gorgeous comments that you guys left.

Thank you doesn't cover it, but THANK YOU - you guys are awesome

Anyway - let's get down to business.

I have tallied all the entries, including bonus ones for those who subscribed, liked, pinned, joined etc, and put you all in a spread sheet, which I then randomised.

And the winner is -



Raine if you could email me you address I will post her off to you later this week.

Thank you to every one who entered.

Prints of 'My Pet Bat' are now available here

Next month's give away is a christmassy one (yes, I know it's only October!) so make sure you pop back Tuesday November 6th for a chance to enter the second last give away of 2012.

Monday, October 22, 2012

☆ Sky [illustration friday]

A String of Stars,
Against the Night Sky.
String of Stars
Illustration Friday prompt 'sky'
mixed media painting
available for sale shortly - email me for more

Have you entered into this months give away for one of my original art works? This month is a halloween inspired give away.

Entries close tomorrow evening, and it is so simple to enter - just click here + leave a quick comment ('hi' would suffice!).

Too easy. And entries are open to everyone, (followers, non followers, if your from the arctic....), so pop over for a chance to win.

Friday, October 19, 2012

☆ TGIF [it's been a hellishly long week]

I am so pleased it is the end of the week. I am so pleased that my crazy life can settle down a bit. I am so ready for the weekend. And I was very lucky to squeeze in a few hours to paint this week - my normal time for painting was eaten up with appointments with doctors + midwives.
mixed media painting

A friend of mine has been asking me for months to paint her 'something' for her new house. Something is a huge concept I have to say. I asked her for specifics, and after much prodding, I managed to pry out of her that she liked my gumtree leave faeries + loved my girls with purple eyes. 

That was it.

She asked me to paint her something way back in June, but with one thing or another I have been caught up. This week, even with the limited time I had, I was determined to paint her 'something'. 'Contemplative' is her 'something'.

I also had a request last week, about the painting 'Dreamer' that was given to my friend for her birthday.

I was asked if prints would be available, and I am happy to say that they are now available in my store here

(And it is worth noting, that if there is any particular painting you would like to buy a print of, please let me know!)

And thats it from me this week. I am done + dusted.
Bring on the weekend

P.S. Have you had a chance to check out my 'halloweeny' give away? There is only a few days left to enter.

[Linking to Paint Party Friday]

Thursday, October 18, 2012

☆ Work In Progress - Yellow Eyed Mermaid

Some play today in my art journal.

Another yellow eyed mermie.

Do you have something you are working on for fun? Feel free to share the link in the comments below.

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

☆ Is an Messy Desk a sign of a Cluttered Mind?

A couple of weeks ago I tidied up my studio.

I would have to say, that I am not, not, one of those people who needs a cleaned up work space to paint.  I just don't see the mess. And unlike poor Mr Mac, I am not bothered or irritated by mess, but perhaps I was nesting, and I tidied up.

And it was so tidy I decided to take a photo to send with a message to my poor suffering husband.

'Look Mr Mac - a cleared off desk, a floor empty of crap, brushes that are washed and away. You see I do keep my studio tidy!' (and I imagine in his head his reply would have been something like - that's great Kirst, but what about the bedroom + dishes + washing + dusting?)

But then I started a new painting

And I moved over to my easel.

 And I started something else..

And sorted some gumtree leaves...

And this was it this morning.

I am too embarrassed to show you the floor. (Needless to say it is not pretty!)

So I got to wondering about the correlation between my messy desk and my productivity. I think I am more productive the messier I am. (Sorry Mr Mac - good thing the studio has a closable door!)

I remembered this sign that used to sit on my fifth grade teachers desk. It was something like - If a messy desk means you have a cluttered mind, what does an empty desk mean?

And I have realised that my mind is never really empty (even my dreams are complicated, chaotic and cluttered), but the chaos and clutter and my eternal over thinking, is the reason that I have these amazing sparks of inspiration and creativity.

But I am sure this is not how everyone creates.

I would love to know do you need peace and tidiness to create or clutter and chaos? (And does an empty desk mean an empty mind??)

P.S. Don't forget to enter this months GIVEAWAY. Click here to enter. It's FREE to everyone + anyone! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

☆ Christmas Cards in October?

Gumtree Faery Christmas Cards

I know right - Halloween hasn't even passed yet!

But this year I wanted to send cards to my family and friends that were more personal and heartfelt, than the generic ones available in store. 

I decided to paint six individual faery inspired christmas cards. 

And because my gumtree faeries have been so popular this year, I decided to use them as inspiration for my cards. I have had a few friends asking me if I was going to design christmas cards this year, so that they could share with their family, so I was inspired to add some to my store for everyone. 

Although it is only October, they are available now, so you can receive them in plenty of time to write your own special message and send them to family and friends. 

I would love to hear what you think of them!

P.S Don't forget to enter this months FREE GIVEAWAY. Click here to enter 

Monday, October 15, 2012

☆ Water [Illustration Friday]

This weeks Illustration Friday prompt was fun.

I mean what is more water like than a mermaid?

Nothing I could think of...

Well maybe I could think of a few things, but nothing that inspired me so much.

Anyway, it has been a while since I have painted a mermaid, but she has inspired me to do a few more I think.

She will be available for sale tomorrow.

Also there is one more week left to enter Octobers 'spooky' give away - click here for FREE entry.

Have a great week.

Friday, October 12, 2012

☆ Trust you Hear with Freedom [inspiration avenue prompt]

Gah. This was a painting that gave me the absolute shits this week!

It began life as a life book lesson, but because I absolutely hated where it was going, I had abandoned the painting.

Being the frugal type, I couldn't bare to throw out the water colour paper, so I decided to throw some paint on it an reuse it.

But even then it wouldn't co-operate. The orange was too bright, the colours wouldn't blend nicely, the collage of papers were the wrong type... nothing was working.

Starting on the girl, which should have been easy, was another exercise in frustration. 

The eyes were lop sided, her mouth was too pouty, what was going on with her nose? 

Who was this girl anyway? I usually have some clue, but she held out to the very end.


Mr Mac texted me one afternoon to see how we were getting on, and I never really mention the painting I am doing, it is usually the girls, how good (or not so good) they have been, but on this day I had a long rant about this bloody painting.

But since finishing it (in the wee hours of last night) I have realised three things.

1). Never through out the whole process of this painting did I consider throwing in the towel and throwing it in the bin. (Which would have been my solution a year ago, along with a glass of wine and potato chips to deal with my disappointment!)

2). I could always cover the paper up with another layer of paint, and

3). I absolutely loved (LOVED) the challenge that this girl presented, and in the end I love the result. 

Who would have thought that such a simple prompt like Orange could have challenged me in this way?

So I would love to know have you been challenged in some way lately? Has a particular painting/ drawing/ art piece or even something in life challenged you to try something new?

I have created a album on face book which has all the progress shots if you're interested - click here

Have a great weekend!

P.S. Have you had a chance to check out my 'halloweeny' give away? Click here for free entry into this months draw.

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

Thursday, October 11, 2012

☆ A Work in Progress Dusted Off

'DREAMER' work in progress shots

Back in February I shared with you a canvas that I had started, and almost finished.

I was totally enjoying the painting, I was in a zone, on a roll and then, then I just stopped.

There was just something about her, something wasn't right. I was bugging me and I couldn't finish her, she needed something, but I couldn't figure out what.

So I put her on a shelf. And every now and then I would look at her and sigh.

I knew I needed to finish her, but I couldn't figure out what she needed.

Then one day I looked at her - really looked again and dusted her off, I finally felt the need to finish.

A few days after I had dusted her off, a good friend of mine asked if I had ever finished her, that there was something about her that just spoke to her, and she'd like to buy it. 

And because it was her birthday later in the month, my friends and I decided that instead of a gift voucher that we would instead give her this painting

And maybe all she needed for me to finish her was to know that she was going to a good friend who would enjoy her as much as me. 

Do you have a work in progress that has been sitting on a 'shelf'? Feel free to share your stories (and links if you've shared the story already) below in the comments section.

P.S. This months FREE + OPEN TO EVERYONE to enter give away is here

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

☆ Mermies Journey [jewellery by Shelley Alexandra]

My fabulously talented sister-in-law Shelley, from Shelley Alexandra Designs makes the most amazing beautiful jewellery. Jewellery made with natural gemstones, and each piece is individual and unique in it's design and vibe.

When Shell and her family came for  a visit a couple of months ago, we started talking about her making some jewellery from my art. She thought it would look awesome, and I totally agreed, but I had never thought about it this as an avenue for my art before. 

Yesterday, Shelley sent me a photo of the most gorgeous necklace that she had just made, and what was the coolest thing was it was featuring one of my mermaid paintings.


Mermie's Journey is a hand sculpted pendant, set on Agate with a resin inset of 'Blue Mermie'.

The shell connects to the ocean with a built freshwater pearl chain.

Isn't it cute? I can't imagine how she did this, (of all the things I have dabbled in jewellery making was never my thing) but I am amazed by the detail and the energy she has managed to create in a necklace!

Shelley has asked for people to let her know if you want to see more jewellery like this, so if you want more, it would be fantastic if you can pop over to her facebook page and let her know!

While your there, you can see the other awesome jewellery she has on offer at the moment.

I am totally in love with the opal and amethyst pendant she has on offer at the moment.

Also just a reminder to pop over to this months FREE to enter 'halloweeny' give away. Click here for a chance to win!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

☆ Octobers Give Away [FREE ENTRY]


In the spirit of october being the month of  all things spooky, creepy + halloweeny, I though that I would give away this original painting.

'My Pet Bat' is a one of a kind mixed media painting, approx 8" x 5".

And it is so easy to enter!

Just leave a comment below.

That's it. Simple.

But wait - you can earn some bonus entries!

For an extra entry your can subscribe to my blog, you can like my page, you can pin it, and for two bonus entries you can sign up for  'LilliBean's news and specials' email.

So you could have up to six entries into this months give away - you just have to let me know in the comments!

(If you are a liker, subscriber, reader already, make sure you let me know in the comments to grab your bonus entries!)

The give away closes Tuesday October 23rd 8pm Australian EST. Good luck everyone

Monday, October 8, 2012

☆ Mirror [illustration friday]

When I was a teenager, I seemed to spend so a lot of time in front of my mirror.

I would stare at myself and practice sexy faces, laughing faces, mad faces, trying to raise one eyebrow (it never happened!)

I would look at my eyes and wish for a different colour. I would look at my hair and wish it were straight or blonde. I  would scrutinise every. single. pore on my nose.

These days, I am lucky if I look in the mirror to check my hair before I walk out the door. If I am really lucky, I will look in the mirror to swipe on some mascara.

It makes me realise how much my priorities/ life have changed.

And obviously this is a natural progression. What was important to my sixteen year old self should not be important to my 37 year old self. (I would be worried if it were!)

But thinking back to that slightly self obsessed teen, there is one thing that she was absolutely sure of.

She was an artist. 

She knew it in her heart and soul.

And it came as a huge surprise to me that she knew, she had always known, and I hadn't. 

Now I do. And it is a great reminder that although I am older and wiser (well maybe a little wiser!) there are still things that my younger self can teach me now.

So what could your younger self teach you? I would love it if you shared what you did learn.

P.S Tomorrow is Octobers FREE Give Away - make sure you pop back in to enter x
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