Google+ LISTENING TO THE SQUEAK INSIDE art by Kirstin McCulloch of LilliBean Designs: February 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

☆ LilliBean Designs Spotlight

I want to send a quick welcome shout out to my new readers. I don't normally pay much attention to how many people subscribe to 'Listening to the Squeak' but I noticed over the weekend, that I have quite a few new readers!

So welcome! I try here to share my art, my struggles with creativity (+ how I deal with the little bitch - the inner critic), and a little bit here + there about my life with Mr Mac + our three girls.

Blue Eyed Fairy
[Part of the Gum Tree Leaf Fairy Collection]
Mixed Media Collage Painting
(approx 11 x 8")
available here

Anyway, this year I wanted to have a bit of a spotlight post (about once a month) sharing the art that is in my store
LilliBean Designs
I came up with the name LilliBean by combining the nicknames of my two eldest children (Bean + Lilli Bug). Now we have added a third girl to our family (the wee beastie) Mr Mac asked me how I was going to incorporate her into my stores name...

I am open to suggestions!

'I Love You More Than...'
[Part of the 100 things challenge series]
Mixed Media Collage Painting
(approx 6 x 4')
Available for sale here

Any way these are a few of the paintings that have been popular here on Listening to the Squeak, on Flickr + the LilliBean Designs Store

Day 15
[part of the AEDM challenge 2012]
Mixed Media Painting
(approx 8 x 6')
Available here for sale
By the way - have you had a chance to check out my Easter tag challenge? I would love it if you joined us in swapping an Easter themed tag with people from all over the world!

Click here for more information

P.S. I haven't herd from this months give away winner Gray - I have looked for your email address, but can you please email me your details? 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

☆ Lifebook [week three]

Week threes lesson was delivered by Chrisy Tomlinson, which was awesome, because I have been a fan of her art for a while now.

I love how free she seems to be when creating, I have watched several of her you tube videos + see just seems to go with the flow, which I love.

So it was fitting for me to use this lesson as a way to reinforce what I want to achieve this year, by releasing.

I loved creating this journal page, I loved the carefree way I painted, and I love this really happy page that I created.

And I absolutely loved the paint on my hands + the glue on my fingertips.

When I create like this I walk away from my studio happy, satisfied + centred.

If you feel like sharing below I would love to know what makes you happy, satisfied + centred...

Oh + if you are up for a wee swap this month, please join me in my very first Easter Tag Swap.


Monday, February 25, 2013

☆ Falling [100 Things]

I am totally loving this challenge. There is a surprising amount of freedom to create in this list. I imagine as I work my way through the list, and I am left with the ones that haven't inspired me that I might be less enthused.

This week I chose 'falling'. Last week I had been reading Alice in Wonderland to the girls, so naturally an image of Alice falling appeared on the paper.

Alice Falling
For Sale HERE
In case you haven't heard about my challenge - click here (or on the button in the side bar) to see more + my previous paintings inspired by this challenge.

And if you are inspired by the list, I would love to see what you have created.

P.S - Would you like to join in? 

☆ Easter Tag Swap [please join me]

***edit: this years easter swap is now closed***

I have been inspired by Janice + Heather who were keen to join me in another tag swap, and I was thinking about Easter today, cause don't you know it the chocolate eggs are all in the shops now, and I was thinking how bout an Easter Tag Swap?

It will be a quicky. Easter is earlyish this year, so you would have two weeks to create + then post them about mid month to get to your partner, before or around Easter.

{the rules?}
Like last time, there are only two rules...

1. Make your Easter themed tag +

2. Send it to your partner.

There is no limit on size, materials used or content.

{who can join in?}
Every one is welcome to join - it doesn't matter where you are in the world, or where you are in your creative journey.

{how do i join the swap?}
If you are interested in joining in, leave your name + email address in the Mr Linky Widget below,

{the nitty gritty}
sign up will close Monday 4th March + partners will be assigned soon after. I will email you your swap partners email address + you can email each other with your addresses. I think we should aim to have our tags in the mail by the following monday.

I hope you will join me

Friday, February 22, 2013

☆ The Tiger Tamer [a new painting

A friend asked me recently how I come up with the ideas I for my paintings, and I had to say, that some times they just pop into my head.

This painting, was one of those ideas that just popped into my head, albeit it was at 3 o'clock in the morning while I was feeding the wee beastie, and I had to scribble down some stick figure in the dark, that was all jumbled and if any one looked at it the next day, they would see something that a two year old could draw better....

But the only thing that mattered was that when I looked at it in the morning, I remembered the inspiration behind the scribble.

And so The Tiger Tamer was born...

The Tiger Tamer
For Sale HERE

How sweet is she? (+ she is a total surprise for me!)

I hope you all have a great weekend. I have cleaning out kitchens + the garage (oh joy!) on the schedule, but I am sure I could be persauded to do something else... anything else.... I would love any suggestions for procrastination!

[By the way - have you checked if you are this months give away winner? Click here to find out.]

[linking to Paint Party Friday]

Thursday, February 21, 2013

☆ Are You a Winner?


There was such a huge response to this months give away!

Thank you! Thank you so much! Thank you for the likes, the follows, the subscribes + your support.

I hope you continue to follow me on this amazing journey + the wonderful craziness that is my life.

But, you are all wondering who the lucky winner is for February....

So congratulations to:


If you email me your address I will pop her in the post shortly.

By the way, I am going to host a give away every month, just like last year, so pop back in on March 6th and a new prize will be up for grabs.

And again -  thank you so much everyone for entering. Your support means so much to me

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

☆ Life Book [week three]

This weeks Lifebook lesson was an inspired one, one that reminded me of the things I need in my life to shine. 

I chose to create a collaged dress of different layers, with the words of things I need to shine. I can add to them through out the year, if I need to.

Last year, I listened to a podcast from Goddess Leonie (or Leonie Dawson as she is now know as) and she was talking about her minimum requirements for self care. And after listening to her podcast, I really examined my minimum requirements.

In other words, what I needed to do every day to feel good in myself, to be the best mama, wife, artist + me that I could be.

I had a list of about eight things, including eight hours of sleep a night, a daily walk, creative time, healthy meals etc.

But in the end there were only four things that mattered. That helped me be the best me I could be. Decent amount of sleep, exercise, creativeness and a decent cup of coffee in the morning!

It was a really interesting exercise, and I realised there were things I needed to change.

I would love to know what your minimum requirements are that would bring out the best you! Take a few moments today to really think about what YOU need.

Thursday is the last day for this months free give away - have YOU entered yet? Here is how.

Monday, February 18, 2013

☆ Belated Xmas Tag Reveal

This weekend I spent a bit of time trawling through the multitudes of files and folders on my computer, desperately trying to free up a bit of space on my hard drive. I found I had duplicates + triplicates of photos and they were every where.

Usually I am much more organised when it comes to files, but I have been sloppy of late, and so it was time for a clean up.

So when I came across the Christmas Tags that I made for last years swap, I remembered that I hadn't shared them with you guys. 

In the end I made two, as one of our participants joined two minutes (literally!) after I emailed every one their swap partners.

I had so much fun making these cards + I loved sending them out to the other side of the world. 

Except for the arrival of our wee beastie, I wanted to organise a swap for valetine's day, (maybe next year), but I would love to organise a few more swaps this year.

I would love to know if you are interested in joining me in a few more + I would love to know your theme suggestions. 

By the way - have you had a chance to enter this months give away? Quick - Pop on over to enter!

Friday, February 15, 2013

☆ Blue Eyed Fairy [Paint Party Friday]

Another week passes at casa de Mac, and we are settling more into our routine a little bit more. Although Bug (now the middle child) has decided that bed time is for people other than her, and if her sister Bean (the eldest) is asleep it is hellish fun to wake her up to play!

So time in my studio was limited this week. But as part of my word of the year, 'release' I am practicing not getting my self all worked up about it. (Lots of deep, really deep, breathing here!)

But I managed enough time to complete this piece of a Blue Eyed Fairy:

Blue Eyed Fairy
For Sale HERE
I am hoping for a calm + relaxing weekend here (fingers + toes crossed) and the most exciting thing that we'll be doing is cleaning out the garage + may be a swim. Some times I love these do boring chore weekends!

Have you plans that are more exciting? I would love to hear what your up to!

By the way - have you entered into this months give away? It is free + open to absolutely every one + you only have until Tuesday evening to enter! Pop over here for your chance to enter!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

☆ Love [100 things]

 photo 100Things.jpg

This year I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to release some of my hesitations + push some of my very structured boundaries.

For a while now I have wanted to do this challenge I found on DeviantArt called '100 things'. I think it was originally meant for writer prompts, but I was always intrigued by the thought of illustrating the list. 

So this year, I decided to go ahead and accept the challenge. 

There are no rules, I am not attempting to do the whole 100 this year, although I am loosely thinking of two or three each month + I will choose the 'thing' based on what inspires me on the day which I will share with you here on Listening to the Squeak. I have created a page here that will have links to all of my paintings, if you want to keep up.

In the spirit of this day - the international day of love, I chose it as my painting this week. 

Bean + I have this tradition. She tells me she loves me more than all the mermaids + fishes in the sea, and I reply:

"I love you more than all the stars in the night sky"

"I love you more than..."
available for sale here
I added some collage elements to her clothing (I had so much fun playing with glue + paper!), and I just adore her. Especially since the sentiment behind the painting is so significant to me.

She is officially my first completed '100 things'.
And if you are inspired to play along too, let me know if you post them so I can see your beautiful creations. Just leave a link in the comments below or on the 100 things page.

And yes, it is contrived, but make sure you tell someone how much you love them today!

P.S. Make sure you pop over here to enter this months give away.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

☆ Lifebook 2013 [week one]

                                   photo Lifebook13.jpg

Week One [part two]

This was a totally fun lesson to create. And I am so happy I chose to use this journal this year.

This weeks lesson was to acknowledge our hopes + dreams for 2013, (the water drops) and to celebrate the things we are thankful for (the sparkly stars).

I enjoyed making this page, and reconnecting with the dreams I have for 2013, that I had made before the end of last year, and I really needed to celebrate all things I have to be grateful for in my life.

It was such a timely lesson for me.

What in your life are you most grateful for? Feel free to share below...

P.S - Have you entered this months give away? As always it is totally free to enter + you can enter here.

Monday, February 11, 2013

☆ Release [my word of the year]

It has taken me longer than usual to figure out my word of the year.

Last year my word was bravery and it was really easy to figure out.

This year, I was a little slower to figure it out.

But in hinde sight, I can't believe it took so long. I mean it wasn't until I released the anxiety I had surrounding wee beasties birth, that she actually came.

It wasn't until I sat in the shower and cried that I released the chaos and churning emotions I had carried with me until New Years.

So it was kind of obvious that Release should be that one word for me this year.

So as I painted this reminder to let go, (which I have hung directly in eye sight at my desk, so I will see it daily), I thought about what in my life I needed to release.

I realised, I need to let go of some old hurts, some old behaviours, quiet a few rules + restrictions that I had placed on myself unknowingly, and release the control freak behaviour that I have developed of late.

I am learning to listen to my body + soul, to ignore the should ofs, could ofs + would ofs, and I am learning to listen to my intuition again, because I have ignored it for so long now.

So hopefully this year will be one of creation, expansion + development. Not one of regression or stagnation.

Do you have a word this year that you are aspiring to? I would love to hear your words + stories behind them.

P.S. Have you joined the others in this months give away? Pop over here to enter

Friday, February 8, 2013

☆ Moon Child [+ PPF]

I am loving the creativity that seems to be freely flowing through me just now. 

In my last few pieces I have been consciously releasing my usual constraints + rules and it seems to have paid off.  My style is evolving again (which I am very excited about), I am not painting by 'numbers' and I am satisfied by the time my final brush stroke has been painted.

Moon Child
Available for Sale: Here

I can't wait to see what comes next, but I am positive, it will only happen if I continue to release.

And I can't help but wonder if I release in other areas of my life, what would happen...

Last week was so chaotic, that I didn't make it around many of the PPF artists, but this weekend is (so far!) much less busy so I hope to see more of the amazing art work around.  (P.S. If you are not a PPF particiapant click here to see some amazing works of art)

And last thing before I head off for the weekend, my very first GIVE AWAY for 2013 is now open to enter. Just leave a comment HERE for a chance to win.

Have a great weekend

Thursday, February 7, 2013

☆ February's Give Away

Alrighty now.

Welcome to the very first give away for 2013.

And I am very excited about the give aways I have planned for this year.

While the majority of my give aways will be my original paintings, there will be a few surprises along the way, as well as the very popular double give aways.

So for those who are new to Listening to the Squeak, it is very easy to enter.

Very. Easy.

All you have to do is leave a comment saying 'I want it!'

Seriously. Thats all.

Of course to increase your chances of winning, for one more entry for each, you can like LilliBean Designs, subscribe to my monthly gossip + specials, or follow Listening to the Squeak

So you can end up with four entries in this months give away.

And for those who were with me last year, as always if you already like, follow or subscribe, let me know in your comment + you automatically receive extra entries.

Easy huh!

So the give away is open until Thursday 21st February, with winners announce that evening (australian eastern time)

Good luck everyone. I can't wait to send 'snow' of to her new home.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

☆ LIFE BOOK 2013

I am a bit slow off the rank this year in the Life Book 2013 course. 

Most students are up to week 5, while I am half way through week 2. But I am ok with that this year. Last year I had little panic attacks when I missed a week. This year I am letting go a wee bit.

I knew I would be late starting this year. I had decided to keep all my work in one journal, and after a lot of research I decided on using a Dylusions Journal and I had to wait for it to arrive from the UK. [I just LOVE shiny new journals!]
Of course the other reason for starting late, was that our wee Beastie was due at the beginning of the year, so I knew that her arrival would mean some time away from the studio.

I managed a little more studio time this week, so I cracked open my journal (it is awesome to play in by the way!) + was able finished my first lesson.

This is my fairy art mother, who nurtures me + I hope will help me kick my little bitch to the kerb, when she rears her ugly head to make me doubt myself. I painted her on the front cover, so I see her every time I work in my journal + in theory she will buoy me before I even start working in the book.

I will be adding to her as the year passes, as I need different positive messages, so I will share her with you when I finish up the years lessons.

So if you had a little fairy god mother (or father!) on your shoulder right now, what message + wisdom would she share with you? I would love to hear your (or your fairies) thoughts!

Monday, February 4, 2013

☆ Round Here [life in the Mac house hold]

Round here we've been..

...drawing hundreds of pony pictures for little girls to colour in
...building scarecrows to stop the birds from eating all our strawberries
[but not succeeding!]
...grabbing some very precious studio time
...playing 'Sally' from nightmare before christmas
...settling in to our new family dynamics...
...being inspired by everything + anything + sketching it all down...
I have had an amazing start to the new year. And I have been greedily soaking up every single relaxing moment + I have not felt the slightest bit guilty about it.

I have been asking myself 'In this Moment - what do I really feel like doing right now?'

And often the answer isn't what I thought it would be + it definitely isn't what I should be doing.

And it is so freeing.

But now I want to start doing a few of the 'I should's' because I have such big plans + ideas for 2013.

Sometimes you don't feel like doing what you'd planned, but the rewards are totally worth it.

And I want to start moving my dreams into realities.

Sometimes though it is worth having a day where you only do what you really feel like. And if you checked in with yourself right now + asked what you really felt like doing, what would the reply be? If you feel like sharing I would love to hear what your answer was!

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