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

Friday, March 29, 2013

☆ O is for .....

For Christmas, I usually try to make or paint something for my nieces and nephews. 

And usually they would have their Christmas presents long before now, but last year, we had Christmas with my in-laws (we are the only ones with kids on this side of the family) + I thought I would catch up with my family after New Years at a family wedding.

But of course, our wee beastie had other plans, and since she was late, we didn't make the wedding.

So now it is Easter, and my family are all together + my niece + nephew are still waiting for their Christmas present, which of course has been sitting on my studio desk for the last three months. 

And now it is Good Friday + for the last week, I haven't painted anything, but these gifts.

And  I am so close to finishing.

So close.

The painting might be wet when I frame it, but they will have their presents by the end of the weekend!

Of course 'O' is for Octopus.

O is for Octopus

I hope you have a great Easter weekend, I hope the Easter Bunny brings lots of yummy chocolate for you! 

I am going to relax with the family, knowing there is always empty arms for a baby, and some one else to deal with the tantrums, baths + constant requests!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

☆ Journal Fun

I had some left over home made spay acrylics, which I decided to use in my journal.

The other day, I had finished off a major project, but I wanted to stay in my studio (or I would have to put Bug to bed + she is going through a very difficult stage at the moment!)

So I picked up a sharpie, and started to draw.

And this is who appeared!

Usually if I am playing like this, I would normally end up with a page that I would skip over when flicking through, not happy with some aspect of the picture, but this time, I quite like her. 

So have you spontaneously played lately? Did you enjoy the results or will you skip over the page in the future? I would love to hear your stories.

Monday, March 25, 2013

☆ Unstumpification [lifebook week 7]

Say What?

I learnt a new word this week on life book - unstumpification.

When I started seriously drawing (so a very long time ago!) I would trace things.

I would get some baking paper from the cupboard + dig out my Care Bear comic and trace the care bears.

A few years later when I thought I would be a fashion designer I would trace the girls from the Cleo's + Cosmo's that my older cousin would let me read.

But I would be so disappointed with those, because the looked dumpy + stumpy.

I wish I had the amazing Jane Davernport back then to show me how to unstumpify my drawings.

The girl on the left has been unstumpified

Again we were focusing on bravery + the writing is a celebration of all things that I have been bravely doing.

It was a good reminder on a weekend where I have felt a bit down, and feeling a little scared about some things, but as I wrote these things down, I realised I am bravely moving forward, I just need to put on my big girl pants + take it one step at a time.

Have you thought recently about how brave you have been? Have you written it down? I bet you'll be surprised with how brave you truly are!

Friday, March 22, 2013

☆ Princess + the Pea [new painting]

About two years ago I had this idea for a painting.

It was based on the Princess + the Pea story which has always fascinated me. I mean really who would feel a pea through all those mattresses? I used to make my bed and find books, barbie dolls, or other random things under my mattress + I never had a restless night sleep....

...well I suppose we all know what that means then!

With this particular idea, I knew. I knew how I would do it, how it would be constructed, and what materials I would use. 

I just knew.

So I scribbled in my sketchbook, a pencil sketch with a few lines + stick figure girl.

But two years ago I lacked the skill + the confidence to paint it.

A year ago, I lacked the materials + the confidence to paint it.

Last week, I finally had all the materials to paint it, + although I wasn't sure how it would turn out, I decided that it was now or never.

'Princess + the Pea'
Mixed Media Painting
16.5 x 6'
Available in Store soon

I just love how it turned out in the end.

And it is just as I imagined. 

It is just so satisfying when your painting in your head, translates to the paper! 

So I am ending my week on a bit of a high + what was the high point of your week? I would love it if you  shared below...

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

☆ 'Surprise' Are you the Winner?

Thank you guys again for your support this month.

I am excited to send this lady off to her new home. 

So with out further ado this months winner is:


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

By the way, like last year this is a monthly give away, so pop back in on April 4th and a new give away will be up for grabs.

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

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

☆ Eye Glasses [illustration friday]

I haven't posted an illustration friday post for a very long time. I have been enjoying other persuits, lifebook, my 100 things challenge, and painting something fresh + new for Paint Party Friday.

So when I received my weekly email from the Illustration Friday website, early Saturday morning, I had this idea pop into my head.

Something simple + since I have been returning to my roots lately, a bit of a mixture between the past + present.

This weeks prompt was eye glasses....

In the end it was a good thing I decided on something simple - just when you think your life is slipping into a nice routine, and children are complying with sychronised rest times, it all goes to hell!

I am pleased I am working on 'releasing'. Last year I would have been so cranky had this happened. Going with the flow seems to be far!

Monday, March 18, 2013

☆ Courage + Bravery [Lifebook week 6]

This weeks lesson was recognising the moments in our life where we were brave or courageous.

And in recognising these moments, (which I found there were more than I thought!), we were to select an animal which we thought represented our bravery.

I have spoken before about my stuffed tiger Tiffee, so it was only natural that the animal symbol I chose was a tiger.

This was a bit of an experiment for me too, because I didn't have any masking fluid for my girl, or any spray inks, so I made do with grease proof paper + making my own spray inks.

And on a side note did you know they are super easy to make? Water + paint in a spray bottle. Simples! (I think there is an exact formula like 3 parts paint to one of water but I don't bother)

I drew my girl walking forward, because I need to remind myself that to be courageous, it takes one step at a time!

I am really enjoying my lifebook experience this year, I am learning so many new techniques + since I started later, it was easy to let go of the rigidity + rules that I had set myself last year (You know those rules you set yourself? I must complete each lesson as it comes out, no skipping forward + no moving on until the last piece is finished!) 


But as this is the year of Release, it feels good to break through the rigidity. 

So I am sure I am not the only one with rules that need to be broken. If you feel like sharing I would love to know which rules you need to break more often!

By the way - have you had a chance to enter this months give away? Entries close Thursday evening, so pop over now for a free entry!

Friday, March 15, 2013

☆ Captain of Destiny [a new painting]

After a bit of an up + down week, a sick Mr Mac, a busy schedule + some very tired girls (myself included), I managed to grab some serious studio time yesterday. 

I love Thursdays! Thursdays are my day. The two big girls are at school so I only have the wee beastie to demand my time. She is only nine weeks old, so I am pretty much free to do anything I want on this day. 


I jokingly said to some one, (when I waxing on about how much I love Thursdays + all the amazing things I could do), that if I really wanted to I could have champagne for breakfast.

She said to me, "No you couldn't!" 

"Why not?" I asked

"Because, well, you can't. And anyway you are feeding the beastie, so you can't drink"

And it made me sad that a. she missed the point, and b. if I really wanted champagne for breakfast there are so many other options....

But back to how much I love Thursdays, after a slightly trying week + some moments of being serously stuck in the studio, I woke up with this idea in my head.

She is the Captain of her Destiny, she can steer her ship where she wants to, when ever she wants to. 

Captain of Destiny
12x12' mixed media canvas
For Sale HERE
And so am I.

I am the captain of my own destiny + if I really want to I can have champagne for breakfast.

I would love to know what would do if you had a day with no demands on your time, no deadlines, no rules? Feel free to share below.

By the way, this months give away is open + is free to enter to everyone no mater where you live! To win an original piece of my art work, click here.

Have a great weekend


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

☆ Cold Embrace [100 Things]

[I wanted to quickly thank every one for their gorgeous comments last week, they have been so lovely to read, but because the Mac House was the house of illness, I haven't managed to reply to many people. But they were so lovely + lifted my spirits when it all seemed too much. THANK YOU! xx]

I was inspired again by my 100 things challenge - this time I decided to paint 'cold embrace'. 

I was really struggling last week, (aside from my family being sick around me), but also because like 'Mistress of the Ring' this painting was one I had to push through. I like the end result, but gee it was touch and go in the middle (+ I must admit, I almost binned it - and I have never done that before!)

'COLD EMBACE - a mermaid and her doll'
6' x 4' mixed media acrylic painting
Available FOR SALE here.
And after last week, I realised how far I have come. Not only in developing my own style, but in perseverance, and in dealing with my inner bitch. Because three years ago, this struggle would have crippled me + I would have just stopped. 

And it would have taken me a month or a year, (or five) to return to my art.

And I wonder where you are in your own personal story? And are you stronger, more confident in yourself now than you where when you started? I would love to hear your story! 

Have you had a chance to check out this months give away? Click here to enter 

Monday, March 11, 2013

☆ 2013 Game of Life.... [week 5]

Well, not really. And I am not talking about the 80's board game. But that is what I was thinking when I finished off this months Life Book lesson.

I created a game board, complete with little gremlin pit stops + positive messages for encouragement.

I also made cards for my game, with my major 2013 goals on the back, to inspire me through out the year. I keep these in a pocket that I incorporated into my game board (where the pink tape is)

I wasn't sure that I wanted to do this lesson, but I had huge amounts fun playing with this page. And I am sure I will refer back to it through out the year!

By the way, have you had a chance to enter this months give away? Pop over here to enter. (by the way it is free to enter + open to everyone world wide!!)

Friday, March 8, 2013

☆ Mistress of the Ring

Last week I share with you a half finished painting.

And I have to say it was a bit iffy in the middle there.

Had I done the right thing collaging the hat?

Should I have resisted the stars?

Why were they not working?

In the end I persisted + I am pretty pleased with the out come!

Mistress of the Ring
Mixed Media Painting with Collage elements
(approx 12' x 8' or A4)
I think the harder I work at a painting the more satisfaction I have when it is completed. As if it has earned my respect? 

I would love to know your take on difficult paintings or projects. Do you feel more proud, more respect, more something for the ones that give you trouble? 

By the way, this months give away is up earlier this month. For a chance to win an original (+ fun) painting from my 2012 collection click here

Thursday, March 7, 2013

☆ GIVE AWAY [march 2013]

This months give away, is an 8 x 6' (approx) mixed media painting called Surprise.

Surprise was one of my favourite paintings from last year, and I am offering her up for anyone who would like to win her!

Of course, entering is easy as!

As usual 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!

Entries close in two weeks time (March 21st) + winners announced that evening (Australian time) + I will ask the winner to contact me.

If I haven't heard from the winner with in a week of the announcement I will do a redraw so that Surprise can find a new home.

Thank you for entering + if you know some one who would love to win this, feel free to share this  or the link with them. x

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

☆ Easter Tag Swap Update

Thank you to everyone who has joined in. The christmas tag swap was such fun, so I hope this one will be just as fun.

Again, I thought we'd do a round robin swap + partners are...

Liza sends to Kim
Katie  to  Clare
Clare  to  Kirstin
Kirstin  to  Katie
Kim  to  Dawn
Dawn  to  Kathryn
Kathryn  to  Bexs
Bexs  to  Karen
Karen  to  Chel Marie
Chel Marie  to  Janice
Janice  to  Liza

I have emailed out everyones swap partners email address. Hopefully you have received an email from me [it will have have Easter Tag Swap Partner in the subject line]. (And hopefully I haven't mucked it up as I had two very cranky children to deal with when I started sending emails!)

You will need to send a quick email to your partner for their postal address.

In order for everyone to receive their tag (cause remember some of us are on the other side of the world!!) you should aim to have your tag in the post by Monday 11th March.

I hope you all enjoy creating + receiving your tags. Please let me know if you haven't received an email from me, or if you need any further information.

I can't wait!

Monday, March 4, 2013

☆ Give Away Redraw [+ Lifebook Week 4]

Last months give away winner didn't contact me, and I really tried to contact them, but couldn't find an email address to let you know, so I decided to do a redraw.

So the winner of last months give away 'SNOW' is....


Can you email me your address + I will pop her in the post for you.

So back to lifebook again this week. I am planning to do a couple of lessons this month per week to catch up with the course.

Week fours lesson was 'Scales of Light' using a black back ground + white pencils, crayons, pastels, etc to create tones.

Instead of using black card, I painted a spread in my Lifebook journal with black acrylic, which I have found if you put a little on at a time with a dry brush, it is very similar to black gesso.

I went again with the release theme, (I am totally rocking my word of the year this year!), and the dragon fly which symbolises for me, rebirth. 

Photographing this was problematic, so it is a bit shiny in spots, but over all I really enjoyed this project,  even if I only had a white pencil to use.

Over all a fun, and experimental (for me) project. 

Have you experimented with a new medium recently? I would love to hear what you've created.

By the way - tomorrow I am emailing out partners for the Easter Tag Swap - this is your last chance to join in the fun!! I hope you'll join us


Friday, March 1, 2013

☆ A Work In Progress

I thought I may have finished this painting today.

As you know I am a stay at home mama, so I schedule creative time during the girls rest time.

Bean reads or watches a movie, Bug is still little enough that she sleeps, and Beastie... well Beastie does her own thing at the moment....

Well, she is only seven weeks old, so too little to have a structured routine + any hard and fast rules.

So today, all three were in their rooms for rest + I was rubbing my hands together in eagerness to return to this painting + congratulating myself, on such awesome parenting skills, and just as I opened the first pot of paint, Beastie was up.

And up for the entire two hours. But, instead of becoming cranky (which was my M.O. previously when my scheduled plans had been interrupted) I remembered my word of the year (release) and went with it.

And while I didn't finish my painting, I had a really lovely two hours or being with Beastie, just feeding + playing + talking with her. Which is priceless really.

So I would love to know, are do you become cranky when plans are interrupted, or are you a go with the flow kinda person? 

By the way - have you seen my Easter Tag Swap? I would love it if you joined us to swap a tag with some one this Easter.

Have a great weekend.

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