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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

☆ A series of Quirky Birds [Lifebook 2013]

This weeks lesson had Tam take us through the process of creating a series of quirky birds - most people created them on an accordion style page, but because I am doing my lifebook paintings in a book, I just crammed them onto two pages.

I love how this turned out - I pick out a few lines from my go to song [which at the moment is 'Titanium' by David Guetta - I love, love, love this song]

This was such a different style for me - but I thoroughly enjoyed it! I don't know if any of you have thought about doing life book, and are hesitating, but for me I find the different styles + the new techniques are really opening me up as an artist. 

And really that is totally what I want from an art course.

What do you look for in an art course? Do you like being pushed into doing something different? Do you have any recommendations for me? 

Have a great Tuesday 

[p.s - make sure you pop back on Thursday for this months give away!]

Monday, April 29, 2013

☆ Artists Spotlight - Liza Thomas

This weeks Artist in Spotlight is Liza Thomas

Liza is a very good friend of mine, who has only just started drawing + painting. She hasn't shared much of her work (but it is amazing!) and this is her inspiring story...


  1. Who are you + how did you start creating?
I’m a mother of 2 girls and am married to a most amazing husband, who is so very supportive and my own personal hero in life.
I started becoming interested in art towards the end of last year and decided I needed to unlock some creativeness I had bursting to get out, however I wasn’t sure how to begin?  So I started a journey to discover who I really was, which eventually lead me to the most amazing person. Had I not found this person then I have no doubt I wouldn’t be on this wonderful journey today.  This person who I will here on refer to as my mentor, was and is a constant inspiration on a daily bases.  This person spent time with me, listened to me and helped me to uncover some hidden emotions and feelings that were just waiting to emerge, and then helped me to channel into art.  My world is now filled with 
colour,texture and LIFE, and whilst I know I have done a lot of the hard yards (as she reminds me humbly) ,this person has made this journey amazing for me, and opened up a new dimension and depth to my life.  Thank you my mentor ;)
  1. What was your greatest hurdle? Or what do you wish you knew when you first started?
Greatest hurdle was starting, following my instincts, and having the guts to reach out to someone.  I wish I had of started sooner as I feel like it has been staring me in the face for a long time.  I wish I had valued myself more and realised the importance of my time creating, and the knock on effect it has in my whole families life.
  1. What is your greatest source of inspiration?
Apart from my mentor, it would be my children who have driven me to be better, to want more out of life and for myself.  I am their role model and I need to show them that they should fight for what they want, follow their hearts, and reach out and grab it.  There is no time like the present!
  1. What do you do when you are blocked, or just feeling meh?
I try not to beat myself up about it, get on with everyday life and wait for the moment to come.  I don’t create everyday yet, as I am still learning to balance everything and find my feet, however, I think about it every day. Most often than not my girls will say something inspiring or I will see something that makes me want to draw something.  I carry a journal around and write down things as I see them, or as my children say them, so I can later go back and be inspired.
  1. What is your favourite technique? Or your favourite medium?
I’m still figuring this one out, but I do like the combination of pastel pencils mixed with normal pencils, and also the brilliance and versatility of acrylic paints.

Liza's Easter Tag
Isn't this a cute painting? Liza doesn't have a blog yet, but I am sure we will see more of her work in the future!

I am participating in Denthe's Etsy Shop Spotlight  in May (I think it is still open if you want to promote your etsy shop + help promote others), so next Monday I am excited to share some of the gorgeousness of our fellow creatives.

But please don't forget that I want to feature YOU here! Yes you! Click here to find out more - it is super easy to join in (but don't hesitate to email me with any questions!)

Have an awesome Monday

Friday, April 26, 2013

☆ Journal Play [April 2013]

Journal play

Every Saturday, I spend a half hour or so planning out the week. With three kids, me + Mr Mac, I find if I don't plan out some of the week, I drift aimlessly and don't feel like I have accomplished anything - except for changing out of my jim-jams in the morning.

So when I was planning out the week, I had this very cool idea for a painting, which I had planned to do when the big girls were in school on Thursday. But I didn't realise that it was ANZAC day, so the girls didn't have school + we ended up at my mums for a BBQ in the autumn sun.

Of course, you never have a BBQ in the sun, that lasts less than two hours (well at least we don't!) and so the day had gone before we knew it.

Although I was slightly disappointed not to start on my big idea, I managed a few hours that night + played in my sketch book. One of the lessons coming up in Lifebook is a tonal paintings, using a select few colours + so I decided to have a wee play with an idea before I started that lesson.

You'll have to come back next Friday to see if I manage to paint the big idea this week!!

Do you plan you week? Do you verge on OCD (like me??) or are you a go with the flow person? I would love to know how you plan your week.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

☆ Embrace [Lifebook week 12]

Week twelve saw me celebrating and connecting with Mindy Lacefield from Tim's Sally. I have been such a huge admirer of Mindy's art - it is instantly recognisable - her style is so unique and quirky. So it was a treat to learn how she paints her figures - and quite challenging for me as my style is so different.

But I loved the end result + I loved the process, the layers of paint, the figures slowly emerging.

I can't believe the whole painting started with a few sentences from my morning pages - some thing so disjointed + often quite negative + it turned into something so positive and connected.

I love how sweet they look - so demure + shy.

Do you do morning pages a la Julia Cameron? When I remember to do them I feel more clear + connected to my day. I would love to know how you feel when you've written them!

Monday, April 22, 2013

☆ Artist Spotlight - Katie Radke

This week I am again featuring an artist who took part in this years Easter Tag Swap - Katie Radke.
I love Katie's tag - it is so adorable! She has sent through some of the progress shots, which I find so enjoyable to see. I love seeing how something so beautiful was put together.


My name is Katie Radke and I have always loved to create throughout my entire life.

 I really took art seriously in high school and after that went to college for art and graphic design. I have been a graphic designer for nine years and absolutely love what I do. Being able to be creative for a job doesn’t feel so much like work to me. 

I started painting more often a few years ago and last year discovered mixed media and ATC swaps which I find to be very fun. It is so cool to meet and swap with other artists from all over the world. 

Lately I have really been working a lot with acrylics and collage, but my absolute favorite medium is watercolor paints. I have all of these ideas in my head and not enough time to put them all on paper. ☺

You can find me here:






You should definitely pop over to her website to see the beautiful graphic works that she has designed - they are just stunning! Thank you Katie for sharing a little bit of you + your work with us.

Do you want to be featured here? I love discovering new creatives + I would love to share your story + your art with everyone here.

It is open to all artists + creatives - just click here to find out more. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

☆ Dream Caught.

I am a vivid dreamer. 

I don't know if this is a technical term, but it is how I describe my dreams. 

They are all encompassing, they suck me in, and I am so involved in the dream that I often don't want to wake up. They are colourful + dramatic. I will wake up laughing, shouting + crying. Sometimes, I suffer from dream hang over, which for me means even though I am awake, I am groggy, foggy + I even though I am walking around organising breakfast, in my head I am still in my dream, rehashing it, reliving it. 

Although sometimes, I wish the dream hangover was less intense, I have never wished that I don't vivid dream.

And for as long as I remember, I have always had dream catchers in my bed rooms, in my teens I felt that I needed a safe guard against my dreams. I have one in my studio now, and I am not sure if they help, but since I have had one up, I have never had a nightmare. (Sad dreams + suspenseful dreams yes, but no nightmares)

So last weekend we were at the markets in the big smoke, and we had given them some money to spend. After looking at every stall, and making some tough decisions ("well you can buy this, but you can't buy that, or go on the jumpy castle") they both decided on buying dream catchers. (Which I thought was much better than the Hello Kitty bracelet which would break as soon as we got in the car!)

The very next night Bug wakes up talking about the scary bear, and how she can't go back to sleep, so we pulled out her new dream catcher, hung it up + back off to sleep she went.

It made me think, what if a little dream imp, attracted by the shiny stones + gold weave, ended up caught in the dream catcher, + this painting was born...

"Dream Caught"
11.7 x 8.3 in, acrylic + water colour paints, on quality water colour paper.
'Dream Caught' will be for sale in my etsy store at the end of the month.
(But email me now if your interested in purchasing before then) 
Do you remember your dreams? Do you suffer from dream hangover? I often wonder about the correlation between vivid dreams + creativity, so I would love to know your thoughts.

Have a fabulous weekend. Thank you everyone for your lovely comments last week, I wasn't able to get to many of the PPF entries last week because we were away, but I appreciated every comment! (and I found some jeans that sort of stay up!!)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

☆ APRILS Winner - Is it YOU?

I am super 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.

Didn't win her? Don't despair, pop back in May 2nd and a new give away will be up for grabs.

Thank you so much everyone for entering. Your support means so much to me

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

☆ The Good, The Bad + The Ugly [LifeBook 2013]

I struggled so much with this lesson, but it was strangely satisfying... I mean I don't want to intentionally create ugly art - do I?

So I pulled out every colour of paint that I didn't like, pulled out the bright oranges, reds + blacks. I wrote horrible angry words down in caps, everything my inner bitch has ever uttered

 I sat down next to my husband after one night in the studio + he asked me how my painting went.

"Crap" I said, "I feel that I haven't gotten any where + I hate what I am creating. HATE. IT. I don't like ugly art"

I went to bed that night + thought about skipping this lesson, but a funny thing happened the next day...

As I sat down in front of my painting I realised that I didn't hate it, in fact my ugly picture was strangely cute + I felt weirdly protective of it.

MistiB was such an awesome + inspiring teacher. During this lesson I felt vulnerable, pushed out of my comfort zone, really really uncomfortable + then so inspired + free.

I don't remember having felt this way about a piece of art since my 'Trust your Heart' painting.

And I love my ugly person + my ugly page.

Have you thought about creating ugly art? I would love to hear how you felt once the paint dried. If you have never thought about it, I guarantee it is worth it!

By the way - have you entered this months give away yet? There are only three days left to enter + is open to everyone, you just need to tell me three simple words - 'I want it!'

Monday, April 15, 2013

☆ Artist Spotlight - Rebecca Salt + Karen Turnbull

This week I am featuring two of the artists who joined in the Easter Tag Swap I hosted in March - Rebecca Salt + Karen Turnbull.



Rebecca is very new to the creative life, in fact this was her very first swap!

How amazing are her tags?

I love the beautiful images + the colour palette of these tags - the seem so soft + delicate.

Rebecca doesn't have a blog or website yet, but I hope she does in the future, I would love to see more of her work!



Karen's tags + her art work are so gorgeous. She says...

"creativity of all sorts is important to me. I use it to help me think, to journal and to worship. It enables me to express things in a deeper way. "

"Poetry and photography have always been part of that journey, but right now it's mixed media which has really caught me, especially in journalling."

"I also use art and craft in my work as a youth worker, and i am always interested in other peoples visual and literary art :)"

"my blog is  i always welcome conversation with other bloggers, and i would love to feature other people on my blog :)"

Pop over to her blog for more inspiring art works.

Thank you Rebecca + Karen for joining in the Easter Tag Swap + for allowing me to share your stories + art with others.


Do you want to be featured here? It is totally free + open to all artists + crafters. Click here to find out more. 

By the way - have you entered this months give away yet? There are only three days left to enter + is open to everyone, you just need to tell me three simple words - 'I want it!'

Friday, April 12, 2013

☆ The Pirate Sisters

Last week end the girls + I were invited to a four year olds pirate party. Walking up the street they were holding hands and singing at the tops of their voices that they were the pirate sisters.

Immediately I thought that this would be an awesome painting, so that's how this painting came to be...

The Pirate Sisters
We are off to the big smoke this weekend, and I am hoping to visit a couple of art shops + maybe score a new pair of jeans that stay up!

Have a great weekend.

By the way - have you had a chance to enter this months give away? It is so easy to enter, all you have to do is leave a quick comment on this post.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

☆ Heartfelt Connections [Lifebook week 10]

Week Ten of life book was all about remembering our heart felt connections, people or things, that have influenced us in a positive + heartfelt manner.

For each one I wrote a wee note thanking that person (or thing) for how they have helped me.

For example, one of my heartfelt connections was with the author Betty Edwards + her book 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain'. I thanked her for writing a book that made so much sense to me + gave me the ability to draw realistically. Her book was the first step for me in believing I could do more than just copy other artists work.

I rolled up the notes + stuck them down in a heart shape. 

This was a fun + thought provoking lesson. I was surprised in the end how many heartfelt connections I had made in my life, outside the obvious of my family + friends. 

Have you thought about your heartfelt connections? I mean really delved into it beyond the important family + friends connections. It was so interesting to see where mine lead.

By the way - have you had a chance to enter this months give away? It is so easy to enter, all you have to do is leave a quick comment on this post.

Monday, April 8, 2013

☆ Artist Spotlight - Clare Lloyd

Todays artist in the spotlight is Clare Lloyd from Miscanthus CraftsHer story is so inspirational + I adore Clare's art whether it be her beautiful cards or her gorgeous big eyed girls.  I was the very lucky recipient of Clare's tag in our recent Easter Tag swap - this is a little about her + her process creating the tag I received.

My name is Clare Lloyd and I am a part time primary school teacher from the countryside in the UK

I have always loved crafting but my real journey with crafting began when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32, I’m one of the lucky ones however and 5 years on I have the all clear. 

Crafting got me through some very dark days; it became my safe haven and relaxation time. My crafting style has changed greatly over the years but in the past 12 months I have found art journaling which allows me to become really creative. 

I have had the chance to rediscover the love of art and skills that I first learned at art college/university many years ago which seemed to have disappeared with the pressures of full time teaching. 

But now I have a better work/life balance and I would say I am a mixed media crafter, who loves stamping and is constantly on a creative journey which is just as it should be! You can find me and my art work at or pinterest.

For my tag I used a gelli printed background which was created using 3 stencils and 3 acrylic paint colours.

Then came my ever favourite stamping, I added some shimmer using an embossing pen and perfect pearls mica powder.

My Easter bunny girl was hand drawn and coloured using firstly with Copic pens, then shading was added using Caran d'ache pencil crayons. I like to draw over my image using a black fineline Pitt pen.

 How lucky was I to receive this gorgeous tag in the post! Pop over to her blog for more beautiful art.

I would love to make this a regular feature on Monday's so if you are interested in being featured + sharing your art + story please check out this page here

Friday, April 5, 2013

☆ How to Catch Mermaids [inspiration from bean]

Bean came to me one morning and said 'Mama, I am going to catch a mermaid'

'Oh' I said.

'How do you do that?' I asked.

'Well' she said, 'First you get your fishing line, tie something to it...

And then you through it in the water. Then you catch a mermaid'

'Thats a very cool way to catch a mermaid Bean'

And so this painting was born.

My kids are my greatest source of inspiration.

Some days it is so, so hard to hear them, through the noise, the tantrums, the tears, (like the easter hang over from hell we had this week!), 

And then there are moments of sheer joy + clarity which make these moments seem so insignificant, and it is in these moments that I find the best stories + inspiring ideas.

This painting will remind me on those very hard days to listen harder.

Have you thought about where in your life you should listen harder? I would love to know what you heard. 

Next week I will be starting a spotlight series featuring the artists who join me in the Easter Tag swap, so stay tuned to see some of the amazing tags that were created for this swap.

By the way did you see that this months give away is now open for entries? 

And finally, this weekend the latest news + gossip letter will be emailed out so if you want to know the latest happenings, whats coming up, or to grab a special discount code sign up by clicking the email icon.

Have a fabulous weekend.

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