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

Friday, June 28, 2013

☆ Fly Away Dreams [friday art]

Sometimes my dreams seem to float away on the wind, seemingly graspable, only to slip away on a gust of wind.

It is hard to keep a positive frame of mind when that happens, and maybe it's why I always have plans 'A', plan 'B' + plan 'C'.

So when plan 'A' doesn't work I can move onto plan 'B'.

Does anyone else do this?

Anyway, this has obviously been on my mind a bit when I painted this painting:

approx 12 x 8 in. acrylic + water colour
For Sale: $59 + postage.
email me for more information

Changing the topic - I am sure you are all aware that google reader will be closing its figurative doors come July. I am also sure that you are aware some of the options that are available to us now to read out favourite blogs. 

I use blog lovin' now to read my blogs + one of the blogs I follow is 'Sew Many Ways' + she has written this brilliant post on exporting your blogs from google reader. 

DON'T miss a thing - make sure you export your blogs.

I hope you have a fabulous dream filled weekend - I would love to know what you are dreaming about!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

☆ LilliBean Designs Spotlight

I am so excited to share with you some of the new + some of the favourite items I have available in my LilliBean Designs Store.

Remember this painting?
Moon Child (original sold)
So many people still ask if it is for sale, I guess, like me, it resonates deeply with them

When the Wee Beastie was born, I decided to order it as a card, and send it out to everyone who gave her a gift.

And I ordered extras!

It would make a beautiful card for anyone wanting to send a card to a new mother, as a thank you for a birth gift, as a baby shower card, or as a just because card.

EDITED/ FIXED: I remembered after the post went live I had forgotten to activate the hyperlink (sorry!)

They are available here as a single purchase for $3.50, but  please email me if you would like a quote for larger quantities, further details and pricing options.


Every month my newsletter subscribers have first pick of the specials + discounts available in the LilliBean Designs Shop (sign up here!)

For the latter part of 2013, I have decided that each month I will discount a favourite painting by up to 30%. 

This months discounted painting is Stars + Butterflies.

This is an A5  (8.3 x 5.8 in), mixed media acrylic painting
with collaged 
elements (butterflies + stars)
Normally this painting costs $29 for the next week it is available for just $21
(offer ends July 1st)


I am so excited!

I have a sneak peak of what is available in the LilliBean Designs Store next month!


Have you thought about affordable, original + unique art + crafts as a gift for a friend, a child, for yourself? There is so much variety out there and it is all very reasonable. I believe strongly that original art works are no longer for the wealthy. They are for everyone. 

Check out the Etsy website for heaps of art + homemade goods that are for sale.


By the way, if you want the inside scoop, July's promotions, specials + give aways. If you want to know what's new in the LilliBean Design's store you can do so here

Have an awesome week.

Monday, June 24, 2013

☆ When my Inner Bitch Came to Play...

[so this is a long post - but, I promise there is a point - so grab a cuppa + join me]

A journal entry from last year that I made when the Little Bitch came to visit!
The other morning I was having this awesome dream.

I was showing a friend of a friend my paintings + it turned out she was an gallery owner + she wanted to have a show + feature my paintings. (Great dream huh?)

She was so enthusiastic, so positive - she loved my work + wanted to share it with everyone, she wanted a show, she wanted to open in three weeks, and surely I could I have eleven paintings done by then. 

I remember feeling apprehensive (eleven paintings!), I would have arrange with mum to take the girls, but it was workable + in the end I agreed to it.

So obviously three weeks has passed because next in my dream, there is a team of artists in my house, hanging up paintings of theirs next to mine, and it turns out that this is a showing of several artists (all who have had a show before). 

Which is cool, but now I am really nervous.

And so we sit around my living room, (I am on the edge of the sofa), and the still really enthusiastic gallery owner decides it would be awesome if all the other artists take turns and comment on my paintings.

And this is where my awesome dream became something else. Something awful for me.

One guy says 'It's not my thing', another says 'I like the boy painting' (not one of my paintings) and so one by one there are these artists critiquing my work and not. one. person. has something nice to say. 

But it was ok. I mean, I was ok with it. I remember thinking - well art is subjective + not every one is into whimsey big eyed girls. 

And then there was this one artist, one whose opinions I really valued. And she was a really close friend of the owner. And so she began. 

And it wasn't good. It was so very critical. And she kept going.

Despair entered my heart. The positivity was replaced with something UGLY

And then I woke up.

And I still felt despair, negative, useless. 

I. felt. like. shit.

You see I am usually really great at dealing with my inner bitch. I have learnt several ways to cut her off, give her a bitch slap and send her on her merry way. 

But how can I deal with this when I am asleep - when I am my most vulnerable.

So in the end I could do nothing about the bitch visiting me in my dreams, but I could do what I had planned that day - I could paint.

I still felt sad + negative. Cranky. But then I thought about what I would have done last year, three years ago, even five years ago.

And finally what shook me out of my mood were these realisations:

* One year ago - I would have taken a few days off painting. I would probably not have opened my sketch book;

* Three years ago - I would have taken a week or two off. I would have felt self loathing + disgust that I was letting the bitch win, but instead of drawing, I would have hid behind my busy life;

* Five years ago - I would have packed up the paints + pencils, put them in a dark cupboard + refused to think about art for another two years.

A journal entry from last year that I made when the Little Bitch came to visit!
So, I know we ALL have this little voice in our head.

I know we ALL suffer set backs, bad days, negative thoughts

But what I want you to do is think back to a year ago, three years ago, even five years ago + think about how you reacted to the little voice.

Think about it, and then think about NOW. Have you changed in the way you react? Are you still  terribly vulnerable + tender? Or are you a seasoned bitch slapping bad ass? (I love that so much I have a post it note on my studio wall!)

I would LOVE to know where you are with in your own battle with the bitch. Do you call her/ him/ it a name like me? Do you you have a way of dealing with her that you would like to share? Or do you just need some one to say you are awesome? ('cause you ARE)

I would love to hear your stories. 

Have a fabulous week.

Friday, June 21, 2013

☆ Uncertain Angel [Friday Art]

So last week was a difficult one for me + obviously I don't deal well with uncertainty, but I am happy to announce that I have sorted through the crap + figured out what was causing me all this anxiety + stress. It really was that I had all these plans and presumptions, which haven't been working, going as planned or just lost, and I needed to sit down and sort out my priorities. (which I did!) 

But it was amazing how much anxiety it caused me - especially when I would say I am a very laid back person normally! 

Thanks everyone for your kind words of support + encouragement. 

In painting this weeks Friday Art I was still working though some of the crap, and I think you can tell.

'Uncertain Angel'
I hope you have a great weekend


Thursday, June 20, 2013

☆ ARE YOU THE WINNER?? [Junes Give Away]

This months give away, was a random selection of six of my art postcards.

They are a selection of paintings, journal pages, life book lessons all from last year.

And they include Mermaids, Angels, Gumtree leaf Fairies, and other big eyed girls.

So with out further ado this months randomly drawn winner is:

sarah (your please and thank you's must have bought good karma!!)

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

These postcards are also available in the LilliBean Designs Store where you can buy 6 for $9.50 (which is only $1.60 each). These are such an easy + affordable way to have art in your home. (I have framed postcards every where!)

And make sure you pop back on July 4th for next months give away - It's my birthday in July + I have something really awesome for next months give away!

Thank you so much everyone for entering. (And your lovely comments!)

Your support means so much to me

Monday, June 17, 2013

☆ Life Lessons from Bean

Before I became a parent I knew I would have to teach my kids, that they would learn from me and Mr Mac. I was slightly worried about it - who wouldn't be - it's a lot of responsibility.

What I didn't realise was that while I would be a teacher, I would also be the student.

Bug, Bean + I often spend some quiet time in the mornings sketching + colouring - a new practice that I absolutely adore.

But often Bean will come to me frustrated, crying + desperately unhappy because she couldn't draw something 'good' enough.

I say to her (after years of telling myself the same thing) it is good, it is perfect + I love the way you draw.

She will often have a meltdown, screaming, crying 'I can't do it!'

I hate it, it breaks my heart. Breaks. It.

Cause I know how she feels. I know how frustrated + angry + sad she is.

But I also know that if I don't gently encourage her to do it herself, she may end up never pushing through the wall.

By being gentle, but firm, by showing her some techniques, some different ways to draw something, eventually she draws her picture + the joy + excitement on her face is one of the best parts of my day.

Her drawings which she wants me to frame cause she loves them so much.
So my take away from this moment with my four + a half (going on sixteen) Bean, is this.

Push through. 

When you feel sad, or frustrated or want to have a arm + leg throwing tantie on the floor, because the painting isn't working, because the weight isn't falling off, because the job isn't going well, or just because - push through.

If you do, I bet your joy, your pride, you sense of accomplishment will be one of the best moments of your day.

Have you had to push through a block lately? I would love to hear your stories, please feel free to share below.

By the way - did you know that this months give away is open for entries? It is totally free + so easy to enter. Why not pop over + see whats for grabs this month?? [You only have til Thursday to enter]

Friday, June 14, 2013

☆ Getting My Shit Together [Friday Art]

For the last week or so Mr Mac has been on holidays + even though the girls + I have our usual commitments, when he is on holidays, it makes me feel like we are all on holidays. 

Which is lovely - but it does mean that our very routine lives are interrupted + it also means that I feel slightly out of control.

Never in the last six months, has my word of the year 'Release', meant so much as it did this past four weeks. I have had to release many things, due to unusual commitments, due to my back injury, due to holidays. 

While I feel like I have released; it is really freaking scary + I am feeling totally out of control in some areas of my life [as if you popped in Monday you would have read!] . So this week I felt a little like I have been scrambling to hold on with my finger tips with all my might. 

I am not sure which way I need to be heading at the moment - should I let go or should I hold on just a little bit? How do I get my shit together?

While I am figuring it out, at least I have my creativity + I can let go of all the crap in my head for a few hours when I am painting.

This weeks painting is 'Girl in Pink'

Girl in Pink with Stripy Stockings
'Girl in Pink'

I hope you have a fabulous weekend! If you feel like sharing suggestions for letting go of the turmoil + control I would love to know!

By the way - did you know that this months give away is open for entries? It is totally free + so easy to enter. Why not pop over + see whats for grabs this month?? [You only have til Thursday to enter]

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

☆ Letting in the Light [Lifebook 2013]

I haven't had the chance to do a lifebook lesson lately, I have been side tracked by mermaid parties + life, and by other paintings that have been shouting at me to paint.

So I finally made it back into the Lifebook lessons catalogue and decided to do Joann Loftus's lesson.

It is a really simple, but totally cool technique that mimics a stained glass window + is very effective.

I totally love looking at this page - I am struck every time but the contrast between the black of the page + the bright light of the 'window'

On the window you can almost make out the quote I used, which is such an inspiring one for me.

It says ~

"Don't wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel ~ stride down their and light the bloody thing yourself." Sara Henderson.

Imagine if it was that simple! Imagine if you had the courage to let in the light - to light the damn light yourself? 

Huh.... I have just had a minor epiphany.

In writing this post I have totally just inspired myself to take action this week. I am not going to sit in the dark - I am going to take control of some of the elements that I feel are really out of control in my life this week

I am going to light the DAMNED light myself.

I will let you know how I go...

And if you feel inspired to take action this week with me, I would love to know where or what it is you are going to shine a light on!

By the way - did you know that this months give away is open for entries? It is totally free + so easy to enter. Why not pop over + see whats for grabs this month??

Friday, June 7, 2013

☆ Asleep [Friday Art]

We are still suffering a party hang over here at casa de Mac. It seemed that once Bug turned three the tantrums also had a birthday and have been amped up!

Not to be left out miss I am nearly five, Bean, has decided to behave like a two year old, throwing herself down on the floor, legs + fists flying screaming tanties. What the??

And the the baby miss, Beastie, has, of course, developed a cough which keeps us all awake at three in the morning.

Aren't you glad you stopped by??

Anyway I know we are all tired and the girls are moving through the next development stage + are probably realising that there is another person in our family + she ain't going to go away. Growing pains my Nan calls them.

And just when I think I have this family thing down pat - they mix it up + change the rules!

I have been desperately escaping to my studio to paint, to centre myself for the afternoon chaos, and I finally repainted the earlier drawing of Asleep.

So here is Asleep version two:

12 x 8" acrylic on water colour paper
$59.00 [available here]
Before I leave you guys for the weekend - did you know that this months give away is open for entries? It is totally free + so easy to enter. Why not pop over + see whats for grabs this month??

Have a fabulous weekend + Queens birthday weekend for my friends in Australia. I hope you have some fun planned.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

☆ June's Give Away [free to enter]

This months give away, is a random selection of six of my art postcards.

These are a selection of paintings, journal pages, life book lessons all from last year.

They include Mermaids, Angels, Gumtree leaf Fairies, and other big eyed girls.

So do you wanna win it?

As usual - it is so, so easy - just leave a  comment saying 

'I want it!'

Seriously. Thats all.

But do you want some extra chances to win this months prize??

For an extra entry for each, you can like LilliBean Designs, subscribe to my monthly gossip + specials newsletter (coming out this weekend!) or follow Listening to the Squeak, of follow my twitter feed

Do all this and you will have five entries in this months give away. (Just let me know what you have done in the comments, so I can add your extra entries)

And for those who have entered before, as always if you already liked, followed or subscribed, let me know in your comment + you automatically receive extra entries.

Easy huh!

Entries close in two weeks time (June 20th) + winners are announced that evening (Australian time) 

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

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

☆ Round Here... [Bug's Mermaid Party]

Many of you know that last week was spent planning for the 3rd birthday of our second child Bug. Well today is her actual birthday + my baby is now a big girl (as she strongly tells me every time I call her baby!)

So on the weekend the rain poured down. The rain had threatened all week, and on Saturday it began, and didn't really stop until 2pm Sunday afternoon - an hour + half after Bugs party finished!

We had planned to have her birthday at a near by park, no mess at home (no need to clean the house!), play equipment for the 20+ children to play on, and plenty of space for the adults to hang out.

But in the end, we had an awesome time at home, Mr Mac quickly cleaned out our garage, I went and bought some crafty things, and we thought of a few games.

Because it was a mermaid party we decided to have a 'Pin the Sea Shell in the Mermaids Hair' game (you know like the tail on the donkey), Bug was going to go as a mermaid, and of course we had to have a mermaid cake!

We had said it was a mermaid party and that dress up was entirely optional - but I really have to have a special shout out to the Thomas' for their beautiful mermaid costumes that their mum had sewn up the day before - they were awesome!

In the end, Bug went as a pirate princess, put her mermaid shell on the mermaids tail, and wanted to eat the mermaid head from the cake. And all the other princesses, mermaids + fairies had an awesome time. 

So happy birthday to my gorgeous mermaid/ pirate princess who will always go her own way, on her own terms + that is such an awesome gift.

Love you.
Mama x

Monday, June 3, 2013

☆ Featured Artist - Abigail Davidson

This weeks featured artist is Abigail Davidson from Abigail Davidson Art - she has the most amazing collection of art, I adore her bright colours, and beautiful designs. It is definitely worth popping over to see her collection!
Anyway here is her story!

My name is Abigail Davidson. My family and friends usually call me Abby. I have been an artist from day one. From the moment I first picked up crayons, I was hooked on art. I love old-fashioned children’s book illustrations. I graduated in May 2013 with a BFA, drawing concentration.

I’ve learned that trial and error is absolutely necessary to grow as an artist. It’s one of the best ways to discover new techniques and forms to adapt and transform art.
I am inspired by animals, nature, and the natural emotions people share with one another. I am attracted to universal themes that span from different cultures and time periods, almost like the themes you see in movies that connect with all kinds of people—love, joy, wonder, loss, energy, and more.
Listening to music really helps me to get in that “art mood.” Coffee also helps when I’m working early in the studio! I also find going to your local art museum for a day really helps.
I love using pointillism with pen and ink. I also enjoy creating fine line-work with block printing. I love watercolor, print, acrylic, and pen. Mixed media pieces are always so wonderful because there are an infinite number of combinations.

More of my work can be found on my blog:
I enjoy seeing work from other art bloggers. It’s a great way to learn from each other and see new art.


Isn't her work amazing? I adore her phoenix painting - the colours + textures are just beautiful.

Would you like to be featured like Abby or any of the artists that have been featured over the last eight weeks?

I have been lucky enough to have been featured by others - and this is something that I would love to regularly feature on Listening to the Squeak - I want to pay it forward.

So whether you are new to your artistic life, been at it a while, a painter, an illustrator, a crafter, a sewer, a gardner, however you create + no matter where you are on your journey, I want to feature YOU!

I believe 100% that you need to share your story, because no matter what chapter you are up to with your story, I can guarantee it will be inspiring + maybe inspire some one who needs to hear your story right now!
So visit the featured page to see more + see others previously featured or email me for more information. I can't wait to hear from you.

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