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

Thursday, October 31, 2013

☆ A Little Witchy for Halloween.


I hope you have heaps of treaters + not so many tricksters.

Friday, October 25, 2013

☆ Sometimes Raising Girls is Like Managing a Roller Derby Team [Friday Art]

Sometimes raising three girls is like managing a Roller Derby Team. 

The jostling + pushing to be first to the treat.

The camaraderie + love when one of the team is down.

The cheering + jeering of each other. 

Their instinctive need to rush the front door as a unit, (with backpacks + lunch boxes at the ready!_ rather than one at a time like orderly people! Really!?!

I started this weeks painting with these thoughts in mind, and in the end, although they are not fierce roller derby chicks (+ how awesome are they!), there is a sense of camaraderie + belonging in the painting that I have enjoyed.

My Bean keeps on asking for roller skates, but I am not sure if I am ready for the skinned knees + face plants that come with that activity.

The Sisters
Available to purchase here.
But I know that she would love it, as I did + that parenting is about letting your kids go + explore + being there to pick up the pieces.

So I would love to know - Should santa bring Bean a pair of skates this year? Do I also invest in a huge wad of bubble wrap? Or get over myself (+ yes you can totally tell me that!).

Have a great weekend - we are off for a family vacay weekend which, now that I am packed (Three children to pack? so much easier when it was just me!) I am totally excited for!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

☆ New In Store [A LilliBean Designs Spotlight]

So, I have been busy updating the LilliBean Designs Store + after stalking the postie all last week, I have some delicious new cards to share with you!

I am so happy with how these turned out! And although we won't mention the 'C' word again until after  Halloween (at least!) These are ready and in store now. So if you are starting to gather your 'C' gifts together, make sure you have the perfect card to go with them.

The original paintings of Christmas Wreath + Christmas Carollers are also available in store for just $59  ea + postage

And don't forget I also have these gift tags for the every day gifts.

I was so excited to open my box of goodies + see these gorgeous glossy post cards!

There are ten in total to collect - You can grab five for just $7.80 (+ postage). Post cards are a fabulous way to collect art. I have them all over my house, even framing my favourites so I can see them every day.

You can also find some of my recent paintings (I love this one!)

Several of you have emailed me asking if I am making a 2014 calendar - and YAH! they are coming shortly!

I am just about to order some so keep an eye out for them next month - they will be appearing very soon!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

☆ Embracing All of You [Life Book 2013]

Tam's lesson for Life Book week 27, was to embrace all of you - the great and the not so great. 

She has been visualising this page with a whimsey girl in a boat, and it looked so darn cute, I decided to follow the lesson fairly closely.

In the end I loved the play that resulted in this page, I used inks, collage, paints, texture paste, glitter glue, PVA glue, acrylics. So much fun. I smooshed and blended using only my fingers. I used a paintbrush only for the finer parts of the painting, and my hand these lovely colours all over them + I loved it.

(I spent the next week picking paint + pva out of my finger nails! LOVE. IT)

Anyway, in the end I love this page. Everything just came together to become a page I a so happy with!

I also love that this page pushed me a little, to embrace the crappy parts of my life + personality, forcing me to acknowledge the ugly to push through to the good. 

Have you done something just for the fun of it lately? Or have you started something that was uncomfortable to begin with, but in the process became a source of fun + joy? I would love it if you shared with us below.

Monday, October 21, 2013

☆ My Top 10 ways to Beat the Creativity Blues [PART TWO]

Every year, about this time, I feel a little run down, a little empty + a little inspiration-less.

I have been struggling with the last of the winter blues + I thought I would share the ways that I have been jumpstarting my creativity lately.

Now I know there are hundreds of ways to jumpstart your creativity + I would love it if you shared your favourites, these are just a few of my GO TO'S when I am creatively frustrated or empty.

This post ended up being the size of a small book, so I decided to split this into two posts. The first part is here.


{part two}


Once I had a few photos of my family lying around, that I wasn't going to use in frames, the quality wasn't great, or they had printed wonky.

So I glued a few in my sketchbook + found a permanent marker + my extremely cheap metallic gel pens + started to doodle over the photos.

I ended up with some very cool ideas to then translate onto paper. (Bonus - It was super fun + my kids love looking at them!)


There are heaps of these around. These are websites which provide you a weekly prompt - usually just a word + it is up to you to create something based on around that word.

My favourite sites are Illustration Friday + Inspiration Avenue - but feel free to share you favuorites in the comments section for others to visit.

I often use these prompts, when I am struggling for ideas. 

You can share your work with others on the sites, but quite often I don't, I just spend a quick ten minutes sketching a picture.


Again there are so many courses out there, and if you a regular reader of 'Listening to the Squeak', you will know that I have done the LifeBook courses for the last two years.

I love these courses, the many different techniques + different styles of the artists teaching is so inspiring, but the best part of this is following a lesson plan, which if you are in mood you can just follow as is, or taylor to your imagination.

This makes art courses perfect for keeping creative with out having to think of inspiration.

The cost can be prohibitive, but you can find free art courses online - Tam Laporte's Art, Heart + Healing was one that I did early on + was fantastic. 


You can usually find magazines everywhere, at your mums, your nans, the doctors surgery... 

And every week, we receive half a dozen junk mail catalogues, so if I am running on empty, I will find a picture of a dress I like, a cute wall decal, a tea set - something + I use it as a basis of my sketch.

The sketch on the left was a pose + hair style I liked + on the right, I liked the neck on a dress I found.
It doesn't need to be an elaborate sketch if you don't have time, just enough to give you an idea when you flick through your sketches later.


I hesitated about suggesting this one, the site itself has caused some controversy, but I love using pinterest to spark my creativity.  

I have several boards like a wings + things board or poses board, that I go to for inspiration on days when I am stuck.

But you have to be careful not to spend time mindlessly surfing or you can end up spending hours on there. (time suck!!)


So I hope this has given you some ideas on breaking through those creative dry spells that seem to happen to us all. 

What are your favourite inspiration busters? I would love it if you shared yours with us below.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

☆ OCTOBERS WINNER [Is it you?]

Can someone tell me where this month has gone? I can't believe it's that time again!

What time is that? Why it's give away time + it's time to announce this months winner.

This months winner receives not only a set of my Fairy Christmas Cards, but also a set of gift tags.

So congratulations goes to....


Congratulation Kylie!

Please send me a quick email with your postal details + I will pop these in the post for you shortly.

Thank you to every one who entered this month - I greatly appreciate your lovely comments, support + enthusiasm. Next months give away will be available to enter November 7th.

I will be back tomorrow, with another Friday Art painting. Continuing the Christmas theme, it is a Wreath Urchin.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

☆ Stencils + Masks [Lifebook 2013]

This weeks lesson was run by Joann Loftus, who took us through using stencils + masks. It was a fun lesson to do, with a girls silhouette collage element and a back ground layered of paint + stencils.

I only have one stencil, but I have often thought about making some more of my own to use. And I was a tad lazy with this lesson, I could have made more stencils + would have liked to, but I just ran out of  time. 

However, in the end I had fun doing this lesson - Thanks Joann!

Have you made your own stencils? What materials worked best for you? 

Monday, October 14, 2013

☆ My Top 10 ways to Beat the Creativity Blues [PART ONE]

Every year, about this time, I feel a little run down, a little empty + a little inspiration-less.

I have been struggling with the last of the winter blues + I thought I would share the ways that I have been jumpstarting my creativity lately.

Now I know there are hundreds of ways to jumpstart your creativity + I would love it if you shared your favourites, these are just a few of my GO TO'S when I am creatively frustrated or empty.

This post ended up being the size of a small book, so I decided to split this into two posts. The second part will be posted next Monday.

So jumping right in......

{part one}



Seriously take the day off.

Do not go near your work space or sketchbook. Shut the door, close the book and take the day off. But the most important part of this is to LET GO OF THE GUILT + WORRY.

Instead do something different, something you don't normally do - go for a walk, read a book, visit a park with a coffee or watch a movie. 

Stepping out of your routine + taking the day off can open yourself up to new inspiration.


These are such great ways of letting your mind wander, I find them almost meditative, and often once I have spent just ten minutes doing one of these, I am open to new ideas + solving problems that have been worrying me, and unblocking my creativity.

There are so many 'how to's' when you Google any of these terms + so many free template downloads you can fill in. This is one of my favourite inspiration busters.


or bookshop, or second hand book store or charity shops. 

But instead of the how to books or art books, go to the children's sections and look at the beautiful illustrations in their books.

I love doing this, and often drag my kids to the library under the guise of borrowing books for them, but I am actually choosing books whose illustrations sparked inspiration.

There are so many how to tutorials out there on YouTube. And definitely worth watching - my favourites are this one + this one.

Sometimes, I just need to do something a little different.

I have often done several quick sketches of cutesy mermaids, pirate queens or zombie queens (not my usual stuff).

Sometimes, I draw disney princess for my girls to colour in. Anything to just keep my creative brain going.

Make sure you come back next week for the rest of my favourite ways to beat the creativity blues, but I would love to know What your favourite inspiration busters are? I would love it if you shared yours with us below.

By the way - this months give away is open + ready for your entry! It is free + so easy to join in, I would love it if you entered.

Friday, October 11, 2013

☆ The Christmas Carollers [Friday Art]

It is far too early for Christmas Carollers, but I wanted to make some new Christmas Cards for this year.

I love Christmas music, from the 1st of December, my ipod is loaded with my entire massive collection of Christmasy songs.

And every year, we go to the Japanese Gardens, with our snacks + drinks and listen to carols in the heat of the summer evening, watching the children run wild + dancing to songs, while being eaten by the mozzies the size of a small bird.

Very different to the stereotypical carollers, dressed in their winter finery, knocking on doors + singing a Christmas song - does this really happen or is this another Hollywood myth??

Anyway - my cards are very different from my Christmas Fairies of last year.

And to my shame, I am currently stalking my postie, waiting for the new cards to arrive.

Every day this week, when I hear the postie bike, (+ if you live in Australia you will know that distinctive postie bike sound!) + I race out to snatch the mail from his hand...

Well, ok, not really but I am super excited to see them + they should be here any day now!

But because I couldn't wait to share it with you all, here is a sneak peak at one of the designs on this years cards.

So are you a Christmas carol fan? When is it too early to listen to Christmas music - and please tell me... Do people actually go carolling??

By the way, don't forget to enter my very easy to enter, super cool give away - it closes next Thursday so jump in now!

I hope you have a great weekend.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

☆ The Pink + Purple Fairies [New Commission]

A good friend of mine asked me to create some fairies for her two nieces.

I loved making these - even though I find blonde hair harder to paint than my usual dark haired pieces, I actually enjoyed the challenge of this one.

And I love that they are on their way to two little girls who will adore them!

I got to use my twinkling H20's again - they both have an amazing shimmer!

And I love even though are are very similar in pose they both have their very own personalities!

I love doing these + I am so often humbled by the faith in me by my clients. (Thanks guys!!)

By the way - have you had a chance to check out this months give away? It is open to absolutely everyone + it takes seconds to enter. I hope you'll join in!

Friday, October 4, 2013

☆ The Protector [Friday Art]

I love painting for my family. Especially my nieces and nephews.

Their delight + wonder when they open their presents is such a buzz for me. I recently told you about my new nephew, but what I didn't tell you was that I was secretly hoping he was a she.

Not because I have a preference for girls, but because I wanted to paint a painting to celebrate our new addition + I have no confidence in painting boys.

I love painting girls, I love their sweet expressions, their big eyes, pouty lips + awesome wardrobe.

Boys, I am not so sure of, I always thought I made them too girly, to sweet, and I really have to investigate wardrobe ideas - jeans + tees see to plain some how.

So I knew I had this painting to do + I knew it was for a boy. But I didn't know how to translate this into my style now.

After lots of research, and many sketches, I discovered, that after all this time, my belief that I couldn't paint 'boys' was actually not true.

Along with, I am not an artist, 'I only paint girls' was just another lie my little bitch would whisper in my ear.

Anyway, I love how this turned out. You may recognise the dragon as Toothless, from "How to train your Dragon" (such a very cool movie by the way!)

My scanner is playing up at the moment, so the image is a little washed out, but you get the gist!

Have you discovered that your little bitch has been telling you lies again like I did? I would love it if you shared with us.

By the way, did you know this months give away is open now? Pop on over to enter - it is so easy!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

☆ October's Give Away - Do you wanna win?

October... eek! Did I actually type that? Is it just me, or is it the older I am the quicker the years pass!

Anyway, I have an awesome give away this month. This months give away is a twofer.

And yes, I am going there again, I am going to mention the 'c' word.

Not only does this months winner receive a set of Christmas cards, but they also receive a set of gift tags as well.


Perfect for the upcoming festy season!

So if you want to be in for a chance, it is so super easy to enter.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and tell me you want it.

Thats it??


But I you can also grab some extra entries.

Every one gets one entry by leaving an 'I Want It' comment below but you can grab extra entries if you

share or like on Facebook
* share or follow on Twitter
* subscribe to the monthly LilliBean Designs Studio News

Just let me know in your comment if you are eligible for extra entries (And if you are already do any of these let me know because you are already eligible for the extras!)

The winner will be announced on Thursday October 17th - so make sure you pop back then to find out if you are a winner!

Good Luck

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

☆ Expressing the True You [Lifebook 2013]

This lifebook lesson encouraged us to paint with our emotions. Something that I do normally, but I don't usually do it in such a free form way.

The awesome Misti B led this lesson, and I had such fun slapping paint here + there, having fun, intuitively painting + creating characters that I wouldn't normally paint - no big eyed girls here - well not so many!

But in the end I was happy with the end result.

Have you intuitively painted before? Did you like the results? I would love to hear your stories!

By the way - this months give away opens for entries Thursday this week - make sure you pop back then to enter.

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