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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
8. ART COURSES...
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.
9. MAGAZINES + CATALOGUES...
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.
10. PINTEREST [OR MY FAVOURITE TIME SUCK]...
I hesitated about suggesting this one, the site itself has caused some controversy, but I love using pinterest to spark my creativity.
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?
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......
MY TOP 10 WAYS TO BEAT THE CREATIVITY BLUES
1. TAKE THE DAY OFF...
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.
2. DOODLE, ZENTANGLES + MANDALAS....
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.
3. VISIT THE LIBRARY...
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.
5. USING A DIFFERENT STYLE...
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.
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!
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.