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

Friday, December 27, 2013

☆ The Third Very Special Commission [Friday Art]


I hope that you have enjoyed your holidays + that santa was as generous at your house as it was at ours.

I thought that I would share with you the last of my very specials commissions. (You can see no. 1 here + no. 2 here)

Seeing the girls faces when they opened their painting was so cool. I loved seeing their expressions + amazement.

Nothing Better.

And worth every moment spent in the studio creating them!

Seeing the girls open these was my very favourite Christmas memory…

So I hope you enjoy the rest of your holidays. I am going to spend the next week with family, so I will see you in the new year!

Friday, December 20, 2013

☆ A Painting for my Princess-y Bug [Friday Art]

Before I share this weeks painting I wanted to remind you that yesterday the last winners of the 2013  Monthly Give Aways were announced. Were you one of the lucky two winners? Pop over quickly to see if it was you!
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Last week I told you about the very special commissions I was asked by my beautiful kids to do for them for Christmas. 

So I wanted to share with you the second of the commissions. A Princess for Bug.

'In Waiting'
I love this one, I love the simplicity of it. Her dreamy expression.

And I can't wait to see Bugs face when she opens the present. Her face is so very expressive, every feeling telegraphed to the world. Can't wait!

Have an awesome weekend everyone. I am planning on a bit of a chill out before the big day next week. But I still have a painting to finish + santa sacks to sew!! Meh - at this stage if it doesn't happen I am not going to stress out too much!!

Don't forget to pop over to see if you were one of the winners of Decembers give away!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

☆ Are you this months Winners?? [Final Give Away for 2013]

Can you believe there is only a few days left of 2013? 

And yet I still have so much to do… Don't we all?

So, this is the second year that I have held give aways every month + I am always so happy when I post off my creations to the winner. 

I have to thank every single one of you for leaving your 'I want it' comments + your wonderfully supportive + beautiful comments about my art. 

Thank You

Next year I am changing it up… just a little.

Every month, one subscriber of either the LilliBean Studio Newsletter or my new 'Learning to Listen to Your Squeak' course, will win a piece of my art. Either a small original painting, product with my art on them, or a gift voucher to the LilliBean Designs Store


So if you want to be in for a chance to win in January, why not sign up?  And you don't have to do anything else for the rest of the year!


 I will still have a give away here on the blog. It won't be every month, but it will be a regular feature through out the year, so keep an eye out.


Yup. I am taking the plunge! And its FREE for 2014.

I have been mulling over the 'Learning to Listen to Your Squeak' course for the last twelve months + it is something I can't wait to share with you.

So next year, (2014) I am launching 'Learning to Listen to Your Squeak' a FREE bimonthly newsletter series, which will give you tips, tricks + concrete ways to Listen to your Squeak + encouraging it to roar.

But back to the most important part of this post. 


This month two lucky people receive a set of Christmas cards. I am giving away a set of Fairy Christmas Cards and this years christmas wreath + carollers cards.

So the first winner is….

CONGRATS Linda! Can you email me with your address and which set of cards you would prefer + I will post them off to you.

And the second winner is….

Congratulations Ya Ya! Please email me with your address + I will post off the cards to you shortly.

Once again, thank you everyone for your entries + support over the last years give aways. It means so much.

Make sure you pop back tomorrow for the unveiling of my second Very Special Commission. I love its simplicity!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

☆ Round Here [Life at Casa de Mac]

Have you popped over + entered this months give away yet?? There is only one day left + there are two prizes up for grabs this month - quick jump in now! It only takes three little words to enter 'I want it' - simple!

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We are full steam ahead this month! And after this weekend past, one of our busiest weekends of the year, I just want to sleep for a month.

I am tired. I bet I am not the only one.

We've been going to our preschool graduations (No - I didn't mistype PRESCHOOL!!)

Making the 'it looks so simple in the store + then you open it up + it takes weeks to make' advent calendar. (Yay it is done + on December 15 we opened our first box!)

Dressing in our Sunday finest + going to visit Santa for a photo. This photo is a good as it got - for the whole day. Beastie isn't even looking at the camera in our santa photo! 

Sending off some very special commissions to the other side of the world. I loved working on these + I hope to share them soon.

Having ice cream treats in the hot summer evenings.

Ending our year of dancing as chickens + banana's in pyjamas + having the very best time on the stage! (How stinking cute is that costume!)

Working on three very special commissions for Bean, Bug + Beastie (you can read more here)

And grabbing a moment of much needed sanity, on my early morning walks. (I love being up before the moon goes down for the day - although it isn't as early as you may think!!)

So that has been our crazy month so far - a few more parties, a few more paintings, and a few more late nights with very excited kids and I will be ready to sleep for a month!

I hope your festive season is filled with joy + love + laughter.

Let me know your favourite moment so far - I would love to hear from you!

And don't forget about this months give away - it is too easy to enter + definitely worth the two minutes entry time + it is free for everyone to enter.

Friday, December 13, 2013

☆ A Dark Fairy for Beastie [Friday Art]

If you follow the LilliBean Designs Facebook page you may have seen the three very special commissions that I have been asked to do for Christmas.

It's a tight dead line, but I know that the commissionees (Is that even a word??) won't quibble over design, price or colours.

I know this because the people who have asked for these very special commissions are my daughters.

Well not Beastie as the most she speaks at the moment is a squeak or too, but when I asked Bean + Bug what they wanted for Christmas, after the few key items they wanted (like a tiger lily dress up), they both asked for one of my paintings.

When I asked them what they wanted me to paint, Bean asked for a mermaid (of course she did - this kid was born a mermaid!) Bug wanted a princess + they both decided Beastie would like a fairy.

I think all the girly bases at covered!

So this week I am sharing the finished painting for Beastie. A dark fairy for my dark horse!

I know Beastie won't really appreciate it yet, I love the idea of painting/ making them something every year for Christmas. Even though, in the past, the quality of the hand made gift hasn't always stood up to the vigorous play of toddlers, just the fact that they remember that mama made that is awesome + I hope they will pass this on to their families.

Have you started a Christmas tradition, that you would love to see continued? I would love to hear more about it! 

By the way, there are two prizes up for grabs in this months give away. Pop over here for a chance to win

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

☆ The Creative Process [Carnival of Creative Mothers]

Welcome to the final week of the month-long Carnival of Creative Mothers to celebrate the launch of The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood by Lucy H. Pearce which has been's Hottest New Release in Motherhood for the past week!

Today's topic is The Creative Process. Do read to the end of this post for a full list of carnival participants. 

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Catching Mermaids
Creativity + the process of creating is a very personal experience. 

And I don't believe there is one right way to create. 

Your process will be different to mine, and different again to the next persons. 

When I believed that I wasn't good enough to be an artist, I was fascinated to read about artist's + their creative process.

I was hoping that one of their stories would trigger a creative response in me. That theirs would be the way, that would allow me to tap into my creativity once again.

What I didn't realise until much later, was that my creative process, would be so individualised to me, that in reading others stories, although there were super inspiring, they wouldn't help me to unlock my creativity. 

They did however keep sparking something inside me that would eventually grow into LilliBean Designs. And it helped me realise that:

Inspiration is every where, and can strike at anytime.

My muses are absolutely my three girls. Their imagination sparks mine all the time. But there are other inspirations, books are another huge inspiration for me, music lyrics, a pattern on the wall from the tree outside, fashion magazines, kids books, manga, a half over heard conversation, a shape of a leaf.

Anything is open to interpretation. 

Princess + the Pea
To capture these wisps of creativity, I have learnt to keep notebooks laying around the house, in my purse, in the car....

{Yes. My name is Kirstin + I have a stationary addiction}

But it means that I will never again have an awesome idea, but forget about it in the rush of life.

So, when Bean said off hand one day, 'mama, I am going to get my fishing rod + catch a mermaid.' I wrote it down + the painting above was born.

Most of the time I have an image in my head that I want to paint. I can't see all the details, but the figure, the surround, the general placement of items. Like the 'Princess + the Pea' painting I did earlier this year. This painting I new from the very start how it would look.

But there are times when I play in my art journal, that I haven't a clue what I am going to create. I just jump in + play. 

[This post takes you through a journal page journey, from beginning to end. I didn't know where I was going, I just knew the sentiment I wanted to express.]

Like everyone, I have periods of down time, when I am feeling uninspired, feeling blocked or needing to recharge.

I have learnt to give myself permission to have a break. To sit on the couch + read a good book. To watch a movie. Or watch six seasons of Supernatural back to back. 

Sometimes though, the block is stubborn + I need to actively re-inspire myself. 

I just recently shared my top 10 ideas for beating the creativity blues {part one + part two}.

So, is there a particular way that you inspire or re inspire your muse? What do you do when the creativity blues strike? I would love it if you shared your stories with us.

By the way, this months give away is open + ready for you to enter. THere are two prizes up for grabs this month as it is the last for 2013. Pop over here for your chance to win

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  • 10% off - use code TRW10
  • exclusive access to a private Facebook group for creative mothers
  • a vibrant greetings card and book-mark of one of the author's paintings.
Kindle and paperback editions from Book DepositoryBarnes and Noble

Or order from your local bookshop.

    • Carnival host and author of The Rainbow Way, Lucy at Dreaming Aloud looks at the common lies we tell ourselves about creativity in The Eternal Summer of the Creative Mind.
    • Caitriona at Wholesome Ireland - from start to new beginnings.
    • Hannah M. Davis writes about Unleashing Your Authentic Voice. So many of us would love to write a life-changing book. How do you get over the blocks and barriers that hold you back? 
    • Sylda from Mind the Baby compares her creative process to a maelstrom of weather warnings.
    • In "As an Artist", Lucy Pierce at Soulskin Musings offers a poem about how the creative process beckons her through many of the archetypes of womanhood.
    • Jackie Stewart at talks about how creativity is opening up a space for the unknown to reveal itself to you in 'Creativity Flourishes in the Sacred Unknown'.
    • Alex at Art of Birth shares some practical tips on how you can unlock your creative goddess within!
    • Nicki at justlikeplay shares a love letter to her muse.
    • Marija Smits has a conversation with her muse and reflects on the difficulties of catching and creating from the Goddess of Inspiration.
    • Zoie at TouchstoneZ reflects on her creative process.
    • Licia Berry, Illumined Arts "Creativity and Healing are Ideal Partners". The creation of visual, musical, or expressive arts is the quickest, most effective and painless way to heal.
    • Kirstin at Listening to the Squeak - My creative process and how to break creative blocks.
    • Ali Baker talks about connecting with the call of the wolf when she cries to us to do so means giving our time and permission to honour the creative process within all of us.
    • Mary at The Turquoise Paintbrush reflects on her creative process.
    • KatyStuff thinks that projects need time to mature, that is why she is a fabric and craft hoarder. 
    • Aimée at Creativeflutters goes into her creative process and looks at what makes things tick or flop in "Spontaneous She - How to Keep Your Muse at Work".
    • Kae at The Wilde Womb muses about her common creative blocks as a parent and how she systematically breaks through them.
    • Angela at Peach Coglo tries to get comfortable with her own creative process. 
    • Biromums write about their creative processes.
    • Dawn at The Barefoot Home believes the creative process can't be taught it has to come organically and at its own pace.
    • Tara at Aquamarine Art began uncovering her lost inner artist over 5 years ago and shares her experiences and inspirations in "From Spark to Bonfire: The Evolution of A Creative Process."
    • Georgie at Visual Toast explores what the creative process looks like for her.
    • Creative Woman at Creator's Corner is not concerned with the end product or the outcome but with the process and all the richness that it brings. 
    • Jennifer's Art Blog explores what the creative process feels like for her.
    • Fiona at Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers reflects on her creative process.
    • Sharron at Adventures on the mindful path writes and creates in between (and sometimes while) chasing two little boys and a puppy.  
    • Trying to discover her own methods to the creative process, Jasmine at Brown Eyed Girl, digs deeper to find what it is that really triggers her creativity.
    • Jessica F. Hinton shares why finding creative spaces as a mother is important and what her space looks like. 
    • Laura at Authentic Parenting reflects on her creative process.
    • Ingrid at My Peace Tree says Creativity as a living thing - and examines ebb and flow, expectations vs. realities (our own and other people's), inspiration and how to find it.
    • Darcel at The Mahogany Way examines her own creative process.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

☆ A Bunny Party [LifeBook 2013]

This lesson was from Mindy Lacefield, of Tim's Sally.

She has such a distinct style, it is so lovely and soft, so I was excited to do this lesson with her.

As much as I enjoyed the freedom of the paint, the intuitive style of the painting, I found that my natural style would peek through in parts.

And I suppose this is what the LifeBook lessons are the best at.

Showing me/ us how to paint, or create in a style, that also allows my natural style to shine through.

Have you had a chance to enter 2013's final give away? It is super easy to enter, just pop in over here.

Friday, December 6, 2013

☆ Only time for sketches [Friday Art]


It has been a crazy busy week at Casa de Mac. Both Mr Mac and I were down over the weekend with a 24 hour bug. Bug had it too, but she seemed to bounce right back. Mac + I spent the entire weekend moaning on the couch.

Thank goodness for being able to download movies and an all day kids tv channel.

I am sorry to all my PPF friends who popped in last week, who I was unable to visit, but fingers crossed, I will be able to visit everyone this weekend!

We are experiencing crazy weather here at the moment. I mean burning hot winds, humid mornings, hail + wild thunder storms last night + freezing cold temperatures that are reminiscent of winter.

In the middle of one of the wildest storms I have experienced outside of the winter storms in Scotland, Miss Bean graduated from preschool.

She is so grown up now.

And totally ready for big school next year.

So unfortunately there hasn't been a lot of time in the studio for playing.

But earlier this week, I had a couple of minutes waiting for Bean to finish dancing, and had these water colour cards in my diary.

So I pulled them out + doodled a couple of girls. The last one is blank, a little like my brain that day.

These will make really cute gift tags I think.

So how is your Christmas season shaping up? And what creative ideas can you share with me to do in those short blocks of time that I only seem to have at the moment? 

By the way, this months give away is up (a little late - sorry!) and ready for your entry. It is totally easy to enter - just click here.

Have a great weekend

Thursday, December 5, 2013

☆ The Final Give Away for 2013

Can you believe it? It is the last give away for 2013. And I enjoy giving away things so much, that I will probably keep having them next year too!

So for the final give away for the year, and because it is Christmas, I want to share the joy and have two prizes.

Two lucky winners will receive a set of Christmas Cards, and you can choose between the fairy set, or the Carollers + Wreath set.

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 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 December 19th - so make sure you pop back then to find out if you are a winner!

Good Luck

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

☆ Your Creative Inheritance [Carnival of Creative Mothers]

Welcome to Week Three of the month-long Carnival of Creative Mothers to celebrate the launch of The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood
by Lucy H. Pearce

Today's topic is Creative Inheritance. Do read to the end of this post for a full list of carnival participants. 

Join the Carnival and be in with a chance to win a free e-copy of The Rainbow Way! Next week is our final week!
December 11th: The Creative Process.

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a rainbow
Surprisingly I found this really hard to write about, I mean what is my creative inheritance?

Did it come from my family, my friends, my environment? And how important is that my girls have this inheritance?

Logically I know that I am, and have always been creative. And I have always been surrounded by creative people. From my gardening genius Nan, carpentry extraordinaire grandfather, an out the box thinker Mum (who is also an awesome painter), to my husband, who although he would deny it is so very creative in every day life.

I have been nurtured, encouraged + supported in this way my entire life. I am so very fortunate.

But when I was eighteen, my creative spark was crushed, by circumstances + by myself.

I didn't believe I could be that person I was when I was growing up. The child who wanted to be an artist.

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a princess
Fast forward ten or so years, and I very cautiously started drawing again. It was like I was compelled to. But I never shared. I never spoke of it.

I would still tell people I wasn't creative.

Then Bean was born.

Sitting in the hospital bed with that small gorgeous bundle, I realised that I was a mama, holy crap!, and with all the other scary stuff, that motherhood brings with it, that I also had this huge responsibility to make sure that this gorgeous child + her eventual siblings, would never be limited.


And in that hospital bed, staring at this gorgeous child, I finally recognised that I myself was limited.

That I had a set of beliefs surrounding my creativity, that I had been telling myself, which were not true.

And that if I wanted her to be a gorgeous, courageous + unlimited person, I needed to lead by example, step up + get over myself.

Ok, so it hasn't been that easy, it has been bloody hard at times, but I have mostly beaten my inner bitch  into submission. And I am listening to my squeak, my inner voice of creativity, my spark.

THIS is the environment I want my children to grow up in. A nurturing, supportive and encouraging home.

If it was that easy, I would be a millionaire by now, and there are so many challenges + different personalities, which make this complicated. From the kids themselves, to their friends, teachers and family members.

But in writing this post, I realised that I appear to have five rules when it comes to creating with my kids. And they are five rules which we don't break, bend or cross.

☆ ☆ ☆ 
a mermaid

1. NOTHING IS OFF LIMITS….in regards to being creative. 

NOTHING. They want to cut up magazines, they want to have a purple sky, they want to colour their princesses all in green well that is ok, if there a square flowers that is ok to.


Now this may get me in huge trouble next year when Bean goes to school and she defiantly tells the teacher she doesn't have to colour in the lines, but I am willing to take her back with this one.


We never, ever comment on another persons art in a negative or judgemental way.  I don't care if it is the Pope.

Do. not. go. there.
purple mermaids are perfectly acceptable

4. PERFECT IS… Perfectly Boring.

Mistakes can be beautiful + nothing in this world is perfect. (Including their mama!)

After knock down tantrums about being perfect, we have banned that word + any perfect like behaviour.

5. I WILL ALWAYS CREATE WITH THEM…but they have to try first.

Along with the perfect tantrum, there was the "I can't do it + I want you to do it" tantrum. I tried to negotiate with Bean, cal joule + even bribe. In the end I put my foot down + refused to draw anything if she didn't try first.

After more tears, thrown journals + time outs, this was the best idea ever.
colouring in the lines. never!

In making it her decision to draw first, she realised that it drawing wasn't just something Mama could do + it was instrumental in building her confidence as an artist. She wants to be a painting teacher when she grows up!

My hope is that in by living by these rules, it will help my kids will have the confidence to ignore those who try to limit them.

So what is your creative inheritance? What will you pass on? How has this influenced you? And do you have any set rules for creating in you home? 

I would love to hear from you + your stories with us.


25% off ALL Lucy's books, 4th Dec only. Use code RAINBOW25.


  • exclusive access to a private Facebook group for creative mothers
  • a vibrant greetings card and book-mark of one of the author's paintings.
Kindle and paperback editions from Book DepositoryBarnes and Noble

Or order from your local bookshop.

  • Carnival host and author of The Rainbow Way, Lucy at Dreaming Aloud celebrates her creative fairy godmothers, and gives thanks for the creative blessings that each has gifted her.
  • In 'From Trash To Treasure: Christmas Decoration' Laura from Authentic Parenting shares fond memories crafting with her mom and a little project her mom did recently. 
  • Lucy Pierce from Soulskin Musings celebrates the rich creative inheritance of her mother's poetic soul and artful ways. 
  • Is thinking differently a curse or a gift? Zoie at TouchstoneZ susses out whether her family legacy might hinder or encourage creativity.
  • Dawn Collins at TheBarefootHome Dawn thinks we're all born with a creative inheritance from the mother we all share…Mother Nature.
  • Licia Berry at Illumined Arts looks at the creative inheritance passed on by our ancestral lineage, discovered through sexuality and the Sacred Feminine within in "Sexuality and the Sacred Feminine"
  • Alex at The Art of Birth explores the nature of creativity. 
  • Handcrafts are prayers, that's what Corina from PatchScrap learned from grandmother.
  • Jennifer at Let Your Soul Shine retraces her creative inheritance from her childhood and all the way back to the 19th Century.  
  • Kirstin at Listening to the Squeak says "I have always known my creative inheritance and it is so very important for my children to know theirs."
  • Becky at Raising Loveliness reflects on her experiences of creativity.
  • Creative Inheritance is a Beautiful Thing, says Aimee at Creativeflutters and discusses where her creativity comes from and what influences in her family have helped her on her artistic journey. 
  • Georgie at Visual Toast shares her creative inheritance.
  • Esther at Nurture Workshop expresses the gift of a creative mind and the doors that are waiting to be opened for those who are willing to explore.
  • Whitney Freya at Creatively Fit is inspired by the sacred spark within each of us, a spark that transcends time and is infinitely creative.
  • Denise at It Begins with a Verse  looks back at her family's creative inheritance.
  • Womansart shares her reflections on creative inheritance.
  • Lys at Stars and Spirals looks at the creative inheritance as described by the astrological chart, drawing on her personal journey into motherhood and reawakened creativity.
  • Biromums wrote poems about their creative inheritance.
  • Kae at The Wilde Womb reflects on the various artists within her family and how it has shaped her identity and what impression she wishes to leave her own children. 
  • Marit's Paper World shares her creative inheritance.
  • Lucy at Capture by Lucy  reflects on her experiences of creativity.
  • Knitting blankets and the inner landscape--my mother's life's work, writes Nicki from Just Like Play
  • Something Sacred - Sadhbh at Where Wishes Come From writes about how the creativity of the women in her family has influenced her.
  • Mamma Bloom at Breathe and Bloom writes about her creative inheritance.
  • Mama is Inspired shares how she loved to make holiday ornaments as a child, and now is continuing that tradition with her own child.
  • Ali Baker is a creative mama to twin girls who reignited her creative energy and sense of who she used to be by just doing it and creating whatever needs to be created in an imperfect way. 
  • KatyStuff hopes inheritance is a long way off, but, when the day comes her woodworker father has already said he is comforted by knowing his work is in so many homes.
  • Jasmine at Brown Eyed Girl realizes that the creativity she craves for so deeply may actually be something that runs deeper than just her imagination.
  • Darcel at The Mahogany Way shares her creative journey.
  • Rising on the Road shares her experiences at Finding Life in a Death.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

☆ The Heart Knows [Lifebook 2013]

This weeks lesson from Effy Wild was both fun and healing. She encouraged us to call up our empathy.

And by taking us a over a few exercises and recalling times which we felt empathy, we then applied that empathy feeling to a time when we were hurt either by ourselves, or by some one else.

And then applying that empathy to the person who hurt us.

It wasn't an exercise in forgiveness, but an exercise in empathy.

And I found that it was incredibly helpful for times when I have been incredibly harsh with myself.  When I have yelled at my kids or been cranky with myself for some perceived failure.

In the heat of the moment, it is hard to remember empathy, but I am hoping that with time, and with practise, I might become better at being kinder to myself.

This was such a fun project with a load of mixed media elements, it has a tissue paper layer which gives it that lovely texture!

Have you needed a little empathy this week, to yourself or some one else? This little exercise is a brilliant way to bring attention to it.

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