Tuesday, July 31, 2012

going design mad....

I have has a real obsession lately with my boys designs. A flood of designs flowing through my mind which started off as scratchy words on paper. I think I get a little over obsessed at times, as all I hear is time and time again, "THERE IS NOTHING FOR BOYS". Having a son myself, I understand but I also believe there is plenty out there for them, its just that there is a tonne of stuff for girls. So it drives me to create for all the little men out there.

After emptying my brain of inspiration, with lots of scratchy notes, I start to think about how I would like each design to look, jotting more notes down. With these initial thoughts I do lots of web surfing for inspiration, & I always go through the kids books to see if anything grabs my eye, in regards to themes. There are always lots of sticky notes with more notes. It's really important for me to do this initially as it has me thinking how I can adapt my inspiration into my own style.

image - Tiges and Weince

One of my new designs is the solar system. I wanted all of the planets drawn clearly, and to fit all on a cushion, making them clear, concise and bright. is it OK to admit my first draft I had some of the planets in the wrong order!! Thank goodness for google. 

I have started creating coordinating prints for all of my cushion designs. Some are going to be a typography style, some not. I am really loving myself a bit of typography, but my goal is to make them brighter, more colourful, more designed than just words. That's just how I am feeling, the prints need to be full of life and coordinating with the cushion. Not copying it, but becoming a version of it, belonging to another item. 

I took a lot of photos over the weekend so you could be expecting some more designs loaded very soon. My note pad is a little hints of some of the things to come :)

Kylie xx

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A gift for me......

I bought myself something the other week, for no other reason but I felt that I deserved it. A treat for me!

I wanted a red necklace. I have been on the hunt for one a while now & just couldn't fine what I was looking for. I knew one would eventually find me while I surfed around looking at nothing in particular. The other day looking around the lovely store Down that little Lane & I bought these fab little superhero prints for Hudson & thought I check everything else out....as you do.

Along my travels I FOUND IT!!! The necklace that found me actually, without hesitation I purchased this little number & now she is mine. I received it yesterday & was so happy with how beautifully it was packaged I just wanted to share. Here is is with a lovely personal note.

Drum roll......here it is, I just love it as its so my style, bright, simple yet  little different. The brand is TDESIGN & Tania also has a Etsy store. You cant see really well in my photo but there are different shades of red & I just adore that single white bead. perfect. 

Oh and me.....thought I'd show it on. 

There is nothing better than an unexpected shopping find, I honestly think they are always the best. Especially when it's just what you're after & when you receive it the joy of opening it is so exciting. I am also a sucker for perfectly packaged items.

Everybody deserves to treat themselves, I hope you do the same for yourself to sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Updated cushion care instructions

With every cushion purchased customers will always receive a cushion care postcard. It's really important that I give you this information, as I am asked constantly how to care for them. They have been updated since the last instructions I used to provide with my orders, as my cushions have changed ever so slightly.

Gone are my days of hubby & I stuffing these babies in front of the TV. A few months ago I had 2 different sized cushion inserts developed to perfectly to fit my small baby cushion & the large size that I offer. The cushions now close at the back with an envelope style closure. After several trials of adding a bit more fluff, taking some out, shortening, widening, & so forth they are now perfect.
I print on a specialty fabric which is not designed for frequent laundering. It's specifically designed for quilters, hence making my cushions completely and utterly for delightful decorating. In saying that they certainly can be washed in cold water. I always recommend hand washing with a mild gentle detergent. If they were to be washed constantly the colour will ultimately fade a fraction. It's just the nature of the cloth. Please be reassured that to keep your cushions, also buntings & doorstops that I create, are always given a light spray with scotch guard to repel dust & grime.

I make cushions for my kids constantly, as you would imagine, & I have had to wash theirs a few time & they always come up fine. Both of the kids first cushions were the small designs that I have just left on their beds as decorations. They understand thats what they are there for, & I can assure you they still look just as great as when I first made them.

I offer these instruction as guidelines to keep your products looking their best for longer. When you buy something special for our child, I understand that you want everything looking spectacular for as long as possible.

Enjoy...Kylie x

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sunday - Flemington Market

It's Monday already where does the time go? How was your weekend? Mine was lovely and it was nice to get back into routine after the School holidays & everyone being unwell. Even though I have now picked up their bug!

On Sunday we were supposed to visit Healsville Sanctuary but we didn't make it. Coming down with the kids cold made me want to pop out an enjoy the beautiful winter sunshine, but not as an all day event. I just wasn't feeling up to it. Instead we headed down to Flemington market. Beside a great way to check out whats new in the world of handmade, and gourmet food, you can always guarantee fun for the kids. Which was my intention to give them a few hours of fun. So here are a few snaps shots of the kids time.

A very cool little train ride for the kids where they are pulled all over the grass. The driver was fabulous, he drove around in large circles, there was lots of zig zagging, and turning in lots of new directions. You could hear him a mile away getting the kids to scream out "All aboard"!! A bit of a thrill for my two.

A spot of painting for both of them. This was fabulous. I don't pull the paint out as often as I should at home, purely for the fact it takes forever to set up, for 20 minutes of activity. Drives me nuts quietly. Which is why this was great, they got to choose a design, sit down, pop on their apron and it was all ready to go. And I didn't have to clean up!! I am not sure if there was a timer on this activity but Hudson took forever painting his dragon. He reminds me of me, making sure it looks right, then tweaking here, and adding there!

Miss Charlotte....Surprise surprise she picked a dog. Oh my little animal lover. We didn't get much in the lines, not that I was expecting it. She certainly did enjoy splashing her brush around in the water, then swishing it around the paint pots. By the end of it her colours were quite mixed together.

The balloon artists, my kids love this stuff and always watch with anticipation. The guy creating them was quite good, a bit of a clown himself entertaining the kids.

Animal farm.....True to her nature in went Charlotte getting up an personal with all of them. Hudson didn't go in, he is so much like me with animals, happy to look from a far. Not Miss C, she pats them, waves to them, tries talking to them. I think I could leave her in there all day.

Stroking the guinea pigs. It's amazing how gentle she is, I always get a little worried when her time is up as she becomes quite attached. This little guy here was called Vegemite! What an Aussie name.

What a great few hours it was. It was also great to catch up with a few stall holders that I knew. The market didn't feel as busy as usual which was a shame, which I am sure is a winter things. There are stall holders there that I have recognised from years ago and it's still lovely that business must be treating them so well.

I hope you had a great Sunday or weekend for that fact, what did you get up to?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Update on my e-course

About two weeks ago I mentioned that I was feeling a little ho-hum with daily life, being so busy, and some product deadlines that have been very time consuming. Just to add to it I decided to take on a new e-course. I thrive on new knowledge, and it's a guaranteed way of popping some new fire in my belly.

The e-course I am doing is a PDF download, called "the whole shabang" by Kelly Rae Roberts. A fantastic mixed media artist who I admire from a far (she's in USA). She has had an incredible amount of business success & I know I can definitely learn something from her, well a lot actually.

I am about a third of the way through it & I can genuinely say she has definitely stuck some cords with me. I just LOVE how her whole business is so connected with herself. Just her, and nobody else. Her passions, and her loves. To me that shows so much strength, confidence, and bravery, to just create and make from your heart. She expressed her initial worries at the beginning of her artistic career, and how she has overcome those with trial and error. Learning to create what you know and love best, and the rest will follow.

I feel a connection with her as I am going through the same motions at the moment. Worried about what will sell what won't sell. Will people like it? How will I grow my business to the next level? I mean lets face it not everyone will like my work, and what my work is about. But thats the journey of learning to be true to yourself, she speaks so, so, so frequently about. 

Her belief of just being YOU seems so simple, yet so scary, also a journey I feel would be lovely to travel right now amongst the super busy world I currently am in. it' almost calming in a strange way.

However in saying that I think it's time I start listening to my true design loves, not that I don't by any means now, but inspire myself in another way, by following what makes my heart flutter. Sometimes I think of something that is magical to me, and then that voice in my head says, but will it sell?? Popping that element of doubt right back where it seems to want to belong. I am really wanting to try some new styles, incorporating some figures (people) into my work, but I am just sill trying to perfect everything. I also have a habit of putting a lot of pressure on myself, which is not a great thing to do, as it causes procrastination for me. 

It all sounds a little corny but it's like I just get, everything she says. It's really lovely to read the words of someone else and it almost feeling like they're talking to you. I find myself sitting and nodding with that  ah ha moment!

In saying that I suppose I better start putting all of this new found knowledge & ideas down on paper & start something new....Wish me luck and I look forward to sharing more of this fabulous e-book and it's impact on me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New artwork...perfect for the play room

 I have been creating lots of new work lately & look forward to sharing everything with you bit by bit.

As well as cushions which are being printed as made as I type :) I wanted to create some new updated prints. Inspired by wanting to brighten up my kids playrooms I wanted to design unisex designs that will fit in absolutely anywhere. being such a sucker for colour, spots, stripes and everything in between I knew of course they bolder the better.

Sing a rainbow...Oh my goodness I love this song and have been wanting to pop it on paper for ages. I had it exactly in my head how I wanted to draw it. All of the colours of the rainbow, and different tones of each colour saying the word. The text of the song had to be soft and floaty. I am really looking forward to hanging this so my kids can see it, make a connection with the colours as well as the words. Lastly & the best bit then we can sing together.

ABC....A classic goodie which is so important. I am hoping here with the letters visible to see day in day out, it will resonate with my kids. It's such a fun way to learn the alphabet too. Below is a unsex colour combination, however I have created a more 'girly' colour combination which you can see online.

 Reading is cool....A new version of a reading print. I am such a huge book fan I just had to create it. I was desperate to create an apple and bookworm in this design. It kind made me giggle just creating it.

I just love creating new work and have so much more to show, and would love to know what you think. It was just a quick update to let you know where I am at. Stay tuned for some more :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Computer dependancy....and near melt down

I recently just bought a lovely Mac computer in March this year, it's such a sleek sexy looking machine I love it. My whole life is wrapped up completely reliant on technology. My whole business is computer based and orientated from the illustrations I produce to the websites I load my products onto.

I dont have any pretty pictures to load today, which is very frustrating as I have just completed lots of new work on Saturday. Instead I am having major computer problems. For some reason this sleek machine that I own has decided to play up & not operate properly.

Quite a lot of Saturday & yesterday morning it kept running very slowly. I did the obvious thing & cleaned out my trash, deleted unwanted emails & even pulled photos from my system, over a 1000 to be more specific. But my machine is still saying I dont have enough start up disc space on my computer. I can't load illustrator which means I cant print, or work which is causing me almost melt down.

I have to wait until 9am this morning before I can contact Apple care & I am praying to the heavens they can help me. Yesterday I will be honest there were genuine tears of frustration and worry as I have some very important deadlines to meet. I just feel so hopeless, helpless, and useless. It's also very embarrassing the my whole work life stops....completely....because of technology. You try and believe you are not reliant on technology, but when things like this happens it's such a reality check as to how much we are. Ahhhh this is killing me this & I am so tense because of it.

Don't computers play these games at the worst time?

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A milestone day...

A super exciting day today. After a week an a half we left the house. These colds have been shared far too much amongst our family & I am happy to say I think it's moving on.

I wanted to go out today, & had planned on going to the park, but then the clouds started rolling in & looking very grey, so spontaneously I booked 4 movie tickets online, to go & see Ice Age.

This was a milestone today as it was Charlotte's first movie. I was quite apprehensive about taking her, she is only 2yrs, & she can be a little challenging at times. I had my mum with me, so I know if I had to escape, Hudson would be cared for inside.

She was in awe of the screen, she was like a deer in head lights, just wide eyed and staring at the wide screen. Bigger than she has ever seen before. She actually was quite well behaved. became quite restless at times as she had to check out the chairs, lift her booster seat, then sit on my lap, then nanna's lap & it happened all over again. However she wasn't disruptive which is what I was more worried about. She cuddled up when it got to loud, but didn't whimper or carry on.

I feel like we are heading in the direction f new adventures. My baby is big enough for the movies OMG!! I am actually really excited as I love the cinema & so does Hudson, so it looks like there will be plenty of movies dates for the 3 of us in the future....

Monday, July 9, 2012

Chocolate coated heat bag

I had a special request a week or so go from the lovely Amy of Giggleberry Creations .

The brief...

A large heat bag
15 year old birthday girl
Lover of chocolate....who isn't?
 A chocolate bar with a personalised wrapper
Colours turquoise (my favourite) and Pink
Spot & stripes
Personalised ingredients

I love a custom order, it breaks the same patten & routine of what I usually create. With my brief off I went searching for biten choccie bars on google images. I found what I like, checked with Amy & off I went & created the wrapper.

So much fun & I love it, & apparently Paityn did too.

Chocolate really does make me smile.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

New colour palette

It feels like this has been one of the longest weeks of my life. I think I officially have cabin fever. Both kids have been sick, & hubby has man flu eek! I don't feel too bad, I think I could potentially have a cold, but I am so busy I just keep pushing it to the side. I'll be very happy if it keeps playing dormant & doesn't rear that ugly lurgy head.

Today was a productive day work wise for me. Both the kids & hubby were on the couch watching movies most of the day. I encouraged lots of rest, as I don't think I could bear another week home.

While they lay I planned, planned and planned. I love planning!! I find it quite elating, the feeling of getting organised is quite cleansing. Especially for me as my life always feels so turbulent.

At the moment I am planning the design and development for my Quirky and Quaint business. The collection is a combination of Tiges and Weince products, & other amazing brands. 

My next catalogue is due out in September & I have so much to complete by the end of the month. 

This afternoon I focused on my colour palette for the season. This is such a HUGE part of developing a cohesive range. I has taken me a while picking an choosing, as it's vital to keep best selling colours, but even more important to add injections to new season colours.

With summer coming I had to make sure the colours were clean and bright, which is my style and what I love anyway. I love creating palettes it's something I could play around with all day. This is a snap shot from my computer. I know when my colours are what I want as I look with ease and my yes move from one colour to another with stopping.  It just flows....sounds odd but very true!

If you like what you're seeing you can be guaranteed these lovelies will pop up soon in my Tiges shop.

Friday, July 6, 2012

New knowledge = excitement

It's been ages since I have blogged, a month actually.....terrible.

Lately I have been so busy. Between the kids, and growing demands of my other business Quirky and Quaint, I don't know actually if I am Arthur or Martha. Life is like a washing machine, wishing and washing from one responsibility to the other. From the kids, to maintaining the house, to cooking, to operating Quirking and Quaint, and then knowing desperately I need to start completing the half finished designs for my other baby Tiges and Weince. Ahhhhh I get exhausted thinking about it.

Amongst all of this business, I am still an addict for knowledge. I love to follow those who I know I can learn from. Even though I am not at traditional 'school' anymore so to speak, I still consider myself a student, learning as I go, making mistakes, and thriving with other great decisions.

Can I tell you a secret.....I  love an e-book. Learning and absorbing in my own time is thrilling, and so empowering.

An artist that I TRULY admire is Kelly Rae Roberts
Beside her beautiful work, her success over the last few years has blown me away. I have been secret admirer so to speak, watching, looking and reading from a far. She has some amazing e-books and I have finally purchased the one I have had my eye on for a while - The whole shabang.

She is teaches a lot of subjects that I am very interested in like marketing strategies, your goals, teaching opportunities, licensing deals and scanning and printing techniques. It seems to cater to me perfectly right now. There is so much to learn it makes my mind buzz with excitement. This is definitely the perfect tool for me at the moment to sit back and think about where I want to head, how to get there, and the best part being taught some proven skills. Saves time in my eyes.

I look forward to sharing some more about how I am enjoying the over 200 page e-book with you all. I have reached page 45 and so far it's amazing. I love how Kelly is so passionate about following your heart and listening to those internal nudges and emotions you feel when something excites you. She believes you can do anything your heart desires, which is news to my ears as I feel like I am just beginning.

There is a whole lot of love over at Kelly's site, whether her art style is for you or not, her business management, strategies and knowledge can be adapted to any creative business.

I apologise for my absence, but after reading some helpful hints about blogging via Kelly's e-book, I look forward to developing redeveloping my style a bit, and just writing from the heart, what inspires me, and most importantly enjoying it a whole lot more. I love blogging, and hate that my posts have kind of dropped off a bit, so I am picking myself up, dusting off, and I'm going to soldier on.
have a great weekend,
Kylie xx