Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New clock designs & 15% discount for 48hrs!

Hello lovelies,

Tick tock tick tock it's getting so much closer to Christmas. It's exciting!!
This has been my first year ever making clocks, & I have to let you know how much I have been enjoying making them. I am thrilled & super surprised at how many Christmas designs I have made. Thank you for you letting me help create your fun Christmas decor for the season! It's beyond exciting!!

With inspiration flowing, I have made some new designs, & a few that are not just for the kids. Here are the new designs just put in my shop. Make sure to look out for new designs specifically for the home next year.

A short one from me...I am off to continue getting Christmas orders out the door.
Have a beautiful night.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What's new in cushions

Amongst the Christmas madness I have found some time to get a bit of drawing done. If I don't stop sometimes & make time to draw & create, I get incredibly frustrated. In a way it's my meditation!!

Here are some new designs I have just added to my web site.
Folky Bird  - A pretty bird inspired by the boldness of folk art. A personalised gift that will definitely be treasured.Gorgeous pinks, soft jade, purple & lemons this design will surely co-ordinate in every girls bedroom. 
Monkey BusinessA personalised cushion with a little bit of super fun monkey business. A superhero monkey, a biking monkey & a skate board monkey. Great bold boys colours & a design so full of fun.

Miss Camping BunnyFor lovers of camping will be able to capture memories with this sweet design.
Say hello to Missy Bunny as she plays around her groovy chevron patterned tent, catching butterflies butterflies while the sun is shining brightly.

All designs are now loaded in my shop.

Just a reminder that cut off for international orders is 30th November & Australian orders December 10th to ensure they are posted in time for Christmas.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Free TO DO LIST Christmas download

Hello lovelies, is that clock ticking louder & louder as we get closer to Christmas? 
I hope you are not racing around too much & still getting a chance to look after yourself.
How are you keeping organised? I am a BIG list keeper, & still a strong devotee to the traditional diary. I know its very handy to pop every task into your phone, & I adore the charm that dings reminding me of whats to be done. But I have to admit I forget a lot when it's packed away in there. Where as my diary, it's all there on an open page, lists hand written & a highlighter always so close to mark those babies off!
Around Christmas time I love a separate list, so it doesn't get confused with my every day & work tasks. Jotting down the gifts to give, from family to friends, to teachers doesn't seem as daunting. The food I need prepare & take to pre Christmas "catch up" parties, or my list of things to take on the big day itself. I always feel better when it's written down. Can I be honest? It reduces my feeling of being overwhelmed & keeps me calm & happy which is always such a priority. 

If you're need a special Christmas list, I have created one especially for you. I have used it myself this year so far. It's been a handy little printable to keep me organised. I have a couple stapled together so there is no chance of losing anything. If you think this could be of use, please feel free to download it for yourself. 

Just click on the link & enjoy that sweet feeling of organisation!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

MATS - final week 5 & my feelings on finishing

I have finally finished part B of MATS over a week ago, & just haven't got around to posting my final assignment.

The assignment was party paper goods, have a think about all of the paper goods we use, napkins, paper plates, paper cups, straws, paper buntings, got the idea? It was a great subject matter to finish on, & something I really think I would enjoy working on in the future. The style & influence to design was Ukrainian & Bavarian Folk Art. I just love this style. I never knew I would enjoy drawing it so much, I found it very easy to relate to, & it came naturally. I love the traditional colours some deep dark & completely different to what I am used to, other bright & vibrant which is just what I love.

Here is some style influences to see the direction I had to head towards.

1  2  3  4 

I had to draw a paper plate, napkin & paper cup. 
After sketching up a few ideas, here is my final design, & the one I submitted for review.

I had so much fun drawing this & felt really happy with the end result. I have never really used a colour palette like this before, dark plum ordinarily isn't the first colour I'd choose. However I felt it worked well with the colours co-ordindated. 

I am so happy & proud of myself for taking part in both MATS part A & B classes. It was hard work, & I was stretched to my limits some weeks. I loved how Lilla pushed me out of my comfort zone. I would definitely recommend the course to anybody wanting to pursue a career in freelance art & licensing. I learnt information & insider tips, I would never have found out on my own had it not been for her. It was also an emotional journey, lots of ups & downs, there were some amazing artists in the class, & I admit to feeling completely paralysed. Even sometimes too scared to even submit my work, as that nasty person in my head would start comparing myself to others. It's a hideous feeling. Some weeks were a little on the rough side & made me feel quite anxious. Lilla was great as she made it so clear to never compare, & that everyone's style of art is needed somewhere. So true but I still freaked myself out!!

The only negative about the course was that I never got any feedback on what was right or wrong with my work. Each week Lilla would select about 10 artists, out of the 500 of us, & talk about why she loved those pieces. Unfortunately mine were never picked. Thats not my worry, although each week when I realised I wasn't selected I did have a heavy heart of disappointment. But I would have loved to have known why. What could I have done better? How could I have made it better? Was it OK? It would have been nice to maybe not select artists once they have been chosen, as it was very repetitive as to the chosen artists each week. High fives to them all they deserved it, but I am just speaking from a constructive criticism perspective.

The journey hasn't put me off in anyway, in fact the opposite. After 10 lessons, I have 10 new pieces of art for my folio. Happy!! I look froward to the quiet time over Christmas to start building my folio & also utilising all of the amazing tips I learnt in coming artwork. 

It was a great journey.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pre christmas lovely busyness

I love this time of year, however my ever growing lists just seem to continue.

I feel so lucky that I am so busy, 4 years ago I would never have imagined that my efforts would eventually create this dream job for me. Still being a one woman show, it is becoming more challenging each year, as not only do I have my lovely business, I still am a mum, wife & friend.

Some days I just don't fit it all in. I want to be honest about that, I would never lie & say I can do it all.
I just couldn't do that to myself. So at the moment certain things just have to be attended to when I get to them.

At times my floors can be a little dirty.
The washing basket is getting a little over loaded.
Exercising everyday isn't happening.
Even the extra take out meal has snuck.

Big deal thats life.

On the super dooper plus side;
The kids have loads of Christmas parties coming up.

Our weekends are very full between now & Christmas. We're so lucky to have friends who want to spend time with us.

Charlotte has her first dancing concert in early December. So yes I am not a dance mum. below is the evidence, of the blank costumes waiting to be beaded.

Hudson is finishing 4 year old kinder & starting school next year. His end of year concert is approaching, as will his break up party. Kinda feeling sad but so proud.

Sundays are full with Hudson taking up Milo Cricket, he is loving every moment, & also the sausage sizzles afterwards.

I am having a really successful Christmas season, lots of orders & lots of fantastic personalised gifts going to everyone.

In the future;
I am not getting ahead of myself yet, but I have some great plans for next year. I have completed several e-courses, & the only way for me to benefit from those is to put the new skills learnt into action. I get so excited just thinking about it. When the Christmas frenzy has slowed down, my little book of notes & ideas will be opened. I am thinking of going on a little business date with it,  & sitting quietly with a lovely coffee & slowly plan my next year ahead.

One negative;
This damn cough or whatever it was that knocked me about last week it trying to rear it's ugly head. I am battling with it, lots of vitamin C & vitamins to ward it off. I just don't want it!

It's all good, life is great.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

MATS week 4 - editorial

I haven't had a chance to post my week 4 submission for MATS. I kind of struggled with this one a bit, only due to lack of time, I normally  put my 120% into it. Christmas orders have kept me a little crazy at the moment. No complaining, I am so happy :)

So editorial something you'd find in a magazine, newspaper, on a map etc. The best part of this assignment was the opportunity to create some hand lettering. A favourite past time of mine.

The brief was to create a map, or an identity of your city, where you live. Coming from Melbourne I picked the most iconic places that came to my mind straight away. Again, Lilla managed to throw me out of my comfort zone as usual. I mean take a look, does it look like a piece of art that I would normally create? No way hozay!! But it did give me an opportunity to stretch myself, see how I felt, ask myself if I loved it, & once again see what I could do & where it would take me.

So here it is, bright bold & very Melbourne.

Creating editorial art would be amazing, but I would hope to potentially gain work in areas that would be a little more in my comfort zone.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Burn out....I am a repeat offender.

I fell off the wagon last week, I literally dropped like a bag of lead. Last Wednesday I was feeling a bit off, nothing in particular, just off. By Thursday it hit me I had a sore throat, my chest ached & I was so incredibly tired. Friday I laid around all day, & managed to get Hudson picked up & dropped off at kinder. Bonus!!

I am quite confident I know what it was, burnout.....Burning the candle at both ends.

I am a repeat offender of this, it happens yearly to me. Every year I promise to not allow it to happen, but it does. Like all mums we take on too much, not on purpose it just happens. The life of a busy mum with very active kids, working my dream job,  looking after the house, & fitting in my exercise & other odds & bobs  eventually can take it's toll.  I am a bit of a perfectionist & I do like to keep busy. I have trouble saying no, as I want to live the fullest life possible, not just for myself but the kids.

I could sit here & say it's too much, but I won't it's just not my style. I think I just need to manage the situation a little better, maybe a bit more sleep could definitely help out a little. Not only will it help, it may also reduce some of my tired & grumpy days!

Doing it all with the kids in tow will always be a challenge & every week my routine changes a little, but I am always trying & thinking of new ways to complete things quicker than I did last time.

The only way to stop burnout is to clone myself, but that isn't going to happen anytime soon, so I must soldier on.

I am just REALLY glad to be feeling better, being unwell is such a time waster. I tell you I am not looking forward to the catch up.

Such is life, onwards & upawards.....I hope it was a great Monday.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Making something memorable

Ooooh how I love a wedding, I haven't been to many unfortunately some of my closets friends still aren't married, (no pressure B). As much as I would want to cherish their celebration with all of my heart, I just want a reason to put my best dress on & dancing shoes & celebrate the day & night away.

One of my gorgeous neighbours Cleo, celebrated her daughters (Daphey) wedding on the 26th October. Can you believe I missed her leaving.....bummer...I had Charlotte's dance rehearsal. 

Anyway, she popped over the other day wondering if I could make a cushion for her to celebrate her wedding date in a similar design of their wedding invite. What a beautiful idea!! She wanted to give it to her as a gift, & leave it on her brand new couch for when they arrive home from their Maldives honeymoon. 

How could I say no, here it is.
I gave it to her this afternoon & all I can say is that she was beyond thrilled & couldn't wait to give it to her. Not only that she was telling me how many other people she knows who who also cherish something like this & I should consider designing a celebration range. Oh wow I never thought of anything like that before, & what makes it worse ideas are running through my head  at a million miles an hour. 

Time to get those ideas on paper & tackle them in the new year, I just need to get through the rush of Christmas.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Reaching goals I never thought would happen

About 16 months ago I had a double knee surgery, I had an arthroscopy procedure on both of my knees. Growing up I was a sports nut, I loved it, I still do. But the years of wear & tear well into my early 20's started to cause me pain. I no longer could squat, lunge or RUN which just devastated me. I accepted this as some kind of ageing process, & was told it's just wear & tear on my knees. I eased up on how intense my workouts were to accommodate this, but the slight pain increased, & my knees started to grind. It got to a point all I did was walk, which I find boring, & even to bend down to pick up the kids toys, even kneeling down on them was casing pain. I had so much treatment, physiotherapy, acupuncture, & loads of osteo, as well as taking lots of fish oil & glucosamine, but nothing worked.

I gave in & just stopped moving a lot, which made me annoyed, body conscious, lethargic & tired. I function at my best when I exercise. Eventually my dad got me into his GP who was also one of the doctors for Essendon Football club (my team!!). I figured surely he could help, if he treated professional athletes daily. So I went along, he felt & heard how my knees would grind & said it wasn't good, & sent me to a knee specialist who performs knee surgery. Mind you this happened 3 days after I met him, no waiting I suppose when your doctor has all the right professional contacts. YAY! As nervous as I was, I went with an open mind to see what he had to say. At the end of the day it was my choice as to what treatment I chose to undertake. 

My doctors name was Nigel, he was around my age which I found comforting, & he was gentle & understanding of my frustration. He examined my knees & told me with the grinding sound they were making, & the pain I described he knew I need an arthroscopy procedure. Suddenly I felt brave & said yes to proceed. I was so sick of the pain, I just couldn't deal with it anymore, & feeling so incapable of moving freely. Not just yes, but YES to both knees at once. He said are you sure,? You wont be able to move around much, & the fact I have 2 kids concerned him. Thankfully my mum didn't work, so that wasn't a problem, she could help me for a few days until I got mobile.

A few days later, (yes this happened super quickly) I was at the hospital, gowned up & ready to go. I was nervous but had a strange faith in him. He seemed a genuine & caring man, no eagerness to just cut into my knees. The surgery was key hole, two incisions in both side of my knees. I understood the procedure like this; He went in there & ground off all of the rough edges that were grinding against each other to clean it up, & remove what didn't need to be in there. Your knee & knee cap he described should be smooth like wet ice, very slippery. Both of mine were the opposite, bumpy & rough from wear & tear.

Afterwards I woke feeling fine. My knees all bandaged & I had to walk straight away. Man was I scared. But I did it, as awkward as it was. Recovery has taken me a while, as he told me they were worse than he had predicted, so had to be a little more aggressive on the left knee (my most painful), than on the right. It took a good 6 weeks to be walking normally again, & several months before I could bend my knee completely, that meaning pulling my ankle to my bum & stretching. I had to increase the flexibility of the muscles around my knee. I have taken it slowly & progressed with caution. My goal was to start moving more, & building the muscles up again once everything had settled. I wanted to start running again outside, so prior to this I had using a treadmill so it would help with impact, as it was safe, & flat, I did lots of interval running. Twelve months to the day (early September) I started running outside again. It was hard, always is compared to the treadmill. I didn't care about that, I knew I'd get there, but for the first time in what feels like FOREVER there is no pain. Words can no describe how amazing this is.

So slowly I got back into it with a goal to run 5km. Always in the back of my mind, I have been waiting for them to hurt again, but so far so good nothing. I have kept to safe foot paths or the road, not footy ovals or grassland, as I am paranoid I will find a pot hole & something will happen. Today on this beautiful sunny Melbourne day, (also a public holiday Melbourne Cup), I ran 5km with only three 30 seconds breaks. Sometimes the hills kill me & I need to recover as I am worried the next breath won't come. My legs hurt & feel heavy, but it's a great & normal pain. I would never have ever thought I would be able to achieve this. I am so happy & look forward to doing some fun runs in the future.

It's got me thinking about how amazing the mind is when you really want something. I have pushed to get to this day. It's hard, & some days I didn't feel like it but I didn't it anyway. I am starting to think if I have achieved this, what else is possible?? Whether it be running or other goals in my life.

Doing a happy dance!!

I love hearing about people goals, let me know what you have achieved when you thought it was impossible.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Horse Love...Inspired by the Melbourne Cup

This week there has been horse fever in the air. The race that stops the nation will be run, the MELBOURNE CUP!! A race that is watched by over 17 million people world wide. Wowza!!

It's a crazy time here in Melbourne, celebs roll in, (I believe Naomi Campbell is here this time), women are dressed beautifully with the dresses & hats, spending hundreds of dollars. People are betting left right & centre, sipping champagne & everyone looks amazing.

I am not a punter, & don't really have a lot of interest in horse racing at all. Instead I take advantage of the public holiday, which is tomorrow. It will be a day to have a sleep in, go for a run, spend the day with my husband, & catch up on some work while he spends time with the kids.

Regardless of my lack of interest in the race, I do love to look at horses & found some gorgeous pieces for the home, or for the kids.

Sources 1.  2.  3.  4.  5.  6

My favourite item would have to be the pink horse from it.

However you spend your day tomorrow, holiday or not, I hope it's a happy one.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Assignment 3 MATS - Scrapbooking

Oh geez can I say week 3 of the MATS course was one I was particularly looking forward to. I need to admit I have NEVER had a go at scrap booking in my life, the whole thing just doesn't interest me. However the beautiful paper, trims, embellishments definitely makes me oooh & arrrs. Some of these things are exquisite, & what some pros at this task can create is amazing in itself.

This week, Lilla asks us to create a scrap booking page you would buy to decorate your photos. The icons we had to concentrate on were vintage cameras & typewriters. Once again it was a subject matter I have never ever drawn in my life. I was a bit slow to start feeling a little stumped, so I didn't really look at it much until the Friday before the Sunday it was due. Besides the fact I have been incredibly busy with Christmas orders (YAY), didn't help.

I googled vintage camera & typewriters & it was beautiful seeing all of the models that were familiar to me, & also ones that were well beyond my years. Such incredible & intricate pieces of equipment. After searching I can definitely see the appeal & why one would keep & collect them. I then had a look around at some samples of scrap booking paper layouts, & lets just say the availability is incredible, & endless.

I kept most of my work hand drawn this week, then scanning them into photo shop & jazzing it all up in illustrator.

So here it is, "Capture the Moment".

Can you see how much fun I had? Drawing cameras, pencils, washi tape, pins, clips, icons that could be stuck over photos, cards where you could write personal notes. Fun Fun Fun!!

I can see why people get obsessed over the art of scrap booking, not that I'll be starting any time soon though.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Brand new work at reduced prices for 2 days only!!

I am busily making new artwork lately feeling really motivated & inspired to create. When these times happens it's vital I go & create, create, create. It's just the best feeling in the world, & always wonder what it would be like to be this highly inspired all the time? Heavenly!! My husband always says to me I look most content drawing in my sketch book or busily creating at my computer.

After a few requests for a fireman I have had him in my mind for about 6 weeks, thinking about what I'd like to draw. Yes it can take me that long just waiting for the right thought to pop into my head. I really wanted to create something fun, always bright, & something that would suit every little man that is so excited when he see's these big red trucks.

Introducing Fireman Funbear & his truck, holding his hose, looking like he is having the time of his life. Both designs have been created into a cushion & some colour popping wall art.

For two days only you can purchase both of these designs for a lot less than normal RRP which are listed in brackets, until Wednesday 30th October prices will go back to normal prices. 
Large cushion $37.00 ($44.00) Small cushion $22.00 ($30.00) 
Large Art $28.00 ($35.00) Small Art $18.00 ($25.00)

For the girls I have created a princess story. A newly inspired area I can give thanks to my 3 year daughter for. Over the last few months she has hit this princess phase of her life. She is very in to the beauty of them & their castles & the magic any of them may have. 

I have created two cushions in two colour ways, one that is typically pink for the majority of little girls who really don't see any other colour. A bit like my Charlotte, everything is pink, & occasionally she will allow pops of purple in there. The other colourway I have avoided the pink & gone for the purple, red & turquoise. I love how the colours contrast against each other.  I have learnt amongst the sea of pink lovers out there, there are a few little darlings are anti. So this colourway is for the not so pink princess.

Parts of the design have been used to create a sisters print. A bit of a follow up to my very popular brothers print. The print colours have followed in the same direction as the cushions.

The same 2 day offers are available for these designs. 
For two days only you can purchase both of these designs for a lot less than normal RRP which are listed in brackets, until Wednesday 30th October prices will go back to normal prices. 
Large cushion $37.00 ($44.00) Small cushion $22.00 ($30.00) 
Large Art $28.00 ($35.00) Small Art $18.00 ($25.00)

You can find them all here in my shop.

I'd love to know what you think, let me know.  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Primary School Orientation

Yesterday was a big day for myself & Hudson. He starts primary school next year, OMG, which I still can't believe. We went to the first day of orientation, there are 5 to attend. Now I have to tell you that I am not really worried about him going to school. I hear mothers that cry, sob alone in the car, have near panic attacks & I am wondering if I am normal as I am not feeling this. When he has his official first day I may, but not today. He was happy, enthusiastic, friendly & ready to start.

All mums think their children are amazingly gifted, gorgeous souls & today I am gloating about my little man.

My eyes fill with tears when I think about him deeply. I have created such a gorgeous confident & social person. He talks to everybody, never any judgement, or negativity & is always polite. He is happy, has a genuine warm soul, & always shows empathy for others, and he cares. He shows enthusiasm at any task thrown his way. He also has quite the competitive streak in him to achieve. Mmmmm just a tad like mama here. He is gentle & sensitive, & understands not to be rude or cruel to others, as he knows if he is treated that way it would upset him.

I feel excited for him. Super excited actually. He is a May baby so on the older end of the some of the kids in his kinder class. I still remember his first day of 3 year old kinder. He was excited, I was nervous. I was praying he would make friends, & nice friends. I remember taking him to the door on his first day, feeling unsure what the routine was. I didn't have to worry about him crying or being scared, because he went & sat on the mat with the rest of his new friends. The little bugger didn't even say goodbye. Again he was ready. I had a look of incompleteness on my face, my baby didn't kiss me goodbye. His adorable teacher, with her experience must have known what I was thinking, so invited me in to say good bye & take a photo. He waved. That moment is still so clear in my head.

The first day of 4 year old kinder was quite different. I knew what was going on, & after 6 weeks of this active little energiser bunny at home, I was happy to say goodbye as he went in. Again he was ready to learn the next stage of his life. What a years it's been. He has a friend with whom he is inseparable with, & I am blessed his mum is a fantastic lady & new friend. 

This year he has grown up incredibly. Bye bye to the little baby boy I said goodbye to on his very first day. My baby is a real boy, he looks like a boy, acts like a boy & runs 24/7 like a boy. Yesterday at orientation he left willingly with his new teacher for an hour, as I stayed & listened to the information provided. He came back to me gleaming, wanting to run around the school, with his best mate beside him, together they wanted to explore.

He is so ready for primary school, so eager, & so enthusiastic. The world is his oyster & I can't wait to watch him go for it. He is my world & I love him.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Assignment 2 - MATS - Baby Apparel

This week I have been running a bit behind with lots going on. Work, the kids, blah blah I could bore you but I won't. I didn't get a chance to show you my initial sketches for my second week MATS assignment.

This week was all about baby apparel....squeal!! I was pretty excited as it's ME ME ME. I have been really looking forward to this area. I love doing baby & kids designs, as I am sure you already know, so I found the brief a lot of fun, & took me back to my works days when I designed kids & baby wear. However a really new topic....CAMPING!!

A subject matter I have never really tackled, & not being much of a camper myself, I had to work really hard to make sure the icons I added were relevant.

Above is my submission. My illustration on the right, & on the left how I could utilise the icons into some apparel.  I wanted to keep the sweet cutesy feel, & thought I'd design it for girls. Only because most camping themes tend to be more boy like. Besides the fact I could draw pink bunnies made me really happy.

I really got into this theme & found it a lot of fun. It was a subject that had so much potential to go into so many different directions. Fun fun fun!!

Week three's area of design we are tackling is scrap booking. I am really eager to get into that, although I don't scrap book myself, there has been many a times I have oooohed & ahhhhed over the beautiful papers & embellishments I have seen. It should be interesting.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

20% off Christmas Range

Guess what?? I am having a very short Christmas sale. 
You could even call it a thank you sale. If it wasn't for my lovely customers I wouldn't get to have the full time job of art that I have. So thankYOU

Note - For some reason my shopping cart isn't deducting the 20% off the stockings. It's driving me nuts & I can't work out why for the life of me. If you do order those, I will refund you the 20% difference.
My apologies for this.

Thanks xxxx

Monday, October 21, 2013

Inspiration & Creativity - part 3

This is my favourite area of imagination & creativity. I love colour. Colour inspires me. Colours excites me. Seeing colours I am drawn too can bring ideas flooding to me, really quickly.

Colour can speak so many words happiness, moodiness, memories, comfort, excitement & joy. We are surrounded by colour from the moment we open out eyes in the morning, until we go to sleep at night, even then we can dream in colour. 

Colour inspires the seasons we design for, spring, summer, autumn & winter. 

So how does it inspire me? The colours that inspire me are almost like an instinct, I just know, it's a natural tendency that my eye is drawn constantly to. My logo is a give away to what I love. At the moment I can never get enough of turquoise, I adore raspberry red, tangerine, white, grey & recently chartreuse. 

A great way to find out what you naturally gravitate to, & inspires you, is grab some books, magazines, or jump on pinterest & just look around. Pull out or pin what you are drawn too without thinking about what you're selecting. You could easily do this for an hour, time flies when you in the land if inspiration. When you have had enough, have a look at what you have selected & see what you notice? Have you selected similar colours? Patterns? Shapes? It's amazing how obvious it can be.

You will be amazed at what you see. I did the exercise only 6 months ago, & noticed a lot of what you can see in the colours above. These colours make me happy & feel creative. To me they are fresh, bright, summery (my favourite season) & fun. It was for an online course I was taking, & here is what I collected as colour inspiration. Pretty close isn't it.

I also use two fantastic sites for colour research.

Colour Lovers - This is a wonderful social website that in filled of colour inspiration & creativity. You can join the community & become a member, or even just search on it for colour inspiration. When I am design something I usually jump on there & type in the search bar what I am looking for. At the moment I am drawing a princess range, & I knew I wanted a great pink colour palette. I typed in candy pink & a tonne of different combinations appeared. It was heaven & saved me hours of research.

The next is the glorious design seeds. Wonderfully collated & themed images are used to create palettes. It's just spectacular. From a photograph the colours taken from it to create divine palettes which are truly amazing.

Pinterest is another place I visit for colour inspiration. A place I used a lot for my own inspirations. It's a blessing isn't it that we don't really need to bookmark websites anymore. Our pins do it for us. You can find my colour board here.

There are so many ways to let colour inspire you. Take a seat & just have a look around you. Who knows what your eye will find. I truly believe that colour inspiration always finds you, & you inner thoughts deep down are always sub consciously on the look out. Just remember to keep your phone on you so you can take a photo!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Water colour playtime again.

I made some time to play around with water colours again. I really enjoy them.
Here is my next piece.

It isn't brilliant I know, but isn't it important to have a go at things that just make you happy?

I hope you're having a relaxing Sunday.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Searching for simplicity

I had one of those moments during the week, one that shone all the lights brightly in my head & gave me the aaaha moment. I was listening to a podcast on blogcastFM, which is a fantastic place I go to when I need to inspiration from successful creative entrepreneurs. There was an interview with Alexandra Franzen, someone new & amazing I have just discovered. 

The questions revolved around how she makes some really important creative decisions in her business, how she goes about it & how she markets them. She seemed to be a really big advocate on stripping everything back to the bones & looking at your goals, intentions & strategies in the most simplest of forms. To me it came across she wanted to create as little work as possible. Sounds good to me!! It was also discussed how perfectionist (like me) try to make tasks far more complicated than they are.

At that point I started to feel like they were talking about me. I do that quite a lot. I work so hard, & try so hard at everything I do, & I know I have made my working goals at times more complex than they are.  I plan, & plan, & sometimes get a little lost in the planning that I become too overwhelmed about it & just don't do it.

I know I am not alone here. 

It has really got me thinking. I need to think about the business goals that I have at the moment & look at them simply, don't over complicate them & just get them done. 

The first one that sticks right out like a sore thumb is my art licensing dreams. I am crazy busy getting my folio ready for submission to art directors. Hence why I am doing the MATS e-course. I am constantly improving & changing things for the better I believe, waiting for the moment of 'readiness perfection'. I think it's time to stop over complicating this, ask myself whats the goal, & then simplify the actions.
The goal - Completing my folio for submission
The simple action - Just submit it. I know what I have to offer is acceptable. 
If I keep messing about with it waiting for the right time, or the perfect moment, I am going to lose my potential opportunity.

I also need to start doing this with daily tasks. When I start working, I work off my "to do" list, but I tend to have a problem with slightly reworking the task differently making it seem substantially more complex than it is. It's like I am over thinking it, & making it more perfect, it's such a bad bad habit.

By doing this I am limiting how productive I really am. My time is limited having to kids, I can only work solidly when they are asleep, or at kinder/care. Lately I don't feel like I have been having any R and R & I know I deserve it too.

The words simplify have bee really floating around in my head, like crazy, almost like neon light flashing. I am just so focused on how I can simplify everything in my life so I can have more time to do what I want. Like catch up on some trash reality TV haha, or maybe do some of the DIY's I pin, & what I really love, play in my garden.

The concept of simplifying my life has had quite an impact on me, that I still know there is more room to discuss this. Such a simply word haha.

I'd love to know how simplifying tasks in your life would improve you.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Assignment week 1 completed (Part B of MATS)

Assignment week 1 (Part B of MATS) was successfully completed.

The brief was winter holiday candy & ornaments, which you can see my initial sketches & how I was feeling here. After lots of drawing, redrawing, then not feeling happy, so I redrew again I finally came up with two concepts I was happy with. We are always asked to draw 2, which is such a great idea as it's amazing how one always pops out at you more. 

This is what I submitted. I was really happy with the final result, I managed to get five of the icons I originally drew into the illustration, plus some additional Christmas lights. I am still loving the hand drawn lettering, can you tell?

Here is my second submission. I was equally as happy here & enjoyed creating it. It was actually the first drawing I had created. When I was re reading the brief I noticed that the submission had to be vertical, silly me did it horizontally!! It was no biggy if I had decided to submit this I would have rearranged it.

While reading in the online MATS forum, I learnt something new & so obvious, but had never noticed this before. One of the other students queried why did we have to create a vertical card. Being surrounded by 500 other artists, it's pretty likely someone will have an answer to share. One of the students, who had licensed cards to Hallmark, had told us it's all about the consumers eye. 
When the card is vertical, there is more 'drawing', for us shoppers to see, & be attracted to. The majority of the artwork should be in the 2 top thirds of the design for this reason. Horizontal cards kind of lose there visibility as they look lower amongst hundreds of other cards on the shelf. Wow how obvious!! Lets think about it, when you shop for a card you automatically scan the top area of a card to see what pops out, & attracts you. So simple I was completely unaware. 

I LOVE learning something new.