Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A new & exciting chapter in my life

The last few days have been a complete blur. I made a BIG decision a fortnight ago to sell my other business Quirky and Quaint.

image source

I have been very fortunate to have created a business that was good enough to sell, & it was a great feeling just knowing that someone else believes in it as much as I do.

The last 2 years have been a completely whirl wind of work, & complete and utter busyness. Between Tiges and Weince growing bit by bit, & Quirky and Quaint snowballing into 10 girls selling the brand & product all over Australia, it was just becoming too much. As you know I have 2 kiddies at home, & they need my attention so much. From a career perspective, I was also feeling that I wasn't being able to completely give myself to what I love, digital illustration & surface design, 150 per cent.

Fortunately for me an unexpected buyer came along, who has a really popular online home wares business called Belle and Elle. Jodie who runs it has loads of sales, product, & management experience, which is just brilliant!! Also, she has been a stockist of Tiges and Weince, so we have already a business relationship. I honestly couldn't be more excited & thrilled, for two reason. The first that I can focus on my nagging dreams that I have expressed here before, & also that Jodie is a perfect buyer. She will make the brand bigger & better, which is what I want for the girls who took a chance on me when they signed up as Quirky and Quaint consultants.

So within the next month there will be lots of work to hand over & making sure everything is in 100% working order for Jodie. While this is in progress, there will be lots of dreaming for me to do, fine tuning the plans, & the dreams that I have, with so much excitement knowing that I will have the time to explore and chase them. I will be able to direct some goals, & finally get those "to do" jobs crossed off my list.  It makes my heart race just thinking about them.

I just am so excited about my future :)

Have a great day,

Monday, April 29, 2013

Custom Order Bunting

Good morning, I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.

I wanted to share a bunting that I completed late last week for a customer. It is specifically for her business "Little Miss Muffet", which is a gorgeous collection of girls accessories.

Doesn't her whole branding have a real candy bar feel to it, it's so super sweet.

I absolutely love doing custom orders, so if you are in the need for something like this above, please email me & we can have a chat.

Have a great Monday

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How do you look at yourself?

I stumbled across this yesterday & it really brought a tear to my eye, & I felt a little swelled up a bit, even a little disappointed in myself that this is what I do to myself.

It's so easy to say we shouldn't feel so critical of ourselves, we should love ourselves, & enjoy the skin we're in. I know as I am getting older I am becoming more accepting of my flaws, it doesn't mean that I love them, I am just tired of thinking about them. I have also noticed just like this video, I too am guilty of perceiving myself worse than I can assume I am. It's incredible how we are perceived so differently. When we are told that something is lovely we find it hard to accept. 

This exact thing happened to me last Saturday at Hudson's Auskick. One of the lovely fellow kinder mums & I were talking skin care. She then went on say I was genetically blessed with my skin & straight teeth, & what skin care do I use. The teeth think I am fine with as I know that. But the skin!! Genetically blessed!! I know that I am very regimented with my skincare routine, but I am constantly find something that's not smooth. Mind you I dream of Cate Blanchett's & Nicole Kidman's flawless complexions. Why did I find it so hard to say thank you?

After watching this clip I really wanted to be one of the subject being sketched, so I could REALLY see how I was perceived. Would I be happy? Would I be relieved? I am not really sure, but I honestly wish I could say that I didn't care what the sketch looked like as I was so comfortable already.

Please don't think I am completely down on myself, I am not by any means, I enjoy my life & I know I have strengths & things to offer, but the above I find myself a little guilty of. Just like so many other women I'm sure. If anything I have really learnt something from watching this, & I know it made an impact due to how I felt when watching it, & I think thats a positive step in the right direction.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A kind of sad day

Today is a kind of sad day for me, I guess it's a kind of sad day for any mother who has felt what I have today.

Message to you child print available here.

My baby girl turns 3 next month, she is growing up with so much cheekiness, personality, beauty & tenderness. She has been toilet trained for a while now, however a night I have been leaving her nappy on for the obvious reasons. However, touch wood, she has not been wetting them for over a month now. Don't get me wrong she has had an accident, only because early into toilet training I forgot to put one on one night. But otherwise she has been dry.

Last night was her final "nappy in the box", I decided that when the box was finished, so would her night nappy. This morning she woke up dry, YAY! But a sudden feeling of a 'happy sadness'  hit me. She is growing up, my baby, my last bub, is becoming a big girl. My son has been through this but weirdly I didn't feel this way, probably I was so consumed with caring for 2 very small children, I didn't have time to feel this.

She was so happy when I told her no more nappies at night, you're a big girl, I felt guilty for feeling crappy myself. The sparkle in her eyes about this milestone should have really outweighed my self absorbed low feelings.

Photo by Kylie Loy on Flickr

I am sure what I have felt is very normal, I am positive there will be other milestones she has achieved  where I will feel the same, but I just had to share this one with you.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Playing with the live trace tool

After all the years I have been drawing with Adobe Illustrator, I have just learnt a brand new tool. LIVE TRACE. I knew it was in there but hadn't really needed it before, & was a little unsure of it. I tend to draw straight into the computer. I think that happens because of year working in the fashion industry & having to complete everything "yesterday", I never had time to really sketch by hand first. It's also how I learnt, so its a habit that has stayed with me. It hasn't done me any harm, but it's so refreshing to have learnt something new & giving me an opportunity to explore new avenues. Since having completed my online course, I have been making a conscious effort to try & draw by hand a bit more, it gives my work a new look. It's the same style but has a more flowing & organic perspective. I am liking it. I do think it's more labour intensive, but that's a lovely new feeling to have, it feel more personal & has a bit more depth.

With summer on the horizon in the northern hemisphere, I have been seeing some lovely paisley influences which had me sketching away. This is a work in progress, I am not sure where it's going yet, but my main goal was to start perfect using the live trace tool. My first attempt was a little dismal, as when I used the function it didn't separate all of the draw in into separate pieces. As I was dropping in colour, several shapes were becoming the one colour. When I had a look closer I notice that some of my join lines amongst the shapes weren't completely closed. Bummer, back to the drawing board! Mind you this happened a couple of times. So I went over them again with a felt tip pen that made everything thicker. After that I was off & running, dropping in colour everywhere.

I am happy with the final result, & I love how the outside lines to each shape are in some cases a little rough, & not completely smooth, like I would normally create in a vector drawing. The pen lines were deleted completed giving it a cleaner look. I am not 100% sure what I will do with it just yet, I have an idea so I will just have to see how that eventuates.

I am looking forward to more experimenting.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Planning ahead...

The month of May is the most wonderful month of the year for me, & always demands preparation in advance. Both of the kids birthday's are in May, the 12th & 21st,  & then there is also mother's day. I love it & get so excited just thinking about it.

I love to give the kids a birthday party. I just can't help myself. This year only Hudson is having one with his lovely circle of friends. His friends come from my mother's group, friends from kinder, & of course my dearest friends children.

Charlotte, bless her, is still to find some of her own friends, as being the 2nd child she has kind of attached herself to Hudson's group. Which is just adorable, but one day it will be lovely for her to choose some of he own. I am sure when she starts kinder next year, this will all happen very naturally.

This year Hudson has decided he would like a Superhero party. That request was no surprise to me at all, he is completely obsessed with superheroes. I want to keep it simple this year, I am not creating the candy buffet, it's just far to stressful for me. It will be more basic, with good food, company, & the invitation of one very special guest.

The kids will have an hour and a half with him & he will be the focal point of the whole party. Spidey will play games, make balloon animals, pain faces, dance & play a few other games. I honestly can't wait. For a change except for food, & some decorations, it's pretty much done & dusted.

From a work perspective I have a few more prints I am working on for a couple of limited edition mothers day items. Stay tuned for those, I will give you a little hint, they keep you warm!!

Mother's day, 12th May, will be a beautiful day in my home. Not only will it be mother's day, but will also be Hudson's actually birthday. It will be a day of immediate family, mother's and grand mothers, aunts & uncle's. I want to something special, like a gorgeous afternoon tea & light lunch. So we can sit relax, enjoy some cake, laugh & chat. It would be so dreamy if we could have setting like this.

Perfect afternoon tea for mothers day

Finally I have my baby girl's birthday. Geez time has flown, I can't believe she is turning 3. I am not sure what we will do to celebrate, maybe a zoo visit as she is an animal lover. But it will be a lovely quiet event with immediate family. I know that I want it to be special, and completed with a rainbow cake. She is obsessed with looking for rainbows in the sky, so I thought I would give her one. I would like to try & create a version of one of these which have been created over & over, so one would assume I could do it?

I still can't believe we are heading int May, but boy I can't wait.

I know everyone has months like these, which one is a bsy one for you?

Have a lovely week.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Quick Family Meals

I have been lacking inspiration for all cooking lately, mainly due to the fact my kids are not the easiest to feed. I to be honest have just given up!! I am struggling with the same boring flavours, & I feel like I have lost my groove. LITERALLY!! After many discussions with friends, & my constant complaints, they have all advised I should cook what I like & the kids should just deal with it. If they haven't eaten it within 20 minutes or so, take it away & that's it. Seems harsh to be honest, but I need to try something. Obviously what I cook has to be within reason, & I need to make sure there isn't anything in it that they admit to disliking, or obviously not too hot & spicy.

This is what we are having here tonight. The ingredient in this are giving me hope, there isn't anything really they don't like in here.


Delicious Moroccan honey Chicken image via taste

The ingredients seem relatively simple.
1tbs honey
1tbs warm water
1 tbs Moroccan spice mix
Chicken breast fillets
1 cup cous ous
1 coup boiling water
1/4 slivered almonds
2tbs roasted pine nuts
1/2 diced dried apricots
Coriander leaves to serve.

You can read the instructions for cooking via taste.

I am actually looking forward to seeing how they react.

If you have any recipes that are super kids friendly, I would love to hear about them.

Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Updated blog design & layout

I went to post something else today, but it ended up being replaced with this post. I wanted to update my blog. A fresh design. A fresh look. I think as an artist it's so important to update when the mood strikes. Inspiration is important to me, I know instinctively I have to act when it comes, or I kind of lose the moment. I have been meaning to do it for ages, it was always on the back burner, but today it was dragging me & nagging me TO JUST DO IT!! So I did.

My love of colour never leaves me, & I didn't want to change my current colours too much. I will forever love turquoise that will never change, & that also goes for raspberry red. However I wanted the red a little softer, not pink, but not as bright. I am loving yellow also, it has such a freshness to it. White as it lifts everything, & also lately combined with a touch of grey, it goes with everything & has a real smoothness about it.

Looking at my pinterest boards I noticed a colour theme happening, so I grabbed these images & they inspired to new look.

Here it is. What do you think? I know you would have noticed it when you opened to read, but I had to plonk it there as I love how the colours & images from my inspiration board are so on par with each other.

After playing around with it for quite a while I am definitely very happy with the end result. I would like to add some other bits & bobs, & will get on to those later.

It's such a great feeling when you're super happy with something you've completed.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Changeable Charm Necklace Launch

Today I have something wonderful to share. After a few months of planning I have finally released my Changeable Charm Necklaces. I am so SUPER excited about these & especially how they look. I have collaborated with the lovely Aileen from LimeDaisy designs on this project. I created all of the images, & she used her wonderful skills in developing these for me. 

What I am even more thrilled about is that WE HAVE NECKLACES FOR BOYS!!!
There is absolutely nothing around like this for boys which makes it so much better.

Changeable Charms are a magnetic style necklace that come with a set of 4 unique glass charms. Each Charm has a magnet on the back which magnetises to the pendant. each changeable charm comes packages in a stylish metal tin.

I love to give out special offers. Who doesn't love to save money? I know I do. 
With the launch of these I would love to offer a buy 2 for $40!! That's a HUGE saving & a crazy one to be honest. I am only offering 20 of these so you need to be very quick.
You can click here to go straight to the link.

I hope you like what you see as much as I do.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day at the farm

Yesterday I headed out to the Collingwood children's farm with my lovely girlfriends from my mothers group, & their kids. I don't see them as much as I would like too, but when the 4 of us are together its hectic, yet great. To be honest I look forward to our dinners out more now!

The sun was shining & it was a beautiful sunny Autumn day, & all of the animals were relatively active, which made for excited children running around like chooks themselves.

I have to admit it's not Hudsons favourite place to be. He is not an animal lover. He respects them & keeps a fairly healthy distance between himself & them. That's fine, as I am a bit the same. The unpredictability of animals has always made me a little nervous. Where as my other one, well, Miss Charlotte I think is like a mini animal whisperer. No fear whatsoever, & the animals are always drawn to her, it freaks me out sometimes. She has certainly taken me out of my comfort zone a few times as I have had to accompany her to pat animals, & hold the reins of ponies so she can have rides, and pull her away from getting far too close at times. She has tanty's when we have to move on, oh boy the joys of an animal lover.

I wanted to share a couple of photo's of the new friends she made on the day.

Yep Hudson is no where to be seen, instead he was climbing trees.

Such beautiful, but such very different children's I have & I love it.

If you're from Melbourne, I hope you're enjoying the school holidays as much as I have. It's been a fabulous week & a half, I can't believe they are nearly over. I am off to the movies today to see The Croods with them, as well as their cousins, & I actually can't wait.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What I am reading

Reading owl print here

I LOVE to read.

I don't do it as much as I would like to, only due to time restraints, but I am making time lately as part of my "What makes me happy" journey.

Some may think this is a tad boring but I am a fan of a self help or business book.
I also love a bit of romance, nothing too heavy, & lots of arty design books.

What I am reading right now is, "Getting things Done" by David Allen. I am feeling the need for some better business organisation so I can free up some time to spend on some new art I want to develop & experiment with. I can be a bit of a procrastinator if the task at hand bores me. So I am hoping this is the  guy to steer me in the right direction.

Since having my ipad, I have utilised the kindle app to my advantage, & buying so many, so very cheap books. I am happy to spend money on lovely art or interior books, even certain novels, but definitely not business books. The digital way is the best way now for these books.

Here are a couple of other business books I have bought, that are on my "to read" list.
Daring Greatly - Brene Brown
50 Pinterest Marketing Tips - I figured I spend enough time on there I should try & use it properly.
MYOB for dummies - yep such a damn boring read, I have started it to many times. It kills me. Every time I start I stop & just pay my accountant. One day I will master this! To be honest I wish I bought the actual book as I would have been able to use my sticky notes better for reference points.
Accidental Organiser - everyone needs this.

If you have some other books that you think I may need to read, please let me know.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Finally finishing one of those 'pending' DIY jobs.

Do you have an every growing ist of DIY projects? I do, you can see them here.
I had such a simple itty bitty task I have been been meaning to complete for ages. So simple, I am talking a 10 minute job. I still don't know how sometimes I just cant find 10 minutes.

Anyway I have an ugly whiteboard in my kitchen. It's soul purpose are for notes & items I know I will be needing at the supermarket. If I dont write them down, I forget them.

I own a small collection of washi tapes & have been wanting to use this lovely turquoise ditzy floral on it. It was the simplest task ever, literally sticking the tape over the wooden perimeter.

Have a lovely Sunday.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Seeing Paisley

I love new seasons as it brings new trends. Winter is pending here in Melbourne which I have to admit I am not overly excited about. I am a sunshine girl, I love summer and my favourite season is Autumn. When the sun is out I feel happiest, it's a guaranteed mood lifter. It's also my favourite season to draw and design, it just comes a lot more naturally to me. I am sure it's due to my love of colour!

With summer starting in the northern hemisphere, I just can't help notice lots of summery paisley's coming through as a strong trend. I have not always been a fan of paisley designs, but as I have got older, I have become more drawn to them. From a surface design perspective I think they are brilliant, so detailed and intricate. I love how a rainbow of colours can be used, and I love how it can be created so simply with only 2 colours. There is so much versatility.

Here are some lovely images I have found and collected on pinterest. It's a trend that is happening from fabric, apparel, shoes, home wears & even cakes. So inspiring!!

Images & references from pinterest
Aren't they gorgeous? Their swirliness just makes me want to draw.
This inspiration has given me some ideas for mothers day and a couple of prints, so stay tuned.

Have a lovely Friday.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Making time for me

A little while ago I wrote about my semi workaholic ways, & how this year my goal is to still achieve my goals, but to add in a bit more time for me. Sitting down and breathing has been a bit of a mantra in my head. I am thrilled to say I am definitely making some progress, & feel really happy about it. It's hard, & takes some work, to break out of routine which have been going on for a while now. I am feeling very determined though.

Things I am doing for me.

I am getting up earlier in the morning, about an hour or two. It's a very peaceful time of day,  the world is so still, I really enjoy it,  & I am also getting some work done. I have a cup of green tea which has taken some getting used to, as I am not a huge fan of it - I have found a minted flavoured one which has made it far more enjoyable. I get to answer emails peacefully without the kids hanging off me, it's also an opportunity to read my favourite blogs, and write my own. I am also getting some other work completed. The other necessary bonus is that because I have achieved this is the morning I get to have an hour or 2 a night to sit, chat & relax with my hubby, which is so important.

As already mentioned I am doing a short course which I am absolutely loving, and is feeding me creatively.

I have dedicated 2 nights a weeks for the gym. I was originally going in the mornings but have changed it around to suit me more. I am taking a body balance class, & think it's brilliant. It's one of the hardest classes I have every taken, & boy do I get a sweat going. I am usually a bit of a treadmill & weights junkie, & the change is so positive. I am not a flexible person so I am hoping to improve that too, as it's become worse after having knee surgery last September.

Lastly I want to spend more time in my garden. I am not a very good gardener, but I have this strange happiness when I am outside pottering around. I am not sure if it's the fresh air, the dirt, the plants, or the amount of exercise you get while doing it. Regardless it's great & gets my whole family together outside. I just wish I knew more about which plants go where, & what to plant. My yard is in need of some new greenery.

Such small changes, and so very simple are really doing wonders. It's hard at times as I don't want to get up, or I am too tired for the gym, or know in the back of my mind all the things I have to complete for work. But I am doing my very best.

Are there things that you are doing for you this year?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Course Update & Initial Concepts

I have been working hard over the weekend, in between Easter activities, as seeing that I didn't have Internet connection, it gave me some time to work on a new print concept. I am doing a short course which I mentioned here. Over the last 3 weeks it's all been about finding my style & influences, it's been a fabulous eye opening experience. I have such an obvious style, from my clothes, the kids clothes, pinterest boards I have created, it's all so similar to what my eye is drawn to.

We are up to a really fun part now, the part that I LOVE most.
Story Boards - Colour Palette  - Design Concepts

The biggest influence at the moment in my house are Rainbows. Both of my kids love these. I am continuously inundated with questions about them, from where does it begin and end? Can they touch them? Why are they the same colours? What are they made of? Why cant they see them all the time? The list goes on!

My Story Board & Colour Inspiration

Some Sketching

A Initial Print Concept

I am really enjoying this process & feel like its all coming together nicely.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Lovely Easter Break

It's so lovely to be back in the blog world, I haven't had Internet connection for about a week, it's driven me crazy. The positive is I got some extra spare time to hang out with my kids & husband over the Easter break, & I would love to share them.

Here are some family snaps from the last couple of days.

On Good Friday we ventured out to the annual Good Friday appeal, which is completely dedicated to raising funds for Melbourne's Royal Children's hospital. The whole day is based on gold coin donations where 100% of funds go directly to the hospital.

Charlotte & I.  Charlotte hugging the Easter Bunny.  Charlotte with her face painted as a fairy.

Hudson with Captain America & Batman. Hudson is a formula 1 car.  Hudson with some Star Wars Troopers.

A giant teapot ride, which had spinning cups & saucers. Flower fairies that walked everywhere on stilts. I am so in love with the patterns & colours on the petals.

Easter Sunday morning after the egg hunt. That Easter Bunny sure did leave some lovely treats.

We didn't spend Easter Sunday with the rest of my family this year. Hubby's family came over Good Friday later in the afternoon & my parents are in Sydney. So we thought we would have another family outing to Puffing Billy. A beautiful old steam train that travels up in the mountains, towards the east of Melbourne. I hadn't been there for years, I was actually there last in primary school. It was cold & rainy, but so beautiful. The train ride was just over an hour one way, & very slow all the way up a hill which looked on to thick rain forest type land. It was never ending green. The kids were allowed to sit on the window ledge, & let their legs dangle outside. Hudson & Charlotte both did it, although I was freaking out the whole time. I had hold of them both probably way too tight. Seeing the steam coming out of the train was so lovely, & all of the men who drive the train are in old style uniforms. It was such a great day I highly recommend it for any age.

The break is over, & life returns to normal tomorrow. Back to work for us all. The kids are on holidays from kinder, so it will be a tough slog getting any work done around them. But that's OK, I'll work something out.

I hope you all had a lovely Easter too.