In the Shop

I've listed my new cards in the shop - go take a look! I'm going to add new designs every few months, and the first ones I'm doing are Christmas cards (I've been looking forward to doing some of those!). It might seem a little early, but really, it's not!

I have a question for you... Do you know of any shops that you think would be a good fit for my greeting cards? I'd love to stock them in more shops here in Australia and overseas, so if you have any suggestions, I'd love to know!

I love seeing them all together!

New Cards!

I was just about to give the usual apology for not posting for a few months when I realised it's been almost a year! Do you know why I don't blog more? It's because I always think blog posts need to be perfect - no typos, no blurry photos - unlike social media, which is much more quick and dirty. Why do I save my blog for Sunday best? I'm really going to push myself to blog more, even just casual work in progress shots and a few quick words. Actually, I should have loads of WiP photos to share, since I'm spending the next four or five weeks making new artwork for an August exhibition (details on that one to come).

Meanwhile, here is my new greeting card range, Pictograph, back from the printers. These cards were a long time coming because I just couldn't decide on the final three designs! Finally, here they are! They're not in the shop yet, but will be as soon as I have a few moments to do the listings. I'm really hoping I can find time to design some Christmas cards for this holiday season - I'd love to do that.

To help make Pictograph cards distinctive, I've given them a decorative spine, like a little book. Can you guess my influence?* They have little complementary spot illustrations on the backs as well, which were really fun to do (there'll be pics of the card backs in the shop). Like my other card range, Jamboree, they're eco-friendly too. I hope you like them! Do you have a favourite? I have a favourite...oh wait a minute, I can't decide...

I'll be back soon with more blog posts - promise!

* Little Golden Books

A New Drawing

Here's a new drawing I've just finished and framed, and it will be for sale in my online shop when I open (hopefully!) next week. I've been drawing with technical pencils lately. I just love the super-fine, delicate lines. They're not easy to shade and blend with the eraser, so I use a regular 1H pencil too.

I've made a few collaged picture frames for some new drawings. I've been experimenting with different finishes for a long time because I like paper to retain as much of its patina as possible when I seal it; I'm not a fan of glossy sealants like Mod Podge. These frames have a really lovely, tactile finish that is smooth and waxy. I really love making them! The paper I used to collage the collar is one of the patterns I've designed, and it's also on the back of the frame, so it's all matchy-matchy! I think her name is Milly, she looks like a Milly doesn't she?

Playing Shop

I used to own a little plastic cash register that had real dockets, and I loved playing shop. Dolly and Teddy were total shopaholics, I can tell you! Well, for the next month (until Friday the 5th of June) I do have a little shop that I'm sharing with my friend Mark, and this is our window! We're not finished setting up yet, so the shop's looking a little bare, but as soon as it's done I'll share some more pics! This is part of a new complex at the back of the Norwood Town Hall, called Brick+Mortar Creative Hub that houses a cafe and little pop-up shops downstairs, and larger capsule stores upstairs (where we are), plus a space to hold workshops, and wall space for exhibiting artwork. If you happen to be in South Australia, please drop by!

My friend Mark makes beautiful natural soaps, perfumes, etc as Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez (don't you just love that name?) and all his products also happen to be entirely vegan! I've designed all of his branding and packaging, in close collaboration with Mark himself, who has a very strong creative vision and aesthetic drawing inspiration from influences ranging from the familiar and nostalgic, through to the richly exotic and romantic. Like me, Mark loves the early to mid-20th century, so if you're also a lover of the culture of that time, you'll appreciate the diverse influences drawn together into his range of deeply romantic and evocative products, and of course, it's the extracts and oils from fruits, woods and flowers that are the stars of the show!

I know I'm biased here, since we've been friends for over thirty years, but knowing him so well, I can tell you that Mark has approached his business with so much thought and integrity, and has committed to only using natural ingredients in his formulations, that are not only free from artificial fragrances, etc, but also free from palm oil and other unsustainable ingredients, such as oils from threatened plant species. You can follow Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez on Facebook, where very shortly Mark will be announcing the launch of his brand new website (designed by Yours Truly), and (so exciting!) a range of natural lip balms! It is so difficult to get hold of really nice natural lip balm that is also vegan (ie. free from lanolin and beeswax), so I am totally thrilled by his new lip balms and have been a willing and happy guinea pig as he's developed the range. I hope he doesn't mind if I reveal these ahead of time, but a couple of examples of the delicious and unusual lip balm varieties are Caramelised Fig, and Rose Creme (which is rose and white chocolate). YUM!

I thought I'd show you one of the shop displays for the beautiful Shanghai Lil face mists. I use this every day as a toner; it's so gentle and refreshing. The varieties are Rose and Cucumber, and the other is Rose and Watermelon; they smell gorgeous and are perfect for sensitive skin (like mine).

As for me... I have branched out into textiles and am starting with a series of pennant-style wall hangings which will be in the B+M shop some time next week, and in my online shop when I open in June. Next to come are cushions! I thought I'd also show you the finished drawing I posted a progress shot of a little while ago. It's framed in a collaged frame that I still need to take a decent pic of (duh!). Her name is Peggy, and I think I must have been sub-consciously influenced by Mad Men lately, because I named one of my other recent portraits Sally! I've added Peggy to my gallery and will be posting some more new pieces as I complete them.

Adventures in Surface Design

I thought I'd let you know I've opened a Spoonflower shop and have some of my designs available as fabric. I have a little collection called Lilium, which you can see below, as well as an assortment of some of my other patterns, and I have a few more I'll be listing for sale in a few weeks. (See what I did there? I made the layouts look like plates from The Grammar of Ornament!) Anyway, you can visit my Spoonflower shop right here. I really love designing patterns and have other pattern-related projects simmering away that I'll tell you about later. Patterns! Patterns!! Patterns!!! How are you? I'm so happy about the lovely autumn weather and that daylight savings is over and I finally got that hour back I'd been missing all summer - pity about it getting dark so early though!

Rosalind, Bertie and Lucille

Here are a few more portraits. The first is an ink drawing on a collage of vintage and found paper, and the other two are graphite pencil and watercolour. Deciding on their names is so tricky. I wait until I'm finished and then look into their eyes and think, "Hmm, what's your name?" I hope I got them right!

Some New Drawings

Hi! Here's a preview of some new originals that I'll be listing in the shop in a few weeks' time - some ink and graphite drawings, collages, watercolours and mixed media pictures. My friends Mark and Stevie bought me a beautiful set of Sennelier watercolours in a gorgeous wooden chest for Christmas and I love them so much! I've been feeling very inspired lately, and thought perhaps I'd do a blog post this week that's shameless art supply porn. I love taking a peek at other people's tools and materials, so thought I'd share some of my favourites. By the way, I discovered the best pencil sharpener in the whole world (do pencil sharpeners excite you as much as they do me?) that sharpens white charcoal pencils without breaking - I will share the details.

Linda.jpg

I've been doing some quirky portraits - I like faces with character. I also decided to do some portraits of toys because there's not a time in your life when you love a lump of plastic with as much passion, or imbue it with as much personality as when you're a kid and have a favourite toy. Expect more creepy dollies and chubby-cheeked animals!

Dolly.jpg
Teddy.jpg

A Little Giveaway

I'm so excited, because Cathe Holden, owner of the beautiful craft & design blog Just Something I Made, is hosting a little giveaway this week of some of the new products from my shop (the items at the bottom of this post). Her blog is so rich with creative ideas & beautiful things, Cathe is so talented & inspiring, I'm really honoured that she agreed to host my giveaway. She's written such nice things about my work, I am feeling really overwhelmed! It's been quite a day, with an endless flow of visitors to my site, lots of emails, new subscribers to my blog & newsletter, & all the wonderful comments from Cathe's readers.

If you'd like to enter the giveaway, you just need to visit Cathe's blog & leave a comment right here. The winners will be drawn on Friday the 9th of November.

You're probably already aware of Just Something I Made, & visit regularly - why wouldn't you? There's so much to see there. I share a love of cigar boxes with Cathe & & am flabbergasted by her enormous collection, & have serious studio envy too! Cathe's also written a book called Rosette Art, which is due for release in May 2013, & I think I'll buy a copy because I've been trying to make some rosettes myself lately & all I can say is, I need help! Cathe also has lots of ingeniously inventive DIY projects on her blog, & one of my favourites is this gorgeous little cigar box bed. Don't you just love the airmail envelope pillow & postage stamp quilt?

I'd like to say an enormous thank you to Cathe for her generosity, hello to all the new visitors to my blog & shop, & hello to all my old friends too! I couldn't have asked for a better start for my new shop, I'm thrilled!

Print Giveaway - Tell Me About Your Shoes!

I was so happy with the Favourite Shoes print that I made another edition in my favourite colour combo du jour - red & pale blue - & it's now for sale in my Etsy shop.

It's difficult to decide which edition I like best, but I'm really in love with the card stock I used this time, it's a lovely eggshell colour with little red & blue flecks, & looks just like a speckly bird's egg. It suits the print so well!

Anyway, I thought I'd have a little contest & give away a print. All you have to do is post a comment here in my blog giving an anecdote, or description, or even a link to a photo or artwork about your favourite shoes.

I don't really feel a burning need to win one of my own prints, but I thought I'd get the ball rolling with my own shoe story...

I remember walking down King William Street (main street through the centre of Adelaide) with my mum when I was about three or four years old. I know it was near my birthday (in October) because it was mild, late-spring weather. It was a balmy & rainy late afternoon that grew so dark the street lights came on & they reflected in the wet roads & pavements, which reminded me of a poem I had a particular love for at the time (click the image to the right).

I was wearing my favourite outfit - a purple & magenta paisley silk smock dress with swirly brass buttons (I'm talking 1971...my mum always dressed me in these ultra-short dresses, this one was no exception), little white ankle socks, & shiny black patent mary-janes. I loved those shoes. They had buttons instead of buckles - just like my Favourite Shoes print (which is based on a pair of shoes I own now).

I remember walking along the shimmery, rainy street (the acoustics change when it rains like that - the traffic was all echoey) holding my mum's hand, & in the other, clutching a brand new colouring book & box of crayons she'd just bought me. Penny Lane by The Beatles wafted from a shop doorway.

It was just one of those perfect happy moments. I loved my shoes, I loved the day & my new colouring book, & I loved my mum. :)

And have a look - I still own the book with the poem about rainy streets in it that the day evoked in my four-year-old mind...

There are other shoe anecdotes of note that I could have shared...such as the time I set fire to a total stranger's brand new trainers with a flaming marshmallow at a party...but that one's not nearly as picturesque, & anyway, it isn't about my shoes.

So, if you'd like the chance to win a Favourite Shoes print, feel free to share your shoe story. I'll pick my fave in a week's time & announce the winner. Make sure your comment links back to you so I can contact you if you win & get your address!