Catching Up

Hello! It's been a while, hasn't it? Have you been keeping well? Staying busy? I have a few things going on at the moment keeping me out of trouble, such as designing a range of greeting cards. I thought it was about time I jumped back into the card-making business, since I've always had such a positive response to my cards in the shops, as well as selling them online myself. My aim is always to try and make something unique, because I think as an independent artist it's important to provide an alternative to the mainstream market. Perhaps something a little bit edgier than your standard greeting card design? As well as an emphasis on originality and craftsmanship, making sure the printing, paper and envelope choices are eco-friendly and beautiful quality. Well, that's my aim anyway! One of the types of card I'm working on has a big emphasis on pattern design - I hope they'll be really beautiful when they're done! I'm really excited about them, so I'll be sure to post some photos!

More excitement...my work is featured in a new book coming out in October, published by Laurence King in the UK - they do such gorgeous art and design books, I'm so happy to be in one of them, amongst such incredibly talented artists. The book is called Low-Tech Print: Contemporary Hand-Made Printing, you can take a look at it here. Above is the cover and a sample page featuring my prints. From the write-up on their site:

Featuring a global showcase of 100 of the craft’s most exciting and influential practitioners, Low-Tech Print is an exploration of hand-made printmaking techniques and how they are used in contemporary design and illustration. It examines the huge recent resurgence in the popularity of printmaking, with chapters on screenprinting, letterpress, relief printing and other printing methods.

Speaking of printmaking, a little while ago I was interviewed for an article in the Sydney Morning Herald about Riso ceasing production of the Gocco and its consumables. They're still available in limited supply, but it's still such a shame... You can take a look at that article here if you like.

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A couple of weeks ago I visited the art shop and bought a new sketchbook because the lovely, textured, brown krafty paper really appealed to me, and I got some white charcoal pencils as well. I spent a couple of hours one evening, watching The Walking Dead and drawing this portrait of Django Reinhardt on the first page. This gave me the idea to fill the book with portraits, and so a little project was born: Fifty Pages, Fifty People. Whenever I have some free time, I intend to work on filling this sketchbook with more portraits. I'm hoping you might have some suggestions for potential subjects? If there's anyone interesting you think I should draw in my book, please leave your suggestions in the comments!

And one more thing before I go... You might like to take a look at this site that features a fabulous collection of vintage stereo logos and typography from old records.

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!

From the Archives: Children's Dictionary

I went to a secondhand book sale yesterday with Mark & Stevie, & this is one of the treasures I bought - a children's pictorial dictionary from about the late 1940s-early 1950s. I love that it's Australian & features some familiar images, such as the galah I included in my montage below & the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Stevie spotted the book first & knew I'd love it because of the incredible endpapers (above). I love the vivid colours & the weird juxtaposition of images.

Mark also found an amazing design book from the 1950s for me - I'll show you some pictures of that one another time. It's nice to rummage at book sales with friends who can keep an eye out for things you'll love!

In other news, I was interviewed for The Finders Keepers blog recently, where I talked a little about my influences & work process. If you're interested, you can read it here.

It's the Little Things...

Way back in '07 I blogged about my childhood tin of plastic treasures that I called my Little Things Box. I had an old toffee tin crammed with tiny trinkets that I treasured & traded - much like the tin Amelie finds. I still collect little toys & keep them in vintage cigar boxes.

Imagine my surprise & pleasure to be approached last year by the beautiful Chinese magazine Little Thing to do an interview for their section called Little Paper Magic in the very first issue. They kindly sent me a copy late last year, & I've only just taken a few pics to show you - particularly timely because the theme of this post is all things tiny...

Giveaway Time!

I'm holding a little giveaway of the collages on canvas you see above. They're seriously small - about 2.25 x 3.25" each & come with their own miniature easels.

If you'd like to win the collage on the right, featuring my little illustration of a Death's Head Moth, all you have to do is be a subscriber to my Mailing List - I'll be drawing a name randomly - & to win the collage on the left, featuring Li'l Mary, puffin' on a giant stogie, I have devised a little contest...

Just leave a comment here on my blog letting me know you'd like to enter, & provide a link to a picture of something intriguingly small - something little, tiny, miniature, diminutive, eensy-weensy - you get the idea! If it's a photo or artwork of your own, great, but it can also be a link to something you found tinily appealing whilst browsing the internet, that's fine as well. I'll pick a favourite next Monday, & the winner gets the mini-collage! I'll draw the name of the Mailing List winner the same day too.

Can't wait to see your pics of little things!

New Gocco Work

EDIT: Last Wednesday was my 1 year bloggiversary! Yay me! Here's the new work I've just finished for the Gocco Exhibition at the Here Gallery in October. It's all been bundled up & shipped off now. I made the Favourite Shoes print in an edition of 50 & it will be available in a boxed portfolio with prints from all of the other participating artists too. I get a set myself - can't wait! I think I might make a second edition of this design in different colours - I'm quite happy with how it turned out!

And here's the girl from a few posts ago that started as a sketch in my Moleskine. I've made two mixed media pieces on 6x12x1.5" canvas. I printed up a few extras on various types of paper to incorporate into some future pieces I'll be selling in my Etsy shop.

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In other news, I was featured on Design Sponge last week as part of their Regional Roundup series on Australian designers. Hooray!

I was also approached by the fabulous ezine Design This Design That to take part in their Illustration issue, but I was so busy I forgot to send back the interview answers! I'm really disappointed that I missed out, because it really is a great issue, but I'm still featured in the Etsy Treasures section, which is nice. Go take a flick through- it's loaded with amazingly talented illustrators.

Brimful of Interest, Excitement & Skill

Look at this great board game my friend Mark brought home for me from a secondhand market a few weeks ago. You're all invited to come around to my place on a rainy Sunday afternoon & we can sit on the floor & play Fairyland & have fizzy grape juice & ginger cookies. Hooray! Well it was just a matter of time I suppose...it looks like I've been tagged by the well-preserved & fabulously talented benconservato & illustrator extraordinaire Racheal Anilyse. I won't tag another 7 unsuspecting bloggers, but here are my 7 random or weird facts about myself:

  1. When we were kids, my sister Jo & I had a cardboard box with a human skeleton (Jo traded it at school for one of her Barbie dolls!), a scary black wig she got for Christmas, & a bunch of spiders (that escaped from my bugcatcher) in it.
  2. My sister & I used to play a game we called The Chocolate Nun. I'm not sure there were proper rules, but it involved hand signals somehow...& I think one of us wore a cape.
  3. As a child, I was obsessed with the trappings of bureaucracy & made my own stamps & forms. I glued homemade library cards in the backs of all my books.
  4. Ironically, this obsession was later quelled by 12 witheringly boring years spent working for the Tax Department.
  5. My family nickname is Weanie Beans & has many, equally embarrassing, variations - Beanie, Beans, Queenie, Queena, Kreenie, Reenie...& my Mum's personal favourite...Beans On Toast.
  6. I'm a neurotic perfectionist. People deliberately move my fridge magnets a fraction of an inch, just to torture me.
  7. I have slept through the room adjoining my bedroom being ransacked by a crazed burglar, & a speeding car careening through my neighbour's living room wall (the resulting evacuation attempt by the Fire Department, due to a gas leak, didn't stir me either).

So there you are! 7 things you didn't really want/need to know about Magic Jelly! Jot them down...if I ever become famous, they may crop up in Trivial Pursuit.

Recently Dick & Dora featured me in their blog...thank you! They also have an Etsy shop & make fab jewellery! And Fric de mentol included one of my Benediction collages in an Etsy Treasury list that made it to the front page. Hooray! Thanks Julian for getting a screenshot for me (a bouquet of parsnips is forthcoming) - it appeared in the middle of the night here in the Southern Hemisphere, so I would have missed it. Fellow Etsy sellers Anna Laura, Sherry Truitt & Salmon Street Studio also kindly let me know about it - thank you! It's so nice to see such a great collection of artists make the front page - it was an honour to be among them!

Finally, thanks again to everyone who took part in my giveaway - the winners' prizes are all in the post & on the way to their letterboxes.

Toodle-loo for now!

Magic Jelly in the Press!

Magic Jelly has made a few media appearances lately, so I thought I'd tell you all about it! A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by The Sunday Age, who featured my Li'l Mary drink coaster as their weekly Object of Desire. I was so excited & bought a whole stack of copies for my friends & family - yay! Later that day, my friend Mark slammed my fingers in the car door. Anti-yay.

Thanks to Made It, my drink coasters also made an appearance in last week's edition of Central Magazine in Sydney (thank you to Bec from Made It for emailing me the pics!).

Aaaaand...my coasters are featured in the April edition of Home Beautiful, which is very exciting indeedy!

If that's not thrilling enough, one of my fellow Aus Etsy sellers, the fantastically talented artist Anna Laura, contacted me on Tuesday to let me know the lovely Jodie of Meringue (maker of the most fabulous wristlets) had spied my coasters on Channel 7's Morning Show as she was rushing out the door. Luckily, Melbourne's half an hour ahead of us, so I had about 5 minutes to spare just in time to tape it. If it wasn't for Jodie & Anna Laura I would never have known about it - thanks girls!

Unfortunately, there's no video clip available to show you, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I have a couple of weird, fuzzy screenshots.

Happy (Belated) '08

Well here we are, a week & a half into 2008 already & I'm only just getting around to wishing you all a Happy New Year. I do have an excuse...hot on the heels of Christmas, I came down with the flu & today has been the first day that I've felt halfway human again. So anyway, please accept my best New Year greetings in the form of a big ol' wobbly bowl of yellow custard & jelly - appropriate, eh? :) In other news, I was featured yesterday on the modamuse design blog & got such a lovely write up, I'm flattered, thrilled & giddy - all at once. Thank you Modamuse!

I've been playing around with scissors & glue (no glitter - sorry) putting the finishing touches to my extra-special super-duper combined Dec/Jan giveaway. I'll be announcing it as soon as I've finished making the prizes, which should be in the next couple of days.

Don't forget, to be eligible for the giveaway, you need to be a subscriber to my mailing list - okay?

See you in a few days with the giveaway announcement & some updates to my Etsy shop!

Gocco Mania & Other Stuff

Etsy asked me to write a Gocco article for their blog, The Storque, & you can read it right here. Just a brief rundown of the plethora of Goccoed items available on Etsy, & some links to Gocco resources as well. Etsy also very kindly featured some of my picks (& one of my own Gocco prints) on the front page. I took a screenshot!

In other news, I just want to draw your attention to the lovely Pamela Buckley who has a blog called Ophelia Golly. She bought one of my prints a few weeks ago & has just written the most generous & lovely blog entry about my work. I thought it was so great because she's written about how she makes up stories to go along with my photomontages & how she prefers to think they're real rather than a bit of digital sleight of hand. I love hearing people's perspectives of my artwork.

I hope she doesn't mind me quoting her; this is what she has to say about my print Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep:

The story I put with it (almost within seconds of deciding it was real!) was that it was probably a photograph of a magician's children, and he insisted on the dove being part of the photograph as a silent signature of his profession. I am not making this up (well, I am making it up but it is something that I am not lying about believing when I saw it!) and I know that the imaginative talent of the artist was what was behind my suspended belief otherwise I never would have wondered over it at all. (I can also say that having just recently seen the Prestige might have fostered this idea just a little bit too...) But obviously the art is the magic!

I just thought that was so sweet! Thank you Pamela! Ironically, I sold my last 5x7" version of Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep today. I'm happy (& grateful) that the entire edition has sold, but a little sad to wave goodbye to the last one. There are still a few left in the 8x10" edition though.

Whew...this has turned into a marathon post. But I can't leave you without posting this fantastic clip from the Jerry Lewis film The Ladies Man...

Etsy Shop Update

I've been busy updating my Etsy shop with a few new things. Firstly, I've started listing my range of coasters which I'm selling individually for $6.00, two for $11.00, & four for $20.00. There are a lot more designs still to be listed, but there are four available so far, including the three above. News travels fast, I just got a Google Alert that my Femme Fatale coaster has been featured on this great design blog Try this at Home. Thanks for the mention!

Aaaaand I've just listed four new pieces in my Benediction series, since the last lot have sold out, called Chloroform, North, Daily Habit & St. Cloud. I've already kept one of my Benediction pieces because I couldn't bear to part with it, & I'm going to have a really hard time waving goodbye to Chloroform - it's a particular favourite. But hey, a sale's a sale!

I'll be back again later today to announce my November giveaway.  See you then!