Postcards Sent!

So I had a little giveaway of some of my new postcards and got a fantastic response. Sometimes I wonder if there's anyone out there, still reading my blog. Facebook has taken so much traffic away from independent blogs, which is a real shame, so this is a perfect opportunity to thank you for still being there, reading and commenting and emailing - it means a lot!

Off the little postcards go (I posted them Thursday), some within Australia (all in Victoria, isn't that odd?), as well as the US and South Africa. I've blurred out people's names so they don't know which they're getting, but I thought I'd still post a photo. I wanted to write something different for each one; so someone's getting a list of girls' names that were popular 100 years ago, another is some fascinating facts about moths, another is a snippet of a poem I read recently, a little witticism from Oscar Wilde, an interesting fact about chairs, and my recipe for Green Tea Citrus Syrup - all with a few little drawings. Some of the lovely postcard recipients have beautiful blogs of their own... Rebecca has a gorgeous blog called Needle & Spindle which is dedicated to knitting and sewing and other creative pursuits. I am obsessed with sewing blogs at the moment, so it's lovely to see Rebecca's inspiring posts pop up in my Feedly feed! Natasha's blog, Bamboo Blossom, is also a wonderful record of her creative life, with cooking, sewing, travel, etc, and I think Natasha's made my vegan cheesecake recipe more times than I have! It's really amazing to think that here's someone on the other side of the world making my cheesecake (and doing such a great job of it)! Last but definitely not least is Cadry's blog, Cadry's Kitchen, which is a vibrant celebration of vegan cooking with recipes, cookbook reviews, etc, and everything is so beautifully presented. Another one of my faves! Isn't the blogging community great? I learn so much from the things people generously share on their blogs - always so much inspiration!

This giveaway was a lot of fun, so I will do it again soon. Next time, rather than the first five responses, I'll draw the names randomly so that different timezones won't be an issue. Sorry to the people who didn't get a postcard, but please try again next time!

New Promo Postcard!

So this is my new promotional postcard...what do you think? I kind of like postcards more than regular business cards, they're just more fun, and I think people are more inclined to keep them instead of hurling them in the bin. I'm really happy with the way they turned out!

Boy, did I struggle with writing the spiel on the back. I wanted to say something that captured the essence of my work, but didn't read like an artist's statement, and wasn't written in the third person (everyone knows you wrote it yourself, so why do that?). I wanted it to be clear and concise and not pretentious or boastful, but still positive (after all, I am trying to promote myself!). Urgh, I wrote about a thousand drafts and over-analysed every single word back to front and inside out until none of it seemed to make any sense anymore. *Sigh* I had to get it right since I was having 1,000 cards printed - it's hard to sum yourself up in a couple of sentences!

In case it's difficult to read in the pic, this is what I wrote (some of it I stole from my about page, which is due for a rewrite I think): "I find inspiration in the ghosts of our past; memory, nostalgia, and the things we collect that record our personal stories. Both newfangled and old school, blending digital and traditional media, my work is a bittersweet mix of levity and melancholy. Above all, I hope it is friendly, accessible, and brings people some of the happiness it gives me to make it.  ~ Karena"

GIVEAWAY TIME! I thought it would be fun to give a few cards away. Would you like one? Just email me and let me know if you'd like a postcard, and I'll post one out with a little handwritten message on the back to the first 5 people who respond (no need to email me your name and address just yet - I'll let you know if you were one of the 5 and get your details then). Doesn't that sound like fun? Come on, it's better than the usual stuff that shows up in your letterbox, eg. bank statements and electricity bills.

PS. I'm having trouble with my blog feed. I realised that people were only getting a text preview with no images showing up, so I've tinkered with the settings, but I'm still not sure it's working. It's always disappointing to follow someone's blog and find you don't get any enticing photos in your feed! So if you happen to be subscribed to my blog and do get my pics appearing in your reader or emails, please let me know, I'll be so happy if it's finally working properly!

EDIT: Well that was fun! The five postcards have gone, but I think I'll do another postcard giveaway down the track a little. Sorry if you missed out this time!

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!

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.

Sneak Peek: Packaging

I hope you're all having a nice, relaxing Easter weekend. It's a windy ol' Good Friday 'round these parts; I pity anyone attempting a picnic! A quiet day at home for me. I've been working on my jewellery packaging (as you can see from the pics) & now I'm done with that for now, it's time to go & bake some cinnamon scrolls with pecans & cranberries (in lieu of hot cross buns - vegan ones are tricky to come by) & perhaps get in a little sofa time & watch some DVDs. I've been thinking of re-watching Atonement because I saw another Ian McEwan adaptation on the teev the other day, Enduring Love, which I really enjoyed. The beginning was so haunting, it's still stuck in my head! Has anyone seen it? I do love Atonement, but you've got to be in a buoyant mood because it's so terribly sad!

Anyway, here are some sneak peeks at my jewellery packaging. I'm rather happy with it! I've posted so many photos because none of them really do these enticing little boxes justice - there's something very tactile & pick-up-able about them. The designs are influenced a little by vintage matchboxes & mid-20th century Chinese apothecary labels, as well as 1930s-40s beauty products. The boxes have a genuinely vintage look, in part due to my paper choice, which is made to emulate old, faded butcher paper. It has a lovely sheen & feel. For once, I could make my designs unashamedly girly because the products are solely for we gals. Sorry chaps, I might do some tiepins & cufflinks in future!

Super-Duper Mega April Giveaway!

I have been totally remiss when it comes to my "monthly" giveaways...I think I've only had one since I started my blog last October. Today I'm making good on my promise & launching a Super-Duper Mega Giveaway with not one...not two...but FIVE different prizes to make up for the months I've missed. And I promise to keep up with my monthly giveaways in future!

Here is the little swag of prizes I have to giveaway...

Prizes 1 & 2 are packs of Magic Jelly goodies (value approx. $20 each)...they each contain the following...

  • Sunday Morning 3.5" cork-backed drink coaster
  • pack of 5 1.25" button badges (assorted Magic Jelly designs)
  • pack of 5 Jelly tags
  • a little bag of vintage plastic trinkets & ephemera

Prize No. 3 is a 5x7" print on canvas panel called Snap! & a pack of 5 Jelly tags ( value $18). Prize No. 4 is one of my Fox & Flowers limited edition Gocco prints & a pack of 5 Jelly tags(value $15).

To win one of these, all you need to do is subscribe to my mailing list - that's where I'll draw the names of the winners. If you'd like to leave a comment or email me with your preferred prize, I'll keep that in mind if I happen to draw your name. Easy!

The 5th prize is an extra special one...an original Mixed Media piece called (rather unimaginatively) Jack Rabbit. It's an ink drawing on tea-stained Hahnemuhle paper, on a collaged background, mounted to brown kraft card (sheet size 6x6"). This is an original - not a reproduction - & is worth $85 (the winner gets a pack of Jelly tags too).

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Picking a winner of this one is a little bit different...rather than just drawing a name out of a hat, I'd like you to write a Haiku about a bunny. Either post your little poem in the comments or email it to me & I'll pick my favourite!

I'm announcing the winners in a week's time, so you have until Wednesday the 9th of April to sign up to my mailing list & submit your Haiku if you want a chance to win the bunny! :)

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!

Desperately Seeking Cardboard

Who would ever guess how hard it is to find a good piece of brown kraft cardboard (or pad board, or chipboard, or whatever you want to call it)? I spent months earlier this year phoning paper merchants, tapping out desperate emails, feverishly ripping open posted samples, only to be disappointed time & time again. That Goldilocks gal knew what she was talking about...it had to be just right. By right I mean the right colour (more brownish than grey), the right texture (nice & pulpy, but not too coarse) & the right weight (thick enough to hold the weight of a pocket mirror without bending). Are you bored yet?

Anywaaay...I finally found the right cardboard & we're very happy together. I know the people who buy my merch have absolutely no idea of my relentless search for (& obsession with) cardboard. They don't know how much thought & care goes into designing my packaging - or even that it's hand-printed - but I hope, when they see one of my products propped up on a shop shelf, it calls to them & makes them smile, & maybe even convinces them to spend a little money. :)

I'll be listing some drink coasters in my Etsy shop next week, & the week after that, some button packs. I'll also be announcing my first monthly giveaway in the next few days - only subscribers to my mailing list are eligible, so don't forget to join!