Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez

I've just finished the packaging for my friend Mark's new lip balms and I'm quite happy with how they turned out (and I have one to give away - see below)! I love all the beautiful flavours, they're just so unique and irresistible, which gave me lots of inspiration for colour choices for the labelling. Mark's soap, perfume and skincare business, Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez, specialises in all-natural, vegan formulations, so the lip balms are made without beeswax, palm oil, petroleum based products, or synthetic flavours. What you'll find instead, is lots of nourishing natural plant-based ingredients like cocoa butter, macadamia wax and raspberry seed oil (a natural sunscreen).

It's hard for me to pick a favourite, but I'm using Raspberry Royale at the moment, which is a delicious blend of black raspberry and violet; such an unusual and evocative combination - I love it! Mark has an online shop (the lip balms will be making an appearance there soon), and if you happen to be in South Australia, you can visit him at various markets through out the year, the next one is the Pure Veg Food and Wine Fair (a vegan event) coming up on Saturday September 12th, where I'm sure these beautiful lip balms will sell like hot cakes! By the way, there's always a small range of Magic Jelly goods available at Shanghai Lil market stalls.

I design all of Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez's branding and packaging in collaboration with Mark, who has a strong vision for his lovely brand, and I'm just redesigning and freshening up some of the earlier stuff I did for him, including the soap labelling which you can see here too. It's been such a pleasure working with my oldest friend to help him with his business.

IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME!

I have one of Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez's beautiful lip balms to give away so if you'd like me to throw your name into the hat to win it, just leave a comment (make sure to input your email address so I can contact you if you win). This giveaway is open to overseas peeps as well as Australians and I will randomly draw a name in a week's time.

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!

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!

We Have a Winner!

Thank you to everyone who participated in my Favourite Shoes print giveaway - what a response!

I had so much fun reading everyone's shoe stories. Stories of love & loss...hope & regret...disappointment & serendipity...

hooray.jpg

How come shoes evoke such bittersweetness? We hang so much significance on our shoes don't we? They come to represent phases of our lives & carry such strong memories.

Anyway, enough rambling... Drum roll please...

The winner of the Favourite Shoes giveaway is Johanna of Good Girls Studio whose dire tale of disintegrated Dr. Scholl's combined the perfect blend of tragedy & comedy. I totally identified!

I gave away a second Favourite Shoes print to one of my Mailing List subscribers in a random draw. The name I pulled from the Purple Velvet Fedora was Natalie of Naked Tile.

Congratulations girls - I hope you like your prints!

Thanks again to everyone for your wonderful, poignant shoe stories! This was such a fun contest, I'll make sure to have another one soon!

And the Winner Is...

Hooray! Time to announce the winners of my Super-Duper Mega April Giveaway!

I've drawn the names from my Mailing List for the 4 prizes, but 1 of the people hasn't replied - eek! Shows how important it is to keep your mailing list info up to date! I'm going to draw another person's name if they don't respond in the next 2 days, so stay tuned...

The winners (so far) are...

Lili Wilkinson (goodie pack) Cosy Up (Snap! print) Jen Vecc (goodie pack)

As for the bunny Haiku...wow it was hard to pick a winner - they were all so great! Drumroll please...the winner of the Jack Rabbit print is...

Ashley aka Le Petit Monstre with her poem...

Jack Rabbit stares off sees much to both love and fear. It's a jungle out there.

I thought it was really touching in its simplicity - I particularly love the line "sees much to both love and fear" - beautiful work Ashley! Congratulations! Not only a talented artist, but a poet & bunny lover too!

As I said, it was really hard picking just one. I wanted to give a few more an honourable mention...

The lovely Anna Laura for her ode to vegetarianism...

chicken, pork, beef, fish who eats rabbits anyway? they look better alive!

Goodfeets with a lovely little springtime revery...

green spring leaves unfold lying in the grass, she sighs a rabbit is born

And he also linked to his favourite bunny song... I don't know where he found the time or energy to write bunny poems since I just read in his blog he recently made 24 collages in 2 days!!

And finally, Treet submitted this enigmatic little number...

Quietly I sit Part of all the universe You call me bunny

I'd like to send those 3 entrants a little something too, while I'm in a prize-giving mood.

Wow that was fun! I think I'm going to have to hold another contest soon... Thanks for your entries! :)

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).

bunny-collage.jpg

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! :)

November Giveaway

Hands up who loves free stuff? Yep, me too! I thought it would be fitting for the very first monthly giveaway to be chock full o' jellilicious goodness. The winner of the November giveaway will get:

  • a Magic Jellies cork-backed drink coaster
  • a Magic Jellies hand-printed greeting card
  • a matching Raspberry Jelly 1.25" magnet

Only subscribers to my mailing list are eligible. I’ll be drawing a name out of a hat on Sunday the 11th of November, so if you’re not already a subscriber, you should be! :)

I’ll announce the winner on Monday!