End of Summer Already?!

Yep, one more week & we're into autumn...it feels like only yesterday that I was "celebrating" the New Year with a poorly-timed bout of the flu (is there a good time to get the flu?)

Anyway, I thought I'd better dust off my blog & post something. Do you like my cigar boxes? I picked them up at a local market. Graphically & typographically you just can't beat old cigar boxes for pure excitement! I have plans for them...

As usual, I've been really busy & my poor old blog has been bumped to the back of the queue, but I've just been working on my gallery - not quite finished yet, but nearly! I also haven't forgotten that my monthly giveaways haven't quite been monthly (sorry!), so early this week I'm launching a Super Duper Mega Giveaway with four different prizes including Li'l Mary coasters and a couple of one of a kind creations that I've made especially for the giveaway.

Doesn't that sound grand? You do need to join my Mailing List to be eligible for the draw though, so go sign up!

It's 3.00am & I've eaten too much raspberry licorice - time to go! Enjoy your weekend!

PS. Hello to the people who found me via the Sunday Age! Just going out to buy my copy now - so exciting! :)

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!

Happy (Belated) Holidays

I really really wanted to make an extra special Christmas post on my blog, but alas, last minute wholesale orders & Etsy craziness meant I didn't have a minute to spare. Sadly, I missed out on doing a December giveaway!

Never fear, I have a special New Year's giveaway planned with two prizes to make up for the non-existent Christmas one.


Stay tuned for the giveaway announcement in the first week of 2008!

Do you like my little wooden cowboy puppet? One of my grandmas died when I was three, & years later, my mum gave me a Christmas stocking my gran had bought for me, & this little guy was one of the toys in it. He's one of my favourite possessions & hangs near my desk so I see him everyday!

Not specifically Christmassy is this fabulous Little Audrey cartoon...but it reminds me of Christmas.

Just show me the hard-hearted curmudgeon who can resist dancing cupcakes!

PS. To be eligible for my monthly giveaways, you need to subscribe to my Mailing List!

A Magical Paintbox of Infinite Possibility

I was digging through some old work today & came across this 'volley' I did for a game of Photoshop Tennis. If you're not quite sure what Photoshop Tennis is, the basics are that someone makes a picture in Photoshop, then passes it to someone else, who somehow alters it, then it's sent back to the original person (or to a third player) who alters it again, & on it goes... The element I used from the image that was sent to me was the paper hat - the rest I made in Photoshop. Apart from the photograph of the little boy on the pull-along sheep that I scanned & digitally coloured, everything else in this image I made from scratch in Photoshop - the cloudy sky, the marble, the winged heart, the floorboards, the lapis lazuli backdrop, the moon & the stars.

This picture is from years ago, & my skills have improved since then. At the time, I had trouble making convincing looking fabric - the curtains appear hard & plasticy - but with time, I worked out it was just a matter of blending modes, & I can make realistic looking fabric now.

I look at this image & feel envious of the time I had back then to play & explore & experiment. I was working for someone else at the time, & I had plenty of free time after five to fiddle around with Photoshop for my own education & amusement. Not so lucky these days - self-employment eats up a lot of my day (& night) - but I'd love to be able to make pictures just for fun sometimes, & not to pay the rent.

And I look at this image & remember the first time I ever sat down in front of Photoshop at art school. I had no intention of studying digital imaging - I didn't even own a computer. But when I walked into my first class, & opened this confusing program full of tools & palettes, it took me back to childhood Christmases when my mum would give me boxes of art materials...rows & rows of coloured pencils, oil pastels, watercolours & felt tip pens...& a big sketchbook full of crisp white pages just waiting to be scribbled in. I remember the excitement I used to feel when confronted with the infinite possibility of paper & pencil...& that's what Photoshop seemed to be when I first sat down in front of it - even before I knew how to use it - a magical paintbox of infinite possibility. And I still feel that magic.

Endings & Beginnings

Well, yesterday was my birthday & I waved goodbye to my 30s. I also just happened to finish my current sketchbook the same day (I rip through at least one a month) & my new scanner was delivered. So put it all together & what do you get? A blog entry with some scans from my sketchbook. I'm a perfectionist by nature (& I don't mean that in a good way) so I have to approach my sketchbooks with the attitude that they're for my eyes only & it doesn't matter how messy & unfinished they are. If I was too conscious of showing them to other people, it'd defeat the purpose of having a place to scribble down the seeds of ideas that may or may not grow into something. So for that reason, my sketchbooks are not particularly interesting...but here are a couple of the less scribbly pages.

You might recognise the fox from my Fox & Flowers print. The colour samples are gocco inks.

In other news...I've been adding more pages to my blog, including one about my mailing list (there will soon be a link to it in my sidebar). Just wanted to let you know that subscribers to my mailing list will be eligible for monthly giveaways & the first one will be held at the beginning of November, so go join my email list if you'd like to be in the running for regular Magic Jelly freebies!

Everything you need, you carry around with you

So I thought I'd explain the significance of that phrase & why I had it written on a bracelet (see previous post). A few years ago I was going through a particularly stressful time where I was constantly in worry mode. I woke up one morning with this sentence in my head..."Everything you need, you carry around with you." I don't know where it came from - whether I dreamed it or picked it up somewhere - but I like to think it was my inner-wisdom sending me a little message to help put things back in perspective & stop fussing about inconsequential things. It was the inspiration behind this picture (top left), which was one of my very first vector illustrations when I was learning how to use Illustrator.

And so started my fascination with masked women. There's something so powerful about this image - I keep drawing it over & over again.