Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Crafty hopes

One of my New Years Resolutions this year was to BE more creative - just for the fun of it. And by fun, I mean some HANDS ON stuff. You know. Craft and stuff! I was flicking through my Mum's copy of this wonderful book during my last visit to my parents...


...and I just can't get this image out of my head... 


I absolutely LOVE this idea. 

Then, I was exploring some local craft shops when I encountered these gorgeous tapestry wool colours. 


I just had to buy them. This has sparked a bit of a snowball effect, as I have ordered a copy of the book for myself and also ordered some hoodies and a few other crafty bits and pieces to get me started!

There is only one problem. I can't remember if I have ever actually done needle craft or embroidery before! Maybe I did when I was at school, but I really don't remember!

I am soooo excited. Of course, now I just need to work out how to survive without sleep if I am ever actually going to be able to start it!!

Then there is the other issue of the Illustrator in me wanting to create my own designs to transfer into this method. I look at this sort of line art and it makes me want to have a go at some of my own ideas.


 Part of what appeals to me about crafting is buying a kit, with all of the design decisions already made, and then I just get to enjoy the process of the crafting. Somehow I just always seem to complicate things! Does anyone else do this? 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

INTRODUCING ELLA DIARIES - MY NEW BOOK SERIES!


I have been trying to share my wonderful new books with you all week, but things just have not gone to plan lately. My eldest daughter has started Pre-School for the first time and we are both having some separation anxiety issues. Our dog died from a snake bite this week (and the snake is still hiding somewhere in the yard – last seen near our back door….) and I missed a couple of deadlines with my work! (I RARELY miss deadlines!)

So here’s hoping the start of a new week brings a change of pace. But, I am FINALLY delighted to share the release of MY Brand New Australian Book Series for girls aged 7+. 


Published by the amazing team at Scholastic Australia and written by award-winning Meredith Costain, these books feature Ella and her crazy Year 5 life, recorded in a diary format full of hilarious doodles. 












I am absolutely thrilled with how well it has all come together and I am currently composing a bit of a “behind the scenes” peek into the processes and various stages of development that we went through to create this series, so drop by again if you are interested in this little insight.







Anyway, the books are available in all good books stores through out Australia (and on-line), so please grab a copy and let me know what you think!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

MY SIMPLE PLAN FOR 2015

I have stewed over this post long enough. Time to just share.

OK. So. Here’s the deal. I have been thinking a LOT about what I want from this year. Last year I took lots of online classes (and loved it). I filled a book with all kinds of business ideas. I let myself dream BIG. Then, I filled out this kit to try to narrow the field a bit, and work out an action plan. And then I had what I guess is referred to as a light bulb moment.

What am I doing?! I AM ALREADY LIVING THE DREAM!!! 

I feel like all of the courses I took in 2014 got me so wound up - encouraging me to BE MORE…and DO more….ACHIEVE more….somewhere along the way I lost sight of what it is I really wanted. The bottom line is that I have everything I need right now. I think I just got swept along with the momentum….

If you had told me in my University years that this is where I would be all these years later, then I would have been delighted! Not just career wise, but with my beautiful family and our gorgeous farm.

I also realised I AM A CHILDREN’S BOOK ILLUSTRATOR! I know that sounds silly after so many years of working in this field, but it suddenly struck me how many people strive for this, and a how long I strived for it! And here I am. I am DOING it. I AM ENOUGH.

I am SO lucky to be working with such fabulous Publishers and Clients and I LOVE my work so much. That’s enough for me.

I am a huge fan of Lilla Rogers’ teachings, and she recently challenged us with these words, "What if you wrote your art goal for 2015 on a sticky note? If you kept it really, really short and sweet and it hit the essence of your heart's desire, what would you write?" How could I possibly narrow the field to just one thing?! Then I realised that for me, it’s as simple as this (sorry it's not on a sticky note!!):


Since taking Lilla’s courses, it’s reminded me of how much I love ALL things creative. I miss the hands-on stuff. I want to MAKE stuff again….like I used to. I want to sew, craft, draw, write….just for the pleasure of it. We are also starting some renovations on our house…I want to paint, tile, mosaic… and I want to embrace farm life a bit more…by MAKING stuff….bread, jam, sauces…

We moved to our farm with the idea of leading a more simple life. Why am I trying to clutter things up? This is not to say that I can’t be open to new opportunity, I just want to enjoy what I have a bit more.

Umm….ok, now I am off to do some sketches for Lilla’s latest Boot camp assignment! JUST FOR FUN – I PROMISE!!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Background Patterns

Just putting some finishing touches on the Cover Art for the next Ella and Olivia book... Enjoying working on the background pattern. Here's a few from previous covers.




Friday, January 16, 2015

ALMOST TIME FOR THE BIG REVEAL!



Today I am bursting with excitement at receiving the first copies of my brand new books! I can't reveal too much just yet, but they look amazing! I am very proud of them. I have been so lucky to have been invited by the wonderful team at Scholastic to help create this gorgeous New Series, and I am just delighted to be a part of it. The first two are already printed and I am deep into the third book already!....and lots more to come! YIPPEE!! I am one lucky girl!! 

Now on a different note, I think I might just be addicted to MOO products! After showing off the Mini Cards I had printed over the Christmas break, I was horrified to realise that I had made an error with my contact details! Eek! I can't use them! But.....general feedback was that they were too small and could get easily lost in a wallet or bag, so I took this on board and went with some standard sizing...


Don't you just love how they are packaged up?! I am a sucker for great presentation...



Anyway....I am very happy with how they turned out and I should really have just gone with this size from the start! Oh well....

Monday, January 12, 2015

SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS - AGAIN!

So, I am still piecing together my thoughts on 2015, but in the meantime I wanted to share some pictures from a lovely day out we had in the Southern Highlands over the weekend. I love this area. There's so much to explore and always something new to discover!

FIRST STOP:
Fruit market in Sutton Forest. Yum!





Next - my favourite shop in Moss Vale: MADE BY OTHERS:




Then onto Bowral for lunch, where discovered Dirty Jane's. A quote from their website:

"Behind the Emporium is Dirty Janes Antique Market, a huge warehouse housing over 60 independant dealers offering some wonderful pieces including garden ware, furnishings, ornaments, paintings, jewellery, vintage clothing and anything else you can imagine."





It did not disappoint! I can't believe we never noticed this place before. We will be visiting again for sure - lot's of home renovations planned for this year!

Also managed to pick up a couple of books I have been eyeing off for some time! LOVE THEM! So inspiring.
MAKE AND DO: BECI ORPIN



PLAYFUL: MERRILEE LIDDIARD 






I am looking forward to trying out some of these activities...