Wednesday, October 31, 2007

IT'S OFFICIAL: We are moving!

Dear Raymond J,

Thank you for being so focused and working so hard to make our new home a reality. We have put our lives on hold for this entire year and worked so hard EVERY weekend to literally build our dream, and you are truly an inspiration.

We have learned new skills, such as plastering, woodworking and painting, (as well as problem solving and negotiation!) and in return have grown and developed in our relationship. It is an honour to be your wife and I adore being married to YOU - my best friend. I can not wait to start this new phase of our lives together and to make our house a HOME.

I love you.
Your D

*And for all readers (in case you haven't worked it out yet) we now have the official sign off on the completion of our brand new house and are FINALLY moving this weekend!!

**Once again thank you to our parents, family and friends whose lives we have also interrupted to achieve this dream. Looking forward to repaying your hospitality and patience in our new place really soon - and yes I promise not to cook - it's catering all the way!! (Just kidding?!)

Monday, October 29, 2007

INSPIRATION MONDAY # 2

Welcome to a wonderful new week! As promised, I am starting off the week with my 'INSPIRATION MONDAY' posting in the hope that it will motivate a week full of ideas and creativity for all of us!

I just love living in Melbourne and I can't help but focus locally again this week, so here's a few things I discovered on a visit to the Kids In Style trade show I attended earlier this year. It was part of the Life in Style trade show which is coming up in Sydney next, during Feb 2008. Check out this link for details.



This was my pick for the whole show! These gorgeous bean bags are from Cocoon Couture and are made from vintage fabrics that feature cute appliques on pin wale cord. I would love to have a couple of these in my new house, and I also just LOVE the beautiful wooden tree in the background of the photo! I want one of those too!






Cocoon Couture are based in Torquay, Victoria and they also make other great kids products such as library bags, cot quilts and gift cards. Check out their website to place your orders, look for stockists in your area, or to just search for more great products.
Don't forget to check in again next Monday for another "inspiration" hit to start off your week.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

ILLUSTRATION FRIDAY: GROW


Having just done my submission for the Monster Mash competition over at Penelope's blog, I found that I really enjoyed this topic and could not resist the urge to bring a little of it into this weeks Illustration Friday topic!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

MONSTER MASH

....because GIRLS can be monsters too!

This was created for a "Monster Mash" competition being run by Penelope over at her blog. It's such a great theme that I could not resist having a go at this one!

A special thank you to Alicia for alerting me to it!

Monday, October 22, 2007

INTRODUCING: INSPIRATION MONDAY

Part of my intention for creating this blog was not only to share my work and ideas, but to share what motivates and inspires me.

So I have created INSPIRATION MONDAY. I am going to trial it for 4 weeks in the hope that I can keep it up every Monday. My intention is to feature people, places and things that I find inspire me to want to pick up a pencil, a paintbrush or even to dust off the sewing machine!! (Ha, would like to see that!!) The common thread will generally be "kids stuff" as I am pretty passionate about this area, but then ideas come from everywhere, so let's see where it takes us.

Today I am starting things off locally:

THE SPOTSWOOD PRIMARY SCHOOL FETE 2007


Aren't these gorgeous?! Created by my clever sister Jo for the Christmas Craft stall she organises each year for the fete (among a million other activities she juggles!)

So simple, yet so gorgeous. Wouldn't these look wonderful hanging from a freshly wrapped gift.

My Mum and my sister's friend Joyce also pitched in with their clever skills and here is a bit of a collection of some of the other great pieces on offer!


So - check in again next Monday to get the creative juices flowing!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Desktop Meme

I have been "tagged" for the first time, by the lovely Alicia from my place over the hill. (Thank you for yet another learning opportunity Alicia!)

So from what I understand this means that there is at least one person out there curious about my workspace. I have sort of extended the interpretation of this tag to give you little taste of my work environment!



So, this is my little room where all the creative stuff happens, and this is what I stare at most days! I love working infront of a big window looking out into my backyard. I have also "filled an awkward space" with something I was thinking of using for my title bar on this blog. What do you think? I would welcome any thoughts on this!



1. I am always printing out and collecting things I love from what I find on the internet.

2. Incase you haven't noticed, colour is my favourite design element and I am constantly collecting colour palettes that I love. I have a little tin of colour chips from the local 'Bunnings" that I use to put together palettes!

3. OK, so not technically in my work room, but it would not be a day at the office if I did not burn the bum out of the kettle and set off the fire alarm! (Must get an electric one that turns itself off!)

4. I resisted the whole 'Wacom' tablet thing for so long, but when my husband bought me one for my birthday I could hardly knock it back now could i?! Now I couldn't live without it!

5. Couldn't get a decent shot of this cupboard, but it's my favourite! I was my grandmothers and it's full of lovely paints, sketches, ideas and other cool arty stuff! Hhhmmm I should visit the contents more often!

6. Boxes - yep. Have started packing up my work room in an attempt to feel like we really are going to move into our new house at some point in our lives!


And of course it would be impossible to work without the company of our gorgeous Maggie. She has almost fully recovered from her scare a couple of weeks ago, thanks to the diagnosis of Addisons Disease and the wonderful world of medication that she now needs to be on for the rest of her life! It's so good to have her back!

She's sleeping on a cushion I made years ago when I used to do the craft market scene! Ahhh, there you go - didn't know I could sew did you?! (as well as any self taught crafty I guess!)

And now I in turn would like to TAG the lovely Shannon over at Aunty Cookie. If you are not already familiar with this hilarious crafting and design genius get over there and check her out. She's a local Melbournian and a wonderful freelancer I used to use back when I had a "real job".

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

HELLO "SPANNA"

Wow - I just need to indulge a little with this posting sending a special BIG HELLO to a long lost friend SPANNA....(Anna!). Anna and I became great friends many years ago when I was living in England. We lost track of each other and I have been trying to find her recently - even sending a good old fashioned had written card to the last address listing I had.

Well through the joys of modern technology (not to mention Anna's wonderful memory for my business name!)...she found me via my blog!

Some of you may remember my fear of starting this blog, but it has already paid off, by putting me back in touch with an old friend! THANK YOU ANNA - looking forward to hearing more about your wondeful family and all of your news over the last few years!

ILLUSTRATION FRIDAY: EXTREMES


Well living in Melbourne we have weather EXTREMES, so it just seemed the obvious choice. It has been known to drop 10 degrees in an hour and we always know to be prepared for anything living here! I never leave the house without a jumper (yes even in summer!) as I hate being cold. This always amuses people when I travel and continue with this habit!!

So, continuing on from my "book" approach to this challenge, (and a well noted comment from Tracy on my previous IF: OPEN ) ......"opposites" seemed to really suit this simplistic approach, so I could not resist continuing the pages. Thanks Tracy and I hope you enjoy this one too!

Monday, October 15, 2007

When you wish upon a star


I have been leaving comments (on some of the blogs I have been reading) about how much admire sketches and working drawings, so I thought it was about time I posted some of my own. This is a character sketch that has evolved and developed into a couple of other characters, but there's something I like about this sketch that was not captured in my computer adaptations of this one!
And the thing about wishing on stars - it's true! We have had a really big WISH that we have been trying to make come true recently and the good news is that it just might happen!
So here's an update since my last post:

1. WE NOW HAVE ELECTRICITY at our new house! The electrician finally came yesterday, so last night we went and turned on *EVERY light in the house! We are SO close to moving now! An inspector from the council is coming tomorrow to give it a once over, but it looks like it could happen this weekend!! FINALLY! Will keep you posted!

* (Only briefly, as we are actually very aware of trying to be energy efficient etc!)
2. MAGGIE'S DIAGNOSIS: We finally have an update on Maggie. Our vet has confirmed Addison's Disease. I don't really know much about it, but I am meeting with the vet today to learn more, and to find out how we can now manage it. This should improve her kidney functions from what I am told.

3. PYJAMAS: Had the final sign off of pyjama ranges last week, and all artwork and documentation has now been sent off to the factories. Can't wait to get some strike offs! I am now working on a budget pyjama range for the same client, and have HEAPS to do before another meeting with them tomorrow! Yep - that pressure thing again that I thrive on!

4. NEW PROJECT: I have been invited to a meeting with one of my clients later this week to consider working on a brand new project that they have on the cards. Can't say much at this stage, but am excited and will let you know how it develops.

That's all I can think of at the moment, except that my wonderful parents are visiting this week from the country, and I hope to find the time to spend some "Quality time" with them!




A special thank you to my "IT" specialist (that's you Raymond J) for encouraging me to create links to previous posts so that new readers know what on earth I am talking about!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

ILLUSTRATION FRIDAY - OPEN


......open WIDE! I am getting in early this week as I have a busy week lined up! I thought this could be quite cute as a page in a book, so I could not resist adding the text.

Monday, October 8, 2007

PYJAMA PARTY

Ok - I admit I am out of control! Two posts on the same day! Who would have thought I would have so much to say!


I really do intend to focus on my illustration and day to day freelance life in this blog, but there is just so much going on outside of work hours at the moment that it tends to be stealing the limelight so to speak.


Well, it's going to be another busy week of work. I somehow (over the weekend) managed to finish the internal illustrations for the current book project I have on the go. (Yes, Raymond J. it WOULD have something to do with the fact that I gave up the wonderful opportunity to work at our house on Saturday to work at home instead!!) It has a really cool "flicker" running sequence that animates the characters running in the bottom corner of the pages when you flick through the book (which took me ages, but am REALLY happy with!).


Today I am back to the pyjama project. I am really excited with how it has come together, and already can't wait to see some strikes offs and samples which is always a good sign when working with product.

DON'T ADJUST YOUR SCREENS...


...yes this IS a photo of a toilet! For those of you who know me this image will not be lost on you! YES WE HAVE A FUNCTIONING TOILET IN OUR NEW HOUSE!!

I have been meaning to blog about this all week, but things were a bit preoccupied with Maggie as you know!

We have been building a brand new house for nearly two years and are REALLY close to finishing and moving in. If only we could get the tradies to turn up! (Don't even get me started on that one!)

We went to "lock up "with a builder and have done the rest ourselves - that's the ENTIRE interior! (ah, yes - hence the TWO years!) So this is what we get up to EVERY weekend (of this entire year so far), and why we have totally fallen off the social calendar! (Special thank you to Rays parents for pitching in on EVERY one of those weekends, and for my parents for giving up holidays and coming down from the country to help out.)


On the plus side, I can now add "plasterer" to my resume, not to mention painter, interior decorator....etc etc.


Check out the lovely message in the driveway cement written by one gorgeous Raymond J. And don't you just love the river view!?....and, yes - this DOES mean a new "studio" for me!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Illustration Friday - The Blues


I very rarely illustrate people but the events of this last week have inspired a self portrait of sorts!.....Hhhhmmm, I never could do anything with my hair!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Maggie update

I could not bring myself to post anything yesterday. Maggie was so sick. We brought her home after the ex rays and she just did not seem to recover from the anesthetic, and in the morning when she still could not stand or walk, there was a teary dash back to the vet.

I can't remember if I have mentioned that we got her from someone who could not look after her anymore, and we were told that her dodgy front leg was a deformity that she was born with. Well the ex rays have shown that it was actually a pretty nasty fracture that was not repaired. This was pretty devastating to hear!

We were still convinced that her illness was more than the front leg (which she actually seems to manage pretty well) and further test have indicated kidney failure. She needs to stay at the vets for a few more days and they still need to do some more tests so we still aren't sure of anything yet. I guess will I (try) to keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

SLEEPWEAR DESIGN DAY...AND NIGHT...AND...


Am I the only one who books in meetings knowing there's a chance I wont actually have anything ready to present?! I don't know why I put this pressure on myself - well I do actually! I am one of those people who thrives under pressure! I really need a good tight deadline to get things done!


So, I have two days to complete *7 new pyjama ranges! Hhhhmmm. It's been done before, and somehow I always seem to pull it off, and if can keep the procrastination bug at bay I just might actually do it again this time. (ey?...who did you say is on Oprah today?!!) JUST KIDDING.


Thank you for those who left kind comments about Maggie. She is at the vet today getting some ex rays which we hope will give us some answers about how to help her. She was slightly brighter this morning which was great (although admittedly that changed when she realised I was leaving the building without her!) Gawd - I really am going to be hopeless if we ever have kids! How do you "real" parents do it?!
PS - I promise I will work on my fav blog links and inspirations! I know it's looking a little sad at the moment, but I really do have so many to put up!


*Sorry - I don't own the copyright on the designs I do for these guys so I can't give you a glimpse of the work in progress. But if you are in Oz check out David Jones and see if you can recognise my style in any of the pyjama collections.

Monday, October 1, 2007

MIXED EMOTIONS

Well it's been a weekend of mixed emotions. Thank you once again to everyone who left comments last week. I have had my first taste of blogging and the fear I initially felt is starting to give way to excitement.

A special thank you to my gorgeous husband whose amazing comments and support have brought tears to my eyes (and I hear I am not alone in this!) I guess I have approached this with my usual caution in not wanting revealing too much about myself, and then I read the beautiful words from one "Raymond J" and was reminded how important it is to just be yourself! (I have so much to learn from him!)

Anyway - back to the weekend. I had grand visions of doing a proper feature on our beautiful dog "Maggie" and to give you a little insight into how amazing she is, but she has been pretty sick recently and the last few days have been pretty bad.
I took her to the vet on Friday and he suspects she is in pain. He gave her an injection that was supposed to help her get through the weekend a little easier, but I think she's worse. Am just waiting for the vet to open up this morning and I will have to take her in for another assessment.

She is a standard poodle (isn't she gorgeous!) and we have had her for exactly two years today. We think she is about 4 or 5 years old and we got her from a family who could not look after her anymore. We believe she was born with a bow in her front leg (which is quite distinct when she has shorter hair) and we were warned that she could develop arthritis early, but I was hoping it would hold off a bit longer. Anyway, I suspect that's what's going on at the moment, but we will have to wait for confirmation I guess.
Despite our concern for Maggie, we did have some exciting developments with another big project we have had on the go for some time (and I have not had the chance to introduce you to yet), but will save that for later in the week. There's only so much you can read in one sitting!!