Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Wishes 2009!

Well this is my first totally free weekend for what feels like several months and it's been lovely! We managed to complete most of the Christmas shopping, and I even found time to whip up this chocolate slice!

We're off to a BBQ with some neighbours tonight so I thought we'd better not rock up empty handed! We are very lucky to have met so many new people in the area within a few short months of us being here. It's so different to all the years of city living and not knowing anyone in our street!

I found these illustrations from my last years Christmas illustration ideas, (yeah, I know I'm lazy!) but I thought I'd better send some Christmas wishes today, as I know I wont get time next week.

We're off on a beach holiday next weekend and plan to take our laptops, so I hope to get in a few blog posts before we get back.

Stay safe everyone and I hope that this years fire season is a very quiet one. x
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Studio Dreaming

Since moving into our new home in the country we have been laying low a bit and just letting ourselves dream of all the crazy and wonderful things we can do here. One of those big dreams is to build a studio where I can spread out and be creative!

I started to collect some images that inspire me, and there are so many gorgeous stone dwellings around here that I can't seem to get this style out of my head. Here's some local pics of the kind of thing I had in perhaps a little smaller?

I little bit of photoshop magic and this is where we were thinking of building it - on the other side of the dam.

Of course it needs some big windows along the side,and lots of plantings, and maybe a big decking, and....well I can dream can't I?!

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Proof of print

The print proofs have arrived for my latest book. I'm really excited about this one as it's the first hand painted illustrations I have done for the book industry. It's come up really well, and I can't wait to see it all made up as a final hard cover book!

Here's an annoying sneak peek to tease you with!

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Keeping it local

Ducked into town this morning to pick up a few things and could not resist dropping into my favourite Bendigo store - Bob.

Of course I should have known that would result in us spending money, but who could resist these.

The booklet is x12 gorgeous prints by Suzy Ultman which I plan to frame and hang around the house...

The box is for these cool Creature Lights...

with cute felt characters...

...that inspired us to put up this:

Is it too early to get the Christmas tree out? I just figured if we did not do it today it wouldn't happen! We started on the Christmas shopping too, as I am a notorious Christmas Eve shopper. I wont have time this year to leave it that late as we are having Christmas away this year.

Anyway, must dash - more books and illustration stuff least x20 illustrations still left to do before Christmas! (Where's the motivation? - Christmas holidays at the beach!!Yippee!!, yep that is my brand new boogie board under the tree there - waiting to be wrapped and ripped opened again on Christmas day!)

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Sunday, November 22, 2009


I did not even get the chance to remind you I was going, but I am now back from a business trip to China! As part of my "Real Job" requirements, we started off at the Canton Fair in Guangzhou, then worked our way up the coastline to Shanghai. 8 cities in 16 days made for a pretty full itinerary, but it really was a fabulous trip this year, and I managed to stay well for the whole trip this time!

We had the last weekend off, where we were able to do some sightseeing and headed off to Beijing to walk the Great Wall.

We had not counted on the snow (only packing summer gear) so we had to buy winter woolies!

It was absolutely stunning and beyond anything I could have imagined!... and colder than anything I could have imagined!

Of course I missed my husband terribly, but I managed to work out buying a local simcard for the phone so that we could make international calls really cheaply! (Last year my mobile phone bill was nearly $500 during my time away!!)

There's no rest for the wicked, heading straight back to work last week, and getting stuck back into my new series of books this weekend! I still feel like I could sleep for a week, but the thought of Christmas holidays on the horizon will keep me going.

I'm expecting the proofs from my last book to arrive next week, and it's due to be released in May next year, so that's pretty exciting too.

So, things are back to "normal" in my over-busy life!

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Monday, October 26, 2009


Decided to participate in this when I spotted it here. It's all about sharing what's on your beside table. Well, you can see that I don't really have a bedside table as the bed is pushed right up against the wall.

That's my favourite Terance Conran linen we received for our wedding, and I still love it! Needs updating now, but it's such beautiful quality that it's still like new.

Anyway, no bedside tables, but what I do have is these really cute little nooks where I tend to stack up lots of reading material..... and what's a nook, without nick knacks?!

Raymond J has bought me a copy of Into the Wild to read during my China trip (I loved the movie, and have the sound track too!)

This soft toy dates back to my days of working for a plush toy company where I had the great privilege to work with this talented artist to create this gorgeous plush toy. It's always been a bit of a favourite of mine. Her name is Ruby Red Shoes.

I thought I'd finish up with a sneak peek at the view from the bed. Of course the dog is not normally allowed on the bed, but it makes a cute photo!

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Sunday, October 25, 2009


I am off to China at the end of this week (as part of my full time job)so this is the last weekend I will get to spend with my husband until mid November! With my freelance work keeping me busy during all my spare time, I would confess that Raymond J has been a bit neglected of late, so I promised him a full day off together this weekend. (, yep, only one!)

The beautiful weather enticed us outdoors where we found a local market in Chewton (near Castlemaine. We picked up some yummy organic bread, some fresh fruit and some spices.

This collection inspired us to picnic in the beautiful Castlemaine Botanic Gardens. It was lovely to have a day out with the family!

The rest of the weekend was spent with more REJECTED characters! But they are coming along nicely. Makes these look a bit wrong now!

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Friday, October 23, 2009

On my desk...or in the BIN!

Character development would have to be one of my favourite stages of book illustration. I love creating different poses and drawings to help work out personality and the final look of the character. I also love getting input from the team you are in development with as it always seems to challenge you to push your work to the next level.

Having said that, here are some REJECTS that never made the cut!

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

No rest for the wicked!

Phew, another busy weekend almost done. It was lovely to have the weekend at home where I managed to:

Work on some characters for my next book project.

Help my husband start our veggie patch.

With some help from the dog with no eyes! (Long overdue for a haircut!)

I even managed to find some time to bake a banana cake!

...not to mention the housework, laundry...oh, and accidentally getting my hair cut as short as PINK's latest cut! No pics of that - I'm still recovering!!! (But I do love it!)

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Sunday, October 4, 2009


This is my last free weekend for a bit as I get ready to take on the next batch of new books, so we thought we'd better get out of the house and explore local while we can. Here's a visual summary...

Check out the BLOG HERE, but visit the store if you can!

....Paumes, Mixtape, Pepper mint....
...where pages like this...

....inspire me to want to do something about this....

I really need a studio!
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Well, so much for blogging more often! I guess I just have to accept that I really can't do everything! Excuse the mess, but I thought I'd share some evidence of why I've been too busy to blog!

I'm in the thick of things with the final artwork for my latest book. I've spent a lot of time fussing over the best paint to use, as well as the best colour mixes. It's been wonderful to get back to some hand painted work and it's coming together nicely.

I also have my next book project lined up and am really excited to be working with these ladies in particular! Obviously I can't say too much, but I am already looking forward to starting some new books.

Anyway...must go - lots to do!

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Nothing ever goes to plan!

I woke today all pumped up and ready to start the final, hand painted, artwork for my new book. I planned to share a quick post of where this is all up to, when I discovered that my blog had been bombarded with random comments - IN CHINESE! Just when you start to get comfortable with the whole computer world something always seems to bring you down a peg or two.

So I have spent the entire morning checking through my backlog of posts to delete the random spam comments. (I think/hope I got them all!)

It turned out to be a walk down memory lane! I guess that's the amazing thing about blogging. I've never really bothered to check back through my own posts, (I mean why would you?!)but it really is a bit like journal reading.

I feel that my blog has changed a lot since returning to full time work, and I need to make more time for it - I forgot how much I enjoy it!

So here's a few things from previous posts that I hope to get back to sharing in future posts:

ILLUSTRATION FRIDAY: what a great way to get an inspirational break away from current projects)'s a few topics I had particular fun with:




INSPIRATION MONDAYS: I miss this! I have continued to collect things to share with you (and have at least a years worth backed up to get into a format to share with you!)

...Life Drawing....I intended to get back to regular classes this year, but it just didn't happen - if I can find some local classes it might give me a chance to meet some people in the area, as we still don't really know anyone here!

DESIGN PROCESSES: you know - sharing the processes I go through in various projects....I have been documenting the processes of my current new books to share with you once they get into publication. I have always found that sort of thing interesting in other peoples blogs. This post was an exceptionally long version of what I mean!

...writing....goes without saying really, but it's still on the cards....more house stuff - I need to bring some colour and craft into this house!

...never a dull moment, hey?!

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pancakes at dawn

The problem with getting up at 5am a couple of times a week is that it becomes a hard habit to break. Especially when my husband still has to do it 5 times a week! So what do you do in the wee hours of the morning until the sun comes up? Make pancakes of course!

I am not renowned for my cooking skills, but following pressure from my girlfriends to invest in the cooking bible (as it's been dubbed) I decided to give it a go! Not bad for a first attempt, hey?!

PS Dear gorgeous husband - I promise I have saved enough batter to share some with you tonight! x

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sourcing inspiration!

In the excitement of notifying everyone of our change of address, I came across some old subscriptions of this magazine:

It reviews latest publications (and new releases) within the Australian Children's Book market. I promptly re-subscribed, and then accidentally subscribed to this one too!

It's the journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia, and also reviews what's happening in the children's publishing industry. Ok, so it may be a bit of a double up, but at least I'll be informed! I hope it can guide my reading choices as I continue to formulate some of my own stories and ideas.

I also can't seem to resist buying this magazine, as a peek into the children's product industry into Australia, but for the last few years, it has disappointed me. And yet, I still continue to buy it in the hope that there might be one little spark of inspiration.

I was just about to give up on finding anything worth sharing,and then I discovered this: COT COUTURE

It's a beautiful new store in South Australia with some fresh and modern decor for kids rooms. Check out the Cot Couture website for full details of how you can order your quilts to be made up from fabrics you select from the range. There's even embroidery embellishments to choose from! Clever stuff. They have a blog too, which features some new in house fabric designs, so check it out when you can.

Thank you all on your encouraging words on our house! I hope to share more pics as we settle in and find a place for everything. I need to bring more colour into the house, so will share our experiments as we go! We have grand plans for some mosaics, some canvases and the best chicken house you'll ever see (for outside of course!) day!

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