Saturday, 31 October 2009

All Hallow Eve

According to one craft book All Hallow Eve is a celebration that dates all the way back to pre-Christianity, to the ancient Celts and the Druids. Originally on the eve of November harvest time was celebrated, whereas 1st May sowing was the theme. Then there was the solstice in June and the ripening was the new party theme.
Once Christianity overtook this earlier religion, elements of these old traditions remained, but took on new forms. In other words the party continued it was just called something else — All Hallow Eve or All Saints Day.

All Hallow Eve is now associated with carved pumpkin faces, dressing up as scary monsters and Star Wars characters (LOL), and deliciously terrifying ghost stories. My, the more things change, the more they really stay the same.

Meme: My Place & Yours

Blog Headquarters: This is where all my blogging takes place, as well as all my computer art (duh). You will see my Wacom Bamboo tablet for all my artwork, massive speakers for listening to music and watching movies, a large cannister of water to keep hydrated, a Xmas mug filled with pens (to keep from losing those pens), one of my old paintings in the background, and yes there is a craft book on the desk.

To see other blog headquarters head on over to Meet Me At Mike's.

Best Laid Plans of Mice & Me

Earlier this week I had every intention of taking part in the NaNoWriMo. However after much thought this morning, there are so many other things I want to be working on in the coming weeks. So I decided to not go ahead with this particular activity.

Though I do come up with great ideas for creative writing. I am definitely more at ease with illustrating my ideas.

I recently picked some lovely wool — Dazzle 8 ply Heirloom (as pictured above). I am not entirely sure what I'll do with it. Though I was thinking of making some doll clothes with it, or even leg warmers for Gwen for when it is cold again next year.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Tallulah & Olive

I created this little bit of music about two years ago. It was partly inspired by children's skipping songs and nursery rhymes, but with a young adult twist.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

New Contact Details

It would seem that my Yahoo email address has been compromised. I have therefore organised a new email address…

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

I Highly Recommend…

Illustration Agency
The Illustration Room — Katie Perrot (my Creative Director)

Meet Me At Mike's: 25 Fun & Crafty Projects — Pip Lincolne (my heroine)

Nicacelly — Nicole Markoff (also my heroine)


Artist (Okay! So they are all my heroes…)

What's Hot + What's Not

I am now responding to Loobylu's weekly meme: what's Hot + What's Not

It's getting HOT in here…
  1. I recently discovered that 5 volumes of Lucy Maud Montgomery's journals have been published, with kind permission from her heirs. This is a definite for my Xmas wish list.
  2. My baby Gwen's delightful expression (see pictured).
  3. I baked scones this week. Hubby and I ate the scones with jam and whipped cream. Yum.
  4. Old fashioned cursive writing. I want to learn to write words with a ornamental flourish.
  5. A worthwhile read — A Wild Herb Soup: The Life of a French Countrywoman by Emilie Carles.

And now for the so NOTs
  1. Reading Charlotte Brontë's novel The Professor. I was dissatisfied with the uncomfortable ending. I felt that it needed refining — to tie up some loose ends.
  2. Losing a sock. Is there, like, some sort of roving sock black hole in the house? I am beginning to suspect the cat is a clepto.
  3. Vacuuming the house (chore).

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A Letter to Lucy

Are you a kindred spirit? Do you dream of living on Prince Edward Island, and strolling down The Avenue in Spring? Do you devour books written by Lucy Maud Montgomery like cupcakes? Then look no further then this — following are fantastic links relating to the creator of Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon.

  1. Anne Society
  2. LM Montgomery Institute
  3. Wikipedia - Lucy Maud Montgomery
  4. LM Montgomery Research Centre
I have also happily discovered that there are a handful of her personal journals which have been made available for the public. I know now what I am putting foremost on my Xmas wish list.

I Love Books

Last week I entered into Woolly Wotnots’ Book Club Giveaway for Cecilia Ahern's The Book of Tomorrow. Then just this morning I discovered that I am to be the proud owner of this book.

Is not the cover pretty? Just imagine the wonderful magic that fills the pages within waiting to be read.

If you are an avid book reader and enjoy discussing books with others, why not visit and join the Woolly Wotnots Book Club.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Let It Blossom

Sonia Kretschmar

I highly recommend you check out this gorgeous animation created by artist Sonia Kretschmar…

Before Dark from Sonia K on Vimeo.

To find out more about Sonia simply follow this link.

Bonjour Bébé

Whenever I get my baby up for a meal, I exclaim the words, ‘bonjour bébé’, to her immense delight. I, my good friends, am what is known as a Francophile. For the uninitiated this simply means I have a deep seated passion for French culture.

Today, after a visit to the library I returned with a selection of books covering a wide variety of French subject matter. Such as history, biography of Madame de Pompadour, guide to travel in France, autobiographical experiences of those living in France.

One of the books, which I am borrowing for a second round,is How to be French written by fellow Australian Margaret Ambrose. This book is one of those instances when fact can truly be as good as fiction and just as hilarious. Reading How to be French you follow the path of a determined Australian Francophile, watching her transform into a sophisticated, and more confident woman. This book truly is proof that to love the language you don't have to be born on the banks of the Seine River. 

To find out more about Margaret Ambrose simply follow this link to her website.


So today, in the mail I was treated to find a very large parcel completely filling my letterbox. The parcel was none other than the very book that I reviewed a few weeks back — The Essential Principles of Graphic Design.

Debbie Millman, the author sent me my very own copy of this book, as the original that had been reviewed had been a library book. And for that extra special warm fuzzy feeling the book is signed by Debbie.

To read my review of this book, simply follow this link.

Thank you Debbie. I look forward to re-reading your book, and referencing it many times in the future.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Meme: My Place & Yours

This weeks theme for Meet Me At Mike's meme is titled “Bedside”.

The above photo of my bedside says a lot about the chaotic, creative mess that is in my mind. Notably are the IDN mags, Pip's craft book, knitting and crochet instructions, my Twilight books, my Gwen Stefani perfume (smells like Halloween face make up from my childhood), there is a My Little Pony hidden away behind a clown statue, an Irish postcard from my Nanna (she passed away late last year), an Oz (Seth Green) action figure, Nintendo DS games, a cassette (audio recording of 3AW Bruce Mansfield interview I conducted when I was a teen), a Kylie Minogue poster all rolled up, a box filled with lovely homemade soap. Just to name a few…

Raining Palm Trees



I am again at that in between project stage. There are a few things that I want to do, but those are really still just back burner kind of stuff. So today it is doodling for me…

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Road Trip

This afternoon Gwen and I decided to get out of the house and the general neighborhood. We drove through the Bayside, sticking to the scenic coastal drive and made a beeline to St Kilda.

We had a lovely walk by the beach and visited a rebuilt kiosk landmark at the end of St Kilda pier. The original kiosk was destroyed in a 2003 fire.

We then headed off again, toward the city and out the other side, making a lovely pit stop at Meet Me At Mike's in Fitzroy. It was Gwen's first time in the shop and she just loved looking at everything and blowing raspberries to Pip and Cam.

I picked up two pieces of lovely at Meet Me At Mike's 
Firstly I chose a crochet Japanese mushroom for Gwen's bedroom. Secondly, I fell for a pink/brown fabric square. I don't know what I'll do with this fabric. I'll think of something special.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

What's Hot + What's Not

It is HOT:
  1. Veronica Mars DVD box sets
  2. Chocolate and a cup of tea after dinner.
  3. I have lots to read at the moment. Mags. — IDN, Frankie. Books — Twilight saga, biography of my Grandma's childhood, 100 Classic stories stored on a Nintendo DS cartridge. So many publications and not enough hours in the day.
  4. Going for a walk each day, doing some gym and seeing my transformation into a super hero.
  5. My baby Gwen blowing raspberries — new form of communication for her.


  1. Claire's family coming down with gastro.
  2. Setting back calorie count from above mentioned chocolate.
  3. Air-Con remote control needs a new battery.
  4. Reading about the injustices toward females in other parts of the globe; ie. the so called ‘honour killings’.
  5. Interest rate rise, particularly it being so soon after it being dropped in the first place.

To see other Hot/Not lists simply visit the Loobylu blog.

Monday, 19 October 2009

So Cal Noir: Finally

At last I present to you the completed illustration So Cal Noir.

Meme: My Place & Yours

This entry is a response to Pip's latest Meme — My Place & Yours. The theme this week is On the shelf

So this is a small section of my many beloved book shelves… As you can see there are many craft reference books and lovely magazines to inspire (Nylon, Frankie, Computer Arts, IDN). Look closely enough and you will also find the Andy Warhol Pop Box (love him or hate him — he was a design genius), and a book of SHAG art (as in Josh Agle).

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Pink October

This lucky duck learnt this morning that she had won a darling headband through the “Save Second Base” giveaway hosted by the fabulous Lara of Her Name Was Lola blogging fame. Just look at that gorgeous headband. I cannot wait to wear it.

In the grand tradition of raising awareness for breast cancer Lara hosted this as a pink giveaway, for which the headband had been designed and provided by Larissa Hill. Larissa is a designer of jewelry, hats, headbands and bags, and you can visit her Etsy shop by following this link.

Following is my poem, which won the giveaway…

Love love, lovely pink,
I do love to think,
of all that pink,
Then I no longer sink.
Everyone raise your glass - clink,
Now let's have a pink bubbly drink.
Love love, lovely pink.

Woolly Wotnots Giveaway

Do you like to read? Of course you do — that's why you are in blog land. Well I've got some juicy news for you…

Woollywotnots Sunday Book Club are hosting a lovely giveaway, to win a copy of Cecelia Ahern's published book The Book of Tomorrow. To find out more about this giveaway simply follow this link…

Saturday, 17 October 2009

So Cal Noir: Darkness Falls

Now you can see a darker quality enter this composition. I have added a night sky which produces a much more erie appearance. I rather like the messy border so will maintain that look for the final.

So Cal Noir: Land of Colour

I am now beginning to add colour to So Cal Noir. To begin with I am keeping it quite rough. Then once I have it fully colourised I'll then look at refining the image.

Friday, 16 October 2009

So Cal Noir: and so it continues

Slowly. So slowly So Cal Noir is coming together.

Diamonds Truly Are A Girl's Best friend

Ladies… and gentlemen! A fabulous competition is being hosted by LuShae Jewelry with a cash prize of $200, for the winner to spend… anywhere! And if that weren't enough to entice you, LuShae Jewelry have added a cherry — each entrant to this competition will receive a 15% discount off the entire LuShae Jewelry range.

To find out more, and enter this competition simply follow this link to the $200 LuShae Sweepstakes

Tic Toc

I am now bringing together all the indiviudal sketches of my So Cal Noir into one image. I aim to finish this piece in the next three days.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

My Creative Space...

So, this week I have been sharing my sketch book notes for an art project titled “So Cal Noir”. The above sketches are the latest in that line of sketching. To step back and see the previous sketches, follow these links:
  1. 12/10/09
  2. 11/10/09
  3. 08/10/09
I also developed a little illustration for Curly Pops‘ Blogtoberfest Superpops Challenge. Click here to see the illustration

This week my 23 year old Cabbage Patch Kid doll returned to me, so that she can go to my daughter Gwen. The doll has had a wash and is now sitting on my Table of Responsibility, waiting for a bit of nip and tuck work. What is the Table of Responsibility, you might ask. Well, it is a table covered in things that I said I would fix and make, but just haven't got around to doing. But it stares at me everyday.

I have made a return to Twitter as Emjie79, after I discovered I can Twitter my little Bamboo Wacom tablet illustrations. 

To top off this entry, the other day I posted some fab B&W photos that I took a couple of years ago. You can have a look here.

To see where the Creative Space goodness began simply pay a visit to Kootoyoo.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Curly Pops ~ Super Pops

[click on the illustration for a more detailed look]

This illustration is my response to Curly Pop's Blogtoberfest Challenge. I drew Super Pops as a fantasy avatar. She wears body armour with soft chiffon fabric as an underlay.
The colours in the picture have significance to this hero: purple = dignity; green = growth; the metal is grey (between black & white) = combo of strength and innocence.

Curly Pops, I hope you like.

Back in the Day

A few years ago I registered for a short night course in black & white photography. The above photos are two of my favourites from a studio photo shoot that the teacher had organised for our class.

In the first photo I captured two other students in the class, after getting a bit bored of the original subject. I imagine this would be like someone making a documentary of someone else producing another documentary.

The second photo was of the original subject at the studio photo shoot. Every few minutes I would reposition my camera (and tripod)at different locations around the room. In this instance I set the camera up from the side. The eclipse effect you are seeing results from the studio light source being directly behind the model's profile.

If you love your CPD, set it free. If she comes back she's yours…

When I was seven (the 80's) I received a Cabbage Patch Doll for Christmas and her name was Charlotte Wendy. In my late teens (the 90's) Charlotte Wendy was packed up and sent interstate to my cousins.

Yesterday I was overwhelmed to find Charlotte Wendy being returned to me in the mail, in almost the same condition that she left me a decade ago.

With a bit of a wash, nip and tuck Charlotte Wendy will now become baby Gwen's very own Cabbage Patch Doll. Might even look at rebuilding Charlotte Wendy's wardrobe with cute little numbers.

Monday, 12 October 2009

So Cal Noir: Further Drafts

As mentioned in an earlier post, I did change the lamp posts and I much happier with the new look. There are still some landscape details that need filling in, but for now I want to turn my eye to other objects that need inclusion into the picture. Such as a car, and populating the image with people.

To see earlier drafts for this project simply flashback to these links:

Sunday, 11 October 2009

So Cal Noir

This illustration is Draft Three for my So Cal Noir project. The street is coming together. I think though in my next draft I will alter the lamps for something a bit more romantic. In future drafts I will include additional layers to the drawing, such as human figures. Then eventually I'll designate the areas that light is to fall.

To see previous notes for this illustration, follow this link.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Learn the Rules, So You Can Break Them

Once in a blue moon I come across such fantastic reading material that it alters my perspective and improves my design ability. One such design guide has been a book borrowed from the library — The Essential Principles of Graphic Design, a book prepared by Debbie Millman.

This book is a worthwhile read for any person studying or even just considering a career in graphic design. I would even recommend that high school students studying Graphic Communication take a look at this book, as it can breakdown design principles with simplicity and great detail.

This book is a realistic assessment of successful design. It includes detailed project profiles, written by the designers. They talk about their experiences with development, dealing with ’the client‘ and lessons learnt from each job.

I have long loved working with graphics but I saw design as a flat process. This was because a certain understanding eluded me. After reading this book I find myself grasping design principles with greater ease. Now I look forward to seeing new developments in my illustrative work, thanks to the information I have taken from this book.

I will be returning this book to the library today. Though I intend to return to this book for a second read, and even a third… You know what? I'll just have to place this book on my Xmas wish list.

So the next time you are at your library check out The Essential Principles of Graphic Design. If the library does not stock this book then throw yourself bodily on the ground, tug at your hair and beat your chest, demanding that your life will not be complete unless they get in Debbie Millman's book.

Postscript: Debbie Millman has a blog over at, so sneak a peak while you are here.

My Creative Space...

I finished making that doll, which had been mentioned in last week's creative space. You can see it here.

This week I have been reading drawing/design books and doing some drawing. If you step back a few entries you will see development of a hand drawing that I have worked on.

So Cal Noir: A new drawing project I am now developing is a piece inspired by the series Veronica Mars. I want to play with shadow and light in this drawing. Have a look below to see my notes so far on this project.

To see where the Creative Space activity began, visit Kootoyoo at this link.