Friday, May 31, 2013

A mystery box and a creative challenge!

It's been cold and wet and grey outside. It's almost winter and I'm not really in the mood to go outside and take some photos until I get a bit more used to the weather. So I've been looking for things around the house to inspire me with photos and sketches, I gave up and asked mum who said "You know that box that Skittle (our cat) tries to destroy every morning? Go look in there." 
Oooo mystery.

Yeah it's not pretty, but it's full of unknown shinies and adventure!

Over at the Dotti will do blog and on the in.cube8r gallery Facebook page, we've been challenged to commit 10 minutes each day in June to doing something creative. I have a feeling these two things will now be connected... if I can wait a few more hours until June starts anyway...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Yellow against blue

Over the last few weeks I've been watching the leaves of our sycamore maples turn from a nice green/brown to an amazing bright yellow. They really stood out today with a bold blue sky and I had to take some photos.




Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The UFO Challenge

I was cruising through various blogs today and came across The Crafty Mummy's Finished a UFO Challenge, and in this case UFO stands for Un-Finished Object.

Basically it's a group she's starting to motivate each other to finish or progress unfinished projects, there's no pressure to actually finish them in a certain amount of time. So I'm going to give it a go!

I'm going to start in June, and post at the beginning of each month with what I'm going to (attempt to) finish and at the end of each month with how far I got. It won't always be art related, I've got a few projects already tagged, like a coat I started about a year ago  >.>   and a jumper that I got 90% finished but trying it on I didn't like the sleeve fit so have to pull it apart to make it wearable.
Really looking forward to it :)

Will you be joining in the UFO Challenge??

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The great tea-dying experiment

I'm working on a new project :D
Lately I've been doing more sketching but I'm not happy with how some of them look as greeting cards. So I've been thinking of ways to display them that isn't on a card and doesn't need to be framed. Trying to get to sleep the other night I came up with an idea (which is when all the good ideas turn up), I could make little zines! Which works well as I've also been experimenting with staining paper to make it look old.

I'm using paper from my sketch book because is a bit heavier than normal printing paper (my sketchbook paper is 110gsm, and the printing paper is 80gsm), this seems to stop the page from buckling too much with the heat/dampness.
Every time we make cups of tea I put aside the teabag for about a minute (so it's not too hot), put the sketch paper out on a tea towel, then literally paint the paper with the teabag. Once it's dried and when we have another cup of tea, I paint the other side.
I'm getting some great effects so far!

I tested printing a moth on one piece I'd tea-dyed and it works well :)

The next step is to tea-dye a few more and work out how I'm stitching them together, and then figure out the zine cover.
I'm aiming to have some tea-dyed products ready to launch on May 23 at the Mt Evelyn Biggest Morning Tea event (which I think is appropriate :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Kitchen Sink Moth

Last week a little moth came inside to visit us. It hung around the kitchen for a few days before eventually passing away (RIP little moth), maybe it liked the tiles as their design is similar. So for now I have named it the Kitchen Sink Moth.

After talking to a friend I've found out it's called Thalaina clara or Clara's Satin Moth from the Geometridae family (due to it's geometric markings). They like feeding on Wattle trees during their caterpillar stage, have a wingspan of approx 50mm when they are adults.

I thought the markings on it's wings were quite unusual so I took a photo as I wanted to sketch it and wasn't sure how long it would stay still for. It was fairly dark and the autoflash came on which showed up the reflective orange colour in the middle of each line. Just looking at it quickly I would never have noticed, without the reflection it's a very dark colour (and quite small) so I just passed it off as a really pretty white and black moth.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

This week I fell in love with...

So many things that have caught my attention on Etsy again this week. Here are my favourite three :)

Needle Felted Maine Coon
I have to thank The Traveling Twig for introducing me to my first love this week.
So gorgeous, this little needle felted kitten is only about 23cm long, but so realistic! Made by LilyNeedleFelting there are so many realistic kittens in their store.


Treble Clef Bass Clef Heart Pendant Necklace
Beautiful handmade necklace from mylittleaddiction that combines a treble clef and bass clef to make a heart.

Fabric Moths
So cute, redtreedesigns has made these moths from fabric scraps. Each has a wingspan of about 16cm, I love the detail on them, especially the dark brown one :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It's Autumn!

It's that time of year when every time I go driving I wish I could stop every 100 metres to take a photo of some amazingly coloured tree.

Australian natives are evergreens, so their leaves don't change colour in the cooler weather and fall off, but there are a lot of non-native trees in the area that make up for it. This results in gardens showing medium and dark greens with splashes of yellow, orange and red.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to try and get as many Autumn coloured landscape photos as I can. Here's some I've been able to get in the last few days.

The view from Healesville Railway Station. 

One of our neighbours trees which is coming to the end of its vibrant red season. 

Seeds from a Sycamore Maple.

Rose hip from a low growing rose in mum's garden.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea 2013

Every year the Cancer Council of Australia holds Australia's Biggest Morning Tea, where people get together with friends, drink tea, eat food and donate a few dollars to the Cancer Council.
The last few years our local traders group has organised a town event where the local schools, community groups and businesses get together and hold the morning tea in the middle of the main shopping area.
It's a $5 donation for devonshire tea (made locally), the tea is provided by The Functional Beverage Co (who make organic tea), there's a huge raffle with products donated from local businesses, and this year there will be a mini market of local businesses.

I'll be having a stall at the mini market, and 10% of sales will be donated to the Cancer Council.

So, onto the details!
When: May 23
Time: 10am - 12noon
Where: Wray Cres, Mt Evelyn. Carpark across from Bendigo Bank (it will move into either the Public Hall or the RSL if it's going to rain)

For more information about the Cancer Council and Australia's Biggest Morning Tea visit their website:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Celebrating Max & Me Designs birthday with a giveaway!

Last week I mentioned the huge 5 week giveaway that Max & Me Designs are holding for their first birthday.
It's now the second week of the giveaway and I've donated 10 cards (of the winners choice) to the gift pack.

What you can win this week:
This weeks prize is worth over $425, and there's a bonus 'local' prize for Melbourne residents.
Voucher for 2 custom rhinestone tie-back headbands or 1 rhinestone headband and crown from Ami-Kay Boutique
Cream coat - size 3/4 from Everythings Rosie
Swarovski crystal rectangle pendant from Just 2 Crafty
Button flowers & bunting from Kate's Events
$30 Gift voucher from Little Hannah Bear
$25 Gift voucher from Love b
Set of Reversible "Perk me up" Fabric Coasters, Tea Bag Wallet & Coffee Cuff from Monkey & Bee
$25 of gifts from Sweet Cuddles
Woddlers Toddler backpack & insulated lunchbox set in Dinosaur Design from Cheese & Pickles Online (I love that name :)
$25 Handmade Credit from Little Boo-Pips
and of course 10 cards from Tig's Garden!

The extra Melbourne prize is a $100 gift voucher put towards a Newborn baby or Child photo session from Dee Palma Photography

How to enter:
Head over to the Max & Me Design blog -
At the bottom of the prizes is an area where you can like each of the businesses who are donating prizes on Facebook, this gives you entry to the giveaway.

Other info:
The giveaway is open to Australian residents only (sorry internationals, I'll plan something for you guys in a little while!)

Good luck to everyone who has entered!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Treasury Addiction

I woke up this morning to a lot of notifications on my Etsy store. One of my cards was featured in a Treasury featuring new and undiscovered sellers!
It's called a Sneak Attack Treasury. From what I have read the Handmade Movement Team create Treasuries with sellers who haven't sold anything yet, and one link in the Treasury is to the shop they are attacking with sales.
Here's the Treasury link to the one I was featured in: Sneak Attack Treasury May 4 2013

And then I decided to make my own Treasury :)
I think I'm addicted now.

So here it is: Autumn Colours, celebrating the amazing colours we have this time of year in Australia, and featuring members from the Melbourne Etsy Street Team.

















Friday, May 3, 2013

This week I fell in love with...

I spend way too much time looking through what other people have favourited on Etsy, so thought I'd put a post together every Friday/Saturday showing what I've fallen in love with during the week (I'll limit it to three, or we could be here all night!).

Nyan Cat crochet scarf pattern.
ok, so I might have to learn how to crochet, but I would just to make this (although I also see she makes them for people who have no idea how to crochet, tempting!).

A lot of things from CedarMoon
I'm trying to figure out which I item from this shop I love the most, but it has to be one of the dragons, with the Phoenix Flamingo, or maybe the Seahorse... coming in close second. They take old plastic flamingos and redecorate them into awesome statues.

Everything from FloraBeauty
but in particular this Pressed flower necklace (pictured below)
oh and, this other flower necklace... and these petal earrings... I'll stop now :)

I think that will do me this week, or I'll be hypothetically broke ;)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Walking in someone elses shoes

Wow, what a month.
Through the Set Up Shop course, other than meeting so many other amazing businesses, I've got my Etsy and MadeIt shops up, organised my logo, wording, business cards, website, blog, Facebook page, Pinterest account, Twitter account, and probably a few other things I can't think of off the top of my head.

I've started a business before, but I have to say this was totally different. My last business (I should say my other business, it's supporting me while I start this one!) was a service orientated business and I started it 10 years ago. I was still in Tafe when I registered the name and I guess it was kind of a hobby at the start, it grew pretty slowly while I was studying 4 days a week. I guess because I was young, didn't really know if I was going to get a job or work for myself I never wrote down a process, didn't think about how to grow and honestly I can't remember much about the 'business side' for the first few years.
I've helped a few people near the start of their business, setting up the social media side, website, thinking through how to price things etc and from my point of view it's always been fairly simple stuff. But now I've been on the other side it's entirely different and I can appreciate how difficult some things are.

I've still got a lot to do! Most of this month I'll be working on promotion/marketing ideas, and lots of new artworks. So hopefully I'll have a few sketches during the month to show you all here.
May is going to be big and exciting :)