Wednesday, January 31, 2007

blown away

I'm quite blown away - all of my prints have sold. I got more printed today and two of those have sold already again. It's such a flattering response, and inspiring for me to keep drawing and see what happens.

In other news, my close friend bought me back these fairly lights from Thailand on request. They were insanely cheap - $6 AU, although i've seen them online selling for $25 US! I've finally got them working by having to attach an aussie power plug because it came with a thai one (which I did myself, very proudly ;).

Sunday, January 28, 2007

canvas printses

I don't consider myself to be a 'proper' artist by any means (what does that mean these days, anyway?) but I thought it'd be nice to get some of my recent drawins printed onto canvas at good old imagescience and see how they go in my etsy shop. I just love the way things look printed onto that canvas:

Hmm, I don't know what i'll do with them if they don't sell - it'd feel wrong to have them up on my own wall, and weird to give them to friends unless someone asked for one specifically. Anyway, just rambling now - we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!!

Meanwhile, I went to mum and dad's last week and collected all my old screenprinting stuff out of the garage - most of it guiltily unopened and unused - screens, emulsion, ink, squeegees. Hoping to have a screenprinting day sometime soon (maybe with miss wendy if she's keen) and make some of that patterned fabric myself. Geez I've been talking about that for ages, I just need to go and do it!

Saturday, January 27, 2007


I've been dying to blog about this since Wednesday, but Pete's camera suddenly went 'blind'. It displays black, and takes pictures of black! So i'm back to my crappy old Ixus for now - 'scuse the poor quality. Anyway, I was roaming around Mailing Rd in Canterbury the other day which is known for its old worldly shops and antiquey stores, and at the back of one antiques store i found something i'd always wanted:

It's an old printers typecase drawer - yay! Just the sort of thing you hope to find when rummaging at the back of those places. And how cute it looks with little ornamenty stuff in the compartments! For any Melbourne peeps who want one too - there's about 6 left in the store, selling for $40 each. Not bad.

Hey I have a question to ask. Does anyone know who makes the beaker/mug thing drawn below? I found it on a blog somewhere and thought it was ingenious (so much easier to hold that a useless teacup handle!) but didn't bookmark it :(

Update: It was on Sia and Bloesem's blogs - thanks Sia!! The cups are by Mokkatanten. After all this effort I should go out get some :)

I had to laugh because their stockists were located in Berlin, Copenhagen, Amsterdam ... and Brunswick. Yep, good old Sydney Road, Brunswick, 10 mins from my apartment.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A small world indeed

Ahh it is a small world indeed. Today I took myself for a walk to a crazy antiques place I keep passing in my car and have wanted to check out for ages (Wally Johnson's on Dudley street) and on my way back I turn the corner and bump into Shannon from Auntie Cookie! We'd never met in person before but I recognised her from her blog. Aint that great. Okay that story probably sounds a bit farfetched but we were previously aware that we lived in the same area, so it's not all that weird.

Anyway, the antiques place didn't have anything I could afford, but I took a pic of these cute little bowl/ramikin things. Some Melbournian should go get them! (if you're willing to pay $7 apiece).

('scuse the crappy nokia picture quality)

More patterns! Still going through a seaweed phase it seems :)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Armchair love

What a crazy tropical weather weekend. Pouring with rain outside but sitting with the air-con on inside. Good weather for drawing though. I had a lot of fun working on the detail of this one, and it's great when you can combine two things you love, in this case drawing and patterns :)

However, again I'm having the same old trouble with choosing colours. It's one of those abilities that can turn a mediocre piece into a good one, or a good piece into a great one...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Freshly Blended Patterns

I just completed my first ever commissioned pattern design job! It was heaps of fun. Nicole from freshly blended needed some patterns to compliment her new brand, site and packaging, and in return she's making me one of her beautiful hand bound books. I'm very excited.

What is it about collaborating with someone from the craft world that feels so much more satisfying and enjoyable than collaborating with someone from the graphic design world? The reason struck me when I was writing an email to Nicole about this very topic, and I wonder why I never conciously registered it before. The graphic design world is male dominated. The craft world is female dominated. I'm making some massive generalisations here I know, but to me the graphic design world often has a hard edge and can be quite competitive. The fact that there is so much ephasis amongst 'top' design studios on winning design awards is a testament to this. On the flip side the craft world is soft and nurturing and encouraging, and has helped me to flourish creatively.

Thinking back on the contract jobs I've done in studios around Melbourne (admittedly not that many), only one place had another female creative. Crazy.

Anyway ... /rant. Hope everyone has a great weekend and doesn't become a puddle in the heat or an icecube in the snow.

P.S. - thanks to Jem from Imagescience for mentioning my blog and website in his newsletter!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

5 things

Well, for the first time ever i've been 'tagged'! Stereoette tagged me to do '5 things'. The rules are as follows:

1. someone tags you,
2. you post five things about yourself that you haven’t already mentioned on your blog,
3. you tag people you’d like to know more about.

I tried to think of some more witty/interesting things but they'll probably come to me when I'm not thinking about it so much! Here goes:

1) I can't stand ticking clocks. When I stay over at other people's places I take the batteries out.

2) When growing up I was an avid fan of The Mysterious Cities of Gold, and the first website I ever made was a fan site about the series. I used HTML frames and thought I was so clever.

3) I once worked as one of those annoying people who hand out perfume cards at Myer. I had to wear a tight orange top that said "make someone happy" which triggered lots of oh-so-original responses from men like "you can make me happy, luv".

4) Lately at about 3 in the afternoon I jump rope for about 5 minutes and do weights.

5) I just had 9 fillings done over the last few weeks and have 1 more next week (my last, thank god). Floss, people.

Shannon, Kristen, Julie, Anna, Helen - you're next :P

Sunday, January 14, 2007

the red tree (my 100th post)

This weekend I received a copy of this very beautiful book - The Red Tree by Shaun Tan. I don't have the words to describe it fittingly, but the ilustrations are amazing and the feel of the book is very touching... and inspiring.

I've had a really sleepy and dream like weekend, and just felt inspired to draw. Of course, my illustrations are nowhere near as lovely as the ones in the book, so I feel like writing a big wad of text here to separate the one above from the ones below...

Drawing has never been my forte, and I have yet to really find my style, but I'm slowly getting there. I think I think too much when I draw, and have trouble turning off that logic side of my brain. I think thats why I like textile design - it requires a good mix of creative and logical/technical thinking...

P.S. - I can't believe this is my 100th post! 100 posts of yakking on about myself. Hah.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


It's the last day of my holidays. Sigh. I'm not looking forward to going back to work and the ensuing madness of Jan and Feb - these months are just going to fly by.

I've made good use of the last few days though, and pattern inspiration has struck me again, yay! These ones both have a retro feel, yet are completely different. I'm favouring the second pair. Silhouetted botanicals are everywhere at the moment (and getting a bit tired methinks) so I like the idea of mixing the silhouettes with modern/technical elements.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

grasses & seaweed

I haven't created any new patterns in ages so today I worked with a couple of ideas that were in my sketchbook. I dunno, I think I'm expecting more from myself these days - that or I'm over the illustrated & LiveTraced look. Time to move on to some new techniques. Meanwhile here's where I'm at:

Colour is the hardest part I find. Good colours can turn a so-so pattern into a great one, but good colour selection is a skill i'm still working on... ahhh, we are our hardest critic ;)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

adventures with art clay

Looking back on my childhood, there was a distinct trend of me jumping from one crafty pursuit to the next to the next. Mum found this a great source of amusement and birthday/christmas present ideas. One minute it'd be china painting, the next candle making, then flower pressing then fimo modelling then bead looming then soft toy making and so on.

The one thing that I did manage to stick with for a considerable amount of time was ceramics. I think i did it for about 6 years. Too small and weak to handle the wheel I just did freeform modelling - mainly dragons and wizards and castles - all that stuff I was mad about at the time.

Anyway, it's become really obvious to me (and maybe to you too) that this trend has continued into my adult life, well in the last year at least. Drawing, painting, gocco printing, jewellery design, pattern design, bookbinding ... and now I've found a new one - silver clay modelling!

Has anyone else tried Art Clay Silver before? It is awesome. It's a type of modelling clay made up of silver particles that you mould into any shape and then fire on a gas stovetop. The result is 99.9% silver. Madness. I bought myself a starter kit from The Bead Co the other week and here's the development of my first piece:

The piece still in clay form. It was quite fiddly to model and I found that I had to keep wetting the clay so it wouldn't dry out when working with it - basically it was just like working with normal clay -similar consistency and drying behaviour.

Firing the piece on the gas burner (it's covered with a mesh cage in case it explodes)

The final piece, polished up (kinda). I can't take full credit for the shape though - it's partially based on a piece of jewellery I saw somewhere that's got stuck in my head. (edit: ahh, now I know where! it was Kyo Hashimoto's work!).

It'd be awesome to be able to keep dabbling in a range of crafts as my job. I think that's why I'm so reluctant to join a studio and be boxed into one role - web designer OR graphic designer OR textile designer OR OR OR. I can't imagine a studio job that would let me do all the things I love. And I don't see myself as being particularly good at one thing over all the others. Hence I'm still working from home on my own. Lonely business but very rewarding. I imagine that there are a lot of crafters out there who face this same problem. How have you tackled it?

Monday, January 01, 2007

2007 ahoy

Happy new year everybody!! It's 6:30pm here and it amazes me to think that some of you in the States are just about to reach midnight now! Our celebrations already feel like forever ago.

I'm on holidays for a couple of weeks so have heaps of stuff to blog about. One of my favourite pre-christmas projects was this book I made for Pete's mum, which I can finally put up here now that she's seen it in real life.

The idea for the cover came when I was getting a design printed at imagescience onto canvas. It struck me that the canvas was tough yet flexible enough to use as bookcloth. This method opens up heaps of design possibilities - I'm no longer limited to thoughts of 1 or 2 colour screen prints, I can print anything.

It was also a great opportunity to put one of my patterns to good use. Pattern designs look so much better and more profesh when shown in a proper context :)

So yeah, that was fun to work on. And she really liked it, which is the best part of all :)