April 29, 2016

A Bit Of Colour

 Some photos from the last week or so of my life. Most get posted on Instagram, but thought I'd do a little 'gallery spread' here.
Above photos taken at Bulleen Art & Garden.
Little hands crafting.
In the kitchen.
A recently finished painting.
A quick, lazy kids washi tape craft.

I'll finish with a colourful photo sent to me in a picture message from a good friend. I was feeling in a frump. (My muse was still not back.) Look at what she writes to me! Thank God for quirky happy best mates to bring you out of those moments where you just feel like everything is really heavy. 
How amazing are amazing friends!?

I hope you can find a little quirky thing in your day to brighten yourself up and help you to not take life too seriously too.
Jules :)

April 19, 2016

Crafting Necklace Pendants With Kids

Everyone keeps telling me I should teach art. All the bones in my body are arty, but I'm afraid there's probably only one teaching bone, and it's probably one of those tiny little ones in one of my ears.

But I did promise an avid young fan of my artwork an art session, so she came over and we all decided to make some of my resin necklaces. My girls, of course, did not want to miss out on the fun.

These are the wire & resin necklaces I usually make to sell at markets and in my Etsy shop.
I usually play around with some imagery of mine (usually prints of my own artworks and illustrations), and do some painting over the top as well. So we did exactly that. I gave them their size and set out papers, paints, glue and stamps and they all set to work designing their pendants.
It helped them to have a cutout 'frame' of the final shape so they could make sure they were getting all the imagery they wanted within the available space.
Look at mine Mum!
Waiting for glue to dry means we get to have a play!
Looking so good. Mum seriously impressed and wondering if I need to employ helpers for my market stalls...
The best part of the process was after I had poured the resin and I got the butane torch out to pop all the bubbles in the top. Flames and craft = Cool. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of this as I was too busy trying to keep Miss 5 out of the resin/ glue/ glitter/ matches/ fire, etc etc.

And here they are all finished! I know three girls that should be super proud of themselves for a job well done.
Maybe the teaching bone is in one of my little fingers...?

Jules :)

PS If you're interested in how to actually use resin to make similar pendants see this post: DIY resin pendants

April 15, 2016

Art Swoon Time: Beatrice Alemagna

Before I get into anything else, I'd just like to say that my inspiration has COME BACK! It's SO good to have my creative block out of the way. And always, when you think about things in hindsight, I appreciate that time for what it was. The balance. The ebb and flow. Because now that I have it back I am much more appreciative of the ideas that roll around in my head. The inspiration I get when I notice small every- day things. Especially the shapes of leaves, the contrast between different lines and shapes in objects, the play of light in a garden full of quirky shaped plants.

It's the happiness paradox in play and another lesson learned. Always perspective in hindsight!


Nice to have you home, my muse :)

Now let's talk about Beatrice Alemagna.

I absolutely adore her artwork. She's a French artist and does the most amazing creative illustrations. I love the layers and the texture, the mixed media look of her works, and the detail.

I read her latest children's book The Marvellous Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty (affiliate link) to my girls of 5 & 7. They love the title. Miss 5 got me to help her say it. Took her quite a few go's! And although it doesn't show it here on the computer screen the main character has a fluorescent pink jacket on, which was Miss 7's favourite thing in the book. Miss 5 asked for the book to be read again straight after we'd finished it.
There is an actual "Marvelous Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty" in the book; Miss 7 says she likes it because "it looks furry and rubbery at the same time." (See, that's Beatrice's textural illustration style speaking the language of art straight to my daughter.)

Miss 5 says of the fluffy squishy itty bitty: "That the creature's fluffy & it could be squashy inside it's tummy & it's furry & pink." How awesome!

It has all the makings of a book a kid loves. Colour, beautiful illustrations, an interesting story, a list of things the fluffy squishy itty bitty could be (are your kids obsessed with lists and repetitive things in books too!?) and there's even some funny little naively drawn bodies in the book which had us all laughing out loud when we noticed them.
This book's a keeper. 

Jules :)

Disclaimer: Affiliate links help me earn small commissions on products (at no extra cost to you), which helps support my love of blogging and sharing creative things. You can be confident that I only ever recommend or link to products that I'm genuinely into.

April 08, 2016

Creative Block


I can still sit down and create at the moment but my muse is gone! I feel no direction or ideas coming to me at all.

Where has she gone!? Probably off galavanting somewhere on a well deserved holiday.
I stumbled across an article where Leunig talks about the muse:

"Even after all these years of making a living as a creative person, Leunig finds the muse is not a constant. "It is a bit lost and found, but you know it will come back, it's your friend.
Friend, maybe, yet the process of creating is never simple. "You have this idea, intellectually, in your mind. And try to make it and it's terrible and you try to fix it and it only gets worse and you are looking at this terrible thing.
However, it is intensely cathartic, as "the ego is stripped away, because it cannot get any worse. Stay with the disillusionment... in this moment you will find your inner child, and learn to play."
Remedy? I'm going to try cleaning my studio, and I'm thinking about doing a gallery hop. (This is coming up.) I'm also wondering whether a walk out in the wilderness will do me good. I'm also digging out my copy of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert to try and add some creative spark back to where it should be.


Cleaning the studio would be good; I can hardly move in here. I think that it's time for my sewing machines to move out. Sorry husband! They are going to encroach on another room :)

Otherwise, I hope you like this painting that I made whilst I was in my inspired mode. It's now available as a print in the shop.
This work came about because I have recently been interested in looking at old paintings and interiors from the 1800's. The gilt frames, the opulence, textures and detail in the fancy houses. The walls. The doors! I loved watching the new version of Cinderella for drinking up the scenery; and more recently Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell. I read the brick of a book and now have one more episode of that series to watch. (And I'm so sad about that!) That show is to the eyes what a smorgasbord of food is to the tastebuds.
So, maybe all this imagery is floating around in my head waiting to sort itself out on the shelves inside my mind and settle into a way that I can grasp the ideas in a meaningful & practical way and utilise them in my art. Perhaps. Maybe that's what's happening.

Or maybe my muse has taken off to whisper some ideas into someone else's subconscious.

I just hope she comes back soon.



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