Latest Drawing ~ Elsa

Here's my latest drawing, little Elsabeth. This was a test run of some new paper and some new techniques I wanted to try out... needless to say the paper and techniques are definitely working for me as I'm rather chuffed with this one.

Elsa's mum Gina is a super crafty mumma, check out all her cute hoodie vests, headbands, kids costumes, beanies and more over on her facebook page: Geniebean.

My next drawing is going to be SO MUCH FUN, I can't wait... #bigideas

If you'd like me to draw something for you, please check out my felt store for prices and details.


Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor ~ Giveaway

Giveaway has now closed.

Well folks, it's finally here. The third book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, the breathtaking conclusion of one my favourite stories of all time. It's finally here, I've read every word and sketched something too.. I even have a bunch to give away!

I was sent a proof copy a few weeks ago and the moment I finished the book (that I literally could not put down) I wrote the following...

Moments ago, no.... literally seconds ago I read the last page, the last words of the last book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Triliogy by Laini Taylor.

I have never anticipated the arrival of a book as much as this one. A couple of days ago an extra special proof copy was staring back at me with the words 'the wait is over' on the cover and it was just sitting there in its opened box, staring at me. Teasing me. Willing me to pick it up and escape inside its words with no regard to all the things I needed to be doing (like looking after my kids or feeding myself, breathing - that sort of thing) willing my life to stop.

I was hesitant to start (OK so I got the kids a snack and started reading asap) because I knew that this was the beginning of the end. And although I have nothing but awesome things to say about this book, I'm incredibly sad. Tearful even. It's with a heavy heart that I have to say goodbye to blue Karou, to the beautiful Akiva. The witty, hilarious and endlessly statisfying dialog of neek-neek Zuze. The brilliance of the body, mind and spirit of Ziri and the new depths and guts of Liraz. The tenderness of Virko, the longing memory of Brimstone, the motherly love and affection of Issa, the jovial quips of Hazael and so much more.

They are gone and I'm mourning their loss in my life. Haha SO DRAMATIC. Well YOU read the books then and you'll feel the same! I am so overwhelmed with happiness and sadness I'm completely emotional right now. I'm so impressed with Liani's writing, the way she has developed the characters and sprinkled little lights throughout the book for me to enjoy from the likes of Zuze - one of my favourite characters. I want to sprout wings (much like when I was younger) find a portal and go eat cake with them all.

Of course I was worried the book could possibly disappoint, the last thing I wanted was Karou and Akiva walking off into the sunset hand in hand.. vomit. No thanks. But of course deep down I wanted them to be happy and it to be a happy ending and SO MANY TIMES I thought the worst. Like a really good book should be - I had no idea where it was going, who's story was next and there were so many unlikely twists and turns, just as I was expecting one thing something else would happen. And not in the way that you roll your eyes and say to yourself 'oh how convenient' in that HOLY CRAP WHAT JUST HAPPENED (usually followed by a fist pump) way. The book shot papilio stomachus (it's a book ref.. you'll have to read it to get it) through me countless times and I'm so happy that it's in my life.

The depth of inspiration I feel from these books and their words is amazing. I'm so inspired right now I want to DRAW ALL THE THINGS. I'm THIS CLOSE to dying my hair blue, tattoing my palms and buying a ballerina outfit and learning violin (all while eating cake of course). I don't know how these things work, how they help stoke that thing inside me - inspire me to think differently, to discover new worlds or ways of expressing myself or my art - but it does. Oh how I would love to see these characters come to life in a graphic novel - oh my Madrigal and Ziri yes please! I want to step into the book, become Karou and draw everyone and everything. Kishmish, the Evangelines, the bleeding sky - Scarab, Banshees, Thiago even.

So this 'review' is really supposed to be telling you how awesome this book (these three books) are and to get you to click here or go to Whitcoulls and bloody-well get yourself a copy. I want you to, I want you to share in this books awesomeness and be as inspired and emotional as I am and I'm sorry if this review isn't very technical, it doesn't mention any real literary genius - infact looking at this first draft - there are red zigzaggy underlines under most of these hastily typed words... All I can really say is; please read, please experience, please buy, please be inspired and then please come back and tell me how awesome it was for you so that I can bask in what is left of this feeling - this post-reading-of-the-final-book feeling.

Dammit I'm so bloody glad that I can re-read these books over and over and visit these characters time and time again. Cos I have, and I will... but first - to draw...

go. buy. own. read. love.

Thank you SO MUCH Laini. I'm going to go find my sirithar and calm down - (hopefully without potentially destroying the world at the same time)...

So you want one? You want in? Well, I have a bunch to give away and all you have to do is either email me or comment on this post and tell me what outrageous colour you'd prefer to have growing out of your head naturally... if you could wish it like Karou did! I'll draw some lucky winners out next week!

Read Daughter of Smoke and Bone review
Read Days of Blood and Starlight review
See what Angela thought by reading her review too!

Can't wait to see if you win? Click here and purchase your very own copy to drool over instead.

Thank you so much to my friends at Hachette who introduced me to the girl with blue hair xx


Book Club - what I've been reading lately

Well as much as I love to draw, crochet and take pictures of my cute little kids I also LOVE to read and have been doing quite a bit of it lately. I thought I'd share what's been on my bedside table most recently...

Dinosaur Doo
Andrew Weale
Well this hasn't been on MY bedside table but it has been in and out of the bookshelf in the girls room and spent a few weeks in the bathroom too! My kids LOVE this book and especially my youngest who just went through toilet training. This book, yes it actually is about poop, was excellent for teaching my little girl how things were done in the bathroom. It was a great story to read while 'waiting' and we all have fun making the sounds and screaming along with the kids in the book. It's definitely not for everyone, but for us it was perfect!

Click here to grab a copy >

Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy)
Nora Roberts
Gulp. This was pretty bad... I hate giving books a bad wrap but this wasn't for me. I've read my fair share of Roberts' books and I'm actually wondering if that's the problem. The male lead is the same in every book and the overly long descriptions of every single detail can be over kill and boring. I really like it when stories bring magical things into what's supposed to be a normal every day setting and I thought I'd love that about this story but it just didn't get me very excited. I pushed through and finished it and of course was disappointed at the quick, short and unimpressive climax the book took so long to get to. A bit of an escape read while having a bath maybe, but nothing to get excited over.

Click here to grab a copy then come back and tell me what YOU think! >

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments)
Cassandra Clare
Loved this. Loved the main characters and chemistry between them, felt for the best friend and let myself really escape with the fantasy elements of the story. At first I intended to keep reading the rest of the series but now I'm not sure I can be bothered as it seems to just keep going and going. Watched the movie and it was nothing like the book, definitely preferred the book. Did find it slow in parts but it was a holiday read so that didn't bother me too much. I loved the runes, loved the different monsters involved and the overall journey it took. The twist near the end was interesting and would be the only real reason for digging out the second book I think...

Click here to grab a copy >

Daugher of Smoke and Bone & Days of Blood and Starlight
Laini Taylor
Yes, these ones. My favourite books of all time. I've just finished reading them AGAIN in anticipation of the third and final installment Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Now as I type I have finished the proof copy and have a draft of my review waiting for you... But enough about that. The first two books are just so fantastic it was like heaven jumping into Karou and Akiva's worlds once again and almost like hanging out with extremely good looking, witty old friends. I really do recommend these books and so does everyone who I've converted and now we are all very excited about the third book's official release on April 8th. YAY!

Click here to grab your copies (THESE ARE BOOKS TO OWN PEOPLE) and get them all nice and read before April 8! >

The Gospel of Loki
Joanne M. Harris
Now I can't write much about this apparently 'epic fantasty novel' yet as I've just started it but I thought I'd put it up here anyway so that you'd know what I was reading RIGHT NOW. Let me know if you've read it and what you thought too! It's very interesting so far and I'm hoping it turns out awesome...

Click here to grab a copy >

What have YOU been reading and what do you recommend?


Latest Sketch ~ Jada and her horse

Here's my latest finished sketch. If you recognise the girl, yip it's Jada from Dee*Construction blog. I pestered Dee for a photo of Jada with the horse Jada's Dad made so that I could redraw it with a real horse. I know how much she loves horses and I know how crazy that dream to own your own pony can be for a young person. It's almost magical! (I was close to making it a unicorn actually haha!)

This took me the longest time ever for a portrait as the horse takes up a lot of the page (it's A3). And even though I experienced a small artists-block I pressed on and kept drawing. Frankly I was too scared to start the horse after I had finished Jada and was putting it off. I didn't need to worry though as I'm proud to say that I'm happy with the way it has turned out. I haven't drawn a horse (other than the odd outline of a My Little Pony) since I was a kid.

This has inspired me to continue on my journey of finding my style and finding where my art fits in in my little world.

Anyway enough rambling, here it is. Pencil on watercolour paper. Apologies for the watermark but ya know...



The gift of giving

See this quilt...

It's amazing isn't it? Made from scraps, opshop sheets and LOVE. Made by Cat for me. ME. Yip, it's all mine and you can't have it. It's already loved and cherished here and it will stay with us forever. I love it and am so very grateful to a lovely friend who decided to bless my family this way and for no apparent reason other than 'because'.

I believe that is the true way to give. 'Just because'. Not because you would feel better about yourself if you gave someone something. Not because you want recognition or to be plastered all around the social cybersphere to gain followers and comments of awe and praise. Not because you feel you should or feel that you have to, to be a good person. Just because you WANT to, because you NEED to and because God planted that gift of giving in your heart so that you can bless those that surround you. The people you LOVE.

Take 1 Corinthians 13:4-6, "... Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking..." there's something in that you know - Gift givers give gifts because they love it, they love giving.. it's their LOVE LANGUAGE.

I too am a gift giver and instead of it being a blessing or a fun part of my life, I find more often that not that it can turn on it's head and become an affliction. For example, when choosing gifts at the end of last year for my kids' kindergarten teachers... nothing was good enough - they do so much for my family. 'But they get paid, they don't need a present' someone whispers in my ear, and I know that, but I want to give, I want to bless and I want to make them happy. To the point where I can go over the top, stressing about gifts, giving ridiculous gifts, and then worrying about what they thought and why they reacted a certain way when the gift was given.

I'm also reminded of times I've been sent a list to choose gifts from, a list which also listed what not to get. Suddenly there are limits, suddenly I'm being asked for lists of my own and for my children... Along comes Christmas and there are family expectations pulling me one way and another family pulling me the other way. In the end my 'gift' becomes mechanical, stretched, forced and ultimately all of the joy of giving sucked out of it. In trying to make everyone happy, I end up feeling pretty stink. I've recently made the decision to not give as much if anything in the coming seasons and to be true to my gift and give what I feel like giving and when I feel like giving it.

And then all of a sudden, someone like Cat who is also a gift giver just goes ahead and makes a bloody quilt and just gives it to me. GIVES it to me. Hands it over with a pretty little ribbon saying 'handmade with love'. Just like that. Grinning I might add... yeah she was smiling pretty hard. I want that. I want that back at Christmas and Birthdays. I want that good gift giving feeling that I remember.

Thank you Cat, I am so crazy grateful.. more than you could ever know. xx

And just so you know, Cat of course asks nothing in return and couldn't be talked in to it even if I tried. So I've told her I'll be paying it forward. Making something special and giving it to a lucky and loved recipient in my life... so look out! xx


Crochet Rainbow Blanket

My latest crochet project is finally done! This one was started last year for Zoe as I'd made Quinn a blanket for her cot previously (see it here). My girls love to wake early (grr) and snuggle on the couch in front of the box with their blankets I made. It's so cool to stand back and watch them appreciate all my hard work (well that's what I'm thinking while their demanding a milo and a bikkie and peppa pig pronto!).

I started with a granny rectangle and went from there, it ended up WAY bigger than I had intended it to and after getting very boring at the end since the rounds were sooooo looooooong I ended it at purple instead of pink as I was planning (no thanks - next project please!).

So yeah, I'm chuffed and Zoe's chuffed - so we're all good here.

My next project is in my mind on it's way and will be a lovely gift for someone special.


Oh pretty Doily!

I've just listed some fresh new postcards featuring my Doily sketch in my felt store today. Click here if you're interested in getting some for yourself, and a big thanks for your support! xx

The doily is blank so you can write or stamp your own message or simply leave it blank.


Follow me on Tumblr to see my drawings step by step

So a while ago I started up a tumblr page for strictly my drawings only. Mainly because I publish all my works in progress step by step on Instragram - as I'm doing them, and I can publish to tumblr directly from there with the touch of a button. If you aren't on Instagram and would like to follow along or just view what I'm up to with my drawings, I publish on there almost daily. It's a great way to see my process and what I'm drawing at the moment. That's of course if you're interested!


And just to let you know I still plan to publish finished works on this blog here.

Thanks for your support!


My Printer's Tray

I've been lusting after one of these babies for a really long time. A few friends have them and I'd always admired them dreamingly from afar. I'd voiced my longing on Instagram recently only to have a dear friend announce that she no longer wanted hers! I picked it up days later and it was up on the wall as soon as possible. I've collected tiny things here and there for years now (especially toys) so I had more than enough treasures to place inside. I love it!


Latest Commission

I could write another excuse or apology about not blogging much, but instead, here's my latest commission...

These three were a joy to sketch and it was honestly the first time I'd drawn someone so young... I was a bit scared but in the end I'm not sure why as I quite enjoyed it all anyway.

I am open for new commissions as of now, so if you're at all interested, drop me an email for my prices! I'm itching to do another faery one with something crazy in it....