This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a fun and very unique craft event in Melbourne called Unleash Creative. Organized by fellow craft blogger and very cute gal pal, Magdalena Franco, it was a full day of colourful, confetti sprinkled creative playtime. Magdalena had a vision to bring a group of talented creative mentors together to inspire and pass on their skills to every day folk seeking to kick start their creative mojo.
And boy did she deliver! (more…)
I’m so excited to finally reveal a project that I have been working on since August last year. It was an idea that hit me out of the blue as a way to collaborate with some truly talented artists and illustrators, you know, in hopes that some of their amazing talent will rub off on me. So I drafted a long winded email and sent it of to illustrators whose work I admired, some whom I knew and considered friends, others I’d never met (and probably had never heard of me), and then held my breath.
To my delight and surprise, responses were overwhelmingly positive, it turns out creative folks love a collaborative project.
So with out further adieu, I introduce… The Lucky Draw Project.
It’s a collection of printable colouring pages each illustrated by a different Australian artist available every couple of weeks right in your in-box. Over time you can collate them into your own colouring book, or even frame your favourites and display them in your home.
Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come.
I’ve been taking a Photoshop class in the last couple of weeks to improve my photo editing skills. While practicing using clipping masks I created this little crafty patchwork poster which features some of my vintage fabrics. I’ve printed it here on normal office paper, but for a brighter result try photo quality paper.
Perfect for a craft or sewing room, or even a last minute Mother’s Day gift (framed nicely of course!).
Inspired by the cute sewing quote “May your bobbin always be full”, I know you sewers out there will get a chuckle from it.
Designed to be printed in A4 size, just click on the link below and save to your computer.
Hope you enjoy it.
Feel free to share it, but please link to this blog post not the direct link, thanks.
Have some fun this Chinese New Year of the Dragon by making a colourful dragon puppet.
So easy to make with basic items you may already have in your craft box.
Get the kid to have fun painting the dragon in bright colours – a red dragon red is especially lucky.
You will need:
2 paper plates
an egg carton
paint and paintbrush
feathers and streamers
Gather your supplies
Cut one plate in half and fold the other in half as pictured. Cut the end of the egg carton off, these will be the eyes.
Staple the plate edges together around the edges and glue or staple egg carton section on top.
Paint brightly. When dry, glue on feathers and streamers behind the eyes.
Time to have some fun.
Today I’m interviewing Anna Bartlett of Shiny Happy Art. Anna has been a longtime reader and supporter of the My Poppet blog. I was delighted when she approached me to sponsor the blog, and I thought this would be a great way to get to know her a little better.
I love finding out what makes other creative folk tick, and I’m often interested in how others run their businesses and manage the other aspects of their lives.
Anna’s work is very colourful and she has her own unique style. Let’s get to know Anna a little better…
Why do you create?
My Mum’s an artist and my grandfather was a professional photographer, so there’s always been art in my life. I have memories of being about 4 or 5, and Mum would give me a bucket of water and a paintbrush and I’d start at one end of our cement driveway, paint all the way up to the end, and then come back and start again.
Now, as an adult, and with four children of my own, I create to make our life better, full of colourful, interesting and unique memories. I’ve tried to harness this drive to build a business that artistically enhances the lives of others, and hopefully I’ll never have to have another ‘proper job’.
Actually, I have a goal to never have to write a resume again – we’ll see how that pans out! Apart from making art, I really enjoy sewing and baking… pretty much everything I enjoy doing makes a lot of mess. I’m very lucky to have a very understanding husband. Where do we buy your creations?
From my website www.shinyhappyart.com , or from my studio in Toowoomba, Queensland. I’m very lucky to have a studio that is right on the highway (it used to be a strawberry packing shed) with plenty of light and space. I open to the public on the occasional Sunday, and by appointment. I also go to a couple of local markets, but only when it fits in with the family. What do you enjoy most about what you do and why?
The wonder and amazement that you start with nothing, think a bit, draw a bit, do a bit and then, suddenly, it’s ‘something’! Most of the time that ‘something’ is not that close to what I originally saw in my head, so I keep on reading books and taking classes to bring my skill level closer to what my imagination requires.
I also really like being my own boss, although a regular pay packet would be nice sometimes! Another thing I really enjoy is blogging. Since I started my own blog in 2006 I have connected online with many artists and crafters, and I hope to meet some of them in real life one day.
What is your background?
I’ve always loved art and done well at it, but I studied marketing and business because it was a ‘safer’ path to take at uni. Through my marketing jobs, I learned a lot about graphic design and was a self employed graphic designer for many years. I was also in the army reserve for eight years, spending one year doing full time service. THAT certainly seems like a whole other lifetime ago!
Shiny Happy Art has been going for almost ten years in one form or another, and I’m delighted with the direction we’re heading now. What, to you, is success?
To actually feel ‘successful’, I would like to be able to do what I do in daylight hours, but I honestly can’t see that I’ll be even close to that happening at least until my youngest starts school in 2014. (That’s going to be a really great year!)
My first financial goal is to earn an income that covers my kid’s school fees and I’m working towards that now. There’s a strong link for me between my desire for ‘creative success’ and ‘financial success’ because if I’m not making this work for us financially, I really should be doing something else that lets me spend more time with the kids.
The whole myth of work/life balance annoys me really. I’m always going to be the type of person that jumps into opportunities and ideas feet first, and while my top priority is always my family, I honestly can’t imagine that the illusive concept of ‘balance’ would make me happy. So I’ve just let go of it.
I’ve got plans of course, but I just do what I can do in the time that I’ve got. Really, success would be to make art that I’m proud of, turn it into useful and desirable things, sell enough of them to have a regular cash flow going, and still have enough time to do other things I want to do that don’t earn me money – like volunteer work for school and for SANDS (the stillbirth charity that is close to my heart), and simply making things for and with my own family and friends.
So what’s next?
I plan to work a lot ‘smarter’ in 2012. I’ve made plenty of mistakes this year, so over Christmas I’ll be working on a proper business plan. In 2012 Shiny Happy Art will be releasing a limited number of cushions and teatowels each season, and I’ll expand on some other ideas that have been percolating, like collaborations with other creative people and totally new products. Quite simply, I want to make a lot of people smile – when they discover Shiny Happy Art, when they choose something for themselves or a friend, when they receive their order in their letterbox, and when they hang it on their wall or pop it on the couch. There’ll be a lot more ‘Shiny Happy’ in a lot more lives next year, and that’s got to be a good thing!
Today I’d like to introduce you yo Lizzie of diddi who produces a colourful range of wall art and wall stickers right here in Melbourne’s bayside suburb of Elwood.How was the whole concept of Diddi born?
I studied graphic design at Monash University, and have worked in Melbourne design studios since graduating in 2003.
In 2006, illness required me to take a year long break from work. During that time of recovery (and extreme boredom) I was introduced to quilting. The fabric colours and patterns, and graphic nature of the process really appealed.
Finally the birth of my niece two years ago, and a baby boom amongst friends and acquaintances, led to the creation of diddi. My aim was to create a series of user-friendly simple designs that would make a big statement in a room with minimum effort.
And the name diddi?
It’s what my niece first called me (Lizzie in baby-speak).
diddi’s range includes personalised framed prints and wall decals for kids. Everything including the frames are made to order locally in Melbourne and can be personalised with the child’s initial for a really personal gift.
The fabric wall decals are great as they can be applied, removed and repositioned, without damaging paintwork. Ideal for renters or those that like to change their mind frequently.
You can view the full range of designs available on diddi’s website, they ship all over Australia and even have gift vouchers available for those little ones that may not even be born yet.
I couldn’t resist sharing these amazing images taken by Ebony of Hello Sandwich, of the paper balloon installation at the mt Expo in Tokyo. Is your mind blown?
You can see more photos over here on the Hello Sandwich blog.
And if you want to recreate this installation (on a smaller scale) you can get your Japanese paper balloons here…
All images used with permission from Hello Sandwich
Yesterday Emma and I caught the tram into the city for a big day out. Emma loves tram trips, so you can imagine how excited she was when today I said ‘yes’ to her request. Here she is having a little fun whilst we wait for the tram. The reason for our expedition into town, apart from a fun day out, was to visit the Pop Up Studio sale featuring some really talented Melbourne gals. I thought you might like to see some pretty pictures…clockwise from top left: Dawn Tan, Emily Green, Peta Pledger, Betty Jo Designs. Below Little Circus Design. It runs till 3pm today so you can still pop in and say ‘Hi’.Emma was sufficiently patient whilst I tried on a few Peta Pledger tops, sultanas helped. Dawn was a star and helped keep her entertained as well. A little bit of window shopping at the Babushka Shop in the Block Arcade. Emma was enamored by the baby babushkas. And then after a million requests for Sushi, we had some just adequate and expensively priced sushi train sushi. We were on the tram to go home, but as we approached the NGV, and since Emma was still in good spirits, I thought it might be fun to visit the new NGV Kids Space. It was really super fun, we probably stayed for about an hour because Emma was quite entertained by all the hands on stuff, she especially loved the light drawing. I also wanted to share this beautiful antique dolls dress they had on display in the Kid Space. It was all hand pieced patchwork with embroidery and was made from silk. Probably one of the most beautiful textile creations I have ever seen, and did I mention it was for a doll, the pieces were tiny!So a great day out,, must do it more often.
I was really amazed at how much more maturely Emma is behaving, compared to the last time we went into town a few months ago. She was a real delight to be with today, listening to me and my instructions, paying more attention to her surroundings, hardly any escape attempts (hence the turtle harness), sitting still on the tram…and even though she was tired at the end of the day and wanting to go home, she wasn’t whining at all. Maybe I just got her on a good day, but it has really highlighted how quickly she is growing up. I can envision some fantastic adventures together in the future…