Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap 2014

I took part in this for the first time this year. You can read more about it here.
The theme was "CREATE" and the only rule was that it had to contain some stitching!
I cracked open the still-sealed-after-2-years box of my sewing machine and tentatively got to work!
This is my postcard was fun!

 I am a button lover and avid collector (and you may know that I sell them too on Etsy!) I went with the idea that the possibilities of what you can create with buttons are virtually endless!
I drew a mason jar and used cellophane to make the "glass" popping some lovely buttons inside.
I added lace, Jute twine, brads, layers of different pretty papers, washi tapes etc and of course plenty of stitching!
We were supposed to include something innovative with paper and although not unique - stitching on paper is a first for me.
I even decorated the envelope with washi tapes (which you can see poking out from under the postcard below)!

My swap partner is called Alisa and she lives in Melbourne, I hope she likes my card!

I'm looking forward to receiving my own little piece of Happy-Snail-Mail from Alisa over the next few days!
I'll be sure to show you.

Love Sally 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design Inspiring Quotations competition

I entered a competition today.
I have been doing a brilliant e-course (The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design), in an attempt to resurrect my career as a Textile /Surface Pattern Designer.
It's been almost 9 years since I worked full time as a designer (in another lifetime pre-kids!!).
I am rusty, my technical skills need updating and certainly my confidence does. The course does all this and gives you great tips, contacts, resources and probably best of all great support from your fellow students in the private Facebook group for your module.

I have done modules 1 and 2 and will shortly be beginning module 3.

The students and alumni were offered the opportunity to submit a design giving our own testimonials in a typographic style, but using our own style.

I'm afraid I left mine until the last minute and rushed the typographic part, but it was fun and I was quite pleased with the result! I based my design on that feeling you got as a child of not being held back by fear - the feeling you can soar or fly up to the sky on the swings! Do you remember that?

Here it is.

Here is one of the others.
By Tasha Goddard

Did you enter to?

Have you tired any e-courses?

Well, wish me luck!
{The next little design project to work on is the Great Big Postcard swap.....}


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Designer Spotlight - Emily Hogarth

{images borrowed from Emily's website -}

I just came across the wonderfully talented Scottish designer / illustrator - Emily Hogarth (that's her above, and the last pic is of 'Mary' the Highland Terrior!).
 Emily does amazing paper-cut work and I felt I just HAD to share her immense talent with you!

Emily works mainly with papercuts, she loves the combination of boldness and delicacy that they bring to her designs, which work as stand-alone pieces of art or often translated into a printed medium (eg  fabric designs or stationery).

Establishing herself as a self-employed artist: 

Since completing her masters in Edinburgh Collage of Art in 2008, Emily has been working as a self-employed illustrator and surface designer. Her distinctive illustrations and bold designs have provided Emily with success over the past few years. Most recently, her designs have been seen on the Cadbury’s Flake ‘Allure’ as well as the Nivea Pearl and Beauty global campaign. Since graduation she has worked with: Nivea, Cadbury’s, Red Magazine, Lloyds Bank, Jasper Conran for Debenhams; Bebaroque; Graham and Brown; Tigerprint; Studio Roam; Medici Cards; and Cole and Sons.

'Stand out in a crowd’ is a 2 colour screenprint created from a variety of papercut birds.
The print was created in 2009.

Sometimes Emily does commissioned artworks too, especially for weddings. That would just be sooo special, wouldn't it?

You can purchase some of Emily's products here, or follow her blog here.
OR best of all, why not buy her wonderful book?!

Fantabulous isn't she?!

Take care,

Sally x0x

Monday, June 24, 2013

Update... Creative Collaboration Club - A little game

Well here is part 2 of the Creative Collaboration Club (as I like to call it) between myself and Anastasia & Suzanne (see below).
To briefly recap I started with this:
...and then in response to my start (the next person in the 'game' needs to take inspiration from the last piece of work shown), Anastasia followed with this
This photo shows the collage Anastasia made - before cutting it in half to make two greeting cards.
Keep an eye out in her Etsy store as I'm sure she'll soon list them for sale!
I think this cute collage card Anastasia made previously would have also worked well!

I'm so excited to see what Suzanne comes up with now.
I'll keep you posted......
Sally x

{Read original post below for more details:}

Anastasia and Suzanne

I recently met up with a couple of my Etsy friends, Suzanne from Paper Ivy and Anastasia from Percival Road, at the Blog Society launch workshop event.

We were chatting about how hard it is to juggle all the demands of a busy life - work, kids, the housey-stuff etc and still find the time, the energy and the motivation to be creative. 
One thing led to another and before long we had cooked up a plan to play a creative relay game, which basically has NO RULES!!
You just have to create something inspired by whatever piece of work the person who goes before you presents - like that word association game- you know the one.... 
(eg if  I say 'sleep' you would probably say 'bed'?!)

Anyway, I agreed to go first! 
At first I felt pressured to come up with something, then I had too many ideas, then I got sick with Vertigo for nearly a week...

I finally decided to present a photo of a little collection of things, in a colour story of orange, black and a kind of peacock-blue. 
I hand punched the butterfly and made the tags and the layered paper flower, the rest are found things from around the house including a handmade 'Lorax' pencil my son received as a party favour!
The Instagram filter I used in the second photo alters the colours quite a bit, but I figured that gives the person who follows me more scope. Of course they don't have to go with the colour palette, they may pick out just one small element from the juxtaposed items. 
(As you may have guessed I cannot remember who is going next!). We'll soon find out...

I can't wait to see what Suzanne and Anastasia do when it's each of their turns.
They both have blogs too, Paper Ivy  and Anastasia Drawing and Dreaming, where I am sure they will both post their creations.

Feel free to play along if you like - if you want to send me a photo of something you've made,  I'll be happy to share it.

Take care,
Sally x0x

VIVID and The Blog Society Launch

I recently attended a great creative networking event, as part of the VIVID festival in Sydney.
photo and quote from
Each year Sydney is "transformed into a spectacular canvas of light, music and ideas when Vivid Sydney takes over the city after dark from 24 May – 10 June".

Some of my photos from Vivid, the bottom one shows a painting
by Australian artist Ken Done
 As well as the lights, Vivid also hosts exhibitions events and is all about creativity and inspiration. Vivid Ideas Exchange features public talks and workshops from leading local and global creative thinkers. 

One of the Vivid Ideas events was the launch of The Blog Society with it's workshop in 'Creative Digital Storytelling'. {Basically a sharing blogging tips}.

The Blog Society is a forum where creativity and blogging meet, celebrating collaboration, connection and inspiration through different events and gatherings. It is the brainchild of the lovely Jaclyn Carson of Little Paper Trees.

The workshop was held at The MCA (see photo below), it was styled in a really funky way and was

warm, friendly, fun and informative! We heard the blogging stories of Viv from Ish and Chi and Jen from Interiors Addict (both of whom I also heard speak at the recent Voices of 2013 event).
We got to try our hand at styling, see a couple of my attempts above! 

'Triangles' Cushion from White Horse Home
(photos by me, with my i-phone, unless otherwise stated)
I got to catch up with old boggy friends such as Amanda, Anastasia & Suzanne and to meet new ones. I had a lovely chat to the gorgeous photographer Emma Scammelabout 'telling a story' with your photos.
The icing on the cake was the amazing goody bag we got to take home, which included Gorman socks and Dandi wooden spoons, (see last photo above).
Me, writing a message for the Blog Manifesto board
 (photo taken by Anastasia Christou)

I do find these events a little nerve-wracking, but I have made myself a promise to get out there and throw myself into the creative circle in Sydney as much as I can. I intend to take every opportunity to network with fellow creative peeps. It feeds my soul, builds my confidence and who knows what opportunities it may lead to!

On that note, 'll leave you with a quote from Jaclyn

"Push through your fear, you never know what good 
things may lie ahead..."

Take care,

Sally x0x

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kidspot's Voices of 2013 - Blogging Masterclass

Last Saturday I attended the Voices of 2013 - Blogging Masterclass.
The event was held at Megan Morton's place - THE SCHOOL in Sydney and oh my goodness, it couldn't have been a more perfect venue. Just being there was inspiring!  It's well worth a visit just to go to The School's funky neighbours - cafe Kitchen by Mike and the Koskela shop, but I will definitely treat myself to one of Ms Moreton's fab workshops and make a day of it, as soon as I get the chance! 

I was nervous going on my own (I don't get out of my comfort zone much), so after taking a deep breath, stepping through the door and making it as far as the name-badge table, I overheard a kind looking lady ask for directions to the loo, I immediately decided to follow (stalk) her there so I could make friends with her (read desperately cling to the first person who looked kindly!!). Luckily this weird-stalker-strategy worked out and Michelle and I became best buddies for the day!). The atmosphere was a lovely, friendly, gently buzzing, welcoming one anyway, so I needn't have worried! I was greeted by Pip Lincolne herself and she was very friendly and lovely just as she seems online! 

The bright white room was the perfect back-drop and each table had a lovely little floral centrepiece by Holly Hipwell of The Flower Drum. I think they were all different. My table had these beautiful roses (first photo below)

We were also each given a notebook and pen, tied with a white bias ribbon - such a fab touch!

It was a great opportunity to make new friends and meet some online-friends in the flesh, for me that meant of course the amazing Pip Lincolne, but also 
a long-time Etsy pal Tess Carrad, who makes colourful beaded jewellery and was just so lovely! 
{me at top with Pip, and bottom with Tess}

The masterclass itself was made up of three sections, which went like this…

1. An incredibly inspiring talk from the wonderful film-maker, photographer and all-round fab person Hailey Bartholomew! Hailey is also known for her 365 Grateful Project. I had been inspired by Hailey's project and made my own 365 Grateful photo album on Facebook when I was depressed and it was immensely helpful, the simplest thing can lift your day, if you look for something positive - a coffee with a friend, or holding hands with your child for instance. I don't post photos anymore but each day I still find myself thinking of what I am grateful for. 
{Sorry for the digression}...
 ‘It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen!’ Hailey Bartholomew
Hailey told of how her journey from feeling lost and in a rut, toward living the life she strived for, i.e. a creative, fulfilling one, (with lots of time spent travelling / with her family / both), began with entering an ABC TV competition to make a short film about her life. Hailey entitled it "Picket-fenced in", a perfectly suited name! It didn't win overall best film but won the 'viewers choice award'. 
On Saturday, Hailey was nervous and real and emotional and incredibly inspiring because her advice was practical and good and she made us feel our goals are attainable. She truly shared a part of her soul with us. {Thank you Hailey!}.

2. A 'Blogging 101' panel -  convened by Pip Lincolne, the panelists being successful bloggers Jen Bishop of Interiors Addict, Vivian Mansour of Ish & Chi and Rebecca Lowrey Boyd of Wee Birdy.
We learned much, including what makes a good blog or a "successful" one I guess, from good design ("an ugly-arse blog will not be read"!!!), to finding your own voice and being original, and even dealing with 'Trolls' (those people who write nasty unnecessary comments). This panel discussion was lots of fun to listen to!

3. A 'Blogs and Brands' panel - with  Stacey Roberts of Veggie Mama, Lexi Kentmann of Pottymouthmama, Brian Giesen of Social@Oglivy and Louisa Claire of the Brand Meets Blog agency; convened by Kerri Sackville of Life & Other Crises.
It was interesting to hear all about branding on blogs and how advertising campaigns are very likely going forward to increasingly use Social Media and blogs for  promotion. 

For those of you unable to attend I would say the key points of the day were:

* BE ORIGINAL and true to yourself

*INTEGRITY is paramount

*DISCLOSURE is vital and sponsored posts should be interesting to your readers not just advertising!

*KEEP LEARNING - don't let needing new skills hold you back

*GOOD DESIGN is very important, keep it simple and easily navigable!

* DON'T GIVE UP! But rest when you need to.

* CONCENTRATE on great CONTENT - DONT WORRY ABOUT SEO  (search engine optimisation), but do try making your titles easily searchable for readers)

*It IS possible to make money from your blog or it may lead on to great opportunities

In conclusion, it was a fantastic experience for me and I am motivated to carry onwards and hopefully upwards, not just with my blog but some of those creative endeavours I have scribbled in my various notebooks or the myriad scrappy bits of paper on my desk.

Did I mention that this event was FREE?!
A big THANK YOU to Kidspot, all the sponsors and all of those who gave their time to inspire us!

Sally x0x

{I wore my favourite shoes!}
The winner of the competition for 'best blog post'  about the event was Amanda from Cooker and a Looker - take a look at her great post .