Cheery Stuff!


Hello! Yes I’m still here – sort of – we are in the thick of pom pom making, kite flying, movie going, cupcake making, scooter riding… holiday madness. Had intended to stay ‘under a rock’ until next Monday when school goes back and life returns to some kind of routine but I have some lovely news to share…

Ink Caravan has been featured in Bron’s shiny new Blog in the Spotlight segment over at Village Voices. The company over there is stellar so I am pretty awe-struck  (thanks so much Bron! ) Hi to any new visitors, lovely to have you drop by!   Ok, see you when the school holiday dust has settled – after a bit of a lull I’ve some new work to share. Yay!

ps. Don’t miss the new linky thing over at Blog in the Spotlight, it should make for a treasure trove of lovely blogs to visit.

A Celebration of Bears

Our ‘big’ girl just turned seven – Wow, where did that time go! Surely it was only yesterday that they let me take home this beautiful fragile little bundle. I remember feeling shocked at how irresponsible that seemed – At the time I had no idea how to look after a new born baby. Not a clue. But you wake up one morning and there she is, gorgeous, getting taller by the minute, sporting shoes almost the same size as your own. Amazing!

She had a ‘Build-a-Bear’ party this year. Maybe it’ll kerb the dramatic sighs we hear everytime we walk past the shop (Here’s hoping!). I have to say, watching seven little girls ‘making’ their own furry friends together is seriously sweet stuff – such natural Mums.  So I’m very glad I added a good dollop of the same into the invitations and the party bags. If there’d been a smidge more time some fabric party hats in sweet vintage florals would have made a pretty fab girly trifecta. Nevermind, there were sprinkles of holepunch confetti in every envelope thanks to my punch-happy assistants. And despite the lack of ‘fancy pants’ hats, the bear shindig was a big success. Everyone went home happy with a new furry buddy, a tummy full of cake and a party bag. Life’s good at seven!

ps.  Interestingly neither of my girls actually chose a bear – we now have a rabbit called Floppy and a Pony called Salt.

Check out lots of lovely creative spaces here

Lovely Randomness

Happy Wednesday! Just popped in to share a few super nice things:

Yesterday lovely Susie from Flower Press posted a Show and Tell interview with me. Thanks so much Susie! I’m totally chuffed to be part of such a brilliant series. If you haven’t heard of Flower Press do pop over, Susie’s gorgeous designs will sweep you off your feet. The Chrysanthemums print above is one of my favs.

This morning I made Poh’s Maple Crunch Muesli. The smell as it was toasting in the oven was beyond heavenly with cinnamon and nutmeg eg. but…. Oh MAAAAAN the taste…! It’s that good!

After breakfast I saw this short narrated by Ira Glass and absolutely loved it – thought you might too.

A Winter Postcard

Winter in Tenterfield is a season of brooding contemplation.
There is a quiet intensity that pervades everything here.
Harsh landscapes and biting winds that take your breath away.
Rolling hills burnt to rust by frost. Deep blue shadows that freeze the far side of every rock.
Campfire flames that greedily lick and blacken each new log.

The perfect place for the mind to wander.

Paintings | The Artist’s Camp,  Tom Roberts | In a Corner on the Macintyre (Thunderbolt in an encounter with police at Paradise Creek),  Tom Roberts | The Heidelberg School artists, particularly Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Frederick McCubbin, have long been some of my favorites. Imagine how utterly chuffed I was when I realized that I had moved into their old Melbourne stomping grounds and that my sense of  déjà vu was completely relevant. It also turns out that one of Captain Thunderbolt‘s favorite haunts was the old Tenterfield racecourse, spitting distance from Dad’s camp. Wonderfully spooky!    

A Lifting of Spirits

Just popping in to say after an exhausting few weeks of near constant ‘nasty-winter-virus’ attack we are going country. Looking forward to seeing my Dad, roasting marshmallows over a campfire and just generally taking a little time out sketching in the winter sun. And very much looking forward to coming home happy and much healthier. See you soon!

ps. Just like everybody else I have succumbed to Instagram. I have to say I do love it’s immediacy and it’s lovely old world feel. The above shot was taken on our last flight out of Hobart. The atmosphere was the most gobsmackingly intense blue that I was convinced no camera could do justice… still, Instagram got pretty close.

Whooo Hooo!

I won the Umbrella Prints 2012 Trimmings Competition – Peoples Choice Award!

I am thrilled to bits! Thank you to everyone that repinned my little book. The competition board was overloaded with fantastic entries – I can’t believe my luck! Thank you to the wonderful Umbrella Prints girls, Amy and Carly for a brilliant competition idea and for a wonderful product that is a pleasure to work with.

Image | ‘Oh How I Love Kites’ by Lauren Porcher  an incredibly talented photographer at the tender age of fifteen. | Image used with kind permission. 


Every illustration project has it’s own journey, I thought I might share a bit about this one…

I’d been wanting to do something with mixed media for a while – something with collage and natural fibres. I’d imagined a handmade book, lovely to hold with a gentle story nestled within its pages. When the Trimmings Comp arrived it was an irresistible opportunity. I’m a huge fan of Carly and Amy’s work. Their fabric is beautifully designed and they have an uncanny ability to choose perfect palettes.

The gorgeous images above gave me an inspiration-fueled start. So by the time my pack arrived all I could see within the clear envelope was a beautiful, somewhat deconstructed kite. And when I saw Rebecca‘s lovely piecing I knew exactly the form it would take. Cutting and assembling all those little pieces was incredibly relaxing (Clever gal that Rebecca! )

When it came to the book design, I decided on a concertina fold because each double page could be read as a mini story and the whole book could still be opened out to reveal an overall connection. I also wanted to play with both sides of the paper, changing an assumption formed on one side by a quick flip to the other.

When it came to the story, the kite was my ending but what I needed was the rest. It turned out the story solution was right under my nose but all my over-thinking made it invisible to me. After an insane week of ‘going no where fast’ I stopped, remembered the importance of simplicity and finally listened to my gut. I focused on the simplest idea and suddenly the little details could breathe.

I learnt a lot on this one – I dabbled in the craft of bookbinding, learnt heaps about glue,  percentages of colour and the power in a shot of neon. I got stuck trying to score and fold watercolor paper that was too thick for a crisp fold and was bailed out by the good advice of a friend. But whatever challenges it brought up I loved every minute of it and would do it again in an instant!

Thank you all for the amazing feedback, I’m more thrilled than you could imagine! Thank you Carly and Amy for such a fun opportunity, truly it’s impossible not to make something lovely with your fabrics. Best of luck to everyone who entered! Please vote for your favourites here.

Images | Kites, Hey Andre! Happy Kids Kites, CubaGallery |  Stitching by a sunny window, Rebecca Sower | All other images, Alisa Coburn | To view larger or for licencing click on image titles. Images are subject to copyright.