Saturday, December 31, 2011


I am gradually filling my new store with art prints. It's taking time as I just cannot seem to list anything without playing, tweaking and adjusting!

So far I have added my Pegasus Limited Edition art prints and my Swan Princess Open Edition art prints to join the digital owls and Matryoshka doll.

The plan is to keep the digital art pieces as open editions and the fine art prints and special digital pieces as limited editions. I want to offer something for everyone but I feel that with my fine art pieces and the more labour-intense and meaningful digital works they deserve limited prints. I want my customers to understand that all these artworks come from my heart and mind, they are all special to me and I want them to special to others too. I know you can pop out to the $2 store and pick up a print for like $5 but where is the soul behind it? What do you know of the artist? Do customers pick them because the artwork speaks to them and holds special meaning or because it matches the drapes?

I have always felt that art should be personal, meaningful and a delight every day; not something just to fill the void. Hopefully you will find something beautiful and personal in my pieces and want to see them every day too :)

The gift of giving. Pay it forward.


As a part of our handmade festivities I wanted to do something for someone we would never meet. This has been a part of many of my Christmases and this year in particular I wanted to begin teaching my little boy about the hope, love and giving of Christmas and how so many people have less than us. While we have our own struggles, he needs to understand that some people have nothing at all for Christmas, including little children just like him.

We went to the store to pick out a boy's gift and a girl's gift (my daughter is still a little young to pick herself) to give away too. This created a little problem as Xavier wanted the toy so badly. After some tears he came up to me a few days later and told me that he understood the toy was not for him and that another little boy would have it, and how he didn't need to be upset about it. I was so proud of him. It's hard enough as an adult to give away something you want for yourself but at four it's even more colossal. He was so good and tried so hard to really understand, it just made my heart burst with pride.

We put together a few things this year:
3 x new baby packs - a toy car, newborn disposable nappies, a blanket, baby wipes, outfits for baby to wear now and one to wear in winter, some little sample packs of baby wash/shampoo/lotion and a face mask and hair conditioning treatment for Mum.


5 x little boy packs in various sizes from 000 to 2 - outfits to wear now, an outfit for winter and a toy car.

All these packs used clothes my own children have worn. All pre-loved but in good condition and more than a few with precious memories attached. The little cars came from Xavier's own toybox, he chose them and we attached them to the piles. The hessian bags were purchased from Woolworths and I just love the tree design, the nappies were from my stash, the wipes purchased for the occasion.

All up I spent about $15.00 for all these gifts. I added a lot of time and love and labeled each clothing pack by size and a little note to say that there was an outfit included that would fit for winter time. While these were a small investment for us, I really hope they made a big difference for someone else.

We dropped all the gift bags, clothing packs and the two toys off at the local Salvation Army temple. I'm not of a Christian faith myself but I have found that the Salvos are helpful and loving no matter who you are. They took great care of my uncle and I'll never forget my Mum telling me they were the only ones to really give him support to live his life.

Anyone could do something similar next holiday season, or just whenever. For the sake of a few dollars possibly made selling clothes on ebay we took the opportunity to turn them into special gifts instead.

I heard once that the true gift of giving is to donate something you want for yourself. While I did not give away outfits with the most precious memories, I did give away quite a few that were special to me. I hope that if they were special to me, and had good memories from my own children, that maybe they could do the same for someone new.

Happy New Year :)

Swan painting for Mum

For Christmas this year I wanted to give my Mum something special. She has wanted a swan painting for as long as I can remember but I had always found the plain white of her favourite swans to be a bit boring in the painting stakes. Since i have been working in painted relief lately, and on wooden board I figured I would give it another go.

This piece is acrylic and pen on plywood board, approx60cm x 150cm.

The woodgrain comes through on the swan, giving her a sun-dappled appearance. She is highlighted by a vibrant mix of violet, lavender, cobalt, teal, grass and aqua and detailed in black fine line pen.

I was finalising the black sides on Christmas morning but it only took one and a half nights to complete :P

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tutorial - shirred baby dresses

I managed to have nearly two weeks off, yay! Ok, nearly off, I did sneak in a little work here and there ;P

I'm breaking my silence by giving you a tutorial for shirred baby dresses. I made a bunch of these for my daughter and my niece and they turned out so adorable I just had to share

Please see the tutorial over at Hand Made-n's blog, you can view it on screen or save the file for later use!

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Giveaway winners :)

After the phenomenal success of my first giveaway I am thrilled to announce the winners of my owl triptych giveaway.


I decided that since you all gave me such a boost with your beautiful comments that I would choose three winners, each to receive the 3-piece owl triptych!

I wish I could have awarded a prize to everyone. You gave me such great feedback and I now have a whole list of fairytales to catch up on. I will be taking your comments to heart and using them as inspiration for my next round of artworks; digital, painted or drawn.

I really hope you hang about and keep an eye on my blog, I would love to get to know you all. In the upcoming days and weeks I'll have tutorials for tulle pom poms, DIY dinosaur dig game, hanging glass tealight lanterns and more. Plus pictures and ideas from my Christmas gifting, goodie hampers and decorating.

And don't forget my brand new Etsy shop! I have already added my owl prints and matryoshka doll and I'll be including more of my fine art prints too.

So thank you again, you have made this giveaway one to remember.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Giveaway success!

I an totally overwhelmed by the success of my first giveaway. I feel like shouting from the rooftops 'they love my work, they really love it!' :D

I have had some beautiful responses and I'm trying really hard not to post my own comments, when it comes time to find a winner I don't want my own posts screwing up the count!

For those of you who have entered the giveaway and given me such wonderful feedback, thank you. Really. You have boosted my confidence so much I can't explain it.

In addition to amazing words of praise I have a whole new list of fairytales to brush up on! One of the main reasons I asked the two questions for the competition was to find out what everyone else likes. I adore myths, fairytales and monsters but sometimes I get artist-block and can't find any inspiration. Now I have your feedback I can call on all those amazing beasties and lore and get my arty wiggle on!

One of the biggest effects of your words is that I finally opened an Etsy shop. It's silly I know, since I could have done it any time at all but I'm so proud of myself for finding the balls to do it. I've been so afraid of opening a shop and it failing miserably that I never even tried. I'm now at the point where I figure it will either work or not. If it doesn't, I'll just pick a new direction!

So thank you again. I wanted to make a post specially for everyone who took the time to check out my blog and enter my competition. Now I have a bunch of Christmas stuff to do, post and photograph. It never ends!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's time for a giveaway!

Along with Sew, Mama, Sew! I'm getting in the giveaway spirit this year. This is your chance to win a print of my owl triptych. That's not one, not two, but THREE 8 x 10 owl prints. You can display them on their own or line them up and make a scene!

This is a worldwide giveaway. The winner will receive a glossy print of each of the owls below, posted in a firm cardboard envelope (so no posties bend them!) to their address.

All you have to do is answer the following two questions using the comments field below. Be as detailed or succinct as you like :)

Q1: If you commissioned a piece of art, which animal (bird/sea creature/monster) would you choose as the focus?
Q2: What is your favourite myth, legend or fairytale?

Remember to leave your email in the comments or I cannot contact you if you are the winner!

I'm not asking entrants to follow my blog or like my Facebook page. However, if you like my work, tutorials and general ramblings please feel free to link up. I'd love to share with you!

Extra info: After receiving interest in these prints I've decided to give participants extra ways to win. If you wish to follow my blog or my Facebook you will receive an extra entry into the draw. Just make a new comment for each follow, like 'Hi, I'm a new Facebook follower' and 'Hi I just started following your blog' and you can have three entries in total. Remember to include your Answers in your initial comment too! This is by no means mandatory, just an opportunity for extra entries :)

Owl triptych. Each 8 x 10 inches (20 x 25cm) total page size with a 2cm white border for framing (black frame is just to show the outline of the pictures, it's not on the prints). These little guys will arrive as prints only, unframed. Each will fit into a standard 8 x 10 photo frame, no need for custom framing :)

The winner will be chosen by random on December 17, 2011 11am (Brisbane, Australia EST. That's December 16, 2011 5pm PST). I know that's confusing! The winner will be notified by email within an hour of the draw and is required to respond with their address within 48 hours of notification or a new winner will be chosen.

Thank you in advance and I look forward to seeing your entries :)

I have another art giveaway coming up over at Hand Made-n's collaborative blog. It will be open tomorrow, check it out and enter that one too!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Giveaway Day is approaching!

Giveaway Day is rapidly approaching! Prepare yourself for an onslaught of fantastic handmade items. I'll be hosting my own giveaway in conjunction with Sew, Mama, Sew! and we'll be having one over at Hand Made-n's too.

Watch this space!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Recycled plant pots - the perfect gift or decoration :) Tutorial!

Yet another recycled gift to add to your Christmas crafting is the Recycled Plant Pot. Seriously, if you grow these suckers from seed you'll spend about $2.00 for as many gifts as you like. Of course, don't be surprised if you end up keeping these little beauties for yourself!

Not only are these inexpensive but they are a real gift from the heart. Also, they don't collect dust, need batteries, make noise or need maintenance (apart from a little water now and then ;D)

 Mine are filled with delicious strawberries :) I can move the pots to the best position, they drain well and the fruits will tumble down the side without rotting

  • Clean, empty tins or plastic drink bottles (mine are baby formula containers and 3L juice bottles)
  • Garden wire
  • Spray primer
  • Paint (I used sample pots of wall paint)
  • Paintbrush
  • Drill
  • Craft knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Potting mix/garden soil/compost
  • Seedlings
  1. Turn your containers upside down and drill some drainage holes in the bottoms
  2. Bottle planters - cut out a hole for the plant to go into (towards the top of the bottle), it needs to be just big enough to squish in the root ball of the plant. If needed, sand the holes to remove sharp bits
  3. Can planters - drill two holes at the top of the can opposite each other to thread a hanging wire through. Sand the holes lightly to keep sharp bits at bay
  4. Roughly sand your containers to give the paint something to stick to. It's important to note that the shiny paint finish on formula containers will repel the paint if not sanded. It doesn't have to be perfect, just rough up the paint or plastic a bit
  5. Prime your containers with the spray primer. Allow to dry (it won't take long!)
  6. Paint your containers and decorate as you wish. You will need a couple of coats for good coverage. Allow to dry well
  7. Snip and attach a length of garden wire to use as a hanging loop. The length will depend on whether you wish to hang your pots from a fence, tree branch or ceiling hook)
  8. Bottle planters - lay your bottle down and fill with soil through the cutout. Scoop out just enough soil to fit the root ball of your seedling and carefully but firmly pack the plant in. You can keep the bottle laying down for a couple of weeks until the plant is established but I carefully propped mine up immediately
  9. Can planters - fill with soil, leaving enough space to put your plant. Carefully pack in the roots of the plant and top up with a little more soil
  10. Give them a drink and put them in a suitable spot to get established until it's time to give them away!
  • Raise your own seedlings from seed and this project may well only cost you a couple of dollars
  • To give as gifts, choose a pretty annual flower. That way, at the end of the growing season your recipient can either re-plant or recycle their pot. No waste and no clutter! Perfect for the person who has everything
  • If you want a no-hassle gift plant your pots with succulents
  • For a kitchen goddess (or god ;P) plant your pots with herbs
  • For kids, plant a yummy treat like strawberries. My strawberries adore these pots since they like good drainage and if you add a hanging wire the strawberries will tumble down without rotting!
 Bottle planter materials

Can planter materials

Drill drainage holes and cut out plant hole

Drill drainage holes and hanger holes

Prime and allow to dry. Paint in chosen colours

Hang them up and let them get established

Cheering up your own garden or awaiting a new home :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A miniature dinosaur garden - tutorial

Here's the low-down, my son loves dinosaurs.


Five minutes with him and you'll not only learn something new but tie your tongue in knots attempting to repeated the bloody names.

He's such a show-off :)

So what do you do for your dinosaur-obsessed kid? Make him his own dino garden, of course! This would be a wonderful gift for any adventurous young soul and can be customised for jungle animals, dogs, fairies, you name it.

  • Large shallow tray with holes in the bottom (you can buy from a garden stockist but mine came from the recycling centre)
  • Old newspapers or junk mail
  • Potting mix
  • A selection of small plants
  • Plastic animals (or figurines made from an outdoor-friendly material)
  • Rocks, twigs, nuts, sand etc

  1. Grab your tray and line it with newspaper/junk mail
  2. Fill the tray 3/4 full with potting mix
  3. Lay out your plants (still in the pots), figurines and ornaments until it looks just right
  4. Plant your plants and mould the potting mix to achieve hills and valleys for your other adornments
  5. We added a rock path, scattered some sand over the top and sprinkled in some flower and lettuce seeds (to feed the dinosaurs of course!)
  6. Find a good place for your miniature garden, keep in mind the preferences of your plants. The idea is that the kids can play with their garden, but it would be best not to keep moving it about
Then let them get grubby!

To make this an ultimate gift how about:
  • Package all the materials into a DIY garden
  • Include a gift basket with a completed garden. With little garden gloves, a packet of seeds, mini watering can, extra animals and a little vial of fairy dust for fairy gardens
  • Make a custom sign for the garden with the recipient's name on it

It's giveaway time!

Thanks to Sew, Mama, Sew! The great Giveaway Day is back again. December 12 to 16 you will find links to amazing giveaways on their page. Each giveaway is different, and hosted by a different blogger, but the prize with be either handmade, or materials for making handmade.

This year I'll be joining in the fun and putting some of my own artwork up for grabs!

The artwork in question will be revealed at the time of the giveaway and the competition will be open to everyone worldwide.

If you want to host your own giveaway or just keep an eye on all the great prizes you could win for yourself, head over to Sew, Mama, Sew! and follow the fun!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Community Garden signage complete!

Our Community Garden was involved in the Gold Coast Harvest Festival last weekend and needed a nice bright sign for the event. As volunteer graphic artist for the group I created a hand-painted sign :D

In keeping with the colours, plants and vegies currently in bloom, the sign has become a favourable addition to the Garden.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The music festival I'd want to attend :D

So, one of my final assignments turned out really well so I wanted to post it on here. We had to do up a whole bunch of advertising and merchandising for an imaginary music festival. Please note, turning up to The Spit next year will not bathe you in the dulcet tones of Norah Jones or the rhythmic rapping of Eminem. Just sayin ;P


 bumper sticker

 cd sleeve

 drink bottle


skate deck


I am especially proud of the piano key wings. This was a great way of practicing how getting the logo, colours and fonts right the first time, paves the way for creating great, unified additional marketing materials.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Clockwork Heart

Thanks to my amazing tutors at TAFE I have completed my first ever photo manipulation piece. It's been a fantastic journey and while I will continue to grow and learn I am really very proud of this work. Next year I get to delve deeper still and adventure into digital painting and illustration, woo hoo!

This is a culmination of a stock photograph of the naked model, various clockwork and mechanical photos and many, many hours of digital painting and Photoshop manipulation. The icon in the background is also my own work, created in Illustrator.

So I give to you, My Clockwork Heart. Comments are always welcome :D

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Celebrating a 21st musical birthday

My incredibly musical sister Clair had her 21st birthday today. What better to give her than a Grammy-inspired digital portrait with the lyrics to her favourite song?

Happily she loves it and was really pleased. Yay!

This was my first foray into digital portraiture of this style. I really quite enjoyed it. I added in handmade vector details for her face, arms and earphones to give it a little detail.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Zombear needs braaaaiiiinnnnsssss

So, my adorable sister (in-law) is in hospital getting all types of scans on her brain. They think there's something abnormal, I think unique just translates badly to CT scans.

So I spent the morning making her this, my first ever vector zombie and pretty damned cool if I do say so :D

and the inside:

At least it gave her a laugh :D

Saturday, November 12, 2011

And then it all went pear-shaped

I have no idea why pear-shaped is bad, but it is.

After carefully sketching, masking and taping I added the inks and then shit happened. The paper warped, the ink pigment separated and I ended up with a wet muddy mess.

So I started again.

A decent artists' watercolour paper this time, taped to the board and sketched. AGAIN. By this time I was becoming right royally pissed with winged horses. Do you KNOW how many muscles and shit a horse has? Unless you have studied horse anatomy it makes drawing them a pain in the ass. And here I had to draw it about five times.

Anyway, it's done now. You can see the progress here:

 sketch penned in

body outline thickened, hair detail in

first wing detail

 second wing detail

contour lines and ink laid on

gouache backdrop in, water and splash detail in


So there you go, a little glimpse into the progress of my mixed media drawings :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This is how the inking starts

Just a little insight into how my ink pieces develop.

After sketching the design and finalising my proportions, I sketch the image onto watercolour paper, giving thought to how much background I want to show. Then I grab some masking fluid and a rubber sculpting tool and mask off all the areas I want left the paper colour first.

Once the fluid is dry the background goes on. That's up later :D

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Feeling the dinosaur love tonight.

Keeping up with my homework, I was working in Illustrator and attempting a typography portrait (a major task. Google 'typography portrait' and be blown away, I dare you) and decided on a friendly steggy. I blame my son for my dinosaur state of mind. If that kid doesn't become a paleontologist I'll be amazed.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

An early Christmas present for you!

As we rapidly approach the season of overspending celebrating, I have been thinking hard about what the holidays really mean. I planned a handmade holiday this year for a variety of reasons.
  1. Christmas/Yule does not revolve around who gets what, but rather celebrating our lives and appreciating our loved ones
  2. All the work and money spent on a single day is, quite frankly, fucking ludicrous 
  3. In order for my children to appreciate quality, meaning and the joy of putting your heart into a gift, they have to experience it properly
  4. I am so sick of cheap, sweat-shop, useless, meaningless crap and my house needs less, NOT more
Step 1: make presents meaningful and incorporate more activities into the season to spend with loved ones.

Step 2: make all of December a great big occasion and plan various outings, events and doings for everyone to look forward to and be excited about

Step 3: Xavier is big enough now to understand that some things break easily and the difference between quality toys and crap but still needs to learn that handmade = better made. He is starting to realise that sometimes he really wants something that just doesn't exist. BUT if someone could make it for him, he would have exactly what he wants and no one else would have one. He is also learning the joy of making but giving his art work to us as gifts, and how proud he can feel from handmade. This year he can experience how it feels to give someone a handmade gift and see them light up, and what it is like to receive a thoughtfully handmade gift.

Step 4: Quality. Seriously, is it really that hard to understand? Breakages, sweat shop workers and lead paint scares aside, the crap we buy from big stores is severely lacking on anything resembling craftsmanship, individuality or meaning. I'm not the same as the next person, I don't want what they have. I want my own thankyouverymuch. I want custom-made not factory-made!

When did consumers decide that individually crafted is inferior to big-box, same-as-the-next-person stuff? A matter of decades ago, custom orders were a show of taste, fashion and wealth. Now handmade is seen as folksy, cute and *shudder* childish. WTF?

So, in order to further the Handmade Holidays, I give to you this A4-sized printable to share, post, email, link and otherwise spam the world with.

[Copyright Eveningsong Ink, personal use only. Not to be redistributed as your own creation, mass marketed, sold, or used commercially. Please mention/link back me when sharing with others. Linking back to me on blogs and websites is fine as long as you give credit and follow the rest of the copyright mumbo jumbo :) For commercial use please contact me. ]

Click > Show Original > Right Click (Save as)

I will also be posting this on my Facebook. Jump on over and share it share it share it! Spread the word and give yourself a fun and happy holiday season. Also available via Hand Made-n's crafty blog.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting our holiday crafts, tutorials and recipes. Don't miss it!