Monday, November 26, 2012

More Spoonflower fabrics. Cut and Sew plushies

Brace yourself for the wickedness...

I present you with Zombear and Frankenswine!
zombear and frankenswine eveningsong ink spoonflower fabric

zombear and frankenswine eveningsong ink spoonflower fabric

These fellows kept me company at my showcase and Dexhibition last week and did a wonderful job of it :D

zombear and frankenswine eveningsong ink spoonflower fabric

This fabric is so easy to use, all the pieces are labelled and you just have to trim around, stuff and sew. No fiddling with decorations unless you want to embellish!

Available via Spoonflower - both Frankenswine and Zombear come on one fat quarter.

A new Spoonflower fabric collection, Sassy Fox

I finally have my Sassy Fox collection available via Spoonflower! It consists of four designs, each in three colourways and is based around the main fox fabric which has Sassy Fox and Sleepy Fox together with toadstools.

Sassy Fox fabric collection eveningsong ink spoonflower fabric

Sassy Fox fabric collection eveningsong ink spoonflower fabric

Sassy Fox fabric collection eveningsong ink spoonflower fabric

Monday, October 8, 2012

DIY best ever spa-quality body scrub for free

Ever felt like your skin is terribly dry, or bumpy, or oily? Ever had one of those days when you just want to 'me' time and a little pampering? Yep, me too. My remedy for all of these is some tlc in the form of a quick, simple and free beauty treatment.

This body scrub is EASY, QUICK and best of all, usually FREE!

diy best ever body scrub for free #eveningsong ink #beauty #craft

Oil (see note below)
Sugar - any sugar with a good grain will work, I love raw sugar as it is a bit rougher than white sugar. Brown and caster sugar are a little finer which would be good for finer skin but don't ry icing sugar or you'll just end up with frosting!

Oil note: any unflavoured oil is good. I use olive or rice bran as they are both light and gentle. Coconut oil would be fabulous for drier skin, just heat it a little first to soften it. Stay away from the garlic or chilli infused oil unless you want to smell like a pizza :P and yes, you can use baby oil (mineral oil) but that stuff is a petrochemical product so it really isn't good for you.

Fancy stuff:
Essential oil (or cheaper scented oil from the dollar shop - the scent won't last as long but it's still good)
Botanicals like dried ground flower petals, dried fine herbs
Cupboard-based scents like ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, cooking flavours or essences
Baking soda, epsom salts or ground oats

  1. Do me a favour, before you use your scrub, feel your skin. Is it dry? bumpy? clogged? Take note :)
  2. Find yourself a wide-mouth, shallow container. It needs to have an opening big enough for you to get your fingers into and shallow enough your fingers can reach the bottom. A bowl is fine or a wide-mouth recycled jar if you want to make extra or give as a gift.
  3. Add at least 1/2 cup of sugar and if you are adding any botanicals, baking soda, salts or oats add them now and mix them in.
  4. Slowly add and mix in enough oil to make the sugar look like wet sand. It should be wet enough to clump together but not so much that it oozes. 
  5. In the bathroom fill your tub or shower with enough water to reach your ankles. WARNING: when the oil and sugar drop to the floor it will be slippery; use a non-slip bath mat and water so the mixture falls into the water and disperses, rather than coating the floor with oil.
  6. Stand in the water and grab small amounts of your scrub ( about a tablespoon)and smear on your hands. Starting at your feet, rub the mix over your skin in circular motions, moving upwards towards your heart. When you get to your arms, go from hand to shoulder and from your face down your neck towards your heart. This gets your circulation going.
  7. When you are all scrubbed turn on your shower and rinse off. Follow with a good clean with your favourite soap or body wash. I love to use a body wash and loofah to add a little extra exfoliating. You may want to soap up twice if you can still feel the oil on your skin.
  8. Now feel your skin again. I guarantee it will feel smoother, less bumpy and much more supple.

Best ever pick-me-up: 
  1. Follow your scrub with a hair wash and condition, brush your teeth and shave whatever bits you shave. Grab your foot file and exfoliate your feet too.
  2. Moisturise all over, including your hair. Don't forget you can add a few drops of light cooking oil to your hands and work through the ends of your hair in lieu of conditioner. Lather your feet in moisturiser and pop on some socks.
  3. Grab some nail polish and a file and give yourself a manicure and pedicure and follow with a bright nail colour. The best remedy is to do this while watching your favourite movie/tv show or listening to your favourite music.
NOW you should feel better/more relaxed/calmer/happier or all the above!

I like to use this scrub at least once a fortnight but weekly would do your skin wonders. Don't forget to drink lots of water too, for great skin and if you have cornflour and baking soda in your cupboard, why not treat yourself to a homemade body powder too?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Strange Fruit

This is an idea I've had for a while and it feels really good to finally get it down on paper. Sometimes I have an idea that's really strong in my mind but no matter how hard I try I can't find my groove and get it down on paper the way I feel it should be. This one, however has pleased me :)

Strange Fruit #eveningsong ink #drawing #art
Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit is a bit darker than my work of late. The tree reflects on itself, showing a summer tree, full of apples and a swing and covered in leaves. The reflection is a bare winter tree with old rope tendrils and various human remains hanging from the branches. That it where the name comes from.

While the piece is perfectly timed for Halloween, it is really influenced by a Laurell K Hamilton novel.

Friday, October 5, 2012

So much drawing, so little time

Wow, today has been chock-full of drawing! It's been lovely to get into some new work and in between science breaks with the kids I managed to exhaust my poor hand and finish these two up.

The Jelly-thief Eveningsong Ink original pen drawing
The Jelly-thief

Muertos Fox

I have a skate deck design to complete next week to be laser-etched onto a 7 ply Canadian maple deck and one of these may be the one, but I'm still undecided.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Stone Carving for jewellery

So, my first holiday experiment was stone carving. I adore using local beach stones in my jewellery but they are frustratingly difficult to bezel-set in silver due to the natural size differences around the edges. Instead, I figured I would whip out the trusty rotary tool and see if I could drill those suckers!

The musical note became a gift for my lovely sister-to-be and the heart and arrow were for practice (and me :P)

Eveningsong Ink carved beach stone treble clef

Eveningsong Ink carved beach stone heart

Eveningsong Ink carved beach stone arrow

I am really pleased with the result and I think with a little more experimentation with the drill bits I should have some of these available for sale via my Etsy shop :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Adorable, stackable, dainty rings

One of my Pinterest pins was about dainty rings. Those adorable, stackable, charming little rings that look gorgeous. I figured since I'm on holiday I should go about making some, especially since I have the most adorable, dainty sister-to-be to wear them AND it's her birthday.

Five little rings all ready to wear. Sterling silver and a mix of plain, hammered, filed and heart-ed :)

stacking dainty rings in sterling silver
Wear one alone...

stacking dainty rings in sterling silver
Or stack them high.

Eveningsong Ink graphic design fox box
All dressed up in a little Eveningsong Ink fox box.

She loved them! Tomorrow you will see the carved stone pendant too.

The t-shirts are in!

Positive Threads have released their first round of t-shirts. Seeing these designs made real is amazing!

Positive Threads Eveningsong Ink tree t-shirt

Positive Threads Eveningsong Ink girl with balloons t-shirt

Positive Threads Eveningsong Ink tree t-shirt screenprinting

Positive Threads Eveningsong Ink boy with wagon t-shirt

Positive Threads Eveningsong Ink lady and dandelion t-shirt

Positive Threads Eveningsong Ink tree tote bag

To order for for further details please contact Positive Threads.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

T-shirt designs for Positive Threads

I have been lucky enough to be a part of the blossoming t-shirt design company, Positive Threads.

The two amazing ladies behind the brand are developing a range of t-shirts for women, men and children with beautiful artwork and positive messages. I love the concept and would be proud to wear (and have my children wear) these gorgeous, uplifting fashions. It sure beats seeing a ten year old wearing a skin-tight shirt emblazoned with 'porn star' - or worse!

Women's designs:
 ^Digitally drawn in Adobe Illustrator CS5 - hand-drawn font

 ^Digitally drawn in Adobe Illustrator CS5 - hand-drawn font

Girl's design:
 ^Digitally drawn in Adobe Illustrator CS5

Boy's design:
^ Hand-drawn on paper, graphite shaded and finalised in Adobe Photoshop CS5

I can't wait to see these printed and ready to wear! For more information, please contact Positive Threads HERE.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Gainsborough Art Awards sneak peek

A sneak peek of my entry into the Gainsborough Art Awards, 2012 :)

"Who knows what song the caged bird sings?" Mixed media on wood, 45cm x 90cm.

Fingers crossed!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Little Miss Leigh logo artwork design

I have just completed a logo artwork for the lovely Little Miss Leigh, who offers make up and tanning on the Gold Coast.   

This piece is 100% vector, so it can be as small as a business card or as big as a building, without distorting. All hand sketched in Adobe Illustrator CS5 with a tablet :D


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Digital Painting - addictive!

My latest foray into digital painting producing this piece, Crimson's Bane.

Little Red, tiring of the abuse of the wolf takes matters into her own hands and slays him. Unbeknown to her, by killing him she then becomes him. Thus the curse's cycle is completed once again.

A special thanks to the gorgeous Loretta Lizzio for modeling for me!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

DIY Birthday party stage 4 - food!

The last thing to organise was the food. Birthday cake, cupcakes, two types of biscuits, drinks and the lunch food.

Since the party was at lunch time I asked each partygoer to bring along a plate of their favourite sandwiches. I prefer to cater my own events but I was very conscious of keeping the stress low and the fun high for this party, so I enlisted help. Sandwiches are easy, inexpensive, well-received and everyone has a favourite.

I also had plain crackers, bbq crackers, carrot sticks, celery sticks and a pack of supermarket dips.

Sweets included the birthday cake - vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream and fondant - and I used the same recipes for the cupcakes. Lemon dinosaur biscuits and chocolate Transformer biscuits, both with coloured royal icing.

Top left: Food table with sandwich plates and party hats.

Top right: Optimus Prime birthday cake.
Cake recipe: Allrecipes - Best sculpted cake recipe EVER! I omitted the milk though. This recipe makes one perfect 8 inch round cake, I made two and layered my cakes with chocolate buttercream.
Fondant recipe: Allrecipes - I replaced the corn syrup with liquid glucose (easier to find in Australia) and used three tablespoons of rice bran oil instead of the oil and shortening. This recipe was SO easy, quick and inexpensive. I made it by hand, stored it in the fridge for two weeks and the fondant rolled perfectly, coloured perfectly and did not dry out as quickly as the store bought stuff.

Middle: Cupcakes with fondant Transformer cutouts.
The decorations on top are Transformer cut-outs from fondant and brushed lightly with silver edible luster dust.

Bottom left: Lemon dinosaur sugar cookies with royal icing.
Recipe: Acorn Advisors - I made the lemon version

Bottom right: Chocolate Transformer badge biscuits with royal icing.
Recipe: I altered the lemon sugar cookie recipe above, eliminating the lemon and replacing some of the flour with cocoa

All the sweets were devoured and the sandwiches were a hit! Especially with the kids :)

Please note: the Transformer badge biscuits and cupcake Transformer decorations are courtesy of the Transformers Play Doh kit. Thank you Play Doh for stepping up! I couldn't find 'real' cookie cutters anywhere but this kit saved the day!
Roll out your cookie dough and fondant using 6mm dowel rods as your spacers and the cutters work like a dream :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

DIY Birthday party stage 3 - last minute DIY

In the last few days coming up to the party I whipped up a few DIY projects to bring the whole thing together.

Top: Happy Birthday banner.
Recycled cardboard, markers, imagination

Middle left: Cake bunting.
Bamboo skewers, craft wire wrapped with yarn, scrapbooking paper, glue, paint, marker

Middle right: Photo booth sign.
Recycled cardboard, markers

Bottom left: Cake and cupcake platter.
Two pieces of scrap wood (covered temporarily with a piece of vinyl table cover and taped in place), a hollow Megabloks construction, double-sided tape (to give a little more security between the Megabloks construction and the top tier)

Bottom right (top): Finalised photo booth props.
Each image is printed onto regular copy pare and then glued onto a manila folder. When dry the maskes are cut out and an extra large paddle pop stick is glued to the back

Bottom right (bottom): Table decorations.
I raided my son's plastic dinosaurs and transformers and used them to decorate the cake table, food table an present table.

Everything here cost me a few dollars for the paddle pop sticks, colour printing - since my home printer shit itself :( - scrapbook paper and table vinyl. I have left-overs of the sticks, paper and vinyl and still have the photo props as they are really quite sturdy!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Birthday Party free printable photo booth props

And here you can access your very own Transformers and dinosaurs photo booth props! Just go to the link and download the pdf file. It's 4.5MB total so you will have nice, clear props.

Print out the props on heavy card or onto regular copy paper and then glue the pages onto cardboard. I found manila folders worked great. Cut out the props carefully (a craft knife works best) and remember the eye holes in the masks. Attach elastic or glue on a wooden rod and off you go!

Birthday Party - Photo booth

On the day of the party I set up a photo boo the corner of the room. All it needed was a well-lit corner, a blank wall, a chair and a basic point-and-shoot camera on a tripod.

A simple cardboard sign, the printed props and some childlike humour were all we needed to have a ball!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

More custom party favours - Transformers, Lego and dinosaurs

As I mentioned in Custom cast lego and Transformers in resin (with sprinkles!) I went about and made some more resin figures. And then some more. And then some crayons. And then some soaps! I just can't get enough of those adorable little Lego men :D

Top left: Magnets.
Stars, puzzle pieces, lego men, random shapes

Top right: Phone charms.
Lego men, large and regular

Middle: Crayons!
Transformer badges and Lego men. I melted down the broken crayons from my son's pencil case and poured the wax into my moulds :)

Bottom left: Necklaces.
Transformer badges, Lego men, plastic dinosaurs, butterflies, random shapes

Bottom right: Badges.
Lego men, Transformer badges, stars, random shapes

Not pictured: Lego men melt and pour soaps!

Everything here came out of my craft stash and cost me nothing. Yeah, I have a BIG craft stash and yes, I know I paid for it at one time but it was so long ago that it's now basically free, lol.

All the resin pieces were cast in my handmade silicone moulds and have resin colour, glitter, embossing powder and sprinkles. The badge pins, magnets and pendant bails were glued on with epoxy glue. This did NOT work well! Next time I will drill holes instead.

The plastic dinosaurs were pierced with a hot upholstery needle and then had a jump ring threaded through.

All necklaces are offcuts of ribbon, faux leather, cord and miscellaneous bulk necklaces.

These are all so easy and customisable. Give it a go!

DIY target game tutorial

As seen in the super-duper 5th birthday party of 2012, the target game!

The shooter tutorial can be found at Come Together Kids. That is where I originally saw the idea and I won't rip of the concept by making my own tute :)

At most this project will cost you a couple of dollars. At best, it will be free! I always keep a few plastic cups and balloons in the cupboard for when I have a party.

I picked up the clear standard plastic cups and found them strong enough to support the balloons on their own. No need for doubling up the cups.

DIY Birthday party stage 2 - activities & games


Birthday Party stage 2 involves the games. All these games are recyclable, diy, customisable and nearly free (or totally free, depending on your stash).

Top: colour in.
Easy friggin peasy guys! I found some free colour in pictures of Transformers and dinosaurs, changed the black to a medium gray (so they are nicer to colour) and printed them.

Middle: Pin the tail on the dinosaur.
Cardboard from a box, with butcher paper glued over the front, painted by hand. Add a matching cardboard tail and ta- da! Inspired by: Paper and Cake

Bottom left: Target game. (Tutorial)
Disclaimer! IF you include this in your party be prepared for it to be hijacked by the adults. Oh, and leave it till last as the kids love it too!
Cardboard from a box, softdrink box, tissue box, cracker box, white glue, tape, paint, pom poms, plastic cups, balloons. Pom pom shooter tutorial over at Come Together Kids

Bottom right: Ring toss.
Cardboard, cardboard tube from a aluminum foil pack, cheap paper plates, glue, staples, paint. NOTE: I found the single plates did not work very well, so I stapled two plates together, one upside down on the other. Inspired by A Little Learning For Two

Along with the DIY photo booth there was barely enough time for the kids to play with everything. They had a ball and a bunch of the adults got involved too. Laughter and merriment was the order of the day!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Custom cast lego and Transformers in resin (with sprinkles!)

So, as part of DIY Birthday Party stage 1 I made custom silicone moulds of Lego minifigures, a large Lego keyring figure and the Transformers badges. My plan is to cast a bunch of items in resin, soap and crayons to use as favours and prizes at my son's 5th birthday party.

Here are the Lego men, cast in black opaque resin:
 Notice the alien on the left? He's for my husband :P

 This guy is my ultimate favourite! The sprinkles with the black resin make him look spotty, lmao. He is a Transformers Kre-o man that came with one of the building sets.

 Jigsaw pieces from the Ikea silicone ice mould.

Everyone needs to display their affiliation :)

These resin pieces with become necklaces, badges and magnets. I hope the guests like them! I have more curing right now, in gray, clear and white. I'll show you when I'm done.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

DIY Birthday party stage 1

Preparation is underway for my son's 5th birthday party. It's his first 'real' party where he actually gets to pick his theme and stuff so both he and I are really excited.

We are doing the party on a limited budget and the absolute focus is my son's happiness. I want the guests to have a good time but really, it's all secondary to the birthday boy enjoying his day.

So far the invites are done, the photo booth masks are designed and the flexible silicone moulds are cast for Transformers badges, lego minifigures and lego giant men. Lego have silicone moulds for the minifigures but sadly like so many of the other Lego range, they are not in Australian shops so have to be imported. So I whipped out the trusty two-part silicone casting compound and cast those suckers myself.

Here are the photo booth props:
Masks: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Autobots symbol, Decepticons symbol.
Props: Stegasaurus headpiece (this has two sides and will look like twin plates on the head), Triceratops fan headpiece, T-Rex mouth.
Once they are all finished I'll make them available for download :)


Monday, April 16, 2012

Digital portraiture with Corel Painter

In my continued adventure into digital painting I have finally tackled that most elusive of all painting subjects - the portrait. Not elusive for many, I'll grant you, but for me it is like standing at the base of Everest, staring up into the snowy glory and thinking 'While the adventure may prove to be fun, if I crash and burn I'll feel like shit so instead I'll grab a coffee and a postcard.'

The first is taken from one of my own photos of my daughter last year.

 The second is an image from the internet of the inimitable Ginnifer Goodwin. I claim no credit for the original photo :)

Both of the photos are altered in Photoshop first, increasing the yellow and red tones as would be seen in an old master's painting and playing with the curves, levels and contrast. In Corel Painter, the image is first cloned roughly to establish the basic form before each brushstroke is rendered individually. Once the base is good, I create new layers, using a variety of brushes, layer styles and opacities to achieve the final look.

The goal is to keep all the detail in the eyes and mouth, gradually reducing the detail towards the edges so the hair, clothing and background are mere brushes of colour. Also, to avoid making another photo-realistic reproduction all brushstrokes are kept rough and natural.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Punk's not dead!


(Note the photo corrections and the guitar morph?)

Guitar design

Logo design

Get your punk on! Fictional Punk concert complete with logo, guitar design and photo manipulation :)