Friday, June 17, 2011

Painting in PJs

So far this morning I have been trialling an idea for our wedding. It is an adaptation of a unity ritual. Many couples as a part of their wedding ceremony will include this ritual to show that they are coming together and are committed to each other. The most common ones are the sand ritual (where the bride and the groom both have a vase of a different coloured sand and they pour it into a third empty vase), the candle ritual (where bride and groom have a lit candleeach and use the flame to light a third candle - beware for outdoor ceremonies!), binding ritual (either the bride and grooms hands are bound together with a ribbon, also can be done with two flowers being bound in ribbon), and the list goes on. None of these things really appealed to Lucky and I, but we did want to have something to take away from the day aside from the 300+ photos. I started to think what would we actually want in our home, what do we appreciate? So I thought of creating an artwork together. Lucky uses one colour I another and we create something we can have framed and keep. After much trial and error we have settled on acrylic paint, blue for Lucky and red for me. Then we fold the paper in half and squish the paint onto each other, giving an ink blot result. Fingers crossed it works on the day and I don't get any paint on the dress!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mohawk show 2011

Last Wednesday Lucky scored a day off work so we popped into the Mohawk Paper Show put on by Raleigh Paper. It was held at Lightspace, an awesome little venue. The design work on show was inspiring, and the little show bag was a bonus! One of my favourites was the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School entry. It inspired me to redesign my resume. Here are some snap shots from the show.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Wedding stationary

One of my favourite things that I have done this year is designing our wedding stationary. We wanted something unique, fun and pretty. After much searching of where I could find coloured paper doilies I found a blog that showed how you could dye doilies at home. The blog was Charlotte's Fancy. I bought a stamp from OfficeWorks that allows you to change the letters to say whatever you want. Then they were finished with tapestry thread from a bargain city store (its one of those cheap stores like Crazy Clarks or The Warehouse). It took a little bit of time but it was well worth it!

The next element for our wedding stationary was the invitation itself. I am very lucky to have a friend who owns a very lovely letterpress business, Bespoke Letterpress, where she designs and produces the most beautiful wedding stationary. I designed our invitations with a blind impression (no ink used) in the background and black type. A little while ago on this blog I mentioned being inspired by motifs and designed a couple that were based on architecture. I reworked on of these and made it our wedding motif, its featured in the background and on the main invitation.

I also really wanted to incorporate handkerchiefs somehow. I researched and found some beautiful ideas where people had collected vintage handkerchiefs and screen printed the details onto them. I also came across some amazing fabric maps on another blog. So I set about designing something similar for our big day.

After much production work this is the final result! Well worth the work :)

Blog masters

My poor little neglected blog. I really admire those bloggers out there who are able to update their blog weekly or even daily! They must be masters of time management! As a tribute to them here is a list of my favourite blogs.

My Milk Toof (not updated quite as much as the other but well worth the wait when it is!)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lacking motivation

In an effort to get motivated I have reviewed my Life To Do List. I started work on it some time ago and while some items have been checked off the list, others have become stale. You will see cross through on the ones I have completed since first starting the list in June last year.

1. Write a blog

2. Write a book

3. Sell a piece of artwork I have created

4. Run 5km in under 30mins

5. Visit Japan

6. Visit Holland

7. Go to Disneyland

8. Grow tulips

9. Grow a herb garden (While I have completed this task, my little herb garden did not fair so well against some fungus gnats and ant army. So I will be trying again when Lucky and I move next).

10. Have a vegetable patch

11. Take a photo everyday for 1 year

12. Learn to speak a foreign language

13. Win a graphic design competition (you can view my winning book cover design in an earlier post)

14. Run my own a market stall

15. Own a leather jacket

16. Don't speak for one whole day

17. Create a typeface

18. Make an animation

19. Donate my time to a charity/worthy cause

20. Make a piece of origami every day for a month

21. Send a thank-you note to someone who has inspired me

22. Sing at a karaoke bar

23. Go to Hawaii

24. Pick wild blackberries and make a pie

25. Make a snowman

26. Dance at a Gay Bar (like in sex & the city, girls night out!)

27. Make pumpkin pie

28. Take a holiday alone

29. Own shares

30. Get married

31. Become a mother

32. Print my own fabric

33. Earn a manual drivers license

34. Win a game of tennis

35. Ride in a helicopter

36. Own a house/unit/apartment

37. Go to the Ballet

38. Make a pavlova (this is the second pavolova I made for our engagement party, the first I took to a dinner party where after the first slice it was decided that the group would eat the pav straight from the display plate)

New header

Today I have quickly created a new header. I wasn't very happy with the old one which I put up as a place holder until I made the time to create something, well, better. Here is the old one, its bad I know!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Vintage vibes

I love it when you rediscover something that you forgot you had. I found my 2 stamp albums that were given to me as a young girl. At the time I didn't really appreciate them, instead I wanted a new outfit for my Barbie, but now I really love them and I am so happy I never sold them on, which is what I considered many times. Just looking at all the old designs and illustrations, its kinda cool! Here are some of my favourite finds below.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blue bolero

I have been eyeing off a gorgeous bolero for some time now. The initial romance began when a friend sent me a link to the BHLDN website showing me a pair of shoes. I continued to browse the site and happened across the beautiful blue bolero in the coverups section. Five weeks of courting the bolero began. Should I? Shouldn't I? I mean our wedding is in winter and my dress is strapless so it would make sense. And my bridesmaids are wearing blue so it fits with the theme... two emails to BHLDN and many conversations with Lucky later I purchased the pretty accessory for our big day. I can't wait to receive it in the mail, which shouldn't be long - its been shipped already!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Oh Dear

Oh Dear, my poor little blog. How I have neglected you. To catch you up I have been busy (poor excuse I know) doing many things since we last spoke. Here is a list:

1. Finders Keepers Melbourne - I played shop girl for the wonderful Bespoke Letterpress at the March Finders Keepers markets. It was so much fun! Talking to people who love letterpress a
nd to the other store holders. I had many learnings which will come in handy when I get my own market business organised. You can read more about it at Bespoke Letterpress or Finders Keepers. These amazing images were taken by Alischa of Bespoke Letterpress.

2. Designing personalised baby posters (pictures to follow very soon).
3. Designing 30th birthday invite for one of my bestest friends (and maid of honor!)
4. Catching up with friends at the Art in the 21st Century exhibit at GoMA - awesome exhibit, especially the pool piece and my favourite, the wishing ribbon wall (Im sure thats not its actual name!) You get to pull a ribbon from the wall to keep, each ribbon has a wish on it; then you replace it with a wish of your own. We were told that the artist will use the replaced wishes in their next piece. The ribbon I pulled said "I wish I had magical powers", the friends I was with pulled "I wish everyone was happy and owned unicorns" and "I wish I was a famous cricket player". Very cool. The white paper sticking out in the image below is a replaced wish (photo from GoMA website).

5. Wedding planning - including going to the Queensland Brides wedding and honeymoon expo, which I must say was a bit of a let down. Don't bother going if you have already booked your venue. I was hoping to find information about wedding cars, alterations, stylists (you know places where you can hire props for the wedding), and honeymoons. There was one stylist organisation for beach weddings, lots of venues and DJs, lots of 'cupcake' dresses and lots of stall holders trying to put the hard sell on people. I went up to a lot of hotels and asked for honeymoon information which only one had a single page flyer. Ba Bow :(

Um thats all I can think of at the moment! will have more for you soon :D

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Today I have been playing around with colour, making colour palettes from some very pretty images I have found online. Here is a sample of what i have been creating. Thinking I will use them for my market stall business designs. Well better go pack for theFinders Keepers Markets in Melbourne this weekend. I will be there with Bespoke Letterpress if your after some amazing letterpress goodies!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Its been a while...

My posts have been somewhat sporadic lately. I have been taking photos and making notes of what I should blog about but I haven't made it to my beloved Mac to type in a post. As a result this post may be bigger than usual.

Firstly, ta da! This is my planning sheet.

It has been over a month since I left the daily grind of working in the city, and I have been quite happy. I feel more rested than I have in a long time (working only 2-3 days a week has helped this I'm sure!), but now its time to take this opportunity (not working full time that is) and do something amazing with it. So on this planning sheet are my two projects that I want to achieve, before the wedding if possible. First priority will be to get properly set up as a freelance graphic designer. I plan on creating a website (and a blog if I can get the hang of maintaining it) to promote myself, but I will be setting it up as a business. After all I have an ABN, I technically am a business :) I am hoping to learn more about promoting myself from my design internship.

My other project is having a market business. I have started brainstorming about what I might create. I figure until I have worked that element out there is no point setting up everything else.

Now onto the wedding plans I bought my wedding shoes last week! They are so pretty and sparkly all covered in crystals! I feel like Cinderella when I wear them and it is taking all my restraint not to wear them daily...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Operation Wedding

This past week I have been back on the wedding planning track. Hitting March made us realise that there is only 4 months left until the big day! And there is quite a bit left to do! Designing invitations, selecting the menu, etc, etc. At least I was able to tick some things off the list. I now have my make up artists booked in and I finished making these rosette hair pieces for my bridesmaids. It was pretty simple. You just need a length of fabric, roughly 2-3cm (or 1 inch) wide. Tie a knot in one end, twist the fabric and wrap it around the knot, glueing or sewing it as you go. I hope they like them!

Happy Birthday

It was Lucky's Mum's birthday this week so we celebrated by giving her a book and a bunch of bright pink roses that we purchased from the Rocklea Markets on the weekend (I also bought myself a bunch of pale coral roses and a bunch of irises, so beautiful... and cheap!). Of course it came to Sunday morning, the day we were to have lunch with the family and realised we didn't have a card yet! I jumped on the computer and created a typographic card and had it printed at the local Officeworks. Walking back from Officeworks it blew out of my hand onto the three lane road in front of oncoming traffic. Fortunately there was a break in traffic and I was able to pick it up, unharmed and unmarked. Lucky's Mum felt very special having a personalised card.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I really am a designer!

Ok so I know I got excited when I had an email signature that said I was a designer but now I have something else that makes me feel like I really can say that I am a Graphic Designer. It feels weird to say it because Im kinda working for myself at the moment and I guess I don't really have a job title. So here it is, my proof! I have designed a book cover! Yep thats right it will be in print and everything, you can buy it from if your considering moving office in the US.

I received some very lovely feedback from the author which resulted in a big smile of achievement and a quiet "Yes!" to myself. It was such a wonderful feeling of reassurance that I do have some skill for this and that I am capable of designing for a living!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Plan

Here it is. The Plan. Well the short to mid term career side of it anyway. My plan is to get stable part time work, such as my one day a week with Bespoke Letterpress. Ideally I will have three days a week of stable, regular work. Then in the other days I will do freelance work for anyone who wants me! In the mean time I will be entering design competitions such as 99designs to build my portfolio (and the prize money is a bonus!), completing online CS4 tutorials - particularly in dreamweaver and flash, creating a market stall type business and planning for our wedding! In six months I will review how things are going and set new goals from there. I am really enjoying the freedom of working for myself. I have no doubt it will take dedication and determination to create an ongoing flow of income and I am ready to work for it. The difference with this is that I enjoy the actual work. Its an outlet for my creativity and makes me feel more myself than I have felt in a while :)

Now to clean the house! then Wedding planning!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Ah motifs, the beautiful little flourishes that give a design that little hint of elegance or a vintage quality. I have been inspired to create some of my own motifs by using stone architecture as inspiration. What do you think?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Today I am a designer

Today I am officially a graphic designer, my new work email signature says so! Its so exciting. I am working one day a week, designing beautiful letter press wedding invites and stationary with one of the loveliest ladies I know. I cant wait to see one of my designs printed on wonderful cotton paper with all its beautiful impressions.

Driving to the studio this morning, there was no worry or concern, no feeling of being weighted down. When I thought about where I was going I actually had a smile on my face. It is such an amazing feeling to actually enjoy what I do. Here is a sample of the gorgeous creations made by my new boss.

Now I have to prepare for a possible one day a week internship at another private studio. There is the possibility of it becoming a paid part time job as well. Who would have thought I would be on the road to my career plan so quickly!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thank you!

Lucky and I recently had our engagement party in a small country town in Victoria where my parents live. My parents had arranged a lamb and pork spit roast and mum and I spent a day making lovely desserts for everyone to enjoy. We had beautiful tissue paper pom poms, hand made by my mum, Lucky and I. I used them as inspiration when creating our thank you postcards.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Decisions, decisions

There is a possibility I have somewhat jumped the gate in my planning. I made a daily plan without first thinking about what my long term goals are. What is it that I actually want to do. Its a pretty intimidating question. I mean how often do people actually stop and ask themselves "What do I want to do with my life?" The last time I remember something slightly like this was in high school, picking which subjects to study in year 11 and 12. Sitting with the year level coordinator and my mother discussing what I was capable of... All I knew at that time was I loved to paint and draw. So I studied Commerce and Management/Marketing. It can be hard not to get caught up in others' expectations of you, especially when your not sure what exactly it is that you want to do.

hmmm just had a craving for twisties...

So back to life planning. Life Planning is something my dear friend and bridesmaid to my wedding in July, let's call her Dante, is very good at. When we lived together we would have life planning sessions to figure out some goals for the near future. It always made me feel like I had direction. Which is what I need now. Currently I am stewing over two possible options. Do I want to work as a designer in an agency in the corporate world or do I want to freelance and potentially work from home? Decisions, Decisions...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I like lists

I like lists. I like planning and ticking things off those lists. It helps me not to freak out and really who doesn't like that feeling of achievement when you can see exactly what you have done in a day. Ok so I may be a bit of a nerd but it helps be stay organised and focused. Thats not so bad is it?

Today I have folded and put away the washing, set up a space to use as my 'office' (basically I cleaned the dining table off and set up my laptop and sketch books), started researching potential agencies that I would like to work for, set up this blog (including creating a name style for it and uploading samples of my design work), registered as a volunteer for Shark Water, prepared dinner ready to cook when Lucky gets home from the gym and created a daily plan of what I will do each day to maintain a routine and keep me motivated. Here it is...

Yes I designed it in InDesign, mostly so I remember all the things I learnt last year. And yes I realise by now you are probably saying "wow this chick is definitely a nerd", well, yes, I guess I am, and really I don't mind being a nerd, especially a design nerd!

Tomorrow will be a bit of a test day to see if this plan is workable. I am using this week to make a plan of attack for, well, my life! Not just finding a new job but working out how I can achieve some of my life goals. Maybe I will create a page for them...

Day One

I quit my job.

I quit my job and today is the first day since leaving my secure government role that I actually feel like I don't have a job. My last day as Marketing Assistant was just over a week ago. Last week was spent visiting family in Victoria and hosting an engagement party at my parents house. Today my Fiance woke up and went to work while I guiltily slept in. When I got out of bed, about 8:30am, I looked around our empty 2 bedroom apartment and it finally sunk in... I quit my job.

It wasn't a decision I came to lightly. After all it was a secure job, in a field that I had studied in, clearing $1500 a fortnight with great flexible working hours and leave options. So why would I quit? Its a question I asked myself often, especially when listening to stories of other friends who earn less while doing more or not having a job since the floods. It made me feel selfish for wanting to quit, for wanting to voluntarily give up such a stable job. Maybe it is selfish.

I quit for a number of reasons, the largest being that I wanted to take a risk and follow my new found love for Graphic Design. Last year I graduated from Shillington College with a Certificate IV in Design. It was an amazing experience. It had been five years since studying Marketing and Commerce at uni and just to be in a learning environment again felt simply wonderful. I had been feeling numb at work, repeating the same steps each day, each week, each month, feeling like I wasn't ever actually achieving anything worthwhile. It was really scary to feel like I was loosing myself and feeling powerless to make a change. So after reading 'The Last Lecture' by Randy Pausch I finally took action and enrolled at Shillington College hoping that it would ignite my inner spark and make me feel like I was capable of something great again.

And that is exactly what it did. I remembered how much I love being creative and that there is the potential to make a living from this passion and talent. Growing up I was told by family and teachers that being creative wouldn't allow me to support myself financially. I should be a doctor, study physics and chemistry or be a business woman because I 'had the smarts' to do so. I hadn't really heard much about careers in graphic design at that stage, after all I did go to high school in a small country town (I mean small, the welcome signs says there are 2,300 residents). So I studied marketing and commerce at uni instead of art. I now plan on proving the 'use your smarts' people all wrong.

Let me say that I wouldn't be able to do what I am doing without the support of my fiance 'Lucky'. He has been my sounding board when I was deciding about quitting, helped me to work out if it was financially possible and supported me through the process. Most of all though, he believes in me. He believes in my ability and passion and makes me feel like I'm not crazy for wanting to follow this path.