2018 has been a really productive year for my art and I’m proud as punch to see how far I’ve come in these past 10 years. That’s right, back in 2008 I had my first exhibition and started sharing my work under the studio name ‘B.Inspired’. Now I run an online shop, sell at markets and instore in both Victoria and Queensland.
This year I entered the world of craft markets. It started off with a bang when I threw myself into the Mythical Markets, totally undrestimating the scale and popularity that the event would be. An overwhelming but exciting experience all the same, I’m very much looking forward to the next one happening later this month on January 26th. (And a wee bit more prepared this time around!) Check it out here for more details.
I had another two stalls at the Hills Art Market in Emerald (unfortunately no longer running) and one more recently at the Frankston Makers Market where I experienced a thunderstorm just after setting up. It was insane. Luckily for me though, anything that did get water damage was purposely aged anyway, so the water only added to the aesthetic. How’s that for a twist of fate?
I managed to paint this many paintings:
Including 30+ hand painted tags. Most of the paintings are quite small, the biggest one being around 40 x 30cm for my cousin’s baby boy. The little painting of Totoro is for my new niece who was born early in the year, so it’s been very exciting times with fresh new babes for me to smell 🙂
I made lots of interesting things from butterfly wing jewellery to artifacts to preserved faery skelletons and other odd things in between. A fascinating collection of curiosities if I do say so myself:
I did some design work over the year, a few logos and digital images which is always fun. I can’t share them all but here but there was one job in particular that was pretty amaze. And that is the logo and shop sign for the magical nook that is Minni & Rose in Clontarf, QLD.
Lower Image of work by Natural Magical Creative.
In August I was absolutely stoked to win a logo competition. It was for a political group known as the Smashed Avocado Movement. I love what they stand for and being able to design their logo was really exciting. It followed onto some further work and even today I’m still designing for them, so that was a big highlight!
Another highlight worth mentioning is the popularity with a tshirt design I created back in 2014 (I think..) for a Dark Crystal related competition I didn’t win. I uploaded the design to Redbubble and it recently started to sell. I’m not quite financially ready to buy a double story tree house in the forest, but I can probably afford to buy a few of these tees for myself. Happy as pie to know that there are people around the world actually wearing my design!*
*The design itself is part of the time symbol from the Dark Crystal, origionally designed by Brian Froud. This is my interpretation of it in the form of fan art
To finish off a great year I once again launched my Karma Star Christmas campaign where I make and sell stars for charity. I raised a total of $257 making lots of personalised stars this time which was really enjoyable. Even when it was midnight and I was working away on batches of stars to make sure they were ready to post the following day! Loved every moment.
This is the third year running and all funds raised are donated directly to the Cambodian Buddhism Association for Vulnerable Children.
I had one very personal star request in memory of a family member who had passed just before Christmas. It was very humbling to create something so personal to someone. I knew the people recieving these stars would be having a difficult Christmas and it bought tears to my eyes just thinking of them. An unforgettable moment, although sad, it was another highlight in my creative ventures.
So that’s a wrap 2018! It has been a whole lotta late nights and crafting fun, designing, creating and never ending sketches on scrap paper. I intend to continue on this journey in 2019 with 2 markets already booked and a secret project I’ve been working on behind the scenes that I hope to launch real soon..
Hope you all have a fantastic year!
Becky Bee of B.Inspired xx
Finally Spring is here, the days are getting warmer and I’m ready to crawl out of hibernation. I’m back. All Winter I’ve been really busy crafting and creating to stock up and prepare for upcoming markets. These items will also be avaiable online through my Etsy shop.
Check out my new treasures..
Glass lockets with ethically sourced butterfly wings
We all know I like a little bit of dead things, and how delightful are butterfly wings?
I was looking into casting butterfly wings in resin but decided it was a bit too messy a project for me to tackle with little people in the house. My next thought was to have some kind of glass locket to display the wings in a I found these beauties. They’re very strong, made with real glass and incase the wings firmly. The locket can be opened but not without a good tug on the latch, so the chances of these opening while wearing is very slim.
Miniature toadstools for fairy gardens
Handmade with clay, hand painted and sealed for outdoor use.
I love fairy gardens and lately I’ve noticed a lot of fairy garden ornaments available in shops which is totally rad. Fairy gardens hell yeah! But I had noticed any toadstools I bought tend to fade and haven’t been great quality. So, I made my own. There is quite a bit of work that goes into making these, but they’re sturdy, weather proof and look pretty sweet if I do say so myself.
Curiouser & curiouser kits
Tiny little boxes of trinkets to explore, create and inspire to go treasure hunting..
I had about 6 little blue boxes I’d bought for something else but they were too small. So I’ve been wondering what to do with them. I also found myself with lots of little glass bottles and some left over butterfly wings from another project.. then my mind starting ticking over. When I come up with new ideas for markets they have to be something I would like to own, and tiny boxes with little trinkets is something I am strangely drawn to. I made these for anyone esle who finds such things interesting, and I encourage you to collect items to add them to this wee box.
New range of art greeting cards
Thanks to all who voted on facebook, I made the selection based on the most popular cards and themes.
And of course.. lots more hanging toadstools. This may very well be the last batch before Christmas so if you’re keen to get one for a gift be sure to place an order soon!
If you’d like to hear more about the market stalls I will be attending, be sure to follow me on facebook. Otherwise my crafts can be purchased online through Etsy or send me a message via the contact page if you have any questions.
Thanks for stopping by!
Hello strange people!
We’re about half way through Winter here in Australia, so I’ve been hibernating. I don’t like the cold much but I do like cooking and crafting so there is a bright side.
Here’s some interesting artifacts I’ve been preserving, mainly faery wands and wisdom sticks. There is also a piece made with a large thorn, possibly used as a weapon.
Materials used in the creation of these artifacts appears to be a mixture of twigs, passionfruit curls, glass beads, silver beads, charms, twine and a thorn.
If you are keen to get your hands on one of these artifacts you can check out my Etsy shop or contact me to place an order.
Market season has come to an end.. for me anyway. For now.
I had three market stalls, not many but it was a nice introduction without being too overwhelmed.
The Mythical Markets were crazy insane and I think I accidentally tossed myself well and truly into the deep end with that one, but it was marvelous all the same!
Followed by The Hills Art Market in Emerald, which turned out to be a rather quiet day, the complete opposite to my first experience! It was a welcome change though, I was able to drink coffee and eat lunch. Winning.
Then after a few cancellations due to weather, I ended my market season with another Hills Art Market.. this time is was sooo cold! No rain luckily, only a few gusts of wind, and even though it was terribly cold I still really enjoyed myself and managed to make some sales as well.
Winter is coming.
Actually it’s still a month or so away but I’m one of those people who does NOT like the cold. I enjoy Winter when I’m inside with the heater on, cooking, crafting away under lamp light, and reading in bed. You’ll find me wearing my enormous purple fluffy dressing gown, unicorn slippers, and cuppa in hand. Always a cuppa.
So what’s next for B.Inspired? I have a few commissions to work on, and other than that I intend to keep crafting, painting, and keeping my Etsy shop updated. If you’d like to be in the know, be sure to follow me on facebook and on Etsy!
Oh there is one more thing.. I have a group exhibtion coming up! I’ve submitted two watercolour paintings into this years Belgrave Fire Brigade Art Show. All money raised goes to the Belgrave Fire Brigade and the amazing work they do.
Opening night will be Friday 8th June at the Belgrave Fire station.
If you’ve been following me on Facebook you may have read the wonderful news that our water well in rural Cambodia IS COMPLETE!
The well was built for a community in the Kilotacheom Village, Chikreng District of Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.
Thank you to the Cambodian Buddhism Association for Vulnerable Children for arranging the project.
The funds were raised over Christmas 2016 and 2017 by hand making and painting two collections of karma stars and selling them to a bunch of wonderful people.
I couldn’t have achieved this without their generosity and also with the help of everyone who liked, shared and commented on my posts.
We did this together, thank you.
I have been asked if I’ll do something like this again and the answer is YES! In fact I have already begun.. I currently have a campaign running to raise funds for a toilet in the same village where our water well was built!
The campaign is called ‘Adopt a Brick’ and you can read more about my crazy idea or make a donation right here.
But.. what about the karma stars?
As I need to raise $2000 I’d need to make about 200 stars which is crazy talk, even for me. However.. it just so happens that I have a handful of stars left, so I’m going to have a small sale on Facebook. I’ll have a few other artsy goodies to add to the mix so be sure to have a look if you’re interested! The sale will last as long as the campaign (ending in 34 days) or until stock runs out.
Go check it, right here!
The Hills Art Market
Memorial Ave. Emerald Vic
Saturday March 10th
9am – 3pm
I’m at it again, market number 2 is less than a week away and this time I feel a little more confident, and a little less organised. So I figure I’d tackle it the way I do life in general, try to be positive and stay up till the wee hours of the morning trying to get shit done. Too easy.
I have another batch of preserved faeries coming along for the ride, a stack of faery artifacts, gemstone jewellery and a few other odd things. I had little fortune scrolls at the last market which were a bit of a hit so I’ll be making more of those again to give away.
Faeries with flower clothing! I’d been wanting to try this for some time and finally I had the chance to so I did and they worked so well. I love Harbard’s faerie’s vest, it suits him so well.
Ok, back to organising.. still need to count stock, price everything, finish another miniature wizard’s nook, wish me luck!
I’m very excited to have finally updated my Etsy shop with a heap of new treasures!
My style has changed over the years and isn’t quite as bright and bubbly as it once was, but now a little darker and weirder.. like my soul. I’ve named my shop ‘Curiouser & Curiouser’. I’m still B.Inspired but I felt the shop needed a different name. Something to attract the strange folk, such as yourself.
You will find preserved faery specimens, miniature cupboards full of curious things, crystal and gemstone jewellery, lots of hanging ornaments and of course I have some cards and prints available too. Still to come is more jewellery, tiny things in bottles, a special edition of soaps in the making.. and some other surprises along the way.
My Etsy shop has never been fully stocked before, only a few items, but since the Mythical Markets I have found myself with lots of wonderful creations and I am just itching to make more.
To celebrate, I am offering free shipping (in Australia) for orders $50 or more! To take advantage of this offer, use the code FREESHIP50 during checkout.
‘You’re entirely bonkers! But I’ll tell you a secret, the best people are’ – Alice in Wonderland
Ah the Mythical Markets. It came, it went, it threw faery dust in my face. It was a whirlwind of curious characters, magical mayhem, and in its entirety it was beautifully bonkers!
Nothing could have prepared me for the craziness ahead, and considering this was my first real life market stall I really, really had no idea what I was in for. I thought I was pretty clever as I’d even remembered to pack tea and coffee, cos you know, I thought I’d have time to make a tea or coffee. Ha! Turns out there were 4 times more visitors than expected! There was a dense sea of people, pirates, faeries and warriors from all universes flooding the tiny Ferny Creek hall and it didn’t stop for 5 hours. The weather was hot and humid, especially inside, and to add to the madness I was taking part in the Faery Quest as ‘The Puzzle Box Lady’ for 2 hours, with an expected 200 players to come through. It was mental, but oh so marvelous!
Thankfully I had two amazing friends to help me, Kerry (of Nieko who also had some of her creations on display) and Jess, because there is no way I could have managed both the stall and puzzle box on my own. At least I had that part covered!
I learnt a few valuable lessons when it comes to preparing a market stall, which I will know for next time. Firstly, when people suggest you set up your stall at home to get an idea of how it will look, do it. Just do it. Don’t think to yourself ‘Meh, can’t be bothered, she’ll be right’ cos she aint be right and you’ll end up fussing about trying to make things fit, make them easy to see (Note to self – must get shelving of some kind) and last minute pricing while customers are gathering! But this is where my awesome friends came in to save the day, they managed the hell out of that stall.
But oh, the lovely people I met! Despite the heat and crowds everyone was in such high spirits and so friendly to talk to. And the costumes.. amazing costumes, I met unicorns, an owl, a gentleman dressed in full armor, demons, goblins, a peacock, just to name a few. (I wish I had photos of them to share)
Playing the Puzzle Box Lady was so. much. fun. Full on at times, but fun all the same! During the Faery Quest players had to find scrolls which had a map leading them to me in this little nook pictured above. I’d tell them I required payment of two blue crystals that ‘grow among the trees’ and send them back outside to search for them. Once they had the crystals I would show them the code on the side of the faery cabinet (above) for them to solve, which would tell them where the key was. The key opened the cabinet door and inside was a symbol they had to show to the gatekeeper at the cabin. How cool is that!? There was much more to the quest, but that was my part. It got pretty crowded in here for a while.
A quieter moment, two mythical beings working out the code.
By the end of the day I was exhausted! I had such a great time though, I feel that little bit wiser now, and inspired by all the beautiful things on display, the wonderful people with their stunning outfits and so happy I was able to be a part of it all.
Now, to get all my remaining stock uploaded to Etsy.. stay tuned!
Another year has flown by and is coming to a close, so it’s time to reflect back and see where I’ve come from, what I have achieved, and where I’m headed.
2017 started off slowly on the creative side of things, I have spent the year at home with my wee little newborn Toby (now 1) and sprouting little young man Oscar who’s four. Needless to say, I’ve been very busy, but as always I’ve managed to find time to myself to get my craft on.
Most of my crafting time this year was spent working towards my very first market stall, something I have been wanting to do for a very long time. An opportunity arose to have a market stall at the ‘Mythical Markets’ which as the name suggests, has a mythical theme.
This is it! And to make matters even more amazing the market was to be held in Ferny Creek, at the exact location I got married, naw! AND to top all that off even more, I’d just finished ‘The Faery in the Key Cabinet’ WHICH the story is based in.. *drum roll*..
Now if that’s not the universe working it’s weird magic and guiding me I don’t know what is. Then, due to severe weather warnings, the market ended up being postponed.
But all is well! It has been rescheduled for January 27th so I have more time to make more lovely things! If you are interested in attending, please follow the link here for more information. Speaking of, here’s a snippet of my collection so far..
There seems to be a bit of an unusual, weird, old, oddity type theme happening here.. so I’m going with that and called me shop ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’ curious things for curious souls. I’ve made lots of faery specimens, 11 in total. I also made heaps of gemstone bracelets, oil diffuser bracelets, faery wing earrings, hanging toadstools, dream catchers, faery artifacts, bottles of curious things, butterfly hair clips.. the list goes on! Basically I’ve been living my dream making all the things and it has been pretty bloody brilliant. I intend to do this lots more in 2018. And keep my Etsy shop well stocked, at least I will try!
One of the faery specimens I started over a year ago, it is an interactive artwork called ‘The Faery in the Key Cabinet’. As mentioned earlier, it has a background story based in Ferny Creek. This piece is a mystery: how did the faery get there? Who put her there? And where are they now? There’s a secret code to show you where the hidden key is to open the door, inside you will find letters and clues to help you piece the story together.
I also started yet another hobby earlier in the year.. yes another.. soap making! Starting simple I bought a melt and pour soap making kit and a variety of essential oils to play with. Oh yeah. Good smelly fun. I had a play around and I’m still learning but hopefully next year I’ll give it a go making soap from scratch. For a beginner though, melt and pour is a good starting point.
Another project that I worked very hard on this year was my entry into Toy to the World. This was the 4th TTTW event and exhibition, and also the 4th time I’ve been part of it. This year I entered 2 bears, one 5” bear called ‘Totem’ and one 10” called ‘Funghi Town’
The event was a huge success and I was absolutely thrilled to come 2nd place in the People’s choice awards for my 10” bear and an Honorable mention 4th place for little Totem! Wow! Both bears sold raising $297 between them for the Australian AIDS Council, so I’m pretty stoked about that.
I completed 7 paintings, 2 of which were very tiny. Painting has become risky business with little people around and painting at night isn’t doing my eyesight any favours, so I haven’t been able to paint as much as I’d like.
Above: Toadstool Mansion, Snap Dragon, Cat Lady, Shluggy, Seacrets, Cat in Suit and Mini Toadstool (untitled)
Shluggy and Snap Dragon were both painted for the Dark Crystal Character Competition held towards the end of the year. I didn’t have much time to work on my entry but I was happy I managed to enter something. Characters had to come with a background story, below is my complete entry. Winners are yet to be announced, and the winner may see their character in the upcoming Dark Crystal TV series!
Phew.. I really have been busy. But wait, there’s more..
I was honoured to be the photographer at 3 weddings in 2017. It’s really something else being able to document such a special day, I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to do so. I love weddings!
And just when I thought I couldn’t cram anything more into what has been a fairly productive year, I whipped up some more Karma Stars just in time for Christmas. Thanks to all my amazing friends and followers, I sold just enough to cover the costs of donating a water well to a small village in rural Cambodia – a fundraiser I started last year and was able to complete this year! In total we raised $475 which is incredible! That’s enough to build the well, cover transfer fees and anything left over will remain with the Cambodian Buddhism Association for Vulnerable Children.
The above image is for a well my sister and I donated last year, so you can see what it will look like. Yes there is a slight error in the spelling of my name, which I think is hilarious but they did fix it up so it no longer says ‘Rebella’, not that I mind!
Overall it has been a very productive year and the highlight has been donating the well for sure. I’m so looking forward to the Mythical Markets being held on the 27th of January in Ferny Creek, what a way to start my crafty adventures for 2018! Perhaps I’ll see you there?
I’ve been working merrily away on a miniature Wizard’s cupboard and it’s finally complete! I say finally.. when in fact it only took me a couple of weeks (only working on it for a little bit each day) and it came together quite quickly without any hiccups. Love it when that happens..
I had a little shadow box and wasn’t sure what to do with it.. then good ol’ Pinterest throwing me random suggestions sparked something in my brain and I knew what it had to be. A miniature cupboard with magical things inside! I had so much fun making and collecting all the teeny tiny bits and pieces to bring my magical cupboard to life.
The contents includes bottles, skulls, books, scrolls, a candle, key, crystal ball to name a few.. and there also happens to be some golden treasure hidden in there too.
I secured most of the pieces with blu-tack so they don’t roll around, but also so you can take everything out and explore. Each scroll has something written or drawn on it too. The books are blank though, to write your own notes and secrets.
This little cupboard which I have called ‘The Wizard’s Cupboard’ will be available at my very first market stall, at The Mythical Markets held in Ferny Creek, Victoria on December 2nd.
My bears are complete for Toy to the World 2017!
Meet ‘Totem’ the Animal Spirit Guide and ‘Funghi Town’ where we’re going down, down, down, down, down down down.. to.
These guys will be exhibited at the Toy to the World exhibition being held in Prahran, Melbourne opening night October 11th.
I’m really pleased with the results, they’ve both turned out the way I’d hoped they would. I had no major issues either so that was a bonus.
Materials I’ve used on my vinyl toys are: Acrylic paint, matte varnish, sculpy modeling clay, hot glue, PVA glue, faux moss, faux plastic plants (which I painted) and both are glued to a wooden base.
Totem’s staff is made using a twig, waxed twine, beads, peacock and guinea fowl feathers.
For more info and event details click here.
Toy to the World Project is back for 2017 and I’m really excited to take part in it again. TTTW is a charity event and exhibition that raises funding for HIV support and research. Artists customise a vinyl Popobe bear which are then exhibited and auctioned.
You can read more about the Melbourne based event here.
This years exhibition Opening Night is Wednesday 11th October 2017 @ ArtBoy Gallery 99 Greville st. Prahan from 6pm.
I’m currently working away on two bears, they’re not finished yet but I thought I’d share some progress pics because sooo much detail is going into them. I’m aiming to kick my past years entries’ butts.
This is my set up.. 101 things happening at my computer desk. No shame.
(Desktop Image by Von Wong Photography)
I’m using Sculpey to make all the little toadstools and Derivan Matisse acrylic paints. These will be for the large 10 inch bear.
This little guy is my 6 inch bear. I painted him with acrylic paint (at least 2 coats) and added a protective layer using Jo Sonja’s Matte Varnish. I still need to add the accessories: necklace, staff/wisdom stick and antlers.
To be continued..
I’m at it again, making more of these creepy little critters.. dead mummified faery specimens!
This time around I’ve added a few extra details like jewelry, hair beads and I’m also experimenting with real insect and butterfly wings. The back of each piece will have a label which includes the specimen # and the faerie’s name. (or if unknown it will be the title of the artwork)
Two were recently in an exhibition at Rustic Simplicity in Alexandra, Victoria which is pretty sweet. It’s been a while since I exhibited anything. I’m very excited to say they were both lucky enough to find new homes! So I have since been working merrily away on making lots more. I’m planning to have a market stall later in the year (and maybe one even sooner!?) so it’s nice to have something to work towards. I’ll be/am making lots of other goodies for my stall so I’ll try my best to keep you updated.. or you can always check out my facebook and instagram for behind the scenes pictures.
Of course if you’re not local but are interested in a faery of your own, shoot me a message and I can arrange to put some in my Etsy store.
The Faery in the Key Cabinet.
Or should I say the Mystery of the Faery in the Key Cabinet! But that was too long for the heading. Point is, this little masterpiece holds a secret and it’s up to the possessor to unravel the story..
The story begins with a dead faery locked inside a cabinet. The mystery is, WHO put her there? WHY? And WHERE are they now?
This is a one of a kind, never done before (to my knowledge) interactive mystery artwork! Not only is it a beautifully macarbe and unusual piece to hang on your wall, it has a series of clues to lead you through and find the answers to those mysterious questions.
On the back of the cabinet is an envelope and inside is a letter to the possessor and a newspaper clipping to set the scene.
Each detail is handmade, dyed, written, created and/or designed. (Except for the cabinet, I bought that) Needless to say, I have spent a lot of time working on this little beauty. It has been a work in progress for about a year.
On the side of the cabinet is this secret code which will tell you how to get inside the cabinet. Can you work it out? (I’ve given you a clue by rotating the photo.)
Once inside the cabinet you will find a collection of keys, green moss and the rest of the puzzle. There are diary pages, a scroll and sealed envelope which will lead you to a hidden message to complete the story.
Pretty cool huh!? I think so! I hope to enter her into an exhibition sometime but until then, she’s hanging out with me in my loungeroom.
It’s magical.. it’s rainbow.. it’s unicorn chocolate.
Yeah, you read that right.
Oh my goddess this stuff is super easy to make and you can totally twist the recipe to create anything you wish. Choose your own colours, flavours, sprinkles, dried fruit, nuts, go crazy!
I found this recipe by the delightfuly creative and quirky Katherine Sabbath on her instagram account. She’s the Queen of colourful treats. If you’re not following her you soon will be, check out her amazing talent right here.
For my version of this recipe I used:
(You can find Katherine’s original recipe here.)
Line a tray with baking paper to start with and prepare all your toppings so they’re ready to go.
Melt the chocolate in short bursts in the microwave. I put mine in for about 15 seconds and stirred until completely melted. Add a few drops of food dye at a time. I used pink, blue, then both to make purple and left one container without dye.
Pour melted chocolate onto the tray and swirl using a skewer. I wasn’t able to take pictures because the chocolate was already beginning to thicken so I had to work quickly! Sprinkle on your toppings and put in the fridge to set.
Once it’s ready just break it up into large pieces! I put these into lolly bags for a birthday party but they also make amazing cake decorations!
After making my very first ever batch of soap and still feeling productive.. I washed everything and jumped head first into another batch I wanted to try out.
For this soap I wanted to blend calming, relaxing scents and try adding a natural colour with Brazillian purple clay. I had grand ideas of swirling the purple into a pure white soap but that didn’t happen.
From the soap base sampler pack I chose to use the Shea butter for this soap. I also selected Lavender, Chamomile and Bergamot essential oils, the Brazillian purple clay as mentioned and I remembered a bag of dried lavender I had so what the hell I’ll use some of that too.
I melted down the 500g Shea soap base and figured I’d just use it all in 5 of the 6 x 100g sections of my mould. But THEN I found an old chocolate mould I had and thought I’d try making soaps with that too. Of course once I use the mould for soap I can’t go back and use it for food but that’s ok I hadn’t used it in years. It’s for soaps now.
Before the soap had completely melted I sprinkled some dried lavender into 2 of the moulds. This is all a learning experience for me so I may as well try a few ideas as I go. The other 2 soaps I would sprinkle the lavender on top like I did with the oats on the bee soaps.
Tip: Don’t be too rough trying to scrape down the sides – notice the soap sprayed onto my drawers? At least it’s an easy clean up!
When the soap base had melted I added 10 drops of each essential oil and stirred well. Very carefully I poured the mixture into 4 of the moulds leaving enough room to add some purple. When I poured into the moulds with lavender it immediately pushed the lavender away and I couldn’t see exactly what happened but I knew the sprinkling idea hadn’t worked, the tiny pieces of lavender were probably too light and didn’t stay put. Lesson learned.
I made sure I left some melted soap in the jug and I mixed about 1/2 a tsp of Brazillian purple clay with some water then added it to the left overs. It was a very grey colour to begin with. However by the time I added it to the soaps they had already hardened enough that the purple didn’t mix! It just layered itself on top. I tried poking around with a skewer but it was no use and my swirling idea flew out the window. Lesson 2 learned. That’s ok though, the layer effect would look cool anyway. I added some lavender to the top of 2 of them and let them set. Meanwhile I’d also poured some mixture into the chocolate mould too.
Can you tell what they are?
Time to wait..
24 Hours later was the best part.. popping out my soaps and checking them out! The scent was really strong. It was lovely, but my almost 4 year old didn’t like it one bit. He kept telling me it was too stinky and asked me to take it out of the room. HA!
Here you can see the two bottom soaps had the lavender in the mould and as a result it has dispersed through the soap. I quite like the look of it actually. The one on top obviously had the lavender sprinkled on top which I think I prefer. The other soap I made had the lavender fall off completely so I musn’t have pressed it down into the soap properly or maybe the soap had dried too much. Lesson 3.
All the soaps!
They were teapots and tea cups! Very tiny these soaps are but they’d make good travel size soaps. Perhaps with green tea.. oh so many more ideas to try!
Making soap is one of those things I’ve wanted to try for a long time but the whole corrosive acid thing kinda scared me off.
But recently I started looking into it and it didn’t seem so scary afterall. What’s even better is you can start off with a simple melt and pour method where you melt a pre-made soap base so you avoid using the acid (lye) alltogether. They even come in ready to go starter kits! Excellent.
I still want to try out making soap from scratch but I thought I’d give this a go first. So I went online and ordered me a shit tin of samplers. (For those unfamiliar with Australian slang, a ‘shit tin’ means a lot)
Like a kid in a candy store..
I bought all this from Aussie Soap Supplies and the utensils were from the supermarket.
Pictured above is:
Melt and Pour soap making is just as the name suggests. You melt the soap base, add your scents and colours, then pour the mixture into a mould to set. It doesn’t even need curing, so it’s ready to use once it has hardened.
When I finally had a free afternoon and the kids were asleep and/or occupied I set out to make me some soap. First up was the Oatmeal soap kit.
Please note – The Oatmeal kit came with a fragrance oil which is not an essential oil. Both are different and therefore treated differently so be sure to do some research before using.
For this recipe I used a soap mould that had 5 x 50g sections. (250g total)
I chopped up and weighed 250g of Oatmeal and Shea soap base. Chopping it into little cubes makes it easire to melt. I melted it in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time (They say 30 seconds on low but I didn’t know how to change the settings on the microwave so I went with 10 seconds to be safe) in a glass measuring jug, stirring each time. The base melted faster than I expected but also hardened quickly so I had to work fast.
Once melted I added 1 tbls of honey and about 50 drops of Wildflower Honey fragrance oil. Then I spritzed each mould with alcohol and carefully poured the mixture into each 50g bee soap mould. After that I spritzed the soaps with alcohol again to pop the bubbles. I’m not entirely sure why you need to spray the moulds before pouring the soap but that’s what all the youtubers say so I’m going with it. Watch out for the fumes, they stiiink..
As a finishing touch I also sprinkled some oats onto the back of each soap.
I left the soaps for 24 hours before taking them out of their moulds and taking them on a photoshoot.
Ta da! How cool do they look? The smell is divine! The only thing I’d change about this recipe is that I’d prefer to use essential oils. But as a beginner I’m really happy with how these guys turned out.
The following photographers are so far the most inspiring I have come across. They’re the artists behind the work that makes me want to try and create amazing pictures, send my imagination into a tizz and explore new ideas.
I could happily gaze over their work all day, in fact I have. Many times.
I’ve put them in the order I discovered them, the first being the key to why I wanted to buy a DSLR camera in the first place.
Joseph is the reason I became interested in photography. I found his work for ‘Time of the Faeries’ on a postcard which arrived with a book I’d bought, and immediately I looked him up and fell in love with his photography.
The layers of costuming and accessories create these punk styles for his faery world. He also explores Vampires, Angels, Street Fae, Spirits and other mythical, magical beings in his series of books.
I have been following Kirsty for quite some time, as she created each and every detail for her ellaborate images that are truly breathtaking. Each costume and prop has been hand made by Kirsty herself, sometimes taking months or even years to complete.
Following her journey through overcoming grief by escaping to these extraordinary places, she writes a diary online explaining the artworks and their creation. So much work goes into each picture, sometimes waiting months for the ideal season in which to take her photos. Her collection is now available in her book ‘Wonderland’.
Brooke’s work is the ultimate creepy cool.. her images are beautiful and delightfully odd, sometimes even a bit unsettling. Her work is very clever in that she creates these stories using a simple prop or two (if any) and she’s happy to share her process which you can find on youtube. It really is fascinating to watch her work from start to finish.
The moment I laid eyes on Kindra’s work I was in love. Her images look like fairy tales bought to life, full of magic and adventure. The costumes, styling, props and locations all together create the most beautiful and whisical photographs that have a story of their own.
Two of my favourite things to photograph is my children and natural light. Elena, in my opinion, is the Queen of these two subjects. And to top it off she manages to get animals in her pictures too. The result as you can see is breath taking. Special moments together with moody light and incredible colours create wonders.
Benjamin Von Wong’s work is epic. Totally off the scale. He goes to extraordinary lengths to create his photographs and it certainly pays off. From under water shoots to storm chasing, fire twirling and even collecting hundreds of thousands of empty bottles.. he’ll do what it takes.
Not only are his images incredible and the amount of work that goes into them absolutely amazing, but he also uses his work to create awareness for environmental issues such as climate change, pollution and protecting wildlife to name a few.
Dorothy’s work is just beautiful, taking on the old fashioned style of photography along with these divine vintage backdrops and costumes. Her attention to detail is incredible and it certainly pays off with these immaculate results.
I have been having a ton of fun playing around with my new watercolour set!
Check out that brush that came with it! I’ve never seen one before. You can take the top off and fill it with water, so as I paint I can give it a squeeze for more liquid, it’s genius! I’m probably the last person to even find out about this but I’m so bloody wrapped I have. It’s the gift that keeps giving!
Oh my goddess, let me tell you – it is so much easier having a palette of paint ready to go when you have children.
I used to wait until I knew I had at leasttwenty minutes to myself then work out the colours I needed, squeeze out paint from each tube and try to use it up before it dried. This was quite difficult to acheive when you’re being interrupted by two sweet little cherubs and a darling husband.
Dry watercolour from a tube can be reused but only as a light coloured wash (in my experience anyway) and it can also become gritty, leaving little chunks of pigment on the painting.
All I have to do now is wet my paint brush and away I go!
And away I have gone indeed. I started off trying to paint a feather which turned out to be tricker than I expected. Next thing I know I’ve painted 20 feathers. Then I just kind of went with whatever inspired me at that very moment.
I might also add that I’ve never had lessons in watercolour, I’ve always made it up as I went. Now I’m starting to look up tutorials on youtube and it’s like I’m seeing with new eyes! Gosh these paints rock!
Fun fun fun!
And what’s this.. a portrait? Not my strong point but I would like practice more. So I did. Do you know who it is?
2016 was a big one for us, with the purchase of our first home in April and the arrival of our second little cherub, Toby! So understandably I was a little slow on the creative side, but I did manage to have a fairly productive year, considering.
I completed four watercolour artworks including two illustrations ‘Caleb Clarke’ and a remake of ‘Darcy Plum’. (the first painting of Darcy had some additional squiggles from my 2 year old) I also painted ‘Windswept’ for a magical fairy gift box and ‘Toby’s Dragon’ for our new little man. And I finally got around to painting toadstools on a piece of wood I had.
Just recently I contributed to a colouring in book for Rafiki Mwema, to raise funds for their children’s home. The book is available now on their website, check it out! The theme was ‘Africa’ so I drew an African warrior goddess to represent the fighting spirit of the young girls living in the Queen’s Castle.
To make up for lack of artworks last year I did do a lot of crafting, so here’s what went down..
I had a lot of fun putting together the Magical Fairy Gift Box! Complete with little letters, trinkets, surprises, and the original artwork ‘Windswept’ hidden in the lid.
DIY’d the hell out of a little chest of drawers for baby, from hubby’s hard rubbish pile to nursery ready.
I made a batch of hanging toadstools, a handful of minis and a few dream catchers. Leading up to Christmas I became all crazy eyed with festivity, making lots of decorations with Oscar and singing carols. Yes, loudly.
Also during the festive season I made a little fund raiser to build a well in cambodia and it was a huge success, selling all my Karma Stars within 48 hours and raising $225!
Not a lot happened on the photography side of things.. but I was a finalist for one of the weekly competitions with Camera House for their theme ‘Family’ with the picture below left. They also used my image from the year before as one of their top favourites, woo hoo!
I attended my first ‘Blog hop’ taking part in the annual Mad Hatters Tea Party by A Fanciful Twist. It was an interesting way to meet other artists and bloggers by inviting them to my online party and popping into all theirs for some virtual tea and cake. Also made for a fun photoshoot.
And finally I entered a ‘through the looking glass’ comp for Threadless, which I didn’t win but I put a lot of work into my entries so I can’t not share it again.
Oh so much work.. but a good learning experience too.
Bring on 2017! I hope to focus more on my Etsy shop and work towards having a market stall at some point. I’d really like to paint a bit more too, but I’ll see how I go being home with 2 kidlets this year, I have a feeling I’m going to be one super busy mama.
To be continued..