straight up: illustration


Creativity lost; Creativity found

I started this blog with the aim to extend my creativity in my everyday life and force myself to experiment with different approaches to Illustration and Art. Sadly, time has forsaken me… But as I reflect upon this, I realize that while I may not have been pro-actively creating my own Art – I am constantly surrounded by creative forces that enhance my world.

So what have I been doing over the last few months that has quenched my creative thirsts?

1. I learnt how to sew a Bra at Booby Traps.

This was a really fun day! Even though I didn’t finish the bra that I was making, it was a good experience to have!

2. I have been over-sharing on Instagram

I seem to have an array of photos of the food that I eat and the clothes that I wear…..!

3. I have gone on an #epictrip2012 to Wales, London and Paris

Seeing the sites, shopping and eating wonderful food was a creative expression in itself! I went to all the galleries that I could and admired the array of street art! It was an amazing 3 weeks!

4. I got engaged!

Hidden in my suitcase when I was overseas and engraved with “Will you Marry Me?”

5. I have been guiding my Year 12 students to HSC success

This is probably one of the things that has most taken the creativity from me! I have been giving it to others!!! But, I am very proud of them!

My classroom!

So where does this leave me now?

Well…. I have decided to experiment with some Jewelry making and am quite pleased with the progress that I have made!

Here is a sample of my necklace, now available on ETSY!


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The Bake Off!

It was my little sisters birthday last week. She is studying to be a chef.

So, my other sister decided it would be a brilliant idea to have a BAKE OFF  for her birthday cake!

Who has a bake off for someone who wants to be be a pastry chef!

So, I took on the challenge! I was going to win! I decided to combine my (minimal) baking skills with my creativity and create something that would blow her away!

I started by going to the designer kitchen ware shop to get inspiration… and I got these gorgeous patty pans.

When searching for cupcake recipes, I wanted something that WOWed! There were your usual chocolate, blueberry, vanilla ones… but I wanted something that would win the bake off and turn heads… That was when I stumbled across a ZUCCHINI cupcake recipe! As with many children growing up, my little sister did not like this vegetable, especially after my grandma once over boiled it and made her eat it! So, I thought for her birthday, this would be the perfect way for her to overcome this fear!

Thank you to Martha Stewart for the awesome recipe… I did adapt parts and made it my own though! (I put in choc chips and didn’t have walnuts!)


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 zucchini (10 ounces), coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cups of a standard (12-cup) muffin tin with paper or foil liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in nuts.
  3. In another bowl, combine zucchini, oil, eggs, and vanilla; add to flour mixture, and mix just until combined (do not overmix).
  4. Divide batter evenly among cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
  5. Cool in tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes; turn cupcakes out, right side up, and cool completely. Meanwhile, make frosting. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread frosting on cupcakes. The frosted cupcakes are best eaten within 1 day.
To match the patty pan holders, I put blue food colouring into the mix! It would also hide the colour of the zucchini in the mix. 

And then it was time to decorate! I went all out!

I think they looked really pretty!

When it came time to compare, I knew I was up for some competition!

Zucchini Cupcakes, Banoffee Pie, Apple Crumble

We made my little sister eat a tasting plate and  judge us!

And she ate them… and wouldn’t choose a favourite…

But she did say that mine won for presentation! WOOT!

Happy Birthday little sister! Love you!

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Ditzy Fish

It seems like a long absence since my last post… but I have been away, down south to get some sun and sand!

At the Beach

We all took some craft stuff to do… but instead I read my book and relaxed.

Now that I am back, I really wanted to experiment with a repeat pattern technique that I read about in a book.

The idea is that you create your design in quadrants, then cut them up and shuffle them around so that all bits match up.

I decided to create a design that I may be able to enter into the Spoonflower weekly contest. The theme is Ditsy sea creatures.

It was quite fun, though without a ruler, I didn’t cut the squares very straight, so it didn’t all line up perfectly.

Now to add some colour….

I then scanned the finished quadrants into the computer to realign and manipulate the image…

The Ditzy Fish textile design

Notice some bits don’t line up? That is OK… It was good to see how well this simple technique can work.

I uploaded the design to Spoonflower to see how it would work as a continuous repeat design….

Spoonflower repeat

I don’t think the design is resolved enough to enter into the weekly contest! But it is certainly a start and something that I can work on!


More Cushion for the pushin….

After my exhibition I have had lots of my fabric left over. If I had time I could make a whole dress collection!!

The quirky fabrics are all a part of my ALPHABETISM collection! Each letter of the Alphabet has a matching graphic…

Since November last year I have been creating Cushions using my fabrics. I think they really work because they are bright and crazy prints, but in cushion size, they are enough to highlight a room. I have also been giving them to people as unique handmade gifts!

A is for Aeroplane

E is for Engine

V is for Vacuum and L is for Light

G is for Gnome

Z is for Zombie

P is for Peacock

B is Babushka

And finally… not a part of the previous fabric collection… a fabric that I designed for Christmas…

Wouldn’t you love one of these in your lounge room to add some colour?

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Big Day Out

A friend posted on Twitter this morning and pinged me in to a competition that she thought I should enter.

The Big Day Art Competition

run by , they asked users to design the cover of their next print edition

  • All you have to do is send us your impression of an artist on the current Big Day Out schedule and upload your entry in the Festivals section of (then click onto Big Day Art page).
  • The prize? Not only will your entry appear on the front cover of Inpress/ The Drum Media/ Time Off, but the lucky winner will also win a pass to the Big Day Out plus CDs by Big Day Out artists. But it gets Bigger and Artier than that! To celebrate the BDO festival’s twentieth anniversary, we are also giving the winner exclusive prints of heritage BDO poster art.

Their suggestion was to run with the ‘handmade theme’ that is reflected in all Big Day Out Promo for 2012.

Instantly I was inspired by Frankie Magazine and their handmade aesthetic.

So I started by doing a watercolour illustration of a jar…

I love the texture and feel that watercolour can give!


To add the Big Day Out artist, I loaded the image into Photoshop and worked some magic….

I don’t really know what they are looking for… but I thought this was a cute idea… having the band in the jar with the label on it… Just like Jam!

Big Day Art competition

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Le Skull

Le Skull – Still life with Lobster and Croissant

Le Skull

I don’t really know what inspired me today… I started doodling a skull and decided he needed a moustache… one thing lead to another and I felt the composition needed some other Vanitas Still Life inspired objects. Thanks to the traditional Dutch masters, I created this illustration.

Still Life with Fish, Pieter Claesz

Oui Oui! You like?

Le Skull: Still Life with Lobster and Croissant

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It was a Hoot!

The New Year has come and I had a great start to the year! After a night of family fireworks and then a pirate party to bring in 2012, I spent the first day of the year at the Beach…

First day of the Year! 2012

Inspired by the colours of the fireworks and the desire to create some texture in my illustrations, I have experimented with some collage.

Getting creative.....

Using a colourful magazine that I had lying around, I cut into it to triangle pieces. I used these to create a feathered texture overlayed over the top of a gouached cardboard background. I really liked using the cardboard as it is not only a recycled material, but it gives a totally different feel to the work than watercolour paper does.

Once I had photographed the work, in Photoshop I digitally smoothed out the layers using the ‘paint daubs’ filter.

It really was a hoot….

It was a Hoot