Challenge #152 - Aquafleur

Firstly, thank you, thank you, everyone for the amazingly fabulous response to my e-book. I have been overwhelmed and very, very grateful for the support it has received. Love, love, love.

If you haven't seen it and are interested - you can check it out here, or click on the book image on the right side-bar to see what it is all about.

In other big news (well, to me anyway!) I have finally, finally figured out the issue with my images coming out with grey backgrounds when loading to the blog.......they just looked yuck and dirty and it was driving me crazy! So, now, I've finally been able to update my banner, sidebar, etc and have them looking how I want.

Now, time to get back to regular posting again......I've got some fun stuff planned for the blog and am totally excited for this year! You?

This weeks Diva Challenge...........Aquafleur.......sounds kinda familiar...I may have tried it once or twice........or 50 million hundred times.

I'm not obsessive........

(aquafleur flower - reminds me of a parrot tulip
with the wrong type of centre - more experimentation
required here).

I'm not compulsive.......

(aquafleur scroll)

according to the thesaurus I am, instead:



(done with my big blocky black marker then edges refined with
fine liner.....just to see if it would work in bold strokes. It did,
and was fun and fast to do, too.)

irresistible (ah.....yeah, really?....okay - I'll take it!)...............

(aquafleur blob thingy)

If you would like to see a video made up of photos showing how I've drawn this pic from start to finish, you can check it out on my Facebook page. It was my first time doing a photo video and it's pretty rough with lighting and kitty issues, but I'll definitely be giving this process another go.

Farm update: Jersey has had her calf (2 1/2 weeks ago) - last year she didn't deliver a live calf - we were so relieved to go out in the morning and see she had a gorgeous, healthy baby girl - this means we are back on the milking schedule after a 2 month break. I have gotten slack and have become used to staying up late drawing, so the 6am mornings have been a bit of an adjustment.

There's a lot of milk to go around.....so we get piglets. One has been an escape artist and 3 times when I went up to feed them, he trotted out across the paddock to meet me then happily skipped along, following behind, back through the gate to their paddock. Cute......but annoying. John has since fixed the fence so no more Houdini for that little pigster.

And......my grand-kitties Ollie and Bellie (Oliver and Bella). My little art room is the sunniest spot in the house.......makes me feel kinda sleepy, too. I'm not saying I lay on the floor and take a nap sometimes.....and I'm not saying I don't. LOL.

Have a fabulous day!


Flips Folds Ribbon and String e-book is here!

Flips folds ribbon and string is now ready! At last! Finally! It is here!
Almost a month later than I had planned, but it is done! Woohoo! (Just in time before I ran out of my yearly quota of exclamation marks, too!!)  I’m super-happy with it (though, I must say, this is mixed in with a huge dose of terror).

If you just want to race right ahead and buy it without going any further (my kind of person), go right ahead.

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Otherwise, I’ve got a little video for you – try not to be too scared, but in it you are going to see not just my hands, but, yep, my face, too (gasp!). I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to see how the book is set out and what it includes because, in my experience, e-books can sometimes be a bit of an unknown factor, you can’t look through them the way you can at the bookstore - and, admittedly, I’ve been disappointed a time or two. The last thing I would want would be for you guys to purchase the book expecting something totally different from what it is.

So, here it is – the Flips, Folds, Ribbon and String book preview.

Flips, Folds, Ribbon and String is the culmination of the technique questions that have kept cropping up on the blog. These are the ones that take more than a quick step out to explain.

I had initially thought of putting together a series of online workshops, but really wanted something a bit more lasting with lots of visuals, than a workshop would be able to provide. So, instead the focus of Flips, Folds, Ribbon and String became an e-book with video support. The videos are in my usual laid-back format similar to the pattern videos I’ve done previously and cover most of the techniques (and a few extra) featured in the e-book.

What’s inside
Flips, Folds, Ribbon and String is a 53 page digital e-book in PDF format. It's divided into 4 main sections, each including:
* Technique step-outs
* Tips
* Gallery inspiration
* Video tutorials (1.25 hours in total)

There is an interactive Table of Contents (see image here) allowing you to navigate throughout the book along with hyperlinks that will take you directly to the video content.

My goal for this book is to share with you my techniques for drawing Flips, Folds, Ribbon and String – breaking them down and making it easier to understand so that you can put these processes to work in your own drawings. I’ve used lots of step-outs, alternative approaches, tips and finished drawings to illustrate my techniques. At the end of each chapter is a gallery with 4-7 completed drawings to help inspire your own creations.

And, as we all learn best in different ways, the supporting videos have been created to demonstrate many of the how-to techniques featured through the book first hand. The best of both worlds, I think!
Flips Folds Ribbon and String only US$15.00.
Add to Cart

Payments can be made by either Paypal or Credit Card.
Purchase Flips, Folds, Ribbon and String by clicking on the "Add to Cart" button above - this will open up the shopping cart, select "Check out with Paypal" - you will then have the option of paying with either a Paypal Account, or credit card.
Thank you! I hope you're going to love it!

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drumroll please.........and the winner is..............?

Wow, what a huge response to my cover choice post - I was blown away - you're all amazing - I expected maybe 20 or 30 comments. LOL. Thank you all for your input. Love, love, love.

So, as I said, we had planned a very scientific response to picking a winner, I was all for getting the kittens (Erin's Christmas present this year - brings our total to five cats, and me two steps closer to being officially labelled as "That Mad Cat Woman from Hoddles Creek".....yeah, that one! She has 100 cats, has conversations with them and never leaves the house - there may also be hoarding involved . Gets a glimpse into the future......likes what she sees! LOL!

Now, this is what Cat Ballot may have looked like..........but I'm not admitting anything, 'kay?

In the end we went for the more traditional method:

And, because Erin really, really wanted to pick out a number between 1 and 249, we decided we would give away two books today. She picked 19, so comment 19 :
2. Definitely 2. But they're both wonderful.
and, via the ballot:
Both are awesome. I agree with Susan and others that Option 2 is probably more visually consistent with the title of your book--so it gets my vote--even though Option 1 is my fav.
are the winners!
Congratulations :)
Could you guys email me  so I have the details in order to send your copies of the book when it is all ready to go? I'm getting close and it shouldn't be too much longer, now :)
Thanks again everyone!


aquafleur feather 2

Wow, guys, I never expected such a huge response to my cover option post - thanks so much for getting involved, and for anyone who still wants to vote there's plenty of time - just put your choice into the comments section of the e-book cover post to be in the running for a free copy of the book when it is ready to be released.

This afternoon, the lighting is right, there's no pressing jobs to do (I'm not counting the mountain of laundry that needs to be done.........I'm just closing the laundry door so I can't see it!), and I am setting myself up to start working on the supporting videos for the book - super-excited to get onto this next stage :)

This feather is very inspired by Carol Ohl's super magical Christmas tree. I think I'm now done with attempting this pattern for the time being, hopefully at some point there'll be some step-outs posted publicly so I can see where I'm going right/wrong - I still feel like I'm missing something.

Have a great day! The sun is finally shining here again in beautiful Hoddles Creek (we've had an unseasonable cold snap over the past week) and it is fabulous!



E-book cover peeks - help me choose :)

Things are progressing. I have put together two cover options, and, you know what's interesting? John and I prefer one, my two girls the other. I kinda thought everyone would just love the one I preferred more. Pffft. What's up with that?

So, I would love it if you wanted to get involved and help me choose a cover (I'm not going to tell you which one I like better - it's totally going to be whichever one most people prefer. LOL!)

In turn for your fabulous input, I will be giving away a free copy of the e-book (this will be sent when it is ready and available for sale).

So, how to vote - just leave a comment indicating which cover option you prefer. Don't forget to leave your name! I will probably go for a hi-tech randomised winner selection process like getting my daughter to pick a number between 1 and whatever number of people voted. Yeah, I'm totally down with all the cool interweb gizmos. LOL.

Voting will close Sunday 12/1 9am AEDT.

So here they are:

Cover Option 1

Cover Option 2

Thanks and good luck!


aquafleur? feather

I am so glad that my husband went back to work today - the two weeks he had off over Christmas just about killed me with all the stuff he needed help with. Hay carting and cows. Over and over. Again and again. We had a huge drama with one of our cows on Friday - this cow has always been a bit of a troublemaker cutting through electric fences and once jumping over a high metal gate when we separated out some cows - she's pushy, too, but John has hung onto her because she has great calves. Anyway, she has developed an eye infection and we bought her into the cattle yard to administer the spray, we got that done and whilst getting the gates sorted she jumped the cattle yard gate (a tall, heavy duty metal gate). Well, the stupid thing got her leg caught over the top with her hoof caught on the 2nd top rung - we thought for sure she was going to break her leg before we could get it out - it was so horrible. She went down to her knees (with her leg still stuck over the gate) a few times whilst we were trying to get the gate off its hinges - eventually, when we almost had the gate off,  she somehow pulled free and, unbelievably, is only walking with a bit of a limp! Now though, she won't go near the cattle yards and jumps fences at will to get away from us so we are struggling to give her the medication she needs - a huge hassle every day. If we can get her eye right again, she is now slated to head off to market when our yearly crop go - she has become too difficult and dangerous to handle.

On top of this, yesterday I spent about 10 hours packaging up meat from the steer for our freezer.

I am desperately wanting to draw more, but the world (and John) are conspiring against me. So, I'm glad his holidays are over so I can finally have a break and get other things done!

So, Aquafleur, still playing around trying to nail this pattern from the samples I've seen online. This one has been worked it into of my favourite subjects - feathers. I have another two feathers in progress on the drawing board.

I think I'm getting a little closer though I'm really just taking my best guess on how this pattern is supposed to be drawn.



A New Year - so full of possibilities!

Happy 2014. A New Year. I love it! I just know that this year is going to be filled with an absolute explosion of creativity!! I cannot wait, and, I have the exclamation marks to prove it!

O.k., some stuff to get out of the way first:

* The e-book giveaway is finished - I sent my final mail out this morning. I had lots of fabulous feedback - thank you! I'm sorry if you missed out, but it was only for December and I did give it an extra day just to make sure.

* The new e-book - well, it's probably pretty obvious that I didn't get it done by late December - the end of year school stuff, Christmas, family/friend commitments and the hay carting just got away from me. I am still working away and am up to my final edits - I just keep thinking of more stuff I want to draw to get in there! I now have videos to tape and am looking at having it available mid-ish January. I'm way excited and hope you are too!

Back to the hay carting..............it's the gift that never stops giving, I tell you. If you've lived on a farm and annually lock/ed up your paddocks for hay, you'll know what I'm talking about. We do square bales and it wasn't so bad when we had all the kids at home but now it is just my youngest (15) and me (too old to be doing it), helping my husband. This year John messed up his setting and made the bales way, way, WAY too big and heavy - I could just barely lift some of them and we ended up bringing in around 800 - this usually happens in 35degC+ heat. Fortunately this year was a little cooler.

Right now the baler is broken with one more  paddock to go - it's only a small one and we have enough stockpiled for the cows, so is it bad of me to hope it doesn't get fixed in time? Yeah, probably - so let's keep it between you and me, o.k.?

These pics are from a few years ago - it's pretty much the same though now we have a larger trailer, some equipment to help get the bales on the trailer, the baby in the pic is now 15 (back then she was just along for the hay rides), my husband still looks pretty hot (literally and figuratively) - pretty sure he was wearing exactly the same gear this year  - eww, I hope it's been washed since then! And, site supervisor, Goldie had to be put down in 2013, aged16. We miss her.

Aside from the book I've managed to squeeze in a bit of other drawing here and there and had fun playing around with a bit of an aquafleur interpretation - I know it's not done correctly, my edges are round, there's no guideline, inner shading, etc, etc. - I was just inspired by what I'd seen and just went with what was happening once I started.

I hope 2014 is full of love, laughter, fun and creativity for all of you (and me!)