Hello, 2018, you are already nearly March

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Hello, everybody! No, I have not morphed into a little white bear with a flower crown, though I do feel completely bear-immersed, as we pass the half-way mark with my A Bear a Day auction (@abearaday90) on Instagram. It ends 31 March, so pop on over to see if there's a bear for you.

Scroll down to the end of this post to see the latest bears and their status, and a reminder that most of the unsold bears will be up for a buy-now sale during the first week of April. If you miss out on an original, Nuovo group have published over 60 of the bears (and more to come) as a greeting card range! They will be available at stores Australia-wide this month.

announcing ... See Hear

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Jess Racklyeft and I have been squirreling away on a sequel to our best-selling picture book Smile Cry (EK Books 2017, a CBCA Notable Book and winner of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Australia/New Zealand).

It's called See Hear and this one is a beginner's book of SENSES, perfect for toddlers right through to preschoolers and beyond. Here's the blurb...

Piglet, Bunny and Cat return in a charming, whimsical sensory adventure that encourages kids to explore the multitude of ways they can engage with the world around them, particularly via the senses of sight and sound.

From watching 'squiggly rain' on a window to pointing out 'heavenly horses' in the clouds, from hearing 'buzzing blossoms' as bees collect pollen and nectar to 'hot pan sizzles' as a favourite meal is prepared, See Hear invites us to open our eyes and ears to the everyday magic that surrounds us.

Younger kids will respond to the soft whimsical illustrations, while older readers will enjoy the onomatopoeic wordplay. Perfect for ages 3 and up, this is a book that will captivate children and parents alike.

Below is a sneak-peek of the interior, featuring Jess's truly divine illustrations. The book is available to pre-order here or you can pick it up instore or online from 1 April!

a bear a day - month one

Friday, 2 February 2018

I've so loved producing dozens upon dozens of bears for my A Bear a Day Instagram auction, and the first month was a hoot. Huge thanks to everyone who has bid. Most bears have sold, and those unsold will undergo a second-chance week from 1 - 7 April, where people can buy on the spot for a set price. Postage is free, worldwide.

In really lovely news, Nuovo Group are publishing over 60 bears I've created so far, as greeting cards. They will be available Australia-wide at newsagents, bookstores and other card stockists, from mid-Feb 2018 ...

For now, though, here is a line-up of the bears that have been up for auction in January! Two months to go.

the closure of the 52-week illustration challenge

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Today, the 52-Week Illustration Challenge has been archived. It's odd 'archiving' something that brought such happiness, produced the most beautiful community, inspired endless creativity and opportunity, and, quite frankly, changed lives, including my own.

Many people have asked why the Challenge closed, and my stock standard (and true) response, is that we never expected it to last a year, let alone four. Every single year, we presumed we'd close, but people stepped in, especially my dear friend and Challenge partner, Nicky Johnston, to keep it running. We 100% did this for our members, not ourselves. Our members were the reason it ran for so long.

a bear a day month one!

Friday, 26 January 2018

Cupcake bear - UP FOR BIDS TODAY

A Bear a Day has been in operation almost a month now, over at Ye Olde World @abearaday90 Instagram HQ. Above is today's cupcake bear, and she's available till 9am tomorrow, Saturday 27 January, Sydney time.

Here are some of the other kooky creations making a daily appearance... all have been sold, but there are three at the end of this post that are still available.

I'll be having a week-long second chance sale in the first week of April--all unsold bears will go for just $55 (these are all originals) unless snapped up beforehand, and I'm offering this option to my blog readers, in advance!

So check out the three unsold bears below and if you want one, hop on over to @abearaday90 on Instagram and leave a comment on the bear you want. First in, first served! Free postage, worldwide.

Bicycle bear - SOLD

Australia illustrated map window at Dymocks Canberra Centre

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Huge thanks to the beautiful Suzy, Meredith and the team at Dymocks Canberra Centre for this wonderful opportunity to squiggle and paste whales and birds and wombats all over their windows! This was a lot of fun and it's so cool to see the characters from my map swimming and flying free.

Check out the map here and head to the Canberra Centre sometime this month to take a peek! Thanks to my Ella Bella for her help, too.

happy new year with A Bear a Day!

Monday, 1 January 2018

A Bear a Day auction starts on Instagram today!

Just head to @abearaday90 for the very first original artwork, which will be live before 9am. You have just 24 hours to bid on each piece (daily artworks finish 31 March).

The bears and I will see you there!

Click here for how it all works.

new picture books to round out 2017

Friday, 29 December 2017

After some happy images to round out your 2017? I have them right here--recent picture book purchases/gifts that have knocked my socks off. I hope they knock your socks off, too. They're all pretty scrumptious.

goodbye 2017 (and a peek at my Christmas decorating)

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

It's hard to believe time could go any faster, yet each year scoots by so fast, we seemingly overnighterly find ourselves at December with bodies stock-still and heads spun 'round on shoulders like an empty tin can. At least that's how my head feels right now. Empty.

Yesterday, I could not remember what 11 minus 6 is, nor 15 minus 8.


It's been a huge year, a surreal year, a soul-crushing year and a heart-thumping-surprise year. How one could be pulled more tightly in opposing directions, I do not know. At once I'm thrilled and dreams-come-true-content with 2017 and yet hellishly disappointed and bereft. Disillusioned and inspired. Fulfilled and sucked dry. Deeply hurt and loved more than ever before.

It's been a decade whittled down and wedged into 12 breathless months. It's been an entire planet compressed and stuffed into each and every one of us, in an all-you-can-stomach smorgasbord of Too Much. Have you, too, felt like you've taken on both the pains and the joys of the world during 2017? And have you, too, drank more coffee than ever before in 2017??? Oh well, I suppose it was better than vodka.

Is it any wonder our brains are rattling--all that caffeine and all those burdens? Is it any wonder, some of us have reached the end of year 2017 feeling... well... sad?

a bear a day

Friday, 1 December 2017

I'm really excited to reveal a little project I've been working on for quite a few months now. You see, I like bears. A lot. Some might say I love them. So, I decided to create 90 bear illustrations as a way to stretch myself with illustration styles, and grow my skill set (highly recommend growing skill sets). Above and beyond all that, though, is that creating these little images made me very happy.

And now, I'm putting my fuzzy little friends up for auction...

One bear.

Every day.

For 90 days.

1 January to 31 March 2018

Original watercolour/ink paintings on A5 or A6 watercolour paper (vast majority on A6).

Auction daily on Instagram—abearaday90 

And... FREE post worldwide!

Anyone can bid on the bears, and yes, postage is free. The entire series of 90 auctions will be held on the abearaday90 Instagram page (click image below to access). You will need to have an Instagram account to bid.

How it works
  • Each new bear illustration will be posted to the abearaday90 Instagram page, commencing 1 January 2018 and ending 31 March 2018.
  • Each illustration will appear by 9am AEDT (at the latest) of each day.
  • The auction will last 24 hours, and will end at 9am AEDT on the DAY AFTER the illustration was posted.
  • Time is Australian Eastern Daylight Time (i.e. Sydney time).
  • All illustrations will commence at $45 (Australian dollars).
  • Bids can be made in the comments section of the illustration you'd like. Simply type the amount you'd like to bid, e.g. $67. Only bid increments of $1 or more are allowed.
  • The highest bid posted by 8.59am on the day after the illustration was posted, will win. Once the clock ticks over to 9am, bids close. I will post a comment to confirm the winner as soon as I am able, and I will direct message the winner with payment information.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Payment must be received by Paypal (only) within 24 hours of winning the image, along with your postage address. If you have an issue with paying, you would need to be in touch within those 24 hours, as if payment isn't received, the illustration will be offered to the next highest bidder.

I hope you have fun with this line-up of original bear artworks. It was a hoot creating them, and there's some real corkers for sale. It's going to be fun to surprise you each and every day for 90 days!

Email me if you have any questions.

the best Christmas gift of all... a book! (or a map)

Thursday, 30 November 2017


More stock has arrived! I have more maps (only 3), more books and all prints are again available. See more below.

I won't even mention how many more sleeps we have till Christmas... but there's not that many!!

If you, like me, are a rabid book giver during the festive season, and if you adore picture books and maps, I'm offering a limited amount of signed copies for sale. This is a rarity, and you won't see it happen again any time soon.

Just email me here--booksATtaniamccartneyDOTcom--with what you'd like to buy. This offer runs till 17 December or until stock runs out, so get in quick.

For single copies, the postage below is applicable (and is at a discounted rate). If you want more than one copy or want books and a map, I will let you know postage at checkout (it won't be more than $30 for quite a few items, and I can bind maps together so it's cheaper). If you live locally, in Canberra, I can bring your order to the ACT Writers Centre Christmas Party on 7 December or I can potentially drop it off if you're not too far from me--we can chat by email.

Merry Everything - $26 + $5 postage
Australia Illustrated - $30 + $10 postage
Smile Cry - $20 + $10 postage
Australia Map I have 3 more maps available! Be quick--they go quickly - $25 + $8 postage

Don't forget to let me know who'd you'd like the book signed to, and provide an address (Australian addresses only). If you're ordering a map, let me know if you'd like it signed on the front (near the title) or on the back.

I can accept Paypal or direct deposit (preferred).

And because it's Christmas, there will also be presents! For every book or map you order, you will receive one of the prints at the end of this post (you choose!). They will be sent with each book (or sent separately if you are buying a map, with free postage). Be sure to indicate the print/s you'd like.

Email me if you have any questions, and HAPPY SHOPPING!

(Click on each cover for more info.)




Choose your print! One print for each item you buy...

LEFT: Mammals Green ... RIGHT: Mammals Pink
(both from Australia Map)

LEFT: Birds Blue ... RIGHT: Birds of Kakadu
(left from Australia Map, right from Australia Illustrated)

LEFT: Daintree Leaves ... RIGHT: Great Barrier Reef
(both from Australia Illustrated)

LEFT: Italian Caffe ... RIGHT: Native Animals
(both from Australia Illustrated)

Australia Map launch wrap-up

Sunday, 26 November 2017

It was an absolute hoot to launch my Australia Map this morning at Harry Hartog in Woden (book launches are, like, sooooo passe). The kids huddled in to be taken on an Aus-wide tour, then it was under the pump to answer 20 questions about Australia (with lots of prompting). They actually did really well, and won some furry prizes and some prints of animals from the map.
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