Australia Map advance copy

Sunday, 15 October 2017

So exciting to FINALLY see my map with Hardie Grant Travel as a final, real life, trooly rooly map, in a tube and everything! It's been printed on the most beautiful writeable, wipeable paper and when you unfurl it, it doesn't stay coiled in a tight fist--it lies almost flat. Heaven!

There are, quite literally, NO spare walls in my house except this curved one at our entryway. It's like it was made for this map. Look how huge it is. It's HUGE!

Australia: Illustrated Map will be released this December, and will be available in stores Australia-wide, and online. I'll be having a map launch--yes, you read it right--we might have to crack a bottle of champagne against it--at Harry Hartog Woden (Canberra) on Sunday 26 November, so whack that in your diary, and check my EVENTS page for updates on how you can RSVP.

Have you ever been to a map launch? I haven't! What will I wear...

Dior exhibition

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

my H&M skirt! seriously!

Weekend before last, I headed to Melbourne for the launch of Merry Everything! (you can see the wrap-up here). It was an action-packed long weekend, catching up with beautiful people, and one of the absolute highlights (along with The Book of Mormon) was the Dior Exhibition at the NGV.

I promised a peek at my pics, so here they are. I also mentioned in my launch wrap-up post that I'd bought a skirt from H&M half an hour before seeing the Dior line-up--and was shocked to see an almost identical skirt in a Dior dress (and I'd thought 'how Dior!' when I bought the skirt). You'll see it in the image above.

My new publisher, Lisa Berryman from HarperCollins, was also seeing the exhibition that morning with a friend, so we met for coffee afterwards. We both marvelled at the gum nut head gear on one of the mannequins (see if you can spot it below), especially as we're working on a book on May Gibbs!

Enjoy this sartorial lust-fest. I'm still swooning.

merry EVERYTHING! book launch wrap-up

Monday, 2 October 2017

It was so nice to be 'home' in Melbourne this past weekend. I really, really miss this beautiful city, and although our trip was a whirlwind, it was enriching and so very special, filled with fabulous experiences and people.

We arrived last Thursday, checked in to our superb little North Fitzroy apartment, and had dinner with the fam. Then Friday morning, I leapt on the tram for the city. Forgetting it was an AFL public holiday, I sat, bereft, outside H&M, awaiting its (late) opening, then barrelled inside and picked up a few scrumptious bits, including the the most 'Dior' fairy-floss-pink layered skirt (only one left, in my size!).

I then hightailed it to the National Gallery of Victoria to see the Dior Exhibition. Gasp. Fast-forward through the following pics if this is not your thing, but how could it NOT be? It was just, just--no words. Absolutely brilliantly done, too, with creations spanning many decades, including many eye-popping vintage pieces. And it was a little bit freakish to see my pink H&M skirt at the exhibition!! (albeit in dress form, below). Stay tuned for a blog post with a billion eye-popping photos.

KBR has a new look!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Kids' Book Review has been loooooong overdue for an upgrade, and it's been tough to carve out the time to create something of late. I'm working on a series of bears right now, so I simply added another five to my cache... et voila - here are your new KBR hosts. A bevy of bears. (And yes, I know the koala isn't technically a bear, but he's OUR bear, so there.)

Do stop by and check it out, and maybe read up on some sensational kids' books at the same time.

I have an Etsy store!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

After quite a few requests to buy some of the artwork from my books, I'm delighted to announce my new Etsy store!

I'm selling both regular and giclée prints of my book artwork, some 52-Week Illustration Challenge artwork and some exclusive prints of animals from my upcoming Australia map.

I'll be adding to the shop over the next month or two, in the lead-up to Christmas. I hope you find something you might like to add to your wall or the Christmas stocking... I've had some giclée prints done and they look stunning!

Merry Everything book launch is coming up!

Friday, 15 September 2017

Merry Everything is in da house at The Little Bookroom!

If you're in Melbourne, come along to our book launch (that's Jess Racklyeft and me) on Saturday 30 September at 10.30am.

OMG, that's soon! If you come along, you may score a Santa hat and a candy cane (just saying...)

studio revamp

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

It's spring! 

And we all know what happens.




It's a primal thing, methinks, because on the weekend, I was seized by the desire to do over my studio. I really liked my 'old' studio (below) but was hankering for something a little more streamlined... and all the beautiful illustrations from friends and colleagues were starting to fade in the dazzling light that fills my sacred, north-facing space.

greeting card winners!

Monday, 4 September 2017

Thank you to everyone for entering my little card comp. For goodness sake, you made deciding so tough!!! Such sensational responses, and I loved all your card ideas. I might just have to create some of these--so watch this space.

Anyhoo--let's get down to it... here are the winners...

Pack 1: Mrs B
Pack 2: Em Callaghan

Please email me here with your best postal address, and I'll pop these in the mail! Remember, you'll have one week to respond, and if I don't hear from you, I'll pass your set on to another winner.

Thank you, everyone! I hope you see my cards out there somewhere. If you do, send me a piccie!


the reading hour event

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Next Thursday, 14 September, is the Australian Reading Hour. What is it, you ask? Well, you choose one hour of your day to snuggle up on the couch or run a deep bath or jump on the treadmill or sit under a tree, and read a book!

You can read it to yourself. You can read it to a child. The child could read it to you. Or someone could read a book to a teddy bear. The choices are endless!

To celebrate The Reading Hour, seven authorly friends and I--all SCBWI members--got together at Woden Library in Canberra (thanks, Pam and Sam!) for a wonderful event--two hours of stories with a bunch of fabulously engaged kids.

Things kicked off with Kerry Malone, reading two books, including her gorgeous You Can Do It, Joey!

August happenings and May Gibbs Fellowship!

Monday, 21 August 2017

It's been an icy August this year in Canberra, but lots of toasty things happening to warm things up.

Some super special news is that I've received a May Gibbs Fellowship for 2018. Head still spinning from this one! and I'm so incredibly grateful. I'll be spending a month in Adelaide later next year (2018), working on some secret squirrel business (gotta love secret squirrel business). It's particularly special because May Gibbs is close to my heart. Thank you, May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust!

In the spirit of Things All Happening At Once, I've opened an etsy shop! I'll be printing some of my artwork locally, along with a selection of pages from Australia Illustrated. All prints will be A4, on beautiful archival paper, and can be posted anywhere in Australia. I'll be adding to my store over time. Click the image above to visit!

greeting card GIVEAWAY!

Saturday, 19 August 2017

To celebrate the release of my very first greeting cards, I'm giving away a set of each type! The cards are being released by Nuovo and will be available in stores Australia-wide.

The first is a set of pastel Australian animals (above). These measure 10 x 10cm and are perfect for gifts. There are six in the pack and they are blank inside so you can use for many types of celebration.

The second (above) is a set of regular-size greeting cards (12.5 x 17.5cm) featuring boys from my book Australia Illustrated (EK Books). I've always thought it so difficult to find cards for boys that don't feature a footy, train or boat, and I think these cards cover so many types of boy--at least, I hope so! There are ten cards in this pack and they are blank inside, so you can write what you want. Each card has HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the front.

To win...
...just leave a comment below, telling me what kind of card I should create next. Theme? Design? Style? A gap in the market? Give me your thoughts! And be sure to add the number to your  comment--1 or 2--indicating which pack you'd like to win. If you don't mind which one, then put both 1 and 2!

Comp runs from today until 5pm Sunday 3 September. Anyone from anywhere in the world can enter so long as the cards can be posted to an AUSTRALIAN ADDRESS.

I will choose two winners and will announce them on this blog within 24 hours of comp closure, so please do check back to see if you've won. The last book comp I ran, one of the winners never got in touch with me, so do check back!

Good luck!

footy banner tutorial

Saturday, 12 August 2017

If you have ever found yourself in the position of conceiving and crafting a footy banner, you'll understand that 4 hours (a friend took a week) of wrangling crepe paper and glue--for the sake of 6.7 seconds of paper-shredding glory--is enough to propel one headlong into the liquor cabinet.

Drink no more. Here is a tutorial that will hopefully take you 30 - 40 minutes. Seriously. And you'll retain your sanity, not to mention your liver.

You will need crepe paper, scissors, wooden poles at least a metre long, PVA glue and a sewing machine. Don't even think about sticky tape. Anyone who tries to tell you sticky tape sticks to crepe paper needs to be unfriended on Facebook (and maybe even unfollowed on Twitter).

If you want to make a larger banner, just make two of these and sew them side by side. You'd also need to add more strips to make it deeper.

Here we go...

click to enlarge

I hope this makes your child super happy, and keeps you out of the liquor cabinet. And one final tip, make sure your camera is prepped and ready to go before your child begins running... it's over in seconds!

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