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Botania colouring book

October 18th, 2014

Hi everyone! So you’ve seen some sneak peeks of my special project in the last few weeks! Probably on my Facebook or Instagram. I can proudly share what I’ve been working on for the whole of this year!

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My first book! Botania! A very detailed and playful colouring book featuring lots of nature and animals. There are 25 pages of hand drawn illustrations, all super detailed and very fun to colour in or to be enjoyed as it is!

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Botania took me a year and a half to ink all the pages! I counted and there are at least 150 animals plus insects lost in lush botany! Can you spot them?

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Now that Botania is completed, I’m crowdfunding through Pozible to get it printed. Please pre-purchase a copy of my book to help make this happen! Check out the link below and play my video to see inside the book:)

www.pozi.be/botania

Thanks to my husband (big mo) who filmed and edited the video for me! I was super camera shy but he encouraged me along the way and calmed my nerves down! Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart. Can’t wait for you to enjoy my first book this Christmas!

Love,
Helena/ Little Mo

So where have I been?

October 15th, 2014

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Hi everyone! I know I haven’t been actively updating my blog, that’s because for the whole year I’ve been working on an epic project! Yep it’s epic!

Those following my art will know that every Christmas I try to make something special for my online shop and markets; like my limited edition dolls, cushions and calendars. This year’s product hint: it is nature themed with many pages. You can expect lots of trees, animals and crazy fun!

I gave myself a deadline to finish this project in time for Christmas so that it may be enjoyed by everyone over the holiday season. And the last few months have been really intense, just juggling between work and finishing it up!

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The good news is, I’ve now completed my special project! I also had a look at a sample test print at the printers and it looks fabulous:)

I’ll be launching my special project this Saturday the 18th. I can promise you that this Christmas will be so much fun! Come back here to check it out!

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SEE YOU ON SATURDAY 18.10.14
STAY TUNED!

If you’re on Instagram and Facebook feel free to follow me as I tend to post there quite regularly. You can see some of my works in progress and other cute illustrations! Click on the links above to follow my art!

Screen printing at Harvest Workroom

March 7th, 2013

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I recently came back from a week long Melbourne trip. It was filled with so much art and creativeness that I think I might have to share more than one post about my trip.

Today’s post is going to be just about my screen printing workshop with the Harvest girls. One word: INSPIRING….

Or make that three words:

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HAPPINESS!!

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FUN!!

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MAGICAL!!!!

If you are considering a workshop at Harvest Workroom, or have an interest in screen printing, I hope my post will encourage you to take up a class! I chose Design and screen print your own fabric. It’s a two day workshop, run by the lovely Jess Wright.

I should confess that flying to Melbourne to attend a workshop seemed exciting at first but closer to the time of my travels, I started to feel very nervous and was even regretting my enrollment. I had no experience with screen printing so I felt out of my depths. I tried a few things to prepare myself for class:

1. Read up on screen printing, particularly fabric printing (I’d recommend Lena Corwin’s Printing by Hand)

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2. Brainstorm pattern ideas and draw daily

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3. Practice stencil cutting

Of course you don’t have to do all of this, in fact you might like to turn up and learn as you go! But the preparation gave me a basic understanding of the screen printing process and also encouraged me to play around with patterns.

The first day of the workshop was like a test run. We spent some time stencil cutting our patterns before applying it to our screen and adding fabric ink.

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I realised quickly that screen printing requires good discipline and organisation skills because the whole process gets messy quickly: dirty screens, spilled ink, upside down images…and then back to more tedious stencil cutting!

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By the end of the class, I was feeling a little frazzled because there was so much information to process and this whole world of screen printing suddenly seemed so overwhelming! I wasn’t sure if others felt the same but Jess was so patient and she told us to go home, have a rest and regroup for tomorrow!

On the second day of the workshop we learned about repeat printing on fabric. Using the swiss repeat technique, I made a confetti stencil pattern and picked colours that reminded me of candy floss and strawberry sorbet.

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After my very messy day on day one, day two seemed easier as I became more comfortable in using the squeegee. There is an art to it and over time I even learned to pick up the happy sounds that a good squeegee print makes!

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I love my confetti fabric!

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Next I worked on my posie pattern. I wanted a two colour screen print so I mixed up some bright orange and ocean blue. As you know I’m very partial to these colours because they are my wedding colours!

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Posie printing in action…

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The final result!

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And with all the excitement and fun going on…before I knew it the day had flown by so quickly!

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I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my workshop. It has certainly inspired me to do more screen printing projects at home. I’m going to shop around for some supplies and experiment with colours and different fabrics. At the mean time, I’m going to see what I can make with my fabric prints from Harvest. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Tea towels? Pillow cases? Let me know!

And..December with festive trimmings!

December 18th, 2012

I can’t believe how fast this year has gone by! It feels like October and November slipped by so quick and here we are now…at the end of the year. December! Which also means Christmas! In a week’s time! Argh!

Well prepare yourself for a very Christmas themed post. Mostly for my mum’s reading pleasure!

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I brought out my white tree branch and filled it up with bits and pieces. You’ll remember the tree from my DIY Christmas tree post. If you notice it looking skinnier…it’s because it has lost a few twigs from post-market stress, not to mention surviving a crazy Perth storm!

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Then in perfect timing, a box of Christmas treats arrived from my parents in Germany! Inside are Christmas spiced cookies which we totally love and a few cute gifts…like this set of Christmas cookie cutters!

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So in good Christmas spirit, we made some Ginger spiced biscuits. Well, Big mo did most of the work while I took pictures and sampled them straight from the oven! Very delicious!

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Amongst all the gingery goodness…my parents also gifted us this cute gingerbread candle train, otherwise known as an incense smoker. You put a little incense cone inside the carriage and actual incense smoke comes out from its chute!

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Traditionally, smokers are lit during Christmas time in Germany. But these days there are a variety of wooden smokers carved in different figurines and objects that you can light them up on non Christmas days too.

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We have the train sitting on our dining table and we’ve been using it at night for our candlelit dinners. Hehe!

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And finally, this Christmas time I sent off a Little Mo package all the way to Fairbanks, Northern Alaska. That’s as close as you can get to the North Pole! (Twenty minutes by car according to Google) How exciting! So if you read this lovely D, I hope you enjoy wearing your bunny pendant! xoxo

Well that’s as far as I got with my Christmas preparations here. Hope all of you are having a fun one with your own Christmas prep!

October-November update!

December 17th, 2012

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I am still here:) So much to tell you!

The last time you heard from me was when I had sent off my Babushka Mo fabric for a test print. Well, that came back ages ago and in the time I’ve been away…I’ve been cutting and sewing little Babushka Mo dolls for Christmas markets and my online shop!

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Niina helped me with the project, we had a long sewing session at her place. Panko the cat kept us company too, making it a pleasant crafternoon with the gentle whirring of her sewing machine.

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I debuted my dolls at Made On The Left and at my pop-up shop. I remembered feeling so happy and touched when I made my first doll sale to a very sweet girl! I think it was a build up of emotions from all the time and work I had spent on this project. And to finally see my work going off to happy homes….well there’s nothing more a designer could ask for:)

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If you’re interested in purchasing my Babushka Mo dolls, they are available in my online shop. These dolls are limited edition items and are only available for sale until they are sold out. They are hand drawn by me and printed onto organic fabric. Very cute and charming if you’d like to collect my art as a fabric piece. Enjoy!

Peppermint Magazine September feature

September 16th, 2012

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Yaay! Spring is here and I am really looking forward to the blooms and sunshine.

The September Spring issue of Peppermint Magazine is out. And it features my rabbit hugger bookplates in the kids section!

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Thank you Peppermint Magazine for featuring my art!

Lake Leschenaultia

September 13th, 2012

This January, we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary at Lake Leschenaultia. It’s a manmade lake situated in Chidlow, about 45 minutes drive from Perth. I packed a picnic for us and took my SuperHeadz wide and slim camera. 8 months later, I finished the roll of film and had it developed.

The thing about shooting with film, it’s a longer process as compared to taking instant shots on a digital camera. I usually make my roll of film last longer by shooting a couple of pictures and then saving it for another special occasion. I don’t get to see the photos until it’s developed many months later!

I’ve got to say that the SuperHeadz slim is one of the easiest film camera to use. The wide angled lens makes every photo look effortless and beautiful. The camera doesn’t do well in dark conditions but as a day camera, it’s perfect. The camera is so light weight and compact, it’s quite possibly my favourite camera at the moment!

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Film stock used: Lomography 400ASA

Begining of a new series…

September 11th, 2012

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I am working on a new series called Babushka Mo. This project is inspired by a few of my favourite things: Matryoshka nesting dolls, sweet vintage dress patterns and grandmothers in adorable headscarves (also known as Babushka in Russian).

I’ve always wanted to create a collection of Little Mo dolls so I’m hoping to turn my Babushka Mos into little softies and other cute things. Here are some pictures of my works in progress.

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The first lines of my Babushka Mo. As you know, I do all of my line drawings on my sketchbooks and scan the artwork in.

I’m not sure if there are artists out there who are particular about having clean lines in their artwork? I’m one of those people and it drives me batty sometimes. It’s also a bit ironic because I love the look of hand drawn lines, a rough and organic look that can’t be replicate by vector drawings. But the perfectionist in me wants to make sure that my artwork is not overly sketchy and dirty which is why I spend a bit of time on the computer cleaning up the edges and rubber marks.

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Now the more enjoyable process begins! This is where I add in colours, shades and all the extra details. For this Babushka Mo, I’ve given her a classic polka dot patterned headscarf.

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For my second Babushka Mo doll, I decided to give her a pet duck! This doll has a tangerine coloured dress with daisy patterns on them.

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And because of the lovely spring weather we’ve been having lately, I was inspired to draw a garden themed Babushka Mo. I think she is most happy being outdoors watering her plants.

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A bit of cut and test action happening on the dolls…

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I think it’s looking good so far. I’m sending the dolls for a fabric test print this week, wish me luck! Stay tuned for more works in progress pictures:)

We’re Open: Montage Pop Up Shop

August 23rd, 2012

Have you visited our latest pop-up shop in the city?

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My friends and I opened up our 5th Montage Collective shop in Northbridge earlier this month.

We’ve teamed up with some new and talented local designers to bring a bigger and diverse range of products to our shop! We open for 7 days till 2nd September, so hurry in for some handmade shopping before we close our doors.

If you have trouble deciding what to buy, let me help you with your shopping list…hehe:

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Crochet toys for all ages! I just want to take everything home with me! These cuties are lovingly knitted by Anna Hadwin

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Very funky coasters and home decor by Jimmy Lee House. A great conversation starter at parties!

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Natural handmade soaps by Empire of Delight. Gentle on skin and free of preservatives.

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Kitty zines for the cat lovers by Eeva Margita

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Or if you’re a bunny and fox lover, these felt brooches would look lovely pinned onto your cardigan:)

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I adore these beautiful letterpress stationery by Fluid Ink. I think I know where my money will be spent before this shop closes! Eeek!

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And isn’t her stationery stall just divine? I’d love to take a peek in her studio and see her letterpress machine in action!

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Adorable animal memo pads and bookmarks by Tall Rabbit

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And aren’t these animal picture holders, just the cutest thing ever?

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My stationery and art corner at Montage

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Lots of animal bookplates to choose from! Perfect for book lovers:)

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And a few of my hand drawn glass necklaces and brooches at the shop

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So have I whet your appetite? I hope to see you at our pop-up shop sometime soon! Be quick!

Montage pop-up shop
Open 7 days till Sunday 2nd September
224a William St, Northbridge

Made On The Left, Winter Market 2012

August 21st, 2012

Some pictures of my stall at the recent Made On The Left Winter Market.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve done a proper market, I took a break from doing any major markets in 2011…just so I could work on some new art and maybe streamline my range.

Before the market, I was feeling a little out of touch with things…and just a lack of confidence with myself and my art. It didn’t help that I left some art prints and about half of my stock at home! I wanted to kick myself after selling out on products within the first hour! Arrgh! So a word of advise: do not be lazy, do not underestimate your talent. Make and bring more stock than you need. You just never know!

Still, I had a really good time at the market. It was nice meeting old and new stall vendors again. It was also lovely interacting with my customers and observing which products were popular on that day. When you sell online, you don’t really get to observe customer shopping patterns or hear their feedback and comments, these were the things that I missed while being away from markets.

I think more importantly, being in a market environment, filled with so much creative energy and talent, gave me back some confidence and encouragement about my art making. I only hope that my art inspired others to feel the same.

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For pictures of the whole market and other stall photos, check out Eeva Margita’s blog post and the Made On The Left Facebook album. Some awesome shots there (and much nicer than my old camera!)

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