Hello! Lovely to see you! Here you will find random posts about living a creative life in country Australia. I am an illustrator. I create, take photos, faff, collect, teach. Watercolour, collage, colour, cheese, travel and dreaming are my faves. And Turkish delight. And cushions. And gardening. And op-shops...

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

2014, and the best bits that made me smile




I loved all the great things that happened this year with rare pear studio, things that 12 months ago seemed madness.

Often times, like everyone I am sure,I have felt that I am not really achieving what I could...that getting traction is tough, and what the hell am I really doing?!

So...I decided to sit down and actually do a really quick list of what I did do in 2014, rather than focussing on what I did not do.And as I wrote, coffee next to me, I realised that I did okay, actually!

So..here we go...my brag list of 2014, the best of...

Highlights include...getting a big,fantastic commission that pushed my boundaries totally, but taught me lots. Being asked by one of my girl crushes to do some artwork for their very fabulous and quite famous 'thing',(it will be out there in February..stay tuned..) Having some lovely places stocking my cards,including interstate. Doing several digital portfolio workshops and meeting other creatives in my own country region.Winning a competition to have one of my designs embossed onto stationary...available here.. (for only $9.95!)


Very tremendously,I did a blog course... Blog with Pip, and it opened up so many wonderful things,and now I know a little bit more about blogging too(just a little!).In fact one of the complete surprises and highlights of 2014 was a direct result of doing this course...but more about that in a bit.

Then... there was being asked to become part of the wonderful and beautifully curated collection of on-line traders for Country Culture, having photos pop up in Sunday Telegraph Style magazine, not once, but 4 times,having a photo in Inside Out magazine, having our home (and me!) featured in a lovely glossy magazine,(a double page spread!)

 Perhaps most thrilling  was having a  successful exhibition, "Little, Humble, Simple" - selling lots and getting wonderful feedback, but even better, LOVING the creating , the drawing, the illustrating, the photographing that was part of the process.

It was the also the year I fell in love with feathers and toadstools and mushrooms.I also rediscovered my love of collage, and set up a Facebook page called The Collage Club, with clever duckies who do amazing things with collage.

Yes, there were a few markets,and some private commissions, doing some styling and craft workshops, and lots of vignetting...and I did make LOTS of mess this year.

And of course...I FINALLY got a website going live!

I really pushed through some fears, dove headlong into the unexpected, reached out for advice and wise words from those I admire,and tried to just kept swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming...


The truth is, of course, that there is always more we could do...always... and the juggle of the everyday is actually never ending. Balance is the thing.Please,let me know if you have it and how you got it,what shop you got it in, how much it cost, and how you store it... cos' it seems kind of elusive!



All the rest aside,probably the thing, the really major thing that last year taught me, accidentally, subconsciously, spontaneously, unexpectedly, and with huge amazement and gratitude...was the kindness, generosity and beautiful connections I have made through this thing called SOCIAL MEDIA. 

Yes, the thing that gets so much negative press, the thing that had me spooked, the thing I thought only friendless socially inappropriate isolates, mushroom people in dark rooms really did...Has turned out to be one of the things that has changed my outlook on the world, my feelings of isolation living in the country, and made me feel the connectivity to creatives and bloggers all over the world.I have become one of those social media addicts.( linked to my love of mushrooms....?)Gah!

It has enabled me to grow rare pear studio.It has enabled me to find others of my ilk, my tribe.It has enabled me to be found by a group of bloggers and Instagrammers who have now become firm friends, people I care about more than I thought possible.This little gang of lovelies has truly been the surprise chocolate sweetness, the hidden soft centred delight in the buttery pastry that was 2014.


Some of these people I have actually met in real life,in the flesh.Super lovely, super fabulous, super uber cool.I have found, or they found me...a group of incredibly talented, brave, empathetic, powerful, beautiful, amazing people, who have become dear friends and collaborators as we plot to take over the world with love and our own individual superhero powers.

So if you are one of those people who has been in my world for 2014, one of those people who has supported and made me laugh this past year,my likers, my followers, my pinners,my family and my friends... my huge huge THANK YOU to you all. Every bit of loveliness that you have given me and rare pear studio is appreciated,and makes my heart happy.

mushroom love

watercolour love

my winning little design

from my exhibition


first time in Sunday Style magazine

our house in a lovely, glossy magazine



getting my collage on



Canberra Art Gallery

And away from home? No overseas adventures this year, instead we had lots of little get ways,like Sydney, Canberra, Newcastle,and a big trip to Outback NSW.

 I blogged a little about our Broken Hill adventure, but it was so personal. My grandfather grew up there, my Great Grandparents being tough desert dwelling settlers,and many times I found my heart full with emotion. One evening I created a little temporary sculpture from rocks, in the area they would have lived, as the sun went down on the ancient dirt. Another evening we watched the sun disappear behind hills and wash us in gold light after a day of hiking. It was just magical. Even my teenage son thought that it was awesome.And then there was the unexpected.Going out for a milkshake, and then falling in love with a puppy on the way back to the campsite.Hence...bringing home a new puppy, from the Broken Hill RSPCA. Don't even ask!

Must not forget to add...this past year was also a time for sharing and growing my collections of STUFF, getting some fabbo thrifting finds,and dotting them around the house,and by having people like the and give me lovely compliments about them...giving me the validation I need to keep collecting!



Sunset, Broken Hill




temporary rock and bone sculptures, between broken Hill and Silverton, for my Grandparents


puppy love at the RSPCA Broken Hill


Olive Pip Cotton Nottingham, the Broken Hill puppy

     Lusi lovely Lusi, one of my tribe
            
2 of my crazy kids, love them...


In the end, 2014 was a year of the usual ups and downs, but with some really high moments, lots of crazy good, and lots of surprises.Probably one of the weirdest was deciding to end the year by getting a tattoo...my first ever, on 31st December 2014.And 2015?

I hope that 2015 is just as crazy, fun and rewarding, that there are more challenges and more wins than losses.I already see a few new things on the horizon...(bit scared, bit excited...bit thrilled...)How about you?