Sunday, November 30, 2008


Not sure if I have ever posted it here, but I have a group on FaceBook for my business "Emerald Arts"

Going to be a crazy crazy week, so I probably won't be online much, but will try and keep ya'll updated on the most exciting of it as I go.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Made this very colourful Widget a couple of days ago, but I'm not sure if I like it, might be a bit to busy for my taste. Just going to sit him on the bookshelf for a couple of days then maybe change his eyes.

Crazy busy this week, lots of very exciting things happening but as they involve a lot of people rather than just Magical Me, I'll keep it on the downlow for now ;) But I will say that it is not outside the realm of possibility that I could be running my own little artspace/shop/gallery thing in the city as part of a regeneration thing. The details are still to be worked out, the approval process gone through, but fingers crossed, got a good feeling about this one ;)

Which means that I may be calling on arty friends to help me fill it (I'm looking sideways at you Flossy P) :P

Spent the last couple of days working on the new issue of "Creatures and Dreams" which should be up on Etsy providing I don't drink to much tonight (having a girls night). Should I behave myself?

Nah, stuff that, it's friday, CHAMPAGNE FOR EVERYONE!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oh dear :P

Why is it that Grandparents and parents love to bust their younger family members? Hehe ok it's not anywhere near as serious as it sounds, but still... busted.

Grandma, Grandpa, Paul and I had dinner at the best Thai restaurant EVAR! Catching up was done, wine was drunk (which shouldn't have been) then we had coffee in a second restaurant because The Grain doesn't do coffee. Do people in Thailand not drink coffee? Does that question make me sound too much like Jessica Simpson?

Anyway, I told the g's that I was *this close* to getting a studio space, which is a very lucky thing because my house looks like that spinning Tassie Devil had whirled through. I'm normally a bit messy, but always clean. Lately though? Not so much. There is just too much to do and unfortunately for my house, that means it's been the first to be neglected.

We got back from the restaurant and Grandma had to go to the bathroom, so she asked it she could use mine (even though they life 5 mins away, I think she was just curious). I said sure, but fair warning, it is sooooo messy. She said she didn't mind, and possibly she didn't, but I still feel a bit icky. Why? Because my grandparents are awesome and had just taken the boy and I out for a lovely dinner. I know I am a grown up now and it's my house, but it doesn't feel quite right.

So yeah, that's what's running through my head today. Fascinating I'm sure, but it's really hot and I'm waiting for the sun to go down a bit so I can swim. Don't need any more freckles.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Zine Review: Story To blog

So, I sent the first issue of my zine "Book Art" down to the Story To... zine reviewer and today I open the RSS feed to find that the review has (already omg) been posted and it's absolutely lovely. I'm cutting and pasting it here because it's my first proper review and I'm bloody proud of it, thanks Estelle :)

There’s something about the unsullied propriety of a book that makes me feel both at ease and on edge. Clearly, effort and care go into the creation of a book in truckloads. But the more difficult or deified the contents, the more I wonder what it would be like to tear it up and shake it around. Emma Stronach’s Book Art zine is a gorgeous reminder of this feeling.

Emma has taken the pages of her old music textbook and ripped them up, creating sixteen pages of collage and catastrophe that are sometimes delicate and sometimes irreverent. In this way, a book that used to convey information in one way has been transformed with browns, blues, greens, shellac, pen and glue into something totally different and delightful.

Book Art comes in two sizes – A6 ($5) and A5 ($10). I have the little version, but the larger version is printed on cardstock and can be taken apart as individual artworks. Book Art is available

Wicked eh?


p.s. Renee, I heart my award so much, Marie A. rocks, I'm going to stop procrastinating and go do some painting, then I'll come back to blogger and figure out who to give them on to... going to be tough, so many amazing bloggers out there.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Halloween is for always, not just October

Answered a call out on We Make Zines to contribute to a Halloween zine a while ago, so today I got a copy of this in the mail today, complete with a black and white version of my "Psycho" mixed media thingy from "Book Art".
Great little zine, has lots of spooky stories and some pretty cool illustrations. Nice way to enter into the world of collaboration.
Sewing like crazy today. Have the markets on Sunday and a whole lot of orders to fill. Yesterday was our group Mentoring session for NEIS. Seems hard to believe but my first year of being a sole proprietor of Emerald Arts is just a month away! Michelle, my mentor, asked if I had any of my creatures stocked in shops yet, then when I said that I had (had) them in a couple of places but felt wierd about approaching shops... she told me to get out there and give it a go, so I took myself up to Darby Street with a little bag full of Emerald Arts stuff and pimped my wares.
One shop in particular has ordered a whole stack of things, including 15 of my Crittermass tree creatures, so yes... sewing... must stop procrastinating on the interwebs :P

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Somewhere new to sell:

Found a new Australian website called Made It. It's for us Aussie artists to sell our wares, simular setup to Etsy but easier to navigate and small enough to be able to wander around without getting too confused. I just joined and the lovely owner gave me a bonus $10 madeit credit just for doing so, which I promptly used to post stuff on there ;)

Festive Phillip: tree decoration $15

Fuzzy Christmas Bunny: tree decoration $15

Widget the Brave: in orange velveteen $22

Blue Squidge: tree decoration $12

I Heart Christmas: tree decoration $15

Widget the Brave: tree decoration $12

Purple Haze: artist Print

Superflat and Superawesome

Takashi Murakami is one of my favourite artists. How could he not be? His flowers are so damn cute. They only time I have seen an artwork of his in real life was in a little gallery in a chilly place called Aspen. They were a series of prints and were so beautiful... I almost died from the cuteness, honestly. Who knows what I would do if I ever saw one of his sculptures.

Artist Bio and examples of work here:

Pocti Toy Design blog

A very useful blog post on how to imbue the plush toys you make with character, something I think about a lot.

Most of my toys start as an idea in my sketchbook, then I make them and spend a bit of time thinking about who they are and what they're like.

Usually the notes from around the drawing end up being the story that appears with them on Etsy. Wikipedia usually helps me flesh it out and define things like "Brave" or "Pure".

Check it:

WIP: The Devil and the Crane Kites

Nearly finished with this painting, it's so massive so it's taken me a while (that and I ran out of vanish :P). This one was slightly damaged though, you can see a bit of a mark to the left above his head. Something has just pushed into the canvas slightly... not really sure how to fix that but am going to do a bit of research today because the same thing happened (but worse) to my angel painting. *sniff* poor little guys.

I think it's like this because the canvas was second hand. It started life as the most hideous of photographic prints. The photo lab where Ten used to work rejected it because it showed the head of a Scottish terrier close up, istead of the view of two of them in a park. So it was just going to get chucked anyway. Because it was a finished surface when I started with it and I paint with A LOT of paint, I'm worried that if I move it around too much it will start to flake. So I'm not taking it to the markets. It's probably too big anyway.

Been experimenting with masking fluid to make the clouds. First I marked out where I wanted the clouds to be with pencil. Then painted the background on, so I could go as crazy as I wanted to with the paints and inks. After everything dried I used a bit of rubber sole and peeled away the masking fluid. Layered on some glass ball medium (for texture) and silver paint, blue ink. Finally outlined in black artline marker.
Still not quite happy with the sun though, needs more depth or something, might try some gold ink lines... don't want to wreck it though so I'll have to be v. careful ;)

See the colourful crane with the tiger strips? It was folded from a James Morrison painting (print). His works are lush, all saturated colours and botannical awesomeness. I've tried to find a link to some of his paintings so you can see what I mean, but it's kind of hard to show you just how gorgeous they are until you see them in person. They're so vivid, just thrumming with colour. Amazing artist.
Here's a tiny example that I found. Will keep looking, because you, dear reader, need to see this man's work.

Tried a different way of drawing the lines for the kites on too. First I went over them with a .4 artline marker, then traced that line with a .6
It made them a bit more wiggly, which is good. Basically I wanted them to seem as though the were being pulled by the wind, rather than just hanging stationary from the kites. Might need to adjust the angles slightly on the next painting though, not sure if I got it quite right.
Back to painting then, just felt like giving a bit of an update ;)

Monday, November 17, 2008

I am a WINNAH!

Hehe YAY! Pocket Carnival had a giveaway/naming day on her blog and I won one of these awesome things :) So cool!
Now to finish doing the write ups for the Japan Foundation "FacetNate" exhibition and various arty things, and start laying out the materials for more Christmas decorations... because Christmas rocks !

Saturday, November 15, 2008


This photo was taken by my friend Greg fom my Domayne days. So cute, looks like this little guy really loves his tree ;)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm catching up on my blog reading today, here are some of the highlights

Operation Nice is a blog that has given itself the task of helping people to be nice. They have activities that you can do (like leaving notes for people) and every now and then they have a profile on someone who has done something nice for someone else. Todays blog was about rudeness in society, spurred on by Jerry Seinfield's assertion on Oprah that there are a lot of rude people out there. Ken Oath Jerry.

Now THIS is recycling. Students from the University of Munich made this installation in a barn entirely out of plastic cable straps. It's fascinating.

Sometimes Facebook is useful for stuff other than throwing sheep and poking people. This is my friend Sharna and I on the day we got to ring the school bell. Year 5- which is 11 years old. I'm the one on the right.

Just found this creature on a blog called "Plush It". Basically it's an exhibition in a shop called Ruban Rat (Newtown). Toy artists were given a basic template then had to create their own interpretation. This one is my favourite so far, but I haven't read the whole thing yet.

Have also submitted my portfolio to a new Australian design website called Modamuse. Here's hoping they like what they see. Off to have an afternoon sleep before going out to dinner with my BFF Nifty Nige. We've been best mates since playgroup (2 years old). He rocks.

Paper Flower Tutorial

The Craftershock blog has an excellent tutorial on how to make the paper flowers pictured above. They look gorgeous and very simple to make.

Thankyou Flossy P :)

Flossy P and I have been swapping tips on getting one's artistic self out there, art marketing so to speak. She mentioned that she had an artwork featured on the Australian Edge website, a "showcase for Australian creativity" so I checked it out. Loved the site, emailed my portfolio (yesterday I think) and they featured my Voodoo Susan kit in their RSS feed.
AWESOME *dances*

You can see the link to Flossy's beautiful work here:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shop Update: Things to make things with

This educational craft kit contains all you need to make your very own Voodoo Susan. Sewing improves hand eye coordination and is very relaxing. Not only that, when you're done making Susan you will have your very own little friend to hang out with.

The Whispering Ghost Gums are from my book art project entitled "The Sic Idea". You can also find it the "Book Art" zine, available in this shop. This card is handmade, printed on quality ivory coloured card stock and signed by me, Emmeline.

This little Monkey has everything you need to get you started folding origami stars and cranes. The paper is pearlised, a beautiful finish. Technically, it's not handmade or an Emerald Arts product, but I sell them at my stall and I'm trying to make my online shop as much like that as possible, so here you are.


I'll let you in on a secret...

I have an obsession with a website called Majaba. They have this thing called a Heart-O-Tron which lets you see who has hearted your items on Etsy and how many times things have been looked at. It's quite addictive. Anyway, because I was raised by the world's most "proper" woman, I'm very big on please and thankyou, especially when it comes to my art. It's so lovely to know that something I make appeals to someone out there in the ether.

One day, a shop called 3moonbabies hearted my Voodoo Susan paper doll (Voodoo Susan is a Mermaid). So I went to the shop to say thankyou and found that they sold the most incredibly detailed little fimo beads (they being the talented Marjorie). Hoping that it wasn't too out of line, I asked if she would consider trading one of her beads for the paper doll, and she did want to for her daughter. The best part was when I asked if she made mermaids, she made me this ravishing creature in the same colours as Voodoo Susan's tail and shell bra.

It's so small. So very small. I have no idea how Marjorie made it without going cross-eyed. I took it out of the envelope and just stared at it for about half an hour, marvelling really. I haven't been able to put it down since. Made it into a necklace with blue cactus silk, but then I couldn't look at it, so I took it off again. Thinking I should make her into a brooch, then I can glance down at it as much as I want (possibly leading people to think that I am checking out my own cleavage, but who cares about that :p).

So besotted. Thankyou so much Marjorie *big hugs* I hope your daughter loves the paper doll as much as I love my mermaid. Sorry Mum :P

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Marketing link

Through the labyrinth of the Etsy forums I came across a link to a blog with some excellent marketing advice. Thought I would link it here because unlike most of the marketing stuff I read, it's actually useful and more than just the standard "promote promote promote".

Right then, back to emailing my portfolio ;) Listed a whooole lot of stuff on Etsy today and am feeling rather proud of myself hehe

Monday, November 10, 2008

Going to have a big Etsy day tomorrow (and longer probably), post everything I have made so far up there and see how I go. Was taking photos today of all the creatures in my courtyard. This is Steeeve, on the "buddy" sign next to our front door.

Christmas tree widgets, very small, just bigger than a postage stamp.

The photos that I took of the creatures on black microfibre worked really well. This is a velveteen Widget the Brave. I've been saving the buttons that I used for his eyes for years, because they are very sparkly.

Close up with the devil. I'm developing a bit of a process with painting. Just when I think I am finished, I take a few pictures to post on my blog, then realise that it's still not finished :P

Like here for example. I printed out the devil then went over the linework, outlined it once it was on the canvas, but there's still white showing around the side. Need a very fine pen to fix it, prob .2 which I don't have.... helloooo officeworks.'

You can check out the rest of my creatures on my facebook page:

Right then, off to prepare for my first podcast interview thing. Talking about the This is Not Art zine fair for Zinecore Radio.

Zine Swap- Ben Hutchings

This swap actually took place during the TINA zine fair, and I have read the zine (and showed it off to my friends) many times since.

It's been years since I had a comic in my hands. Probably the last one I bought was "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac" by Jhonen Vasquez. If you don't recognise the name, try Invader Zim. Not that his work is anything like Lesson Master, but um... yeah.. I'm a flake today.

Anyway, the cover of "Lesson Master: Master of Lessons" caught my eye as I was trawling the stalls at the zine fair. It's full colour, with an image of a wrinkled balding school teacherey type person, surrounded by lightning and little grey versions of the same dude. I asked the stall holder (whom shall be hereafter referred to as Ben) if he did trades, he did, we did, and I had some lessons to learn.

When I got home, I arranged all the zines I had swapped/bought in piles of "read NOW", "read tomorrow" and "read soon" based on the front covers alone.... HEY I'm an artist, I'm allowed to judge on appearences. Lesson Master was on the top of the pile.

This comic zine made me laugh out loud, something I do often, but not usually while reading. I'm trying to find a way to describe who the Lesson Master is, but all that comes to mind is "Social Niceties Enforcement Officer". It seems that he has some sort of inbuild detector that goes off when people don't follow the generally agreed upon rules of society. He then swoops in, sets them straight, then stamps a massive "Lesson Learned" on them and takes off. As someone bought up with manners, and witness to the rudeness of... pretty much everyone, the concept held a serious amount of appeal.

I was half in love with the comic already, when I came across a strip that deals with book signing. An author called Reg Wobbles is signing copies of "The Poo Conspiracy", I won't spoil it for you, but I do want to tell you that the panel in which the Lesson Master bursts through the wall leaving a Lesson Master-shaped hole in it is where I really started laughing properly ;)

Ben's style of drawing is incredible, besides being very funny. Some of the panels are so detailed, stipples, cross hatched, it makes my technique loving mind go all warm and fuzzy.

So thankyou Ben, for re-introducing me to comics. Wishing the Lesson Master could be deployed in Newcastle, we need him.

Check out Lesson Master here:

Yesterday's markets

They told me that I was too big to ride the ponies, so unfair!

This is how I display the strings of cranes. I bought the parasol at the Asian Grocery on Hunter Street.

Products: dragonfly print in black frame. Voodoo Susan dolls and kits, paper doll, Book Art zine (big and small).

after a bit of mucking around, I figured out how to print my Book Art zine out smaller, so that it could fit into a standard envelope. It also saves on ink ;)

My new friends at We Make Zines were kind enough to compile a list of zine reviewers and distributors. So this is my first ever mail out.

The bag with the doggie on it is my stuff to do container. Perfect size. Fits my filofax, sketchbook, letters and zines. Heart it.

i'M Not usually one for quizzes, but I can't resist taking over the world.

I just did the Evil Genius quiz. Here is my story, as told to me;

Your objective is simple: World Domination.

Your motive is a little bit more complex: Love (Yes, it works)

Stage One
To begin your plan, you must first clone a diplomat. This will cause the world to sense a grave disturbance in the force, amazed by your arrival. Who is this nightmare beyond comprehension? Where did they come from? And why do they look so good as a brain in a jar?

Stage Two
Next, you must sabotoge that opera house in sydney. This will all be done from a fake mountain, a mysterious place of unrivaled dark glory. Upon seeing this, the world will gibber like madmen, as countless hordes of the undead hasten to do your every bidding.

Stage Three
Finally, you must demonstrate your plague of doom, bringing about something that's really metal. Your name shall become synonymous with dear god no, and no man will ever again dare steal your woman. Everyone will bow before your cunning intelligence, and the world will have no choice but to make you their new god.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Zac Efron is hot

It's funny, the first time I watched the Tim Minchen show I didn't really like it. Then I put it on to watch while I ate last night's market producey beef stroganoff for my lunch... liked it for a bit, then didn't like it again.

The markets yesterday were wierd. I'll write a bit more about it later, but yeah... wierd. My display looked awesome, I sold a painting and a toy kit and that was it. Everyone kept saying "Will you be here next time?"

I felt like saying "here every second week for the past year, so yes, probably" but it would have seemed rude. I really need to get a bigger space there so I can display things properly, because I was jammed in yesterday (by a lovely face painting fairy though, so it was a cool experience) and I think it impedes my sales. My boyfriends parents dropped by, announced that we were having lunch, then stood behind my table blocking all the paintings for ages. With a person, or two people, that's ok, but with my friend Kim and boyfriend and me and them, too many. I was trying not to be annoyed about it, told them I was tired and wouldn't be joining them (I hate being put on the spot too). So they went shopping while Ten and I packed up my stall, then he went to lunch with them.

I came home, had a dance to loosen up, had a big glass of milk and went to bed. I'd been asleep half an hour, when I heard her voice. I thought "Surely she wouldn't come back here when I had said that I would be sleeping". But I was wrong, they'd parked the car outside my bedroom window. Talked for ages. I could hear my boy trying to quietly end the conversation a couple of times, but it took a year. I don't want to bother him, it's not his fault his mum is annoying. So I emailed her and said that I have been sick, working hard, and that I don't appreciate being woken up. Now, some might argue that maybe it was too harsh of me or all a bit silly of her, but I don't think that's the case. I think that they decided they wanted to have lunch, so decided that it would be done without considering how the two of us felt about it. I think that's rude. Add to that parking directly outside my bedroom window, which is streets away from where they were having lunch, then talking outside it for EVER while I was trying to sleep... I think that's passive agressive and it really pisses me off.

Back to the markets...Don't know what it is, global financial crisis might have something to do with it. So frustrated. I've been working so hard, but if business doesn't pick up I'm going to have to give up on the painting for a while and work a normal 9-5 job until finances improve. But I can't do that, too sulky, too defeatist.

I think I will have the afternoon off (been working weeks straight) then Portfolio spam as many galleries/shops/agents as I can... stay the path. Believe in myself. Do what I love and it will all work out.

Edit: photos from yesterday's stall and the tree are on my facebook group "Emerald Arts"

Friday, November 7, 2008

Makind Mag issue 5

I love this free little magazine, so cool, this issue is all about handmade stuff, grab a copy and have a read :)


Been chatting to the lovely Danceswithcolours on Etsy about bower birds and packrats, She'd not heard of the former and I had not heard of the latter, so here is what I learned on the wierd and awesome Pack Rats:

Pack rats are prevalent in the deserts and highlands of western United States and northern Mexico. They also occur in parts of the eastern United States and Western Canada. Pack rats are a little smaller than a typical rat and have long, sometimes bushy tails.

Pack rats build complex nests of twigs, called "middens", often incorporating cactus. Nests are often built in small caves, but frequently also in the attics and walls of houses. Some Neotoma species, such as the White-throated Woodrat (N. albigula), use the base of a prickly pear or cholla cactus as the site for their home, utilizing the cactus' spines for protection from predators. Others, like the Desert Woodrat (N. lepida) will appropriate the burrows of ground squirrels or kangaroo rats and fortify the entrance with sticks and bits of spiny cactus stems fallen from Jumping and Teddy-bear Chollas.

In houses, pack rats are active nocturnally, searching for food and nest material. A peculiar characteristic is that if they find something they want, they will drop what they are currently carrying, for example a piece of cactus, and "trade" it for the new item. They are particularly fond of shiny objects, leading to tales of rats swapping jewelry for a stone. They can also be quite vocal and boisterous, sounding at times as if a "family rift" is taking place.

Historically, houses in or near ghost towns were typically infested with pack rats.

Some species of pack rats were called "prairie flounders" by settlers. This might have occurred because the eyes of pack rats are set somewhat higher in the head than other rodents.

The term pack rat is also used in English as slang to refer to a person who collects miscellaneous items and has trouble getting rid of them (a compulsive hoarder) and more recently the term Digital Pack Rat has been used to describe the same problem with digital files.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Two cool links for you to check out

Some very cool buildings that have been made out of old planes:

The 12 worst (ugliest) iphone covers:

Interesting website

I am truly one of the lucky few. I have a chronic illness that if managed properly (which I do manage most of the time :P) my level of fitness and youth means it has a minimal impact on my day to day life.

If I want to I can work a 9-5 job. I won't like it, and some days I would feel like arse (mostly due to party hangovers hehe) but I could do it.

I know, however, that there is a significant percentage of the population that does not share my luck. Serious illness kicks the pants out of day to day life. So I was interested to come across a support website called

Fascination to see how people get around things. Definitely going to post a copy of the "Diabetes in the Silly Season" to bff Kate.

an excellent illustration demonstration

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Zine Swap- Danceswithcolours

Every artist approaches their work differently. As with many other professions, there are a million ways to go about being an artist, but this is mine.

I pick a page in a book then draw/paint my version of what I see there. In other words, I try to reproduce exactly what I see on that page, through my filter of preferences and perceptions. Most of the time, it doesn't turn out anything like what I was working from, but it's good for hand eye co-ordination and memory and stuff ;)

About a month ago I came across this fuzzy little zine on Etsy and wanted to buy it, but unfortunately the item was only listed for shipping to the US, so I convo'd Danceswithcolours and asked if she would consider trading with me for my "Book Art". Lucky for me she said yes, and this is what I got... along with three square envelopes stamped with THE COOLEST STAMPS EVAR and filled with so much awesome papery stuff.

So yes, I have a MASSIF amount of "inspiration stuff" now, thanks to Karen and her Bower Bird like paper obsession. You is a rockstar yo! Just the cover of "The Monsters in My Head" was enough to hook me, but then on the inside there's pinup girls and pretty boys, paper dolls and Shakespeare, Reflexology, and a brain on a wire.

Therefore, if you create art in the same manner that I do, run along to her store and for the ridiculously cheap price of two whole dollars you can have a zine with a furry monster on the cover too ;)

Another glamour shoot/excuse to go to the beach

Some sort of shell creatures had been squidging around making interesting patterns in the sand.

Found a lobster tail, but unfortunately not the whole lobster... mmm.... seafood....

Never a good idea to wear ridiculously flared jeans to the beach, but hey, I had the flu, wasn't really thinking :P

Squidging the water out of a cunjevoi with my toe, one of my favourite passtimes actually.

Voodoo Sam. We had a few problems with the critters, the camera is pretty old and kept overexposing everything, so next time we'll just stick to using the camera phone, kthanx.

Caution: Small creatures may fall between the cracks. Miniature Voodoo Susan and Ten's toes.

The boy is turning into a seriously good photographer, check it!

Voodoo Sam and mini Voodoo Susan, hanging out in the shade.