Category Archives: Christmas

greeting cards – from sketch to store

Very early in September I started drawing my next range of greeting cards, which would include some Christmas cards and also some drawn of the Supreme Court of Victoria and its architectural features. In hindsight I should have started a lot earlier as I have felt a bit of pressure to get these done to be ready for the Christmas season.

I am going to take you on the journey from an idea sketch to the printed card that can be purchased in stores. I am using my Koala and Gumnut Blossoms as an example.

After deciding to draw Australian animals on Christmas card I had the ‘lightbulb’ moment of including red and green in the gumnut blossoms. The design grew from there, 

I decided on five new cards and had the final drawings completed in watercolour pencil on A4 watercolour paper by the end of September. 

At the same time I reordered some of my previous card designs as stocks were getting low and Christmas is coming up and I have a stall at a big market at Etsy Made Local Melbourne in late November. Before sending my order to the local printing company for my new designs to be scanned and cards printed , I had to decide how many to print of each.  I was very fortunate to have two of local stockists Law Institute of Victoria bookshop and Paperpoint stationery  preorder 10 of some of my cards, including the Christmas koala and possum. I decided on 70 of each . Altogether I ordered 500 cards. 

I dropped my originals off to the printer on 25 September and received the cards on 18 October.  The timeframe was so long because I had received one set of hardcopy proofs to approve but I wanted to change the colour balance on some of them. I was then  sent another set of hardcopy proofs which I approved . Hence the delay. 

In the meantime I ordered 500 envelopes from my usual local stationery store and 500 cello bags to put each card in.

Saturday afternoon on my lounge chair’

Top Row : cello bags, cards, envelopes

Bottom Row: cards in cello bags with envelopes, strips from cello bags .

(hint learned from google searching. Put stickytape sticky side up on put cello strips on this. Otherwise they are full of static and stick to everything and anything . This keeps them in one place. )

They took all afternoon to package. But it was a nice way to occupy a chilly Melbourne Saturday afternoon. 

Today, Sunday, I took some very basic photographs so that I could put my greeting cards for sale on my Etsy online store. This also involves writing descriptions  and choosing keyword tags.  I will need to take  better photographs to showcase the cards. But the aim today was just to get them up online.

Christmas carolling sketches

It is the season for Christmas events and celebrations.  I sketch at some, but not all, depending on the circumstances. This week I was fortunate to attend a Christmas concert at St Michael’s church in Collins Street, Melbourne. 

I walk past this 1869  built church everyday, but have never been in. On this night I experienced the church’s rich history, design and beauty while listening to The Tudor Choristers sing beautiful traditions old and new carols. I was able to sketch the event, while absorbing the music and surroundings. However I did put my sketchbook down when the audience were invited to stand and sing Once in Royal David City, Away in a Manger, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, O Little Town of Bethlehem and O Come All Ye Faithful. Wonderful.

The next day I met with some Melbourne sketching friends and experienced another group of carollers, this time from a local community, At Christmas Square in Melbourne city. This was a lot more informal and singers came and left the group to talk to people passing by. Angela and I stopped and sketched and sang along to everything we could.  That is a major plus of having been in a choir – you get to learn the words to the second and third verses of songs !

This is my Christmas sketch of the tree in Christmas Square. I think that I will use it to print on the Christmas cards I send to family  and friends. 

Of course, you can purchase Christmas cards of my drawings from my Etsy store online. But be quick, as Christmas is getting closer and postage is taking longer to arrive !



New Greeting cards

I am very excited that I have SIX new greeting cards available for purchase. They are printed from my watercolour pencil drawings.

christmas-mince-pies christmas-pudding

There are TWO new Christmas cards to join the four that I already have . These two Christmas images were drawn in the last two month, specifically for these Christmas cards. They were drawn on A4 watercolour paper . I tried to think of colourful Christmas themes that fit within my drawing style. I love to draw food and smaller objects. These two were great fun.


fungi – drawn from fungi on small branches collected in Toowoomba


Squirrel – Drawn from one of many photographs I took of squirrels in Kensington Gardens in London.


Drawn from old keys that I have collected over the years,


Old Law books on the shelves at work.

I have been working on this project for about two months. Four of the drawings are from my  sketchbooks over the last few years. It took a long time to decide which drawings would look good on cards and appeal to other people. Just because a drawing looks good, doesn’t mean that it will make a good card.


The excitement of taking delivery and unpacking my new cards

Once again, my local printers Print Together, have reproduced the subtle colours and lines of watercolour pencils. The cards were delivered last Wednesday and I have spent the last few days, putting envelopes inside them and sealing each one in a cellobag. Yesterday I started to take photographs of the cards to put up on my Etsy online store. It was a lovely sunny day, so I went to the park.

They are now available for purchase from my Etsy online store for $AUD 5.50.

Christmas sketching in Melbourne

Today I was sketching with ten Melbourne sketching friends. We met on a hot and sunny day  in Christmas Square (usually known as Melbourne Square), with its  BIG tree, Santa, elves and plenty of families . As well as doing our usual urban sketching, with a Christmas theme , we each got a watercolour postcard do a sketch and put in a hat to choose one to take home. We did this last year and decided continue and hope it becomes a tradition. I got Kaz’s and Evelyn got mIne.

fed sq


The day was all arranged by Janice –  thank you for the wonderful day and great weather. finishing at Beer DeLuxe for lunch ( and more sketching)


This is the card I drew . There are very tall toy soldiers around the Square and in Melbourne CBD.

My main sketch of the day (apart from the card) was my first one of the Christmas tree, Cathedral and people. Everyone wanted their photo taken in front of the tree. Great fun. The page was very  ‘organic’ – not really planned. It just grew down the page13Dec15 Christmas Square


13Dec15 lunch13Dec15 lunchbar


MYER Melbourne Christmas windows

MYER is Australia’s largest department store with the flagship store in Bourke Street Mall, Mellbourne. Each year, like many other stores, they feature Christmas displays, often animated, telling a story. This year is the 60th year and I specifically visited the frantic Christmas gift department on Level 6 on hot Saturday 3 weeks before Christmas.

Why ?

This year’s Christmas window story is based on a children’s book written by Corinne Fenton, an author friend of my sketching friend Juliet Sampson. The reason I was so interested were the illustrations by Robin Cowcher. Robin also had the opportunity to sketch behind the scenes during the making of the windows. They were doing a book signing for an hour at MYER. This was all too interesting for me to resist!

5Dec15 book signing

5Dec15 book signing2

I bought my copy of the book, had it signed by both author and illustrator and mentioned to them my vague connection. I then tried to find a space out of the shopping crowds (as best I could) and sketched them signing books for other people.

I only stayed half a hour as the crowds were a bit overwhelming.

5Dec15 MYER windows

Outside there was long controlled queue of adults, children and prams lined up to see the windows. In this way, people walk past the windows that are telling the story without having to stand in a five-deep crowd. I stood up on a bench to sketch this. The colour was added at home.

I plan to return during the week, on the way to work when there are no crowds. I will enjoy the story and the windows and sketch more then.

Here is the story in the window:

Little Dog and Jonathan are best friends. They do everything together but on Christmas Eve Little Dog finds himself lost and alone in a busy city. How will he find his way home? Set in the 1950s and featuring some of Melbourne well known landmarks, this charming and nostalgic Christmas story by Corinne Fenton is perfectly complemented by delightful ink and watercolour illustrations by Robin Cowcher. (source

There is an indepth behind the scenes article in The Age newspaper if you want to know more about it all.

My Christmas cards are available


Christmas is coming. The countdown is on. I have four Christmas cards for sale in my Etsy online shop!


This card is not Christmas specific and could be given at any time of the year










I chose four watercolour pencil drawings which I drew over the past few years. In the past I have photocopied and printed these drawings and given these to friends and family. This year I decided to have them professionally printed by my Melbourne printer and add them to my growing range of cards.


This card is not Christmas specific and could be given at any time of the year










Of course you could give the gift of cards and purchase a selection of my other cards of feathers ,nests, books and library shelves !

All of my Greeting cards are printed on 300 gsm Cream card

Size 130mm x 180mm (5 1/4 x 7 1/4 inch)

and come with an envelope in a sealed clear cellophane bag.

The card is blank inside, so you can write a long, inspired message or a simple, short note.