Category Archives: envelopes

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.

counting down to travel and MRBW

The countdown is really on to two BIG events for me. Melbourne Rare Book Week in two weeks and UK holiday in three weeks.

Here is an update.


Three weeks to go ’til we leave on holidays to the UK – here is this weeks envelope to Mum. I a not at prolific this year and have forgotten to scan them before I send them !. Here are lots from  last holiday three years ago  to the UK.21Jun16 squirrel envelope


As I have described previously I am going to be sketching the events of Melbourne Rare Book Week. They will be quick sketches in pen, maybe adding a splash of colour. I plan to combine these with some sketches of the buildings or room they are held in to provide context, interest and colour. Yesterday I spent time at the beautiful State Library of Victoria (after dropping some of my greeting cards off at  Readings bookshop – they reordered ! Hooray. But that’s another story) .

Five talks are being held there in two different rooms at State Library of Victoria. I could only gain access to one room yesterday – The Red Rotunda. I sketched from two angles – both sketches are very heavy handed, but they give an idea of the room. I may go back and redo these.

2Jul2016 Red Rotnuda 2Jul2016 Red Rotunda2



The other part of my involvement in Melbourne Rare Book Week is my exhibition “You Can’t Draw in Books?” at Melbourne City Library. Yesterday I met with one of the Library staff to look at the practicalities of the display. We tried to find display stands to suit the various book sizes and see how they would look in the different areas of the library.

photo 2photo 3photo 1 Life is very busy and exciting !

travel countdown drawings

In six weeks my mother &  I will be on a plane to England.

Once a week I write a letter to her (a real letter, on paper,  in an envelope, in the post) and draw something related to our holiday. It is a way of building the excitement and also being aware of how the weeks are flying by,

Last holiday, three years ago, I drew on the envelopes that I mailed each week in a ten  week countdown . This year I have only managed one original drawing on an envelope. 20May2015 squirrel envelope

This year, life  is a lot busier, so I am using the drawings from one of my other projects, which neatly fits into the holiday. My exhibition for Melbourne Rare Book Week title “You Can’t Draw in Books?” involves me drawing in old (about to be discarded) books, illustrating the words on one of the open pages. One of the books is an old A-Z London Street directory . I am drawing images of iconic images of London or something that reflects the place on the page.

I then cut and paste my final saved and drawn image into an envelope to mail to my mother. That means that this year she is not getting ‘an original’ on the envelope – but still gets a surprise each week !

I have completed (or started) five drawings on pages so far and identified another few pages with potential, including Regents Park (draw a squirrel) , Kew Gardens (a flower) , Battersea (Power station), Greenwich ( something to do with time OR the Cutty Sark ), Hampton Court (the palace) ….

5jun16 paddington 3May16 telephone boxA-Z london bus London A-Z Womblesharrods

a snails journey to Uppercase

My copy of the July edition Uppercase Magazine arrived in the mail this week. I knew that two  of my drawings had been accepted to be published in this “Stamp” issue and I had seen a low res online version. (Read about it here from a few weeks ago.)

I watched over the past two weeks as people in various countries around the world received their copies. They tweeted, instagrammed and facebooked their joy and excitement. And now I can join in. I hold my copy of Uppercase in my hands and savour each wonderful article. (frequently flipping to pages 11 and 59 to look at my drawings and pinch myself that I am in this amazing magazine)

How did I get here?   snail5 Looking back  through my flickr photos I see my first snail drawing was in my first Moleskine Sketchbook in January 2009. (Flickr is a an online image sharing platform that I have been scanning and tagging my photos to since December 2008. I use it as a searchable database of my sketches.) I drew this shell for an Everyday Matters drawing challenge of “draw a shell”. It is drawn  with a lot less detail than I would do now, as I was only just new to watercolour pencils.  At the time I wrote, “I came across this shell in the garden. It was empty so I took it home an drew it. Snails can be really beautiful- well, their shells are!” snail I also drew some “snails in action” in the same year and my comment at the time was “he actually moved around quite a bit, and  I think we were both pleased when his modelling session was over”.

Then came my entry for the Toowoomba Mail Art Competition in 2011 featuring snails on envelopes. The photo below displays all the envelopes I drew on, pinned to a corkboard.



These snails are the drawings that I have used for the Uppercase submission.  I then chose five of these drawings to print on my snail mail envelopes that are available for purchase on my Etsy site.

Of course, there were some printing blips along the way (below) as I figured out how to place the snail on the envelope.

snail1 snail2 snail3 snail4







But I am so pleased with the result DSCF0931 The snail journey is not over yet. You will be seeing more snail adventures in the next few weeks as they venture out in Melbourne.

My snail mail in Uppercase & on Etsy

I am absolutely over the moon to have two small art submissions published in the current JULY issue of one of my absolutely favourite publications, UPPERCASE: magazine for the creative and curious. I have admired and read this inspirational quarterly magazine for a few years. It is described as having “A playful exploration of creativity, an affinity for vintage ephemera, and a love of typography” And it is a PRINT magazine (although it is more like a book), with high production values, attention to detail and fascinating articles.


Canadian creator, publisher, editor and designer Janine Vangool spoke recently in Melbourne and I heard the history of her creative journey.  I realised that she practically produces the magazine on her own, which makes it all the more amazing.

So when I received emails from Uppercase that they were “happy to say that your work was selected for UPPERCASE issue 26, out in July! Congratulations and thank you for sending in such a fine submission” I could not believe it. I looked at my inbox again and again to see it was true. I am honored to be accepted in such fine company!  The drawings are only a small part of the issue, but they are all mine and I am so happy.

My submissions were for the STAMPS themed issue of Uppercase. Both submissions were inspired  by projects I did about three years ago for an art competition, but are deep rooted in my drawing style and interests.


My first drawing project is on p 11 of Uppercase: SNAIL MAIL ENVELOPES

I played with the concept of “snail mail” and had a wonderful time drawing snails on envelopes and then posting one to Uppercase ! After submitting and being accepted by Uppercase I decided to share my snail mail art more widely. I have printed my drawings of snails on envelopes and they are now available on my Etsy shop. They are printed on standard C6 envelopes available in a set of five designs or individually . Have a look and you can purchase some to send your own snail mail.



My second drawing project is on p 59 of Uppercase: MAIL PARCEL

Me and my air mail parcel. April 2012

Like many children I collected stamps. I also collected postage marks and airmail stamps, tearing them off the envelopes and putting them in my stamp album. I still have these and drew them all over a parcel with watercolour pencils (and white gel pen) and wrapped a box in it and tied it up with string. I am working on another similar project now (watch this space). I also would love to see it printed as wrapping paper one day.

airmail parcel1
Now that I have tweaked your curiosity, you can buy Uppercase at these Stockists internationally or Subscribe to this amazing inspirational publication.

What are your memories of stamp collecting?

My Etsy shop is Open !

I have opened my Etsy Fine Art Shop.

The product?
Blank Fine Art Note or Greeting Cards featuring eight of my drawings of books and libraries.
Today I’m here to share a little more about this.

Where did the idea come from?
I have been longing to get my drawings printed as cards and prints for quite a while (as my friends know). I have spent time looking for a printing company that would produce a product with a quality of colour and finish that I was happy to put my name to. When I arrived in Melbourne I found (through recommendations) the company Print Together who were just right !

Why did I create cards?
I love paper products and the enjoyment of the written word. I love stationery, books, hand written notes and receiving something in the mail, and I know that many other people do too, even in this digital age. I write a letter once a week and love to post cards and think about the enjoyment and surprise on the recipients face when they open it .
I have been drawing the books and shelves in my new workplace and realised they would make a perfect set of cards.

What to expect?
Each card features a single image on the front and a blank interior, and a description on the back. They are printed on 300gsm card with a smooth finish that has an easy to write on surface. Each individual card comes packaged in a protective plastic sleeve with an envelope.

spine with pen

So where can you find them?
You can find my Etsy shop at where you have a look at and order these cards.
*Keep an eye for new images on cards coming soon. Have a look at my website at the DRAWINGS tab to see just a few of my other type of drawings. Or ALL of my art everyday on flickr.


Drawing on envelopes – one week to go (and other travel drawings)

This is my final drawing on an envelope to my travelling companion.  It is my mum. She lives interstate and will be in Sydney next week, to fly out with me to London. A drawing of an airplane seemed a fitting theme for the last envelope in the trip preparation build up. She has told me that all of my envelopes are currently pinned on a notice board at her home. I hope that she will take a photo of them like that so I can add it to this blog.This “drawing on envelopes” began ten weeks ago and I have written about each one each week.
Up Up and Away
This week, I also drew my squirrel envelopes again to post to some English friends we are visiting and also some other English friends in Australia. I am not sure if any of them will appreciate the squirrels, since they are pests in the UK. This was my favourite envelope as  love the way the squirrel is looking up from the page.
squirrel envelopes are multiplying !
AND  my travel drawing this week is my new watch .
Why ? It is a special watch that has vibrating alarms set during the day to remind me to take my tablets. This is the first overseas travel I have done since my serious brain surgery and hospital stay two years ago which I sketched and journalled.
I am well and life had returned to normal, but I now take lots of tablets (packing my carry on bag has been an adventure). Using my mobile phone alarm was becoming impractical. I wanted an alarm that had no sound, just vibrates . I finally found one online and received it in the mail this week (with much less packaging then my pen!) 


So this holiday is very special for many reasons, one of which is that it is a major step to having a normal life  – not that I travel overseas very often! It is the fact that I can if I want to and I am alive and well enough to do so.

Drawing on envelopes 3 weeks to go and INK

It is three weeks until we leave for London on holidays. And here is this weeks envelope to my interstate travelling companion.. Only two more envelopes to go !!! 
Trafalgar Square

Travelling with ink – the adventure so far….For the past two years I have used a Lamy Joy Safari ink pen. And I love it ! It suits my current drawing style so well. Previously I used PITT , Microns, and other ink pens, in the Fine range. I would be happy with them for a while and then they would get scratchy and my drawing would be uncomfortable and they just wouldn’t feel right. I think (my interpretation) was because of the hard flat edge of the ink pen as opposed to the flexible smooth nib of Lamy Safari Joy pen (introduced to me by Liz Steel – thank you Liz !) 

I use Noodlers Bullet Proof ink – it is waterproof, so once I draw the pen lines on, I can go over them with my watercolour pencils and then the waterbrush (after giving it a little time to dry). Noodlers have a huge range of ink colours, but not in the Bullet Proof range. I  have the Black. and have a Polar Brown as well.
MY DILEMMA  – I will be away for three weeks of constant drawing . I will need to refill my ink cartridge . So I will take ink. So far, (touch wood) I have never spilt my ink when refilling. This was a major concern, as I can see it happening and ink going all over the cream carpet in my (rented) apartment ! I can also envisage my ink leaking through my luggage. So after much discussion and advice , I have plan.
Instead of the glass ink bottle I have a small used plastic bottle from a hotel bathroom. (from Milan!!)  I am going to bubble wrap it,  put in another plastic jar  – all well sealed. and put it in my luggage in the hold of the plane.
BUT … along the way… I rinsed the bottle and then as a final wash, I poured boiling water into it. It immediately crumpled and twisted. At first I was dismayed, but then realised how very Gaudi -like it was. If you are not familiar with Gaudi have a look at this link and you will see why . Since I will be visiting Barcelona for the Urban Sketchers Symposium , the city of Gaudi architecture and design it then seemed inspired, and the lid still seals , So I am still going to use it ! 
and so I drew it !
Gaudi inspired travelling ink bottle

my Lamy Safari in action – always in my hand ! Eat and sketch

Drawing on envelopes – 4 weeks to go (and other travel sketches)

It is only four weeks until we leave for London on holidays. And here is this weeks envelope to my interstate travelling companion.
Royal  Albert Hall .This is just around the corner from where we are staying in London, so we may see it often – Very exciting ! This is drawn in watercolour pencil on a heavy cream envelope. You can see the texture of the paper in the scan
And my travel drawing this week .
A little bit of tweaking to the perfect sketching shoulder bag . I bought my Hedgren bag just over a month ago and wrote about it and sketched it  
I have been wearing and using my bag daily, and kept getting confused as to which of the front two pockets held my pencil roll and which holds my Moleskine sketchbook. As there are only two pocket on the outside, you would think it would be hard to get that confused !- and I need both for the sketch anyway .  But I often want to grab my sketchkit quickly as I see an opportunity to sketch , and want the sketchbook and only one pencil.
Any way all problems solved today – I attached a very used pencil to the zip pull of the pocket that holds the pencils .
I got this idea from my pencil brooches. I have been using watercolour pencils for about 6 years and have not thrown any of the used stubs away. They have been on so many adventures with me! In the last year I have been making brooches and magnets  from my used pencils. At the moment they are just for me to wear (which Is why I am not turning them into any other sort of jewelry) But I am getting together a bit a collection now and may sell them one day …..I wear the brooches to any sketching event or when I am out on weekends. The brooches are a great talking point too. People are fascinated that they are the real thing and were actually used to draw.

Drawing on envelopes 5 weeks to go (and other travel drawings)

The weeks will begin to fly by now – only a few envelopes left to draw on and mail before I am drawing the real thing. I thought of this concept again this week as I drew these ravens from the Tower of London from a photo in a travel book.

Why ravens?

The ravens of the Tower of London are a group of seven captive Common Ravens which live in the Tower of London. The presence of the ravens is traditionally believed to protect the Crown and the Tower; a superstition holds that If the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it .

I hope that I get the opportunity to see these amazing birds close up – I wonder if I can get close and will they will stay still enough? I am used to drawing birds that move around – seagulls and ibis as they move . Once you start sketching an object over and over again, you become familiar with it.

If I start sketching a seagull and it moves away, there will be one nearby that is sitting in a similar position or one will fly in soon  or look at another bird to continue to see how the legs stand or long they are. I  draw with the coloured pencil that is the main colour of the bird and make notes if it is a colourful bird, such as a rainbow lorikeet. There is not enough time to be swapping coloured pencils when drawing a bird (unless it is asleep)  Hopefully the ravens will cooperate – if not I am looking forward to having some scratchy black ink crows on my page.

And this weeks travel drawing is of my London travel guide and my pencils. The page did not seem complete without them