The fabric samples have arrived, which means I can now offer the repeating pattern of wildflowers by the yard on fabric (and wallpapers) from Spoonflower: Wandering Wildflowers. It’s always a good idea to order a test swatch, first — what comes up a lovely slate-blue on cotton goes into a deep saturated golden-green on velvet (although I do like them both!).
If you don’t sew, Spoonflower does offer some pre-made home furnishings and masks.
The pattern is also up on Redbubble, on a variety of books, garments, etc.
I spent the weekend (at fairly short notice) in Sydney for a family function, but also caught up with several good friends to talk about podcasts, art, Dorothy Dunnett, comics, freelancing, illustration and stories. It was extremely pleasant, and also I got to hold a real live pet rabbit (it looks just like a rabbit!).
As you may be able to see above, the pineapple and raven fabrics arrived from Spoonflower and turned out beautifully – the watercolours on the pineapples printed particularly well. One of my cousins also ordered the pineapple skirt from Redbubble and it is very cute! (Since it’s white knit, you’ll probably wantto wear tights or something under it, as is true for all white skirts).
Congratulations to all the Ditmar nominees! I’m particularly thrilled to have a story nominated this year – “A Hedge of Yellow Roses” from Ticonderoga Publications’ anthology Hear Me Roar, but since I have interests in so many publications (whether as illustrator, fan or friend) mostly it’s just fun to see some of the many great works of 2015 celebrated.
Want to buy (relatively) affordable original art by established and rising stars of illustration? Check out Every Day Original!
The opera(!) of Shaun Tan and John Marsden’s remarkable picture book The Rabbits is coming to Brisbane next month!
I have finally (thanks to Kate Eltham) started listening to the podcast You Must Remember This, which is indeed epic and fascinating.
I want to learn to animate just so I can make book trailers like this gorgeous Isabella Mazzanti Carmilla:
I have worked the ravens from January’s calendar into a repeating design of birds, stars and feathers. Pattern-making is something I’ve wanted to do more of, and it’s a lot easier to arrange existing images than to draw new things when laid out with a bad back!
They are now up on Spoonflower as fabric, wallpaper and wrapping paper – I’ve ordered a sample and will show more detail when that arrives.
They are also on Redbubble on shirts, notebooks, phone covers and other such items. I’m eyeing off a duvet cover.
I have a new design up at Redbubble! This was originally intended as endpapers for a current project, but we went with another subject instead. So here is a tangle of thorns and flowers available on several items, including leggings and journals.
Tyger Tyger, burning bright In the forests of the night…
-William Blake, “The Tyger”
A little cut-paper piece, made while listening to a Stuff You Missed In History Classepisode on Calamity Jane (sometimes what I was listening to associates itself lingeringly with a piece).
RedBubble has recently introduced hardcover journals (lined, blank or grid pages), so I have uploaded this design there: Tyger, Tyger. I’m waiting for my first order to arrive so I can see how they look – very excited.
Burial Rites – Hannah Kent: A historical novel about Agnes Magnusdottir, the last woman executed in Iceland. Such a small, slow, bleak, beautiful book and history. Also some interesting Anne of Green Gables parallels, which is not at all to say that if you like Anne you should read this (you should read it, just not for any similarity!). I’m curious, however, to know if anyone else thought this.
A Darker Shade of Magic – V E Schwab: (One of several I grabbed from Tor based on the cover) The structure of the beginning of this novelreminded me of Diana Wynne Jones. It didn’t unfold or particularly explain, just… started, and then went on, so the whole book felt on the cusp of Telling You What The Plot Is And Tipping Into The Middle. This gave it a sustained, off-balance momentum which I always find both puzzling and enjoyable (it’s something that’s usually discouraged but high on my wish list). Schwab also starts with the point of view of someone not of our world looking at our world (or something like it) and just assumes the divided state of the worlds is normal. This is something else DWJ trained me to like.
Thus Was Adonis Murdered – Sarah Caudwell: The first and, as I read them out of order, the last. Alas. Such a delightful balance of classic mystery/comedy, and unexpected, understated messing-with-stereotypes.
Am I Black Enough for You – Dr Anita Heiss: Part memoir, part musing on identity (and how others perceive it, particularly the Aboriginal identity of an academic city girl), part story of the growth of an academic and author. Both this and Palmer’s book (below) had some interesting intersections on the themes of (a) speaking up and (b) listening.
The Art of Asking – Amanda Palmer: I really enjoyed this, and have recommended it to people for very different reasons: as an account of controversy (whichever side of several you fall on), as an artistic memoir, as biography, as a bohemian fantasy, as a crash-course in creative business, to read as a novel, for some unexpected Sayers parallels in the themes of growing up and negotiating adult relationships.
Cinderella: Just nice, in the nicest way. Terri Windling pointed out this review by Grace Nuth, “Have courage and be kind”, which points out the charming kindness and politeness. It sounds like a small thing, but as KHR Smith pointed out, we didn’t realise until we came out of the cinema that we’d been missing it.