Having grown up in Canada, Christmas in Australia is a truly unique experience. It’s summertime, with people wishing for clear skies and 40°C heat for Christmas day, perfect weather for the beach and a barbeque. There are baubles and Christmas lights strung in leafy green trees and Santa has traded his big white-trimmed red coat for a singlet and thongs (or, for you non-Australians, a sleeveless top and flip flops).
So imagine my surprise when searching for Christmas cards I could only find the usual selection of snow-capped hills, evergreen trees, reindeer, and snowmen. Not content with my findings, I decided to create my own set of cards featuring some of the native flora and fauna of Australia, in the hopes of conveying how extraordinary a Christmas Down Under can be.
Individual card: $6.00 AUD Set of 6 cards : $27.00 AUD 105 x 148 mm Blank inside Each card comes with a coordinated envelope and is sealed in a plastic sleeve. Designed and printed in Australia on 100% recycled paper.
An Australian White Christmas (featuring Sulphur-crested Cockatoos)
Christmas Echidna (featuring an Echidna)
Jellyfish Lights (featuring Box Jellyfish)
Blending in with the Baubles (featuring a Koala)
Sand Angel (featuring a Little Penguin)
Spot the Quoll (featuring a Spotted-tail Quoll)
Great Expectations (featuring a Quokka)
A Carolling We Go (featuring Frill-necked Lizards)
A Holly Jolly Christmas (featuring a Tawny Frogmouth)
I am told that Peter was the sweetest, most gentle, and friendliest dog you could meet. After seeing a few photos of him, I thought, what a great first subject in my foray into printed fabrics? So here is Peter, my first illustration for a t-shirt, to hopefully continue spreading the smiles and good cheer that he was always able to do.
ROVER AND ME
This design was inspired by the Mars rover and how it's always nice to work, play, or just hang out with a friend.
Created for a mathematics lecturer, this design celebrates teachers and mentors and their wondrous abilities to help students build their knowledge. And yes, the title is a cheeky take on how this can sometimes turn into information overload.
The Love Train signals Spring is in the air! You can tell by the echidna trains rambling along in the countryside. Two to eleven males will follow a single female nose to tail as she ambles along for up to ten hours a day. These echidna trains can last six weeks before mating occurs and a puggle (i.e., a baby echidna) is produced.
Serenity features a humpback whale, a creature I tend to associate with wisdom and peace. This print design is for my grandpa.
Love is in the Air showcases the distinctive pink and grey plumage of galahs. Their colouring and patterns allude to the beauty of love. This print is dedicated to the wonderful Alexandra and Mathieu.
Koala Spotting was inspired by my time along the Great Ocean Road. If you ever have trouble bird watching in Australia, you can give koala spotting a go instead. How many koalas can you spot high up in the eucalyptus trees?
Fairy Wren Style showcases the three different plumage patterns and colouring of adult superb fairy wrens. From left to right we have a causal looking mature non-breeding male, a formal looking breeding male, and a female ready for any occasion.
The Love Train (featuring Echidna)
Serenity (featuring a humpback whale)
Love is in the Air (featuring Galahs)
Koala Spotting (featuring Koalas)
Fairy Wren Style (featuring Superb Fairy Wrens)
Duck Duck GOOSE
I was surprised to learn that Duck Duck Goose is not a commonly known children's game in Australia. For those unfamiliar with the game, kids sit in a circle facing each other. One child is "It" and walks around the outside of the circle lightly tapping each head saying "duck" until finally calling "Goose!". The child tapped "Goose" must get up and race "It" around the circle back to their spot. The "Goose" must tag "It" before he/she reaches the empty spot, otherwise, the "Goose" becomes the new "It" and the cycle begins again.
This illustration is also for those days when we feel like the odd one out, when everyone else seems to be serenely passing the day while we are running around manically trying to get things done. Thankfully, like the game, that feeling doesn't last forever.
Duck Duck GOOSE (featuring Mallard Ducks and a Canadian Goose)
For all those Super Heroes in our lives, no matter how big or small.
Super Glider (featuring a Sugar Glider)
From the picture books Christophe's Crumbs and Simone in Australia, here are Christophe and Simone featured in their own greeting card designs.
CHRISTOPHE'S AUSTRALIAN BURGER
This was a card design for Alexandra Maytraud and Mathieu Lafabrie, the wonderful people who translated Christophe's Crumbs into French.
The design commemorates the last time we caught up in Melbourne and they were introduced to the Australian burger.
Featuring Christophe from Christophe's Crumbs, here he is enjoying an Australian burger. Sandwiched between two burger buns are a beef patty, lettuce, beetroot, tomato, mushrooms, bacon, cheese, onions, pineapple, and an egg. Bon appétit!
CHRISTOPHE'S CHOC RIPPLE CAKE
This card design is for our friends in France to thank them for their wonderful hospitality. While staying with some friends, we introduced them to Choc Ripple Cake, an Australian version of tiramisu.
Here is Christophe from Christophe's Crumbs making and enjoying a Choc Ripple Cake: - a 250g package of choc ripple biscuits - 500mL thickened cream - 1 tsp caster sugar - 1 tsp vanilla essence - coffee - chocolate shavings or cocoa Beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla essence together until it forms stiff peaks. Spread a thick layer of cream onto a flat plate. Quickly dip both sides of a biscuit into the coffee, trying not to get it too soggy, and stand it upright in the cream. Alternate between biscuits and cream until you have a nice long log. Cover the log with the rest of the cream and sprinkle the chocolate shavings or cocoa on top. Leave in the refrigerate for at least 6 hrs. Cut the cake on a diagonal to get the stripped pattern in each slice. Bon appétit!
A DAY AT THE BEACH
Featuring Simone from the picture book, Simone in Australia, here she is enjoying a day at the beach and adhering to that iconic Australian sun protection campaign from Cancer Council Victoria: Slip on a shirt (or a dress in this case), Slop on some sunscreen, and Slap on a hat.
Christophe's Australian Burger image 1 (featuring Christophe from Christophe's Crumbs)
Kicking off my Canadian Wildlife Collection is the Gray Jay (also known as the whiskey jack or Canada jay). This beautiful little bird was voted as Canada’s national bird through the National Bird Project for 2017 by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Canadian Geographic.
The Bison Are Back celebrates the reintroduction of plains bison into Banff National Park. Having disappeared from the landscape more than a century ago, Parks Canada is hoping to re-establish a thriving wild herd in the next five years. Here's wishing them success!