Snail Mail

Last minute entry into the Spoonflower Calligraphy contest this week... Winner gets featured in Uppercase, one of my favorite magazines!

 I still love receiving letters written by hand and thought it would be fun to do a print full of snails, ink and swirly calligraphy lines.  The print had to be in black and white which is not something I've done in awhile, but I ended up enjoying a lot. 

Owls are not what they seem

Above my desk is a list of dream clients and jobs.  On my list are things like; art for food packaging, create my own wrapping paper, design a tattoo- checked off!  When I saw that Modcloth was announcing a print design contest and Portlandia Costume Designer Amanda Needham would be a guest judge.  I got super excited to come up with some prints...  I've really been enjoying Portlandia; the awkward humor of Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen as well as Kyle Maclachlan as mayor ; )

I came up with a few ideas for the dress, but was crossing my fingers they would pick this Twin Peaks inspired dress pattern.  Since falling in love with Twin Peaks last year I've been kicking around some ideas for a fan art piece. (Check out Design Sponge's post on set/clothing inspiration)  Here's some of my favorite Twin Peaks fan art pieces by other artists:  Love this print by Mary Kate McDevitt, Tee by Robert Farkas over at ThreadlessAmazing log lady print and pins!

Modcloth has such an awesome selection of vintage and retro inspired dresses.  I love the prints they use and knew I could get away with designing something that was really cute and illustrative. (retro+ cute+illustrative+dash of Portlandia weirdness= my wheelhouse)  If you haven't seen Twin Peaks, hopefully you'd still wear a dress with owls, trees, coffee cups and logs, right?...Surely a staple in every lady's closet.

Please give my dress some love and GO VOTE on the Modcloth website!!  If I win I get some $, the dress produced with my name in the label and I get to wear a dress with my print on it, which I could check off my dream list!

Lumberjack

Happy Friday!  I just finished up my new tea towel calendar for 2014.  The last two years they've sold really well, so I'll have the 2014 one up in my Etsy shop as soon as I can.  This year I took inspiration from...

Lumberjacks and decorative elements on vintage Soviet postcards!

I found some really great reference for both on pinterest!

Here's a little sneak peek of my lumberjacks.

 I can't wait to receive my proof back from Spoonflower!

If you want to see the calendar early you can go vote for my calendar in the 2014 Tea Towel Calendar at Spoonflower. 

Quilt Market Prep

I've printed my postcards and cut fresh swatches of fabric! I'm on my way to the International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas to show my fabric designs. Anyways, I'm looking forward to meeting designers, fabric companies and some of the fabulous people involved in The Printed Bolt REPEAT contest! Wish me luck!

Chicken Calendar

I drew some chickens! Then turned them into a tea towel design for this week's Spoonflower contest... As if I didn't have enough on my plate. (Next weekend I'm flying down to Houston for Quilt Market) yikes!!  

I really enjoyed making a tea towel calendar last year and people seemed to like the whole tea towel calendar things, so I'll probably put a couple up in the Ol'Etsy Shoppe.

It's a nice opportunity to design something that serves a functional purpose!  Even if it is chicken illustrations on a calendar...  Hope you guys like it!  If you do, go vote for my design on Spoonflower.   Voting is open till Tuesday and after that SF is having a 2 for 1 sale on fat quarters from the 25th- 31st!

Take a Hike samples

I ordered some samples from Spoonflower to see how "Take A Hike" would print. My samples arrived very quickly because I ordered them as a collection of swatches. (Also the cheapest way to get swatches)

It's so exciting to open up the envelope and see all of my fabrics!!

Some of them are a little off in terms of scale

and the colors are a tad muted, but overall I love them!

I'm trying to use my handy dandy Spoonflower color chart to fix the color, fingers crossed it works!

Take a hike!

It's the final round of the REPEAT contest. I'm thrilled to have made it to the very end! Here are the final colorways for my collection; Take a hike.

It was quite a challenge to get all of these patterns and color ways done in under two weeks!

I'm leaving tomorrow for an exciting trip and I'm not sure how much internet access I will have.

but I wanted to share these patterns before I get back because I had a lot of fun working on them.

Here are two additional patterns I made, but did not submit for the contest; a stripe pattern and a chevron.

I'll be excited to see what the other finalists; Michele and Krissy come up with.

I think Ive learned a lot over the duration of this competition and I would love the opportunity to share my work at the quilt market!

Go check out the other finalists: http://theprintedbolt.com/ and vote for me for the Reader's choice award! Thanks guys!

Flea Market Patterns

It's round FIVE of the Printed Bolt's REPEAT contest. This is the last round of the contest before the final round. If I make it to the final round I have a 1/3 chance of winning the prize money, a trip to the Houston Quilt Market and having a quilt constructed in my winning collection.  How amazing would that be?  So go vote now and help me make it to the final (Voting closes Sunday night) 

I was really excited about the Flea Market theme and had a blast creating "Field of Fortune." (above) When working on my secondary patterns I always try to imagine each pattern as an important component in a collection.

I usually make some patterns at a larger scale, smaller scale, have less color, have a geometric feel or an organic feel.

 This round I really loved them all and it was tough choosing which to submit.  Ultimately I chose the blue version of the one below.

Anyways, I'm really happy with how all of these turned out.  I feel like I managed to push myself out of my comfort zone a little and still create work that feels like it's coming from me.  This round we have some seriously exciting judges: Carolyn Friedlander and Kim Kight.  I'm really looking forward to hearing what they have to say because I love Carolyn's new quilt patterns and I always read Kim's blog True Up.   Fingers crossed!

"Up in the Air"

Our latest round of patterns for The Printed Bolt's REPEAT contest were due last night.  For this round I wanted to push myself by working a little more abstractly.  My dusk design is loosely inspired by feathers and also decorative henna drawings.   In the summer I'd use henna to tattoo designs on my hands and feet.  During the school year I would doodle similar designs on my hands with pen, which completely horrified most of the adults I knew.

The theme was "Up in the Air" so I tried to create patterns that were evocative of a warm summer night.  "Branch" is inspired by star gazing.  I also wanted to create a pattern with a funky, organic texture.  I struggled a lot on the colors...  I developed about 4 colorways.  Above is the one I ended up liking the best.  Here's some other patterns I was working on, but decided not to submit:

Fireflies!

And some bark inspired stripes.

Here's the other colorways I developed:

Aqua, pink, orange and lemon yellow

Olive green, sky blue and peach colorway

Red, Orange, pink colorway

Ultimately I went with the dusk one because I thought the colors were on trend and they best represented a summer vibe.  My fingers are crossed that I'll make it to 5th round!    The new designs are up and voting is open til Sunday, so go vote!

Sashiko

     For our third challenge of the REPEAT design competition we were asked to draw on our life experience to create two prints.  I wanted to create prints inspired by the time I spent living in Japan.

While studying at Kyoto Seika I would peruse the library for reference material and I loved checking out books filled with traditional patterns usually on Japanese textiles or paper.

     Often these books were written in Japanese, but I still loved looking at the images.  I thought it would be cool to incorporate designs from a traditional Japanese textile into my patterns this month.  I went back to the RISD library to see if they had any books with Sashiko stitched fabric in it and they did!  In fact they have a whole series of  books featuring traditional Japanese textiles!

     I checked out a few and was thrilled that the books had some captions in English!  It turns out that this type of stitching is often used on garments typically worn by workers such as fisherman, farmers and woman divers.  Sashiko is a very traditional stitching technique used to reinforce the fabric.  Some of the designs were also seen as a talisman to protect woman divers from danger.  How cool is that?

Anyways, I had no idea that this type of stitching had such a practical application, I just really loved the different patterns.  All of these images are scanned from the book I checked out called: "Kogin and Sashiko Stitch" it's book #13 in the series.  If you want to try sashiko yourself, there is an excellent tutorial over at The Purl Bee.

Here's some of the other color ways I thought about using for my Sashiko inspired print.  If you haven't already head over to The Printed Bolt to check out all of the patterns for this round and vote!

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

Spring is always a good time for changes and rebirth:  The new website is up!   Please follow me there on my new blog!  I'll have a few more of these posts up at Emu Attacks.  I'm also onto the 3rd round of The Printed Bolt's REPEAT competition!  Now there are only 6 of us left.  Thanks again to my supportive family and friends for getting the word out and cheering me on.  It means a lot!

  Signs of spring are emerging all over the neighborhood.  Outside our bedroom window is this beautiful tree.  When it blooms in the spring it makes me feel like we are living in a tree fort.

Every year I forget to photograph it we've been living in this apartment for almost 4 years now...Today I finally remembered to!

After spending a weekend in DC with my family it was nice to get back and see the tree in full bloom.  Providence is not the most international or coolest city but it feels like home.

Industrial Revolution- REPEAT Round 2

Thanks again so much to everyone for voting for me in the first round!  I really appreciate all of the support.  The second round of patterns are up http://theprintedbolt.com/!  This month the theme was the Industrial Revolution.  Which seemed tricky initially...  As usual I went through the 5 stages of creative development: 1) Panic- What the hell am I going to do?

2) Excitement- Start doodling things, this is so much fun!

3) Frustration- I hate how this is looking... It's horrible!

4) Determination- I'm going to figure out why I don't like it and make it better!

5) Acceptance- I tried to push myself creatively, fix things that were bad and now its out of my hands.

I blogged more about my process and ideas at the REPEAT blog!  Go check out all of the entries and make sure to vote by Sunday the 15th!  Hurrah! the fabrics from last round are up for sale on Spoonflower!  And if your reading this here than you've found my new website!  What do you think?

First round of REPEAT

Phew!  I got my "Tiny Dwelling" patterns done at the last minute.  All of the patterns are up and there are some amazing submissions!  Go check out the patterns and vote for mine now!  Here's a little glimpse into my process... A photo from one of my favorite books:  The Deep!  It's full of amazing photographs of deep sea life!
I also got a chance to use my handy dandy Spoonflower color swatch chart to match my digital colors to printed samples.
Inside my sketchbook some ink drawings for the Tulip Hill pattern.
Here's "Sleep with the Fishes"
 and "Tulip Hill"
I'm very happy with how they turned out!  Voting is open today-Sunday the 25th so please go vote for me!

REPEAT

Woo Hoo! I've been selected as one of the 10 finalists to compete in The Printed Bolt's REPEAT competition! The Grand Prize Winner will get a trip to the International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas! In addition a quilt will be made out of the winner's designs and displayed at the show. How cool is that?

Each month we will be given a design challenge and a few designers will be eliminated (Project Runway style) This month the assignment is "Tiny Dwellings."

Here is the awesome care package I received from organizers Ellen and Madeleine.  It included a Spoonflower color chart, delicious smelling tea and A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kimberely Kight, who is one of my favorite bloggers and will be a guest judge in the competition!  I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Gettin' Figgy wit it!

This week keeps getting better and better! In addition to entering the squid contest on Spoonflower I was working on an entry for California Figs and They Draw and Cook's Year of The Fig Contest! There were many tasty looking recipes on their website that you could choose from.

I looked at a lot of fig recipes but ultimately decided on this one from Serious Eats .

 

I snuck in my entry at the deadline. There were a lot of really great fig recipes: Ingvard the Terrible, Lucile Prache, and James Gulliver Hancock were among my favorites!

... I came in 1st for dried fig recipes!!

I really like having a warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning but I had never tried it with figs. Turns out figs are amazing with a bit of cinnamon, vanilla, and honey. I like adding brown sugar to mine too! I love the shape of the figs and I wanted to make sure they were highlighted in my recipe. In the past I have struggled with getting all of my directions to fit on the page. I decided to try to be minimal with the written steps and really focus on the imagery.

A big Thank you to Nate and Salli from They Draw and Cook! If you haven't seen the new website go check it out! It has all these great ways of searching for recipes by artist, meal, ingredients, art style and country. Anyone can submit an illustrated recipe on their site. So... if you also like cooking and drawing, what are you waiting for? Submit a recipe! It's fantastic to find a site like TDAC with so many other artists that are as passionate about cooking and drawing.

Everyone Loves Squids!

I love squid, octopus, cuttlefish (Cephalopods in general.) I've been busy sewing things for the sale but I took a night to make this squid fabric for the Spoonflower contest.

I scanned some ink blobs and played with them on the computer! I'm really happy with how this turned out and can't wait to see it printed on fabric

Please...go vote for my fabric in the Spoonflower contest this week! Click on contest and you can select any of the designs you like, there are some really good ones! Once you've viewed all the pages just push "Save votes!" It's up until Tuesday. Thanks guys!