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!

2014- Year of the Lumberjack!

 

Here it is my 2014 Lumberjack tea towel calendar!!  As soon as I got my fabric in the mail I threw it in the wash and stitched it right up.

If you also have a huge crush on lumberjacks, this towel might be for you...

Here's some close ups of the animals; goats wearing hats (inspired by the Sound of Music puppets!), gitty hedgehogs, sneaky raccoons and guitar playing birds.

Seriously can you tell how much fun I had working on this?

This may be my favorite tea towel calendar yet!

Check it out in my Etsy shop!

Happy Friday and have an awesome weekend!

 

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. 

Etsy Sale!

We are moving very soon!

Succulent pencil case - $12

As I look around the studio I realize now would be a good time to get rid of some of my inventory... and have less things to box up.

Cupcake notepad -$7

Squid Notepad- $7

Fruit and Lace notebook- $7

Starting today use code: MOVING in my Etsy shop to receive 20% off all orders over $15.

Succulent pencil case- $12

Fruit Notepad- $7

Have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend and check out the sale... From now till the end of June! 20% off!   I'll be adding more items so keep your eyes peeled!

Quilt Market Recap

So I survived my first Quilt Market!! I went armed with postcards, swatches of my work and some portfolios on my ipad to show art directors.  The first day left me feeling completely overwhelmed... so much fabric to look at, so many people and everyone seemed too busy to talk.

Luckily I was not alone and was able to meet up with the ladies who ran The Printed Bolt's REPEAT contest as well as Michele (winner of REPEAT!)

Me, Ellen, Madeleine and Michele hanging out in Carolyn's booth!

After a rough day of walking the floor we hit up the Modern Quilt Guild's meet up that night.  This was the place to be!!! Michele and I immediately spotted a few of our favorite designers and decided to be brave and go talk to them.

Carolyn's block of the month quilt "Local" in her first fabric line; Architextures.  

 Through out the weekend we managed to talk to: Melody Miller,  Rashida Coleman-HaleCarolyn FriedlanderLizzy HouseAmy ButlerAnna Maria HornerTula Pink and Sarah Watson.

This is Michele and I chatting with Anna Maria Horner!!

Let me tell you... every single one of these ladies was even more fabulous in person!!!  Each of them took the time to speak to us about our experiences at our first quilt market, or their approach to design, what they think of the Modern Quilt movement, etc.  It made me so incredibly happy.....

I'm definitely encouraged to continue designing fabric and maybe even attend the spring quilt market in Portland, Oregon this year...

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!

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!

"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!

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?

April Etsy Shop Update!

 I just added some fun new Spring items to my shop!  April 2nd- April 30th all proceeds from my Etsy shop will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Robin and I are crazy, so we've committed to biking 100 miles around Lake Tahoe a second year in a row!!!! We will be riding in memory of Robin's Mom, Mary, who passed away last August.  Here you can read about us riding and fundraising last year....  We were able to raise over $9,000!  
 bikes, cabins and trees in blue
 bikes and succulents in pink, and peach
The weather is getting warmer and this weekend we start our outdoor rides and a lot of fundraising events too!  If you would like to make a donation, please check out our site.   I can't wait to get out on my bike this weekend!

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!

Is it Spring yet?

It feels like Spring today, so I've opened all the windows in the studio!  Yay!  I thought I would share this succulent  inspired ditsy pattern I made a few months ago!  I wanted to experiment and see how watercolor drawings would look printed on fabric.  Here's the color sketches in my sketchbook.
 I scanned these and played with the colors, repeat and scale in the computer for awhile.  I couldn't wait to see what it looked like so I ordered a swatch test from Spoonflower.  The texture of the watercolor didn't print as well in spots were it was painted very lightly so I decided to darken some of those spots so they would read a little better.
 I had it printed again and this time I was much happier with the results!
 I made a little pencil case and it's for sale in my Etsy shop today!

I've got some exciting projects on the horizon including the launch of a brand new website!  More about that next time.

East Greenwich Art Festival

Just a sneak peak of new fabrics and kitchen stuff I'll have for sale at the East Greenwich Art Festival.
 

 

New pot holders in my "tree and leaves" fabric.

I finally got around to sewing full length aprons. I'm hoping these will be a big hit in cupcake print and fruit print as well!

 

If your looking for something to do tomorrow then drive on down to East Greenwich! It's at 1408 Division Rd and it looks like there will also be a farmers market there too! I'll be at my table 10-5 with art prints, kitchen goods, stationery and some pencil cases.

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!

Cupcake continued...

As Spring is approaching I'm picking up speed. I ordered this sweet stamp from Rubber Stamps.net and I've been stamping all my paper goods like crazy!

 

I was able to upload an image that used my handwritten text and they shipped it very quickly.

I find stamping and labeling things extremely satisfying!

Also received a test swatch of cupcake fabric in the mail from Spoonflower!

In the past I've struggled with getting the colors to print faithfully. Often the way they appear on the screen is very different from how they turn up on fabric. This time I went through the process of creating a test strip where I tried a few different colors for each color (light brown, brown, blue, yellow and pink)to see how it would look.

Overall, I was really happy with this little experiment and I think from now on this is a really safe way to check my colors before purchasing a large amount of fabric.

Robin started printing me some stickers at work. : ) I can't wait to have these up in the store too!

Providence Patterns

I first came to Rhode Island on a college visit. I explored the city nervously, trying to picture myself here as an art student for the next four years. After a tour of the campus and wandering around I fell in love with Providence's architecture and of course RISD.

Since 2003 I've been living here on and off again (yikes!) There are definitely times when I take it for granted, or forget my initial reaction to the city of Providence.

Visiting Japan was a similar experience. Everything looked so different; the buildings, people and transportation are all scaled smaller. Tall people might find this disconcerting... but I loved being able to reach the handholds in the subway.

I also loved living in the picturesque countryside of Kyoto. No matter how grumpy I felt a quick ride on my bike always brightened my mood. There is really nothing better than casually biking past fragrant fields of rice, vegetables, streams and small houses. I also developed an affinity for the surrounding mountains, they offered a fantastic backdrop and landmark visible from almost anywhere in the city.

At first when I came back I had to fight the urge to point out how different everything is in the US. "Look at my giant coffee!" "Can you believe how loud those people are talking?" Coming back allowed me to see Providence with fresh eyes and of course appreciate the time I spent in Japan. ( The blue painted under porches in New England always makes me smile)

With that in mind I felt compelled to draw patterns of Kyoto and Providence for my East vs. West collection. Here's my Providence drawings...

After coloring it in the computer and about 3 trials of printing and tweaking the colors:

And a close up!

Here's the Kyoto side complete with trains and mountains!

Yay trains!

The fabrics were printed and being sewn into reversible totes, mostly so you don't have to pick one over the other.

They are for sale in my etsy store! A few other items are there that I made for the sale Claire and I did around Thanksgiving. The sale was a bust but at least I got a lot of work done!

Hurrah for getting things done!