Friday, April 29, 2011

a right royal affair

This is my contribution by way of celebration of the Royal Wedding today:
I'll be watching the royal wedding today - it's a little piece of history in the making. In years to come I'm sure I'll recall (probably to my grandchildren who are not remotely interested) the day I saw the King of England get married and I'll no doubt give chapter and verse on the dress that Queen Kate wore. I'm sure William and Kate's day will be lovely, but definitely not a patch on the actual wedding on the year

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ice, Ice baby

I loved Vanilla Ice back in the day. I did, and still do know all the lyrics to 'Ice, Ice baby'.

Here are some fun ice cream designs I was working on yesterday:
don't you just love the hair sprinkles on this dude

This has given me an idea for something soft and squishy too. Watch this space.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


a new pattern I've been working on - again starting out in black and white:
I quite enjoy the process of colouring a pattern when the initial design is black and white - its like using digital felt tips. It's a good job I wasn't using felt tips though because there was lots of 'undo' going on here. I really struggled with the colour of these and it took me a quite a while to get to something I felt happy with:

these are based on flowers found in my garden - I'm particularly liking the unopened chive flower stems.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

green and grey

Green and grey is not a combo I usually think of putting together, but it seems to work quite nicely here - the acid-y greens really pop out from the dark grey background:
The flowers in this pattern all started out as sketches of flowers that were growing in my garden a few weeks back. They are continuous line drawings of daisy, dandelion, and shamrock flowers.

Monday, April 25, 2011

the pink fairy

We've had some exceptional (and unheard of) good weather over the Easter bank holiday weekend - it feels like summer and to prove the point I'm wearing a sun dress today.

The lure of the warm weather and long weekend has made it quite hard to want to do any 'real' work, although I did manage a little bit of creativity for my friends Hen Party yesterday:

The poor cats with their fur coats on have been stretching out on every available cool surface they can find:

poor stevie in her long fur coat. She's a small cat under all of that fur!

and I've been pottering and doing bits of this and that, a bit of gardening, jam making, shandy drinking, cocktail drinking, karaoke singing, a spot of ebay shopping, and of course, because it's Easter, there has been the obligatory eating of chocolate eggs and hot cross buns for breakfast. I find chocolate for breakfast is somehow better than at any other time in the day. Perhaps it's because it feels naughty that it is so nice.
I'm off now to do a bit more pottering in the garden. It's been a really nice few days - just what I needed to pick me up.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Look

Today, I'm very much liking 'The Look' by Metronomy.
The video is brilliant - and quite mad, but quite brilliant:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

black and white

For the last couple of days I've been feeling a bit down and deflated. I've been quite intolerant and short of patience. I expect it is something to do with silly girl hormones.
Being the stubborn one that I am, I've fought every urge to just crawl into a ball and sleep until it passes and have put my head down and got on with things, albeit with less of a spring in my step.

Things are never just black and white:

I'll be glad when my colour comes back:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

a collection

I've been busying myself away on my co-ordinates for my flippers and kippers fabric. It's quite a challenge to think about and design co-ordinates instead of a feature or key fabric. Co-ordinates tend to have less going on, but still need to be a strong fabric in their own right and they tend to sell much better than a key fabric in a collection:

I've now added some 'flappers' to the collection - to make it a little more appealing for girls too.
I think I'm getting there with it, although I'm not 100% happy just yet. More tweaking to be done.

Monday, April 18, 2011

This too shall pass

Today, I am very much liking 'this too shall pass' by OK Go.  They make awesome videos and this one is no exception. I'm not one to use the word 'awesome' lightly. In the more English vernacular, I would describe this as bloody brilliant:

Friday, April 15, 2011

A is for...

Alphabet. Amongst other things:

The top design is my latest spoonflower competition entry for an alphabet themed fabric. The letters are all hand drawn:

A is for... in grey and mustard

A is for... in red

Click here to vote

Thursday, April 14, 2011

design seeds

I make a lot of my own colour palettes for my design work from photographs. It's fun, and truly helpful when it comes to picking good colours that work well together.
Imagine my utter delight when I came upon a website called design seeds yesterday. It's a colour palette extravaganza:

All above pics are from the design seeds website. Click here to see more.

Inspired to make my own colour palette, I borrowed a picture from Tallulah and applied it to a design I was working on:

I've used all 5 colours here:

My initial colour palette was just 3:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

funky peacock

I probably draw everyday. Sometimes just doodles of ideas or maybe something quite specific. I struggle with drawing animals and characters generally (oh, and people too) and so when I want to draw something specific I'll use a few pages in my sketchbook drawing versions of the same thing.
Yesterday, although I'm not really sure why, I drew a peacock. I don't remember seeing one on anything so I'm not entirely sure what influenced this, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow. This one pretty much turned out how I saw it in my head so only required a couple of sketches:

I kind of like the random use of colour. I had no palette in mind so just picked colours straight from the swatch palette. I think they all look quite funky:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I love this shop.
I probably spent the best part of an hour in there yesterday looking at all the cards, wrapping paper, note books, journals and other decorative bits and bobs. It's always very inspirational.
I exercised an amount of self restraint whilst I was there and only purchased a couple of things:
I think this is a Carolyn Gavin design (?)

1973 Sanna Annukka

1973 paper&cloth

Jane Ormes

I took a few pictures too because buying everything in the shop was just not cost effective.
Taking pictures in a shop is an odd thing. I felt like I was doing something naughty, and that someone would come and throw me out for doing it:

sanderson wallpaper cards

Sanderson wallpaper card

Ellen Giggenbach

Monday, April 11, 2011


It's all gone a bit girly around here:

Today, I'm going into the big city and whilst there I plan to spend a bit of time browsing all the cards, gift wrap, stationery and homewares in the Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road. It's design eye candy goodness overload for me.

I'm also going to see a bit of this at the Barbican:

Happy days.

Saturday, April 09, 2011


I love Tim Minchin - he's a very funny, very talented comedian and musician
If you like him and you like animation then you'll love this. If you are easily offended it might be best not to watch it:

Friday, April 08, 2011

summer top sewing

My recent thrifty purchase of a couple of pillowcases, to make myself some summer tops:
I've also been stashing some liberty fabric for the same purpose, although I must admit I am quite daunted by this prospect as I've never made anything for myself before.
I'm thinking of something like this from the sew mama sew blog:
pic via sew mana sew blog
I have no idea where to start when it comes to clothes patterns. Can anyone recommend any good and  easy to understand patterns/websites for a novice?

On a different note, the results of the Project Selvage are in and sadly I didn't make the top 10.
I knew it would be a toughie. Massive thanks however to everyone who voted for my design.
Undeterred, I've already started putting a Flippers and Kippers collection together and will be selling it via Spoonflower in the not too distant future. Watch this space.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

the most lovely things all in one place

On Saturday, we went into London to the North London Vintage Market and the Selvedge Spring Fair.
It was a really nice day weather wise - short sleeves were worn outside for the first time this year.
Both events were relatively close to each other (ish) so we decided to walk instead of using public transport. I've never been to this part of London before. Instead of taking the main roads, we walked through Queens wood from highgate tube station to find the North London Vintage market. You would never imagine you were in London, we couldn't hear any traffic at all - just birds cheeping and chirping.

I could have bought all manner of vintage goodness from the market - it was small, but it was full of stalls selling china, books, clothes, homewares, haberdashery and more.
I purchased a small piece if bark cloth and plan to use it to cover an old lampshade:

The selvedge fair was about a 35 minute walk from the vintage market, and again we took the scenic route avoiding main roads.
I honestly could have purchased something from every one of the tables here - such a well selected group of crafts people were selling their wares.
I had a nice chin wag to my (until now) blog friend Emma - go to her blog, she took more pictures:
pic via Emma Lamb
pic via Emma Lamb
I also chatted to some other stall holders - Catherine Hammerton was especially lovely, as were her wares:

and I totally loved the quirky illustrations and prints by Charlotte Farmer. I purchased one of her cards:

nice paper bag advertising too

After the fair, I bobbed into the Selvedge shop just around the corner, which was also full of loveliness. They had a great Julie Arkell window display:
A lovely day indeed.