Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Friday, February 6, 2015

Where's the snow?

It seems like this year we haven't gotten as much snow as last year (knock on wood). In fact I think it's supposed to get up in the 50s this weekend! The one thing I love about snow are the shapes. Having grown up in Florida, I still love to look at snowflakes really close up.


Anyways, snow was clearly the inspiration for these patterns. I kept meaning to create more patterns for the set, but instead I just focused on two patterns and practiced putting them in to different color ways. Last year, I did this doodle with chalk so I just adapted the shapes a little.



Not to turn all 3-year-old girl on you, but I also have a deep love for the movie Frozen. I KNOW! The Frozen craze has been going on way to long, but I really love the colors and interiors... so I picked out the colors from some of the screenshots :) I will not apologize for my nerdiness!



Anyways, probably back to block printing this weekend, but I wanted to share these since I was working on them this month! One more...





Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Design, Carve, Print: Block Printing Class Day 2

On Sunday, I finished up Jen Hewett's Design, Carve, Print class by taking some of my stamps and creating repeat patterns. I was surprised how similar it was to doing it digitally... just with a ruler. Maybe a little less precise if you're impatient like me.


Above were the circles. It's hard to tell but the ink was a dark navy. I'm hoping to using this pattern to print fabric for a throw pillow soon-ish.


On Saturday night (after day 1) I ended up staying up pretty late designing and carving another set of blocks. This wasn't a perfectly measured out pattern, but I liked the randomness and the BEES!


Speaking of the BEES! I tried a little half drop repeat. I think I liked the bees among the flowers better.


You can probably tell but I took these last couple photos at night... not as pretty but I think you get the point. I like the shape of these flowers that sort of interlock.


Last one! Another flower, half drop.


Glamour shot! Anyways, I absolutely loved the class. Jen was great and, as always, I appreciated the cheerleading and support of my Facebook groupies/classmates. I have so many ideas for this, its actually a little paralyzing. Would like to take the next step and actually use the fabric for something (or actually print on non-scrap cotton), but we'll see how it goes :)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Design, Carve, Print: Block Printing Class Day 1

As I mentioned in my last post, I signed up for Jen Hewett's Design, Carve, Print class. I've been admiring Jen's handiwork for several years. I was psyched to sign up for another weekend, online design class after how much I loved Pattern Camp.


This class is decidedly more hands on vs. techy, which was refreshing. I love digital design but some times it's great to get your hands messy (in my case EXTREMELY messy). First let's admire my craft/laundry/sewing room when it was still clean-ish:



We started out with some sketching (Kevin also hopped in on some of the action; Bailey decided it was a good time/place to nap).


I took a bunch of old sketches that I thought would be good and was inspired by this pic I found on Pinterest of envelope security lines (I know, weird).


After sketching it was time to transfer and carve. Here's what my block looked like when I transferred the sketches over:





















And here was my first round of printing after I had everything carved. The little trees and stars were blocks I carved a while back for other projects but it was good to put them to use.


I think there's a pretty clear distinction between Kevin and my designs. Whereas my designs are generally abstract, Kevin created some awesome peas and running shoe prints (in line with two of his most favorite hobbies). Looking forward to tomorrow's class!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Here comes the snow and block printing (unrelated thoughts)

We're expecting some snow in D.C. which kind of stinks because 1. I dislike snow and 2. I was supposed to go to NYC on Wednesday... so we'll see how that goes. But, I've been waiting for an appropriate weather system to come through to finally share this:



Another technique from Pattern Camp applied to a painting I did back in 2010 during D.C.'s famed Snowpocalypse.

In addition, next weekend I'm taking Jen Hewett's Design, Carve, Print online class to learn more about hand printing fabrics. I've been going through all our previous forays in to block printing and found this fun bike Kevin had made. So I whipped that up into a repeat digitally:

For as much as I dislike snow, I'm actually working on another series of snow related patterns (go figure) so come back for that and for the results of our block printing efforts! Happy snow shoveling!




Saturday, January 10, 2015

Happy Dance! New iPhone 6 Cover

I started a new job in December so I was the happy recipient of a new work iPhone 6 (as opposed to my lovely old iPhone 4 that I still use for personal stuff). I decided I really needed a sweet cover for it so I auditioned several of my Llama Land patterns for the job. And the winner was...


This time around, I decided to use Zazzle which I've used for print products in the past (wedding invites). I think the colors turned out really true to the original.


Here's the front/side. The colors usually get a little wonky on the edges. Isn't that a cute beagle face!?


I'm always really nervous the picture won't be crisp, but this really turned out perfect. I paid about $32 for it with their New Years coupon code (usually retails for $40), so it was well worth the price!

I'm also awaiting a custom case that I ordered for my mom for Christmas. Christmas you say? Wasn't that like two weeks ago? YES OMG! She has a Nexus 5, which I discovered not many companies sell custom cases for, gggrrrr. So I ordered from Case-Custom. They manufacture the cases in China and there was a major shipping issue so despite having ordered it on December 6, it has still not arrived on January 10... ridiculous.

Anyways, rant over, new phone case yay!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Llama Llama Llama

In the progression of my pattern design dabbling, I decided the next step was to try to put together a coordinated collection of patterns.

Since I started out with the Fancy Camel, the obvious next step was a llama I doodled a few months ago. I started a Pinterest board, and found lots of textiles, carvings and artwork from South America for inspiration. I did a page of hand-drawn doodles and got started...


Lots of colors, lots going on... it was a pretty great starting point. Unfortunately I had to do the whole thing twice because of my Illustrator novice, but then came the llamas!


I ended up making five different patterns total and varied them up with different colors from the same color schemes and some similar hand-drawn shapes.


My husband declared the this one looked like Christmas trees so at least its seasonally appropriate? Finally here's the whole shebang together:


My very favorites were the circles. Particularly the dark blue and white (obviously my favorites colors if you've ever seen this blog or my closet before).

All in all, it was more good practice figuring out what worked and what didn't work. I think the biggest lesson for me from this was really to take my time. As previously confessed, I have a tendency to rush something on to the page and call it "good enough," but never actually be happy with it.

I'm not saying all of these patterns turned out perfectly, but I really learned that taking my time with layout, spacing, colors, etc. really brought out a better result... (I know, I know, duh). I was overall please with the result and proud how far of come since some of my early self-taught efforts :)