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 :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Big upgrade and more from Pattern Camp

Since Pattern Camp in October, I have been practicing like crazy! You wouldn't know it though from the lack of updates and sharing. I have a pretty short attention span, so I have the habit of quickly whipping things up, then thinking, "oh, I'll go back and perfect this later before putting it on the interwebs." I'm sure you can guess what happens next...

BUT THEN my 6-year-old laptop died. I was pretty devastated that I had lost all of those "just practice" files. So after they were rescued and a new MacBook Pro was purchased, I decided to just go ahead and put 'em out there... perfect or not.


I made the above during Pattern Camp. It's originally this q-tip painting I did a few years ago, turned in to a repeating pattern.


Just a random recent doodle put in to repeat.


Another one from Pattern Camp. It was a little rushed but I was pretty happy with it.

So there you have it. I probably have a dozen more practice pieces so I'll share some more soon!

And can I just say how nice it is to have a computer that doesn't completely melt down when I'm running Photoshop and Illustrator at the same time?! It's a Thanksgiving miracle!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Guys, I'm So Fancy

I really haven't made any patterns in a whiiile. Mainly because I felt like I was always "doing it wrong." I knew there had to be an easier way! So I gave up...

But then I heard that Jessica Swift (I'm a documented fan girl, sorry) was hosting an online class on pattern design I immediately signed up!

Because I'm an overachiever, I took a class on Lynda.com on Illustrator to prep. Then I jumped in and spent the weekend with a group of very talented people (like, real designers) learning how to make patterns in Illustrator and Photoshop.
I decided to base my first attempts off this picture of a very fancy camel I found on Pinterest (here's my whole mood board). Mainly because I did a sketch of a camel last week soooo, yeah.

Above is one of my first attempts to make something a little complex. It looks so different that anything I've ever done so I was pretty happy with it.

Another pattern with a flower I drew on the tablet in a diamond layout.

This was definitely my favorite from my camel patterns in a half-drop repeat (don't I sound like I know what I'm doing!). I don't love the spiky boogers, but otherwise, pretty excited.

At any rate, definitely feeling pumped about this direction and will keep posting more! Super grateful to Jessica for sharing her passion for color and patterns (and answering all my crazy questions over the weekend). I'm totally making myself a camel cell phone cover ;o)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

So sweet, and so cold

I'm very excited to share another piece commissioned by a friend. I vaguely remembered this poem from school, but I can honestly say that now I know it by heart.

And, just for fun, here's a compilation of many of my initial sketches for the project.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

He'd Just Bound, Bound, Bound and Rebound

Challenging times call for inspirational quotes… or so Pinterest has taught me. I have professed a love for all things Pixar in the past, and this particular quote comes from my favorite Pixar short, Boundin.'

It features a lamb and a Great American Jackalope. Sadly that link will only show you the first half, and not to ruin the punchline but this is what the Jackalope has to say to the somewhat downtrodden lamb. Anyways, basically, don't let the man get you down!