Artdecoish Lilly of the Valley design (Spoonflower weekly design challenge)

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I’ve been thinking about designing an artdecoish pattern with a rhombus for the base (this whole concept might have a proper name… ;)), featuring some kind of fauna and gradients for quite some time. Something that looks a bit like a Liberty print. (Just a bit, I’m obviously never going to pretend I could get on the same level:))

For no particular reason I haven’t done any Spoonflower designs in quite some time. Most of the weekly contests either didn’t appeal to me or I just didn’t have the time, so I didn’t even visit the website for a month. Then, on Sunday, I went to check out what contests are coming up in the future, thinking I could practise some of the techniques I want to really learn in Illustrator. And there it was, this week”s contest.

Lilies. I love flowers SO much. Huge lilies in general aren’t really my thing (they always remind of funerals or tacky holiday postcards), but their tiny sisters, lilies of the valley, are one of my favourites. They have been popping up around the routes where I walk my dog every day in the past few weeks and it’s really hard for me not pick them all and bring them home.

So it was almost perfect. Lilly of the valley was one of the most popular flowers in the art deco era (maybe it wasn’t and I just notice all the deigns that feature it more, I don’t know) and they are perfect for a rhomboidal design. Unfortunately, I only had two days to make it, so it’s not where I wanted it to be. I had quite a lot of trouble working out the repeat so some other features of the design aren’t even there (like stems or leaves intertwining). But all in all, I’m still very much in love with it.

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And, as usual, if you like it, go to Spoonflower, and vote for it. I don’t think I really stand any chances, the fat quarter preview doesn’t show the design at all. But I didn’t want to make the rhombuses (god I love this word) to big, so it is what is. I kind of really want to order two yards of it to make myself a dress, but I can’t really justify the costs. Just the customs and handling fees were 12 pounds the last time, so… No. Or maybe?

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Anti valentines day design

I like valentines day. If i could have it my way, I would probably decorate the house with hearts and bake cupcakes and be cheesy and stuff, but my darling Norb just doesn’t care for it.  He still doesn’t even know the date of it and I really don’t want to force him into all the sweetness, so we’re not really celebrating it. (He bought me a flower once. After I teased him about valentines day for about a month. It was a lovely orchid. It died, becosue I don’t know how to take care of orchids.)

But I like Valentines day, in general, so this week’s Spoonflower contest wasn’t that easy for me. Anti valentines day… I remember being a bitter teenager and hating it, but that’s not inspirational enough for me to design something around it. But then I though of all the times my heart was broken and all the hearts I broke before settling down. I also remembered all of the excuses that I used and were used on me, the ones that you make when you don’t want to hurt someone, but are just incredibly pathetic. So I decided I’ll make some into typographic cross stitches. I thought I’ll make a few more, but just ran out of time, these thing take forever to make. First you have to design the layout and then find the appropriate typographies and then transform the whole thing into crosses. I bet there’s an app that makes that automatically, but I made it all by hand. Photoshop, a grid of 0.5 cm and a “cross stitch” brush were my solution. It took ages, so at the end, I only made 4 designs. I also made a background pattern out of all the decorative borders I used in the designs (and a few more), to connect them together. That one could use quite a bit more work, but I ran out of time…

Here’s a “close up”, so you can see it’s actual crosses.

I also opened a store on society6, why not? Some of my designs could also works as art prints and tote bags and whatnot, and posting them there as well as on Spoonflower doesn’t really take that much time… Maybe someone wants to break someone’s heart with a cheesy cross stitch tote bag this year, who knows?

Again, as always, if you like my design,please go to spoonflower and vote for it:) There’s quite a lot of funny designs this week, so looking through them is really enjoyable:)

 

What to do with spoonflower swatches

My spring flowers faux quilt fabric has arrived (a week ago).

sping pinwheels fabric

I wanted to make something out of at least one swatch before I post anything on the blog, and I did:). It was hard to think of a nice project, there’s only 8×8 inches of fabric and you can’t really do that much with that. But I have quite a collection of metal purse frames and 8×8 is just enough for a small coin purse! The scallop fabric is, in my opinion, perfect for the project, since the small shapes on the fabric kind of echo the shape of the purse.

 I thought about making a tutorial, but realised there’s so many out there already, the internet really doesn’t need a new one. Here’s a few links, if you’re interested:

*the only thing I do differently is, I don0t glue the frame to the purse, i use the tiny holes in the frame to sew it to the purse. I think it looks prettier, adds something interesting and holds better.

When observing the rest of the fabric and thinking abut what to do with that, i realised the forget me not pattern is perfect for covering buttons in fabric. I don’t really know where i’ll put them, but.. you know, they’re adorable!:)

 Maybe on the small make up case I intend to sew out of the remaining two swatches? I need some interfacing and a zipper for that and I don’t know when I’ll get my ass to the store, but I wanted to post this before an eternity passes.

 I’m slowly runig out of ideas on what to make out of the swatches. I made some quilted pot holders out of my pie fabric, it’s quite perfect for that. But I have a few more swatches just waiting to be made into something…

 

pot holders

Do you have any great ideas on what to make out of Spoonflower swatches?

Put a bird on it

I’ve been drawing a lot of tits lately. Tit birds, that is.  2 years ago I designed some fabric with cardinals for a craftster swap and I think it’s still my favourite fabric design I ever did. I liked it so much, I’ve decided a long time ago I’m gonna do a collection out of it. 4 fabric designs, featuring 4 kinds of birds in seasonal backgrounds. The cardinals are for spring (although they are probably more often connected with Christmas, but I have never seen one before that swap so I did know). I let the idea sit for a while (khm, lzay,khm), but the next design I tackled was winter, and for me the perfect winter bird is the tit bird. ( I had no idea they were called that in English untill I started googling inspirational pictures 2 weeks ago:)). And since the spoonflower 2014 tea towel calendar design was coming up, I decided to do a tit calendar. Tits. Tihih.

I really like it and all of my relatives are probably gonna get one for Christmas this year. That’s why one of the branches is subtly pointing towards my birthday in March:)

If you like it too, it would be sooo awesome if you could go to this link and vote for me? There’s lots of designs this week, so be prepared for some clicking:). And to see some great ideas, of-course.

(I would also appreciate any kind of helpful comments:))

The “Unique” Shirts on London Markets

I think the story goes the same for everyone who comes to London for the first time. You come to this wonderful market (usually Camden. Or Nothing Hill, Spitalfileds, just one of the touristy ones) and think you have discovered a wonderful treasury of unique and cheap accessories and clothes. But soon, probably once you actually go to a stall and look at it closely, you realise most of the people are just reselling cheap mass-produced merchandise that was probably made in inhumane conditions somewhere in Asia. So you don’t buy anything and move on, very disappointed.(Some people obviously fall for it, or maybe they just don’t care, as long as it looks nice, but is cheap). The same happened to me and I just forgot about it. I never really thought about who designs all of this unique looking things, I just presumed it’s something done by one of the poorly paid freelancers on the internet. Well, I was wrong. (Not that poorly paying freelancers is OK, but it’s better than this…)

This weekend we went to Brick Lane again (another set of Norbs cousins is visiting) and we had to check out the market there (backyard or whatever the name is, I always forget). Both of them really liked one of the stalls with t-shirts and at first glance they looked like they could be quite unique. I know some people who print their work on t-shirts, so this could be like that. But then I recognized an illustration one of the shirts.

I’ve been a part of the Spoonflower community for a few years now, so it wasn’t hard for me to remember that the owls around the neckline of some shirts were actually a very pretty and popular apron design from one of the more well know Spoonflower designers – ceanirminger. To be sure, I took out my phone and checked  Yup, it was her appron. I thought that the designer might have sold the design to someone, but it still seemed fishy, so we took a crappy mobile phone picture and I messaged her on Spoonflower. Guess what, she had no idea about her design being (not really that nicely) placed on some cheap t-shirts and sold on many different stalls in London.

shirts

She’s been doing some research and finally found the source of the shirts. It’s a company from Taiwan, called Hypnosi2. The thing is, there’s not really a lot a designer can do about it. You could probably try and sue them, but you would need quite a lot of money and nerves. (Or can she? if anyone reading this knows what to do, post it in the comments!)

So the most we can all do is just tell the world about it. Warn everyone. If you come to London (or, I assume any other fashionable place), when you buy “unique” things, make sure, you’re not supporting someone who steals designs (and exploits cheap labour.  The exploiting people to make cheap clothes is a completly different problem, that is obviously even worse. But this post is about stealing design, not other faults of humanity)

Halloween costume that fits on a yard of fabric

Spoonflower has a design contest for a Halloween costume that can be made out of a single yard of fabric this week. At first I didn’t think of entering, because I don’t have children or even know any children, so I couldn’t think of a costume design for such a small amount of fabric.

But then I remembered my costume for last years carnival (Slovenian grown ups dress up then) and part of it was an Elizabethan corset, that can easily be made out of a yard of fabric. An Elizabethan corset doesn’t singe in your waist, but makes your boobs look amazing. Here’s howthe one I made for carnival looks like:

corset

So an idea was born- part of the yard is going to be the lining of the corset with the boning marks on it, so it would be much easier to sew, and the outside was going to be… yeah…. something Gothic?

A ribcage in a vintiage medical book design style seemd like an appropriate start. After finding the right picture and manipulating it a little in photoshop it still seemed very boring though. I mean… there’s so many t shirts out there with a ribcage design on them, what was going to make my corset stand out? (The first thing was the fact that I always knew I was going to make the design in a size and position similar to my actual rib cage. Not a tiny picture that just floats in the middle of a t-shirt or a corset). And then I remembered this sad ballad I was forced to reread over and over again for a primary school literary competition. It was written by the most famous Slovenian poet France Prešern. I tried finding a decent translation of the title, but couldn’t, so here’s my best shot at it (I love it because it sounds like a Gothic bed time rhyme for children): The heart that would not rot.

the heart

It is basically about this singer who was in love with this pretty girl that didn’t love him back. Once she got married to another guy, he stopped singing. Because his heart was so full of unsang songs, it would not rot in his grave, so when some people dug him up, they found it there, still beating. That’s what ultimately inspired me for this design. (here‘s a google translate of the whole thing. It’s hilarious.)

I really like the whole design (as you’ve probably noticed, there’s also a skull mask) and for a second I considered ordering it with some rush shipping, but realised I do not have enough money for fun stuff like that. (The shipping would actually cost more than the yard of fabric and that seems silly). I’m also not planing on gong out all dressed up for Halloween, so it would probably be a waste of money. I am ordering a yard though and I’m going to sew this up sooner or later, even if I’m just going to wear it around the apartment. For, you know, cooking and stuff.

fabric

What I would like you to do, dear reader, if you like the design, is to go to this page and vote for it (along with other designs you like, obviously). Thank you!