Primroses and Narcissi Pattern

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Yes, I'm still enjoying playing with pattern with Creativebug's How to Design Fabric online course, it's been brilliant, I just wish I had more time to make more! For my second pattern I went out to the garden for some inspiration and picked some spring flowers. I ended up choosing Primroses and Narcissi, I really liked their shapes.


I sketched their basic forms, including some foliage, keeping it fairly simple. Then I worked out the pattern repeat. I traced this in pencil and transferred it onto my rubber carving block. (I used a Speedball carving block, the blue one, not my favourite but that's what I had!)


In the online course the tutor used a lino block and block printing inks but I worked with just my rubber carving block and Memento Luxe Inks. I don't exactly have fond memories of carving lino at school but I hear there are softer blocks available now!


I used my old lino cutting tools and the new Japanese ones I bought online, they are a lot sharper. I carved around the main shapes first then carved all the bits in between. Ok, I did try and leave the block as a rectangle and block print it but I found it hard to line up the repeats, I guess my brain is conditioned as a stamper so I cut off the excess just leaving the shapes and stamped them that way! : ) Here's a multi-coloured version, tricky to ink up but I like the colour combo!


I'm looking forward to the next class, they go live each Wednesday on Creativebug, there are five classes altogether. Designing digitally is next, should be interesting! : ) Thanks for dropping by.




Love Pattern

Monday, March 16, 2015


I've always loved patterns and I've done a few online courses on surface pattern design but I started an absolutely inspiring course on Creativebug last week. It's the first time I've really seen the process of designing a repeat explained so clearly, it really clicked with me! This little pattern was a quick exercise on understanding block repeats. It was so much fun to see the pattern emerging! If you're fascinated by pattern and want to learn more you can check out the details at Creativebug - How to design fabric. It's a five week course and it just started last week.


Here's the initial sketch I did, the sketch in the top left is the basic pattern which I then traced four times to see the pattern. The area outlined is the repeat pattern elements, I traced these onto a rubber stamp block and carved out. It did take a while to carve but it was worth the effort!


I inked it up with some Memento Luxe ink and stamped the pattern! SO much fun to do! I'm thinking now I probably should have left the stamp as a rectangle and not cut around the shapes, it might have been easier to line things up more accurately. I'll know for next time!


The next class is on March 18th, I can't wait to check it out! It's a holiday here tomorrow, St.Patrick's Day! Should be a fun day, we'll be checking out the parade in the morning, luckily it looks like it's going to be dry tomorrow! Happy St.Patrick's Day! : )


'Violas in a Teacup'

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Every now and then I get the urge to do a painting. I love the whole process, the initial inspiration, setting up, sketching the subject and of course enjoying the feeling of paint gliding across a stretched canvas! I had this painting rolling around in my head for a while now, I knew I wanted to paint this teacup I had sitting on my shelf for a long time. I knew I wanted to fill it with some plants and a few weeks ago I saw a multi-pack of violas in the shop, so I carefully planted some in the tea cup, I added some pieces of polystyrene and a little sand in the bottom for some drainage. The plants weren't in flower when I bought them and they seemed to take forever to bloom, but when they did (after moving them to a sunnier windowsill) it was worth the wait. I also planted up another little china bowl because I had some extra plants over.

I decided to work from photos I took this time instead of from life because I wasn't that confident about painting a teacup and I find it easier to work from photos. I like to turn the painting and photo upside-down and to the side when I'm working so I can really look at the shapes, it really helps! They look really blue on screen but weren't that blue printed out. I worked from both photos because I liked the position of some of the flowers in the bowl. I used acrylic paints on an 8x8" stretched canvas for this painting, in case you were wondering!


I wanted to add something to the foreground so I picked some of the violas and used these as reference when painting them in. Once I was finished I sealed the painting with a satin varnish, I'm not mad on a matte finish or super glossy look either, the satin is a nice somewhere in between!


The whole painting only took two days, which I was happy about, I like to work on a painting from start to finish all in one go, I find if I leave a painting for a while I lose the flow of energy and tend to abandon it! Glad this one made it! : )


It's happily sitting next to it's neighbour on my shelf in my craft room now, they work quite well together and definitely brighten up the room.


That's all for now, thanks for dropping by! I really appreciate feedback and comments by the way, it's nice to know someone's 'out there' sometimes! : )