Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Surface Pattern Design E Course

The Art And Business of Surface Pattern
This week I have started the art and business of surface pattern design e course. I am so excited for everything this course will bring, from the way it will challenge the way that I find inspiration, to the finished designs. And then hopefully selling my designs.

There are people from all over the world taking this course....the UK, USA, New Zealand, South Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Singapore, Germany, Spain, Italy.....the list is endless. It is going to be such an amazing group as we are so diverse and have such different influences, backgrounds and cultures. I cannot wait to see everyones work and inspirations.

 'If you have ever dreamt of seeing your designs on stationery, fabric, homewares or other products, sharing your art through pattern, and monetising your designs this groundbreaking course is for you!'

The brilliant people behind this course are Rachael Taylor who is a an extremely successful surface pattern design with a label under her own name and Beth Nichols who is the founder of the life changing do what you love course.

I have signed up to all 3 modules and am all ready with new sketchbooks, pens and a shiny new laptop :) next up is to tidy my spare room which is soon to be my lovely new studio desk area.

I am going to use my blog as I progress through the course to jot down inspirations, ideas, mood boards and show examples of what I am doing.

It is all ready day 2 and I feel very inspired already...lots more to come.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

E is for Etsy

My A-Z Guide to Summer - E is for Etsy

Etsy is a website which focuses on selling handmade and vintage items aswell as arts and crafts supplies. You can buy such a fantastic range of handmade products including Art, Photography, Clothing, Jewelery and much more.
It is seen as a crafty cross between Amazon and Ebay.

I have recently opened my own shop on Etsy and am hoping it will be successful for me. I have still got a long way to go to get my listings up as they recommend a minimum of 50, but I am quite happy with the views and favouites I have been getting.

My shop is called Taylor Stitched. I wanted a name that reflects me and the products I make, which is how I came to Taylor Stitched......Taylor for my surname and as in a 'tailor' and stitched becuase I love sewing and want my signature style to include stitched elements.

I have been concentrating on making canvases at the moment for gifts for yourself, loved ones, weddings and children. These are a few examples of lisitings in my shop.

Home is where the Heart is Canvas
 This is a saying that is so true for everyone and looks great to dress up a wall or shelf. There is a 3d heart with vintage union jack papers that brings it to life. I am really pleased with this piece and have one ready to put up on my kitchen wall.
Cute Bunny Rabbit Canvas
 This cute bunny rabbit canvas is a great gift idea to celebrate a birth, christening, birthday or just as a gift to show someone you care. It is a great way to dress up a wall in a nursery and the colour can be personalised to gender, room decor or favourite colour. The pink polka dot paper is a great way of adding detail. I hope you love this too....my friend is pregnant at the minute and I cant wait to find out whether I'm making her a pink or a blue one.

3D Heart Canvas

This is probably one of my favourite canvases, I love the detail but also the simplicity of it. It looks fantastic on your wall and draws you in with the textured look the 3d hearts give. This can also be personalised to give as a gift - especially for weddings as I can personalise the flat hearts with names, dates, places or anything you require. I have given lots of these as gifts and the bride and groom always love it as it is a great keepsake that they can display of their special day.
If you have never visited Etsy it is definitely worth a visit that are so many amazing handmade items that you would never find on the high street. I hope to be listing lots more items soon.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

D is also for Deck Chairs

My A-Z Guide to Summer - D is also for Deckchairs

Deck chairs are such a traditional thing to see at the seaside and so typically British, I love the old vintage ones, they would be perfect to relax on in the garden or the beach.

Deck Chair Illustration
Deck Chair Sketch

Deck chairs are such a recognisable image for design and great for summer crafts on postcards, bags, tea towels and gift ware.

These are some deck chair illustrations I have worked on, I love the use of patterned papers on them and am going to develop these into beach scenes to produce a range of summer themed greetings cards. Pictures will follow....

Saturday, 14 April 2012

D is for Days Out

My A-Z Guide to Summer - D is for Days Out

The Summer is a great time to spend days out with your friends and family.

As a child we spent so many weekends out as a family, visiting new places, walking, riding our bikes, eating ice creams and exploring.

These are my 5 favourite days out......

1. Ferrers Gallery in Staunton Harrold, Leicestershire. It is set with the Ferrers  Centre for Arts & Crafts which is a beautiful courtyard setting surrounded by great craft shops, delis, tea rooms and artists studios.
The Ferrers Gallery is in a stunning listed building and showcases the best of British Contemporary Craftmanship; jewellery, ceramics, glass, textiles, paintings and sculpture.
There are so many things to buy and great exhibitions to spend time looking around. I love going here as there is something for everyone - you can even go for a walk through the National Forest it is nestled next to, and spend the day shopping/ browsing and even take something delicious home to eat fom the deli ( we went home with a Tapas feast!)
Ferrers Gallery

2. Rutland Water reservoir and nature reserve, in rural Leicestershire. I spemt many a day out here as a child with my family and continue to go today. It is a fantastic place to explore on bike or foot, with the reservoir having a circular route and lots of country pubs to stop at along the way.

Images from Adam Read

There is a great centre for watersports there as well and we spent a great afternoon canooing! So much fun and something different for your weekend.

3. Covent Garden, London is famous for its shops, street performers, bars, restaurants, theatres and the Royal Opera House. Covent Garden is an Italian-style piazza packed with restaurants, bars and fashionable boutiques. Surrounded by Theatreland, in the heart of London's West End, the area is recognised as the capital's premier entertainment and leisure destination. I always head here when I am in London, and love heading to the market and looking on all the stall and in the beautiful boutique shops, I could spend hours just looking around. There is so much to look at and such a buzz with crowds of people watching the street entertainers.
Covent Garden Street Entertainer
Inside Covent Garden Market

4. Go Ape! Tree Top Adventure. I visited the Thetford location and had such a fun day out, I loved it! For those of you that haven't been it is a definite must. With zip lines, high wire walks, log bridges and so much more. It is so exhilarating and will test you even if you aren't afraid of heights. I had to  be gently nudged off the zip line at it was so high! You begin with being fully kitted out and having safety briefings and training and then are free to explore the tree tops.
Go Ape!
5. Brighton. I have never been but really really want to go! I love the architecture and think it look slike such an inspiring city with the cafe culture, shops, nightlife and diversity. Think I will go and book a weekend break now!

would love your comments on your favourite days out x

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

C is for Camper Vans

My A-Z Guide to Summer - C is for Camper Vans
I love VW Camper Vans I think they are a truly iconic design and so much fun to go exploring in. I would love to spend a summer exploring the beautiful British coast in a pink VW camper van, stopping off at gorgeous country pubs along the way. 

They are a great inspiration for designers and I have featured some of my favourite below. 

VW Camper Van Greetings Card By Lynsey Hunter
I discovered Lynsey Hunter on Etsy and immediately favourited her shop. I love her style of designing and the way she combines illustration, collage and decoration within her designs, using an eclectic mix of printed papers, quirky vintage imagery, old–fashioned fabrics, stitch work and her own style of linear drawing mixed with watercolours and collage.
Her work is available to buy as greetings cards, prints and cushions. 

I think this design is stunning and perfect for design lovers and car enthusiasts alike.

Retro Camper Van Cushion By Helena Carrington
Helena Carrington is distinctive designer for interior textiles and accessories using illustration and photography. You can find her on her website and on Etsy. I especially love her cushions with illustrations of Venice and Westminster Abbey, they are so different they would look great on my sofa!
What better way to style your camper van than with coordinating accessories!
Embroidered Airstream Caravan by Three Red Apples
Three Red Apples is another amazing shop and the designer Annabelle Ozanne has such a distinctive style. You can find her on Etsy and Not On The High Street, with beautiful products for your home. She produces contemporary embroidered textile art & illustrations, handmade home accessories, made using a mix of vintage, recycled and new materials combined with freehand machine embroidery and appliqué. Using her sewing machine as her drawing tool to create fantastic freehand embroidered distinct and individual designs framed with an embroidery hoop.
These would make such a lovely gift and are something to be treasured.