Saturday, April 28, 2007

Patterns for paper

Recently I've been so focussed on creating screen-print friendly patterns that I've totally ignored designing for other media. I suppose thats because I haven't had much motivation to do so - I'm yet to find an inexpensive means of colour printing onto paper (creating stationery, gift wrap etc would be so much fun) which doesn't involve large production runs.

That was until I got an email from the lovely people over at Moo. They liked the patterned notecards that I created, and want to hold some of my designs in a library of images which people can use for their own minicards or notecards. And I get a portion of the revenue. Mutual appreciation = yay, indeed!

Anyway, I've always liked the style of patterns that Cavallini & Co. create, always drooling over their stuff in the window of Zetta Florence on Brunswick St. So I thought I'd give this style a go with the help of a clipart library. I found it too easy though - it felt like cheating:

(this one updated with better colours).

I reckon they'd look cute as Moo notecards, though.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Handmade bookses

Yay! Nicole from Freshly Blended has opened up an etsy shop, selling some of her beautiful handmade journals - each one is completely unique and full of gorgeous little details and surprises. I love the one I have at home. Go snap one up now :)

Image courtesy of Nicole's etsy shoppe

Friday, April 20, 2007

Plotting and Planning

It must be the week for discovering cool new things. Today I discovered the awesomeness of the Plotter - a type of printer traditionally used to print architectural plans. It differs from a normal printer in that it uses a mechanical arm with a pen attached to draw lines and colour in fills, much like a human does. But why is it so cool? Because it's CHEAP, that's why! I got two A0 size prints done (841mm × 1189mm) for $4.40 each! That's crazy cheap in my mind. I'm using the prints to get a sense of the scale of my patterns before they go onto fabric:

'geese' and 'japanese garden' - any suggestions for better names? Hehe.

On a side note, the other day I frightened a poor woman who was walking down the street when I shouted out and pointed at her - she was wearing one of my blue dot necklaces! I couldn't help it - I've never come across a stranger wearing my stuff before and it was a reflex reaction. She'd bought it from our local giftwares shop, so it's not as coincidental as someone who'd bought it off the net. But still.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Those kids over at Moo are a clever bunch indeed. A week or so ago I got an email from them offering me a free sample of their newest product - a set of 16 note cards with your flickr pics on them. How could I resist. They're awesome:

Yay indeed.
I might cut some of them up and turn them into tags. What makes Moo extra clever is the fact that if just a few people who see this post go and buy some cards themselves, then they've made their money back already. Ahh the power of the internets :)

Monday, April 16, 2007


Yay! My fabric was finally delivered! The chocolate brown looks lovely :) All available now in my etsy shop.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tomorrow, hopefully

Ahh, such wonderful comments from people about the Pattern Tester! I'm glad people had fun using it! I'd like to create a more advanced version which would also allow people to upload their own designs to play with. Also I'd love to make it so you can see the pattern & colourway in context. I just need to find/take some photographs of a blank cushion, lampshade, armchair, etc.

Sigh, I was really hoping to see my fabric arrive last week, if not the week before. Looks like the Easter break threw things out a fair bit. But my printer told me that it really should be ready by Monday. I
really hope that's true, this time. And then I'll get it up into my shop asap!

Meanwhile, I've been preparing to release two new designs. I'm really looking forward to printing the Geese pattern from the other week - I have a good feeling about it. But I really want the other design I print alongside it to be something I feel equally happy with. And I reckon I've finally found it:

This pattern was inspired by some trees I saw in one of those little Japanese pattern/ornament books that you can get from the Brunswick Street Bookstore. Those little books are great - we've got quite a collection of them now. So am I on the right track thinking that this one will go well with the geese??

Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

New Toy

I must admit, I didn't stay completely away from the computer over Easter. I spent a little bit of time building a new toy: The Kirin & Co Pattern Tester!

It's a little Flash based interface that allows people to play around with the base fabric and ink colours for a range of my patterns. I figure it will come in handy for anybody who wants to place a custom fabric order (see my etsy shop for details).

The fabric colour options are based on the cotton drill available through my fabric supplier, so they're basically fixed unless I venture out into new fabrics. The ink colour can be anything one likes, however the way the ink appears on the base fabric isn't quite accurate here. The fabric is printed using a water based ink, so the base colour will always show through a bit. So light coloured inks on a dark background don't work so well.

Anyway, please have a fiddle and let me know what you think! And if you come up with any ace colour combinations you'd like to share, just send me the details from the caption :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

back to it

Hope everyone had a great Easter break! First day back after holidays is haaard. I've got so many little things to do and organise and I don't know where to start. It was so good to just take time away from the computer and the house and do some socialising - something I don't do enough of lately. It's been good to meet some lovely new people, too.

For anybody hoping to get their hands on some of the next batch of fabric, well it should be arriving in my shop any day now - it's just off being heat set as we speak - yay! I'll try to do the shop update at a more Australian-friendly time this time - before 10:00 at night ;)

I've been meaning to get back into my drawing a bit so that I don't get too pattern obsessed. I'd like to get better at drawing people at a larger scale, with more detail. Lately I've been a little obsessed with eyes, paying attention to how eyes look from different angles and particularly what "smiley eyes" look like. I like smiley eyes the best, like Jen Corace's girls. Anyway here's one of my first attempts at a larger scale drawing:

She looks a little odd in places, but oh well, it's a start :)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Talented Ladies

It's been awhile between posts and whilst I've been a busy bee there's nothing quite ready to show yet. So I'm just going to spread some linky love and profile two lovely ladies who are doing great things:

Nicole Lecht -
Freshly Blended
Nicole's been a busy busy girl setting up her new website and shop for her handmade books - she's almost there and I'm very much looking forward to seeing the fruits of her labour. Here are some of the jotters she's been making. I have a couple at home and they're super handy for notes and sketches and (ashamedly) the occasional shopping list :)

What cute packaging!! I should tie up my fabric like that :)

Heather Moore - Skinny LaMinx
Heather is a whizz with the cutting knife - always making such gorgeous things such as the magnet below. I don't know how she does it without getting a sore wrist! She also makes gorgeous screen printed teatowels and whatnots - check out her etsy shop :)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Happy with this one

Since I got that last batch of fabric printed I've been putting pressure on myself to come up with some really good designs for the next patterns. So many ideas have come and gone thru my head, some have made it onto paper and some have made it to the final stages of development only for me to decide that they're just not working.

It's also quite a challenge to limit oneself to just a single colour for screen printing. I could go two colours but that'd make the print cost quite expensive, and not quite worth it at this early stage. Patterns that a lot of people like such as crafty bits wouldn't really work in only one colour, and I reckon i'd have to confidently sell 100 metres of it to justify the setup cost.

Meanwhile, I think this one is really working. I can just see it being made into a lampshade or panel in a bag. I wanted to do a design that was a bit looser and more random than my usual stuff, which typically has a very even coverage. Looks best enlarged:


It was Petey's birthday on the weekend - happy birthday sweetie pea! Here's some play money I made him so I can take him on a shopping trip to get him something nice (along with the very practical lettuce spinner he requested). It was fun to design fake money, putting those wavy lines in the background and using some of my existing drawings to make it look kinda money like.


And back:

And an envelope to put it in :)