Friday, June 29, 2007

8 new little ones

Well my final print run for a little while just arrived back from the printers. It's been fun to try out new colours! I've decided to start calling my prints "limited edition", because I can fairly confidently say that I wont be printing the same colourway more than once or twice. Keeping things fresh seems to be the way to go.

I'm really happy with how these turned out, except for the black. The black is a bit patchy in places, so anybody who orders it will receive an extra large quantity to compensate! I think it's because it's so high contrast (can't get any higher contrast than black and white!) so any variation in the ink is more obvious than in the lighter colours. That said, sometimes it's nice for things to be a bit rough around the edges otherwise it's easy to forget that this stuff is printed by hand, not by machines :)

Hope you like them! These ones go up in the shop on Sunday morning Melbourne time :)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pretty box full of goodies

Firstly I just want to say thank you for the overwhelming response to my post the other day. So many fantastic, insightful and honest comments, and it's nice to know that a lot of people have similar concerns about uniqueness.

Given that the positive far outweighted the negative, I'll definitely be printing the birches with my next print run. Possibly alongside the "My Little Town" (thanks pip!) pattern from a little while ago. This wont happen for some time though as my printer is taking a break. If I'm lucky it'll be printed early August, if not it wont be till I get back from Japan, sometime in September.

Meanwhile, look what got delivered to my doorstop this morning!

I only ordered it yesterday afternoon on impulse (speedy delivery!!) after a friend told me that I could upgrade from my Creative Suite 1 for only $900. For anyone who's bought legitimate design software before you'll know that's SUCH a good deal. It's got Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver... the works! It feels so good to be up to date - and legitimately so.

Something else arrived today too - my latest batch of fabric! Will post pics + info soon, but in a nutshell it's 8 new colour combinations that I haven't printed before, in Bonsai, Geese, Poppies and Raindrops. And I'm really happy with how they turned out :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Birch Forest

It's funny how sometimes the craft/design blog world can be simultaneously inspiring and petrifying.

Sometimes I look around and it feels like there's so many great ideas flying around out there and it's all too much. Not that long ago it seemed like there was a clear path and it was really obvious what would make a great design. Now it feels like a lot of those things have been "done", and there's a feeling (for me at least) of "where to next?".

Against my own advice I've also been putting more pressure on myself to come up with "the best design ever". I have all these ideas on the edge of my brain that I just can't seem to make come out right.
I'm also trying to think of designs that can challenge the mediums and processes I have on hand. For example, I'd love to come up with a 2 colour screen print design where both colours can be printed off the same screen. I'd also love to be able to do an "inverse" print - where the design is made up of solid inked areas with gaps that form the design, rather than the other way around. This can be technically difficult though - because the printer prints the design in panels, you can get a double inked area where the panels overlap slightly.

Anyway that all said, below is a design that came to me this morning. It can work as as inverse print if the edges of the repeat go through the middle of a tree. I can just imagine a cushion made out of this :)

Only problem though is that it reminds me a lot of some other designs I've seen out there recently. Like Bird in the Hand's tree screen print or (scarily close to home) Auntie Cookie's home sweet home fabric. Am I being crazy? Tell me, honestly....

Friday, June 22, 2007

Light up your life

Hehe, some fantastic, understanding responses to my last whingey post - thanks for that :)

I've finally sorted out my packaging for the lampshades. I needed to come up with a way to put them in the post without them getting squished, and I've finally found the solution, whoo! So I've just put this little pair up in my etsy shop:

I wonder if people will want to buy them, or are they just hanging out to make some themselves!? I will post a tute in a little while, I just have to get my hands on more frames first, which involves trekking across town yet again.

Have a great weekend, all :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

a bit of a rant :: more work of talented ladies

Sometimes something comes along that makes me feel sooo glad, and so extra appreciative about having this blog and being able to make my patterns and fabric and sell stuff on Etsy. This little part of my life on the side gives me some semblance of control in my creative career. I design things I think look pretty, and if people think so too then they buy it. Easy as that.

Not so in my "real world" job, where as a designer sometimes you feel like you have no control or respect as a professional at all. For example, an identity job that I've been working on over the last little while. It got to that stage where it was so close to being signed off, and I was feeling really confident about it. Visually it worked well, and it sent the right messages about the business to it's market, and the client seemed happy.

But this week what I received from the client wasn't a sign-off, instead it was their own, completely different rendition of the logo which frankly didn't work for many, many reasons. But they're happy with and want to go with, and just asked me to tidy it up.

This seems to be a problem endlessly faced by designers. Sometimes you have these fantastic clients who really respect your professional opinion, and then there are others who see design as a purely subjective thing, and that anyone can make a call on it. But then, when you try to take a stand and argue your point, designers often get labeled as 'difficult' or 'protective', or worse, that we think ourselves holier-than-thou because apparently we think our tastes are 'better' than yours. But often it's got very little to do with taste. It's about meeting real, solid business objectives, and having to be very objective in doing so.

Anyway, [/rant] !! In lighter news, how cute is this! Mr. Lee CatCam - a German guy who attached a camera to his cat to capture his adventures. The resulting photos are so good!

And also, I always feel so guiltily indulgent when I do this, but how gorgeous are these things made with the fabric!! If I've missed anyone just drop me a line - these are just the ones I remembered to bookmark!

Clockwise from top left:

1. Pot Holders by Suki Threads
2. A Kirin Cushion by Spin Spin
3. Deer Crossing cushion by Tutti Fruiti
4. Neck Warmer by Tutti Fruiti

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

<3 for lampshades

It's funny, one of the first things I think when I'm designing my fabric is "ooh, how would this look as a lampshade??". I think I've been quietly obsessing over making my fabric into lampshades for quite some time now. I love lamps - they make SUCH a difference to the feel of a room. When I first met Pete I fell in love with his bedroom for all the lamps he had around the place, and now we have them all around the living room :)

Anyway, the biggest challenge has been finding the wire lampshade frames. They are surprisingly difficult to come across in old Melbourne town. Okay I admit, I knew for quite some time that you could get them from Handworks in Prahran, but like many Melbournians I suffer from a strange irrational fear of crossing the Yarra River to the other side of town. "Ah, your party is in St Kilda. Ohhh...."

Anyway, my good friend Karin kept me company on this arduous journey and finally I got to make these!

The one on the left is Kristen Doran's Mollybirds fabric - it makes a gorgeous table lamp and I love the texture of the fabric. The key to successfully lampshade making is spray adhesive - my new love. I might post a tute about how to make them shortly.

These two will probably go up on etsy once I sort out my pricing and packaging. They're fully fitted with power cord, switch and bulb socket, but I suppose that won't be much use to US customers! So maybe i'll sell the electical bits separately if people want them.

Oh and thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post about A2 :) :)

Print & Pattern - thanks!!

A quick but huge thank you to 'Bowie Style' from Print and Pattern for featuring my work on her blog! I contacted her the other day about my latest prints (of which I got a lot printed this time!!) and I'm very happy that she decided to post about them :)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The A2 - yay!

Yaaaay, I made it into the newspaper yesterday! And all thanks goes to Pip from Meet Me at Mikes for recommending me to one of the editors of the A2. Thanks again Pip!

I don't sound too silly at all - phew :)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

More in the shop

Wow thank you so much for the lovely comments on my last post! Some fantastic suggestions of places we should visit in Japan - I don't think there'll be any shortage of things to do! We're going in August for two weeks and are staying & traveling with a friend who lives in Tokyo - perfect!

I haven't been a very good blogger lately it seems - quite a while between posts and most of them have just been fabric updates. But some cool new interesting stuff is coming up which I'll post about in the next few days. Meanwhile, there's some more fabric up in the shop today. This is the second last run before my printer takes a break, and then I go away. So no more until September or so. But that's fine - I don't want to oversaturate the market or anything ;)

All available here.

Have a great weekend :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Stuff happening....

I must admit, I usually have a fairly quiet after-hours life, but the last few days have been quite eventful. On Saturday I went to the Rose Street Artist's Market and met the very lovely Justinamaria. It was such a highlight to see the lovely things she's made with my little-ol' fabric in person. Very flattering.

Then, on Monday (a public holiday here in Melbs) we drove up to Ballarat in our "trusty" 20yr old Skyline, and whilst traveling at 110kmph in the pouring rain one of our windscreen wipers flew off and hit another car! And not just the rubber bit, but the whole swivelly head bit! We had to drive the rest of the way leaning to the side. It was actually quite scary. We tried to drive back to Melbs that night but with the dark and rain and crappy headlights and a scary near miss with a truck, we had to turn around and wait till morning.

Last night was a free ticket to The Australian Ballet (thanks mum!), tonight is Aqualung, but by far the best thing to happen of all... we booked flights to Japan!!! I can't believe it's actually going to happen! I haven't traveled overseas in almost 10 years, and have always, always wanted to go to Japan. I'm so excited. I'd also love to hear any suggestions/recommendations of places to visit from anybody out there! Anything with an art/craft/design slant would be extra cool :)

And, because it's just plain wrong to post without a picture, here's a little wip I'm working on :)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Poppies and Raindrops

Thanks for all the lovely responses to my last post! I'm glad to hear that all my pattern posting isn't getting tiresome, and also that people read my text rather than just looking at the pictures (I am sometimes guilty of doing that when I'm in a hurry).

I just uploaded some new fabric into my shop this morn. Two new designs, this time a little bit more colourful than usual :) It was hard to do them complete justice in the photos, though:

Also, the bonsai trees and geese in a lovely chocolate colour on fawn, which I reckon turned out really nice: