Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Placement printing

Remember this little spikey bush? I tried making it into a full repeat pattern but wasn't happy with the results. Next best option: placement prints!

A more cost effective way of doing a yardage print, with less commitment required :)

Japanesey bag design

I'm loving the warmer weather of late. So good to roll out of bed and feel warm, not freezing. I tend to get very cold when I'm not moving about.

That said, I haven't had much opportunity to get out and about in this fine weather due to spending copious amounts of time at the studio. It's been very productive though, and I feel like everything is getting easier and going much more smoothly.

In preparation for the Melbourne Design Market (November 30th), I've been working on some new products. I've been wanting to design a nice, Japanesey style tote for awhile now, and when Bianca showed me this book, I was immediately inspired by the bag on the front cover. It definitely needed some modifications though, and my version is almost completely different. But that seed of inspiration was very handy:

(needs some internal pockets)

Here's the first prototype I made. I decided it needed interfacing in the top panel:

I think I'll get a bunch of these made for the design market, but am wondering if I should make & sell some kits as well? Then I can cater to everyone during this very budget conscious time. What do you think?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Random studio pics

I love the look of old paint splattered frames freshly stretched with new mesh and artwork:

A placement print that I'll use as a panel in cushions and other small items.

And showing off a little of my new skirt

Thursday, October 23, 2008

More birch in Fuchsia

Ooh wow, the fuchsia birch went quick! Was that because of the price or the colour itself? Because I might do another run of it on a nice linen basecloth if people would like that?

I do still have some in stock on the calico, and have just restocked it in my shop, for those who missed out. I'm listing conservatively because I'm not 100% sure how much decent print area is on the roll. So if you find it sold out, check back again in a day or so and there might be more :)

In other news, Ink & Spindle has made it into the Melbourne Design Market this year! So we're busy stocking up. I must say, a year or so ago I wouldn't have even dreamed of getting a stall there. How things change :)

Oh also, just wanted to say a belated THANK YOU for everyone's lovely birthday wishes the other week! I totally forgot to say thanks :) And thanks in general for all your kind words and support about everything that's going on over here. It really does help in these exciting but somewhat scary new times.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hand printed fabrics in the shop!

OMG so exciting, I've finally been able to update my shop with new fabrics. That we printed ourselves here in the Ink & Spindle studio - yay!

The new Birch in gold - note this print is MUCH LARGER SCALE than it used to be! And the gold is more 'sunny' than my previous gold colour.

Acacia in plum. Love this colourway. It's slightly discounted in price though due to the fact that it's printed on calico. Not that I mind calico in the least, it's a great colour & texture, just has a bad name for some reason.

Acacia in robins egg on organic cotton/hemp.

Birch in Fuchsia. This print is a bit patchy in places so it's discounted in price. But still good!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

New fabrics in production!

Down at the studio we're still traveling along the learning curve, fine tuning our processes and making things easier and smoother. We're still a little way off printing for other people but have done a bunch of test runs that are more than worthy of going in my shop! First they have to be heat-set though, so they wont appear in the shop for another week or so:

Acacia in plum on cream

New Birch test run on some white demin courtesy of Mattt

Printing the new Birch in gold - reach! (this is actually a lot easier than it looks)

Temporary drying solution (lucky we can offset our carbon emissions from this baby)

Acacia on natural, work in progress.

Tiny Decor

A little while ago I did a custom print run for Jackie of Tiny Decor Boutique, an online shop offering eco-friendly nursery decor for modern, eco-conscious parents.

And here's what they made from the fabrics!

New Organic Boudoir Pillows! They're available from Tiny Decor here for shipping in Continental US and here for shipping Worldwide.

Sprout Design samples!

I am soooooo belated in posting about this, but Bek from Sprout Design sent me printed samples of my designs that I supplied for the Sprout Designer Range! I'm really happy with how these turned out:

'My Little World' and complementary [thanks mum] prints for Sprout Design.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Learning curve like this --> /

Due to the two person requirements of our massive screens, printing times at I&S are restricted to after hours and weekends whilst the girls finish off their day jobs. We're still playing around with printing on sample fabrics, and it's going well.

The Acacia print in it's completed form. This is printed on a yellow/beige coloured Jersey that was donated to us so it's not worthy of sale as yardage methinks. But soon we'll print on 'proper' fabric I promise!

Mixing inks for the next test run. From this...

... to this. A familiar colour, anyone? Geez I love formulas.

Serious & stylish cleaning action from Teegs.

It's funny, the part of the process I was most concerned about was the actual act of printing, and being able to get a good result. So far that has probably been the smoothest and easiest part of all! Mixing the right amount of ink and cleaning screens without getting mess and water everywhere has been the hard part. But it's all part of the learning curve and we're learning heaps which is great.

Shearious Craftsperson

Okay that was officially the worst pun/dad joke ever, but I couldn't resist.

It was certainly not worthy of the subject matter which is this awesome pair of industrial shears I received for my birthday courtesy of the lovely Mattt and his partner Mel. Because now I am a 'serious craftsperson' hehe. I like that.

Here they are with my (wrong) hand for size context.

Mmmm. These will come very much in handy.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Our first print run

'OMG OMG OMG' - such was the soundtrack I provided to the girls during the last two hours we just spent in the studio. There's really nothing more exciting than screen printing one's own design onto fabric. By hand. In one's own studio. And the fact that our very first run of test prints was almost perfect - was just the icing on the cake.

My funny 'concentrating' facial expression

Tegan and Bianca at work

My excitement was only somewhat diminished by my inexperienced use of the high pressure water cleaner that left me (and everything else within the 'Dexter' curtain) covered head to toe in yellow ink whilst trying to clean the screen. But lessons were learnt, and all worked out in the end.

Clean screen behind the 'Dexter' curtain

Birch Forest screen ready to go (a little larger scale than before)

You can not imagine how much of a burden has been lifted from my shoulders to have that first run turn out so well. There have been so many fretful moments over the last few months. We've had some great guidance from yardage printing gurus around Australia ... but the end result was a sort of mish mash of everyone's advice which I just had to cross my fingers was going to be okay. And it was!

One test repeat of the wattle - looking good!!

We'll start printing on some proper fabric soon, and once it's printed and heat set I'll have some new stock for the shop :)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

One more year

Peeking at Jhoanna's window display at Hudson - Photo by Kristen Doran

There's something different about the age 27, in my mind. 27 seems a lot older than 26. It's officially late 20s. By 27 you expect people to be well on their way to accomplishing things. Uni days left far behind and getting into their careers. My brothers were married and buying houses by this age. Not that I don't feel that I've accomplished enough but there's a certain extra level of self expectation now.

Anyway... that's my round-about way of saying that today is my birthday :) Just like any ordinary work day (I was spoilt by having my birthday always fall on school holidays) but I'm looking forward to Mum & Dad's this evening and my favourite 'hotpot' for dinner :)

Jhoanna's peg bears and other cuties Hudson - Photo by Kristen Doran