Wednesday, May 29, 2013

They've Arrived!! - samples from my new 'Give Thanks" collection for a leading fabric manufacturer!

These samples arrived at the weekend.  I knew they were on their way but I didn't know how great they'd look!  The details are printed brilliantly and the colours are just singing!  I loved creating this group of designs - there were also turkeys, squirrels and pumpkins.  The rich autumnal colours were a bit of a departure for me (as were the turkeys) but these have ended up being some of my favourite designs from my own collection.
This is now my third group of fabrics produced by this well know manufacturer and if they'd let me, I shout their name from the rooftops!!
I've photographed them with some fuschia pink bougainvillea from my garden and my new 1970's paperweight because they set off the pinks and oranges in  the designs so beautifully.
The paper weight actually has an interesting (if sad)  story behind it - but I'll leave that for another blog post another day.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Do these colours say 'Italy'?

I've been in Rome for four years now and have been planning (and failing) to do a series of Italian themed designs since we arrived.  Well - Summer's on the horizon again -  the sky is blue, flowers are draping themselves over the walls, we're planning trips to Tuscany and the Island of Ponza,  and I spent yesterday morning running around the center of Rome, past the Colosseum and the Forum, in The Race for the Cure.  I'm feeling inspired.
I've started with a series of illustrated Italian scenes (the sea, the countryside, the city etc) and am planning to continue the theme into smaller, repeated, all-over co-ordinates for fabrics and finally food related designs, suitable for kitchen-ware.
The big question was color.  How would I do this without turning it into a big, old, rustic cliche - i.e. without using red, green and white (the colours of the flag are evocative of Italy and it's cuisine but are so overdone and are very Christmassy looking too)?  
How would I make it modern yet distinctly Italian, retro cool but also bright and warm? After hours of messing about with about fifty colour combinations (went down the acid yellow route for a while - eek!) I hit on this - and I'm really pleased with it.
Here's how my brain worked;
Soft tomatoey red - perfect for when I need to Italian tomato. It lends warmth (think old, enameled pots and kettles) and is a compromise on the Italian flag red too.
Fleshy, shell pink - always useful for people and compliments the red.
Salmon pink - like the stucco on so many houses here (including mine).  Also good for people.
Retro blue - covers both sky and sea.  It was inspired by a beautiful, brand new Fiat I saw parked outside the local cafe the other day.
Dark teal/French Navy - for high contrast but also a crisp, smart, contemporary neutral.
Minty green - need I explain this?  It creeps into everything I do.  My studio is this color.  But it does serve a purpose too.  It's a beautiful, popping accent colour and evokes the traditional green part of the Italian flag  - and I can't do food/plants/countryside without a bit of green!
Soft warm-toned grey - a much needed neutral and another favourite of mine (my living room!). I think it's a modern and sophisticated alternative to beige and makes everything look updated.  
Warm, peachy ivory - adds to the warmth yet lifts the designs with some light and space.
I've posted a sneak peek of the group with these slices (above) from two of the designs.  I'll post the rest when they're done!
What do you think?  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I WON!!!!!!!!!

Ha ha ha!!!!
1st go - nothing.
2nd go - shortlisted to top ten.
3rd go - Runner Up.
4th go - Yahooooo!!!!!
I am soooooo happy today!  In case you're wondering why... I entered my designs in the Female Surface Pattern Tigerprint Competition along with 700 other designs and this morning I found out I'd won!!
It's my 4th attempt and I seem to have made an incremental progression each time from no result to winner.
Tigerprint produces beautifully designed products for Marks and Spencers and it's a real honour to have their design team recognise my work.   Thank you so much to all of you talented, hardworking Tigerprint designers/judges!!  You've made my day!