Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving to all you lovely Americans!

A few weeks ago I had an email from an American lady, Sara Sousa, asking where she could buy my 'Give Thanks' fabrics so she could make a dress for her 'feisty little 3 year old".  I wasn't able to be very helpful as they are only sold in Joanns and she'd already tried her local branch.  When I replied, however, she said she'd already found them (2 hrs away!) and sent me studio photos of her little girl wearing the dress she made! Wow!
Isn't she cute! And don't the fabrics really complement her coloring - and these pics are perfect for the time of year too! They really made my day!  I am utterly rubbish at sewing and wouldn't have a hope of making something nice from my fabrics so to see them made up into a sweet little dress and worn by a lovely little girl was just fantastic.  Thank you so much Sarah!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Christmas Range for TJ Maxx by C.R. Gibson (and me!)

Over the last few weeks I've been receiving the most enormous boxes in the post and I can't tell you how excited I was to open them.  Inside were samples of this range of products featuring my designs - 6 or 12 of each.  My studio is full of them!  I feel like I should open a shop - but to be honest, I wouldn't want to part with any of them!
I am so thrilled that C.R. Gibson liked my work enough to license all these Christmas images from me.  The quality of the products is amazing and I'm so proud to see my work on them.  If you'd like to buy any of them then just pop to your local TJ Maxx anywhere in America and you should see them there.  There have also been shipments to TJ Maxx in Europe (where it's known as TK Maxx) so I'm hopeful that my Mum is going to find them in England!!!
If you'd like to see other wonderful products by C.R. Gibson have a look at their website -

Thursday, November 21, 2013

5th Week - Make Art That Sells - Gift Market

The final week of the MATS course was all about the gift market.  Our mini assignment involved gathering together a 'collection' of our belongings - things that went together and worked as a theme - and scanning or photographing them.  At first I was thinking I might use my collection of pots, jugs and bowls but when the main assignment came through I realized that wasn't really going to work.
I've been 'collecting' old lady embroideries for years - more randomly acquiring them than purposefully collecting - and when I gathered them in a heap and set them next to a few other bits and pieces I have -  some old lady brooches, some little ceramic and jade elephants, a 1960's sugar bowl and mug - I could see that the colors and styles went together really nicely.
The main assignment involved setting the images together (preferably using a mirroring repeat, and adopting a 'hyperlush', 'more is more' philosophy) in a design that would feature on a zippered pouch.
I've never done this before.  I've been hooked on Illustrator for a while and forgot that Photoshop can offer so much in terms of incorporating a diverse range of imagery that can be edited to my liking - and previous experience of this was limited to the odd scanned drawing and texture.  
I really love the vibrancy of the photographic motifs and how they (surprisingly) sit so nicely next to more traditional surface pattern imagery.  I'm really pleased with the result and have used many of the motifs again in a new Christmas group (to be posted!).
This course has really opened my eyes in so many ways.  I'm going to post a summary of my experience here on Dec 2nd when it's my turn to participate in a blog tour with my lovely new MATS mates!  Be prepared for lots of enthusiastic adjectives!!
Have a look below at all the bits I gathered that found their way onto a make-up bag design!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

4th Week - Make Art That Sells - Wall Art

Here you go then - Wall Art!  The first painting I've done in years!!!!  We were assigned two colors (I got red and blue) and asked to gather whatever elements we could find in these colors with a view to doing a collaged piece for the wall art market.
Here's a selection of the bits and pieces I found.  We haven't got any beautiful little arty shops in my neighborhood.  Just a couple of stationery/gift shops and 'the Chinese shop' (as it's known).  But while hunting around I came across some real finds - the gridded paper, the old fashioned paper binders, the paper chocolate cases and the raffle tickets - all in shades of red and blue!  Those bed sheets have been hanging round for years waiting to be turned into something too.  They belonged to my Mother-in-Law.

I enjoyed this so much.  I did another one one to go with it but didn't manage to finish it - but I think it still looks okay alongside the first one in my living room - goes with my cushions!

I am definitely, definitely going to pursue this.  I'm not sure this was my most successful attempt at a MATS brief but for me it was probably the most inspiring.  It's an area I was only dimly aware of.  I longed to paint but needed to know how it would relate to and integrate with the other work I do and now it seems seamless.  I desperately want to make time to do an ABC painting, among other things, and start submitting work to Wall Art companies.