'the life of a textile and surface pattern designer'

Archive for December, 2012

Sketching the night away…

The last couple of days have been spent sketching away some motifs for my newest collection to be.


Choosing a sketchbook is one of THE hardest things for a designer to do! Personally I love large chunky square sketchbooks and am always on the lookout for one which inspires me and makes me want to draw and design inside it! When we were in London, I fell in love with the one below …so luxurious but at @ £12.50 for a sketchbook, (when I go through them so quickly) really isn’t economical. The sketchbook played on my mind and we ended up going in Paperchase (different ones I may add!) three times before Leon decided enough was enough and marched over to the till with it!

00501280_largeYou gotta agree though, it is pretty damn beautiful even though it breaks my square rule!


See the light

Urban Line was inspired by London and from that it evolved into a project with many focuses including collage, cutout and lighting. This was a lampshade I created as a proto-type using a selection of fabrics which i created for this collection. (The spotty vase is merely for the photo and not as part of the design).


I really love the texture of the crumpled fabrics used here and I think the fabrics with a white background really standout in this collection.

the boy did good

After all the preparation, Christmas has been and gone, but the boy did good with lots of surprises including this b.eau.ti.ful ring…


As always, it was over far too fast and now it’s back to work for us tomorrow.


So back to the designing…


Here is another recent final design I have created, using a motif developed with sketching, stitching, sequins, lace, collage & paint, before been digitally manipulated into a repeat design.


I’m thinking this design would look great on upholstery!

Outside the box

As a designer, you have to go with your instinct and stay true to the project you are working on. For every decision you make, there is no right or wrong but  the most important part is to just make a decision and go with it. 


For my recent Urban Line collection, I had to create a content board. Content boards are similar to a mood board in that it is a board (often A3) that captures the essence of the content. You should use both secondary and primary images to help convey this. It should be a little ‘window’ or (taster) into the ideas behind your collection and a great source of inspiration. Generally these boards would be flat (with maybe a little texture), however whilst creating the content board for ‘Urban Line’, I had a great urge, as a designer, to bring it off the page and to really give the viewer the idea of the large amounts of construction within the city. This led to the creation of a 3D board…very similar to that of a shadow box.


I have really thought outside the box (haha no pun intended!) with this handcrafted ‘content board’. It was a risky idea, but one which as a designer I fully back as I feel this is much truer to the essence and nature of my project than an almost flat piece of paper. I have yet to have feedback on this ‘board’ and it could go either way, but I’m really hoping they love it as much as I do, although I am prepared that I may be told that on this occasion I have pushed the boundaries a little too far (is that possible as a designer?! is that not perhaps our objective?!) .


We shall see!



Mission tree was completed and with just 20mins until Christmas Eve, we move into mission Christmas! Exciting times! This post is illustrated by two variations of another recent design. Enjoy 🙂


Mission Tree

Okay, so we blitzed the shopping last night….in and out of town in a couple of hours…most of which was in one department store where we may have ‘accidentally’ got a little carried away and overspent by quite a few £££. But, the kids are only little once and who are we to ruin the ‘magic of christmas’ for them?! And, you know what, Leon is such a sucker for a toy…I swear half of the ones we brought were actually for him!


Today I am living on a promise and I must must must must must must must do the tree with the kiddies before bed, I am working all weekend (yup, even Sunday…must.be.mad!!) and we have a christmas doo tomorrow evening (yippee!!! Love a good ole knees-up) so it HAS to be done today. So enough waffle from me, I’m on  a mission….. tree, tree, tree.


P.S : By the way, just incase you were wondering those designs ^^^^^^^^…NOTHING absolutely what-so-ever to do with trees or christmas or my mission…but they are a variant of a recent final design I created, so I thought I’d share with my favs! EnjoY!

One week to go!

So, its all here far too quickly once again and next week this time it shall almost all be over! And so far we are wayyyy behind schedule. No christmas tree, very little pressies and absolutely no food! To make it worse, Leon and I are both working right up to Christmas Eve…ekkk! Panic not though, it will all come together….after all, for the last ten years we have been the pro’s of pulling together a ‘Last minute Xmas’ (and we have even been known to have taken our tree down on boxing day! Our house is just far too small for a tree and two small children!) Whilst I am off to make a start on the last minute preparations, I will leave you with one of my recent final designs.


This design is a variant from my ‘Urban Line’ collection.