Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Tigerprint Competition - Mother's Day Florals

Boosted on by the great time I'm having creating patterns and playing with colour on the ABSPD course, I've entered the Tigerprint Mother's Day Floral competition today with these 2 card designs.  Which do you prefer?

Monday, 14 April 2014

Misty mornings

Last week as part of the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course Module #1 we worked on colours and moodboards.  I made lots but I won't bore you with them all.  As I normally go for bright colours, I thought I'd try some more muted tones.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014


I could make a joke about being a fungi guy, but I won't!  Another pattern I knocked up today. Not my favourite of the ones I've done so far, maybe need to work on the colours.

Autumn in Spring

I created this pattern today inspired by acorns and autumn.  Not sure about the colours - too sickly?  I have a habit of making things look too saccharine!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Art and Business of Surface pattern course

I've loved surface pattern for years.  I wanted to study it at university but didn't get the right grades to go get onto the course I wanted to and I ending up doing Fashion instead which wasn't my first choice and I haven't worked in that industry for over 10 years now.  I've been messing about with patterns on Illustrator for the last few years (with mostly horrific results!) but  recently I signed up with the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course with designer Rachel Taylor and Beth Kempton of Do What you Love in order to try and find 'my style' with a view to hopefully being able to start selling my patterns.  I've been having a blast with it so far, and we are only just into week 3 of the first module.  Here are a couple of the patterns I've created so far.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Give Nana's ornaments a facelift

You've seen them before - the forlorn looking ornaments gracing the shelves of pretty much every charity shop.  Give those ornaments a new home and a new lease of life with this super quick tutorial I made for Craft Candy.

Toilet roll craft pinatas

Who knew loo rolls could be so cute!  I made this tutorial for Craft Candy who are celebrating their birthday this month.    Instead of being filled with sweets, these pinatas are filled with crafty treated instead.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Build a little birdhouse in your soul...

"Not to put too fine a point on it, Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet, Make a little birdhouse in your soul"...

Here's a little DIY cardboard and pom-pomy birdhouse demo which will surely cheer up your soul (Please note, any bibliophiles watching this video and cringing at the book being cut up - it was already damaged!) 

Kitsch shot glass revamp

Another mini tutorial video I made for Craft Candy - Use left over bits of candle and melt them down to create these cute kitsch shot glass candles - great gift idea too - and cheap - I usually pick up these shot glasses for about 25p each in my local charity shop - and you can't beat a canine candle!

Birdie plate DIY

Got a load of old crocks hiding forlornly in your kitchen cupboards? Here's a quick idea to jazz them up and get them on your wall

Pretty pushpins

Another Vine super quick 7 second (yes, you heard right, 7 seconds long!!) tutorial I did for Craft Candy:

Monday, 13 January 2014

DIY: Pom pom twigs

Another quick tutorial I did for Craft Candy recently, simply using pom pom fringing, a splash of paint, some twigs I picked up in the park and my favourite craft tool of choice - the glue gun.  

Friday, 10 January 2014

Flashback: Helen Musselwhite

I first found Helen Musselwhite's work back in 2010, and wrote about her intricate paper cut creations on this blog.  I have recently seen her creations cropping up on Pinterest a lot lately and wanted to show her current work to you all again, in case you missed it first time round.

Helen lives just south of Manchester and takes a lot of her inspiration from the countryside round there which is obvious from her work which feature lots of British flora and fauna.  Helen has been busy since I last featured her and her work has been used on many magazine covers and advertising campaigns, including Audi, Cadbury and Nokia and also window designs for Stella McCartney and Smythson.  

I love to read about people making a living from something they LOVE doing, which is sadly a bit of a rarity in this day and age.  You can see how much care and attention goes into her work and its lovely to read on her website that ..'I think it’s simply that I love doing this so much I can get totally lost in what I’m doing and the time passes by without me noticing. I’m at my happiest when I’ve nearly finished a piece that I’ve been really caught up in – sometimes I feel quite bereft when I’ve finished them!..'

Thursday, 9 January 2014

DIY: My stool revamp for Craft Candy

I've spent a very happy morning sanding, painting and gluing today. What have I been making (apart from a big mess)? Well, I'm very excited to say that I've been asked to film some DIY craft videos for Craft Candy, an online venture based in London who have approached workshop listing in a new and exciting way. Passionate about Craft, Social Media and technology, Craft Candy make it easier for you to find a local workshop, club or market in your area.  The videos will be used in Craft Candy's monthly newsletters and on their website. I love nothing more than getting my hands dirty and burning the old fingers and thumbs on my geriatric glue-gun so this is a match made in crafty heaven.

Today's offering?  I took a tired old stool which I found at a car boot sale last summer for the princely sum of £3.  I knew it had potential and it has been crying out for a makeover for months.  So, I gave it a new lease of life using my favourite colour, eye-popping neon pink, and a scrap of bold geo fabric.  What do you think of it?

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Maker Spotlight: Joe Christopherson

I came across Joe Christopherson's work via Pinterest (See, there is a good reason why I spend so much of my spare time trawling that website!).  However, I can't seem to find out much about him which is a shame, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to show his delicate bowls to you and I have found that the Flow Gallery is exhibiting his work, according to their website, so if you are in London, go and have a look at his work in the flesh.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

DIY round-up: height charts

Do you remember standing up as straight and tall as you possibly could while your mum or dad marked off your height on the family chart, willing yourself to be a whole 3 or 4 inches taller than the year before?  I do, and although I've never made it past 5ft tall I was always excited to see my progress on the tattered giraffe growth chart.   Here are some creative ways to create height charts that look pretty on display all year round with the added bonus of being able to take them with you if you move house:

Burlap Chart

Measuring tape

This measuring tape by Variations on Normal was made and used as a diary, but you could do the same thing for a height chart.

Giant ruler

Monday, 6 January 2014

Trending: Pom poms

Traditionally, pom-poms were simple creations made by children but they seem to be having a bit of a grown-up renaissance at the moment.  Pom-poms are being turned into all manner of homewares and used to decorate clothing and accessories and have recently been seen on the catwalk too.  Join the trend by adding these fluffy delights to scarves and blankets, turn them into garlands, poufs or necklaces and even make chandeliers from them.  Have you jumped onto the pom-pom train yet?  

Pom-pom fashion

Pom-pom pouf

Pom-pom scarf

Pom-pom garland

Pom pom chair

Pom-pom flowers

Pom-pom chandelier

Friday, 13 December 2013

Flashback: Swarm

When I first featured Swarm, it was back in 2009, after I found this video (which will make you want this man's job, as the then current buyer for Anthropologie, he may have one of best jobs in the world!) Swarm, aka Leslie Oschmann, used to be the Visual Director for Anthropologie and you can see the great and unique design, which is often seen in Anthropologie's amazing goods, in her work.  Combining old furniture with oil paintings she finds in Dutch flea markets, the result is particularly eye-catching.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Maker Spotlight #4: Amanda Anderson

One of the perks of my job at Craft Finder is finding and learning about new British designers and makers and Amanda Anderson is one of those people.  Her mosaics are inspired by folklore and traditional stories involving animals, birds and metamorphosis.  She uses stained glass in her work and I wonder if that is what helps gives it such vibrance.  

What's your favourite piece of her work?  I'm torn between the tiger and fox.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

DIY Round-Up: inspiration boards

Pinterest has been very helpful in keeping the images I collect online in one place but I still find lots of inspiration away from the computer.  Magazine pages, my sketches, colour swatches, found objects and scraps of fabric are all currently stowed away in various folders scattered about my work space.  This means they aren't doing their job of inspiring me after all so I've found some great ideas which Im going to have a go at in order to organise my creative chaos.  Here are a few of them.  I think the plywood and the pegboard are my favourites and super easy too, just requires a visit to the local hardware store to pick up some board.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Trending: Weaving

I remember the first time I was introduced to weaving.  I was 9 years old in craft class and our teacher, Mrs Sayer, gave us each a yoghurt pot with 5 or 6 cuts made vertically down the pot to its base.  She gave us some little balls of wool to weave in and out of the pot slits and once finished it was offered to our Mums as a Mother's Day gift.  I can't say it was my finest work, but I remember it was lots of fun.

It seems weaving is having a bit of a renaissance if Pinterest is anything to go by and I'm a big fan of this contemporary take on a very traditional craft.






Friday, 22 November 2013

Flashback: Su Turno

I first featured Su Turno back in 2009, after I found their products on etsy and fell for their surface pattern design.  SuTurno was founded in Madrid by Julia Vergara and Javier Gutierrez Bayo who work on different design areas and media (fashion, interiors, graphics…).  When I revisited their work recently, I was struck not only by the quality of their design but also by the incredible photography.  But after reading more about their day jobs (they have worked in projects for international clients such as Marc by Marc Jacobs and Zara Home to name a few) I can see why the quality is so strong.  Running SuTurno, their personal projects are carefully crafted in limited numbers by local artisans, combining quality natural materials and striking prints. 

All images from Su Turno website


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