Busy busy busy

A whole week since my last post and it’s been a busy one – starting your own business takes up rather a lot of time!

Here’s just a few things I’ve been doing this week…

My first delivery of greetings cards arrived from moo – printed with my own designs. I am very pleased with them, and will be putting them on sale soon.

A sneak preview of my greetings cards – on sale soon.

Where will I sell them? Through my folksy store! I set it up this week and the cards will be on there very soon – as soon as I’ve had time to take some fantastic pictures of them.

My course is also really busy at the moment (check it out here if you want to know more) – this week I’m working on a live brief from wallpapered.com to design a mural or wallpaper design inspired by maps. Here is a sneak peek of what I’m planning – can you guess what it is yet?

Some drawings that will appear on my finished piece – come back to see what kind of map features meat and cheese!

And finally I ordered my first yards of fabric from Spoonflower – after a few rounds of samples I am happy with the colors so have taken the plunge and will be hitting the sewing machine as soon as it arrives. The end results will appear on Folksy, plus I’m planning to sell at a Christmas market or two.

I’ve ordered fabric in this design to make some comfy cushions


Patterns 4: all wrapped up

This week was the start of Module 3 of the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design e-course that I’m taking.

It’s been amazing so far, so much to learn and it’s helped me move my plans forwards far quicker than if I’d been doing it all by myself.

The design brief this week was to create a range of wrapping paper for a target audience of late 30s affluent female customers – I don’t quite fit either of those traits just yet! No florals, branches, leaves etc allowed – a good restriction to make us think a bit more creatively.

The collection is for Spring / Summer 2013, so I’ve gone for fresh greens, yellow and a soft pink.

Here are some of my designs:

Cat or fox or bird?

Bang the drum

Under the microscope

On the horizon


In it to win it

When you’re starting out as a new designer, entering competitions can be a great way to get your work noticed.

Here are a few that are open right now.

Spoonflower, the US company that produce fabric to your own design, have a regular competition for their design community. Currently they are looking for back to school patterns (closing very soon) and after that it’s cheater quilts and typewriter inspired designs. Here’s my back to school design.

My Back to School entry for the Spoonflower comp.

OhhDeer.com is an online retailer of quirky gifts. Their competition is to design a cushion cover – the winners will be produced and sold in Tate Modern amongst other top quality locations! It’s open until 8 September, details online here. Here is my entry:


Supa Sofas, my entry to the OhhDeer competition.

Tigerprint, the designers of greetings cards for M&S, have a regular competition with fun briefs. This month’s is to design a pattern for 5-8 year old children that tells a story or evokes an exciting journey. Check it out on their website.

And finally, Betafashion.com produce silk scarves with designs by emerging new designers. Their current competition is to produce a design influenced by the current fashion trend of oriental motifs. Find out more here. One of my coursemates Mary Tanana won their last competition!

Patterns 2 – a family affair

Some more of my work from the ABSPD course.
The starting point for this collection was a quick sketch of a jug, made by my Granny, Marianne de Trey. She has spent her life making beautiful ceramics, and is a talented pattern-maker! She actually started by designing fabric at the Royal College of Art, and moved onto ceramics when she met my grandfather Sam. You can see some of her work here. There are some of both their pots in the V&A museum in London in the lovely ceramics gallery on the top floor.

So, I have a bit to live up to!

The original sketch turned into a repeat pattern, with a strong 50s influence and muted tones.

Some cups to go with the jugs – you need something to drink out of after all! I like the dark background on this one.

Bringing the original hand-drawn motifs together with some abstract shapes with a retro, bright colour scheme.

And here’s all the designs together in a collection, with a couple of simple coordinating elements to go with them. A nice range of kitchenware one day I hope…

Patterns 1

This is a selection of my work, mainly in response to briefs from the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design course.

By the way, if you want to know more about the course you can read all about it here

These first three are self-initiated work with a 50s feel and a strong colour scheme with summery shades and acid brights.

50s inspired organic shapes

Some more alien life-forms with an acid-bright colour scheme

A third pattern from the collection

Celebration scarf

Celebration scarf

My name up in lights!

Very pleased to have my work featured on the Rachael Taylor Designs blog – she is showcasing some work from module 1 of the course I am currently taking, The Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design.

This piece was in response to a brief to design a scarf inspired by the theme of celebration – hopefully it makes you think of flags & bunting fluttering in the wind at a street party, or wedding, or garden party, or festival, or anywhere you might feel like celebrating!