All I want for Christmas is…

I know it’s over 2 months away, but my thoughts have turned to Christmas as I’m going to be making a range of products, featuring my designs, to sell at a Christmas market.

I’ve had some greetings cards printed already, and will be making cushions, aprons and other bits & pieces with my own fabric – the patterns below, and more, will feature.

Watch this space for the time and date!

Greetings cards – these will be available for Christmas, and online.

Kitchen textiles in my Retro Jugs and Mugs design will be made by my own fair hands

And don’t forget you have 1 week left to get my cushion

You can find my cushion on the ohhdeer website. If I am lucky enough to be a competition winner it will go on sale in shops including the Tate Shop. If I don’t win I plan to get some fabric printed up and make my own.


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 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

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. 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, 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 3 – give it some personality

I designed this collection in response to a brief to use only geometric shapes, and only design on the computer with no hand-drawn lines at all. It was a really interesting exercise – I immediately wanted to draw all the shapes by hand! Whilst I like the concepts and shapes in this collection, and the colour palette in particular, I think it loses energy and personality without the hand-drawn lines.

My geometric collection, produced entirely in Illustrator. Click for bigger image

So I decided to see what would happen when I re-made some of the patterns by hand. Some of them worked much better, and interestingly some of them didn’t – straight lines are the answer sometimes it seems!

Overlapping squares

Meshed rectangles

Sketchy squares

Layered wiggles

Designing Women – exhibition visit

I went last month to a really nice exhibition at the Fashion & Textile Museum in London. Designing Women, Post-War British Textiles, showcased work by 6 wonderful designers working in post-war Britain.

Their work shows the radical changes which took place in design in this period, with bold geometric and abstract forms and an embracing of a new, modern look. While much of their work looks ‘retro’ to us, I think it has an energy and freshness that still feels relevant today, and will always be exciting.

The most famous of the group is probably Lucienne Day. Many of her designs are now classics, and you can see them all over the place these days. The other designers featured in the show were Jacqueline Groag, Marian Mahler, Paule Vezelay, Mary White and Mary Warren.

Here are a few pictures I took at the show – all on my phone, so the quality isn’t amazing, but the work looks pretty good still!

Designing Women

View of the main gallery

Lucienne Day

Marian Mahler

Mary Warren

Mary White

Another view of the exhibition – the museum is a great space.

Oops can’t remember who this one is. If you know, comment below!

Lucienne Day

Lucienne Day

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