Archive for November, 2010

November 30, 2010

Blue & Green….

We went off for a night to the Malborough Sounds last weekend – to try out our camping skills. The last time my husband and I went camping was ‘before kids’ and we checked into a nice hotel by the sea after only two nights! But that was in England way back when…So we thought we should really try again. The kids are used to camping now, having been at Kiwi schools for three years, so they showed us a thing or two. I still need a lot of practice!

Camping inexperience aside, I really, really enjoyed the absolutely beautiful surroundings. We stayed in Okiwi Bay, just about an hour and a half’s drive from our home. The sea was blue, the sky clear, the bush clad mountains a million shades of green and the bird song was incredible.

On the way back home, we stopped by our local Christmas Tree farm and ‘tagged’ our tree for this year. We’ll go back to pick it up in a couple of weeks. Here is our littlest one running around the younger trees.

I feel truly lucky to experience  all this and more in this beautiful New Zealand ‘back yard’.

November 22, 2010

Red & White Christmas Printables

Hi! Thanks for dropping by.

I’ve made a start on thinking about Christmas this week. Yep, it had to be done.

And I have a little early Christmas giveaway for you.

Some Red and White Christmas Tree wrapping paper.  Designed  for small gifts, this one is A4 so you can print it at home. (you could take your printout to the photocopy shop to enlarge if you need it bigger) Try different lightweight papers. If you don’t have a colour printer, black and white looks good on coloured paper too.

And some gift tags to match – just print onto A4 card, cut out, punch a hole near the top and thread some nice red ribbon on.



Now, just need to go and sort out some presents! Here are the files for you – in pdf.

Design Crafty xmas tree wrap   Design crafty gift tags small

Please note that these are for personal use only – not for re-sale or commercial purposes. Feel free to let friends know where  is though.

To avoid cutting edges off when printing, make sure you choose ‘shrink to fit paper’ option on your printer. Any questions, just email or leave a comment.


November 14, 2010

Cheater cloth collection finished!

Yay! The fabrics designs I wrote about last week are now re-coloured and ready to go. There’s one cheater cloth design and four co-ordinates in the collection.

It has taken quite a few hours of matching and altering, checking and many cups of tea to get them to this next stage. You can see them here. They look a bit pink on-screen but I’ve planned them to print in a combination of pinks and reds with a bit of ecru, chocolate, latte and duck egg blue included as accents. That is the main problem when colour matching, all computer screens display colour differently and all printers print colour differently – it has really got my brain cells working this morning.

Can’t wait to order some this week.

Other news….

We did the last session of the first Design Crafty Print Course last Friday – it was such a fun course to teach and everyone has done some really amazing designs. I hope to be able to give you a sneek-peek sometime soon – just got to ask permission first! 

ps.  The course starts again next week or the week after – I’m just arranging details with some people who are interested, so email me if you would like to join in with us!

Hope you all have a really good week.

November 8, 2010

A Little Fabric Story

Hello Again,

Lots of people have been asking me this week to show some examples of my work, so here is a little story about a set of printed fabric designs I’m working on at the moment  ….it’s still work in progress ….

I’ve had this idea of making a patchwork quilt for our bed for a while now. But I am not terribly confident (or patient enough) to cut up big pieces of fabric into little pieces and then sew those little pieces into big pieces, especially if they have to be straight and in a nice pattern! So I have been designing a ‘cheater cloth’ to help me along the way.

I started very simply by doodling some ditsy flowers, spots, stripes etc. on a few paper squares…. which I scanned into the computer….

I put together some pleasing colour combinations – I was imagining sitting on a nice picnic blanket surrounded by summer flowers, fields of wheat, soft berry fruit, sunshine, hazy skies, you get the picture……


Then I spent a bit of time exploring my scanned-in images: I moved them around,  resized them, pieced them together, re-coloured them and fiddled about a bit until I had a simple repeating squares pattern – each square with its own pattern inside…This is my 1st attempt – I think the colour got a bit carried away – its nice but a bit too varied for me.

I also wanted to have some coordinating fabrics for the back of the quilt and maybe for some pillow cases too…so a few of the designs got turned into full repeating patterns that go nicely with the patchwork design.  And the colours got simplified too.

I really love this whole design development process, seeing some doodly drawings evolve into designs…

Very excitedly, I uploaded the designs to Spoonflower and ordered some trial swatches. They arrived four and a bit weeks later (I’m at the bottom of the world so these things take time!) and here they are….

I’m so pleased with the fabrics. I need to alter some of the colours that haven’t come out quite as expected (I can do that now because I also ordered a colour blanket to choose exact colours from – see previous post) I think I will change some of the orangey-reds to be more  pinky-reds and the natural tones need to be less yellow.

Then I will have the tricky task of working out how much fabric to order so that I can finally make something out of it. I’m thinking that a whole super king size quilt maybe a little too much for me – so I plan to start with something smaller and more manageable like a set of cushions or pillows. Or maybe a nice picnic blanket, or a  pretty dress for someone little…..aaaahh, so many ideas,so much I’d like to make, so little time! What do you think?

Hope you have a great week.

November 1, 2010

Full of Colour

Hello. It’s a really beautiful sunny spring Monday here at the top of the South in lovely NZ.

When I came back from some morning errands, my mail box was looking fit to burst.  Now normally we tend to get pretty boring letters – bills, statements etc.  But today there were two interesting looking  parcels for me. One from my mum – thanks Mum, lovely!

….and the other from the nice people at Spoonflower .

My first and very much-anticipated order….







……which included some trials of my new designs (sorry no sneak-peep of those for now) and this amazing yard of very useful colour samples, prepared by Isabella P of Inscribed Here printed on beautiful cotton sateen.



soooooo lovely and very inspiring.  I and some of the students on the upcoming Design Crafty Short Course will be using this colour blanket to choose and match colours for our printed designs. As you can probably guess, colour gets me very excited. Even our four-year old couldn’t resist touching the sweetie-like colours and stating his preferences.

Hope you all have a really good week.