Sunday, 4 August 2013

Wallpapers and Fabric designs from my final collection.

At last I almost feel human again after two years of studying and working full time.
I have taken photo's of my final show but do not think they show off my designs very well, I hope these photographs taken outside show my work off better.

It's been a while so I hope I can still master the art of sending photographs to my blog.
I'd love to know what people think of my work.



Thursday, 2 May 2013


I feel I am almost there with my final module and heading for my final show. With a little excitement and satisfaction in the knowledge that as a full time employed, mature student I have achieved a lot in two years. 
After all it was a last minute decision to embark on this adventure in the first place.
Not everything has been documented in this blog, and on reflection I wish I had included more, but my blog started after I had created my first sketch book and the resulting designs.

So not yet finished but well on the way here are some of the design developments from those sketch book pages seen in a previous post.
I took a turn into the art of painting a stretched piece of paper with Procion dye. We were shown this technique in a workshop by Libby Lagun quite a few weeks ago. My piece developed while in the workshop is featured below.

This was created from that stretched piece of paper. A quick two minute drawing of a flower from the silk tassle bush, was scanned and developed into a design in Photoshop. This was then photo
copied and printed down onto my prepared background by using screen print cleaner, a sheet of acetate and an old biro.
When this was done I went into the design with household bleach to remove colour. This has resulted in the turquoise areas. I then coloured more areas with a white pencil.
I loved the result so much I just kept doing more, as you can see below. Once the initial design or painting was done, I took them into Photoshop and created lots of repeats.
The initial drawing used for these is of a Hellebore which I drew into my sketch book with a fine liner.

Original part drawing worked into with watercolour paint.

This is my second attempt, here I have used the whole drawing and created a lighter back ground. I tried to created a fraying edge but it went terribly wrong. Thank goodness you can crop things down in Photoshop.

In order to change the colour of this type of motif you must start from scratch and create the painting in the colours required.

Which has resulted in a totally different look to my original design.

I've moved on from that now and am working with more of my drawings from my sketch book pages. Still working in Photoshop cleaning up the photographs I took of my repeats. looking forward to finishing this process and adding some colour. Not really adept at using Photoshop I am learning a lot from U-tube as I go.

I have realised at long last, in my very last module that I would like to find work as a surface pattern designer. Hooray! It's only taken two years.
See below my on going work in this module.

Monday, 15 April 2013


Today I'm happy to tell you all that on Saturday I called in at Made in Jesmond to discuss merchandising our produce in the shop ready for our opening night of Friday the 19th April.
I was pleased to collect monies owed to me from two of my Aprons being sold. This is great news as I haven't been successful in finding an ideal work placement. Due to me working full time, living in Carlisle etc. During the Summer break from college I decided to run up some of my stash of fabrics into aprons and bags, with a view to selling them.

The next exciting news is that Warwick Tower will be opening on 27th April, this is a new venture set up by A Vintage Affair from Carlisle. It will be a shop selling Vintage and Retro items, originals often made by people like me. I am taking a small space for the time being and will be selling items I have made like my tea cosies and aprons. Plus a few vintage things I have bought in the past, which now need to move on to another good home.

I would like to exhibit some of my paintings too.

St Johns in the Vale watercolour.

Talkin in watercolour

And Grange in watercolour.

In the past I have painted mostly French scenes which I feel
reflect the light there. I have to admit I have struggled with painting English landscapes.
When I have finished my course I hope to take up watercolour painting again.

Here are some of my paintings which are not for sale, but show other work I am capable of.




We look forward to seeing you at Warwick Tower.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Work in progress

For our final module (this is the big one) we had to choose a subject and end product ourselves. Is it because I'm a Libra that I can never decide? Or just my sheer lack of confidence in my work? Whatever it is I just know this is my last chance to prove my worth and design something that will take my creative career where it is meant to go.
I thinkI want to create interiors fabric and wallpaper, in a linear botanical design with a twist. I love doorways as well as plants so would like to combine the two.
I have done my sketches and will share some of my sketch book pages with you today.
 I love snowdrops, here I have sketched them in different media and used continuous line, and my left hand.
Below I have done some more sketching but also added some silhouettes too.

 The tracing paper laid over this background of splashed on watercolour is making this look quite blurred. I like this composition and intend to develop the drawing further.
 Here again I have been messing around with backgrounds and my Distress Ink pads. Really liking the silhouettes in blue but also the white ones too. May take these further too.
 We did a drawing workshop with Libby Lagun the other week in the studio which I really enjoyed. Here is one of my pages of quick sketches using the usual left hand, blind and continuous line. We went on to choose one of the drawings to develop in Photoshop and it was the first time I had used the method above using the Procion dye and bleach.
I bought this Helleborus from work just to draw,I loved it so much. I will use this drawing in my further developments. The Iris drawings below were done while I was standing in my garden last summer. I wanted to include these as in the Spring the plant material is limited.
 This is one of my doorways, drawn from a photograph taken two years ago while on holiday in St Martin, France. Not sure how I'm going to use these yet.
 A group of us went to the Discovery Museum in Newcastle to the archives in the basement to draw. I will use some of these I hope in my final developments.
Sorry the photography is not brilliant as these were taken with my phone. I have started to do some development with painting Procion dye onto stretched paper and bleaching parts out, you cna then add colour with any medium you like.
Well I must dash now I'm off to do the late shift at work.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Made In Jesmond again

At last I have managed to take photographs of the work I did in my last module which will be for sale in the 'Made in Jesmond' shop from 19th April.

 This is my first Tea-cosie and my favourite.They are all made from 
old bed sheets which have become worn
in the middle. This is an ideal way to
recycle the edges.
I feel this design is quite Art Nouveau
in style

My second Tea-cosie is also made 
with recycled fabrics. The appliqué,
is machine stitched and hand embroidered in places.
Below is a view of the back of the
cosie. I felt it was a shame to have nothing on the back. I have utilised the Allium seed head from my branding and the wording from it too. "From lovely old stuff......."

This is my coffee pot cosie and
my least favorite of the three.
I do like the way the back of this one has come out below.
On reflection I would make my
cosies differently, I recently went to a fantastic shop in Glasgow which sells fabrics and notions, called Mandors. It was amazing and I will be going back! I found some wadding there which is for making oven gloves (now there's a thing) I think I will get a better finish with this. I will also sew the lining to the outer in a different way to get a better finish on the bottom.

I will be putting all three cosies into Made in Jesmond and don't know what I will be putting into my new venture as part of Warwick Tower in Carlisle. If I haven't mentioned before, I have decided to rent a space in a building on Warwick Road, which will be called Warwick Tower and will be sharing it with Stuart and Sara the organisers and lots of other like minded people. We will be selling goods we have made alongside vintage and antique goodies. There is a room in the building which can be rented out to hold workshops. I would quite like to hold a workshop when I have finished at college. I will be writing my next blog sooner rather than later as I'm having a great time with my last module.          

Monday, 25 February 2013

Made in Jesmond

We have recently been working on designs for a shop called Made in Jesmond, which is in Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne. It sells vintage goods and items created by individuals using vintage or recycled materials.
As part of this module we also have to create a brand for the items we are producing.
I am using the name of this blog as my brand name and this is my logo.
I have found a company who will use my image and text to create two rubber craft stamps. I will use the stamps with coloured inks to make my garment tags and stamp gift bags too.
I chose to find my inspiration, and colour story from the 1950's. The trend I am using is Retro Botanicals, I always seem to fall back on the plants I love for my designs.
I also wanted to recycle or upcycle old fabrics and clothes which I can never bear to throw out. For a long time I have had strips of fabric wound into balls in our loft ready to make a hooky mat and thought it the ideal thing to make for Made in Jesmond, it sits with their ethos so nicely.
From my drawings of an Allium seed head I have created a design, and had to crack on with it quickly as we don't have much time. Hooky mats take forever to make. Here are some photographs of the progression.

We are much further on with it now but still a long way to go.
We had a meeting with Yve from Made in Jesmond and I got the impression she wasn't sure how the mat would go, and when quizzed she admitted that Tea cosies and Coffee pot covers were what she had been asked for. I have considered making lap top covers.
So I have been continuing my development and have created these applique designs today, just trying out some styles and techniques. By bed time though I intend to have a pot cover of some description made!

Catch Up

Life has been pretty hectic and the time has come to catch up and add the work I have done this college year.

The work below was our first module after the Summer  break.
We had to create garment fronts. I have chosen to use the trend, Subterranean.
While on my holidays on Kos I loved the pebbles on the beach and used some of the drawings I did of these pebbles. I also had taken photographs of the stratum in the rocks while on holiday in Cornwall a couple of years ago. These were combined with drawings I did of fossils shaped like a heart.
This is my mood board below, using fashion photographs, pictures from magazines, my own photographs and pebble drawings.

Once I had created my design motifs in my sketch book I decided to tie dye and dip dye some fabrics, see one below.

I used parts of my drawings of pebbles and manipulated them in photoshop, adding colour. I love the scale of the first one below  and the second one I can imagine on a t-shirt.
The third photo shows the garment front.

 Here I have screen printed this design onto some polyester satin and then hand stitched on the pieces of pink silk. 

 This is our favorite, the dip and tie dyed fabric, screen printed with a pebble design and then hand stitched into with a fine running stitch and some satin stitch.

Not the best photographs I'm afraid, but I feel the whole collection is quite 60's looking and lend themselves well to a simple shift dress.