Monday, 20 October 2014

Black Doily Tote Bag- & FREE SHIPPING!



Here I am taking one of my tote bags for a walk in Berlin. 'Black Doily' is my favourite design for the tote bags and is a contemporary take on the vintage crochet doily.


The tote bags are hand sewn in America using durable, yet lightweight, poly poplin fabric. All seams and stress points are double stitched for durability. They are washable, feature original artwork on both sides and a sturdy 1" wide cotton webbing strap for comfortably carrying over your shoulder.

I'm delighted with the quality of these bags and they really are strong and practical so I use this a lot- even for grocery shopping! Mine is the medium size (16"x16") but you can get smaller (13"x13") and larger (18"x18") too! Also, there is FREE SHIPPING today! You can purchase the Black Doily design here and all other designs here.

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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Petal to Petal Wedding Stationery- something old, something new, something borrowed, something BLUE!



I've been so busy featuring other designers that I haven't blogged about the latest wedding stationery that I have designed. My favourite part of this invitation is the little postcard inside which is filled in and sent back to the couple.



I designed this as a pdf for the couple to print themselves to cut down costs.  This design can be customized so if you are interested just send me an e-mail and I can get back to you with prices and anything else you would like to know. For anyone looking for bespoke wedding stationery, I can create something unique for you, using your favourite flowers and colours. 

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Monday, 13 October 2014

The Wonderful work of Melissa Kelman


I came across Melissa Kelman's designs on Pinterest and instantly fell in love with her 'Tiny Branches Floral' print, which works beautifully in different colourways. Sometimes I see a print design that I just can't stop looking at. I imagine it on home accessories, textiles and paper products and know that it would look amazing on everything, and with this that was most certainly the case. Melissa creates magic with her beautiful prints and stunning colour palettes. Aside from print and pattern, Illustration and Stationery work, New York based Melissa is the textile designer for American Eagle Outfitters and has created detailed designs for embroidery and knitwear. Let's meet the woman behind this beautiful work...

1. How did your business come about (and when did you start)?

As a kid I was always creating cards for friends and family or creating custom designs for my paper dolls. I’ve always loved creating and luckily my parents supported my love of the arts. We had a little room in our basement where I could experiment and make a mess. Today, I work in the fashion industry as a textile designer and create stationery designs for tinyprints.com and minted.com. I began my career in fashion about 6 years ago when I graduated college. Stationery has always been a part of my life (or at least since I could write out “Happy Birthday”).

Image © Melissa Kelman

2. Can you give a quick insight into your working method? (ideas,techniques, etc.)

Usually I brainstorm ideas in my sketch book and create little thumbnails of design ideas. Sometimes I like to start painting without any idea and see what I come up with. I love to paint florals in watercolor and gouache. When I am ready, I scan in my motifs and design in photoshop. For pattern designs, I create my repeats in photoshop and re-color in a pattern software called Kaledo.



Images © Melissa Kelman

3. What has been the hardest single obstacle to your life in design (apart from a shortage of time, which seems to be universal amongst creatives!)?

Probably marketing myself. I would much rather create artwork then spend time promoting it. I love working with Tinyprints and Minted because they do all of the marketing for me!

Image © Melissa Kelman

4. How do you stay motivated? What inspires you?

With a new baby, it can be a challenge to find time to create. I am currently navigating the balance of motherhood and my career and it’s not easy! I truly love to create and the simple joy of making is what keeps me motivated. For inspiration, like most artists I look to nature, but I am equally as inspired by the colors and textures I see on the streets of NYC. As a textile designer, I am often inspired by patterns and prints from past decades.


Images © Melissa Kelman

5. What has been the icing on the cake for you as a artist/designer?

As a designer nothing brings me more joy than seeing people wearing or using my artwork. I love when I see someone on the street rocking something I designed – best feeling ever!

Image © Melissa Kelman

6. Who do you admire (other artists/designers; other people generally)and what/who are your biggest influences, past or present?

I admire so many people! Past and present co-workers and mentors who have been so supportive of my dreams. My husband, Graham Kelman, who believed in me and pushed me to pursue a career in the arts. Iconic textile design houses, Collier Campbell, Marimekko and Vera Neumann.



Images © Melissa Kelman

7. Describe your creative space.

We live in a one bedroom apartment with a baby so space is a bit limited right now but I have my desk set up by our big window with an awesome view of New York City.


Images © Melissa Kelman

8. What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

The harder you work, the luckier you get. 


Images © Melissa Kelman

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Friday, 10 October 2014

Berlin Stockist Visit- Schwesterherz


If you have been keeping up to date on my Facebook page, you will see that I just got back from Berlin where my husband and I celebrated our wedding and caught up with friends. I also got a chance to visit my wonderful stockist, Schwesterherz.

There are two stores in two different districts-  Friedrichshain..




and Kreuzberg..



Schwesterherz is the place to go for stationery in the city, with a huge collection of assorted brands. If you are in Berlin and a lover of beautiful stationery, gifts and homeware, be sure to pop in for a visit!

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Beautiful work by Gillian Corcoran (Lost Forest Jewellery)

Do you remember my Artist Feature with the talented Gillian Corcoran of Lost Forest Jewellery? If not, you can read it here

Gillian has recently created my favourite pieces to date and I absolutely adore this globe filled with Queen Anne's Lace blooms in pastel pinks and whites with glittering gold leaf flakes. Beautiful! 






You can find these pieces and more in Gillian's Etsy Store

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Monday, 29 September 2014

The Wonderful work of Victoria Johnson


Victoria Johnson is an English print designer living in Rome, Italy. Victoria creates colourful and fun imagery to 'wear, carry, eat from, sleep on, and live with.' I love the colour combinations that Victoria uses and her work has the ability to instill happiness in the viewer, with her cheerful characters and subject matter. In the busy and competitive world of print and pattern design, Victoria's work is dinstinct and her experience in this field is apparent when looking at stand alone imagery or her work as a whole, such as her stand at Surtex this year. This designer clearly has a lot of fun with her work, but also works hard around her family life, and is an inspiration to many designers out there.


1. How did your business come about (and when did you start)?

I started as Victoria Johnson Design about 2 1/2 years ago. My baby boy had just started morning daycare a few days a week and my daughter was at school full-time and that gave me the opportunity to start making plans. I decided I wanted to try and sell/license my work by myself and see how it went. I asked a friend to help me source and submit to clients and offered her a percentage of my sales revenue. She was very motivating and helped me enormously through the first year.
I've been a designer though for 18 years, working mainly as a fashion textile designer for womenswear, and in the past I owned a studio in New York and London, so I came to this new venture with quite a lot of experience.


2. Can you give a quick insight into your working method? (ideas, techniques, etc.)

Mainly I work digitally. Digital files are obviously the most editable type of artwork for commercial use so I've become pretty proficient at both Photoshop and Illustrator. I particularly love illustrator as it's so easy to change colours. But I'm seeing a shift in demand towards more hand-rendered looks and am planning to incorporate that into my collection this year - both painting and embroidery. I've wanted to go back to both for years but haven't explored the possibilities and now feel I have the time and confidence to do that.

Image © Victoria Johnson Design


3. What has been the hardest single obstacle to your life in design (apart from a shortage of time, which seems to be universal amongst creatives!)?

I think having my children was the single biggest spanner in the works regarding my career. I couldn't bear to leave them and wanted to be available as much as possible. I absolutely don't regret it and feel like I've had the best of both worlds, even if at times I felt frustrated and wondered if I'd ever get back on my feet.


Images © Victoria Johnson Design


4. How do you stay motivated? What inspires you?

Some days it's very hard to stay motivated but thanks to Lilla Rogers' MATS A course I now have a community of Facebook artist friends that I have come to rely on heavily for support and friendship throughout my working day. They are scattered all over the world but we chat almost everyday.
I'm inspired mainly by colour. I love strong but sophisticated palettes and bold imagery. I have colour co-ordinating obsessive compulsion. I can't have poor colour choices around me ANYWHERE.


Images © Victoria Johnson Design


5. What has been the icing on the cake for you as a artist/designer?

I think my experience at Surtex last year was probably one of the most exciting times for me - the realization that doing this is working and all my efforts are paying off. My decision to do this was validated in so many ways and at the end of the show I really felt I was riding the crest of a wave. I hope next year is as successful for me.



Images © Victoria Johnson Design


6. Who do you admire (other artists/designers; other people generally) and what/who are your biggest influences, past or present?

I admire any artist who has taken the leap of faith required to put themselves out in the world. Obviously those who have done it particularly successfully are inspiring to me but I'm reluctant to name names in case I leave someone important out! 
 
I think my most notable influences were my University lecturers (years ago) who really encouraged and supported everything I did, and the designers that I worked with in New York. We were so close for so long and we learnt so much from each other. I think my breadth of experience comes from that period in particular. My parents have also always supported me and my Mom's creativity and flair for design and colour definitely influenced me.
Image © Victoria Johnson Design


7. Describe your creative space

Ha ha ha - this is a bit of a joke. I have a huge room downstairs in my house that is my 'studio'. I decorated it and equipped it beautifully 2 years ago - and have hardly sat in it since. Now it's become a kind of storage space for all my stuff. I do 99.9% of my artwork on the island in my kitchen, dragging things I need up from down stairs then carting it back down again, or just sitting at my computer without a single piece of art equipment around me. I think I like working there because it's clean and uncluttered and not distracting and in the evening I'm in the same room as my children. 


Images © Victoria Johnson Design


8. What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

I'm a firm believer in one thing at a time (for me). My Dad once explained the concept of ratcheting - moving in one direction on a steep incline then plateauing before approaching the next steep incline. This works for me - I tackle one thing at a time and try not to lose focus and get distracted before I finish it. Then I take a breath and start the next. This approach controls my natural inclination to run around in circles panicking.



Images © Victoria Johnson Design

You can see more of Victoria's beautiful work on her Website, keep up to date with her Facebook page and Blog and follow her on Twitter.

As always, if you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it. Don't forget to like the reaction boxes below and to leave a comment :)

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