With moving to the Netherlands for two months, being sick, and then coming back home, I haven’t written a studio update for a long time. I recently sat down and listed some of the things I’ve created these last four months and came up with a long list. Here are a few highlights.
We had a wonderful two months living in Utrecht. Here are a few pictures from the neighbourhood where we lived, which was right in the centre of the city.
While I was there I finalised some fabric designs and ordered a sampler of 30 swatches of new designs that I’ve since been steadily reworking, checking and putting up for sale in my spoonflower shop. I always love playing with fabric swatches, combining different colours, finding fabrics that match etc. Here are few of the new fabrics.
We lived in a beautiful old flat in Utrecht and I took advantage of the big rooms with minimal stuff to create some mock-up images. The photo in the middle is the original photo I took, and the left and right images show how some of my wallpaper designs would look. (the left is hortensia botanical study, and the right is light foliage, both available as wallpaper). I’m planning to write a tutorial on my blog soon about how to create mock-ups like this.
Another thing I worked on in Utrecht was sewing this little fabric book. Remember the bunny illustrations I shared here a few months ago? I created a little folding accordion book. The pictures tell a story about my daughter’s favourite stuffed animal. I took detailed photos of the process and have a tutorial planned. For now, here’s a sneak peek at the sewing process.
A few months ago I took the makelight taster course by Emily Quinton. For five days you receive videos and lessons to help create better images for instagram. I love Emily’s style (here is her beautiful instagram account) and have gotten a lot of inspiration from her course and her weekly newsletter. I’ve started integrating some of the tips in my own instagram pictures. I use instagram to share things I make and also as a way to showcase my fabric designs. I especially enjoy styling the fabrics with little objects I find around the house to create a more interesting image. Its fun to look for pretty objects that work well with a particular fabric as well as being a way to combine different fabrics and tell a visual story about the designs. You can follow me on instagram here, I’d love to connect!
Recently I’ve rediscovered watercolour paints. I got a few new paints at Christmas, and have loved experimenting with them. This past week I’ve started creating paintings using some of my existing designs. You might recognise the butterflies on this painting from my butterflies collection (this one is from butterflies at noon). Last week I printed out black and white pictures of the repeating element in three of my designs, and I’ve been working my way through these, painting the elements of the design, playing with colour and learning a lot about watercolour in the process. Its fascinating how you often only understand something by actually trying it. I’ve been reading a book about properties of watercolour, and only after doing a few paintings myself did the information about transparent and opaque colours, mixing properties of different colours etc. really sink in to my brain. I may have theoretically known that there are warm and cool yellows, but it only made sense after I started mixing the paints, creating different greens with different yellows. This also opened my eyes about why some yellows work better than others in my existing designs. Sometimes its harder to see something on a computer screen than if you physically mix the colours yourself. I love the medium of watercolour and am excited about creating more finished designs using watercolour. I’ve been posting updates about the process on instagram, if you’re interested.
Some more things I wrote on my list which I haven’t touched on here include sewing projects, another sofa reupholstery project, some crochet, a custom-designed shower curtain for a client, and lots of new fabric designs. I hope to include some of these in further studio updates.