Exploring Copenhagen

We had a lovely four night stay in Copenhagen last weekend, we did a lot of exploring on foot which is the best way to see a city I feel!  I enjoyed getting the camera out as it had been quite some time since I last took any photographs.

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It was rather chilly when we first got there but it didn’t stop us exploring the city, we walked to keep warm!

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I love the colours of these houses against the grey/white sky and dark water, very inspiring.

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One thing about Copenhagen is there are loads of bicycles, it kind of reminds me of Amsterdam but the roads are much wider and you have to look in all directions when crossing them!

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Copenhagen is well set up for cyclists with dedicated cycling lanes everywhere making it safer to cycle and probably why there are so many that do cycle.
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Happily walking along soaking in the sights. My son has just learnt to skip so he skipped ahead everywhere, so cute!

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Buildings along the waterfront, the one above is the Architecture design centre which would have been great to go visit but we just ran out of time and energy to walk the distance to it!  I love how many windows this building has, and the different sizes.

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Fantastic house boat, there were quite a few of these which looked like permanent residency as they each had their own letter boxes and electricity hooked up.

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We went to Malmo in Sweden for a day, it is only a 35 minute train journey from Copenhagen. It was good to explore of this city, much smaller and quieter than Copenhagen and slightly less expensive which was good as money goes fast in Copenhagen!

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The main train station in Malmo above. I didn’t get my camera out much whilst we were in Malmo so not many photos to show. It is a pretty small city which was easy to get around with some lovely design and craft shops although I refrained from buying although I did see quite a few things I would have loved to have bought!

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These chickens were made of paper and I think they are so effective and quite fun. I spotted these in a store in Malmo.

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Another product I found in Malmo was this ceramic organiser which I really would love on my wall. Far too heavy to take home though!

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In Copenhagen we went to a lot of design stores, I love Scandinavian design and was in awe of all the gorgeous designs on offer, I just wish I had big pockets of money to be able to afford it.

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However, despite not having enough money, looking at all these designs was hugely inspiring and I now want to recreate some of what I have seen for my own home.

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These rugs are made of reindeer skin and although I am not a fan of animal skins, I do like the geometrics and shades of these designs.

The above four pictures were from the BoConcept store in Copenhagen. I plan to visit the one in the UK as they have some very cool geometric mugs that we really loved.

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We really enjoyed our time in Copenhagen and our day visit to Malmo, the Scandinavian people sure do know how to do design! I have come back full of inspiration and ideas that I hope to implement into our home one day soon!

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The Whale Wave Ride – New Surface Design

I have been really busy developing my sketches and building up on my surface designs.  It is a process which I am actually really enjoying and learning so much from.  This past week, I created a design based around a whale on a wave for this week’s Spoonflower Whale Limited Palette competition.

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I am enjoying sketching and hope that the more I do the better and more confident I become.

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I scanned my drawing in and then drew over it in illustrator. I could have used image trace for this but wanted to have more control over the lines and I also would have had to redraw the whale in ink as the contrast was not enough.

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The end design which I have entered into the Spoonflower competion. There are a lot of whales in this competition so if you have a thing for whales, you should go check it out here.

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I decided to do a couple of versions in blue tones to see how they would look.

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And then I did some coordinating designs in similar colour ranges.

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I do like chevrons and the colours work really nicely.

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This geometric design reminds me of mosaics and I do like it although I am not sure if it completely fits in with the rest or it is something I shall move into another collection.

Which design do you like best?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

For now, I am just heading out the door for a long weekend in Copenhagen, really looking forward to it and have armed myself with my sketch book and camera to capture inspiration as I am sure there will be plenty. I do love Scandinavian design!

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A New Chapter – The Drawing Chapter

Life is like a story and with every story there are chapters and I am entering what I call the drawing chapter!  I am currently doing two short courses which do focus on drawing, an area which puts me out of my comfort zone as it does not come as naturally as I would like.

A few weeks back I totally went out of my comfort zone when I started a life drawing class.  Admittedly I had not read the course description completely and had assumed it was a still life course so when I arrived and there was a rather big lady standing in front of me in all her glory for me to capture, I was somewhat taken out of my comfort zone and thrown into the deep end!  That said, I am actually really enjoying this course although I struggle with the human form, I am learning a lot from it, the way the light captures parts of the body, proportions, expressions etc.

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Admittedly, I have a lot to learn but even this drawing above is a huge improvement from my first one I drew which will always make me smile as it is so bad! I will not be putting it up for show anywhere!

I am also currently doing an online course called Building Your Professional Portfolio run by The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design.  This week is the first week of the course and it has been all about object and character drawing and developing.  I have found this both challenging and fun.  I do not have a natural ability with drawing but I do enjoy it.

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As you can see, I have more work to be done on my drawing skills, my bunnies look rather angry and odd!

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I decided to focus working on my owl, developing it more in illustrator to create a new design.

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This is still a work in progress, I will be adding more colour and detail to this in illustrator. I hope to have it completed by next week and have a nice surface design to showcase.

For now, I shall get back to the sketch book and have fun with it.

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A-Z Activities Challenge

Today is the first day of my last year being part of the 30′s club and it got me thinking that I need to do more things in my life so I came up with the A-Z Activities challenge with a bit of input from my husband.

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Sometimes in life we just get into the habit of doing the same thing and forgetting to experience new things and that is what this list is for. I think if you put it down in a simple alphabetical list it seems somewhat more achievable. We are not doing them in alphabetical order as tomorrow we are off to ice skate at Alexander Palace which I am looking forward too. I have a year to complete this list which I think will be achievable, some of the activities we will do on our holidays this year I hope.

I also made another list with my family which I have called the Jar of Wishes. I was inspired to make this list from another blog I read recently called Clicky Chick Creates and she created a beautiful Jar of Dreams, you can take a look at it here.

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When I get a bit more time, I want to make it a much prettier display to put on the wall in a prominent area of our house so we can see it and not forget about it.

The list is made up from my husband, my 8 year old daughter and 6 year old son as well as me. There is a lot of travel on this list, my kids want to see the world and may have got that bug from me as I love travelling. I just don’t do as much as I used to due to life commitments but hopefully with this list we can focus and maybe get some of them ticked off!  I am sure there will be more to add to this list but it is a great start.

Have you got a wish list or have you thought of doing an A-Z of activities/experiences?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap

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Further to my previous post of my first ever blog hop on my love of paper, here is another initiative I have participated in, the Great Big Stitched Postcard swap with the theme of Create with including paper into the design.

I decided to use the paper I made in the weekend as it really didn’t belong in the lightweight paper category, it was more like the stiff card category!

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I used a variety of fabrics for this postcard, all the patterned fabrics are my own designs. I wanted to have a mix of colours and styles with the focus on the stitching to get the simple message across.  I added a leather border to give the seed shape more depth.

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I added a little message on the back for my swap partner and again bordered it with some black leather. I hope my swap partner, Monica, likes this postcard.

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This was a fun project to work on as it got me away from the computer for a bit and thinking about how to work several different types of materials into one project. Plus, I learnt how to make paper or in my case, card!

To find out more about the Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap please click on the image at the top of this blog post. This particular swap had 350 participants from around the world. I really like the idea of receiving mail in my letter box (instead of electronically) and for it to be a handmade creation too is even better!

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PaperLove Blog Hop – A recycling special

I am participating in my first ever blog hop and I hope that you all will join in with this blog hop and discover a new found love and appreciation for paper and maybe be inspired to create new projects as well.

This blog hop is all about a love for paper, and it is something I can totally relate too.  Take me shopping and I would rather spend my time in a stationery shop than a clothes shop! Getting a new note book is far more fulfilling than a new dress!

My love of paper extends to how you can recycle it to create new items which I feel in this day and age is important to recycle as much as possible, there is far too much waste in society.  Therefore I have explored recycling with three projects that use newspaper and unwanted office paper.

This weekend just gone, I decided to try making my own paper with texture, the plan is to use this paper as part of the Stitched Post Card swap.  I do hope to finish this postcard in the next day so I can get it sent off.  I will post pictures once it is completed.

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I loosely followed a tutorial but mostly made it up as I went along, I like to experiment. I used mostly scrap computer paper as I read somewhere that newspaper would result in the paper being a bit greyish which makes sense.

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This photo does not look nice, the bits of paper sat in this water for a couple hours and then I mulched it by hand to form a pulp.

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I put the paper pulp into a screen and then sat it in about 3cm of water and spread it across the screen.

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Once it was evenly spread, I placed it on some newspaper and then proceeded to put a cloth over the top and gently ironed over it to remove the excess water.

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I then placed it on the screen to dry overnight.  You will notice I added bits of leather scraps in the paper to add texture to it and I quite like it.

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There are so many ideas of adding texture to paper and one I do want to try at some stage is lavender.  Scented paper sounds so lovely.  The paper dried quite quickly in the sunlight and it has been quite a good learning experience for me in the art of making paper.  My paper is a bit thick so probably belongs in the card family than the paper one!  However, it is perfect for making my postcard.

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A favourite recycling tutorial for me is using newspaper to create a basket. It is a simple project but such an effective and useful one.

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PaperWeaving9For the full tutorial of how to make this paper woven basket, please visit here.
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Another great way of recycling newspaper is making bird sculptures.

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I didn’t have a tutorial for this project, it was just exploring how to shape the paper into the right form. That is the beauty of working with paper, it can be manipulated in so many ways to create many different shapes and forms.

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This is the final version of the paper bird. I added two layers on top of the paper, one was a linen layer and the top layer a mix of leathers.

Paper is many things, it is pretty, it is useful, it is part of everyday life and it can be used for so many creative projects even when the life of the paper seems to be at it’s end, it can be rejuvenated into a new project, a new use, a new life. Do you have any favourite recycling project that you would like to share, I would love to hear about it.

The PaperLove Blog Hop is a celebration of all things paper! Follow the links to discover more bloggers who love paper and use it to inspire and delight. And if you want to explore a whole world of paper, and stretch your paper passion further with a host of creative projects, why not join the innovative new online course PaperLove (starts March 31). Led by book artist Rachel Hazell, PaperLove is a five week creative adventure for paper lovers. Find out more here

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Participant list

Majo Bautista / Tona Bell Louise Best Cathy Bluteau / Jennifer Bomgardner / Giova Brusa / Lindsay Buck / Beka Buckley / Joanna Caskie / Jonathan Chapman (Mr Yen) / Halle Cisco / Sarah Clare / Cathryn Clarge / Dawn Clarkson / Rhiannon Connelly Jenny D’Fuego / Molly Dhiman / Ian Dudley / Ayisatu Emore / Akmal Farid / Monika Forsberg / Claire Fritz-Domeney / Louise Gale / Chrissy Gaskell / Julie Hamilton / Emma Hawman / Rachel Hazell / Holly Helgeson / Claudine Hellmuth / Kim Henkel / Sarah Hoffman / Joanne Hus / Paula Joerling / Beth Kempton / Julie Kirk / Eos Koch / Katie LaClair / Kristy Lankford / Michelle Manolov / Doreen Marts Rosie Martinez-Dekker / Tori Mears / Maria Mederios / Lise Meijer / Debbie Miller / MaryJane Mitchell / Suzy Naidoo / Grace Noel / Hannah Nunn / Camilla Olsson / Jo Packham / Rachelle Panagarry / Monette Pangan / Melanie Paul Nicole Piar / Jen Pitta / Liz Plummer Julie Reed / Michelle Reynolds / Lisa Rivas Angee Robertson / Natalie Ryan / Aisling Ryan / Elisabet Sapena / Kyrrha Sevco / Jamie Sprague / Elizabeth Steele / Terri Stephens / Juniper Stokes / Mary Tanana / Maike Thoma / Linda Tieu Gabrielle Treanor / Tammy Tutterow / Deborah Velasquez / Jordan Vinograd Kim / Cat Whipple / Brooke Witt / Katie Wood Amelia Woodbridge

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VW Camper Fabric Designs

I have been busy working on a personal project last week, designing fabric for the curtains on our lovely pink VW Campervan.  It is interesting how the design evolved over the week and it will be interesting to see designs printed up on the fat quarter samples.

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I knew I wanted to have some floral or nature inspired theme in the design, something that said summer camping and reflected the VW Camper in some way.

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The first thing I needed to think about was the colour palette and for this I used Adobe Kuler which is fantastic for getting colour palette’s for your projects.  I used these five colours as a baseline but did not necessarily stick to exactly these colours.

hibiscus textured-01The design above is the  beginnings of my design using the inside stitching on the door panels of the Campervan as inspiration.

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I did these sketches of Hibiscus flowers as they always remind me of summer.

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Hibiscus sketches into digital pattern repeat.

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I really like these Hibiscus repeated patterns but my husband wanted to have an element of the VW Campervan in the design so I played around with that idea.

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I sketched the VW Campervan using the mouse as I didn’t want it to be perfect and have that hand drawn quality.

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I like adding some of these designs to my Society6 shop to see how they would look on products and I quite like this t’shirt with my VW Campervan drawing on it.

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I then went completely off track with my design and had a play with a photo I took last Autumn of some trees and I have to say, I quite like how this has turned out and might get some cushions made up from my Society6 Shop.

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I decided to go back to the nature theme and do some leaf doodles and incorporate them into new designs.

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The rounded squares in this design reflect the VW Campervan windows and I also subtly incorporated the VW Camper sketch into this design.  I quite like the retro feel of this design.

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A couple more designs using the same colour palette and similar motifs.

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I really like how these designs look on cushions in my Society6 shop and I think it will either be one of these designs which I will use for the Campervan curtains.  What design is your favourite, I would love to hear your thoughts?

Tree Leaves Campervans

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I look forward to receiving the fabric samples to see which design works best for the interior of the campervan, and then I may have a crash course in curtain making if I am brave enough!

I have enjoyed the design process for this project and have a few more projects lined up over the next few months that I hope to share.  For this week, I will be working on my new website which I hope to have up and running very soon with a new look for the blog hopefully if I figure it all out!

 

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Cushion GiveAway – WINNER ANNOUNCED

First of all, I must say a big thank you to all that entered my Cushion giveaway, the three words to describe Love were fantastic.

My assistants helped to randomly pick a name from the hat this afternoon.

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As you can see my son took holding the hat as a very serious role!

Drum roll please……and the WINNER IS:

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Many congratulations to Elizabeth from Lili & Mums, I have sent you an email requesting postal address and will have the cushion out to you in no time.

Once again, I would like to thank all those that entered and put their three words down, I really appreciate it.  Love is
I thought the words were really special so had to put this together to showcase those words.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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Sunday Sewing – Easy Girls Skirt

I haven’t done a Sunday sewing blog for such a long time, I thought it was time to do one but this time, my 8 year old daughter did the sewing with her new sewing machine!

We decided to make a very simple skirt with an elasticated waist for her first project.  I found this fantastic tutorial which I had pinned from my Sewing board on Pinterest.

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My daughter chose the fun cloud fabric which I actually really like and think is very cute for a simple summer skirt. It is a nice cotton fabric which was easy for her to sew and sat nicely when completed.

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I haven’t done a step by step tutorial for this skirt as the tutorial I have linked above is very thorough and also trying to supervise an eight year old with a sewing machine is no easy feat!

I am really proud of her achievement in making her first ever skirt and I think she has done a fantastic job. She now has big plans of future outfits, some that do sound a bit complex! Great to have ambition!

Before I forget, don’t forget to enter my cushion (pillow) giveaway, closes Friday 21st February 10 pm GMT, please check it out here.

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Spreading some Love – Cushion Giveaway!!

For a lot of people in the Northern Hemisphere, February is a month where it feels like there is no end to winter and it can be a bit miserable.  That’s why I want to spread some love and happiness with a little giveaway.

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As it is Valentine’s Day today and I want to spread some love, I thought it appropriate to give away my lovely Bubble of Love cushion. It is an original design inspired by my five year old’s cute love sayings, ‘I love you so much I can’t talk’ and ‘The bubble of love in my heart is growing’ .

The giveaway is for the cushion cover only due to postage costs internationally, however, if you are local to me, I am happy to supply the insert.

All you have to do to enter is simply add a comment below with how you would describe love in three words! Entries close at 10 pm (GMT) on Friday 21st February.  The winner will be selected at random and notified by email on the Saturday 22nd February.

To get you started, here are my three words to describe love: Unconditional, Honest, Selfless.

Look forward to receiving your entries. Oh and Happy Valentines Day everyone!

 

 

 

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