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Notes from the Sketch Book

How to stretch an idea into multiple designs.

With all the challenges, projects and competitions about make sure you don’t waste an idea (or design), build on it and let it grow!

That is what I have been trying to do with my designs, starting from a sketch or a doodle or simply a thought and then transforming it into a bigger idea, a pattern or a piece of art and then taking it one step further –  stretching the design by recycling the concept in a new way, freshening up the colours or completely transforming the motifs into something new!

Take my pattern yesterday for the A-Z of Flowers (A is for Anemone) Lets start at the beginning…..

anenomes art

From initial painting (or sketch) to illustrator – For me this is where I can start to really experiment, drawing out the motifs in illustrator is great, mistakes are quickly erased or turned into something else, colours can be changed, points can be pulled and manipulated a million different ways!

ideas in illustrator

And I have  totally fell in love with these colours! TIP: This is where a mood board comes in handy as I only hit upon adding the blue having slept on the design and awoken this morning. It was in my original painting but I decided to go with reds and purples to be a bit more truthfully to the Anemone – fresh eyes really help sometimes, (so does a blue sky outside!)  Not a problem though I can either rework the colours or save the palette for another design!

Talking of recolouring one of the quickest way to digitally transform a pattern or motif is to change and mix the colours up! As I started with Anemones I restricted my colours to purples and pinks to begin with but I also really like the retro vibe of the orange and muddy greens or the vintage blues!  They would look so pretty printed on cloth!


Always try to think outside your box! If you make patterns make a placement print! One for myself – If you love florals try something coordinating with geometrics!

Take elements and work them into a different arrangement!  Flowers are great because they work as patterns (think of a field of flowers) or an illustration (like a bunch of flowers)

And try adding different textures! Experiment!


One thing that is new to me is adding quotes to images!  I will often hand write a little sentence like the one above but I wanted to challenge myself further and make the quote and pattern big and bold!  It’s turned out to be a fab print that is hanging on my wall!


Finally taking the idea  down a new path – a little sneak peek at a design collection I am working on!

anemones reworked_patternandco

If you are designing with a purpose in mind, for a client, a competition or project and the pattern or print doesn’t fit but you love it don’t hide it away, make it into art work, start your own etsy shop and if you are into surface pattern design definitely read Developing a Print Collection, great ideas to turn one pattern into a whole collection!

Here’s my designs over at my shop.

How do you stretch an idea?  I’d love to hear!

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Lovely Days, a flower filled heart to say I love you!


My entry for the Tigerprint Lovely Days Competition, a heart filled combination of floral motifs, folk art, handwritten type, hearts and love….with a complimentry pattern too! Perfect to say I love you anytime of the year.


The mixed media version looks pretty on my wall too!

bottle hear1 patternandcot

There is still time (just) to enter Tigerprint Lovely Days Competition, it ends on the 10th of March! But don’t worry they run regular competitions which are great fun to enter, fab for getting the ideas flowing and having been a runner up in a previous comp the prizes are a terrific bonus too!!!

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Heirloom Beauty (#365patterns) Pattern 6

Heirloom Beauty1 patternandco

This started life as a little watercolour on the corner of my sketchbook.  I like to flick through old notes and sketches, looking at things with fresh eyes, adding textures, playing around with the colours!

patternandco sketchbook heirloom beauty

Heirloom Beauty is also available on a range of products!  isn’t that neat!

Heirloom Beauty products patternandco

Added  to the 365 Patterns design Challenge* on instagram, please join me over there (patternandco)

*The 365 patterns a day creative design challenge is a collaborative event with lots of designers, to see the collection of patterns and for more details drop by the caravan blog.

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We’re Expecting…..

expecting patternandco(dot)com

A few things that have been happening includes the news of a little one in the making (due in August) Bump, Mum and Dad are very happy!

Inbetween looking for a new place to live, doctors appointments and sharing the news I have made  a plenty of patterns and designs.  Hearts and florals are a big theme but I am hoping with the moving and new arrivals I will be inspired to create  many more collections – forest animals for newborns and babies I am thinking?

I also have a new line of some very on trend wallpaper in the making and some funky tea towels and hopefully the online store (Yay!) will be up and running soon, I am filling it with printables, patterns and templates!

Hope you all have a great Sunday x

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Together is our favourite place to be

The swans along the water glide,
Unfettered and yet side by side–
So should true lovers ever be,
Together ever–ever free.

The Swans Along The Water Glide by Edith Nesbit

Prints available in the store.

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Snowflakes, mushrooms and brown paper

I love the little things that inspire me, walking out in the snow the other day, finding a wooden mushroom that has the most fabulous texture on the front, making paper snowflakes and wrapping presents in brown paper!

And the snowflakes keep on falling inside and out :)

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Patterned Forest

Just behind where we live is a small wood and occasionally, if you are very lucky you can catch the deer hiding!

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Splish Splash Childrens Tee

Meet Ellie she is the grown up sister of my “Little uns” collection!  Ellie loves her wellies and she loves splashing in puddles.  The kind of girl that will confidently stride over to a puddle and walk with a splish through the rain water!  I think I may have a bit of Ellie still in me :)

The print is called “Splish Splash” and was inspired by a verse I found “If all the splishes and splashes were one, What a great adventure that would be!”

Storey teamed up with Spoonflower for a nautically inspired fabric design contest and I couldn’t resist when I saw the cute top!  And the best news is the winning design will be featured in the newest Storey’s bestselling One-Yard Wonders series: the upcoming 101 Little One-Yard Wonders!

If you like the design, stop by and fav “splish Splash.”  Thank you.

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Tis the season

It is the season after all!  I am looking forward to Christmas, not quite ready to put up the tree but definitely time to start present shopping and wish dropping!!

The Inkling is on the list but if I am really dreaming big then you can add the Cintiq to that as well.

We are planning on moving in the new year so a couple of adobe pillows from The Awesomer would be fun or a set of CMYK Pillows would also look great in the studio!

Books on pattern, books on art, books on design, old books, new books…….just send me a gift voucher from Amazon 😀

A box of Christmas Crackers from Liberty’s.

Failing all that a trip home would be nice to spend the holidays with my family!

What’s on your Christmas wish list?

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