My first sale on Spoonflower!

Yesterday I received an unexpected email from Spoonflower letting me know that somebody purchased some of ‘my fabric’, the Strange Encounters print, which is the only one I have for sale so far. I was ecstatic! What a wonderful feeling to know that someone likes my design enough to part with their hard-earned cash. What an honour that a complete stranger may want to sew something with fabric I designed. Possibly wear it on themselves or display it in their home. Such a personal matter. I don’t think I’m making it a bigger deal than it is – to me, it IS a big deal! Moments like this one keep me going and give me hope that perhaps hard work in this field can pay off eventually. As do the many lovely comments and ‘favourites’ that people on Spoonflower apply to some of my (few) designs. It blows me away, because I don’t know anyone in the Spoonflower community; hence, these people’s interest is genuine. Also, I hardly have any Facebook friends (oh the shame!) that could vote for me – I wouldn’t even be on FB if it weren’t for MATS. This is not to delve into self-pity but merely saying that these circumstances make me appreciate even more when someone likes what I do. Thank you, whoever you may be!

Of course I can’t let a week go by without revealing my entry for the current Spoonflower contest – voting starts today, until next Wednesday noon. The theme is giftwrap with mittens. Voila, Merry Mittens:


Here’s an alternative for someone who doesn’t like gingerbread houses:

In the meanwhile, my book project is hibernating…making patterns has me in its grips, I don’t know when I’ll be able to stop for a while…

I made the top 10 at Spoonflower – FILM NOIR!

I’m not the bragging kind, but I’m so happy and excited to have made it into the top 10 for Spoonflower’s film noir contest with my Strange Encounters entry. I’m # 4 and my fabric is available for sale as of today! It’s only been my second contest (after my tea towel) and I could hardly be happier. There are not many ways in which I get feedback or support, making this event even more meaningful to me.


Fabric images taken by Spoonflower:

Film Noir Design Challenge Top Ten Winner: Strange_Encounters by cwdesign

Film Noir Design Challenge Top Ten Winner: Strange_Encounters by cwdesign

Film Noir Fat Quarter Bundle

New contest, new designs, new chances…fall leaves

Ever since coming across Spoonflower, I’ve been extra motivated to draw to the max – perhaps to my detriment as I hardly do anything else anymore! Finally I’ve found an outlet for my design fantasies, which come to me with increasing intensity the later in the day when really I should take a mental break.

Starting tomorrow at around 1pm, the new Spoonflower contest will be all about autumn leaves. I didn’t want to draw just leaves, or leaves with faces, so I drew a technical-repeat forest scene with squirrels and little red-riding-hood bears. If it weren’t for the deadline, I’d still be working on it as wrapping up is always difficult. But with my last MATS assignment due on Sunday and my Monday spent catching up on other things, I again only had Tuesday to work on this.

Final Assignment: Zippered Pouch for Gift Market

When a week feels like a day, and a day like an hour, then you know you’re busy. This describes my sense of time during Lilla Rogers’ MATS part A that is ending this week.

Last week’s theme was the gift market, which is much bigger than I had realized. Walk into a gift store, especially the trendy type, and you’ll probably agree. Fridge magnets, pins, notebooks, lamp shades, bags and pouches, keychains, stationary and pens, and other knick-knacks are all part of it. Seeing the multitude of gift products out there make me think that there is a lot of opportunity for illustrators.

Our task for our last assignment was to design a zippered pouch that would be “hyper-lush”, as Lilla would say. She showed us examples for inspiration, some of them crammed to the max with icons and ‘photo-floral’ imagery. Photo-florals are photo-like images of flowers printed on items, rather than painted or digitally drawn. Lilla demonstrated with various examples from the fashion world how trendy photo-florals are this year.

My submission includes my own fruit labels and pre-1920s fruit and flowers. I also added some marbles from my collection and icons from previous assignments. I’m happy with the result and hope to take this further one day.


I will write a review of MATS part A next, but in the meanwhile there’s another deadline…for the next Spoonflower contest! Here’s my current entry: Strange Encounters for the Film Noir contest. I’ve been getting some really nice comments on it on Spoonflower, which I appreciate so much, even if I don’t get into the top 10. There are more than 250 contestants in this one.


Riding the Wall Art rollercoaster – Week 4 of MATS

Another week gone by like the wind. Last week’s subject of MATS was Wall Art, something I looked forward to a lot. I had envisioned making a collection of adhesive wall decals as sold on many websites, for the baby or children’s market. But our assignment called for a piece of wall art (like a painting to hang) targeting the female consumer between ages 25 to 45. The subject matter had to include at least 1 flower and lettering.

We were restricted to using 2 colours based on our astrological sign (yellow & red for me). Since I love drawing playful things with an abundance of colours, I felt restricted and, as a result, somewhat demotivated. I also don’t collect many knick-knacks and knew early on that I wouldn’t incorporate any physical objects into my piece. I’m also not too keen on having seemingly random items on a canvas; it seems so forced. Then there was the issue of not using copyrighted text and imagery – it has to be at least over 70 years old or from a Dover book.

To my delight, we were free to make our own ‘prints’. Using my old watercolours, I made my own papers, out of which I first made a physical collage with scissors and glue, and later a digital one. I also used some rubberstamps that I had made years ago, and some new ones just for this project. So much fun!


I came up with many expressions, most of them my own, to use for future collages. Drawing masks in Illustrator made the cutting a breeze, and so did the fact that I could always change my mind about placement. Not to mention the absence of messy glue and torn papers!


On the other hand, I enjoyed the tactility of cutting each piece by hand and the process of layering the papers.


Conclusion: Despite my resistance to some specifics of the brief, I ended up enjoying the process and the result (as with every assignment in this course!). Even more importantly, I look forward to making more wall art for myself as my portfolio grows.