Fabric Project: Reversible Tote Bag (1-yard cut & sew design)

I finally made my reversible “Good Old Times Shopping Bag” that I’ve had on Spoonflower since their shopping bag contest a few weeks ago, and today I wanted to share the finished bag with you!

One side has fruit and veggies with a little pocket:


The other side has packaged and comfort foods:

The bag has a boxed style, making it easier to transport wider items:


View over 30 of my new fabrics here!

I’ve just received my latest Spoonflower order and have been busy taking photos and uploading fabric images to Spoonflower.

If you’d like to view my fabric images all on one page, you can find them here:

Of course, all designs you see are available at my Spoonflower shop – all as fabrics, and most also as giftwrap, wallpaper and decals!

Here a few previews…

Aunt Lily-of-the-Valley’s Garden on organic cotton knit:

Whales on a Blue Day on organic cotton knit:

Good Old Times Cut & Sew Shopping Bag on Kona cotton:

Artist profile: Susan Polston

When I was recently thinking of who I’d like to approach next for my little artist profile, I didn’t have to ponder for long. I’ve been admiring the designs of artist Susan Polston for some time now. A regular participant in Spoonflower’s weekly contests, Susan’s designs are recognizable, playful, rich in texture, with a vintage flair and a painterly quality. Her design “Farm Share” was recently featured on Spoonflower’s blog among only 8 other farm-related prints – considering that Spoonflower is selling at least 910 farm prints as I’m typing, this is no small feat.


Susan was kind enough to answer some questions about her artist-life:

How did you come to be an artist?

I never thought I would be an artist! In 2007, I suddenly decided that I would like to decorate my house with original art, and finding that I couldn’t afford anything good, I decided that the reasonable thing to do was to paint some myself. I was 33 years old. I bought some paint-by-number kits from Ebay, left them in the closet for another 6 months or so, and then I pulled them out and started painting. I SO did not follow the paint-by-numbers. I do not like to follow directions.


What is your favourite artistic medium?

I have tried oil, acrylic, and pastel. I also do digital drawings on my tablet. I have to say that there is something about oil and acrylic that bring me to life. I love designing patterns for Spoonflower because it is not messy like painting. I have three children and homeschool two… I draw when the kiddos are doing math problems!


Do you have a (or several) favourite shape(s) and colour(s)?

I become very happy when I put colors next to each other. For me, it is a very intuitive process. With colors, I always have a feeling that “I just know.”


Are there any subjects you are particularly drawn to?

In a lot of my drawings and paintings, I find that I enjoy featuring people or animals. I also like to create spaces (holes, windows, doors, rooms).


What and who inspires you?

Inspiration! Ah, that is a hard one. I like to look at a lot of different things…clothes, furniture, jewelry, architecture, toys, books…etc. I get inspired by other people’s creativity. I love raw materials. I love to tell stories. I admire everyone who does their craft well, be it cooking, farming, or computing. It makes me want to become a better artist when I see others excelling.


Would you mind sharing some of your plans, hopes and dreams for your career as an artist?

I want to let my art tell a story about myself. I hope that as I grow as a person, I will also grow as an artist. I don’t think life and art can be divorced, and good living begets good creativity. I want to find the right audience for what I do. I want to come to terms with the reality that my work is not for everyone, but that it is for someone very specific. I want my art to set someone else free to do theirs.



Visit Susan’s Spoonflower shop: http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/susan_polston

Read Susan’s blog: http://susanpolston.wordpress.com/

Party Paper: MATS week 5 (part B)

Today marks the due date of the final assignment for my Making Art that Sells course, and I’m going to share my party paper assignment: Garden Gathering. We were to illustrate a paper plate and napkin in the style of Bavarian or Ukrainian folk art with florals and birds, but I decided to go a more Scandinavian direction – there is quite some overlap between various German and Scandinavian folk art anyway. I’m planning to try different palettes before submitting to potential clients, but for today this had to do: