Mountain Animals contest…against all odds

It’s been over a year since I last entered a Spoonflower surface design contest, something I used to do on a weekly basis some years ago. How times have changed!

While working on the last stages of my entry for Spoonflower’s current ‘Mountain Animals’ contest, my computer shut down unexpectedly. After some experimenting (simply plugging it into outlets caused short circuits in my whole apartment), I brought it into a repair place. While I have since recovered my hard drive allowing me access to my files, I am still awaiting a diagnosis of the issue at hand. With one thing being assured of right off the bat: that my computer can’t be fixed because Apple stops producing parts for each model after 5 years. Gotta love them.

I feel like writing an obituary. When I bought my 24″ iMac back in 2009, I was brand new to the world of digital illustration, and I was shocked at the financial investment as the price of admission. The computer that could handle large graphic files and proprietary vector and accompanying software (hello, CS4!) were only the beginning and seemed to be reserved for a higher earning segment of the population.

But I took the plunge and enjoyed almost 8 years of creative bliss with my beloved companion. It was the first computer I did not only not hate, no, I loved it because there were never any problems. I indulged in GarageBand and iMovie to create songs and matching videos – what a joy!

It was only 6 months ago after getting an older iPhone when things suddenly took a bad turn. A sequence of events prompted me to reluctantly install El Capitan, a controversial and poorly rated OS X, presumably in order to set up my iPhone. The problems were instant and became so many and bizarre that they were hard to keep track of. In the weeks leading up to my iMac’s death, they seemed to kick it up another notch. 10 years or more I could get out of it, I was told when buying it. Yes, I’m still mourning, especially considering how the prices have risen since then, and being in Germany doesn’t help it.

If you’re still with me :) I was able to finish my design on an old laptop from 2004 (which goes to show how much potential my iMac still had). It was completed between two 5am work shifts, something I want to remind myself of in order to get more into drawing again. What other priorities could one have on chronic sleep deprivation and with only a few hours each day for all tasks related to something called life?

Before I keep rambling on, my design, voteable for here until Feb. 8 around noon Eastern Standard time (18:00 Central Euro Time), if you’re so inclined:

http://www.spoonflower.com/contest_voters_temp/new?contest_id=377

Thank you for reading and possibly your condolences. :)

image

New Stickers & Labels

Some new stickers I added to my Etsy shop: one set features icons from my surface pattern “Summer in Sarek” (the Swedish national park), while the other is a variety of labels to be used on anything from stationary to canning jars. I have actually been using the labels when mailing out my Etsy orders and for some time have been planning to offer them for sale.

Spring in Germany

Where I live, spring has sprung, and it often seems to me that I’ve forgotten what this time of year feels like here. This is my first spring in Germany in 18 years, and I’m in a constant state of delight…at least outdoors. I feel like taking photos of every flower and blossoming tree, baby geese and clouds in the sky…everything is so beautiful, and I could spend all my off-days outside, from dawn to dusk. If spring feels this good here, I can only imagine what summer will be like! I have easy access to fields, forests, lakes and outdoor pools – going to bed early for work is going to get even harder as the days get longer. Instead of drawings today, I hope you’ll enjoy these selected shots of my German spring experience. :)

IMG_1217IMG_1222IMG_1223IMG_1186IMG_1253IMG_1258IMG_1266IMG_1259IMG_1264IMG_1270IMG_1276IMG_1271IMG_1250IMG_1246IMG_1240IMG_1242IMG_1238

Let The Good Times Roll!

My latest pattern I created for the current Spoonflower “Rock ‘n’ Roll” contest – it was fun to draw some of the major things I associate with rock (while omitting the more controversial ones). Big hair, music records and tapes, amps, microphones, guitar and picks, drums, cowboy boots, stage lights, as well as stars and lightning. And a beverage bottle, made to look more like a soft drink rather than alcohol. I named the design after The Cars’ song, of course, which is a synth-pop style of rock of my favorite era, the mid 1970s to mid 1980s.

Print

Votes still get counted here until Wednesday Dec. 13, 12pm (noon) Eastern Standard Time. If you’d like to support my design, I would love that! You don’t need an account for this.

As a former metal and punk fan during my teens, memories returned of my favorite bands at the time. Metallica with their dynamic and melodious compositions and non-sexist lyrics (a rarity at the time, perhaps still!). Or hyper-intellectual Bad Religion with their harmonies and thought-provoking lyrics. Then there was Faith no More and their singer’s creative and funny side project Mr. Bungle. And so many more whose music I loved and still have on my shelf, gathering dust. But no band has topped my favorite to date, the beyond-words-impressive Alan Parsons Project (classified as “progressive rock”, but whom I believe are impossible to categorize). And while on YouTube listening to old tunes, I came across this hilarious video that might make you laugh as well. Twisted Sister’s style has never been my taste in music (or otherwise, hah!), but this is such good fun.

Delft Windows

My monochromatic “Delft Windows” made #4 in Spoonflower’s window-themed contest (actually, it’s a tie with #3) – yay! A big thank you to anyone who included it in their votes and for all the wonderful comments on the design page. I made it on the night of the deadline and ended up too tired to color it, hence the decision to turn it all Delft-blue. Here is a fabric image (courtesy of Spoonflower):

DelftWindowsFabric

Recent Work

This is some recent pattern work I didn’t come around to showing here before:

Squids

Print

Print

This one is for Spoonflower’s current design contest, themed “Fitness”:

Print

It features archery, badminton, ballooning, bowling, canoeing, cycling, running, skating, soccer, skiing, swimming, table tennis, tennis and chess (classified as a sport!), as well as wind, rain and snow.

If you’d like to support my design, you could include it in your votes here. Thank you!

Fabric8 Finals

Today voting opened for the final round of Fabric8, a collaborative contest between Spoonflower and Moda Fabrics. Each of the 8 finalists designed a collection with 4 patterns that Spoonflower printed so beautifully. Voters have until next Wednesday, 12pm Eastern Standard Time to select their preferred choice – only one collection can be voted for. Voting in multiple sessions from the same IP address gets disqualified. To vote, please click here or on my fabric image below.

This is my collection – the original entry “A Field Guide to Wildflowers”, as well as the new “Flock of Rain Birds” (birds in a cloudy and rainy sky), “Sunset Garden Walk” (florals and geometrics in sunset-inspired shades) and “Botanical Alphabet” (hand-lettered alphabet with florals).

What a dream it would be to win a fabric collaboration!

Fabric8 Q&A with Spoonflower

Each year, Spoonflower conducts little “interviews” (I think of them as Q&A sessions) with the Fabric8 finalists. If you’d like to read mine, you can do so here. You’ll learn the significance of this gorgeous wall art! :)

I’m a Fabric8 Finalist!

This is not exactly news anymore, as the results were revealed a week ago, but I’d like to add for the record: I made it into the Fabric8 finals with my “Field Guide to Wildflowers” design! You can view all eight finalists’ designs here.

I was shocked to receive the notification – there were so many outstanding designs in this contest, totaling close to 800, and I had no illusions that I’d make it this far. My heartfelt thanks to anyone who gave me their vote. It’s a dream of mine to work with a company on a fabric collection, or other surface design products. Although I am not kidding myself that I’ll win, it is encouraging to be a little bit closer to that goal, even if only for a short while.

Winning or not, I will gladly design the remaining three pieces of the collection, available for voting in October along with the other contestants’ collections. One nice thing about not hoping too hard to win is to loosen up a bit and have more fun drawing. While dreaming up, drawing and composing a design, anything else is irrelevant to me but enjoying the process.

Ah, the art of winning and losing design contests. Fellow Spoonflorist Ceri Staziker recently wrote a great article for Spoonflower on the former (not the losing part, hah) and asked me for input. You can read it here – I hope it will inspire you!

Fabric8: Botanical Sketchbook

It’s the time of year again when Spoonflower is holding their most popular contest: Fabric8. This year, Spoonflower is collaborating with Moda Fabrics, who will offer the contest winner a fabric license based on the winning collection.

For the first round, 100 designs were selected by Moda (out of how many, we can only guess, but it must be close to 1000 based on previous years). Next Thursday, the 8 designs that received the most votes will be announced – and the lucky designers are then required to each create a collection. Round two involves voting for any of these eight collections, and the designer with the most votes wins.

I was fortunate to make it into the first round with my “Field Guide to Wildflowers”. It features vintage-inspired, pen-drawn wildflowers, birds and mushrooms, textures, and hand-lettered flower names. If you like it, please show your support by including it in your votes! Voting takes place here until Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 12pm (noon) EST. Thank you!

You can view my design in swatch, fat quarter and yard view here.

Vintage Garden Delights

I’m up to my neck in moving preparations, but I still wanted to mention last week’s collection I made for Spoonflower’s butterfly coordinate contest. Since it reached the top 10, here are the fabric images as well. Again, many thanks to anyone voting for my designs!

Etsy sale!

In order to lighten my load for an upcoming move, I’m having an Etsy sale on select items! From now until August 31, all fabrics are 15% off an already great price (min. purchase $15), and all tea towels are 10% off (min. purchase $20). Any questions? Just ask me!

These are the coupon codes:
FABRICAUG31 – for fabrics
TEATOWELAUG31 – for tea towels

Ambrosia Fruit Salad

Another week that I couldn’t resist entering a contest, and last week’s theme was ‘after school snacks’. I thought fruit would make a good sub-theme, and I didn’t need to hesitate on the colour choices. This is what I came up with (and since it reached #3, here are the fabric images):

Summer in Sarek

For Spoonflower’s last design contest, themed ‘national parks’, I was inspired by Sweden’s Sarek National Park. I thought it made a good match for my Scandinavian / folk-inspired style. Luckily it placed in the top 10, so here are the fabric images taken by Spoonflower:

Customer Project!

The other day, customer Leanne shared a photo of a project made with my design ‘Mod Floral Gold’ and allowed me to further share it myself. Needless to say, her photo made my day! The design comes in many colourways and is part of my Nordic Picnic collection. Thank you, Leanne!

Leanne wearing her shirt; my design is printed on Spoonflower’s performance pique.

These are some prints included in my Nordic Picnic collection: