Wednesday, May 27, 2015

MATS Bootcamp - May

Our assignment for May was to create plates with dark crustaceans on a patterned background.  Recently, I was at my favortie garden shop and I took some photos of these caladium leaves.  The color and patterns were beautiful and I thought that they would be a fun backdrop for my crustaceans.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93559750@N07/18160730545/in/photostream/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93559750@N07/18161879101/in/photostream/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93559750@N07/17540141113/in/photostream/

My plan was to have two plates with crabs on them and two with lobsters.  I ran out of time so they all have crabs.  Try to image some lobsters painted in the same style!

Check out the May Gallery here.  There are some really great designs!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93559750@N07/18160755945/in/dateposted/

I really like the caladium design and I've uploaded some colorways to my Spoonflower shop.  I love some of these colorways!  I think the plates would also be nice with an indigo blue crustacean placed on one of the darker caladium colorways.
http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/jillbyers

This colorway is available in my Society6 shop.
 
http://society6.com/product/caladium-12s_print#1=45

I haven't had the chance to upload the diamond pattern but I plan to create a few colorways out of it too.  It's a cute coordinate.  Also... Crabby will be making another appearance soon!  The next Spoonflower contest that I'm working on is "Sandcastles" and I'm thinking that I can find another home for him in my sandcastle design.

Jill


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pickles!

My daughter has only 14 more days of school!  Where did the time go?  I feel like it's crunch time.  I know that I get very little artwork done in the summertime so the last few months of school feel like a race.   I am determined to finish the May, MATS Bootcamp assignment and also a few more Spoonflower contests while enjoying the beautiful weather and working in the yard and a list of other things too!  I'm also determined to not be disappointed if I don't complete everything on time.

Last week, I created this new design for Spoonflower.  I've decided that I really like to paint glass!
http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/4238650
I'm skipping the next Spoonflower contest to focus on MATS.  I LOVE the May assignment!  I hope to finish before the deadline this weekend.

Spring fever is in full swing! 

I hope that you're enjoying your spring... or fall, depending on what side of the equator you reside!
Jill

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Lotus

There are some lotus that grow nearby and when they are in bloom people come from near and far to photograph and paint them.  They are so beautiful!  The large flowers bloom high above the water supported on strong but somewhat thin stems.  After the flower blooms, the petals drop off and leave an equally beautiful seed pod.

I decided to use lotus flowers for this weeks Spoonflower design.  The contest this week was called "Flowers for mom border print".  They wanted a 36"x42" design that can be printed as a continuous border.  They also suggested that it be made into a skirt for mom in honor of Mother's Day.  There was no time for sewing.  I just barely got the painting finished!   I was really crunched for time last week and was not able to finish last months MATS bootcamp assignment.  I was further along with this lotus design than my MATS assignment so I continued with the lotus.


My reason behind painting them blue was something that came across my Pinterest feed.  I was inspired by this delft blue, Wedgewood plate depicting lotus that was made at the turn of the century.  The plate is gorgeous.  I probably should not show it next to my painting because it's making my painting look bad. 
https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/dining-entertaining/ceramics/wedgwood-pearlware-water-lily-plate/id-f_716869/
Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying "Comparison is the thief of joy".  Let's not compare.  Here is my design...
http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/4199520

Overall, I like it!  I also made a print for Society6...


http://society6.com/product/lotus-16b_framed-print#12=53&13=57


The Lotus are not in bloom right now so I needed to use photos for reference.  I've taken quite a few photos of the lotus but not nearly as many as my sister, Janice Sullivan who is a photographer.
Here are some of my sister's beautiful lotus photographs.  They are all available at Society6.

http://society6.com/janicesullivan/collection/lotus-flowers


http://society6.com/janicesullivan/collection/lotus-flowers

http://society6.com/janicesullivan/collection/lotus-flowers

http://society6.com/janicesullivan/collection/lotus-flowers

http://society6.com/janicesullivan/collection/lotus-flowers

I love the simplicity of this one.  Floating in space...

http://society6.com/janicesullivan/collection/lotus-flowers




http://society6.com/janicesullivan/collection/lotus-flowers


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Honey Bees

Here is my latest design for Spoonflower.  The contest theme is "Bees".

I love to garden and one of my favorite perennial flowers is russian sage.  The honey bees love it!  The first thing that came to mind when I started to think about this design was my russian sage.  I love the way that the sage looks with echinacea and honey bees love echinacea too.  My neighborhood deer love to eat the flowers of the echinacea so I do not have a lot of success with it.  The sage is not appealing to the deer so I have it planted everywhere.  It's really beautiful when it's planted in large groups.

I thought that I would show the process of my thinking through this design.  I took some photos along the way to illustrate how the design came to be.

Here is my original quick sketch.  I was thinking about the elements that I wanted to be in the design and the colors that I would use.  I made a little note that I thought that it would be fun to hide a four leaf clover in the design.


This is a more detailed sketch of how it would repeat.  I was picturing the honeycombs being more of a background texture.


This is just the beginning of the painting.  (I can't tell you how many times over the years that I've put my paintbrush into my coffee/tea.  You would think that that would be a lesson learned the first time.)


I like to paint big.


Messy, messy palette.  I keep thinking that I should wash my palette and start with fresh new paints.  I never do.  My paints are all dried up and mixed together and it always works for me as it is.


I make a lot of print outs along the way to check for repeat and also because I like to sketch onto the printouts if there is an element that I want to add.  Sometimes I cut them up and arrange the elements differently.  I know that I could do the same on the computer but I like having the big print and having it in my hand.  I do not have a large format printer so I piece together 8.5x11 prints.


Finished design!  After scanning in my paintings, this design was pieced together entirely in  Photoshop.  (Sometimes, I flip back and forth between Illustrator and Photoshop.)  The honeycombs ended up being a more prominent element rather than a background texture.  The clover was cut because I wasn't crazy about the way that I painted them and they were not offering enough of a contrast of color, even after I tried to adjust the color to be different.  I also added a linen texture to the design so the background is not a flat grey.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  It's not exactly what was in my mind in the beginning.  My designs almost never come out exactly as I originally picture them.  I'm looking forward to ordering a swatch to see how the color and texture prints.  I hope you like it!  Jill

http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/4173245

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spoonflower love

I love Spoonflower for so many reasons.  Let me count the ways...

1 - I love seeing my designs printed on fabric.  I'm not sure why fabric is more exciting to me than a print on paper but it is.  The fact that I can then take the fabric and sew something from it makes me happy.

2 - I love the Spoonflower community.  I've never personally met any of my Spoonflower connections but they are just the nicest group of supportive, happy people.

3 - I love the feeling that I get every time I make a sale!  I don't think that feeling will ever get old.  It's so nice to know that someone likes my design enough to actually purchase it.  I'm so thankful.

4 - Last but not least, I love the weekly contest.  Even when I'm not entered into a contest, I still log in each week and cast my vote.  I don't think I've ever missed a week.  I'm always amazed by the creativity.  If you're looking to challenge yourself, I highly recommend jumping in and entering a design.

Recently, I've started to get back into entering the contests because they have had a few themes that have interested me.  I think the contests are a great way to challenge myself.  Here are some new designs that came about because of the Spoonflower weekly contests.

Hot Air Balloons.  (I know, I need to get more creative with my names.)  This design was entered into the "Flying Machine" contest.

http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/4065435 

Summer on the Islands.  This design was created for the "Islands" contest
http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/4122323

I'll be back soon!  I'm working on next weeks theme "Bees".  I'm really loving my sketch. 
Jill



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Society6 Sale Week!

 THE GET SORTED SALE HAS BEGUN...

Monday, 3/9: Ends Saturday at Midnight
  •  20% Off Throw Pillows
  •  Starts at 12:00am PT   


Tuesday, 3/10: Ends Saturday at Midnight
  •  20% Off Tote Bags
  •  Starts at 12:00am PT

Wednesday, 3/11: Ends Saturday at Midnight
  •  20% Off All Phone Cases
  •  Starts at 12:00am PT

Thursday, 3/12: Ends Saturday at Midnight
  •  15% Off Shower Curtains + Duvets
  •  Starts at 12:00am PT

Friday, 3/13: Ends Saturday at Midnight
  •  $5 Off Art Prints
  •  Starts at 12:00am PT

Saturday, 3/14: 24 Hours, Ends Saturday at Midnight
  •  $5 Off Mugs
  •  Starts at 12:00am PT

Check out my Pirate collection...

http://society6.com/jillbyers/collection/pirates

New woodland favorites...
http://society6.com/jillbyers




Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sewing

Occasionally, I mention that I'm going to sew something.  Here are some things I've sewn up lately.  I'm an amateur sewer at best.  Please, do not look too closely!  My sewing machine skips stitches and will not sew a straight line (I swear it's the machine not me). 

This little tote was made with my Pom Pom Fringe fabric...
http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/3271674

Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for sewing projects.  Through Pinterest I found the Noodlehead blog by Anna Graham.  She has great sewing patterns for sale and some for free.  I've made a few zipper pouches using this free tutorial from Noodlehead called the Open Wide Zipper Pouch.

This one was made with my Dim Sum fabric and my Dim Sum Basket Cover fabric.

http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/2343073

I've also used her Gathered Clutch pattern.  Both patterns have very clear instructions, like I mentioned before... I am an amateur sewer.  They are both fun and quick sewing projects.
This gathered clutch was made with my Shibori6 fabric and Shibori Cloud fabric on the interior.

http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/2999308
http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/2999308

There are a few other projects that are lingering close by, unfinished.  I started a tote bag months ago but haven't finished because I'm trying to find the perfect leather handles for it.  I'm hot on the trail of some leather that I found on ETSY.  If the handles work out, maybe the tote will make an appearance someday too!

I really LOVE to see what customers make from my fabrics.  I'm collecting photos and will post them sometime soon I hope.

Happy Sewing!
Jill