Sunday, July 27, 2014

New Things

Here are a few new things that I've been working on.

I finished the coordinates to my Alien Incubators Collection!  I really love the "Domes" fabric.  This was the first design that I created for this collection, Alien Incubators was created next, then Happy Aliens, Constellations and then the Cosmic Stars.  They will all be for sale very soon.

http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/3192652

I created this next design for Spoonflower's "Herb Garden" contest.  I really like the loose brush strokes and minimalist approach.  After spending a crazy amount of hours painting my Sewing Notions design, I wanted to see what I could come up with a little more quickly.

Here is Sage.  I'm looking forward to making a tote bag out of it.  I'm waiting to earn a few more Spoondollars (makes me laugh every time) so that I can have it printed on the new Eco Canvas fabric.

http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/3354161

This next design was created for the "Tennis" contest that is coming up.  I was inspired by a little quilt square that I saw on Spoonflower's blog, July 17th titled "Modern Quilt Blocks".  There is one little square that I think looks like a crop on a tennis ball.

http://blog.spoonflower.com/


 So I created this...

40 Love.  I should have called it Love 40 because I'm expecting to finish this Spoonflower match with love, the big goose egg, zero.  I'm just in it for the love of the game!  Ha ha... I couldn't resist that little analogy.
http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/3348740

That's it for new designs.  I have not been very productive in the design department lately.  I'm sad to say that I'm a MATS Bootcamp dropout.  Sigh.  I was not able to complete the last two assignments. 

I have been sewing though!  I've caught a little sewing bug.  When I finish my new tote bag I'll upload some photos of the simple sewing projects that I've been working on.

My vegetable garden has been OK but not great this year.  That's a post for another day too!

I'm having a fantastic summer!  I hope that you are too.
Jill

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Spoonflower Fabric8 Cosmic Voyage Final Round


The final round of the Robert Kaufman Fabric8 contest is underway and you can now vote for your favorite collection!
I have to say, it was really difficult to choose just one.  I seriously couldn't decide so I ultimately let my daughter choose!

Seeing the finished collections makes me want to build the coordinates for my Alien Incubator design.  They have been in my head all along but when my design didn't make the top 100 I pulled the plug on the designing.  Now, I'm inspired to bring them into fruition!

If you check out the entries, there are links to blog posts about each of the designers.  It was fun to read about where everyone lives around the world and hear about where their inspiration comes from.  Check out the collections and vote here!


Friday, June 27, 2014

Spoonflower Free Shipping Day is Coming!

Hello again!

I didn't expect to be back so soon!  I just got this message from Spoonflower and I wanted to share that they will be having a free shipping day coming up.  Mark your calendars!

http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/jillbyers

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sewing Notions

I'm entered into another Spoonflower contest.  The theme is "Sewing Notions" and this time we needed to create 4 coordinating designs that will be shown on one yard of fabric. 

Here are my 4 designs.  Check out all of the entries and vote for you favorites here.http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/3262894 
I really enjoyed painting all of the elements and my favorite coordinate is the pom pom stripe.  I love the pom pom stripe.  I originally made the pom poms as an element on a paper napkin design that I did in MATSB.  I knew they would become a stripe some day and here they are.   I've uploaded a slightly different colorway (with pink instead of peach) to my Society6 shop too.  Here it is as a pillow.


http://society6.com/jillbyers/pom-pom-fringe_pillow#25=193&18=126

This may be my last contest for a while because it's summertime.  School is out and there is not a lot of free time for me.  I was not able to complete my MATS Bootcamp assignment this month because of a lack of time.  If you're interested in seeing the assignment check them out here.  The theme was "message in a bottle".  I really like the theme and hope to bring my idea into fruition someday!  I sure hope to be able to complete next months Bootcamp assignment since it will be the last one.

There are not enough hours in the day!

It's summertime though and it's all good.

HAPPY SUMMER!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Feeling alienated

I'm so bummed. 

I think that sounds more positive than if I said depressed.   I knew that I had zero chance of winning the Fabric8 contest but I had hopes to make the top 100.  I'm trying to stay positive and not be discouraged that my aliens didn't make the first cut.  It's really, really difficult but I'm trying.

My "New Years Revolution" (yes, I spelled that correctly) was to work on my confidence.  It just took a huge hit.   I'm going to keep trudging along though.  I'm going to keep building my portfolio in hopes that some day I'll be somewhat successful at something.   I have the bar set low so I'm pretty hopeful.

There are some fabulous designs to vote on.  I can't even pick a favorite because there are so many that I love.  Check out the top 100 and vote here.



Friday, June 6, 2014

What does a garden mean to you?

When you hear the word "garden", what do you think of?  Some people think vegetables, others picture flowers, maybe you think of both.  Depending on what climate you live in, the plants will vary too.  There was a time when I used to only picture flowers, more specifically an English garden full of flowers.

I have always planted flower gardens up until 4 years ago when I took the leap into vegetable growing too.  I live in an area full of deer, rabbits, ground hogs and other animals with voracious appetites that strike in the middle of the night.  Having anything grow in my yard is a challenge.  We moved into our house 11 years ago this summer and I'm still trying to figure out what will grow in my yard under the soil, sun and animal conditions that I have.

For me, a garden is a great escape.  My yard is a lot of work but it's also so rewarding.  This is my favorite time of year.  Everything is so healthy and full of life.  I took a walk around the yard this morning with my ipod as my camera and here is what is happening...


My 4 year old vegetable garden.  Deer fencing all around with added chicken wire on the bottom buried into the ground to keep the ground hog out.  The first year we just had deer fencing and he laughed at us while he was running away with our tomatoes.  Now, we laugh at him.


This is the second year for the strawberries.  Last year I didn't net them because we have always been so focused on the four legged animals that we forgot about the berry eaters with wings.  I'm not sure how I forgot about the birds because I have 7 blueberry bushes that give us a handful of blueberries.  You need to wake up before the birds if you want to pick a ripe blueberry.  They don't like the unripe kind either.  It's a race to see who gets there first. 


So far... the netting is working for strawberries!  I'm going to leave the blueberries for the birds again this year.



We also plant tomatoes, lots of basil,  snap peas, yellow squash, zucchini and cucumbers.  Nothing too complicated.



Paeonies are one of my favorite flowers and by a strike of luck none of the animals around me like to eat them!  I have them planted all over my yard and every year I add more.  This one shows the tragedy of not staking your paeonies.  I ran out of stakes and this one suffered from the rain we had last night.


I'm trying foxglove this year.  It's supposed to be deer and rabbit proof.  We shall see...


Last but not least... As I've mentioned in a previous post... My husband's hops.  There are so many invasive weeds in our yard the list is too long, and even knowing that, my husband decided to introduce another one!  They are somewhat contained to an area near our driveway and you can almost watch them grow!  The hops will be making their way into a batch of beer at some point.

I'll try to post some more photos as the summer moves along.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Spoonflower and Robert Kaufman

An exciting contest is underway at Spoonflower!

Spoonflower is teaming up with Robert Kaufman Fabrics to sponsor a fantastic opportunity for 8 designers.  This yearly contest is named Fabric8 and the theme for this year is "Cosmic Voyage".  The difference with this contest and the usual weekly contest is that...  "Fabric8 is an annual contest to discover eight bold and modern fabric collections from new and emerging designers.  The winner of the contest will be offered a contract to design a fabric collection for Robert Kaufman Fabrics, a $1000 advance against royalties, and a Wacom professional digital drawing tablet.  Each of the eight finalists will receive $150 in Spoonflower credit."

How great is that!!??

Spoonflower and Robert Kaufman will first pick 100 designs out of all of the entries and announce the semifinalists on June 11th.

Those lucky 100 designs will be posted for public voting and 8 finalists will be announced June 19th.

The 8 finalists will then need to create 3 coordinating fabrics to make a cohesive collection.  Those 8 collections will then be posted for public voting and one fortunate winner will be announced July 24th!

Exciting!  I had to enter this one.  I think that it is a wonderful opportunity from Robert Kaufman.  They receive dozens of requests every week from designers that hope to have a fabric contract with them.  I have been wanting to send them my deigns for a while now but I get very intimidated knowing the competition that is out there.  I would LOVE to make the first cut.  After that, it will be a long shot to make the top 8!  There are a lot of great designs being submitted.  Fingers crossed!

Here is my silly design called "Alien Incubators".  When I first started to think about what to create I immediately thought of "The Jetsons" cartoon that I loved to watch when I was a child.  I originally planned to make floating cities inside these domes.  I was looking at architecture from Le Corbusier for inspiration and was having fun pretending to be an architect.  Then, I became frustrated with my design and the direction that it was going and I started to draw flowers (imagine that!).  I started to create little greenhouses under my domes until the thought hit me that the concept wasn't related to space enough.  I felt like I was creating another terrarium design so I then added little alien gardeners.  The aliens started to take on a life of their own and that's when I decided on alien incubators.  It all comes together if you stick with it long enough!  

I'm pretty attached to these little guys from another galaxy.  I'm picturing this design... and the coordinates that are still in my head... as being great for quilts, pillows, curtains, pajamas, backpacks, anything!  

Wish me luck!
Jill



http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/3192652

Monday, May 26, 2014

MATS Bootcamp - May

This month we had an editorial assignment.  Lilla gave us an article on meditation and we needed to create an illustration for it to fit on one page of a magazine.

The article was titled "How to meditate: A Primer for People Who Don't Like to Meditate"  The author does not like to mediate because basically, it's really difficult to close your mind to all of the chaos that surrounds us.  She discusses the benefits of meditation and how powerful it can be and she challenges herself to meditate more often and encourages the reader to give it a try.

I thought that I would focus on the benefits of mediation rather than the fact that it's actually very difficult to do.  The first line of the article read "Take a deep breath and close your eyes".  I went with that.

I can tell you that this is the third time that I have painted a person since figure drawing class in college way back when...  All three times have been because of Lilla too!  I have always been so afraid of drawing people.  I could pick apart the things about this girl that are not quite right... but I will not.  I'm inspired to keep figure drawing!  This assignment also made me realize that I really need to pay more attention to editorial work.  I will definitely keep my eyes open more!  I'm usually focused on putting flowers into a repeat pattern so I'm a bit rusty when it comes to layout and composition, fonts and hand lettering.  I know that there is tremendous room for me to improve in those areas and even so... I'm pretty happy with how it came out!  I'm also happy that I was able to complete the assignment.  I seriously goofed off last week playing in the sunshine and enjoying the amazing weather that we have been having. 

I can't wait to see what everyone created.  The online gallery should be up on Tuesday.  There is sure to be some stunning work from everyone.  I'll come back and post a link.

I'm back!
Here is the link.  Bootcamp May 2014 Gallery
There are a few hundred really fantastic illustrations!  I'm always so impressed with the diversity of styles and the creativity is always so inspiring.  Please take some time and have a look through all of them!  Wow!



Friday, May 23, 2014

Picnic Utensils

I made this design for the Spoonflower "Utensils" contest.  I'm thinking that this design would make cute napkins, an apron, a tea towel or a nice liner for a picnic basket.  I'm planning on ordering a yard to make myself some new dinner napkins.  I think the "Picnic Utensils" look nice with my 'Mini Sprigs" design.  (I like my sprigs so much that I'm now offering them in a smaller scale too.)
Check out all of the entries from this week and vote for your favorites here.

http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/3156223

Thursday, May 15, 2014

16th in the weekly Spoonflower contest!

Woo hoo!!  I came in 16 out of 174 in the "Terrariums" weekly contest!  I missed the top ten by 12 votes!  I'm so happy that people liked my design.  Thank you to everyone who voted for it and also for leaving all of the nice comments about it.  It will be for sale sometime soon, I hope.

I'm not entered into this weeks contest which is "Crayon-Drawn Monsters".  Check out the entries and vote for your favorites here.  There are some seriously cute and funny designs.   I wanted to create something for it but I didn't get the chance.   This past week, I chose to be in my garden.  The weather has been so nice!  I used to go insane during the springtime when I worked a real 9-5 job away from home.  I would take "mental health days" so that I could spend time working in my yard.  Thankfully, I worked for a great company that understood that spring fever is a real malady that can be cured with some days off.

Now,  I'm currently working on a new MATS Bootcamp assignment.  (MATS Bootcamp has started again now that MATSB is finished.)  I recently mentioned that I wanted to draw figures more often so that I will improve at it and feel more comfortable drawing people.  Well, Lilla read my mind... again!  Our new assignment is an editorial piece that needs to include a face or an entire body if we wish.  I'm actually enjoying the assignment and I'm at the stage where I like my idea and I think it's turning out OK.  This class is slower paced so I have until Sunday the 25th to finish.  I'm hoping that it works out.  Wish me luck.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spoonflower and my last MATS assignment

I was able to keep up the pace and complete my last assignment for MATS and a new design for Spoonflower!   Yay!

My Sugar Cookie tea towel from last week came in 24th out of 127.  Not bad.  Each week you can purchase a fat quarter bundle of the top ten designs for a slightly discounted price, available for only one week.  I think this week is a great week to purchase because they would make great gifts.  The top ten tea towels are all very cute.  I would ask you to throw my design into your shopping cart too but it's going to be stuck in "not for sale" for a while.

This week the theme is "Terrariums".  I really enjoyed painting this one.  Check out the entries and vote here.

I'm calling my design... wait for it... "Terrariums".  Clever name right?
http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/3119891

Last but definitely not least...

Here is my last assignment for MATS.
We were designing for the "Party Paper" market and we needed to create a design for a plate and napkin with a Bavarian folk art theme.

I wish that I could say that I'm in love with my design but I'm a little eh... about it.
I don't hate it as much as my cuckoo clock but I'm not feeling a lot of love either.  Funny thing, both were Bavarian themed AND my husband was actually in Germany last week while I was working on it!  I was wishing that I was over there eating pretzels, wursts and drinking beer with him, bike riding along what ever river it was that he went biking along and drinking at the beer gardens that he kept sending me photos of.

Beer.  My husband brews beer and is growing his own hops.  We also tend to drink a good bit of it so I decided to put a hop vine into my design.  I was also thinking that it would be fitting to raise a toast to finishing the class.

Yes, I know that my bird looks a little angry.  I plan to fix that.  I just need to turn that frown upside down.  I actually like the napkin.  I like it a lot.  I really like my pom pom fringe.  (You'll be seeing more fringe soon.)  I think the plate needs a little something.  There was some wheat on the plate but I took that element out at the last minute.  Maybe I should have left the wheat in there?

Who knows.

It was the best that I could do with that time that I had. 

I have really enjoyed the last 5 weeks.  I'll say again that I would definitely recommend taking both MATS A and B.  I feel like I have learned so much and I'm truly grateful to Lilla, Beth and their team for sharing so much information with us.  I'm a lucky girl.

Prost!!

https://flic.kr/p/ncVz7F

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Big Rosie makes a guest apperance!

I was so happy to hear that Sara Curtis was going to feature my Big Rosie design along with 11 other Spoonflower designs on her Radiant Home Studio blog!  Sara is a fellow Spoonflower designer and she is also a great seamstress.  Check out her blog, the 11 other beautiful designs and Sara's fabric designs and sewing patterns here.

Thanks Sara!

http://radianthomestudio.com/

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hello Again!

The results for "floral coloring book wallpaper" just came in and I had another great week!  My design was 43rd out of 310.  Yay!  All of the top ten are great.  I think it was one of the nicest themes lately with a lot of great entries.

The theme for this Week is "Moms Recipe Tea Towels".

I wanted a recipe that would be simple to illustrate and not too complicated to explain.  I decided to use my mom's sugar cookie recipe.  It's a really basic dough and the cookies are very good.  It was fun drawing all of the ingredients.

The designs are being shown as an 18" x 27" fat quarter of the linen-cotton canvas which is bigger than the basic cotton.  Check them out here.

There are some great recipes and cute designs.  Most of the designs (including mine) are created vertically but they are being shown horizontally so be prepared to have a crooked neck while viewing them. 


http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/3100084

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

MATS and Spoonflower!

I just realized that I never posted my design for the current Spoonflower contest!  Here is my entry for "Floral Coloring Book Wallpaper".  Voting ends today!  Check out the designs here.
http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/3059660
It's been a crazy week here but I'm happy to say that I've been able to complete my MATS assignment and keep up with the Spoonflower contests.  A bigger accomplishment for me is that I'm pretty happy with my finished designs too.  Life is good!

Last week, our MATS assignment was doing editorial work.  We needed to illustrate our home town.  It turned out to be a really difficult assignment for me and not for the reasons that I would have guessed.  I have a fear of drawing people and usually editorial work includes figure drawing.  I know that this fear could be easily remedied by just drawing people more!  It's part of that 10,000 hours thing... the more time you put into something the better you get at it.  If I had the choice, I would just paint flowers all day but because I am trying to broaden my horizons I am going to add figure drawing to my "to do more often" list.  I kind of like the way my surfer girl turned out.  (I know that she is a bit thin but that's because she forgets to eat lunch when she is out surfing all day.)  The difficulty for me with this assignment was with the composition and layout.  I really struggled with what icons to include and what to leave out.   Overall, it was fun to do and it's like nothing that I've ever done before.  One of the many reasons why I have loved taking this class is because I'm being forced to step out of my comfort zone.  That's a good thing.

Here is my map from MATS Week 4 Editorial.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/93559750@N07/14030237572/
(I actually live in South Kingstown but I thought that images from Narragansett would be easier for me to work with.)

I'm busy working on our final assignment for MATS.  "Party Paper" is the market.  I can't believe how fast 5 weeks can go by!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

MATS PartB Week 3 - Scrapbooking

I can't believe 3 weeks have gone by already!

Our assignment last week was to create a design for the scrapbooking market and our theme was "ink bottles".  One of the bottles that Lilla gave us for reference was really beautiful.  The bottle had an octopus and a butterfly on it.  At first, I was drawn to the octopus.  Octopus are so popular right now and they would make a great image within a coastal theme.  Then... I started to draw butterflies and moths and I couldn't stop.  I decided to save the octopus for another day and use the butterflies that I drew.  I seriously had so much fun making them, each butterfly/moth design would lead to the next.  We also needed to have at least one word in our design that would help convey a memory or feeling for which you would be using the scrapbook paper.  I took the love route.  I used the words love, hearts, flutter and remember.  Do you remember falling in love and having butterflies in your stomach?

My design is called "Hearts A Flutter" and I am definitely going to be doing more with my butterflies when I get the chance.

https://flic.kr/p/nbJNFE

This week we are working on "Editorial".  I'm excited about it and a bit nervous.  Anytime an assignment gets more into the realm of "illustration" I get a bit anxious.

I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to finish this weeks MATS assignment and the next Spoonflower design that I'm working on.  I'm lacking some precious time this week.  I really hope that I can pull it off!  We shall see...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Yay Lily Stripe!!

Wow!! My Lily Stripe came in 25th out of 318!!!
I almost didn't enter it!  It is so different from the original idea that I had.  Originally, it was going to be full color, painted tiger lilies on a navy background.  I was having difficulty separating the colors and having them blend the way that I wanted so out of frustration I turned all of the lilies white.  I personally like the design but I never thought that other people would.   I'm very thankful for all of the nice comments and the votes and favorites that it received.  Who Knew??

I've already slipped in my quest to enter every weekly contest.  The theme this week is "Earth Day Cut and Sew Bag".  I know that I'm going to be crunched for time next week due to Easter and Spring break so I decided to spend my time working on the next theme "Floral Coloring Book Wallpaper" instead.  Check out the cut and sew bags and vote here.  There are some really cute designs!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

MATS PartB Week 2 - Baby Apparel

Ahoy There!  This week our theme was "Pirates".  I had fun making this design and the coordinates.  I think the rope outlines in my main design make it more suited for baby furnishings rather than apparel.  I've never designed with apparel in mind.  I'm always thinking pillows, drapes, quilts etc.  I think I missed the boat with this assignment.  (Pun intended.)  It was too late to chart another course (ha ha) when I realized this.

I'm busy working on this weeks assignment for the "Scrapbooking Market".  I'm hoping for smooth sailing this week!  Argh!  I can't stop the pirate talk.

http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/3049628

They will all be available from my Spoonflower shop sometime soon, I hope.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spoonflower

I'm going to try to challenge myself.  While I'm currently enrolled in MATS Part B, I'm also going to try to enter the next 5 Spoonflower contests.  For the last year or so, I've been trying to create at least one new design a week.  Sometimes I fall short and sometimes I'm able to complete two or three.  All of the upcoming contest themes sound fun to me so I thought that this would be a good time to pick up the pace.  This is going to be extra challenging for me this month because another school break is coming up.

I do not enter the contests with the hope of winning.  I've been super happy to be in the top 10 a few times but seriously if I rank anywhere in the top 75 I'm thrilled!  I think the contests are fun, challenging and a great way to build my portfolio.  I use the voting results as an gauge for determining if my design is marketable.  I need some kind of gauge because my personal opinion about a design usually doesn't translate into sales.  Some of my favorite designs have never sold.  My "Whales in Waves" from last week came in 209 out of 399.

The theme this week was "Lilies".   The entries are really varied because we could use any kind of lily with no color restrictions.  Check them out here.

I went simple for this one.  It's called Lily Stripe.

I'm now working away at my MATS assignment.  At the moment, I'm really liking my idea and I hope that I can pull it together by Sunday.
http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/3035816

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

MATS Part B Week 1 - Paper Goods

I've been really busy lately.  MATS Part B started last week!  I'm trying to keep up with the Spoonflower contests while doing the MATS work and it is also starting to be beautiful outside.  This is my favorite time of year to be out in my yard, digging in the dirt.  (I'll try to post some photos of my garden this year.)

MATS - week one went pretty smoothly and I have to credit the fact that I'm not on Facebook anymore.  Not logging in helped me cut out all of the self doubt that I usually have.  I wasn't stressed out that I got a really late start on the project.  I wasn't worried that it was too similar to someone else because... I had no idea what everyone else was doing.  I actually read the assignment incorrectly and thought that we need to create 2 cards and it wasn't until I went to upload my finished work that I realized that everyone was only posting one card.  I had to quickly redo my presentation!

I was DYING to see what everyone was working on!!!  Of course, after I uploaded my design I had to resist checking out the Flickr group to see the designs as they were being uploaded.  I have a serious willpower problem.  Thankfully, it was a nice weekend and I spent most of Sunday outside.  Everyone needed to have their finished work uploaded on Sunday by 5:00 pm so I put my daughter to bed Sunday night and then settled in on the couch, next to the fire... with my ipad.  I really enjoyed seeing all of the finished work!

We were designing a greeting card with a gingerbread house theme.  I'm pretty happy with mine.  I know that it could be better.  I spent some time studying the cards that I liked, trying to figure out what made each one successful (in my mind).   I'll probably redo my card a tiny bit.  I think I need to add a bit more texture and a few more details to make it pop more.  I was going for simple but I think it's a little too simple.

Lilla's course has been so valuable to me.  I continue to learn so much.  I just watched her review of the week and I completely agree with all of her comments.  I plan to implement them into my work.  Not only will I make some adjustments to my card but I think my logo needs an overhaul.  Aside from the fact that it's obnoxiously big in this presentation, I want to make it more hand drawn.

I do miss being part of the Facebook group. I'm going to miss seeing how people revise their designs.  During MATS A, I learned a lot from my group as well as from Lilla. 

This week we are designing for "Baby Apparel" and I'm having fun with it!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Society 6 Promotion!

Use this link to get FREE SHIPPING and $5 off at my Society6 shop...
http://society6.com/JillByers?promo=c3672d

Promotion expires April 13, 2014 at Midnight Pacific Time. *Offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases and Throw Pillows with insert.

http://society6.com/JillByers/April-Promotion

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spoonflower update...

I didn't place very well in the "Wellies and Galoshes" contest.  105 out of 238!

In my quest for more confidence, I'm supposed to be thankful for all of my small successes.  In that spirit, I'm thankful that I ranked higher than 133 other designers.  The glass is more than half full!  Yay!  Better yet... Let's forget that contest ever happened and move on.  Shall we?

This week the theme is "Whales".  Fun!  I've been wanting to do a whale design.

This whale contest has a restricted palette.  I liked the colors at first glance, I thought they were preppy and fitting for whales.  Nantucket red and whales.  Perfect!  Then... I tried them out in my design and I have to say that they were really difficult to work with.  I was not liking the #D68189 color at all so I used it very sparingly as background dots.   Everyone did a fantastic job.  There are so many ways to draw a whale!  Check out the crazy amount of entries and vote here.  Seriously, grab a cup of tea... there are a lot of entries!


http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/2972330
"Whales in Waves" is also on products over at Society6 too.  Here it is on a pillow.

http://society6.com/JillByers/Whales-in-Waves_Print#1=45

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Shibori now available at Spoonflower!

I have finally made some of my shibori designs available as fabric over at Spoonflower!  I have had the designs on product at Society6 but it has taken me a bit longer to get them over to Spoonflower.  The designs were originally stitched by me and dyed with indigo.  I made them back in the early 90's when I was in college.  It's crazy how time flies!  My little collection of shibori samples have always been precious to me.  I take them out of storage every once in a while just to look at them.  When I started selling designs on Society 6, I thought they would be beautiful as framed prints.  Now, I have put them into a seamless repeat for Spoonflower.  I'm starting with these three because they work into a repeat better than some of the others in my collection.

(Note:  For some reason, the images that I upload to this blog have been taking on a grey cast lately.  I'm not sure why???)

http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/2999191

http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/3005091?view=

http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/2999308?view=

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spoonflower

I'm entered into the next two (possibly 3) Spoonflower contests.  They have had a few themes lately that didn't interest me but I was inspired by the next 3 coming up.  Even when I'm not entered into a contest, I still love to vote each week and see what everyone created.  I'm really impressed by a lot of Spoonflower designers that enter every weekly contest.  There are some themes that leave me stumped for ideas.  The creativity of the entries always surprise me.  The theme for this week is "Wellies and Galoshes".  I really like my design.  I know, I didn't go too far out of the box with my idea.  Lately, I'm really liking these colors and I thought that I would keep it simple.  I'm picturing cushions in a mudroom, a cute cafe curtain or an apron.  Check out the entries and vote for your favorites here.

http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/2941541

http://society6.com/JillByers/Wellies-Wu2_Print#1=45

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hera Gallery

I joined a fun little project to support Hera Gallery and my local community.  Hera Gallery put out a call for artists to build or decorate some donated birdhouses for an auction.

The event will raise funds and awareness for the Jonnycake Center, Welcome House, The Educational Exchange, and for Hera Gallery.  The birdhouses will be up for auction on March 29th, 2014 from 12 to 5 pm at The Farmer’s Daughter located on Route 138 at 716 Mooresfield Rd, South Kingstown, RI.  There will be food trucks next to the greenhouse all afternoon and entertainment provided by local musician, Ariel Rose Bodman, from 2-3pm. The silent auction will be held from 12-3 pm and the live auction portion will commence at 3 pm.  If you live nearby, come on over and bid on a birdhouse!

I decided to decorate one of the birdhouses that were donated by South County Art Supply.  It is a tiny little thing.  I recycled my MATS zipper pouch design... I rearranged the elements a bit, decoupaged it to the birdhouse, added a little paint and...Voila!  I'll keep my fingers crossed that someone buys it!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/93559750@N07/13413007423/

MATS Bootcamp March Gallery

They are all so fun!! Check out all of the jelly designs here.

 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

MATS Bootcamp - March

Hello Jello.
This month, our assignment was to create a design for fabric with a jello theme.  I had fun with it.  It's not a theme that I would have done if not for this class.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how everyone interpreted this theme.  I'm a bit in the dark at the moment.  Last month, I was getting a little overwhelmed with all of the images being posted in our MATS Facebook group.   I loved seeing everyone's ideas but occasionally someone would post an idea that I was thinking about and then I would feel like I couldn't go that route anymore or I would be so amazed by someone's creativity and think that my design wasn't good enough.  It was frustrating.  I was also spending way too much time reading through every post and feeling like I should comment on the designs or hit the like button.   There are over 500 people in this class!  Granted, not everyone is posting their ideas but there are so many that are.  I can tell myself over and over to not compare my work to others but when hundreds of images are being put in front of me everyday... I'm weak, I can't help it.   I decided that it was better for me to deactivate my Facebook account to keep me from logging in.  I had to take drastic measures because I have no will power.  If there is chocolate in the house... I will eat it.  I felt some FB withdrawal symptoms for 2-3 days after deactivation but now... I'm fine!  I'm happy in my little, ignorant bubble.  I do miss my MATS mates though, they were an inspiring group in many ways.

The online gallery should be unveiled March 25th.  I'll come back and post a link to the gallery so that you can see all of the finished designs.  I can't wait to see them all.

All of these fabrics will soon be available at my Spoonflower shop.

Jill


http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/jillbyers



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Designs!

Here are a couple of new designs available as fabric from Spoonflower and also available as note cards, phone cases, pillows and much more over at Society 6.

This one is called Oak Paisley..
http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/2914803 

This one is called Sprigs...

http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/2918227?view=
I'm loving them both.   Here they are as phone cases over on Society 6.  There is still Free Shipping at Society 6 with this link http://society6.com/JillByers?promo=c3672d


Promotion expires March 9, 2014 at Midnight Pacific Time. *Offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases and Throw Pillows with insert.

http://society6.com/JillByers



Thanks for stopping by!
Jill

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Free Shipping!

Society 6 is running a promotion from now until March 9th 2014.

Use this link to get FREE SHIPPING at my Society6 shop...
http://society6.com/JillByers?promo=c3672d

Promotion expires March 9, 2014 at Midnight Pacific Time. *Offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases and Throw Pillows with insert.

Here are a few of my newest designs...

http://society6.com/JillByers/Free-Shipping-Promotion-Link-vKk

Friday, February 28, 2014

Big Rosie!

I mentioned in my last post that I really liked the simple roses in my cuckoo clock design.  I had fun coloring them up today and I now have products available at both Society6 and Spoonflower.   The roses are huge!  I really love the pillows...

http://society6.com/JillByers/Just-Rosie_Print#1=45

http://society6.com/JillByers/Just-Rosie_Print#1=45

http://society6.com/JillByers/Just-Rosie-turquoise_Print#1=45

http://society6.com/JillByers/Just-Rosie-turquoise_Print#1=45


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

MATS Bootcamp

I'm enrolled in Lilla Rogers MATS Bootcamp!  "MATS A" was more like "bootcamp" this class is like a stroll on the beach picking up shells along the way.  We have had 3 weeks to complete one assignment.  That being said, I still ran out of time due to some school snow days and my daughter being off from school for almost a week and a half for winter break.  I really can't work unless she is in school.  There are a lot of wonder women out there who do not sleep at night and create beautiful things while their children sleep.  I'm truly in awe of them.  I am not one of those.  I like to sleep.  I value sleep.  I need sleep.

I questioned whether or not to post my design for our first assignment because I really do not like the way it came out.  I know, I sound like I'm being all negative.  The truth is that I just do not like everything that I create.  Photographers take hundreds of photos to get one good shot.  Why should I like everything that I make?  I think you would need to be a bit narcissistic to love everything you create.  There are a lot of artists out there that I really admire and I follow their blogs and check in on their websites and guess what...  I don't always like everything that they create.  I wonder if they always do???

I have decided to post it anyway, to explain the thought process behind it and where I walked off the path and got lost.

Our assignment was to create a phone case with a cuckoo clock on it.

I started to sketch a traditional looking cuckoo clock with oak leaves and acorns.  I liked my sketch.  I thought that it was cute.  I then had the thought... I think a phone case should be more "quirky".
 

I was determined to have it be any shape other than a house.  I first thought of a teapot and then noticed that a few other people were posting sketches of teapots.  I then thought of a big sunflower, with a mouse popping out where the bird would be and leaves hanging down as the weights.  I made the mistake of showing my sketch to my husband and he said that it didn't look like a cuckoo clock.  That's when I started to walk off the path.  That was when I should have stuck with my flower idea because... we are not being graded... who cares if it looks like a clock!  It was inspired by one.


I know, it looks like my flower is crying.

So... I sketched some more, tried to make it look more like a cuckoo clock and started to paint.  At this point I'm mostly liking my design (except for the house part).



Then, I ran out of time.  School break started and we took a little trip to New York City.  We had a great time, I heart NY!   I scrambled to finish before the deadline.  I'm not sure why but I also made things more difficult by painting REALLY BIG.  Why?  It's a tiny phone case!  Note to self... Don't make things more difficult than they need to be.  I also had the proportions off and had a lot of empty space up top that I'm not crazy about.  UGH!  At this point I'm so far off the path that I have no idea what direction I came from.  I had no time left to start over or even fix it with some Photoshop magic.  I was stuck with it.  Here it is...


I really like the leaves and the round flowers and I plan to make a design out of them.  I also like my swirly roses in the background and my bird too.  How about that!   There are some things that I like about it!

I'm really looking forward to our next assignment and I plan to keep it simple the next time.  I hope.  I'll post them all... the good, the bad and even the half finished.   It's all subjective.

There are hundreds of people in this bootcamp with me.  There are some really amazing designs.  Check out the online gallery here