Sunday, July 13, 2014

No pattern, No party!

At this moment in time, due to a couple of unfortunate coincidences, my life has become a whirlwind, or as my mom says, like living in a washing machine and someone turned the cycle on to spin! Some things that are happening are enjoyable and others are a bit stressful, but all are things that I cannot control so I just have to sit them out.

I would love to turn this trend around, however, the spin cycle may not ease off until Christmas and as usual the one thing that gets thrown by the wayside first is my pattern making! So no serious designing is going on at the moment, just a lot of doodling and jotting down of ideas, keeping things on the boil until I have more time to dedicate to patterns again.

At first I thought 'No pattern, No party'... but I am now back to a bit of enjoyable cutting, sticking and doodling in front of the telly in the evenings, and it is not such a bad idea. This week I have been producing handcrafted envelopes known as 'Efuto' which I shall be posting off to some of my surface pattern friends.

It is always enjoyable to create 'little' patterns and projects just to keep my creative juices flowing until better times. Here are a few close-ups of my designs without showing the whole of the envelope. I like them to be a surprise when they arrive in the post!

If you leave a comment after this post I will be drawing out one name to find a winner for an Efuto that needs a new owner! I hope to hear from you :)

Monday, June 30, 2014

An interesting article!

Today I have a fun post about an interesting article which I came across in an Italian magazine called Verde Facile. The article featured the Canadian Surface Pattern Designer Elizabeth Olwen. Some of you may remember that Elizabeth was a guest on my blog in one of the Dream Designs features, you can read my post from far away September 2012 here

Verde Facile has written a lovely feature and dedicated six pages to Elizabeth and her work. They had the idea to make some seed envelopes to cut out and keep so her patterns are in full evidence with a half page for each design.

The article is also well written and very inviting, so inviting in fact that I cut out a couple of envelopes myself and made them up! Elizabeth's patterns are described by Verde Facile as delicate and beautiful, and we can't argue with that!

Read news of Elizabeth's successes and licensing deals, catch up with her portfolio, and, find out where you can buy her fabulous designs at

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Welcome back Milvia

For those of you who follow my blog regularly you will have noticed that I mention Milvia from time to time. Milvia is an Italian painter and artist who enjoyed fame in the late 50’s and 60’s. Her illustrations and patterns were produced on fabric in Italy and in the U.S., even Liberty London became one of her clients. There was never enough written about Milvia when her career was at it’s height and this fact has created a certain illusive atmosphere about her being. This lack of information has also created curiosity and regard towards her work. For quite some time I didn’t know anything about Milvia’s real identity but I was attracted to her quirky illustrations, her talent, and her style. Basically I was a great fan of the illusive Milvia.

Then about 8 months ago things changed, I was contacted by Milvia’s daughter. Just one meeting lead to the creation of the Milvia project. I have been working with Milvia and her daughter for more than 6 months. The project begins with cataloguing Milvia’s work from the 60’s onwards and ends with the work being digitalized and made available for licensing. I am responsible for the licensing and promotional side of the project and Milvia’s daughter in turn for the archives and restoration of the works. I can’t tell you all our plans but we are working on many aspects and markets, I hope very soon you will be seeing more and more of Milvia and her fabulous work.

The real news is that Milvia never really went away, I have been privileged to see her studio at her home in Florence. The studio has always been there for her work and as ‘real’ artists do she has continued to lead the life of a creative. After raising a family and following her husband all over the world in his career she has always found time to work and experiment. For those of you who have not read between the lines this means that there are many unpublished designs waiting to be discovered and I hope to lend a hand in making this happen.

So now it is time to really begin the Milvia adventure. Work has gone on for months behind the lines and it is now time to share some of it with the public. Milvia’s website will go live on 5th June 2014, which is of course today! Please visit us at I think you will all be interested in our unique proposals. Obviously there is limited information available on the website and for anyone with serious intentions just contact me at and I will be delighted to help.

In addition you will find Milvia on Pinterest,
and Twitter
More news of Milvia will be published regularly in press releases and obviously here on my little blog.

Thank you for reading.
Dawn Clarkson

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

World Lupus Day 2014 - Acknowledgments

The collection of butterfly designs to celebrate World Lupus Day was a great success this year. I received 99 beautiful butterflies from all over the world, from as far away as Chile, Canada and Australia and by people with ages ranging from 3 to 80! Personally I had to do a lot of work to prepare everything but it all went well, my blog received well over 650 hits in 3 days (300 on 10th May) and the event generated hundreds of Tweets related to World Lupus Day.

Some of the 99 butterfly designs received for World Lupus Day
Tweets mentioning the event and a personal Thank you from Lupus UK!
In general a big thank you goes to everyone who sent me a design, however just a few people need to be mentioned as they played a particular part in helping to make the event a success. 
Thomas Fummo who encouraged his adult English class to draw butterflies instead of perfecting their grammar.
The 4 and 5 year olds from the Scuola Materna dell'Istituto Calasanzio dei Padri Scolopi di Empoli, Florence.
The 7 and 8 year olds, class 2A, from the Scuola Alessandro Manzoni, Moncalieri, Turin.
SKI TEAM Jouvenceaux.
My mother Ann Clarkson who is not very good with paints but fabulous with a needle and thread.
All my professional surface pattern friends who found the time in their busy schedule to do a special design for this initiative.
My thanks also go to a very special lady called Milvia who was without doubt the most famous person to produce a design for the butterfly gallery.
We must not forget why I began this project, mainly to increase Lupus awareness, which is an illness close to my heart but also to make a small donation to LUPUS UK. By donating 1 euro for every design received I was able to give a total of 99 euros, or 80 UK pounds, or 135 U.S. dollars. 

Details of my donation
Although the event has now finished if anyone feels inspired to draw and send me a butterfly design I will continue to accept them throughout 2014. They will be added to the following Pinterest boards... Children, Adults and Designers
I think I have said enough for now, I just need to add that I enjoyed myself very much and it gave me great pleasure to receive so many fabulous creations. Next year is going to be bigger and better, I do hope you will take part.