Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Posh Gift Shop

Do you remember the 'posh gift shop'? I used to talk about it quite a lot here on my blog. Throughout the year I help out there on a regular basis, however, when the festive season begins it becomes a full-time job! 
Back in June the 'posh gift shop' had it's sixtieth Birthday and we celebrated in style. Two generations of the same Italian family have sustained and nurtured this business through thick and thin. It is not a secret anymore that it's days are numbered. The gloomy Italian economic climate is the last straw and I think that 2015 will see the end of the road for this local institution. Many clients and customers will miss it greatly when it finally disappears.

For the last month we have been unpacking new stock and pricing and shelving everything from glowing nativity scenes through to truffle slicers, you name it and we have it! Over the last two weeks one by one the windows have been decorated, the fifth and last one is shiny and new, filled with tantalizing gifts for all the family. 
So Monday 1st December is the big day... from then on we will open everyday until Christmas... our official Christmas marathon will be underway. It's not always enjoyable, it is sometimes funny, sometimes annoying, and you have to hope that you don't get any colds or flu halfway, it's not easy to communicate when you have lost your voice!

So will this be our last Christmas? I have a feeling it will be, and after 20 years of 'helping out' through the Christmas marathon I am going to make the best of this year and try and remember all the good bits. As a rare treat you can see a photo of me in one of the windows, but of course, I'm not for sale!  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Spoonflower - 2015 Tea Towel Calendar contest

The Spoonflower 2015 Calendar Tea Towel contest is underway and I have entered again this year. I have noticed that over the last four years I have always adapted a recent design into a tea towel for this particular Spoonflower contest. If I'm honest, as my design time is always limited, I think this trend comes from the necessity to come up with something at the last minute! However I like to enter this contest, it is becoming a bit of a tradition, even if only have a tea towel printed up with my design on it for my Mum! 
It is also nice (and very useful of course!) to look back on old work and take stock of things, how my style may be changing and improving. So I have grouped together my four tea towels and the patterns which inspired them. It is interesting to see how they were adapted for the contests.

1. Owls in the Kitchen. This design was created for Spoonflower and then adapted to become the 2012 tea towel calendar.

2. Laughing Owls. This design was created for Spoonflower's Extinct Animals contest. The design was then adapted to create the 2013 Tea Towel Calendar.

3. Buon Appetito. This design was created for Spoonflower's Retro Kitchen contest which was colour palette restricted. I therefore changed the colours along with the design to create my 2014 Tea Towel Calendar design.

4. Cut Me Up. This design is a weekly planner and was recently created for a freebie designer download, available here. I changed the colours (as I didn't feel that black was suitable for the kitchen) and the layout to incorporate a 2015 Calendar Tea Towel.

Voting closes on Tuesday 4th November and the winners will be announced on Thursday 6th November!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Autumn colours!

It's that time of year again where nature explodes in one final crazed colour party before winter sets in. We enjoyed one last trip to the mountains on Sunday and we were expecting to see the first signs of snow on the highest peaks. However, much to our surprise, a warm day with lots of sun just extended our hope of a prolonged summer... not a trace of snow to be seen even over 2500 metres!

Whilst someone cycled to Colle del Nivolet 2602 m I strolled through gorgeous woods and listened to the mountain river pounding down the valley, a constant background sound which omitted everything else... problems and all.

These are just a few photographs of my walk in the woods, bright autumn colours and with a few patterns thrown in!

Shocked and a bit saddened not to have seen one animal just hundreds and hundreds of mushrooms! Definitley the last I will see of the mountains without snow this year and a most enjoyable end to our summer trips.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The 2014 Designer Calendar + Planners - October

Just as last year I have designed a 'piece' of MaJo's lovely freebie designer calendar. I along with many other of her designer friends were invited to participate and each create a different month for 2014. I am happy to announce that my design for October is already available for download HERE.
Luckily I was asked to create a weekly planner which could be printed up and then pinned directly on a wall or used as a desk planner. My design started out as an experiment with cut-outs and a bit of collage. I had no theme but just decided to enjoy myself.

Although the original brief requested I be inspired by the Spring and Summer 2014 Pantone colour palette I found that the design also looked great in black and white. So this means two versions were created for downloading. You can decide to doodle and colour my black and white design with your own personal colour scheme, or just download the original coloured version. So get colouring, and get planning, now!

I liked the finished design so much that I also changed my header to match :)