Friday, September 28, 2012

Maybe Maps?

Hello, is it really Friday (afternoon) and where has the week gone. I have been so busy, preparing for two specail visitors who arrived this afternoon, designing maps, and, in between coping with a migrane headache!

I am just surfacing, and about time too as the deadline is looming for the live Wallpapered brief set by ABSPD with the theme Maps. I have a few ideas but am only just putting them into production. It is not an easy brief but no excuses for not doing a good job... not even a migrane headache!

So I am sharing a couple of pattern ideas with you inspired by maps which I am currently working on. These "maybe" my final pieces as I feel I am getting closer to what I imagined my pattern to look like. Although I hope I can improve on the colour palette as I am not happy with that yet.

Just to wish you all a happy weekend. I will be back on Monday with another Dream Designs post so please take time to pop in a have a look who it is and what her Dream Design is!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dream Design 6 - Simi Gauba

Today I am very pleased to welcome Simi Gauba, a surface designer who lives in Sweden. She has chosen a pattern which shows off her lovely design skills and has outlined her dream application for it.

Here is my design called 'Karan'. It is a mix of my indian heritage and my own rendition of colors and motifs I grew up with. I think I saw my mum wear a lot of similar motifs in her clothing and that's where it originates from-happy memories.

Dream Product for the pattern : Cushion/Pillow for the living room.
Dream Company to sell the product to : Ã…hlens or Indiska in Sweden.

I absolutely love Simi's style and I admire her work tremendously. I find that she has good taste and a great colour sense. The pattern Simi has chosen as her Dream Design is very rich, warm and colourful and I could easily imagine it both on silky fabrics or thick upholstery fabrics. The pattern is part of a collection which I believe she is still working on and I can't wait to see the whole collection when it is finished. She also has some very modern designs which I also enjoy as they have a great contemporary and innovative feel to them. 

Her greatest achievement yet is 'Having won the Print and Pattern Scholarship back in April 2012 to get a place in the fab course ABSPD run by Rachael Taylor and Beth Nicholls'. 

I recommend a close look at her blog here it is full of her lovely work and interesting posts about design which she declares to 'celebrate' and that it 'makes her extremely happy'... well that makes two of us then!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Doodleboard 'Swirls'

I absolutely love my doodleboard which has found its way into my garage! It may not seem the perfect place but I am getting used to it and I am sure that it will become a permanent feature from now on.

Already on my 4th sheet of A1 paper I am noticing a difference between the things I draw in my sketchbook and the things I draw whilst standing in front of my doodleboard! For one thing the drawings are bigger and bolder and I just draw anything that comes into my head, mainly patterns, shapes and motifs. I use black pens and I sometimes stick bits of paper onto the sheet beforehand (with a computer it can be so tempting and simple to add lots of different colours to the designs immediately), with just a pen and paper I concentrate mainly on the marks I make.

I have already identified lots of elements which could easily be elaborated further to create individual patterns. Although I have a busy schedule I am eager to develop and finish a pattern which has originated from my doodleboard. Until then I'll leave you with a couple of swirly bits and some flowers from my 4th doodle sheet!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dream Design 5 - Esther Cox

Today I wish to share a great design and 'Dream' with you from Esther Cox who is a Surface Pattern Designer and Illustrator based in Brighton, UK. She tells us in her own words...

I adore 1950s design; its futuristic structures, craft influences and whimsical style. This pattern sums that up for me. I adore the ceramics too and I would love to see my work on the likes of Poole, Portmeirion or even Marimekko! What I enjoyed about deconstructing this pattern to create the plate design was that the elements so quickly became reminiscent of an olive, cocktail stick, canape... That seems to suit the whimsical inspiration and its intended purpose.

If I could say something about Esther's work it would definately be abstract with a large dose of whimsical personality! There is also a strong retro influence but this reoccurs in a refreshing and sometimes 'sparkly' way. I enjoy all her patterns with light backgrounds, it is so nice to pick out the elements one by one and it emphasises her illustrative style. She designs some pretty cool seedpods which are hard to identify but beautiful original creations in their own right! Her work lends itself perfectly to ceramics but I could visualise it on many other homeware products too. 

Reading her blog I discovered she comes from a very creative and talented family so it must be in her genes to create such wonderful and original patterns. Please take time to visit her blog here which is full of interesting articles, her surface pattern designs, illustration and all things sewn. LOVELY!

I will be back next week with another Dream Design feature, remember if you would like to take part just email me at

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dream Design 4 - Zoe Attwell

Look below and you will find a super design by Zoe Attwell a Surface Pattern Designer based in London. She has agreed to share her Dream Design with us today and has explained in her own words why she loves this pattern and her "dream" application for it.

 'Retro Checks' was one of the first patterns I designed, and it is still very dear to my heart. It's quite hard to choose but a couple of my dream applications for it would be as a fabric for Liberty or Heals. I would love to see this design on soft furnishings; cushions, upholstery or maybe blinds.
Zoe Attwell is a talented designer who already has a very distinct style. Her work is very graphic and she uses multiple elements to create overall textured effects. There is also something 'quirky' about her style which I think would make it perfect for children or stationery products. 
It is quite spectacular to note that Zoe has had SEVEN designs chosen for the Patternbase Book which will be published in the new year! Her work has also been showcased on the famous Print and Pattern blog. I think we will be hearing a lot more about her in the near future. Pop over to Zoe's blog to see more of her fabulous work.

More news from Dream Designs on Thursday, see you then.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Welcome to Nice and Fancy!

I have calculated that I have about two minutes to show you a bit of my work and tell you about my blog before you move on. I am a Surface Designer who for the moment earns her way doing Graphic Design and although I am English I live in Turin, Italy. I love all things pattern (or I would'nt be taking part in the Passion for Pattern Blog Hop would I?), my patterns are bold, colourful, floral and sometimes abstract. On my blog you will find not only my work and things that inspire me but also interesting posts about design and all things creative. I do hope that you might find time to come back and visit Nice and Fancy again, you can leave me a message or follow me... remember that I would love to hear from you.

A selection of Floral patterns
A selection of patterns inspired by the city of Turin.
You have a busy schedule so I will keep you no longer. I want you to visit ALL the Passion for Pattern bloggers who are linking together today to celebrate pattern!
I know you have come over from Dunia Nalu's blog here and I am now linking you to Nicky Ovitt's here. The Blog Hop is organised by the talented Claire Smillie and the original running order starts from her blog Creativity Rocks here.  
Have a super day and don't break the chain, lets all enjoy a bit of Passion for Pattern together. Thank you for visiting.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Dream Design 3 - Rebecca Greenwood

Today's Dream Design post features Rebecca Greenwood of Littletree Designs based in Braintree, UK. The pretty pattern featured below was chosen by Rebecca and she has kindly described what it's dream application would be.


This design is part of my Blooms & Buttons collection and I would love to see it as part of a stationery range in the brilliant UK store Paperchase.
It is my 'dream' to see my work in there one day (a single card or a whole range, I don't mind!) as it was one of the first places that I visited when I was younger that made me want to become a designer!

I have chosen this particular design from the collection because I love all the little elements of the design, the stitching, layers of pattern, all the different flower motifs and of course the buttons...I have a small button addiction!
A lot of Rebecca's work contains an extremely lively use of geometric elements combined with lovely attention to detail. Some patterns have a "quirky" side to them and maybe a little bird or character will instantly give a decisively fun feel to create a unique finished design. Apart from being very graphic and colourful there is also a strong retro style which shows through in many of her designs. I can quite easily imagine her patterns on a number of Paperchase products, let's hope that one day her wish will come true!

Her work has been showcased on the Print and Pattern Blog and featured on the Tigerprint Designer Showcase. You can see more of her portfolio on her website and she has a super blog which is full of interesting and creative things.

I will be back on Monday with the next Dream Design feature please feel free to tune in!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Passion for Pattern BLOG HOP 2

Claire Smillie has organised the second Passion for Pattern bloghop happening on 16th September 2012. There will be around 50 international designers taking part.

Basically the rules are very simple. We are over 50 pattern bloggers who are linking together for one day to create an entertaining chain for you to follow. Every blog will be linked to the one before it and will link you to the one after it. Simple as that... clever eh?
Don't forget to pass by and give us a look, there will be some fabulous blogs and WORK on show. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dream Design 2 - Elizabeth Olwen

The second designer to take part in the Dream Designs feature is ELIZABETH OLWEN a Toronto-based surface designer. Here is her beautiful pattern and her description of it.

Why I love this, and my dream application:
When I created this pattern, it brought back memories of my childhood and the beautiful bedspread I had in my room. This pattern captures the spirit of those memories… it's soft and lovely and flowery, and would create a lovely backdrop for young girls daydreaming about the days to come, like I did. I think it would look wonderful as bedding for a company like Dwell Studio.

When I had a closer look at Elizabeth's work I was overwhelmed by the beauty and elegance of all her pretty designs. She has a very distinct style which is gentle and soothing, I am in love with her colour palettes and her collections are individual and entertaining. Her dream to see this pattern printed on bedding is a perfect application for this design. It would be so relaxing and romantic to curl up in some crisp sheets with such a beautiful design on them. I do hope that Dwell Studio might consider using some of her patterns as they would be well suited to their products.
Elizabeth recently won the Tigerprint 'Men's pattern' design competition you can see her winning design here, and she has a series of notecards coming out with teNeues in January 2013. 

PLEASE take time to look at her beautiful website I can assure you it is well worth it.

I will be back on Friday with more Dream Designs and their authors, until then :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dream Design 1 - Jenny Whitham

Well good morning everyone, I am very excited to begin my new blog feature Dream Designs. The first designer who has agreed to share her dream pattern and realization is Jennie-Louise Whitham of JLW Illustration, an exciting surface pattern designer who lives in Leeds, UK. In her own words she explains the design and its dream application.
"As soon as I read your email, I knew which design I wanted to share with you. It is my ultimate favourite, and I think it is because it was the first design I ever created that I felt defined my style exactly. Its quite a simple design, originally created in 2011 for a Spoonflower competition and the theme was 'Rain'. For some reason I'm drawn to the design constantly, and even had it blown up and framed near my desk.

My dream client for this particular design is 'Hunter' Wellingtons. I knew as soon as I made this design that it would look fabulous printed on a pair of welly boots. Hunter create a collection of patterned boots and I know this design would look fabulous upon a pair."
I would like to thank Jennie for sharing such a lovely design with us, she did not know beforehand that I am a great fan of welly and flip-flop designs so she chose a subject close to my heart! I personally admire Jennie and her work because it is so bright and cheerful, I suspect this is a reflection of her character. She is very prolific with a strong portfolio of jolly and fun designs which I am sure would be at home on a number of products, especially children's wear and stationery design. You can catch up on her work at one or all of the links below.

Thanks for dropping in to read today's Dream Designs feature. The next designer and her dream design will be posted on Wednesday... remember if you want to take part just e-mail me at

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Above the Butcher's shop

It is very hard to know where to begin to describe this shopfront and why I love it so much.
A "macelleria" (which means Butcher's) with so many strange and ugly things all together in one place! The typeface is horrendous with a choice of red which I think has quite an unhappy association with a butcher's shop. The sun canopies above the windows would be much more at home on a beach with their garish colour scheme. The curtains at the windows seem very "cheap", I can feel their thick cut out pattern without going anywhere near them. But the shrine is the icing on the cake, a vase on each side complete with plastic flowers, and, horror upon horror the electric lightbulb halo! Nevertheless I have grown to love this shopfront and when I ride past on my bike, whatever the time of day or season, the halo lights are always turned on and in perfect working order. I think someone must be taking pretty good care of them!

I have added this photograph to my album of Turin snapshots on Flickr, take a look here.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dream Designs

Today I am launching the logo for a new feature on my blog which will be called Dream Designs. Personally when I am designing I often envisage a product or surface on which that design would look super and fit a treat. Maybe I fantasize that an incredible client has commisioned the work which I am working on at that moment in time. I find this process both useful and enjoyable.

I thought it would be entertaining to ask other designers to imagine what product would suit their favourite design or what their "dream" realization for this piece would be. From next Monday onwards I will be featuring selected surface designers who have kindly agreed to share a piece of work and a dream with us!

The posts will be deliberately short so it will only take a minute to check by on my blog and delight in a super design and it's imaginary conclusion. So please come back on Monday and have a peep at my first designer and her "dream" application.

I am inviting a number of designers to take part in the Dream Designs theme, if you would like to take part just send me an e-mail at and I will get back to you... you never know who might be reading, so remember "the sky's the limit".

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Doodling in blue and black!

Good morning. I want to share a few of my doodles with you. 
Yesterday I spent some time with my doodle board a black pen and a piece of sticky blue paper... heaven. I really enjoyed myself and I created lots of motifs which I will be taking up again to work into pattern designs. 

My doodle board is quite addictive and I find it is leading me away from what I thought was my style! ... the only thing I can do is keep doodling and hope that it takes me somewhere nice. I do hope you enjoy them?