Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Iconemesis Love Illustration and other bits!

I have put a few of my new experimental designs onto iphone 4 cover cases and entered them in the Iconemesis Love Illustration competition. Please go and take a look here and if you like them PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT... as I think the outcome of the competition will be based on social media hits. The winners will see their design put into production! WOW


Good news... you may remember my Laughing Owls Tea Towel 2013 Calendar design which I entered in the latest Spoonflower competition? It was placed 11th with 357 votes! Just a little miffed at not making the top ten :( however I have ordered a few to make some Christmas pressies!

No Dream Designs this week, sorry folks but Christmas has arrived in the 'posh gift shop' and we have been so busy placing stock and organising things that I have'nt had much time to dedicate to my lovely blog.

I have also noticed that I have another new member... welcome!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dream Design 12 - Petra Kern

Today Dream Designs welcomes Petra Kern who is based in Slovenia. After a successful career as a journalist she has started her own creative business and is pursuing her dream of becoming a full-time surface pattern designer. Below she explains why she has chosen this pattern and her dream realization for it.


Why I love this design?
I like this design because it says everything about my style which is hand drawn, floral, feminine, dynamic and with lot of colours. I like to play with the patterns and when I see a product I always see it with a pattern or two on it.
About me: I recently dropped my job as a journalist and stylist for lifestyle magazines, took several online classes for art and surface pattern designer (ABSPD course!!!) and now I hope to make my living just of surface design. I dreamt about that for sooo long and the funny thing is that I didn't even know that such a profession existed.
After looking closely at Petra's work I am really impressed by how charming and pretty it all is. Her portfolio is full of delicate floral and organic patterns, most of them hand drawn or painted. Extremely feminine although rich in detail her work achieves its grace using subtle colour palettes. I particually like a few designs which I noticed have a darker background they remind me of tapestries. Petra claims to be 'drawn to nature' and 'want to capture it's colours', for me she certainly achieves that goal. 

A strong element of her work seems to be the capability to create collections and designs which compliment each other and look good together. This doesn't come easily for everyone and I think it is a truly valuable attribute that will facilitate her success as a surface pattern designer. A good example of this are the patterns shown here for this Dream Design feature. One, two or three designs which knit perfectly together and sit together on the same project.

I strongly recommend you take a look at the fabulous work to be found on Petra's website or catch up with her on facebook here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blog feature at THE KIOSK

Yesterday I had a lovely surprise when I discovered that my work was showcased on Esther Cox's blog THE KIOSK. Esther has written a super post featuring quite a few patterns of mine. I cannot thank her enough for writing so many nice things about me and my work. The least I can do is keep working hard and experimenting in the hope that it will all come together pretty soon. Thanks again Esther for such a wonderful post.

Tomorrow I will be back with a new Dream Designs post... don't miss it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sneaky peek!

Lately I have been working very hard on my portfolio so as to be ready for when I launch my new website! SOON I hope. Well, I have been experimenting with motifs and shapes which come from my doodleboards... if not what do I doodle for? I have left myself totally free with no rules about colour, subject or brief. I surprised myself by coming up with quite a few floral designs and all repeat patterns, no placement prints this time round. The lovely flowers you see below are one of the 'experiments' using doodleboard bits and a large dose of imagination. I quite fancy this design on a rug, it would look just great in my studio which has yellow walls!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dream Design 11 - Gillian Hollingsworth

On Dream Designs today I welcome Gillian Hollingsworth of Worthy Designs who is based in Dublin, Ireland. Although she graduated with an Honours Degree in Fashion Design she is now pursuing a career in the fascinating world of surface pattern design.The pattern featured below was chosen by Gillian and she has kindly described her aspirations for it. 


My work tends to lean towards the interiors market so my dream product application would be for the home. A cushion with my design on sale in Anthropolgie???? A girl can dream!
So the design I've chosen is from my 'Botanical Lane' collection and is my favourite so far as I'm still developing my style. (It will probably have changed again by next week!) I think it's the textures that draw me to it, as if it has been hand pressed. 
I would like to thank Gillian for sending me such a lovely pattern it is representative of her work which is very delicate and pretty. She is inspired by many things, especially by nature, so a lot of her patterns are floral or organic. I find her patterns elegant and pleasing with beautiful subtle colour palettes, all quite suited to homewares and apparel. Her botanic collections are especially strong although her work is varied and her portfolio full of versatile patterns. My favourites of all her collections are Flower Bed Folly and Winter Petals.

One of her designs has already been featured in the first edition of the MOYO magazine and as she claims to have a 'fascination' for all things print and pattern I'm sure this is just the beginning of a successful career for Gillian in surface pattern design.
You can see more of her portfolio here or join her on Facebook here.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Laughing Owls Tea Towel Calendar 2013

It's been a long time since I entered a Spoonflower competition... about 4 months I would say. In the last one I entered my Laughing Owls design was placed in the top ten of the Extinct Animals competition! To celebrate their success I have dedicated another submission to them in the latest Spoonflower contest which was to design a Tea Towel Calendar for 2013. I hope my Laughing Owls bring me luck so that I can celebrate my 'Spoonflower reunion'. Here is my design below, you can see it (or vote for it, even better!) directly on Spoonflower.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dream Design 10 - Maria Jose Bautista Vargas

Today I am so pleased to welcome Maria Jose Bautista Vargas (Majo) to Dream Designs. Originally from Colombia she is a Surface Pattern Designer based in Milan, Italy. She has chosen to show us a collection of patterns called 'Happy Party' and explains to us why it features as her 'Dream Design' at this moment in time.

I was very excited when Dawn asked me to be part of her showcase. I'm a HUGE dreamer so I really felt close to the fun theme she chose. It was very difficult to choose only ONE dream design though. Sometimes we (designers) consider our creations our little babies, we want to see them all succeed out in the big world and we don't want to let down any of them by choosing only 1 {giggles}. But I had to compromise in some way, so I asked Dawn if I could choose a collection instead of just a single design (at the end, when we work with collections all the designs are supposed to compliment each other, right?).

Happy Party!, my first giftwrap collection are the lucky babies I've decided to promote for now. The collection was created to suit different occasions with whimsical characters/motifs and happy lettering. I would love to see this collection manufactured by a company like Paperchase or Tigerprint (I loooooove both of them!) It'll be a dream come true to see gifts that make people happy wrapped with my designs. I hope you like it! 

Majo studied Fashion and Textiles in Milan and is now making her way as a Surface Pattern Designer. Her work is fresh, bright, fun, whimsical and colourful, and I personally think her background as a Fashion Designer shows through in her work. Although she produces many modern textural designs and patterns she has a soft spot for the children's market. I can imagine her collection Happy Party working wonderfully as a giftwrap children.

I consider Majo as a friend (even though we are yet to meet up), we became friends before the great ABSPD course started and we have come through all three modules together. She has a positive character, is very friendly, fun loving and enthusiastic about everything... and last but not least is also a very talented designer! These traits give an extra 'happy' quality to all of her patterns. I believe Majo is also working on a 'secret' project to launch her own brand in 2013 so remember to follow her closely.
You can see more of her portfolio on her website here. Majo also has a fun blog called 'La patisserie des idees' and she is the baker! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bits in Black and White

I have been working on some patterns to enter in the Tigerprint Black and White print competition. I just love bold Black and White but I found in quite a few designs I had to add a bit of graytone to make them work. I designed about 15 patterns, but I could only send in a maximum of 5 designs! You can see some of them below and perhaps choose your own 5 favourite pieces! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dream Design 9 - Amanda Taylor

Today I am pleased to welcome Amanda Taylor to Dream Designs. She is a Surface Designer, based in Leicester, UK. Below you will find her lovely bold floral pattern and discover what her dream application would be for it.

I have always loved home interiors, and love looking for new ideas and inspiration for my home. This Poppy repeat is one of the 1st designs I created on the ABSPD course but it is one of my favorites. I would love to be able to paper one of my walls at home with it so my dream application is wallpaper on a site such as or I think it would be a great bold floral feature wall to give maximum impact to a lounge or dining room wall.
Amanda is a very creative person and declares to 'have a passion for print, pattern, colour, design, graphics and craft'. She draws inspiration from the outdoors and you will find florals and wildlife are heavily featured in her work. 
Although Amanda has chosen a very bold and colourful pattern for her Dream Design I find a lot of her work is very 'pretty' with a lovely use of colour. Sometimes graphic, sometimes hand drawn, sometimes whimsical her collections are a delight to see. Amanda has a very versatile style making her work perfect for interiors, homeware or stationery products. 
Please find time to browse over at her blog here and take in her lovely designs. 
P.S. From reading her blog I have realised that she loves making lists... just like me!!! :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Back to work

Hello everyone.
Having a few days off isn't really good for business but I can assure you it is really good for the soul. I have been a very busy bee sorting, organising and planning. I feel much better now that I have got a few things into perspective. My main achievement is turning my endless lists in to some sort of business plan with a timetable and deadlines... now all I have to do is stick to it!
Over the next ten days I will be extra busy 'creating patterns' as I have four important deadlines to meet. I will be sure to post snippets of my new designs here on my blog and I will share any news I have regarding any new projects.
From tomorrow my blog will be up and running again so please take time to come and visit. I will be starting the week with a lovely Dream Designs post and I have another lined up for later on in the week. If you are curious... come take a look!
Until tomorrow x

Monday, October 8, 2012

Torno subito

Torno subito in Italian means 'I'll be back soon' and it's the only title that I feel is suitable for this post.
On Saturday the 3rd Module of the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design came to an end, and even though in theory it is not an ending but a new beginning, it has left me a bit stunned and disorientated. I have my plans, my dreams and my lists (endless) and for sure I'll not be without something to do for months on end... but I do feel a bit sad that I won't have my daily lessons to inspire me and encourage me.

So I have decided to take a week off from my blog Nice and Fancy, I will be working on a couple of projects and I need to incorporate all my lists into one (hee, hee) and decide on a master plan for my immediate future but I won't be writing anything here for a few days. I apolgise for this but I need to have a few days to myself and I just did'nt want to leave my blog blank with an "old" post.

So the appointment is for next Monday, I will be back with snippets of new projects and with two Dreams Design posts. Have a good week and a great weekend until then :) x  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dream Design 8 - Kathryn Pledger

Today I welcome Kathryn Pledger who is a Graphic Designer (turned) Surface Pattern Designer just like me! Originally from Australia she is now based in London, UK. Below you will find her chosen pattern and its 'Dream' application.

Here is my 'Elephant petal' pattern that I submitted to the Threadless Trina Turk pattern competition. How amazing would it be to see people wearing your designs!

I'm very new to surface pattern design having only started designing patterns a few months ago after beginning the fantastic online course 'The art and business of surface pattern design.' I love designing patterns and I wish I had started doing what I love a long time ago.

My dream is to quit doing Graphic Design and start doing Surface Pattern Design full time. I would love to see my patterns on textiles for fashion and interiors. My ultimate dream would be to have my own label and spend all my days designing scarfs, wallpaper, bedspreads and pillows!

Kathryn's patterns can be very graphic and therefore they have a strong visual impact. I enjoy the fact that she uses a lot of layers and textures in her work and this is always worked through with lovely colour palettes. Her patterns are fabulous I find it hard to believe she has been designing patterns for such a short time. A very versatile designer she also has a great feel for typography and at times uses whimsical and fun ideas. Kathryn has had four designs chosen for the upcoming Patternbase book and one of her designs was included in the first issue of Moyo magazine.

Now I have taken a very close look at Kathryn's work I am convinced she is doing the right thing in pursuing her dream to become a full time Surface Pattern Designer and I am sure she will enjoy success in her new chosen career. Please take time to look at her portfolio on

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Contemporary Cartography Murals

These are my two finished murals which I have entered in the Wallpaper Mural brief jointly organised by and The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design. The theme is Contemporary Cartography.

I was inspired by compass roses, after spending some time sketching them I then worked the designs on the computer. To create the room mock-up I simply added a final touch of positioning a totally "over the top" chair. I think it suits my murals well! It is a wonderful opportunity for all of us on the ABSPD course to show our work to a professional company and who knows maybe some of the designs will be put into production and sold through

I do hope you enjoy them!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Dream Design 7 - Claire Smillie

Today the designer participating in the Dream Designs project is CLAIRE SMILLIE a freelance surface designer based in York, UK. Claire has kindly agreed to share a favourite piece of work with us and in her own words has described her dream application.

Choosing just one design is so hard and often when I am asked, my answer will change according to what I have just designed as this design now holds my newest favourite colours and motifs!! So todays choice, has to be 'Elise' from my newest collection ‘Efflorescence’. This is a fun design comprising the ever popular trend of geometrics with swirling vines and flowers. I love to think that my designs would sit perfectly on a selection of products, but my dream would be to see my designs, especially this collection, as a stationery range in the high street store ‘Paperchase.’

I dream of been able to just walk in and see MY range featured on the front display watching the customers responses as they walk past, picking the items up and falling in love with them! I LOVE that shop and their products are always right up my street. I have always had a love for their notebooks and using so many myself, I think my collection would have to include one of their thick Journals as well as a diary, a binder and one of their cute storage boxes to keep all my little odds and ends in! Like most ladies, I LOVE a beautifully wrapped present, so to see my design as part of their gift wrap range would also make me very happy too!
Claires work is bright and lively with lots of organic and flowery creations mixed together with bold geometrics and textured effects. She has a wonderful portfolio and her designs are already available on lots of different products. I think her patterns would look super on wrapping paper and stationery and I hope in the near future to see some of her designs in Paperchase... why not? 
Claire is also the brilliant mind behind the Passion4Pattern Bloghop which has just finished its successful second edition. This outlines her lovely bubbly personality which also shines through in her work. She claims " ... the creative world is where she needs to be and nothing can make her more passionate than the beautiful (and sometimes crazy) world of surface pattern design".

Take a closer look at her work and website here.