Monday, 17 November 2014

Islamic Patterns - a Selection of Gifts

. . . from my
Islamic Collection

Whether it's gifts for the home, fashion accessories or cases and sleeves to protect your electronic devices, you'll find plenty to choose from in my Posh & Painterly 'Islamic' collection - and most of them are equally suitable for 'him' or for 'her'.

Here are just a few of them -

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Ten iPhone 6 Cases Inspired by Traditional Folk Art Embroidery

Just a few weeks ago I made a hand-painted paper collage 'Folk Heart' - a heart shape composed of flowers, inspired by traditional Folk Art embroidery from Eastern Europe . . .

new post on

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Work in Progress: Best Laid Plans . . .

Tissue paper painted with acrylic - click HERE for tips about making collage

They say that 'Life is what happens when you'd planned something else' and that's certainly been the case for me lately!

Early last month I decided to take a break from my usual routine of uploading my designs to Zazzle and other PODstores to give myself time to catch up with the ever-growing number of designs and patterns in my 'pending' folder. I also wanted to take a step back to ponder the possibilities of a change of direction after Christmas.

So I quickly finished up my new October Birth Month Flower gifts and greeting cards and took myself up to my attic studio to paint and make collages, right away from my laptop where all the tedious uploading, titling, describing and tagging takes place.

Over the first weekend I painted some tissue for the collages and finished the mice for the cheeseboards that Zazzle had recently introduced - I'd been doodling them in the evenings but never seemed to have enough time to paint them.

And then, on the Monday, I made a start on quite an ambitious collage, inspired by the Folk Art Embroidery of Eastern Europe:

As you can see, although I was having fun cutting and sticking little flowers, I only made half of the heart shape because I wanted to be sure that the pattern was symmetrical.

Here's one of the finished 'Folk Heart' cushions -

And I've even got around to making one of my faux patchwork patterns - as I worked with this one, the colours seemed to suggest the Art Deco home furnishing colours of the 1920s and '30s.

I'm still adding to my Folk Heart Collection but you can see more than four hundred greeting cards and gifts that I've created from that one collage 

By now I was on a roll and on the Wednesday I moved on to making a collage from a hand-drawn Rangoli motif that had been sitting in my 'pending' folder for quite a while - 

The making of Rangoli patterns is part of the Diwali celebrations and you can read about them HERE.

When I drew the Rangoli design, months ago, I had based some of my motifs on traditional elements of Indian Design from my huge 'Grammar of Ornament'. 

And again, I worked out that I didn't need to make the whole pattern in hand-painted paper collage. 

Making just a segment of the pattern saved a lot of time but it also involved a lot of very accurate work in Photoshop afterwards to make sure the segments fitted together properly. Not being a perfectionist, I find this sort of thing very hard work - and tedious! But looking forward to seeing the finished pattern kept me going - and here it is!

And I think I like it even better with a black background!

But I'm afraid that's when my 'creativity break' ground  - or screeched! - to a sudden halt!

I came downstairs from putting the eight segments of the Rangoli together to boil the kettle for coffee and found an email from my neighbours telling me that they had a leak in their bedroom ceiling, close to the party wall that joins our pair of Edwardian houses. 

They asked me if I had a leak too and when I went to look in my guest bedroom (that I only use about once a week to do the ironing) to my horror, this is what confronted me:

It's not actually a leak in the ceiling, 'just' water seeped through from next door I imagine, from just below the picture rail. And I found out later that it had been 'seeping' ever since early on the Monday morning, while I was happily making my Folk Heart collage, in total ignorance of what was happening!

As if the damage to one of my favourite wallpapers, now unavailable, wasn't bad enough, a silly dispute has arisen about which builder to use. Apparently the leak was caused by the lead in the 'valley' between our two roofs being faulty and replacing that is a joint responsibility. Thanks to the internet there's now not much I don't know about repairing a 'valley' and what it should cost! 

But all this has taken up so much of my time and energy, that I abandoned my attempt to make a collage Christmas Angel because I just couldn't concentrate. 

I was becoming completely indecisive about it - which is unusual for me. So I've put her back into the 'pending' folder and gone back to the rather less demanding uploading - hence the hundreds of new 'Folk Heart' products in my Zazzle store! 

And I haven't even begun the November Birth Month flower, the Chrysanthemum.

But the repairs to the roof are due to begin on Tuesday so I hope the end is in sight. And meanwhile, I shall enjoy working with the Rangoli pattern to create lots of greeting cards and gifts. Too late for this year's Diwali but in plenty of time for next year!

(I keep looking at my wallpaper and hoping it's not my imagination that's making it appear slightly better. But I don't think I will ever get rid of the stains and all I can think of is to mix the two shades of green gouache and paint over all the tiny leaves in the pattern. Shouldn't be too difficult for a painter, should it? Watch this space!)

Close-up of an undamaged part of the wallpaper in my spare bedroom.