Tuesday, 26 May 2015

May (not that you'd know it from the weather!) Work in Progress

So much for thinking that May is the start of summer!

We've had lower temperatures than April, persistent rain, heavy 'April Showers' and wind that felt just like March. 

Oh yes, and a few little glimpses of sunshine in between!

In fact the storms earlier this month resulted in my lovely Ceanothus falling over with the weight of the rain just as it was beginning to bloom, bringing with it the trellis and honeysuckle behind it!

Nevertheless, my Dreaming Spires climbing roses came out on May 4th, just the same as last year, to the day! But, strangely, they have again decided to grow away from the sun and towards my neighbours' house, where they have a lovely view of them from their kitchen window. Whereas I can only really enjoy them from my bedroom:

A lot of my time is still taken up with appointments. 
I've given up the counselling as it was expensive and not all that helpful. But there's still the physio for my back at the hospital and exercises to do in between appointments. And we're still experimenting with inhalers and nasal sprays to see which helps my breathing most while there's all the pollen around, under the supervision of my doctor and the Practice Nurse. 

And then, of course, I've had builders to make coffee for. 
But it's good to know that my roof is all sound and various annoying little repairs to windows and woodwork are now all up to date - apart from needing me to find some time to touch up the paintwork! And replacing the small area of blown tiles in my shower turned out to be a much bigger job than expected and involved disconnecting the toilet to 'do a proper job'! Just as well I get on well with the builders and know from experience that I can trust them to do whatever's in my best interest. (I don't know many builders I'd say that of!) 

This Tote Bag arrived from Red Bubble one day, just as they were leaving - a birthday gift for a friend who loves primroses - and they were so curious that they stayed while I opened it and were duly impressed!

The Red Bubble quality is, as ever, excellent, the price abd the cost of shipping very reasonable!
Red Bubble have now introduced skirts so I've spent some time putting my patterns on those too. 

And I've been re-sizing greeting cards such as this one to upload to CardGnome - 

Blue Gold Islamic Pattern Ramadan Card

The result of all these diversions and distractions is that I still haven't quite finished creating products and cards for my Granny Print collection. So no new pattern collection to write about this month. 

However, I was surprised to see just how many products I've made with this one basic pattern and its growing number of coordinates, just by doing a bit of uploading in between other things!

This mix of patterns with a Broderie Anglaise trim is one of my favourites - the decorative white edging came from a local craft shop, scanned and brightened up in Photoshop.

I like the idea of 'faux lace' to go with my 'faux patchworks' to give a real 'vintage vibe'. So I scanned some genuine antique underwear for this 'Friendship' quote:

It's always fun to experiment!

And these paper beads were a bit of an experiment too! 
I rolled them in the usual way but instead of relying on the colours of the paper to make the patterns, I painted them all by hand. I used some cheap acrylic paints that I had lying around but I don't think that was the best choice as it was almost impossible to paint the detail, no matter which paintbrush I used. Even with a fine-tipped brush there was a 'blobbi-ness' that frustrated me.

Zazzle continue to keep us designers busy! 
Apart from adding new products to the inventory on a weekly basis, they've now enabled us to create 'collections' at the click of a button. So that's kept me busy too, as it's such a useful promotional tool, especially if you design with collections in mind as I do. So here are a couple of the collections I've created so far -

And what have I got planned for June?

Well, with my son coming down for a few days for my birthday, I don't expect to accomplish quite as much as usual. 

But here's a doodle that's been itching to get out of my doodles folder and onto a greeting card for ages:

I did base my first advert for the local Work-at-homers group on this Jolly Gentleman but it was done in such a rush that I had to resort to colouring him digitally. 

I think he deserves a spot of proper watercolour treatment and I hope he'll appear suitably coloured in next month's Work in Progress blog post.

The Cherry Blossom on the path to my front door  - just before the rain arrived!
I was planning to work on an Apple Blossom pattern next.
But the fruit trees in my garden lost the last of their beautiful blossoms in the recent storms so the moment has passed and I'll move on to something else when the Granny Print runs out of steam.

Maybe I'll keep it really simple and just develop a pattern I made a while back -

- though I'm sure to be unable to resist creating a few coordinating patterns to go with it!

I noticed today that my beautifully fragrant Mock Orange Blossom has started to flower. It's too wet to go out and photograph it. 

But maybe next month . . .

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