Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Spoonflower Design Challenge– 12 days of Christmas

This week the Spoonflower design contest theme is “The 12 days of Christmas”.

I spent many, many hours first trying to decide on the imagery and style of the design and then actually creating the design using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

I first drew illustrations of the characters mentioned in the song. These were scanned, turned into vector images and then parcels, letters and postcards and postage stamp images were created. This design was an excellent test of my skills on Illustrator, software that I have not been using for a great length of time. I had quite a bit of fun researching famous lovers from history and literature, see if you can work them all out!

All in all I’m quite pleased with the resulting design. If you like my design don’t forget to vote for it in December at the Spoonflower contest page. The design will be available for purchase shortly in my Spoonflower shop.

Please Mr. Postman - 12 Days of Christmas fabric design

Please Mr. Postman fabric design in repeat

Speaking of parcels and delightful gifts, have you ever received something in your letterbox that was totally unexpected? These days we tend to receive items we are expecting, junk mail or even worse, bills. In 2011, I intend to start sending out some special little parcels for no reason other than to delight the recipient.

I’m thinking one a month should suffice. Anyone care to join in the Random Postal Delights Lucky Draw? Post a comment or send me a message at beeandlotus(at)gmail.com and I’ll put your address on the recipients list (which will never be shared with a third party or used for any other purpose) to go in the draw to receive a lovely surprise parcel in your post box in 2011.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Foxglove Spires - a magical open garden

Last weekend my husband and I took the kids to see one of our favourite places on Australia's south coast, Foxglove Spires garden.
The beautiful open garden covers over 5 acres and is located near Tilba Tilba in New South Wales. It is a must for anyone visiting the south coast of NSW.

When you arrive at the open garden, you walk through the "Spires" nursery and come to an arched gate in a wall that leads up to the beautiful 100 year old home painted in a great shade of purple.

Little Mr L having a ball at Foxglove Spires, Tilba Tilba

The Manchurian Pear arbour leading to the house.

From there the pathways twist and turn and disappear under green shady arbours. Through woodlands and rose gardens, paths lead down to the "church ruins", a folly built quite recently by creators of the garden. My little ones loved the "secret" pathways and magical nooks in the gardens.
A magical place for children

A book has been written about the creation of the gardens by Susan Southam - Velvet Pears: Four seasons at Foxglove Spires.

The property is currently for sale, so if you have a spare AUD$1.8 Million it could just be your next home. Let's hope the next owners are as generous as Sue and her husband and make the gardens open to the public to share this little piece of paradise with us all.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spoonflower Design Challenge: Candles

This week the Spoonflower design competition theme is Candles.

Hmm. Candles huh? Interesting theme, meant to coincide with Christmas and other seasonal holidays without being specific to any particular religion me thinks. After some thought, I decided on a Mexican theme – just so I would get to play with bright colours! This is the first repeat pattern I have created using Adobe Illustrator and I’m really pleased with the results.

My Light up the Darkness candle design will soon be available for purchase in my Bee&Lotus Spoonflower shop. I’m thinking of having some yardage printed in the yellow onto Silk Crepe de Chine (ahhhh, drooool! Yellow silk!!)

Voting will open on the 1st December for the Candles theme design competition. If you like my design please drop in and cast a vote for it and all the other lovely designs there.

I’m off to the coast on the weekend, enjoy yours!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lost on the Midway - The Black Apple

One cold evening a few years back I was snuggled in to the sofa and browsing through Etsy on the laptop, looking for some handmade goodness, when I came across The Black Apple Etsy store, and oh my!

The Black Apple is Emily Martin, self proclaimed curiosity peddler and picture scribbler living in Portland Oregon, one of my favourite cities. Emily's beautiful whimsical paintings and drawings are available as prints, totes, pins and more and can be found in her Etsy store.
One of Emily's most recent series of work, Lost on the Midway brings an imaginary carnival of the cutest sideshow oddities you've ever seen.

The Bearded Lady

The Strong Man

Cymbal Monkey

I am especially fond of the Lost on the Midway Pin Pack available through The Black Apple Etsy store.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Spoonflower 2011 Tea Towel Calendar

A while ago when visiting Soulemama's blog (sigh! what an amazing mama!) I discovered the wonderful Spoonflower. This is an amazing company that can print your custom created designs and photos onto a range of fabrics for a very reasonable price and no high set up costs that are normally associated with screenprinting.

Every week Spoonflower has a design competition with a chosen theme. The latest design challenge was to create a 2011 tea towel calendar to fit a fat quarter sized piece of fabric. So I fired up Illustrator and began to play...

This was much more challenging than I expected! Do you know how hard it is to fit 365 elements into a fat quarter? There is not a lot of room left for illustration I can tell you, so I decided to focus on colour instead.

Here is what I came up with. I am currently awaiting a delivery of the design printed onto Linen-Cotton Canvas. If you like the design you can purchase it at my Spoonflower shop. Just click on the design and select ‘Fat quarter’ then choose your fabric. One repeat printed onto a fat quarter of Cotton-Linen Canvas will cost you USD$14 plus postage.

Pretty Good Year - Tea Towel Calendar by Bee & Lotus

I will keep you posted on the results of the Spoonflower comp as there are always so many beautiful designs entered.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

So, here I am.
I just stepped off the bus and set foot in the new (and a wee bit foreign to me) world of the Blogosphere.
Wow. quite the view from here.
I'll just sit down on my old suitcase and get my sketchpad out, I might do some drawing until someone interesting comes along.
Will keep you posted on things I see while I'm here and designs that pop into my head and out again onto my sketchpad. I might even share some good recipes with you every now and then.

Feel free to wave to me as you stroll by, or come have a chat if you're not too busy.
I'll be right here sketching.