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My research and finds in the world of surface design. I focus on illustration, fabric, pattern, and printed fashion.

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    Life has been chaotic and it frustrates me that I have been unable to share all the inspiring news and finds that I have stumbled across recently. It prompted me to rethink the way I am blogging. I enjoy writing features and focusing on one designer/illustrator, but I only have snatches of time available to blog. I want to be able to share more of the inspiring things I find, so I have decided to include digests of news and links relevant to surface pattern design and illustration. That gives me a place to record all my finds, and you can quickly browse through for anything of interest to you. I hope you will find it useful. So here goes for my first... (no doubt it will evolve and become more organised with time)


    Artist Lisa Congdon has just signed with Chronicle Books to publish 100 of her handwritten quotes from her 365 Days of Hand Lettering project. The book will be released in Spring 2014. Read more...




    Artist Lisa Congdon has also recently announced the release of her fabric collection for Cloud 9. You really must head over to her blog for a look at this - it's superb!


     Take a sneak peek at Amy Butler's new ribbon collection from Renaissance Ribbons.
    Her Neo-Victorian designs are inspired by antique sari prints, and ethnic geometric borders.




    View the new AIR series Loulou & Tummie have produced for LeSportsac. Or visit the Loulou & Tummie website for loads of colourful graphics and characters from this Dutch illustration duo.



     View a bunch of fab cushion designs by Ed Miller Designs. He recently published these as part of a project on his Behance folio.

    You may also like Ed Miller Designs'Flags and Calendars project on Behance.



     
    I enjoyed this interesting article about how rejection can boost your creativity. It worked for Lady Gaga! How Rejection Breeds Creativity by David Burkus.


    Be inspired by Karen Barbour's unique gouche and ink paintings. via Alex Mathers




    Take some colour inspiration from Pavel Fuksa's vintage inspired matchbooks; there are 178 designs, created some time ago for a music video by Navigators. View all of the designs, and the video over at Colourlovers.



     And lastly, I enjoyed this article about surface pattern designer Jiah Harrison over at Tractorgirl.com.au


    I hope you have found something of interest here. I'll be posting more frequently now, and I would really appreciate any feedback about this new approach. Is it helpful/interesting to you?

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    Eeeeeee, I said I would blog more frequently didn't I! Well...Christmas is the exception. I've been kicking back with a glass of wine in hand, and I have to say it feels good after such a RUSH RUSH RUSH year. I sat back with Mike last night and watched a movie for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long. We saw The Lady directed by Luc Besson. WOW, what an incredibly inspiring woman (and film).
    I never stop thinking about surface pattern design though, so I have plenty of great online destinations to share with you. I hope you find something here to inspire.

    Surface Pattern/Graphic Design 

     Sarah Andreacchio

     


    Have you seen the new pieces by Sarah Andreacchio over at L'affiche Moderne? As well as the lovely illustrations above, there is a beautiful ABC print. There are also some incredible vintage illustrations on her blog My Vintage Avenue.


    Jonathan Calugi

     

    Jonathan Calugi recently posted a new project over at his Behance site showcasing some of his work, past to present. There are some fantastic graphics and some super-inspiring font designs. 

    Hedof

     


     Rick Berkelmans, who designs under the studio name Hedof, recently worked on three designs for Lipton Tea Tins. They are stunning and well worth checking out. You'll find all three designs at his Behance site.

     

    Isak



    December 12 has been a visual feast over at the Isak blog! Head over for a month packed with inspiring images and beautiful gift ideas (yes I know Christmas is over, but we have birthdays galore coming up in our family!)

    Matte Stephens 

     

    Illustrator Matte Stephens has created some lovely illustrations for instore games (iPad app) at Tiffany & Co. View the illustrations and read more about it at Grain Edit, or visit the Matte Stephens blog.

    Frankie Gift Paper Book


    Love this gift paper book seen on Gems. Buy it over at Frankie Press.







    I Love Illustration

    Over at I Love Illustration I have discovered some spectacular artists. 


    The first is Marlise, a Holland-based illustrator. Read the article and view more images here.

    The second is Bernadette Pascua. Read the article and see a large selection of her fashion illustrations here.

    Children's Fashion

    Mini Rodini

     

    Mini Rodini have given us a sneak peek at their Spring Summer 13 collection. Motifs include hearts, fish, boats, teddies, flamingos, and in true Mini Rodini fashion some bolder designs such as leopards and panthers. Head over to Facebook to view these and more. Or visit the Mini Rodini website.



    Making Life Easier


    Have you discovered the Bloglovin' app for iPhones?  I am one happy-chappy with this!
    And the Flickr app for iPhones. As soon as I remember my username and password I'll give is a go (doh!)


    For the Kids

    Mottismals

     


    This is a fun idea raising money for charity. Motis is an ad agency in Sanford, N.C., and this year they designed an interactive holiday story about Jellybean the tiger, who is based on a real tiger at Carolina Tiger Rescue, a wild cat sanctuary in Pittsboro, N.C. 
    Motis would like to invite you to make and share a Mottisimal, a make-believe creature whose differences are celebrated, inside and out. For each one shared, they'll donate $1 to Jellybean and his pals. Try it, it's fun for the little ones!

    Signing off...


    Oops...it's gotten late again, and I have another movie to watch. I hope you have found this inspiring. Pop back in a day or two for a fashion post that I am super-excited about. Sorry about any oddities in this post; clearly I need a tutorial in using blogger. Some strange goings-on since I started using headings and sub-headings! Merry Christmas all. X

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    I'm really loving the fashion label Alice + Olivia by designer Stacey Bendet.  The Pre-Fall 2013 collection is particularly striking; again I find myself drawn to bold simplicity. What I mean is that if you examine each of these looks, your eye will go straight to one bold print that is complemented by the rest of the outfit. I see no fussiness in the cut of the garments, just beautifully tailored, flattering clothing that won't go unnoticed. Stunning!

    Alice + Olivia Pre-Fall 2013

    Alice + Olivia Pre-Fall 2013

    Alice + Olivia Pre-Fall 2013

    Alice + Olivia Pre-Fall 2013

    Alice + Olivia Pre-Fall 2013

    Alice + Olivia Pre-Fall 2013

    Alice + Olivia Pre-Fall 2013

    I also love the styling of this shoot - the underground setting feels perfect, and the model gives the collection just the right balance of cute and sophistication. Head over to Style.com to see all of the images; there is plenty to inspire including more bold stripes and some great tartans in the mix too. While you are there, be sure to read the excellent review by Maya Singer

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    Exquisite Packaging


    For graphic design inspiration, head over to The Dieline to see these superb examples of product packaging. Definitely my cup of tea! See the Suchard Christmas chocolate box, or the very cool Essential Patch packaging.


    Linn Olofsdotter


    Wow Wow Wow, you've got to check out this artist's work! Thank you to Patternbank for their recent post that introduced me to this amazing work. After reading the Patternbank post, be sure to visit Linn's website.


    Spanish Artist Lorenzo Duran


    If you haven't yet discovered the incredible art ofLorenzo Duran, take a look at this article at Design Aside. You'll be blown away by his intricate cut works, similar to paper-cutting but with leaves.

    2013 Freebie Calendars
    Over at More Design Pleaseyou can find out where to download some gorgeous free calendars for 2013. Get organised for 2013!

    Three (Incredibly Simple) Questions The Most Successful People Use To Change The World
    Take the time to read this excellent article over at Forbes.com. It makes a lot of sense, and can really help you to see your goals and obstacles clearly and in a way that is most helpful to you.

    25 Ways You are Failing at Promoting Yourself, Your Products and Your Work
    Read this article by Red Lemon Club. A successful artist has to consider all aspects of business and marketing; are you promoting yourself well?

    Just Plain Interesting!
    Gems: The Ugly Bug Ball
    Apartment Therapy: Wall to Wall Style: Sources for the Perfect Wallpaper
    My Modern Met: Incredibly creative high heels
    Design Milk 2012 Year in review: Best of Architecture + Interiors
    Design Milk 2012 Year in review: Best of Style + Fashion
    Tractor Girl: From here to there and a best of 2012


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    Surface pattern designer Elizabeth Olwen recently licensed some of her designs to Dioton, a French stationery company. Dioton produce customisable stationery such as birth announcements, wedding invitations, thank you cards, and more. They have done an incredible job with Elizabeth's patterns, creating the most exquisite birth announcements I have ever seen, using perfectly chosen type and graphic elements.

    Elizabeth Olwen pattern design on Dioton stationery

    Dioton Stationery

    Elizabeth Olwen pattern design on Dioton stationery 

    Dioton Stationery

    The birth announcements pictured will be available from January 1st, and great news is that there are three more planned for early 2013. I absolutely can't wait to see them. You can follow Dioton's news at their blog. To find out more about Elizabeth Olwen, visit her beautful website. She is exhibiting this year for the first time at Surtex - You'll find her at Booth 752.

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    Have happy New Years celebrations everyone. If your resolution is to be more organised, you can keep inspired at the same time with this cheerful desk calendar from Studio on Fire. It's the lucky number 13 Edition!







    Contributors besides Studio on Fire are Sasha Prood, Brian Gunderson, John Malta, Jolby, and Karolin Schnoor. See more of the illustrations, and purchase the calendar over at the Studio on Fire shop

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    Today I would like to share with you a colourful and exotic digital photography project by Caroline Knopf. The images were created for Elle Magazine, Turkey. Everything about them appeals to me, and I find them enormously inspiring.

    An image from the portfolio of Caroline Knopf

    An image from the portfolio of Caroline Knopf

    An image from the portfolio of Caroline Knopf

    An image from the portfolio of Caroline Knopf

    An image from the portfolio of Caroline Knopf

    An image from the portfolio of Caroline Knopf

    An image from the portfolio of Caroline Knopf

    An image from the portfolio of Caroline Knopf

    View more from this stunning project, or visit Caroline's website to learn more about her and work experience. 

    Click to view copyright information for these images.

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    I am fascinated by the work of Sarah Arnett; it is extraordinarily detailed and technically skillful. Sarah's work is renowned for it's colourful nature-inspired prints, created mainly in illustrator mixed with photography. Modern Love is a collaboration between Sarah Arnett and Kim Hunt. The fashion label always features astounding print design by Sarah, and I love to see how the original print design translates to garment. Below are some images from the Modern Love Spring Summer 2013 collection.

    Modern Love SS13: Print design by Sarah Arnett

    Modern Love SS13: Print design by Sarah Arnett

    Modern Love SS13: Print design by Sarah Arnett

    Modern Love SS13: Print design by Sarah Arnett

    Modern Love SS13: Print design by Sarah Arnett

    Modern Love SS13: Print design by Sarah Arnett

    Modern Love SS13: Print design by Sarah Arnett

    Modern Love SS13: Print design by Sarah Arnett

    If you would like to know more about Sarah, visit her website or online portfolio. You will find her to be very prolific and very inspiring.

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    My inspiration today comes from the varied and interesting portfolio of a Hungarian talent - Boglárka NádiThe "Méhkas" Slide Project was created by "Méhkasaula” Cultural and Non-profit Association. The Slide Project constitutes architectural projections in public spaces both indoors and outdoors. Paintings are made on 5x5 cm or 30x30 cm glass slabs, which can be set into overhead-projectors or slide-projectors. These designs are cheerful and uplifting; I have fallen in love with this idea.






    MÉHKAS DIA PROJECT - Building Mapping - Light Design
    From the portfolio of Boglárka Nádi  View the copyright info for these images

    Boglárka Nádi is a graphic artist and illustrator. You can view more images from this project at Boglárka Nádi's online portfolio, and you can learn more about her on her website or blog.

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    'Let us Enjoy This Fleeting Moment'; Omar Khayyam 
     Design Copyright  © 2013 gobennygo. All rights reserved.

    Last year was so crazy-busy, with a new baby and a chatterbox three-year-old; life felt so chaotic I'm not sure I remembered to enjoy it. This year I would like to take time to notice the little things, slow down, enjoy this very precious time with my two little ones. I put together the design above as an experiment in hand lettering, and I used elements from one of my recent pattern designs. If you would like to see the complete mini-collection, please visit my other blog.

    Here are a bunch of links to some excellent articles and posts that I've been reading this week:

    Interested in product packaging? Check out the Top 100 Posts from 2012 on The Dieline. And be sure to check out The Fox With the Golden Fur from their archive. I am totally blown away by this stunning concept. Chocolate, books, and art all in one astoundingly beautiful and clever package. It just doesn't get better than that!

    There's always great content at Patternbank. Here are a few artists, showcased recently, that I really liked :
    David Sala
    Ysabel LeMay
    Elisa Mazzone

    If you like 50s illustration you will enjoy a recent post at My Vintage AvenueLe petit Chacal et le Crocodile illustrated by Simone.









    Have you discovered the work of Simon Beck yet? He uses the snow as a giant canvas for his giant geometric motifs, each approx 500 feet in diameter! Read about him, and view some of his incredible artworks, over at Co.Design.

    Keen to enter a fabric design competition? The Printed Bolt presents REPEAT(ed)

    Trend Bible Opinion: 5 Things That Won't Change in 2013 : This is an interesting article, well worth reading.

    Just Plain Interesting...

    Design Milk: 2012 YEAR IN REVIEW: BEST OF WTF 
    Meet Me at Mikes: :: You Say You Want A Resolution?
    Poppytalk: Are You Prepared For Luck?
    Apartment Therapy: Make 2013 Musical : 10 "Best-of" Music Lists from Around the Web

    I hope you found something to inspire! 

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    It's took us a whole day to pack. The car is carefully organised like a jigsaw (that surely can never be put together a second time); we've put someone in charge of the chaos at home, and we are off camping! 
    Question: Is going away for a very short time worth the overwhelming effort of packing? 
    Question: Four stunning beaches on a private farm, and very little to do but eat, drink, swim, and lay about in the sun, OR two little poppets (and their parents) confined to a tent and only a small tin of Lego, a couple of books, and some colouring-in pens. I'll let you know...

     This is us! 
    Illustration by my partner, Mike Howie.

    Copyright © 2013 Michael Howie

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    We're back from holiday and all is once again chaos! The trip went well, though taking a one year old and three year old camping is certainly brave and as much work as we anticipated. Was it worth the overwhelming effort of packing and the subsequent chaos on return? Yes. But only just!
    Tonight I resume my study on Module Three of The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design. I can hardly wait to get started, so rather than write a heap, I will let the beauty of these images and products speak for themselves. These are taken from the very stunning Spring Summer 2013 Ferm Living catalogue. View the entire catalogue online or visit the Ferm Living website.

    Image from the Ferm Living Spring Summer 2013 Catalogue

    Image from the Ferm Living Spring Summer 2013 Catalogue

    Image from the Ferm Living Spring Summer 2013 Catalogue

    Image from the Ferm Living Spring Summer 2013 Catalogue 

    Image from the Ferm Living Spring Summer 2013 Catalogue

    Image from the Ferm Living Spring Summer 2013 Catalogue

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    Florence Broadhurst was a fascinating woman. Florence Broadhurst: Her Secret & Extraordinary Livesis a fascinating and extraordinary book. This book utterly captivates as early as the preface. This book made me laugh and made me cry. It also gave me real shivers of horror as it described Florence Broadhurst's brutal murder in 1977 and the subsequent investigation. This is a book I will not forget.

    Florence Broadhurst: Her Secret & Extraordinary Lives

    There is much to be inspired by in the life of Florence Broadhurst. She was a bold, flamboyant woman who travelled extensively and reinvented herself repeatedly throughout her life. The collection of  530 designs that is her legacy was not a lifetime's work as you might think, but an extensive collection that began when Florence Broadhurst was sixty! At this age she founded a wallpaper design studio in Sydney, and until her death at the age of seventy-eight she was extremely prolific and successful as a pattern designer. Her sought-after designs made their way around the world to such places as London, New York, and Saudi Arabia. Florence Broadhurst's eclectic collection of hand-drawn designs came very close to being destroyed, but this precious archive is now being brought back to life by the efforts of David and Helen Lennie of Signature Prints. You can learn more about Florence Broadhurst and the role Signature Prints has played in her revival by downloading Helen Lennie's very interesting guest blog for 'The Design Files'. In New Zealand some of Florence Broadhurst's designs are available as hand-printed wallpaper at Paper Room.

    Horses Stampede by Florence Broadhurst
    Available as hand-printed wallpaper
    Available in New Zealand at Paper Room

    Birds of Paradise Venetian by Florence Broadhurst
    Available as hand-printed wallpaper
    Available in New Zealand at Paper Room

    Japanese Floral Stormy by Florence Broadhurst
    Available as hand-printed wallpaper
    Available in New Zealand at Paper Room 

    Cockatoos Venetian Veil by Florence Broadhurst
    Available as hand-printed wallpaper
    Available in New Zealand at Paper Room

    Peacock Feather Light Aliveri by Florence Broadhurst
    Available as hand-printed wallpaper
    Available in New Zealand at Paper Room

    Florence Broadhurst: her Secret & Extraordinary Lives is now available at the Kitty as a Picture Amazon Bookstore UK or Kitty as a Picture Amazon Bookstore US.


    Florence Broadhurst: Her Secret & extraordinary Lives, by Helen O'Neill (new edition)
    Published by Hardie Grant Books
    ISBN 9781742700595
    Available in New Zealand at Paper Room

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    As part of The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design, Module Two students had the option to take part in a live brief for The Makerie Sewing retreat. The brief was to create a design to go on the front of their 'goodie bags' which are a simple drawstring bag of 11" x 17". Suggestions were to create the design in black and white, incorporate the Makerie icon in a creative way, include The Makerie logo and space for a sponsor logo, and include 'designed by...'
    The Makerie was looking for a design that fitted their aesthetic and words used to describe their brand ~ handmade, natural, organic, and modern. The first design you see, by Briana Tomlin, is the competition winner and was well chosen. Congratulations Briana on a lovely job! I would like to show a selection of the other entries as I wasWOWed by the different interpretations and thought them all fascinating and appealing.

    The Makerie Sewing Goodie Bag Winning Entry
    Designed by Brianna Tomlin ~ Creative Octopus

    Designed by Chloe Wood ~ Chloe Wood Design

    Designed by Jessica Woodfield ~ Lady Woodfield Designs

    Designed by Trina Esquivelzeta ~ Lily & Sage

    Designed by Laura Escalante Mora

    Designed by Jan Shepherd ~ The Pattern Lab

    Designed by Brenda Sutton ~ gobennygo Design

     Designed by Andrea Rincón ~ Anchobee

    Designed by Nicola Catherall Jones ~ Gooseberrymoon

    Three Designs by Ruth Thorp ~ Ruth Thorp Studio

    Designed by Maira Chiodi

    Hop over to The Makerie blog to read their post about the winning entry and to learn more about designer Brianna Tomlin. Thanks to all the girls above for allowing me to share their work. 

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    A sharp intake of breath when I saw these sketchbook pages by illustrator Steve Simpson. Oooohhhh....how I wish they were pages from my own sketchbook! Please enjoy this inspiration and be motivated to get sketching in your own. What a joy and an important part of the process the sketchbook can be.

    From the sketchbook of Steve Simpson

    From the sketchbook of Steve Simpson

    From the sketchbook of Steve Simpson

    From the sketchbook of Steve Simpson

    From the sketchbook of Steve Simpson

    From the sketchbook of Steve Simpson

    Steve is originally from Manchester, England, but is now based in Dublin, Ireland.  He is a freelance illustrator/designer working in the areas of packaging design, illustration and art for children’s books. Steve is heavily influenced by vintage illustration and packaging, and artists that he particularly admires are Jim Flora, Mary Blair, and William Morris. To see more of Steve Simpson's work, visit his website or his online portfolio.

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    If you haven't already discovered it, there is a new online directory called The Little White Book of Surface Pattern Designers.

    On the 'About' page, The Little White Book of Surface Pattern Designers is described as "a new online directory offering a colourful but more importantly, useful tool for agents, journalists, design focused bloggers and manufacturers that are looking for new, creative talent in this particular field. The directory lists a broad spectrum of international designers and artists who retain their autonomy. Each designer's listing shows a visual taster of their design style along with their relevant contact information, enabling them to be contacted directly."

    The first edition has been put together very nicely; I would love to see more thumbnail images from each designer, as it is hard to get a clear idea of what a designer is about from one image. I also wonder if it should be arranged alphabetically. The project is just in its infancy and will no doubt evolve, and on the whole I think it is an excellent resource. There is a small fee to be included, which is more than reasonable given the amount of time it must take to compile and market. The second edition is due around March/April of this year. If you would like more information, please click through to the Find New Designers site to register your interest.


    Sample page (screenshot) from 
    The Little White Book of Surface Pattern Designers

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    A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kimberly Kight

    I am currently taking part in The Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design Ecourse, and some of my fellow students have been talking about the book A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kimberly Kight. A question put to me, as I have read the book and recommend it, was 'Is there much in the book that isn't covered in the course? Should I buy it?' So, if this book interests you, here is a little more information to help you decide whether or not to purchase.

    Kimberly Kight is passionate about fabric - that is clear. She authors an extremely good blog True Up, which  is entirely devoted to fabric. True Up, alone, is an extremely valuable resource for aspiring surface pattern designers. From there came the book A Field Guide to Fabric Design - Design, Print & Sell Your Own Fabric ~ Traditional & Digital Techniques. I read this book while taking part in Rachael Taylor and Beth Nicholls' Ecourse and I think it is the perfect complement.

    A Field Guide to Fabric Design is comprehensive and well laid out. It is broken into three sections:

    Section One - Design and Colour: This section covers fabric design fundamentals, design principles and  parameters including print types and repeat types, developing your style, trends, copyright, repeats by hand and computer (tutorials), software and tools, proofing, all about colour, collections and more.

    Section Two - Printing: This section offers excellent information on fabric basics, fabric construction, block printing and screen printing tutorials, all about inks, creating a work surface, digital printing, and more.

    Section Three - The World of Fabric Design: The last section talks about designing for fun or designing for profit, choosing a printing method, retail versus wholesale, building your brand and more.

    Each section includes 'Designer Roundtable' where important questions are put to established fabric designers; it is a fantastic way of getting varied perspectives from real people in the industry, and at the same time creates a warmth and friendliness that sets the book apart from others I have read.
    Kimberly has chosen beautiful and inspiring visuals, modern fonts, and a unique layout to create an all-round easy-to-use manual and resource. It is extremely informative and a perfect first step into the industry. It is especially valuable to those designers who don't sew and lack intimate knowledge of fabric and the related terminology.

    And so, to answer the question 'Is there much in the book that isn't covered in the course?', I believe that there is enough information in the book that is not covered in the course to warrant buying it, and the crossover topics are explained or presented in a different way giving them value. The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design Ecourse goes into depth on some of the topics that A Field Guide of Fabric Design can merely touch on. It is important to note too that A Field Guide to Fabric Design is specifically about fabrics and printing, not surface design as a whole, so equally goes into depth about things to do with fabric that the Ecourse need not cover. This is why I see it as the perfect complement to the course if you wish to pursue fabric design in some form.

    And 'Should I buy it?'. Let me put a question to you: 'Are you interested in fabrics, and do you want to design for fabric?'. If so, the answer is simple: Yes. You won't find a better book.

    A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kimberly Kight is available at the Kitty as a Picture US Amazon Bookstore and the Kitty as a Picture UK Amazon Bookstore.

    ISBN 978-1-60705-355-2

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    Exquisite Oilily creates magic with every season. The theme for Spring Summer 2013 is World of Wonders. Looks can be deceiving in the World of Wonders; what at first glance appears to be a brightly coloured island is in fact a giant fish or turtle. Palm trees radiate leaves of peacock feathers, and you'll find a host of surprising animal combinations - a giraffe's head on an elephant's body, or a hippo that can fly. The elaborate prints in this collection are designed to fire the imagination of the lucky little people that wear it.

    Oilily Spring Summer 13 World of Wonders Children's Collection

    Oilily Spring Summer 13 World of Wonders Children's Collection

    The collection is fresh and imaginative, made up of bright, happy colours interspersed with more subtle pastel shades.

    Oilily Spring Summer 13 World of Wonders Children's Collection

    Oilily Spring Summer 13 World of Wonders Children's Collection

    What child wouldn't love to wear this candy print jacket! (See below.)

    Oilily Spring Summer 13 World of Wonders Children's Collection

    Prints are intricate and fun with all kinds of details to discover; the closer you look the more you will see.

    Oilily Spring Summer 13 World of Wonders Children's Collection

    Oilily Spring Summer 13 World of Wonders Children's Collection 

    Oilily is bang-on-trend while all the time being entirely original. Take this gorgeous boys t-shirt (below) for example. I believe scientific experiment and chemistry is a trending theme for SS13; Oilily's take on it is delightful, injecting humour and fun as well as personalising it in a tasteful way. The artwork is appealing and the hand-drawn style is a good fit.

    Oilily Spring Summer 13 World of Wonders Children's Collection


    Oilily Spring Summer 13 World of Wonders Children's Collection

    What I love about Oilily (and I am not being paid to say this!) is that it is about more than just clothing; it is an experience. Children don't merely wear Oilily, they can explore Oilily! Every inch of every garment seems carefully considered from print design to garment design and materials. Every collection celebrates childhood and is packed with playful detail, hidden elements and quirky surprises. To me, Oilily gets it right in every detail even marketing. I'm a big fan.

    Order the Oilily World of Wonders collection at Oilily Shop (Europe) or Oilily shopUSA.
    Pop back in a day or two for a glimpse at the Oilily Spring Summer 2013 women's wear collection.

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    Following on from yesterday's post on Oilily Spring Summer 2013 World of Wonders Children's Collection, here are some equally beautiful images of the Oilily Spring Summer 2013 women's wear collection:

    Oilily Spring Summer 2013 Women's Wear

    Oilily Spring Summer 2013 Women's Wear

    Oilily Spring Summer 2013 Women's Wear

    Oilily Spring Summer 2013 Women's Wear

    Oilily 2013 Spring Summer Women's Wear

    I find these prints stylish and sophisticated, and the colours energetic and exciting. I would wear these in a heartbeat; just beautiful! 
    Preview more of the Oilily Spring Summer 2013 Collection at the Oilily European site where you can view the lookbook

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    Anton and the Battle by Ole Könnecke

    Something I haven't done for a while is look at the fabulous new children's books that are coming out, so I was excited to receive in the post two delightful books from Gecko Press. The first, Anton and the Battle by Ole Könnecke, is adorable and beautifully illustrated. 

    Following on from the success of Anton Can Do Magic (the USBBY winner and ReadBoston Award Finalist) Anton and Luke are back in an epic battle of one-upmanship. Who will be declared the strongest? 




    It seems this battle can never be resolved!


    But then something unexpected happens and the boys' bravado is put to the test. Perhaps these boys aren't as fearless as they claim! Seeking refuge in a tree, the boys are back on equal terms and the battle is now at an end... 
    Or is it?

    Anton and the Battle is funny, cute, and a delightful journey into the imaginative world of children. I like that it is not super-soft and fluffy. No, here you'll find the true props of boyish play -  mallets and bombs, lions, tigers and dragons. 
    Ole Könnecke's illustrative style is perfect for this story. He makes a clear division between what is real and what is in the imagination of the boys with his use (or absence) of colour. It is very effective. The strength and simplicity of the illustrations really pack a punch - which of course is very fitting!


    Anton and the Battle by Ole Könnecke
    Published 1 February in NZ by Gecko Press
    Origin: Germany
    Ages 4+, 32 pages
    ISBN: 978-1-877579-26-4 (hardback)
    ISBN: 978-1-877579-25-7 (paperback)

    About the Author/Illustrator
    Ole Könnecke was born in 1961 and spent his childhood in Sweden. He now works as a freelance illustrator in Hamburg, Germany. He has won the Jugendbücher prize for children's illustration 2004 and the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Youth literature prize) 2005.

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