Spoonflower design competition, Hexagons

Do you know Spoonflower? It’s a great website which allows you to design and print your own fabric. It is also a great place to shop for unique and original designed fabric as many of the designers list their work in their own little store. I have a store on Spoonflower and would love it if you took a look.

They also run a weekly design competition and I love to take part as it often makes me design things I wouldn’t normally draw.

The latest competition was a design based on Hexagons
The brief was: From honeycombs to water crystals and basalt columns, examples of hexagons are all around us in nature. Create an original design inspired by this beautifully symmetrical 6 sided polygon

I continued with my Japanese wood cut style and created Hexagons with the appearance of slices of wood. I am in love with the cool colour scheme and think this print would look great on bedding.

If you like my design please pop over to Spoonflower and vote for me. Last chance to vote for me as the competition closes today

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How to protect your design work online.*

 To share your work or not to share? It’s a tricky question and for those in the design world looking to get work it is something you have to tackle on a daily basis. Do I share my works in process and finished pieces on my Instagram to try and find work. The risk is such that people will rip your work off, copying or even worse reposting it as theirs.

There is no way that you can stop people from copying your style from your photos but you can limit them from directly nicking your images. You can watermark your pictures, but if you are just taking quick pics of sketches and works in progress you might not have time to edit your photos. I think I now have a solution.

Sticker Printing by stickershop.co.uk

I have had printed stickers with my logo on made that I can attach to my sketchbook page as a quick watermark. Making it much harder for people to pinch my images and crop them, trading them off as their own. You don’t even have to stick them down on the page. I have one on a piece of card that I just slot in the flat lay photo and hey presto a copyrighted image.

I was lucky enough that Callum at the StickerShop printed this set of labels for me. They are great quality and have a lovely finish to them. I will definitely be popping back to get some packing labels made for my etsy shop too.
Label Printing by stickershop.co.uk

So is it better to share?
Yes, I do think it is. Inevitably their will always be someone trying to pinch
your work, but you have to take this risk if you want people to appreciate your work. I love sharing my work in progress and sketchbook shots and get such great feedback from other artists. I wouldn’t want to miss out on this.
Are you on Instagram? I’d love to see your sketchbooks and works in progress.
Do you have any great tips on how to protect your design work online? Please share them below.

You can find the StickerShop on facebook, twitter and Instagram

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10 Top tips for selling on Redbubble

10 Top tips for selling on Redbubble

Here are my top ten tips for getting your work seen and bought! On Redbubble.

1. Fill in all your info
This may seem really obvious but some people don’t. You have got to get people interested in you and your brand. Tell them what makes your work special, tell them where else they could see your work, tell them your skills and promote yourself!
    2. Link all your social media
    Redbubble makes it easy for you to link up your blog, facebook page, twitter, Instagram, tumblr and pinterest sites. If you haven’t already done this, then do. People love to see more of your workspace, work in progress, sketchbooks and pictures of your cat!

      new RBExternalPortfolio(‘www.redbubble.com’, ‘craftcartwright’, 2, 2).renderIframe();
      new RBExternalPortfolio(‘www.redbubble.com’, ‘craftcartwright’, 2, 2).renderIframe();
      3. Embed the portfolio code in your blog. You can find it in your account settings – promote – embed code.

      6. Join the facebook group
      Like I’ve said, it’s all about community.
        7. Make use of the Share it buttons. Put something new on redbubble? Make sure you share it with your audience on google+, facebook and twitter. Likewise got some seasonal designs in your back catalogue, make sure you are sharing them in the run up to Easter, Christmas etc.
        8. Join in redbubble create competitions. I follow redbubblecreate on Instagram and I love joining in on the fun themes and competitions they run. It’s a bit of fun and gets you seen by a wider audience.  
        9. Spread the love, got other artists you love? Why not tell your fans about them, like and comment on peoples work, who you genuinely love and hopefully them might send some love your way.
        10. Finally, add new designs regularly. Keep your portfolio up to date with your most recent work. It means people will want to come back and take a look at what’s new and encourages you to keep working. Your work will only get better. Occasionally take a look back through your portfolio too and review it? Is it all good? If there is work there that doesn’t best represent you don’t be afraid to delete it. You might also find some hidden gems you forgot about and you can remind the world how great they are!

        Good luck on your Redbubble sales! I hope this short guide helps. Do you have any top tips? Please comment below

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      Getting ready for summer*

      Spring has finally appeared around these parts and with more sun my mind turns to summer and exposing the bits of me that haven’t seen light of day since September last year. Suddenly I am longing for the safety of my 100 denier tights. But I do love summer and I love to feel the sun on my skin.
      Toning body treatment oil review

      So I was delighted when Bex for [M] Botanicals sent me some Toning Body treatment oil to test for the blog*. Which will hopefully help me to ‘Fight cellulite and signs of sagging with our anti oxidant rich blend of essential oils and moisturising concentrated vegetal oils.  Pure plant extracts of Juniper, Cypress, Grapefruit and Juniper will stimulate circulation and help remove toxins.  Base oils of borage, tamanu, Blackseed will penetrate deeply into the lower levels of the skin keeping it hydrated and satiny smooth’ It certainly smells delicious!

      Before I had even opened the bottle I could smell the heady scents of summer. I have been using it on my thighs (fight that cellulite!) and on my upper arms (be gone signs of sagging!) mainly, but it is so light and lovely to put on I am tempted to slather myself in it. I ‘ve been using it for just under a week now, so I will have to give you an update on how toned I have become, but my skin has never felt so smooth and I smell good enough to eat.

      Getting ready for summer with this toning body oil

      I would definitely recommend taking a look at [M]Botanicals website and looking at their full range of products. In their own words ‘MBotanicals is all about the skin and all about nature. We love the skin and want to see it protected, beautiful and functioning at its best. We believe that the best way to do that is keeping it as close to nature as possible, using plant based ingredients that work synergistically and dynamically with your skin’ How good is that!

      They are also a sustainable company and ‘believe in running a business in a socially responsible way. Many of our ingredients come from organic sources. We also get many ingredients from fair trade or local farmers and growers. We are a cruelty free company and in accordance with EU legislation we do not test any of our products or ingredients on our furry friends.’ They fit so well with my mindset and those of my friends I will definitely be recommending them as people admire my summer skin.

      You can also find [M]Botanicals on facebook, Instagram and twitter

      This is a sponsored post for [M]botanicals. To read the full terms of my advertising and disclosure policy click here.

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      How to make a tie dyed gift bag.

      Mother’s day can be a tricky one for Dad’s especially when the kids are smaller. This is a project I often do in school to make life a little easier for the dads. The kids love making them as they are quick and fun and unique. Perfect for storing a little gift in for mum.

      To make the bags you will need cotton fabric as this dyes best.

      How to make a tie dyed gift bag.

      How to make a tie dyed gift bag.
      Once you have made your bag, you can personalise them with tie dye. I was lucky enough to be sent some great dyes from dylon uk to show you this fun project. So we chose to do our bags in blues or purples as this is an easier colour for everyone to agree on. But for your project the sky is the limit and you should check out their website for the great range of colours they stock.
      How to make a tie dyed gift bag.

      There are various different techniques you can use to create different patterns but these were our favourite designs.

      How to make a tie dyed gift bag.
      How to make a tie dyed gift bag.

      Then you are ready to dye your bags. You must ensure you follow the instructions on your pack carefully as different dyes use different methods and I must stress this is not a bit for the kids to do, I always do the dyeing at school.
      How to make a tie dyed gift bag.

      How to make a tie dyed gift bag.
      I love that this one looks like a heart!
      How to make a tie dyed gift bag.

      How to make a tie dyed gift bag.

      How to make a tie dyed gift bag.

       Don’t the finished results look cute tied with a ribbon.

      How to make a tie dyed gift bag.

      How to make a tie dyed gift bag.
      For those most reluctant of sewers you can also get a great result by cutting a square of fabric, fraying the edges and then dyeing it the same way. Gather the edges around you gift and secure with a bow.
      How to make a tie dyed gift bag.
      Have you got any great tie dye tips? I’d love to hear them.
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      Mother’s day gift guide*

      It’s not to late to shop for a gift for that most special person in your life. Your Mum, or in case my hubby is reading this (your kids mum). Deciding what to buy can be the tricky part.
      So to help you I’ve gathered together some great ideas for gifts and even better some great discounts.

      Mother’s day gift guide*

      Who doesn’t love the White Company. It’s my go to for classic and understated gifts. The perfect match for elegant mums. You can get 20% off plus free delivery via this link.

      Or how about flowers. I don’t think I would ever be unhappy if someone got me flowers.

      Serenta flowers: 5% Off All Orders

      Everlasting flowers? Why not try Bloom and get 5% off orders over £50, 10% off orders over £75, 15% off orders over £100

      Hampers always seem very luxurious to me and I would love to get one for Mother’s day (Hint hubby!) He might even be tempted with 15% Off All Orders

      Finally my go to site for present buying. With gifts for everyone and every occasion, you are sure to find the perfect gift for mothers day at the Original Gift company plus 10% off when you spend £60

      All the discounts can be access via Pouch Which is a free browser extension that saves you time and money. Pouch automatically finds and displays the best voucher codes as you shop online, on over 3,000 UK stores. Once you download Pouch you never need to visit a voucher code website again.
      Joining pouch is simple, simply add pouch to your browser. Visit online stores and it then notifies you when voucher codes are available. Simply click on the deal you want and apply it to your shopping basket.
      Join Pouch

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      Still time to do some Easter sewing

      So nice to have my fabric featured by WovenMonkey today. As they correctly pointed out it’s only a month till Easter and how cute would this fabric be making Easter baskets or lining bonnets. Stop by and check out my great range of fabrics. Woven Monkey print in the UK have a range of 5 great fabrics and aim to have your fabric printed, fixed, cut, packed and despatched within 7-10 working days. How fab is that!

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      Gluten free double chocolate chip cookie recipe

      To find a good gluten free cookie has been a quest for me since I was diagnosed coeliac two years ago. Shop bought ones taste of nothing or are way too sweet and my home baked ones were coming
      out rock hard or so crumbly you had to eat them with a spoon.
      Gluten free double chocolate chip cookie recipe

      Until now, these have just the right balance of sugar and cocoa to make them not over sweet and the texture is crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. Cookie perfection in my opinion, which I why only two made it into the photo!

      To make these gluten free double chocolate chip cookies you will need:
      Makes 16
      • 75g baking margarine, I use stork
      • 100g caster sugar
      • 75g dark soft brown sugar
      • 1 egg
      • 150g gluten free brown rice flour
      • 1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
      • 1 tbsp. gluten free cocoa powder
      • 100g gluten free dark chocolate chips
      1. Preheat the oven to 180c 350f Gas mark 4 and line two baking trays.
      2. Place all the ingredients apart from the chocolate chips in a food processor and beat until combined.
      3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
      4. Use a spoon and your hands to form 16 balls of cookie dough and place on two line baking trays.
      5. Do not flatten as they spread when baking.
      6. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
      7. Remove and allow to cool, they are very soft when they first come out, don’t panic!
      Gluten free double chocolate chip cookie recipe

      I’ve even made a lovely downloadable recipe sheet for you to print off and keep. Happy Baking
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      Be Brave, from sketch to final product

      So I got such nice feedback on social media from yesterday’s post, I thought I share another from sketch to final product process. Still with the typography work, I couldn’t avoid working on something motivational and I wanted to improve my brush lettering. Be brave I think is a good motivational quote as it can be focussed on in so many situations. Bravery I think is often underrated, I have had to at times encourage myself to be braver and as a mum you often have to champion bravery to your kids.

      This is the original design scanned in from my sketch book. I did the lettering in brush script and I am pleased with the joins and overall flow of the letters. I could add a few more flourish’s and I have bookmarked a skill share tutorial to watch on this, so you may see more in my future work.

      I scanned the design in at 600dpi in black and white and then imported it into Illustrator. I image traced the design and then recoloured it.
      I wanted the lettering to have a ombre look and the floral motifs around to be in matching tints and

      I also moved some motifs around and replicated them so there was an overall floral frame to the lettering.
      I watched a video on society6 the other day by Cat Coquillette and she offers her designs in a variety of colour ways to suit peoples preferred colour schemes. This is something I hadn’t thought of and wanted to try so for the ease of it I thought I offer the design in two colour ways and with or without backgrounds.

      These are the designs in Blue.

      These are the designs in pink, the choice of colour really changes the mood of the design and this is something I will play with more in future work.

      Again it is so nice to see the designs on products and that is one of the main reasons why I love print on demand sites such as Redbubble and Society6.

      I picked two of my favourites to share but the designs are featured on many different items.
      Here they are on a t-shirt and tote bag.

      If you like these designs or fancy checking out my other work. Pop over to my redbubble, society6, zazzle or PAOM stores.

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      Eat your greens, from sketch to finished product

      So I am trying to up my game on the typography front at the moment. Hand lettering has never been my strongest skill and I’ve always thought that my S’s and my R’s are definitely weak. But that said, hand lettering and quote work are big in illustration and I need to perfect my hand lettered style if I want to get on the books of an art agency.

      So my starting point was to think of phrases or sayings I would want on products and cards. There are lots kicking around at the moment but I didn’t want to follow the crown with little…fierce or adventure .. out there quotes.

      This is when I came up with ‘Eat your greens’, I have been working on my children’s wear portfolio and this fits in nicely with that and the healthy eating messages I like to promote, what with being a Food Technology teacher.

      Luckily it’s not something I have to say to my boys but I like the fun message on bibs and table wear etc.

      Here is the initial sketch I did using pencil and then my papermate inkjoy pens in light and dark green.

      Then I scanned it into illustrator, image traced it and then under painted in more greens. I this under painted style and have used it a lot in my recent work. I think it adds a playful, thrown together look without being messy.

      What do you think?

      It’s great to see my designs on products and I’m loving it on the baby bib and plate seen here from Zazzle.

      You can find this design on a whole host of products from my redbubble, society6, paom and zazzle stores.

      So what do you think of my hand lettered style so far? Perhaps it still needs some work, but I’m happy to be pushing out of my comfort zone and working on typography. I hope to show you more as I continue to work on it. Also don’t you think a coordinating fabric in the beans, peas and broccoli would be cute! Might just have to do that tonight.

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