Tuesday, 28 March 2017

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

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.

Monday, 27 March 2017

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!




      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

      Saturday, 25 March 2017

      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.

      Tuesday, 21 March 2017

      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.

      Monday, 20 March 2017

      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 incase 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.

      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

      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!


      Monday, 13 March 2017

      Gluten free double chocolate chip cookie recipe



      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. 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!

      Friday, 10 March 2017

      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 imaged traced the design and then recouloured it.
      I wanted the lettering to have a ombre look and the floral motifs around to be in matching tints and tones.
      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.



      This 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.

      Thursday, 9 March 2017

      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.

      Top Bake - top site for cakes*





      Have you ever struggled to find the right baker for your dream celebration cake? Perhaps you are a coeliac like me or have a food intolerance and off the shelf cakes just aren't going to be right for you.

      Trawling the internet can be a long and difficult task. When your are investing sometimes hundreds of pounds in say, a wedding cake, you want someone who has the right skills and has a reputation on delivering the perfect cake for your big day.

      Well now there is a site that will take all the hassle out of this, you will be able to search for a baker who can provide everything you need all in one place. I just can't believe this hasn't been done before, it's such a clever and useful search tool.
      Top bake* asked me to review their website and this is what my initial thoughts were.

      Top Bake hosts independent bakers in the UK selling a range of cakes including gluten free, soya, nut free and glorious full fat cakes to homes and local organisations. The platform will take the hassle out of finding the right baker to suit your taste, budget and convenience. 

      This website will enable you submit all your requirements, local bakers to you then contact you with details and prices. This frees up so much time, you have the pick of the best bakers and can someone who suits both your needs and your budget.


      The website launches at the end of April, it is such an exciting project and I wish Top Bake all the best with their new business.

      You can find Top Bake on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so please pop over and be ready to have great cakes in your local area.  Top Bake would love your support.



      This is a sponsored post for Top Bake, to see the full terms on my Advertising and Disclosure policy click here.



      Wednesday, 8 March 2017

      Happy international womans day

      Whatever international woman's day means to you, I hope you can take this as a day to embrace the goddess within you. Ignoring our outer cases and challenging the spirit and wonder from within.
      I myself would love to embrace more of my green goddess become more rooted in the beautiful countryside that I am so lucky to be surrounded by. Thinking even more carefully about what I consume whether that is material possessions and the impact they have on my world or the food I eat and the impact it has on me.

      However you celebrate international women's day, I hope you embrace it.

      Please not this image is my design and copyrighted R. Cartwright 2017. Please do not use this image without my permission.

      If you would like to buy this design you can find it in my redbubble and society6 stores.






      Tuesday, 7 March 2017

      100 Sales!

      After a pretty slow time with sales after Christmas, I am delighted to say that I hit 100 sales in my Etsy shop. For some this may seem insignificant as they stretch through into the 1000's of sales but for me this has been a slow but determined hard slog and I feel as if I am slowly but surely getting somewhere with my design work.

      Since opening my Etsy shop I have seen my sales slowly grow, my social media following of my design work quadruple and my work has been published twice in cross stitch crazy magazine.

      I must admit that my blog has become somewhat neglected through all this, but to show my appreciation I wanted to celebrate my 100 sale with a discount. Visit my Shop and use the code 100SALES to get 20% everything in store.




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