Today is my boyfriend’s birthday, and I spent a few minutes earlier this week hand stamping some plain brown wrapping paper with this triangle design (which some of you may recognize as the Zelda triforce symbol). I used a small stamp I hand carved from a piece of printing linoleum, and a regular old stamp pad from the office supply store. It’s not a very complicated project, but I hope to do a DIY post here on the blog sometime soon. (UPDATE – I posted a DIY for this project here!)
Here’s another peek at some of the pillows I’ve been working on lately. This is one of my favorite patterns, and the one that has sold best whenever I sell my work at Renegade Craft Fair. I’m hoping to have the shop open soon, so I can add the last batch of the items from my 2011/2012 collection. Excited to move on to new patterns for the 2012/2013 collection, but I have a feeling this pattern might be one of the ones that I keep around for another year.
As you may know, Cotton & Flax is a new venture for me. I’ve been making textile goods for a while now, under my name, Erin Dollar. You could usually find pillows and tea towels in my Online shop, right alongside my fine art offerings (prints, drawings, and the like). I decided earlier this year to separate the textiles into a new business, and to start building that business from the ground up. It’s been a few months of working on the back end of things (bookkeeping, finding new suppliers for fabrics, getting my home studio better equipped), but I am finally getting back to the stuff I really LOVE: printing on fabric, and sewing.
So it was much to my surprise that in my haste to get back to making things, I made a couple silly cutting errors while making some pillows yesterday. They are still perfectly great, printed, sewn, and finished with the same care, just a little more plump than I would normally have them look. It’s strange though… I kind of prefer the outcome! Normally I sew the pillow cases a little larger, but I think I am starting to like the more full look these little pillows have.
All you artists/makers out there: have you had any happy accidents while making things lately?
Today I’m compiling swatches of potential fabrics I’ll be using in my next round of textiles, here’s a little peek of the fabrics I’m fond of right now. I’ll have to narrow it down considerably, since I try to stick with just four or five colors for my work, which helps me to keep the focus on the patterns.
I’m really loving the play between the brights and the pastels, but I keep getting into a rut because I can’t find a really bright tomato red. Everything I find is too ruby toned or leaning more towards carrot, which has me thinking that I may start hand dying fabric in small batches… as if I don’t have enough to do already.
Anyone have experience dying fabrics? I’ve done it before, but I’m sure there are lots of tips and tricks I’m unfamiliar with. Say hello on Twitter if you want to share ideas and resources about dying textiles, I’d love to hear them!
Lately, I’ve been spending too much time on Pinterest, collecting photos of beautiful workspaces and gorgeous studios, many of which are immaculately tidy. I’d have to admit, though, that my workspace is much less glamorous. In fact, right now it is piled high with my drawings, as you can see from my hastily taken Instagram photo above.
While it might not be as photo-worthy as the studios of my dreams, at least there is some proof of me working! I’ll have to aim for a more “blog-worthy” photo of my workspace in the days ahead.
I’ve been working on some new patterns this week. This is one of my favorite parts of the process of making printed textiles, as I get to spend hours dreaming up new designs, and experimenting with inks and stamps and my favorite brushes and pens. Right now I’m working on creating larger versions of the many patterns I’ve sketched over the last few weeks, and I’m excited to see them come to life.
I create many (but not all) of my patterns by drawing directly onto tracing paper. I do this for a couple reasons: first, because I like to tape a piece of graph paper underneath, so that I can have a grid from which to work. While all of my textile patterns are hand drawn, I try to find ways to create patterns with some amount of regularity in spacing, and graph paper keeps me from getting wildly out of scale in my drawings. Second, I love being able to place the finished tracing paper patterns over a piece of unprinted fabric, and be able to get a glimpse at what the final product might look like.
I’m hoping to share a big batch of new patterns here on the blog in the coming week!