Last week I bought everything I need to experiment with screen printing, and I worked most of the day today on the original artwork that I’m going to attempt to transfer onto fabric. To make the artwork, I took a photo of a real poppy, then I loosely traced it in Illustrator. I stylized the lines to open them up and make them more flowy. Then I added the internal lines for interest. The instructions on the screen print kit said very fine lines will be captured with the “photo transfer” technique. I guess I’ll see when I use a lightbulb and photo emulsion to transfer this image onto the screen printing screen. Very curious to see what will happen.
Risty’s buyer liked the tea! So now Risty found a new coconut flavor and wants to pitch that, too. “Tropical color inspiration” and another original drawing for the background were my guidelines. The rest should look like the other teas.
More graphic design this week. This one is a really fun assignment — a label for a cocktail product, inspired by mid-century modern design. I hunted and hunted for the right inspiration image:
Then I researched appropriate shapes and mid-century design ideas (fun)! I came up with three options for my client, then ran a color story throughout my favorite. Here’s the colored one, and below the three label ideas.
I’ve been having fun. Risty needs tea labels to pitch to some buyers and she wants me to dream up a fresh shape, color and use an orignal drawing for texture. Kind of a dream assignment. Here’s what I’ve done so far:
I recently befriended a woman who is an avid knitter, and she had a spare ticket to go to A Taste of Squam, which lets curious creatives spend one night at the famous Squam Retreat to get a feeling for the bigger week-long event. I’ve heard so many great things about Squam over the years, I was excited to see what the buzz is all about.
The regular Squam is a transformative art experience, where visitors take classes in several creative mediums, from knitting to pottery throwing, to basket making. It started as a knitting retreat, though, so knitting remains the emphasis. By all accounts it’s a spiritual explosion of woodsy creativity that, when asked about, participants inevitably say, I can’t describe it. You just have to experience it for yourself.
The place is BEAUTIFUL. So I can see how this is true. Little bits of art and knitting are scattered throughout the wooded paths that lead campers from their cabins to workshops and meals. You can hear the knitting needles clicking any time people are near. General craftiness floats in the air like dandelion seeds. Sadly, the setting is where the magic stopped for me. While I’m sure Squam itself is phenomenal — as attested by the blissed out faces of those we talked to who had been attending actual Squam classes — A Taste of Squam didn’t allow us enough of a glimpse into the actual affair.
The ticket was quite expensive and for that we got the cabin, two meals, a Ravelry “party” and a shopping experience. By the time I left, I felt that I had paid someone $250 to go camping then shop at a craft fair. Not what the organizers are going for, I’m sure. Still, I maintain that A Taste of Squam is a good idea. It just needs to be tweaked. Tasters need a true TASTE of the CONTENT of the weekend, not just the context. I wished we had been able to meet some of the teachers, for instance, or take a sampler class … anything that clued us in on why everyone there was so blissful.
As for the shopping event… it was good, lots of interesting designers, but one really blew me away: http://www.pikkuwares.com. I absolutely love this woman’s vibe, her products, her website. Her booth and the quick talk I had with her — that’s where I found all the inspiration I needed from Squam, so, for that, I’m grateful.
I had the pleasure of assisting on a shoot for Creative Bug at Nicole Blum’s cider farm in Western Mass. Nicole is one of the authors of Improv Sewing and a regular contributor for Creative Bug. She was filming four projects for the site — three of which we shot with her kids, Ava and Harry. I had so much fun, it was hard to believe I was working. Nicole and her husband built their farmhouse, a rustic, light-filled space spattered with sweet handmade touches. Behind the farm is their orchard, a sprawling expanse of green perched a top a hill overlooking the Connecticut River. I did not get a photo of that because, of course, my phone died right as we stepped onto the orchard. Thank god I am not a photographer because I always miss the best shot. But I did get these other great photos as we filmed in Nicole’s little detached studio and the rain beat down on the metal roof. (Not great for sound, but we made it work.)
Thank you, Robyn, for taking these photos. As usual, I found one, that’s right, one, shot on my iphone. And it was blurry.
This gallery contains 6 photos.
I really like to push the boundaries of what’s possible with knitting, especially when felting is involved. I also have a big aversion to floppy felted bags. So it makes sense that I am on an eternal quest for a way to knit-in a sturdy internal structure. Here’s my latest brainstorm: knitting on multiple lightweight […]
I love me some Project Runway, and last night the kids and I caught up on the Teams episodes so we’ll be ready to watch the final show on Thursday. We’re spending Spring break in New York, so we’ll be in Manhattan when the episode airs. In fact, we are staying in the garment district, and we’ll be taking a “fashion walking tour” where we’ll visit Mood and hopefully a factory and a showroom. What a way to lead up to the grand finale!
Project Runway is an interactive experience in our house. We get out sketch pads and scribble down what we’d design if we were in the competition. My son and daughter are wildly different, and not surprisingly so are their sketches. My daughter is 12 and likes rules — her ideas are crisp and clean, with lots of sharp lines and color blocking. Her palette is monochromatic and her shapes are modern. My son is 9 and frenetic. He’s always moving, usually on a skateboard. Even when he’s sitting, he’s busy: drawing cars, writing songs, folding paper into elaborate ninja stars. His ideas are urban, bold and in motion, expressed with heavy, confident marks. I’m struck by how true my kids’ drawings are to who they are. I’d love nothing more than to preserve that for both of them — to bat away the influences and confidence-shakers that will interrupt this free-flow of authentic expression.
I’ve noticed the most successful Project Runway contestants’ have been able to do just that. Somehow, they’ve preserved who they are, what makes their souls vibrate. And they’ve got the mastery to express themselves, without dilution, from the brain to the drawing pad to the dressform to the catwalk. The raw materials don’t matter. I’ve seen the best designers make equally beautiful pieces out of a pile of plastic cups or 10 yards of cashmere.
My goal is to help my kids hold on to their intrinsic points of view as they they learn “mastery” over whatever it is they choose to do. I want them to be humble enough to accept that they need to be taught, but also to know themselves well enough to see what it is about their work that makes it uniquely theirs.
Hell, that’s my goal for myself … I guess it’s something the three of us can strive towards together.
One of my clients is pitching a new line to a big department store chain, and she asked me to create the labeling for her products. I was chained to Illustrator much of the week gunning to meet the deadline. The samples shipped on Monday…fingers crossed the buyers go for them.
She sells high end salt and sugar items so the labels needed a sophisticated, urban feel. She also requested a vintage-inspired holiday label for her seasonal flavored hot cocoas. It turned into the best week ever because I got to work in my two favorite aesthetics, with just about 100% creative freedom to select fonts and develop palettes & patterns.
I let the flavors determine the palette of the finishing sugars, and I’m really pleased with how they go together. They’ll be sold in a three pack and I think the colors will really make the finished group sing. Hope the buyer feels the same.
I adore vintage Christmas cards, and when I found this one on-line, I knew right away it would be the inspiration for the Hot Cocoa palette. I drew the repeat by hand, then recolored each of the elements to differentiate the flavors. It’s amazing how much the recoloring changed the feeling of the repeat. I’d love to see this artwork as a fabric and am thinking about ordering a yard from Spoonflower. Just heard that Spoonflower is doing custom wrapping paper, too.