Friday, 28 December 2012

Seasons Greetings - a Post Christmas blog

Did we all have a Merry Christmas? 

I'm glad to hear it. 

So did I....... 

And so did the Children......

We left Santa a mug of warm milk and a chocolate cake, because the kids reckoned he would have had enough mince pies by the time he reached our house.....

My LOVE of all things Tea related is well documented amongst my family and friends, so naturally I received Hot Beverage related items from Santa.

My Bestie in the whole wide world, re-upholstered a Chair in my 'Hand drawn Flowers' fabric. it now sits pride of place beside my desk. Too lovely to actually use.....

I just wish the Kitten would leave it alone.....

And my amazing Husband has this waiting for me under the Tree. My very own Rachael Taylor iPad2 case. 

Just Yummy isn't it?

I had a little bit of spare time to create myself a 2013 Diary amongst all the chaos of Christmas. I used the 'hand drawn flowers' swatch I had ordered from Spoonflower a while back. I used a basic £1 diary and gave it a nice new coat.............


And finally, Christmas is all about the family. And I got to spend some time with my Husband, Sister and Brother-in-law at a chinese buffet a couple of towns over. Me and Wayne rarely get the opportunity to have our photo's taken together, so I am happy to have forced my sister into taking one. 

Me and my eldest daughter Carla, and with her cousin Harvey 

After all that celebrating and enjoying time with Family and Special Friends. Im quite glad that I can now spend time concentrating on making my 2013 a memorable one. 

Monday, 17 December 2012

Advent Doodle - Week 2

Here are our updated 'Advent Doodles'. We have added another weeks worth of drawings, and I must confess I actually banned the children from adding to them once or twice for misbehaving.... kids were NOT best pleased.

Find out more about the Advent Doodle HERE by the lovely Faye Brown. 

And we featured on her blog last week, read about that HERE. 

Lets share my attempt's first....

So my Elf looks a little insane and I cheated on the 'Three OF Kings', but I gave Rudolf a red nose. So I made up for it..... 

Carla - Age 8......

Copied my evil elf idea, and bah humbug'd on the Christmas Carol section. She doesn't like her 3 wise men, because she wishes she drew a 3 of kings (as if it actually exists)....

Alexander - Age 5......

My little pattern finder did a good job here. Said he didn't know 'how to draw the christmas spirit' so drew a stocking instead. And decided Rudolph needed lots of planets around him..... as did Santa's elf. 

Oh.. and his 3 wise men are now Aliens....

Come back next week for the final 8 doodles. 

Until next time. 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Sunday Blog - ETSY FINDS : Christmas card Special

Welcome back and thanks to all that had a peek at our Advent Doodle attempts so far....

happy dance

Today's Etsy Finds is a little special, as it is CHRISTMAS related. 
I love Christmas, its so fun, and merry and bright. 

A few weeks ago I put a shout out on Twitter for any creatives who wanted to take part in a Christmas Card swap. I had lots of interest and swapped some of my cards with 3 lovely ladies from various parts of the country. 

Here are their Etsy stores so you can see what beauties I have in my possession:

Worthy Designs 

Sarah Catherine Designs 

Sarah Fleming

Contact sarah via her FB page to purchase any cards, or have a peek at her work:

Now I just need to decide which lucky recipients will receive such LUSH cards. 

Lets KEEP GOING.......

Not one to be biased on just sharing Etsy Finds, here are some Fabulous Folky Finds from:

Kate Marsden

These are just Super cute, Super Simple and Super Festive. 

Thats all for now Folks. 


Advent Doodle Challenge - Faye Brown

Etsy Finds blog post will be along shortly, With a Greeting Card Special. So make sure you come back later for that....

But for now, I'd like to share a fun little Festive challenge, set by the lovely Faye Brown.

She has created this fabulous Advent Doodle challenge and my children have decided to join me in this little venture to create 25 festive little doodles. 

See Faye's blogpost about the challenge HERE

And these are our Daily Challenges:

Image belongs to Faye Brown Designs. 

We have completed the first 9 days, as we started late.

My son Alexander is just 5, and still learning to grip a pencil, so mummy had to help with the details a little: 

Carla is 8 years old, and loves to fill every square space of white with patterns:

And here we have my attempt...
 Im quite happy with black and white for now: 

I will blog every week, with visual updates on our little challenge. The kids had so much fun, they are looking forward to coming home from school and adding to the challenge. 

Until Next time. 

Thursday, 6 December 2012

iPhone License - Iconemesis

Welcome back.....

I'm super happy to share that my license with Iconemesis has officially begun. 

Originally my Pretty Paradise design was being used for iPhone 5 cases, but they are now available on iPhone 4/4s cases also. 

Please take a peek here. 

 For a Limited period, there is a 20% discount on this design using code: ICON220 at the checkout. 

Dont forget to check out my fellow ABSPD classmates designs who also gained a License with Iconemesis. 

Have a Great Day. 

Monday, 3 December 2012

Monday Blog post: Etsy Finds

A day late...

I know, how terrible of me. 

Before I share this weeks Gorgeous Etsy Finds, I'd like to thank Rachael Taylor for featuring me on her lovely blog today. Its such an honour to be showcased by someone who I have admired for many years. 

Thank you.

View the blog post here

Moving on......

Worthy Designs

I had the pleasure of doing a Christmas Card swap with Gillian, of Worthy Designs, and I absolutely love these cards, and I'm unsure I could actually give them to people this year, I want to keep them. 

(Click image to see Etsy store)

Tree Hill Cloud

Here we have some gorgeous Christmas Cards by Natalie of Tree Hill Cloud.......

.....and some gorgeous Digital Prints:

Hello Dodo

I Follow Hello Dodo on Twitter and absolutely love their prints, I just had to feature them here today:

This is my favourite design:

Until Next Time. 

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

I've been unwell....

....Thats my excuse for lack of posts anyway. 

I apologise for not doing Etsy Finds on Sunday, I just couldn't muster the energy to search the food cupboards for a snack, nevermind the wonders of Etsy for glorious eye candy. 

I'll make it up to you. 

At some point. 

Moving forward, maybe you've noticed the new layout? Its only a slight modification, but I wanted to share links to my fellow ABSPD ladies, and thought I best give them their very own column, they deserve it after all. 

I've also just added a YOUBLOG list to the left, as I will be regularly blogging over at Tigerprint's new online feature, where lots of lovely designers will join me in blogging about all sorts design related. Click the links to the left to see my first two posts. 

Also, I had a little feature on Print and Pattern yesterday, it was awesome and unexpected and hopefully you all saw it?

You did? Brilliant. 

Lets keep it moving. Here is this weeks Spoonflower entry. The theme was 'Under the Sea' and was to be placed inside a little girls T-shirt as part of a collaboration between Spoonflower and One Yard Wonders . See here for more info.

Finally, I have expanded my product ranges, There's some awesome new products, Courtesy of Awesome Merchandise. 

Pocket Mirrors: 

Mini Badges


And some Products I have made myself, including Key-rings, Coasters and Fridge Magnets. 

All available to purchase Via My Etsy Store: 

Until Next Time

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Iconemesis - Competition Results

So here we are....

Another competition has ended, and the results are in. It was such a difficult competition to enter, a lot of my *ABSPD ladies also entered, and its never easy to be in 'competition' with your designer friends. I'm lucky that it never gets ugly with regards to competitiveness, because they're all just too damn lovely,  encouraging and supportive. 

Thank you Ladies. You are all amazing. 

So here, are the winning entries:

(Click image to see blog post)


As you can see, my Pretty Paradise design is right there on the left. 

Amazing right?
Happy dance.

but thats not all.....

 Dahlia Dream is my fellow *ABSPD friend Anneline's design, and Fake Knit, is the amazing Onneke's design, also a *ABSPD Friend. 

Unbelievable right? 

I'm super proud of us all. Because as a result we are all now licensing these designs to the wonderful Iconemesis, to be sold on iPhone 5 cases, which are manufactured in the UK and of excellent quality. Find out more about Iconemesis HERE! 

Lastly, best of Luck to all those who entered the Front Row Society Leggings competition. 

We can clean sweep once again. 

*ABSPD - The art and Business of Surface Pattern Design 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sunday Blog Post - Etsy Finds

Apologies for the delay in creating todays blog post.....

I attended a Children's birthday party this afternoon....

Enough said?

I have some Gems for you today, have a peek.....

I fell in LOVE with Anke's designs as soon as I found her Etsy store. There's too many Gorgeous designs to share, please visit her store to see for yourself. 

There are too many amazing products on Sam's Etsy store, I couldn't decide what to share. So I decided to share a variety of Products. Please Click an image to visit Sam Osborne's store. 

I couldn't resist sharing these Lush Scrabble designs. 
I have worked with scrabble pieces myself in the past, and I think Sarah has created some fabulous designs. Please Click on the images to take you to Sarah's store. 

If you would like to be Featured on Etsy Finds, Please Leave a comment, or find me on twitter @jlwillustration and leave your Etsy link :-) 

Until Next Time. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

How do I do it all? - An insight in to how I manage to fit it all in.

Today I am going to talk a little bit about me. I know, how very vain, but I'll be honest, I get a lot of feedback from people about what I do and I always get asked the same question .........

'How do you do it all'?

In order for you to understand what 'All' is, I'll give you a little background information into myself, my life up until now and some of the things I plan for the future. 

Me and my family

I fell in love aged 14, to the man who would become my husband at age 20, and the father of my 3 children. We left high school, stayed on at 6th form and when I was expecting my eldest daughter, my husband left 6th form and went to work. I stayed on and completed one of the three A Levels I had started. At the age of 18, I decided I wanted to go to University to become a Journalist. Unfortunately by the time I decided this most of the Colleges were full and only Leeds Art (Formally Leeds College of Art and Design) were taking applications. I needed English Lit, Media Studies and they offered the courses. I had to take one art based course given it was an art college. I Chose Textiles. (My previous A Level was in Product Design). 

I Fell in love with Textiles. 

I changed my entire career based on that one course, I applied to continue at Leeds Art doing a BA(hons)Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design, after spotting some of the courses work up on the walls of the College. 
I was told I would need a Foundation in Art to be accepted. 

I didn't.

One year into my Degree I fell pregnant with my Son, who was born the following September 2007. I took a gap year, found a job, my husband stayed at home with the children after losing his own job. 

I decided not to go back to University. We needed the money, I had a family. But as September approached of 2008, I had that urge to call up the college and accept their offer of returning. 

so I did. 

I left my job,and my families security, I went back to University, and completed my second year while working part-time in a local craft shop. My final year began, everything was going well, I decided I wanted one more child. 

Alice came the following September. 

Between that period of time, I slipped and fell on the Ice, in what was one of the worst years of snowfall England had seen in years, the break turned into a Tumour, and I had to have 3 operations to remove it, all while pregnant, all while completing my final year at University. 

I came out with a 2.1

I was very proud of myself. 

Alice came September 2010, I graduated November 2010, and I focused on being a mother. My husband went back to work, life was good (except for the whole broken wrist issue). 

But something was missing. My degree was being wasted, I hadn't been creative in months, and I missed it.  I had still been entering the odd Tigerprint competitions, which I still do to this day. They kept me creative, but it wasn't enough. 

Which brings me to how I got to where I am today, and How I manage to fit in the various design competitions I regularly enter, found an Agent,started my own business and be a mother to my 3 children. 

.... and a wife, and a cook, and a cleaner, and a teacher etc etc etc 

I found the Rachael Taylor/ Beth Nicholls course (The art and Business of Surface Pattern Design) by complete accident. I had missed round one, I was gutted. It was a lot of money, I couldn't afford even one module. 

Cue bank of Mum and Dad. 

They paid for all 3 modules and I slowly paid them it back. The course changed my life, my outlook on the Surface Pattern industry and my self confidence. 

During the course, I plucked up the courage to open an Etsy store, I now have 37 Products for sale, and lots more to add very soon. 

I was featured on Print and Pattern, which as a result found me an Agent, and I now design collections for them regularly. 

I found Twitter. 

I love Twitter. 

My Facebook page is almost like a mini-blog, I have constant access to it, so I often update little bits of information. Usually pleading for a vote in a competition.

Im constantly socialising, and without my Twitter friends, you all know who you are, my life would be a lot more dull. 

My ABSPD girls, are amazing, so inspiring, encouraging and helpful. 

I blog 3-4 times a week, I haven't the time to blog Daily, I wish I did. Im also not interesting enough to have something to blog about every day. 

I design in the evenings, my children are now 8,5 and 2 years old. They go to bed at the same time everynight, no messing about from me. I need those precious 5 hours an evening to design, email, tweet, etc etc. 

I run a toddler group on a wednesday, and it might not sound a lot of effort, but it takes up the entire day, so Wendesday's are a write-off design wise. 

I do socialise with my friends one or two evenings a week, so I don't always design on a night. 

Often I put my youngest down for a nap 1-3pm Mon-Fri which gives me 2 precious hours, and I'm ever so lucky to have a husband who has gone through my journey with me from the VERY beginning who understands, and appreciates. 

.....He appreciates that he gets the evening to play on the Xbox while I'm designing. He thinks I don't realise, but I do. 

Finally, I have an amazingly supportive family, my sister,my brother, my parents, uncles, aunts etc. They all understand my craziness, and my excitement when I finish a design and share it with the world. 


Thats how I do it all. 

I wish it was more exciting than that, but it isnt. 

I also wish I could do this full time, it feels full time, but its only about 20% of my actual daily antics. 

Imagine what I get up to with the rest of my time? 

....... and what I could do with a full day to design? 

One Day.