I recently uploaded some new colorways of this “Steampunk Squid Damask” design to my Spoonflower shop. It’s one I designed for The Spoonflower Handbook and the original is a pale blue and white. After I had all of the new colors proofed by ordering samples, I had a request from a customer that she was super excited about new colors, but she wanted a smaller scale of the design. In the original the squids are about 8 inches tall, but I have a few of the colors available with a squid 4 inches tall. I certainly didn’t want to have to order another set of proofs just to change the size of the squids.
Did you know that if you are uploading a new version of a design and ONLY changing the scale or the rotation of the design (no color changes or changes to the repeat) that Spoonflower will help you do that without requiring a proof? I hadn’t had a reason to rescale like this before, but I knew it was just a matter of sending an email. I uploaded all of the smaller scale versions of the same designs. Then, all I had to do was email the help team with the URL of the original (already proofed) design and the URL of the revised design at a new scale and they were able to manually set them to “proofed” for me. Once they were set to proofed, I could put them up for sale for my customer.
It’s always a good idea to order a proof of any design, but in this case, I know already that these look great at the smaller scale so there really wasn’t anything I needed to proof. So now there are 8 new colorways available in two different sizes. That’s a […]
Tutorials that say that a project is “quick and easy” are kind of a pet peeve of mine. You see entire pages of results on Pinterest: quick, easy, no-sew, only 2 steps, 5 minutes to make, 30 second hacks. It’s not that I don’t think there’s a place and a need for quick and easy projects, but I think that’s often all you can find: the quick and easy solution to a problem that might not be so quick and easy.
I’ve spent the last week or so putting together some new classes. I know how to do that planning part, but I needed to set up a new way to take registration payments and to link them together with the event and to post them as a draft event on Facebook. None of those are “hard” things to do, but they were all things that I needed to learn something about. Square recently updated the way they do their web shop. So I needed to learn the new system. It was super confusing, but I finally have the basics figured out. My event calendar needed an update and I spent a few minutes figuring out how to add a link for the class cancellation policy to every page so I didn’t have to copy and paste it in every time. I got the events posted and then spent many minutes tapping around on my phone trying to figure out how to accept the invitation to co-host the event with my FB page, because although I found the “accept” button in the browser version on my laptop, the button didn’t work. But I digress…
The thing is, it feels good to learn something like this. It’s a sense of accomplishing something. I spent the time […]
In July 2020, I am teaching a 5-day class at the Touchstone Center for Craft in Farmington, PA. It is a masterclass in designing your own digitally printed fabrics with Spoonflower, with a focus on using Photoshop as your main digital design tool. I haven’t taught a class like this in more than a year, but not for lack of interest, just for lack of opportunity. It’s hard to put together a class like this without somewhere like Touchstone to help coordinate it.
You may have found my blog because of the Masterclasses that I used to teach at Spoonflower in Durham. We had to put those on hiatus, unfortunately, because the space we were using to teach in was needed for other things and we couldn’t make the budget stretch enough to be able to rent classroom space. (Space is always the biggest challenge I have in getting a class like this put together.) So I am really excited that Touchstone invited me to be there! I call it a masterclass because of the amount and depth of material we get to cover in class, but you can take the class even if you have never designed anything before. You don’t need to have any special skills and you don’t need to have ever used Photoshop.
This is a description of the class:
Learn to design your own fabrics with Spoonflower, working with Adobe Photoshop as a fabric design tool. Using photographs, paintings, drawings and cut paper textures as starting points for your designs, class time will be focused on practice with digital tools and techniques for creating seamless textures, learning how to work with layers, and understanding the techniques to accomplish specific effects. You will see hands-on samples of all of the Spoonflower fabrics and talk about optimizing your design […]
It’s time for another GameNight post to tell you about what we’ve been playing lately. This week we wanted something quick and easy, so we pulled out “Tiny Epic Quest” by Gamelyn Games. There are a whole series of “tiny epic” games: western, zombies, galaxies, kingdoms. They even have a dinosaur themed one coming out this summer that I am excited about. We also have Galaxies and Beyond the Black in this series.
They are all games that fit in a box about the size of a paperback book, hence the “tiny” in the name. One of the things I love about these games is that they can’t be very complicated, because there just isn’t space to do that. They have clever mechanics and ways of playing, but you don’t have to worry about reading an 89 page rulebook.
In Tiny Epic Quest, you have three “meeples” which are your little characters that go questing around a map. The map is built from a deck of map cards, so the arrangement changes a bit each time you play, making no two games the same. Each turn has two kinds of actions you can do. First you send your meeples off around the map to explore, and then in the second half of your turn, you roll the dice to try and fulfill the quest you’ve sent them off on.
One of the clever parts of this game is that moving your meeples is limited to only 1 kind of movement each turn (vertical, horizontal, diagonal, around the outside of the board, or a single step any direction) and players take turns choosing which one it will be. I had fun thwarting a move of my husband’s when we played last night by […]
Just before Christmas, we lost our beautiful Chester. We adopted him and his brother Leo when they were 6 months old and we got a message from a friend that there were these puppies in need of a rescue. We thought we might be nuts getting two puppies at once, but it turned out to be messy, chaotic and ridiculously affectionate fun. Chester had a cancer of the blood vessels that had spread from his abdomen to his lungs. We had no idea that anything was wrong until very early one morning when he woke us up whimpering. The emergency vet was the kindest and most gentle person who had to break the news that the tumor had ruptured, he was bleeding internally and there was nothing that we could do but say goodbye. The cancer had taken over. It was a shock and it took us a few days to be able to talk about it without sobbing. He was much loved and he will be missed. My sincere thanks to everyone who heard and reached out to us with love. The photo above is one of my favorite pictures of him ever, blissed out and panting after fetching the ball a million times.
The rest of 2019 has just faded away into a blur. I had a couple of blog posts planned out; I often write a recap post of my year and a goal for the year ahead. But instead, I just took a social media hiatus. I stepped away and de-scheduled the posts and put my Etsy shops on vacation and I just took a break. In all honesty, the idea of having to deal with a panicked last minute online customer, a shipping issue or a negative comment on something was more than I could deal […]
Every week, Spoonflower posts a design challenge theme and asks designers to create something that is their interpretation of that theme. Themes this year have included pollinators, fitness, color-blocking, pirates and dinosaurs. In 2018, I made a goal for myself of designing something every week of the challenge. I decided to continue that in 2019, so this week was my 97th consecutive design. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I post them there every week and often talk about how the design is made and what inspired my interpretation.
I was really happy this year that I had 6 designs that placed in the top 50 in the challenge at Spoonflower! My Color Blocked Elephants was my top finisher. It came in at #17. I also had one design – Eucalyptus Blossoms – featured in the Spoonflower holiday magazine. Most of the designs are also available in my Spoonflower shop in my 2019 Design Challenges collection.
I put together this slide show so you can see all 48 designs from this year and I marked my personal top 10 for the year and the six that placed in the Spoonflower Top 50. Some of these designs I love a lot – Striped Stegosaurus, Elizabeth, Moon Landing – and there are some that I am not so happy with. But I am super proud that I finished something every week. Practice! I am hoping in 2020 that I will break into the top 10.
Which was your favorite design from 2019? I’d love to know!