Thursday, 31 January 2013

January end of month review

I recently came across a lovely little blog full of DIY craft ideas, interesting finds and lots of beautiful patterns.  This blogger would do a review at the end of each month just to sum up certain things that had happened, films she had seen, what her favourite posts were and I thought it was such a nice idea that I'd do my own end of month review.

Biggest news of the month!

This month I finally got my website up and running, it is only fairly simple and I still have quite a bit to do to it but I'm so happy to have somewhere for a more professional looking online portfolio.  You can find my website here!

Artist of the month

This month I found a truly stunning artist whose use of colour and brush strokes will have you mesmerised! Leonid Afremov, below are two of my favourite of his pieces but click on his name to see the huge range of pieces he has produced.

Patterns I have happened upon this month

Next are a couple of patterns that have jumped out at me this month and I just had to photograph them, the first is a cushion from Ikea whose black and white detailed pattern really caught my eye.  The second is some wrapping paper left behind by some customers at work (I work part time in a restaurant),it was the  colour palette and unusual geometric shapes grabbed me.

Favourite blog posts from this month

Efuto's I've been sending (Picture envelopes) If anyone is interested in sending lovely mail art to each other please get in touch and we can swap =)

Other findings this month

In my second year of university we were asked to put together an online portfolio and I happened to come across my Behance portfolio this month and see some of my photography, drawing and textile work from past years which was a nice little surprise.  This made me want to get my old sketchbooks out and art books from A levels (sadly these are at home so I will showcase some of this work when I venture back to North Yorkshire next weekend!).  You can see these projects here and below is a snippet of the future post on my old artwork, two of my self portraits from A level.

I bought a lovely new cook book this month and will be making my way through all the delicious treats! Last week I made Lemon and Blueberry Muffins and they were delicious! Find the recipe here, here is the book I bought, it is a brilliant buy for anyone who likes to bake!

Now for what is in store for February! Well I have some new talented ladies to introduce to you all and have been searching for some new unusual artists and designers to share with you.  There will be some more Efuto goodness aswell as we are planning a second round of efuto swaps with a Spring theme!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Kathryn Pledger's beautiful array of colour

Kathryn Pledger's design work really stands out, her use of colour is mesmerising and beautiful. She is inspired by nature, colour, photography and texture, which you can clearly see from her stunning work!  I love her use of photography and layering elements to make designs that are quite different from others I have seen.

Kathryn has worked as a graphic designer for a number of years but always wanted to be a textile designer, having not created patterns since high school she enrolled on 'The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design' to see what being a pattern designer was all about.  This course has reignited her passion for patterns and Kathryn is hoping to move away from graphics and into surface pattern design in the next few years.

I love to find out why designers love to design patterns, what makes them love their job so much, Kathryn told me 'It never feels like work and I can get totally lost in what I'm creating', which I totally agree with! The best part is that it doesn't feel like working! Kathryn loves patterns so much she has a habit of buying clothes and shoes just because of the colour or pattern on them.  I can see where she is coming from, I have several boxes of fabrics and clothes, its part of our job to collect inspiration =)

I have the pleasure of showcasing some of Kathryn's work and you can find more of her lovely designs on her website at

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Lemon and Blueberry Muffins

I've bought myself a lovely new baking book recently and will be making my way through it and hope to share some yummy recipes with you all so you can enjoy them too!

60g/2oz Butter
280g/10oz Plain Flour
1 tbsp Baking Powder
200g/7oz Caster Sugar
1 Egg
1tsp Vanilla Extract
250ml/8fl oz Milk
225g/8oz Blueberries
Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
Pinch of Salt

  • Melt the butter in a pan
  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, add sugar, mix then make a well in the middle.
  • In a separate bowl beat the egg, add the melted butter, lemon zest, vanilla and milk.  Beat mixture until foamy.
  • Pour egg mixture into the well in the flour, stir in gently and gradually drawing the dry ingredients in to make a smooth batter.
  • Gently fold in the blueberries, do not over mix the mixture otherwise it will be tough.
  • Place in muffin cases and put in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes, the recipe says at 220C but I felt this was too hot, so I put it at 190C, just use your judgement or if in doubt put it a little lower and make sure you check them.
  • Mix lemon juice and a couple of tablespoons of sugar together, when the muffins are cooked dip the tops into this mixture or brush the mixture over the top.  
Extra tips I found may be useful:

 - If you don't have a sieve for the flour then use a whisk to ensure there are no lumps
 - As said above, check the muffins between 10 and 15 minutes, my oven cooked them fairly fast and I got them out at about 17 minutes and I felt they were done a little too long.

Monday, 21 January 2013

New design ideas!

A few new designs that I've been working on the past week that I thought I'd share with you today.  There may be a few more tweaks here and there that will improve them, but I'm finally happy with them!

There is also a website in the pipelines that I've been working on, it will only be something simple to start with, but I will be able to showcase my work a little better than through this blog.

Mellow Blooms

Iced Petals

 Evergreen Wreaths

It took me quite a while to get the Evergreen Wreaths finished because Illustrator crashed on me and I lost everything I had done! I persevered though and managed to get it right a second time =)  Still have a few colour decisions to make with all three pattern collections but overall I'm happy with the compositions.

All designs in this post are copyright Emma Hawman of Emma Frances Designs

Thursday, 17 January 2013

I've gone Efuto mad!!

I was recently involved in a picture envelope swap with a lot of the girls who took The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course with me.  The designs were then put into a directory which you can find if you click on 'The little white book of surface pattern designers' in the top right corner of my blog =) Since then I have been drawing patterns on all of my envelopes! I'd love to make this into a project but am trying to get my head around a way of going about it.  It would be lovely to post images of patterned envelopes I send to people and showcase ones that are sent back!  Once I have figured out what this project will consist of I will tell you all!

As for now here are a few of the most recent envelopes I have sent, One to Rachael Taylor as a thank you because I won a competition of hers and she sent me some lovely prizes!  Rachaels Designs are bright and bold so I went bright and bold with this pattern.

one to Tamsin Seed of Studio Seed who I also won a competition from and she sent me some beautiful prizes too!

And this one went to a family friend as a thank you for some Christmas presents she sent.

So seeing as though I have this designing obsession is there anyone else who would like to receive a little surprise in their mailbox?? Please leave a comment below!  Maybe I should try and collect mailart from around the world, one from each country and I'll always send one in return!  If anyone has any suggestions as to how I should go about this then I'd be happy to hear them!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Welcome to the Bloghop!

It has finally arrived, after hours of faffing about with my designs the Bloghop is upon us!  You will have just popped over from Sylvia Tay Designs in Singapore, I hope you've been enjoying the design showcase so far as all of these ladies have put a massive amount of effort into getting this Bloghop together for you all to enjoy!

NOTE: If at any time any links to the next blog do not work then refer here and it will tell you where to go next =) We've all worked super hard and would hate for you to miss a blog post!!!

If you have just jumped into the bloghop at my post then you are at number 30 in the running order, so you can either carry on from here and loop your way around or you can click this link here and start from the beginning at Pattern Addict's blog.

The theme for this bloghop is 'Let's Fly', we are all new designers trying to make our way into the surface pattern world so felt it was an appropriate theme as we are all finding our wings and reaching for the sky!
I chose to base my designs around Butterflies, the idea came to me when I was working on my logo, here you can see the petals look a little like butterfly wings.  I liked the simplicity of the design so started with some motifs and developed them from there.

So here three designs using the PANTONE colour of 2013 (which is Emerald!)

I've even put together some product images of what my designs will look like! I thought the top two designs would work well on childrens dresses and experimented a little with how it could be placed and scaled.

The smaller butterfly design would be ideal for stationary products!

Thank you for stopping by and having a gander at my designs! Hope your enjoying the bloghop so far, please do leave a comment before you whizz off to Julie Hamilton of Artistically Afflicted's blog which is all the way in Canada! =)

P.S Just want to say a massive Well Done to all the ladies involved! and a huge Thank You to Rosie Martinez-Dekker of Believe Creative Studio who has curated the whole thing!

All images in this post are Copyright Emma Frances Designs

Monday, 7 January 2013

The little white book of surface pattern designers

It has finally arrived!!!

I told you about a week ago about the efutos (picture envelopes) that we had been sending to each other.  The whole point of doing this, besides sending a little bit of art to brighten someones day, was for a directory of our work.  There are 78 designers in total that have put their work forward for this showcase and today it went live!

So here is the link for you to have a gander =)

or if you are viewing this post on your phone then use this link!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Big news for 10th of January!!

There is a little event happening on the 10th until the 13th of January, I along with 49 other creative designers have banded together to produce an international bloghop full of beautiful creations!  It will be a spectacular display of design work that you really can't miss!

So what is a bloghop?!

Well, all of us will write a blog post and we are each going to design a mini collection around the theme of 'Lets Fly' and will be using the Pantone colour of the year in our designs.  Which is Emerald for those who do not know =)

Each person links their blog to the designer before them and the designer after them, so all you have to do is read the blog post then hop onto the next and so on!  We are a community of designer from all of the world, so you will be hopping about all over the place!

Hope you enjoy it!! Don't worry I will remind you on the 10th =)

P.S It starts at 14:00 UK Time

Friday, 4 January 2013

My super lucky December! Although no lottery winnings yet

I had an amazing December besides the mountain of shifts at work I amazingly won two absolutely fantastic giveaways!

The first was by Rachael Taylor whom I did a blog post about which you can read here.  I entered and completely forgot I had then she announced it on Twitter and I didn't even notice until one of the surface pattern girls told me!  I had won £60 of her products.  She has always been one of my favourite designers and I love her style, it is bold, hand drawn and she has been an inspiration to all surface pattern designers who have taken her course.

Her products are beautiful, I had always wanted one of her Quirky floral stems shopper bag so that was a must to get!  It was really difficult to decide what to get but after much umming and ahhing I managed to pick the Bohemian style apron and a Pink etched floral tea towel.

The quality of her products are wonderful and I just want to get in the kitchen and bake something so I can use my apron!  I loved them so much I got most of my Christmas presents from Rachael Taylor too and everyone loved them just as much as me!!!

The second big giveaway I won, and this came as a surprise aswell because again I had forgotten I had entered!  I got the email after a very busy (and very tiring) 13 hour shift at the restaurant and it was the most amazing surprise to get when your that exhausted.  This giveaway was by Tamsin Seed of Studio Seed who is another of my favourite designers alongside Rachael Taylor.  Her work is equally as beautiful, she has quite a delicate style and her colour palettes are soft and subtle.  I arrived home for Christmas to a big parcel of goodies which you can see in the picture below.

I can't recommend these two designers enough, their work is lovely and their products make brilliant presents!

Besides winning these two giveaways I also got my first piece of freelance work! and have been contacted by a company to design some patterns for them also.  Hopefully this is the start of bigger things to come! (Sadly I did not win the lottery, which I did everytime something good happened in a hope for the good luck to carry on)
I'll keep you posted =)

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Happy New Year! Looking forward to the future!

Happy New Year to you all! Sorry for my absence the past few weeks, December is always a manic month on the run up to Christmas.  I had a fair few 12 hour shifts in the last week before Christmas day so when I got home I needed a little time to relax.  However now it is a new year I have my creative hat on once more and am feeling fairly optimistic about the future.

Have you all made some goals for this year yet? I have plenty in mind but the main ones are to build my portfolio up and finally start contacting companies.  My dad heard on the radio that there isn't much point making resolutions at this time of year because it is dark and dreary and no one tends to stick to them for very long.  He has now decided he will be making Spring resolutions, not sure whether this is his way of getting out of making them...

I'd love to hear other peoples resolutions or goals and dreams for this year! Just leave me a comment.

For my first post of 2013 I'd like to show off a lovely decorated envelope I recieved in the post the other day.  I am part of a lovely community of Surface pattern designers and one of these ladies, Gill Eggleston pulled us all together to do efuto's which are Japanese picture envelopes.

Getting post (minus bills) is exciting enough but who wouldn't want to get a colourful piece of artwork aswell!  we all recieved and sent an envelope and Gill Eggleston has collected scans of our pieces and is putting together a directory of everyones.  This isn't live yet but as soon as it is I will let you all know!

So here is mine which is winging it's way off to Erin Ibbertson in Australia as we speak.

and here is the one sent to me by Emma Cooper which came all the way from Singapore! I just love it =)