Creativity

Colour Palette Inspiration

I've had so much fun lately making colour palettes from my photos. It's been part of the homework for a colour course I've been doing on Skillshare, but also preparation for my next set of designs for my inspirational quotes. It's been good to reaffirm the colours I'm naturally drawn to (pinks by the bucket load!) - and evident that nature plays a big part in that.

You will find all the colours of the seaside, and many shades of pink and purple, from cold to warm, sourced from spring and summer blooms. They've made me smile so much and cheered up some very grey, cold winter days, so I thought it would be nice to share them. I hope they'll bring you some joy and inspiration too! Feel free to pin away :)

Blush pink colour palette | Jelly Bean Poppies in my Ceramic Magpie bottle vase

Blush pink colour palette | Jelly Bean Poppies in my Ceramic Magpie bottle vase

Warm blush pink colour palette | Dahlia hues

Warm blush pink colour palette | Dahlia hues

Mint and salmon pink colour palette | Minty fresh summer wardrobe

Mint and salmon pink colour palette | Minty fresh summer wardrobe

All the pinks colour palette | Cosmos Velouette

All the pinks colour palette | Cosmos Velouette

Cherry blossom warm pink colour palette 

Cherry blossom warm pink colour palette 

Cherry blossom cool pink colour palette

Cherry blossom cool pink colour palette

Dusky cool pinks colour palette | Magnolia filled skies, Nymans garden, West Sussex, UK

Dusky cool pinks colour palette | Magnolia filled skies, Nymans garden, West Sussex, UK

Beach hut blues colour palette

Beach hut blues colour palette

Sky blue and sand colour palette | Cuckmere Haven, East Sussex, UK

Sky blue and sand colour palette | Cuckmere Haven, East Sussex, UK

Sea, sky and sand dunes colour palette | Holywell beach, Cornwall, UK

Sea, sky and sand dunes colour palette | Holywell beach, Cornwall, UK

Sky blue and aqua colour palette | Porthmeor beach, St. Ives, Cornwall, UK

Sky blue and aqua colour palette | Porthmeor beach, St. Ives, Cornwall, UK

Echeveria blue grey colour palette | Monk's House, East Sussex, UK

Echeveria blue grey colour palette | Monk's House, East Sussex, UK

Cornflower blues and purples colour palette | West Dean Gardens, West Sussex, UK

Cornflower blues and purples colour palette | West Dean Gardens, West Sussex, UK

Tulip pinks and purples colour palette | Monk's House, East Sussex, UK

Tulip pinks and purples colour palette | Monk's House, East Sussex, UK

Japanese Anenome pink colour palette 

Japanese Anenome pink colour palette 

Sand dune neutrals colour palette

Sand dune neutrals colour palette

Pebble grey colour palette | Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, UK

Pebble grey colour palette | Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, UK

Pebble grey colour palette 2 | Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, UK

Pebble grey colour palette 2 | Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, UK

Hot pink peony colour palette

Hot pink peony colour palette

Warm summer pinks colour palette | University of Oxford Botanic Garden, UK

Warm summer pinks colour palette | University of Oxford Botanic Garden, UK


More Colour Palette Inspiration & Resources

Design Seeds is an amazing, vast collection of colour palettes, created by Jessica Colaluca, using photos from Instagram submitted to the #seedscolor hashtag. You can browse by colour or by collection and the hex values for every colour are provided. In addition to the Design Seeds website, I'm sure you'd love Jessica's Instagram account @designseeds where the colour palettes are also shared. 

Coolors.co is a fantastic free online resource that generates colour palettes for you. You simply keep pressing the space bar to see endless combinations of colours that work together. You can pick a colour from a photo as a starting point if you like and you can lock in colours as you find the ones that work for you. You can save palettes you've created for future reference and also export them in a range of formats with the hex values. There is also an app for iOS and Android, and a plugin for Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Pinterest is of course another great resource to search for colour inspiration. Just search for "colour palette" and the colours you're looking for. I've started a modest Colour Palette Board with a large helping of blush pinks in case you're interested.


Where do you get your colour inspiration from? I'd love to hear about any great resources you recommend. And do leave me a link to any great Pinterest boards you have :)


Skillshare: My go-to learning resource for lettering, design & illustration

Hello folks! I've been head down for the last few weeks focussing on learning - it was one of my main goals for 2017 and I was determined to make time for it. In particular I've been learning how to use Adobe Illustrator better and taking some tentative steps towards creating my own illustrations to use with my inspirational quotes.  The main resource I've used for all my learning has been Skillshare and I wanted to introduce you, in case you weren't aware of it.

Skillshare is an online learning hub with over 13,000 courses in lettering, design, illustration, photography, business, marketing, freelancing, branding and much more. Classes are all video based, which is such a great way to learn skills that are particularly visual - nothing quite like watching someone lettering or using an application to help you understand better.  Especially when you can pause and rewind to watch again! 

Some classes are free, but the majority require a Skillshare Premium subscription (currently $8 month, when paid in a lump sum, or $12 paid monthly), which allows you to watch any class (the only limit is your time!). I'm existing on a very tight budget these days, so it's been a bit of a lifesaver for me as I can't afford to attend workshops or individual online courses. It's been so helpful to have so many classes available to me in one place for a very reasonable price. This has been how I've taught myself brush lettering and how to use Adobe Illustrator to create the quotes for my Etsy shop.


If you'd like to give Skillshare a try, you can get 3 months for $0.99 by clicking on the following link (and I get a free month for anyone who sign's up - win win!): http://skl.sh/2j1Ss0h

It's got me really excited about learning again, which is a wonderful feeling, and has massively contributed to my wellbeing. I have so many classes queued up that I want to watch - I've only scratched the surface.  The biggest challenge is making the time to watch them! My favourite place to do so is sat at my computer with a notebook in front of me, but there is also an app that means you can watch classes sat on the sofa, or when you are out and about with time to kill - my husband uses his commute as learning time (but don't worry, he's not driving!).

My main focus so far has been on lettering, design, illustration and Adobe Illustrator. But there are lots of courses on photography and Lightroom/Photoshop that I want to take as well as some on branding, Instagram, freelancing.... the list is long! I thought I'd share some favourites below to give you a flavour of what's available. Some I've watched, others are on my "to watch" list. If you want to see all the classes I've saved, you can view My Profile - do let me know what yours is too - I'm always very happy to find new recommendations!

Oh and I should also add that anyone can become a teacher on Skillshare, so if you have skills you'd like to share, you might want to consider the platform. 


Lettering classes

Waterbrush Lettering Essentials - Teela Cunningham

Bounce Letters - Adding Character to your Hand Lettering - Teela Cunningham

Hand Lettering Essentials for Beginners - Mary Kate McDevitt

Lettering Layouts - Create Beautiful Messages - Teela Cunningham

Intro to iPad Lettering - Teela Cunningham

~

In addition to the classes above, I'm a big fan of the free tutorials shared by Teela on her website Every Tuesday and by Pieces Calligraphy (including some tips for lefties). Teela also offers an in-depth lettering course, but alas this is outside my budget at present.

Finally, you might also want to follow along with my Brush Lettering & Calligraphy Pinterest Board where I save interesting tutorials and articles.



So what are your favourite learning resources? Do you use Skillshare? I'd love to hear your recommendations. ♡


Laura Ashley Guest Post: How to make a westie dog doorstop

Well hello folks and Happy Friday! I hope you've been enjoying this glorious sunshine. I'm just popping in briefly to let you know that I've written a guest post for the Laura Ashley blog today, showing how to make this lovely westie dog doorstop from one of their craft kits.

It's been a while since I've done much sewing (moving house rather does that to you, although that was, ahem, 10 months ago!), so this seemed like the perfect project to ease me back in. It was quite a novelty having everything I needed all ready for me in a box. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it and am pleased to report that my sewing machine has been busy whirring away again since then. 

You can find my step by step guide to making this lovely doggie door stop on the Laura Ashley blog. Dare I say it might be a possible Christmas gift idea?!!

Creative Market

I had the extreme good fortune of stumbling across Creative Market when I was looking for beautiful brush script fonts for my new website. I'm in a generous mood, so I thought I would share it with you lovely lot. If you haven't come across it before, make a cup of tea and get comfy, you might be quite some time....

Creative Market is a platform for handcrafted, mousemade design content from independent creatives around the world. We’re passionate about making beautiful design simple and accessible to everyone.

You will find beautiful fonts by the bucketload, illustrations and other graphics, including watercolour patterns and gold foils, background patterns, photos, templates and a whole lot more made by some very talented designers. The prices are very reasonable and the quality of the items I have downloaded has been high, with help files included. I could easily while away a few days just looking....

The graphics I created for my last blog post Rules to live by - part 2 were all made using fonts and graphic elements purchased from Creative Market. You can find my favourite items in my Creative Market Collections.

Below are a few more images I made with my sketchy Photoshop knowledge and the beautiful fonts and graphics from Creative Market. Have fun!

Cushion cover tutorial on Bibelot Magazine

Fancy having a go at making a super simple cushion cover? Well head on over to the Bibelot Magazine blog to find my easy sew tutorial - absolutely no zips required! I do warn you, though, that it gets rather addictive - before you know it, your house will be stuffed full of cushions and beautiful fabric ;)

While you're there, do have a good browse around - there are lots of interesting reviews, how to's, interviews and bits and bobs to get you thinking. Bibelot is described as follows:

Bibelot, “The Little Book of Creative Curiosities”, will be a quarterly craft, design and lifestyle magazine celebrating the hand-made, the ethical, and the unique. Bibelot is about more than craft projects; it represents an imaginative and sustainable way of life. Readers will feel stimulated, uplifted and motivated. Bibelot will begin its life as a blog, an online hub bringing artistic, original and innovative people together. It’s a space for sharing ideas, learning and sparking inspiration!

What I've been making lately(ish)

It's been a while (4 months!) since I did one of these posts - ahem! But in my defence I have been rather busy with house selling, hunting and buying shenanigans - and that's not over yet! I think there's a very good reason it's up there with the most stressful life events! Anyway, I digress.... In order to keep my sanity, the sewing machine has come out to play several times....

I made the tote bag above and below back in August, just in time to take away with me on my summer hols. I thought I'd try adding a pocket for a change, with some precious little pieces of Alice Apple fabric - I think the prints co-ordinate perfectly with the main vintage sheet fabric (my all time favourite print). The tote bags are the perfect size for carrying around Blythes, so they get used a lot, as well as being a pretty display on my wall :)

I then made a little batch of pencil cases and coin purses for presents (below). I'd been itching to use the bunny fabric I'd bought a little while ago, together with the contrasting polka dot fabric - don't they make the perfect partners? The little birdy purses were made from some fabric remnants I picked up in Cambridge - I love the colours together.

Then it's back to the tote bags again and my favourite fabric. I made the bag below for my sister's birthday and thought I'd try a little bambi pocket this time :)

I had a special request from my sister for some embroidery hoops with vintage fabric to display on her wall - not a problem :) I enjoyed rummaging through my stash and picked out these favourites (below). I also couldn't resist making another cat cushion from the pattern by Modflowers from Mollie Makes issue 39. This fabric worked perfectly as the print wasn't too strong - I think he might be my favourite cat yet! I even attempted to use the applique stitch on my sewing machine for the first time on the eyes, ears and nose - rather tricky round the curves - but you've got to try these things, right? You can see my other cats in the My Makes set on Flickr.

And last, but not least, it's another tote bag! I'm addicted to making these - such a lovely way to use and display favourite fabrics. This time I didn't add a pocket as the print was so fabulous and psychedelic, I didn't want to cover any of it up (the fabric came from the most gorgeous of fabric shops: Rainbow Vintage Home). I used another strong print for the lining - think they work well together.

And that's it! But not for long - I have plans for some cushions with some more wintry looking fabrics - time to change the summer ones! TTFN, Zoë x

What I've been making lately, in-between the DIY

After my last (rather epic) what I've been making lately post, I promised myself I wouldn't leave it so long next time. So here I am with a little round-up of recent makes. Not quite so prolific as other months, as I've been busy painting lots of walls and doors and door frames and skirting, which hasn't left much time or energy for anything else!

So, first up, we have some more cushion covers in some lovely summery vintage fabrics. I like to refresh things quite often, and cushion covers are a great way to do that. I've made these in a simple envelope style using vintage sheets, with a contrasting fabric for the back. The fabric behind the bambi (which I didn't make by the way - he's a maileg bambi) is my all time favourite print and I was literally jumping up and down for joy when a package containing s super king sized sheet in this fabric arrived by sea all the way from Canada :)

Next up is the very lovely Harvey the rabbit. He's from a pattern by Chloë Owens from her latest book Chloë Tells You How. I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book and it is pure eye candy, just like her last book. It's full of beautiful illustrations and photos and is a bit of a cross between a girl's annual from days gone by and a sewing book. There are so many things I want to make, just as soon as I get some time.

Harvey was probably the trickiest thing I've attempted to make so far - those skinny arms and legs are very fiddly and it's a bit mind boggling sewing them all in inside out and upside down! So I'm rather pleased with him. I had so much fun (read spent a very long time!) choosing fabrics - his ears even match his bow tie :)

Then we have a couple of cat cushions :) These are from a pattern by the lovely Modflowers in Mollie Makes issue 39. The first two images show the first kitty I made from vintage fabric (front and back) and the third image is the cat I made for my cat-loving grandmother-in-law for her birthday. This one was made in a contemporary fabric for a change: Josephine's Bouquet by Amy Butler. I loved how the print placement looked a bit like eyebrows :)

And last, but not least, we have another tote bag in a super gorgeous, super soft fabric. I just adore the print, and will enjoy carrying it around with me this summer :)

What I've been making lately - bumper catch-up!

Goodness, I've just realised that it's been a month since I last blogged - where has the time gone?!! We've been away to Cornwall for a week (photos coming soon - why oh why do I take so many.....) and I've been busy making things - quite a lot of things actually. I hadn't realised quite how much until I started putting this post together. I've definitely caught the sewing bug - making things yourself is just so satisfying! It's also the perfect way for me to indulge my love of fabric and vintage prints without feeling quite so guilty about stockpiling them ;)

So, what have I been making?

Well, lots of purses, glasses cases and pencil cases. I adapted my cosmetic bag pattern to make all of these. The glasses case and pencil case have some soft wadding inbetween the fabric to protect their contents. I love how light the glasses case is - perfect for carrying around without even noticing :)

There have also been some tote bags. I absolutely love this pattern - it's such a great way to use and display vintage fabric. And it's the perfect size for carrying around Blythes! I've actually used my tote bags quite a bit - in fact, I'm itching to make more! I think I might try adding a contrasting pocket to the front (and maybe the inside) next time.

I also made this little set for my mother-in-law in a gorgeous contemporary Amy Butler fabric for mother's day - it seemed perfect for spring! I absolutely love choosing a complementary fabric for the lining too - these little green eggs felt like a perfect match.

I wanted to use up some of the smaller bits and pieces of fabric I had, and some pretty scraps, so decided to make a batch of lavender bags. I'd taken some away with me when we went on holiday as our travel bags smelt musty from being in the attic and I popped them in our drawers. They gave me so much pleasure, I resolved to make a batch for our drawers when I got home. I love how they look altogether :)

And last, but by no means least, is a little collection I made from an absolutely stunning Echino fabric by Etsuko Furuya. I'm a huge fan of Echino fabric, and completely fell in love with this stag fabric. It took a fair bit of hunting down on the internet to find a supplier - this lot came from

modes4u.com

in Hong Kong. I made the little black and white collection as a birthday present for my husband (the most manly fabric I had!!).

And I just adore the combination of the pink polka dots with the aqua (another Echino fabric) - the cushion covers were the first thing I made. The fabric is a linen and cotton blend and is pretty heavyweight - perfect for cushions and cases :) Although I have to say the black one is now completely covered in grey cat hair - Poppy is particularly fond of it!

So there you go - I'll try not to leave it so long next time!!!

What I've been making lately...

During my career break I was determined to sew and make as much as possible - something I never had time for before. I absolutely love creating things - sooo satisfying.

I've really been enjoying joining in with Allison Sadler's #makeitsewcial on a Monday - it's great to have a reminder and a gentle prod to get crafting. For those of you who don't know about it, Allison basically encourages everyone to get crafting on a Monday and to upload pictures of what they've made to Instagram tagged with #makeitsewcial. It's a really lovely way to connect with others who enjoy crafting and is very inspirational too - I love browsing the #makeitsewcial gallery on a Monday evening to see what everyone has made. Allison usually posts a tutorial for an easy make every Monday too on the People Shop blog and later in the week picks a crafter of the week and shares a selection of things people have made. Lots of fun!

I was absolutely delighted to win crafter of the week a little while ago with this pyschedelic tote bag I made. It's very hard to do the colours justice in a photograph - the pink really is luminous. I used some polka dot fabric for the lining - I didn't have enough to line the whole bag in the same fabric (I just had a fat quarter of each) so decided to use some contrasting colours on each side - rather pleased with how that turned out. It's the perfect size to carry your magazines around with you :)

Another week I made some more lavender bags in the same psychedelic fabric, plus a couple of kitsch kitties from my gorgeous Michael Miller fabric (you may remember the cosmetic bags I made in the same fabric for Christmas):

Back in February I made a little Blythe bedding set from scraps of fabric left over from making my cushions. More pics of this can be found in my In need of a colour fix post.

I've also become a little bit obsessed with pom poms! They're just so happy and cheery and such a lovely pop of colour - just what we need during the darker months. I first made a pom pom garland to drape over the mirror in my dining room. I think I made the pom poms a bit on the big side, but it's really grown on me and I love the colour so it's definitely staying :)

I then decided we needed another one and when we put the fairy lights away, the empty space under our fireplace was just crying out for a pom pom garland! I use the Clover pom pom makers and they are super easy to make - very satisfying indeed :)

And finally, we have my kitty felt collage. A bit of a departure from the usual sewing, but when I saw this pattern by Alice Apple pop-up on the Kitschy Digitals website, I fell in love! I ad-libbed a bit as I didn't have all the colours the pattern required and I made it bigger than it was supposed to be. I then decided to make use of an existing frame which was bigger still, so I extended the hessian backing by sewing on a length of my favourite pyschedelic floral fabric (it honestly was the best co-ordinating bit of fabric I have!!). The colours are VERY bright. It's such a happy piece and is now hanging in our bedroom where it makes me smile everytime I see it. It's a really easy make - lots of cutting and sticking and a little bit of embroidery - definitely channelling my inner child with this one :)

Cushion makeover time

I've been stockpiling lovely vintage fabric for quite a long time now and am so pleased to finally get round to making something with it. I decided it was time to change our cushion covers - a relatively cheap and easy way to refresh our living space. The first challenge was to choose which fabrics to use....

I knew I wanted something happy and bright to cheer us up during these dark winter months, so this led my choice for this first lot of cushions. I used fat quarters for the fronts, but needed bigger pieces for the backs, as I decided to go for the envelope style. Turns out that I don't actually have that many bigger pieces - need to hunt down some more vintage sheets :)

Fronts on the left, backs on the right:

For the second lot, I had bought some gorgeous aqua, green and purple fabric (once an old bedspread I think) that I hoped would co-ordinate well with the aqua theme in my bedroom, and my aqua owl shelf. I was so pleased with how they turned out and how they look in situ - such beautiful colours! I used a vintage sheet for the back of the cushions.

The last lot of cushions were dominated by purple. I thought the bold print would work well with the blue and purple barkcloth lampshade in my sitting room :) I used the same vintage sheet for the cushion backs as before - one sheet goes a very long way! Not so sure about the purple M&S fabric one in the middle, though, am feeling like I need a bit more pink now! Might have to go and have another rummage in my stash....