Saturday, September 27, 2014

Carrie Bloomston DVD Blog Party!

Well hello! 

I feel very honored to share with you my review of Carrie Bloomston's new Interweave DVD called "Art Techniques for Quilt Design"!

First off, did you know Carrie Bloomston of Such Designs has an AMAZINGLY beautiful fabric collection out? If you don't, you need to check out her look book here's gorgeous right? 

So when Carrie posted on Instagram that she was doing a blog party, I was totally hoping she'd pick me, luckily she is kind and allowed me to do this! 

Watching the DVD

This was such a joy for many reasons.  Let me tell you why!  

First, I watched the entire video in one day, no breaks.  Why is that good?  Well, goodness I have a hard time sitting still.  Good thing for me, Carrie is energetic and speaks to you ever so clearly as she moves smoothly from one thing to the next.  

Second, she's got a lot of great inpirational words of encouragement as she takes you through her design process, and shows you how to be yourself and let your "inner artist" take control.  I wrote down several great quotes of hers just to remind myself later.  They are so helpful!  

Third, if you think you don't know how to draw, she will show you some great techniques that will help you out, I promise! I've always been an artist, so it was good to be reminded of some things myself. 

Lastly, there is just something about her that just makes you feel happy.  Did you look at her fabric collection like a mentioned earlier?  Well that should tell you something.  She has a really uplifting personality that you can't help but draw from.  In fact, I watched it again on my phone...or actually  I listened to it again...while I was working in my sewing room and it put me in the perfect mood to create!

Making the "Nest" Quilt

In Carrie's video, she teaches you how to make a "nest" quilt like the one pictured above.  She uses an appliqué technique that is not the norm! I've never really tried "painting with fabric" before, so I thought I'd give it a try to better let you know what I think.

First, I found this photo of a nest I took about a month ago for my inspiration.  I found it in my front yard, but I never thought I'd be using it for a quilt!

Next I drew a quick sketch.  Not pretty I know, but it didn't matter. :)

I had the video on again while I was making this.

Sewing on the "nest" was a bit crazy! So many pieces and threads!  I still had fun with it and used a few different colors of thread.

To quilt this, I decided to mimic the leaf pattern on the brown fabric that I used.  I drew another quick sketch just to get the idea.  

Overall, it's a fun project and perfect for a wall hanging if you want to do something small!

I really enjoyed this! I felt like a kid again, seriously!  It brought me back to the days when I would try and make something out of anything I could find.

Next I want to make something with my son's art.  I mean, look at this scorpion my son drew! Isn't it cute?  I may be a little bias but I think so anyway. :)

 I could make a quilt with it somehow, right?

Thanks for taking the time to read my review, and don't forget, if you want to give this a try you can purchase her DVD here

Enter to Win A Copy!

If you comment on Carrie Bloomston's blog, you could win a free copy instead! Lucky you!  Make sure you do!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Surface Design Blog Tour + Giveaway!!

Hello fellow designers and friends!

Today is my turn on the Learn Surface Pattern Design Blog Hop. Yesterday you heard from Christina Ferrer of Mayacoa, and tomorrow we will be moving on to Robin Grudzinski of thedesignest.

Let me Introduce Myself

I'm Jessica, and I'm a newbie to the blogging world, so this has been such a fun learning experience for me! My blog is a work in progress, but I would like to send a shout out to Erin of Poppy Quinn for teaching me how to make blog buttons in a way I could understand! 

Finding CreativeLive

I honestly signed up for CreativeLive just so I could take this course.  Pattern design has been a long time interest of mine, however I felt so overwhelmed with all the technical things I would have to learn in Adobe Illustrator.  As soon as Bonnie Christine mentioned she was teaching "Design Surface Patterns from Scratch", I immediately RSVP'd and marked my calendar! She was teaching exactly what I wanted to know.  If you are interested in taking this three day course too, you can purchase and watch it anytime.  Just click here for more info!

Since then I have found many more exciting courses on can really be addicting. :)

Before I Took the Class 

This just illustrates for you just what I was capable of using before I took this class.  Not much eh?

Well I was pretty proud of it at the time...I mean I was just experimenting with things and asking my industrial designer brother what to do.  Actually he's the only reason I knew how to use these things...especially the pattern brush.  I was trying to make something one piece at a time, and he said, "Well why don't you do this!"  Changed my life.  

So...after many many hours of playing with the pen tool, I came up with this!

Many, many hours I tell you...and I was pretty proud of that little butterfly there...not so much any more, but I couldn't believe I had done such a thing at the time.  :)  Also, the rain drops were made with a  pattern brush...I was feeling pretty cool by then.  

After the Lovely CreativeLive Class

I think I more than quadrupled my understanding of Illustrator's tools after this.  This is just some of the tools I now use!!

And one of my most favorite things I learned are the "hot keys".  If you sign up for the CL course, Bonnie made a sweet little "hot key" illustration for you to download and help you get to know these better, because these are such a time saver!!

Above all, I think the most valuable think I learned was how to "live trace" my artwork.  I don't have a Wacom, so everything I do is drawn on sketch paper first, then I take a photo with my phone (rather than scan, it's just so much faster because I have iCloud), and then I drop it into Adobe Illustrator and "live trace" it.  

Here is some of my work that has all been live traced from my sketches!

In the next part of this class, Bonnie teaches you how to take your work and make them into patterns that can become pattern swatches.  These can be printed on fabric, or really anything your heart desires.  This part was really exciting!!

If you want to see my pattern collection that I made for this class, I posted about it here.  If you scroll down you will see all of it!

About Bonnie Christine

I have been a fan of Bonnie Christine ever since I discovered some of her beautiful fabrics.  My favorite was Sweet As Honey! I just had to get this collection and I made an enormous quilt centered around it.  I blogged about it here if you are interested!  Now she has a new line called Winged, and I am in love with that too. :)

Here is Bonnie's Contact Info:

I have also recently joined her "Roost Tribe".  It's been great to be part of a community that has the same interests and is there to help you out.  Anytime I ask a question or post something on the Tribe's Facebook page, I always get a quick response either by the members or Bonnie.  If you want to know more about the Roost Tribe, you can visit her website, or click on this link for a free month of membership!

Now for the Giveaway!!

I've never done this before, but I figured this would be a good time to do a giveaway.  I have made a few art prints using all the skills I've learned recently, and would like to offer one free 8x10 print of your choice to the winner! 

I am even going to frame it for you!

Seriously, your chances are very very high! My goal is to have at least 5 people enter okay? Ha ha! :)

To enter, simply leave me a comment telling me which print you would choose if you won!  

For more entries, share my blog, follow me on Instagram, sign up to follow my blog by email, or just any social media sharing you can think of.  I will give you an extra entry per sharing or following that you do, just be sure to leave me a comment letting me know what you did!

Since the blog hop runs for quite a while, I will announce the winner October 21st!  I know that's a lot of time but I want to give more people who join the blog hop later on a chance. :)

Below are all the prints you will get to choose from if you are the winner!

That's it for today! I hope you remember to check back tomorrow for the next hop.  It's going all through October and even into November so there will be so much more to learn!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Daily Sketch: 41-50 & Design Challenge Submission

***If you are here because of the "Learn Surface Pattern Design from Scratch" Blog Tour by Bonnie Christine, my day is actually Tuesday, September 23rd.  The previous blogger Mayacoa jumped the gun a little bit. :) See you then, I can't wait!! Click on this link for the main page***

So I have completed 10 more days of daily sketching.  This time I really haven't been able to get very detailed with my drawings...but really I've been focusing on ink pen drawings because my new found joy is to bring those pictures into Adobe Illustrator and add color to them.

Day 41: These were mock-up sketches.  They are items I wanted to put my patterns on to see what they would look like in real life.  You will see what I mean if you continue on this post a little ways.

Day 42: We have a frequent visitor on the back porch of our house.  At first I thought he was a hummingbird, but we took a closer look and it's actually a very large moth that sounds and acts like a hummingbird.  So strange, but interesting. :)

Day 46: "Thinking of You" is for a greeting card I made that you can see if you scroll down.

Day 47-50: You may notice I've updated my blog design.  These were sketches for that.  It's a work in progress still...I'm figuring things out little by little.

On the next part of this post, I decided to share with you my design project I have been madly working on for the past month.  This was part of a contest I learned about after taking a Creative Live course called, "Design Surface Patterns From Scratch".  I poured my heart and soul into this, but didn't win...I mean that wasn't a surprise, but it didn't even make an honorable mention.  Whew! That was hard.  But the winner, and the honorable mentions certainly deserved it.  You can see them all here!!

After the reality of how awful I did hit me...well it was really hard to swallow.  Being a fabric designer, that's something I've dreamed about for a long time.  I really just lost the joy of making art for a few days.  When I drew that butterfly on Day 49, I think I starting getting it back.   Art does bring me joy, and even if maybe no one thinks it's any good, I'll still do it.  So I'm moving on. :)

Here is my fabric collection I submitted.  It's called "Glean" and basically has little pieces of my life this summer all through it.  It's shown in two color ways.

I realize it's hard to see the detail, so here is a close up.

These are my mock-ups I told you about earlier.

And this is a greeting card I made with the "Summer Rain" pattern, and my umbrella.

I still look at this collection as a work in progress.  I think I might have been caught up with the artwork, and had too much detail going on.  I'm not sure yet.  But I am sure that making patterns is lots of fun!  I'll spend more time on this and post a better collection later!  It's nice to not have a deadline.  One month really goes by so fast.  During that month, I had multiple overnight visitors at the house, I started a new part-time job, my husband was gone for almost two weeks, and I had four kids to take care of.  It was a lot!! But at least I finished it, and learned so very very much in such a short time!

If you have any suggesting for improving my pattern skills, please let me know! I love hearing from you.

Thanks for reading!! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blog Tour & Sketching: Day 31-40

I am still sketching every day since the Spoonflower Challenge I posted about earlier.  This is day 31 through 40.  I haven't missed a day yet! I decided to put these all in collages now, so if you want to see the pictures better, just click on the photo.  Most of my sketches have been for a contest I'm entering on Creative Live.  It's under the class "Design Surface Patterns From Scratch" by Bonnie Christine.  I'm creating a 6 piece fabric collection based on a theme and it is a lot of work, but I am loving it!!  If you scroll down to the bottom of the class page, you can see all the student work that is being entered into the contest.  Mine is under my name, Jessica Godfrey.  I haven't posted my collection yet, but all my sketches and design work is on there.  

Another exciting announcement is that I will be part of a blog hop on the 23rd of September about all that I've learned in the Creative Live class.  The teacher from Going Home to Roost is the host, and I have posted about her before.  I'm a big fan of her work and made a huge quilt out of mostly her fabric.  I posted it about it on my blog here!  The tour started yesterday, so follow along if you're interested! It's going to be awesome I promise!!  This page will take you to it.

Here are my sketches!

If you haven't noticed, Day 39 has been turned into a pattern! It's the background for my collages today. :)

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

End Sleeplessness

Whenever I need to think of something, I have decided that the best thing to do is try really, really hard to go to sleep.  Yup, just genuinely try to sleep because you are extremely tired and need your rest.  Lay down, shut your eyes, and just drift...then your mind will turn on like a light bulb, and it won't shut off! Isn't this exciting!?  Okay...well sometimes it is...if you really do need to think of something.  But just want to sleep.  

This happens to me all to I came up with a solution last night.  I know it's very obvious, and simple.  But it worked wonders for me this time (aside from my usual remedy of slathering myself with lavender oil).  This I'm very proud of, so I'm sharing it with you. 

Here it is: 

Keep a notebook with a pen or pencil (or both)...BY YOUR BED.  That's important because when you are really don't want to get out of bed no matter what.  

Lucky I bought one just yesterday, because when I tried to go to sleep last night, my mind AWOKE.  

Also, I would suggest, try to find something pretty.  If you like what you see, it might just inspire you to use it a little bit, okay a lot more. 

Here is was cheap...but I think it's pretty.  

I really think that my mind awakes when I'm tired and trying to rest, because I am relaxed.  I'm trying to block things out of my mind that don't need to be there, so my brain starts thinking about whatever it fancies.  And last night, it was going crazy.  So I wrote 3 pages, and when I was done, I felt satisfied and went to sleep.  This morning I read a little bit, and liked it.  Funny that.  I usually don't like what I write.  I have a writing complex.  I really do.  It's crazy that I've started a blog because writing is one of my least favorite things.  Too much stress evolved around it when I was growing up.    But that's the great thing about this new plan; when I'm sleepy, I don't really care what I'm writing.  My words just flow because I just want to get my thoughts out on paper, and no one has to see it but me.  

That's my story, I hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading. :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Where I Create

I figured it's time to show an update of my "studio". It's a lot different than my first post a while back.  You can compare from this post if you would like! You will probably's so much better now.  But unfortunately it's temporary.  I'm still living in my grandparents house (they passed away this past January and March), and the home now belongs to my uncle, who is graciously letting us live here a while longer.  I love this place, so I'm going to enjoy it while I can.  

When I posted about my studio a while back, I showed a table that my sewing machine barely fit on, in a little corner of the basement.  It was better than nothing so I'm not complaining.  A few months ago I was able to move all my stuff upstairs to the den and spread it out.  I'm having so much fun with it now!

I think just having that mini quilt on the wall makes things a whole lot happier.  :)

I think I need to make more mini quilts! This is the Love Triangle quilt pattern by Elizabeth Hartman.

My WIP box.  A few unfinished quilts are waiting for me.

I've even been using my grandpa's fancy desk as my art desk.  Don't worry it's covered. :)

Well that's about it.  Not all fancy and nice like many I have seen, but I'm still able to create, and that's what matters!