Weekly musings #2

Happy Monday, pattern lovers! I have had a busy week with the school holidays starting and trying to maintain a good pace of pattern design work. I have managed to fit in some fun though, and we had a lovely day trip, with picnic, to the Brockhampton National Trust estate.


This weekend we went on a camping trip to Yorkshire. With tents and sleeping outdoors in mind, I have been admiring the following patterns, which are all available on Spoonflower.

Simple camping in blue, Camping in the woods and Campervans.

Clockwise from left:

I really like the use of line in Simple camping in blue, and teal is probably my favourite colour! Link to The Kindred Pines’ Spoonflower shop here.

This one I have had my eye on for a couple of weeks…that colour palette is perfect. If only that were a real campsite! This is Camping in the woods and if you would like to see more of Patternorium’s work on Spoonflower, click here.

I featured Emery Smith’s Off to the moon in last week’s musings. This is Campervans by the UK-based print designer. Please take a look at Emery’s Spoonflower shop.

Into the Woods and Feeling small

Into the woods by Camille Chew collates elements associated with the outdoor lifestyle, whilst capturing the mysticism of woods and forests at night. See more of her work here.

NDTank’s Feeling Small perfectly represents that sense of your place in the world when lying underneath the giant sky. I discovered NDTank’s work on Society6.

Amanda Weedmark’s Happy Camper

If, like me, you are also a camping/outdoors enthusiast, please check out Amanda Weedmark’s work. There are some beautiful designs with a nature theme.


My listen of the week is Short Cuts. It is not specifically design related but a podcast that never fails to evoke an emotion, be it sadness, joy, anger, or contentment. I was about to say that I don’t have a particular episode to recommend (it would be hard to choose), but this one, about the natural world, is a podcast that stuck in my mind for a long time after listening. The full list of available episodes with a description is here. I think what sets Short Cuts apart from any other podcast is the “found sound” element to it and the curator’s (comedian Josie Long) humour, of course.


If you’re interested in learning to draw or brushing up on your sketching skills, Alphonso Dunn has some excellent tutorials on YouTube, he also has a couple of books available. The above video is my favourite of his and here is my version:

Tip of the week

I shared with you one of my colour palettes taken from a photograph last week and I have done a few more this week. It’s actually something my daughter, who is 9 years old, also enjoys doing. I use Adobe Illustrator to design my patterns and make my palettes but I would imagine that free graphic design software like Gimp or Inkscape will have a similar process. So here is a step-by-step process for you to follow if you wish. (Please comment below if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer.)

  • Choose a photograph which has a pleasing colour palette (preferably one of your own photos!).
  • Open a new document in AI and place the photograph on an artboard. You will probably have to scale it down.
  • Draw yourself a simple shape, eg. a square or rectangle. Duplicate this – AI keyboard shortcut CTRL+D on Windows, CMD+D on MAC OS. Draw as many shapes as you think you need for your palette.
  • Click on the eyedropper tool on the left-hand menu (shortcut I). Your cursor will appear as the eyedropper.
  • Click to choose a colour from the photograph then on one of the shapes that you created earlier. Repeat until you have the colours you want!

A couple of some examples I made this week:

If you would like to purchase any of my patterns or take a look at my portfolio please check out my shop for links to where to find my work.

That’s all for this week, folks! Please get in touch if you have any requests for tutorials or questions, or feel use to use the comments section. Have a great week!

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