Wednesday, 27 March 2013


I have been part of a thriving online community of surface pattern designers for nearly a year now, most of us met on the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design e-course (a truly life-changing course). I call them the Design girls, though we also have a few men on board. Working alone is at times brilliant but also hard. It's incredible to have this group of people to ask questions, to show designs, get feedback and see what they are up to. We are all growing and conquering the world in our own way, and supporting each other along the way.

One of the designers, Gill Eggleston (you can find her here) put together the White Book of Surface Pattern Designers which also has it's own website and facebook page and has proven to be very successful already. Another huge talent is Maria José Bautista V, also known as MaJo. She got a group of us together to make a calendar for 2013. I did April and you can download it for free from MaJo's blog and print it out, or stick it on your computer desktop. You could even use it as wrapping paper, if you wanted to wrap up my birthday pressie at the end of April... Pop over to MaJo's blog to get the large file, you can print it up to an A3.

Counting crosses

I found these lovely wooden cross stitch pendants (they are available in a variety of shapes) in this online shop. They arrived yesterday (I ordered two...) and I had to start stitching right away. I free styled a little rose with leftover bits of embroidery thread and kind of ignored the rest of the world for the day (the kids turned the upstairs into a different universe, but I'll deal with that later...). I had not done any cross stitching for a while and forgot how lovely it is and how pleasing to see your final result, even if it's only tiny and fits onto a necklace. Now I just have to come up with a design for the second one. But first it's time for coffee, outside. The sun is shining!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Keeping it simple

Life has been crazy busy for a variety of reasons, but I have been smiling my way through with so many good things happening at Onneke HQ. I have been working my socks off to get new surface patterns ready and out into the world. Oh how I love this job! There are some completely new collections and some old motifs that I have reworked into new patterns. I'm learning that I don't like complex designs, so I am stripping it all back and making the things that I really want to make. It's making me happy.

I'm also working on more cards. This one below is for that person who sets fire to your heart. I hope you have someone like that in your life, it's a pretty amazing feeling.

It's nearly Easter and the kids went to school with their Easter bonnets and decorated eggs today. As we walked into the playground, some snowflakes fell down. Really? Enough already. Even my 7 year old, who loves snow, declared that he didn't really want any more. Let's hope spring makes an appearance in the next days.

ps. I forgot to mention: I have had some lovely online features in the last month. Check them out if you have a moment. You can find me on this beautiful French website. I have also had two features in the stunning third issue of MOJO magazine. One of my cross stitch kits was featured on the tietheknotonthehighstreet blog. And there is a little interview on Faye Brown's beautiful blog.

And if you missed it, I wrote a post on the Tigerprint youblog a while back, and will be doing another soon hopefully... if I have a moment spare.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Granny Square Duvet

Granny Square Surface Pattern Design
Knit Surface Pattern Design

Remember my fake knit that was inspired by a little cardi that my mum made for me in the 70's? I have been working on turning that little pattern into a collection. I made the other knit first and then thought about doing something a bit different. I have wanted to crochet myself a bedspread for ages and I have been saving up scraps of wool to crochet into granny squares. But there is never enough time in a day. So I thought I could settle (for now) with a fake granny square duvet cover. How cool would that be? Watch this space, because I am determined with this one, I'm going to make it happen.

And there are lots of other cool things happening here, but I will tell you more about that next time...

Saturday, 16 March 2013


​I love flowers! There is hardly ever a time when I haven't got flowers in my house. There is an old blue teapot on the table at the moment with a delightful bunch of daffodils in it (if you don't like spending money on flowers, then now is the time to get some, as daffodils are so cheap and they last for quite a while. I even love them when they haven't opened yet.)

But using flowers in my work? Nope. That really isn't me. I'm not a floral pattern kind of girl. But after making my new love birds print (that you can find here)​ I was adamant that I should use the blossom (I can't wait for the cherry and apple blossom to come out in our garden!) in a pattern. And so I scattered them around nicely in Illustrator, added some leaves and branches and tried my very best to make it look good. It ended badly. I just couldn't do it. In the end I made some patterns with forget me nots, all nicely lined up. There are three of them in a little collection and you can find them on my portfolio page.

Happy first of March!​

Half term

It's half term and that means I'm getting orders ready in between games of Monopoly and Kids Charades (such a great game to play with a 5 and a 7 year old) and bribing the kids to leave their den so we can do the post office run (there is a chupachups stand on the post office counter, that helps.)​ Mostly I am enjoying their company. Olive got a little unicorn the other day and a lot of the conversation seems to be about this little fairy tale creature. "I would never headbutt a unicorn," I heard her say, "you would never win that." ​Jasper agreed and went on to build it a little lego stable. Today I have moved the computer down the stairs to work on some new patterns, plenty of inspiration...​

Love is a pattern

My love for pattern started a very long time ago. I remember staring at patterns on bathroom tiles when I was little, how you could look at one tile and see something so different from when you looked at the whole wall. My mum decorated my tiny little box room with white wallpaper with beautiful blue hearts on, and when I was lying in bed I would stare at the spaces in between, the lines and the rows until I would drift off to sleep (my seven year old stares at Where is Wally books every night to fall asleep!) I used to love the insides of the cover in picture books, and even as a child I used to open presents really carefully so I could keep the wrapping paper.

My mama knitted this little cardi for me in the 70's. She was (and still is) a great knitter and made it up as she went along. It's been much loved, not just by me but also by my little girl Olive. It hangs on our wall now as it is too beautiful to put away in a wardrobe. A while ago, I turned it into a repeating pattern on the computer. Since then I have been daydreaming about fake knitted duvet covers, cushions and stationary. It's a single pattern for now, but it will be part of a beautiful fake knit collection soon. Watch this space!