Thursday, 20 December 2012

Merry Christmas and this year's highlights

Merry Christmas and thanks to everyone who has been following my journey so far. I've had an amazing year and couldn't have done it without all the support of my family (especially my husband), friends and, of course, my lovely customers - I am truly grateful! Here are some of my gooseberrymoon highlights of the year:

~ Being featured on various blogs including Folksy's Frankly magazine.
~ Getting my notecards and greetings cards stocked in two of  North Wales Tourist Information Centres.
~ Signing up for The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course and creating my first patterns.
~ Becoming a Paper Girl and learning 'how to be fabulous in business' thanks to Lucy Ledger and Abigail Warner.
~ Adding a transactional shop to my own website.
~ Creating a dedicated studio space in my home.
~ My website winning Moonfruit's site of the week.
~ Reaching over 400 likes on my Facebook page.
~ Designing for my 50th Bride and Groom.
and finally... possibly the most life changing decision to quit my day job and run gooseberrymoon full time.

See you in 2013!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Surface pattern course {1950s trend}

My surface pattern course is now on a break before module 3 starts in January. I've still got lots of information to take in and exercises to complete for module 2 - hoping to find some time to indulge over the Christmas break. Here's a snippet of what I've been up to on my course. This was a moodboard I put together for predicting trends, and below that image, the patterns I created inspired by my moodboard.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Pattern love {Ikea}

Some inspiring patterns snapped on a recent trip to Ikea.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Real weddings {Sally and Paul}

Bloom wedding invitations on textured white cardstock for Sally and Paul's wedding last month. 

Monday, 8 October 2012

Pattern love {moodboard}

As part of my new journey into the world surface pattern I'm going to be sharing my love of patterns here on my blog, and for this first post I'd like to show the pattern love moodboard I created for my surface pattern ecourse. I spent quite some time putting this together, pinning tons of images over on Pinterest then selecting only the patterns I'm drawn to to help discover my own style.

Monday, 1 October 2012

From sketches to finished pattern

We've just come to the end of the first module of the art and business of surface pattern design ecourse and I'm already looking forward to starting module 2 in November. Module 1 was all about finding inspiration, mark making, creating motifs, understanding pattern design, homing in on our own style, colour choices plus loads more. I've loved every minute of this course and have met (virtually) so many lovely inspiring people from all over the world. One of the things I've enjoyed most is turning my own sketches into patterns so I thought I'd share a few pictures showing the stages from scanning my original drawings through to a completed pattern.

Scanned motifs from my sketchbook.

This is a physical box repeat tile I created by printing my motifs in varying scale and doing lots of measurements to ensure the correct positions to work as a repeating pattern.

Which I later scanned to check it worked... and to my astonishment it did!  I discovered playing around with cut out motifs and re-positioning them is a great way to come up with new pattern combinations.

A couple more weeks into my course we started looking at colour and various ways to come up with new  colour palettes. I chose a colour combination of navy blue, mustard and greys for my motifs, and digitally coloured them.

After playing around with positioning and scale here's my finished placement pattern.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

New online shop

I'm now on my second week of working full time for myself and it all seems to be going well. I've got orders coming in, I'm loving being in my new work space and I'm ticking a few things off my long list of 'must dos'. One of the things on that list was to build a transactional shop on my own website. And here it is. I've only added my notecards so far but will be adding more soon.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

My new work space

Up until the end of last week my work space was in one half of the children's playroom. I started with a little desk in the corner and over the years I've taken more and more of their room. Now that I've decided to run gooseberrymoon full time I thought it only right to now have a room all to myself and not get distracted by the clutter of toys behind me. I thought Fin and Ruby would like to have their room back too!

The first job was to move this mess from the back of the house to...

...this room at the front of the house. We (I mean Tony) had to dismantle my desk and shelving unit to get it through the hallway...

 ... and then reassemble it in my new light and bright space. I've spent days painting, with help from my Dad (thanks Dad), to get it ready. I love my green wall; it's painted in Fresh Stem by Dulux and the rest of the room is Cornflower White, well it will be when I finish the other two walls!

 We had a trip to Ikea yesterday and found this bench which fits under my window perfectly.

This going to be my production table for cutting and packing which will hopefully keep my desk clear from mess.
 The drawers keep all my packs of notecards in, and I can now see at a glance if I'm running low on stock.

There's still a few bits to do like put up my notice boards and some pictures but all in all I'm very happy in my new space. Just need to try and keep it tidy.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Summer holiday and a big decision!

It's the first full day in over six weeks that I haven't had the children at home or been working in my day job. I miss Fin and Ruby when they're not here but I was so ready for them to go back to school; think they were ready too! We had a great summer holiday with a weeks stay in New Quay, South Wales - such a pretty place to be.

I made a huge decision over the holidays to hand in my notice at my day job and I've only got one week left until I'm able to run gooseberrymoon full time! I'm really sad to be leaving - I'm gonna miss everyone I work with, but it feels like the right thing to do. The last few months I've been working my socks off to keep up with orders. I've not sat down in front of the telly before 10 or 11 at night for quite a while, and I can't remember the last time I watched a soap opera! And all those jobs I should have done but just don't get round to, like my accounts, are starting to pile up. I've got loads of plans and ideas and can't wait to get stuck in.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Welsh greetings card

A collection of welsh greetings cards created especially for Discover Flintshire Information Centre.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

SALE on at

All of my 4 pack notecards are currently on sale with a 15% discount over on

Friday, 13 July 2012

Surface pattern ecourse

So, after weeks of deliberation I've signed up to The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design ecourse. It's something I've been desperate to do since it first started; I'm a follower of Rachael Taylor's blog and she is a complete inspiration to me. The only thing that has been stopping me is the worry I'll not be able to keep up with the course work alongside running gooseberrymoon, looking after my two children, working my part-time job, list goes on... but hey who needs sleep anyway!

As a self taught designer it often crosses my mind about going to university to study surface pattern but with the list mentioned above this would be impossible. So when I saw this course it felt like the answer to my dreams and I can't wait to get started on the first module in late August!