<![CDATA[MERRY MAKEWELL DESIGNS - Blog]]>Fri, 02 Oct 2020 06:26:00 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[Geo Wheels Surface Pattern]]>Sat, 08 Aug 2020 12:29:29 GMThttp://merrymakewell.design/blog/geo-wheels-surface-pattern
As I mentioned in an earlier post I opened a shop with Woven Monkey and so I am slowly uploading my existing designs to the platform.  It's an interesting process because it has made me revisit some designs that I'd sort of forgotten about.  Geo Wheels is one of the first surface pattern designs that I created, originally with white, aqua/mint and red backgrounds.  I couldn't resist playing around with more colours and loved the results with lilac, mustard and teal backgrounds so these are now available at Woven Monkey and also in my Redbubble shop.
<![CDATA[Face Masks on Redbubble]]>Thu, 23 Jul 2020 13:21:12 GMThttp://merrymakewell.design/blog/face-masks-on-redbubbleFace masks are now live on Redbubble.  There are three size options: kids, small and standard.  Here are just a few of the available designs.  Head over to my store and take a look at all the options.
<![CDATA[Merry Makewell Designs x Woven Monkey]]>Thu, 09 Jul 2020 17:12:00 GMThttp://merrymakewell.design/blog/merry-makewell-designs-x-woven-monkeyI've opened a store with Woven Monkey!  They are a UK-based supplier of print-on-demand fabric.  You can upload your own designs or buy from independent designers like me.  They have 20 different fabric options - from a range of different cottons to velvet and scuba stretch (lycra).

I didn't realise how many designs I actually had in my portfolio so it will take a while to upload them all, but head over to the store to see what's available.
<![CDATA[Orange Blossom Pop]]>Sun, 05 Apr 2020 23:00:00 GMThttp://merrymakewell.design/blog/orange-blossom-pop
One of the Spoonflower Design Challenges last year was "Pop Art Citrus".  I created a repeat pattern that I called "Orange Blossom Pop" featuring groups of oranges with orange blossoms and leaves on a polka dot background.  The original background was a shade of royal blue.  I didn't really love it so I went back and made some adjustments and, as always, tried a few different colourways.  One of those was the green background shown above.  I really liked the bold motif so I took away the other elements to create a piece of wall art.  Get the art print in my Redbubble shop and see the design on lots of other products here.
<![CDATA[Spoonflower Challenge - Papercut Napkins]]>Sun, 29 Mar 2020 23:00:00 GMThttp://merrymakewell.design/blog/spoonflower-challenge-papercut-napkinsThe challenge over at Spoonflower this week is to create a design featuring a composition of paper cut-outs to be displayed on table napkins. 

Instead of creating a brand new design I decided to tweak the teacup design that I created for the Chintz challenge back in November last year where I digitally cut chintzy patterned swatches with a teacup punch.  To adapt it for the current brief I removed the foliage from the background and reverted to a solid pattern on the teacups instead of the white heart cut-outs seen in the original design.  I also decided to go with a light blue background because I liked how it looked on the napkins.
Head over to Spoonflower to vote! Voting closes on 7th April at 3pm EST.
<![CDATA[Spoonflower Challenge - Faux Textured Wallpaper]]>Mon, 16 Mar 2020 00:00:00 GMThttp://merrymakewell.design/blog/spoonflower-challenge-faux-textured-wallpaperThe latest Spoonflower Design Challenge is Faux Textured Wallpaper.  The brief was to "create a repeating design that you can’t help but touch".  I had lots of ideas for this, but not necessarily the time or the skill to make them happen.  In hindsight I should have saved my Mirror Ball design that I used for the Roller Rink Nostalgia challenge for this challenge.  But I didn't, so I had to come up with something else.  

I really like my collection of designs inspired by Spanish Tiles.  Originally in teal and white, I have tried one or two coloured variations of the Entwined design.  A while ago, while learning how to use mask layers in my graphics program, I played around with using textures with that design, so I decided to revisit those experiments for this challenge.

I was originally going to go with a blue and gold colour scheme, featuring blue glitter and gold foil.
But I wasn't completely feeling it, so in the end I opted for this pink and gold version.
The textures that I used here are glitter and gold foil. Did I make the right choice for my challenge entry?  Voting is open until 3pm EST / 8pm GMT on 17th March, so if you like what you see, please vote for me.
<![CDATA[Mirror Ball]]>Sun, 01 Mar 2020 00:00:00 GMThttp://merrymakewell.design/blog/mirror-ballThis design was created for the Spoonflower design challenge - Roller Rink Nostalgia.  When I thought of the brief I immediately thought roller ball, so that's what I attempted to re-create and I think that I did a pretty decent job!
I think that it would look amazing on a shiny fabric, like satin and it works really well with home decor and accessory items.
Mirror Ball is available on a variety of products (including the above) in my Redbubble shop and as fabric in my Spoonflower shop.
<![CDATA[2019 Review]]>Mon, 24 Feb 2020 11:37:00 GMThttp://merrymakewell.design/blog/2019-reviewSo this is a little bit late! But it's important to look back at what you've accomplished from time to time to see your progress, but also to help you to decide where to go next.

At the start of 2019 I did not have a regular art or design habit.  I decided to enter the Spoonflower design challenge every week as a means to help me get into the habit, but also as a way to improve my design skills.  After all practice makes perfect.  I managed to enter all but 9 of the 47 challenges, so I'm happy that I achieved my goal.  

I had one excellent result, where I placed 45th out of 760 entries with my "Dancing Blossom" design.  This also spurred me on to create my first and (so far) only collection
Some results were pretty good, some were pretty bad - generally I was fairly middle of the table.  (I created a spreadsheet to track my progress!).  The one thing that I consistently struggled with was time!  I almost always found myself starting the actual design process a few hours before the submission deadline and subsequently rushing to complete it.  That also left me no time for revisions, which very often showed.  

These were my top 10 designs (according to my placement in the Spoonflower design challenges):
  1. Dancing Blossom - Yellow (Limited Palette Challenge)
  2. A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies (Kaleidoscope Challenge)
  3. Let Me Play Among The Stars - (Playmats Challenge)
  4. Lacy Neutral (Neutral Retreat Challenge)
  5. Be Kind (Affirmations Challenge)
  6. Diamania (Pysanky Challenge)
  7. Spanish Trig (Cheater Quilt Challenge)
  8. All The 20s (2020 Tea Towel Calendar Challenge)
  9. Victorian Picture Postcards (Retro Postcards Challenge)
  10. Merboys (Boy Wonder Challenge)
Many of the above designs are also available in my Redbubble and Society 6 shops.

So what's in store for 2020?  Well, many of the designs that I created in 2019 used graphics that I had purchased (Diamania, Spanish Trig and Merboys being the exception in the above list).  So this year I want to improve my drawing skills and create more designs featuring my own original artwork.  I think that that will really help me to discover and hence develop my own unique style.  
<![CDATA[A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies - Variations]]>Sun, 17 Nov 2019 16:00:00 GMThttp://merrymakewell.design/blog/a-kaleidoscope-of-butterflies-variationsI recently posted about my latest design - A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies - which I entered into the Spoonflower Design Challenge.  Part of the design process is to try out different colourways and there were several that I really liked, so I've added them to my Redbubble shop.
The first is a lighter blue version.  I love the original teal version, but there was also something about this lighter version that really appealed to me.  The second is on a light chevron background.  The third is on a black background with white line work, which has a bit of an art deco feel.  And the last version is on a purple background.  Even though the design elements are the same, the different background colours and textures give four very different results.  Maybe I'll revisit this in the future and play around with the colours of the butterflies, flowers and other elements.
<![CDATA[A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies]]>Fri, 15 Nov 2019 14:14:17 GMThttp://merrymakewell.design/blog/a-kaleidoscope-of-butterflies-teal
This week's Spoonflower Design Challenge is all about kaleidoscopes.  As usual I sat down to begin about four hours before the submission deadline! I had kind of decided I wasn't going to enter but then I found myself with some free time so I sat in front of the computer and decided to have a play.  

The first elements that I went for were butterflies.  I don't know if that was because deep in my subconscious I made the connection between kaleidoscopes and butterflies (the former being the collective noun for the latter) or if I just thought that butterflies would look pretty in a kaleidscope.  The colour scheme came about organically once I had selected the butterflies that I wanted to use.  It wasn't really a conscious decision, but I knew that I wanted to use pink flowers and then once I had the blue, tealy green and pink elements the purple just followed.  It's a colour combination that I find myself using a lot.  My signature colours perhaps?
I considered using the pattern function in Adobe draw to create the kaleidoscope effect, but due to the lack of time I decided to simply create a tile with a geometric pattern and then use the mirror repeat function in the Spoonflower uploader to achieve a kaleidoscopic look.  Somehow it all came together and I LOVE it!  Voting is now open at Spoonflower until Tues 19th November at 8pm EST.  I'd love your vote if you're willing to give it.