Summer School 2015

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This summer I enrolled in Make It In Design’s Summer School. Make It In Design is an awesome website created by pattern designer Rachel Taylor and her business partner Beth Kempton. They provide designers – new and old – with tools to learn surface pattern design, how to build a business in surface pattern design and a load of other resources that can be used in the industry. It’s a one stop shop. Surface pattern design is an area that I have been interested in exploring for a long time and now I’m jumping in head first.

Summer School is four weeks and made up of three tracks – Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Since I am new to surface pattern design, I enrolled in the beginner track.

I do have to admit that this is the second time I have enrolled in Summer School. I enrolled last year, but was so frustrated with my design that I gave up. Not good. Not good at all. This year I’m not giving up. I’m determined to finish.

The theme for the first creative brief is “Soft Pop Bright Retro.” The challenge is to draw a bright, retro pattern using simple shapes and bright colors.RT_FUNHELLO_550PX_LR-550x550The first thing that came to mind after reading the prompts were light bulbs. Where is the best place to search for inspiration you ask? Why Pinterest of course! I searched the key words “retro,” “bright,” “simple” and “shape.” I love Pinterest. the first items to come up were light bulbs! It must have read my mind!Mood board

Lightbulb processOne aspect of my drawing that I knew I wanted in my design is my watercolor technique that I created in Illustrator. This technique allows for a lot of textured color. I love  the simplicity of the shape of this light bulb. In my eyes, it’s very retro.

The next challenge was to create a pattern. The brief for the beginner’s track stated that the pattern did not have to be a technical repeat. Well, that’s not me and I wanted a technical repeat. Thanks to a Creative Live class that I took a while ago, I was successful in creating a repeating pattern. Yay! The problem is that I discovered that pattern swatches in Illustrator are not compatible with Photoshop. Uh Oh. When I design, I’m accustomed to moving back and forth between the two platforms. This is definitely an issue that I will have to tackle in the future.

This is the finished pattern that I created and submitted. I LOVE it! Love it! It is simple and bright and I even worked in a little typography. I couldn’t be more proud of this one!Jamie_Niebergall_BEG_CB1

 

What is a great pattern if you can can’t see it on a product? Of course, I need to mock it up right? I have never done a mock up before, so I searched Google for a tutorial and found a couple of videos. I put them together and came up with these two mock ups. It’s a shame I can’t buy this…yet.

Pillow Mockup1 Box mockup

I would love to know what you think of my pattern!

On to creative brief #2!

 

 

 

Giving by Design Grand Opening!

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Announcing a brand new charity shop opening today by the Etsy Digital Designers called Giving by Design!

Today is our grand opening and we are so excited! All proceeds will be donated to Kiva, an organization that helps small businesses achieve their goals.

Please take a moment and check out our shop by clicking the picture. You can also learn more about our involvement with Kiva at Kiva Lending Team: Giving by Design

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New Rainbow Linen Digital Paper

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The last two days have been nothing but rain, rain, and more rain. I’m in definite need of something bright, so I created a simple linen paper pack with solid rainbow colors. Just looking at them makes me feel a little brighter amongst all these clouds :)

Rainbow Linen Digital Paper Pack

The Art of Fandom – Part 2

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When I wrote my last piece on fandom, I was only thinking about sports. I didn’t realize until this past weekend that there is a whole other world of fans that I overlooked – Music.

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On February 8th I went with one of my favorite friends to the Britney Spears Piece of Me show in Las Vegas. I admit it proudly that I am a huge fan of Britney. I’ve followed her since her first hit, Baby One More Time. People ask me all the time why I’m such a fan. Some even ask me with snide undertones as if it’s not cool to be a Britney fan. It used to bother me and I would hide it, turning Britney into some kind of guilty pleasure. But as I get older, I just don’t care what people think anymore. I love her, I’ll always buy her music, I’ll always go to her concerts, and I’ll always secretly hope that this will be the time that I run into her at Target.

For as much as I love her, I quickly discovered that I’m on the bottom step of fandom where others have jumped off of the cliff. I was very lucky in that I had pit tickets to the show. As I waited in line for them to let us through to the pit, I met some amazing fans. In particular, there was a group of guys – and a girl or two – all wearing homemade tank tops with 2000 and 2001 Britney on them. Yes, that’s right. These fans can distinguish between 2000 and 2001 Britney. In fact, when they talk about her they often refer to what year and which tour was happening at the time. I was floored. I knew that Britney’s VMA performance of Slave for You, you’ll remember the one with the snake, was one of my favorites, but I definitely didn’t remember which year it happened. What was even better was the sense of camaraderie among all of us in the pit. People were respectful – no pushing or shoving. You most likely didn’t know the person standing next to you, yet everyone was sharing their pictures and videos, making Facebook friends, and dancing with each other as She performed. I even saw a few people so excited, so enamored with Her that they had tears in their eyes.

When I took a step back and thought about it, I realized that in some way Britney Spears has touched each of these fans at one time or another in their life. She doesn’t understand the effect she has on them. How could she? I don’t know that any of these fans could really explain it themselves. But whatever it is, it’s remarkable.

 

BBA February Challenge – Show Us What You Love

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As a member of the BBAritsans Etsy team, we are required to participate in several challenges throughout the year. It’s a fun way to explore new and creative ideas that you might not do on your own.

February’s challenge is called “Show us what you love” and is brought to by Sharla at Beaded Tail (Sharla makes amazing jewelry, so please stop by her shop when you have a chance!).

    “Love is celebrated this month so show us what you love! Whether it’s time with family, spring around the corner, food or furbabies, create something that shows us what you love!”

I love my kids and love sending them to school with unique valentines. I think it makes the experience a little bit more special knowing that mom made your valentines rather than just bought them at the store (please no offense. I know we all don’t have time to make stuff. Lord knows I barely eeked this one out!). Eventually, as the boys get older they will be able to help make their own valentines, but until then the task falls to me.

I love my kids and so that means I get to love what they love, and right now they love anything that glows. While flicking through Pinterest a week ago I found the perfect valentines for them! Cute little cards that read “Valentine you make my heart glow.” Each had a little glow bracelet attached. It was adorable!

I put my own spin on the idea and created this Valentine card:

This is available in my shop, hence the watermark.

This is available in my shop, hence the watermark.

They came out even cuter when I printed them and added the glow sticks, which I found at Michael’s for a dollar. Glow photo 

I think I broke about six bracelets while sliding them into the cards. The boys loved them, plus they got to have all the glow sticks that I broke (more for them!).

Watching their excitement over these little glow bracelets was priceless. My oldest even slept with his under his pillow. It is times like these when my boys teach me to appreciate the little things in life, and in this case, glow sticks.

New Lovies!

These past few weeks I kept myself busy sewing new lovies for PoppyHill Baby. Lovies are my favorite gift to give to anyone who is having a baby or who has a toddler. They are small and fit perfect into a diaper bag for on the go or they can be placed in the child’s crib without worry of suffocation.

Over the next couple of weeks I will also be adding more pacifier clips and burp cloth sets. Those are currently in production :)

These are a few that I have listed over the past week. What do you think?

Nursery 1

Click photo to view in my Etsy shop.

Animal Cheveron 3

Click photo to view in my Etsy shop.

Airplane 2

click photo to see in my Etsy shop

click the photo to view in my Etsy shop

click the photo to view in my Etsy shop

The Celebrity Death Affect

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Princess Di and PSH

I remember August 31, 1997. I was sitting in my best friend’s living room watching television and chatting with her family. Suddenly a news flash interrupted our program to announce that Princess Diana was seriously injured in a major car accident and rushed to the hospital. I remember when the official word came that she had passed away. I remember the horrific pictures of the mangled limousine. I remember crying…a lot.

I never met Princess Diana. I never saw her anywhere except for magazine covers and on television. Yet, her death profoundly affected me. Likewise, my mother told be how clearly she remembers the day that President Kennedy was assassinated, almost as if it were yesterday. I’m sure most people you talk to who lived during that time can recall where they were when they heard the news that the President had been shot.

With the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman this past weekend, I find myself reflecting on the way public people affect our lives when they die. I knew very little about Mr. Hoffman’s personal life, but I was enamored with his work. He was a true talent both on screen and on stage and I can’t recall a single one of his performances that I did not like. I know that he battled addiction in the past, so when he died Sunday of an apparent overdose it wasn’t really surprising. What was surprising is how much I find myself thinking about it. It really saddens me that Mr. Hoffman is no longer in this world. My heart breaks for his children and family. Yet at the same time, I’m furious with his reckless behavior that resulted in three young children losing their father (Yeah, yeah, I could go into the whole addiction is a disease, and I agree. But that is a conversation for another time. For now, these are my feelings).

I would have never thought that this man’s death would affect me in these ways. I mean, celebrities die all the time just like everyone else. In fact, there were several tragic celebrity deaths over the past year just as surprising and sad – Paul Walker’s car crash and Cory Monteith’s overdose come to mind. Yes, my heart and prayers went out to the loved ones of those people. But those deaths did not stayed with me. Many of them don’t. We all have those people who inspire us, that touch us our lives in one way or another, sometimes without even realizing it. And when those people leave us, I believe that is common when we are surprised by our own reaction. I may not remember the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman the way that I will always remember Princess Diana’s, but I will always appreciate the amazing work that he has left us.

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