Summer School in Winter

The Make it in Design Summer school is on again and this year I’m taking the advanced track. The month long course kicked off with a detailed trend report to inspire designs related to Mystical Tribes. 

My three early concepts are as follows:

My final (I think..) design is very similar to my first idea. 

The second week’s task is inspired by architecture. My initial thoughts were houses and buildings but I pulled that right back to building materials…

I’m loving these two designs together. I used similar brushes to create the concrete texture and the galaxy so they are a part of a collection. More to come.,.

There will be one more detailed design brief and one more activity before summer school is over (even though it’s winter here in Perth).  

Outlines, Lines and trying something new

I love line drawings and most of my drawing is done in contour line with very little tone.  I also tend to work quickly and dash my work off like it’s some kind of race to be the first finished.  It’s how I work… my style. 

But things are taking a little twist. 

I’m totally in love with the gorgeous detailed botanical illustrations that come out Longina Philips Design Studio. So inspired by their beauty I’m slowing down and adding in linear shade lines. This is so different from my usual way of working that it’s like learning to draw again. Thankfully the gorgeous designers over at Longina Philips have put together an online course to walk me through their process. 

I’m still developing my take on their process but I’m loving the results so far.

Paint to Pattern

It’s so refreshing to work in traditional media – to push paint around a canvas. No CTL-Z to undo errors. But I didn’t stay off the computer for very long as I used my painting to make a pattern. 

Trade Show Short List

I’m so excited to be part of the trade show short list for the Ultimate Portfolio Builder.


The final Make it in Design course offered lots of opportunities to work to live briefs including the chance to be shown at a Trade Show. This year the opportunity is to present at New Designers in the UK.

I really wanted this one.

I submitted a collection called “Kensal Rose” inspired by the elegant floral motifs of Liberty Fabrics (and of course William Morris).

Fingers crossed for the next round to be announced on June 1st.

Bootcamp for artists


‘This is my second year of bootcamp with Lilla Rogers (and Make Art that Sells) and it is the perfect kick-up-the-backside I need to get me making fresh new art for markets that I normally shun in fear.

April is the second month of the 5 month course and I’ve ended up with a sweet illustrated “Creative Courage” manifesto. I’m really interested in how artists of all disciplines get motivated and stay focused and part of my own creative growth over the last 18 months has been to do various online courses and to read about creativity and habits. If you are looking for a fabulous inspirational read I recommend Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic”; something to listen to…”Creative Peptalk” by Andy J Miller; something to do…one of Lilla’s courses obviously!

Advent Calendar Art

On a whim I decided to follow the daily prompts for an advent calendar art countdown. The daily prompts come from fourcornersartcollective via Instagram.

I’ve made fresh new work for all but one of the 12 days so far (no judgment- I was busy) and it’s coming along beautifully. There is a real collection feel starting to develop as I stick mostly with the Pantone Spring 2017 palette and have a reoccurring repeat pattern for textural interest.

You can see it daily on Instagram @Mrs.Eden

I also tried my hand at making a technical half drop repeat pattern from some of the elements (as a gift wrap concept)

It’s a wrap…actually it’s more of a scarf.

As the year draws to a close (let’s face it I’m not going to get much done other than Christmas in December) I’ve been reflecting on the past 18 months since I first took the bold move to buy Module 1 of Make it in Design’s (MIID) Art and Business of Surface Pattern (ABSPD).

Since then I’ve become a bit of a course junkie, completing all three modules of ABSPD as well as Make Art That Sells (MATS) courses in Home Decor and also Bootcamp. I also participated in the MIID Summer school and have completed Bonnie Christine’s CreativeLive Class.  I became a huge fan of Teela Cunningham and worked my way through her Skillshare classes as well as her free tutorials on her website ( Honestly, that woman can teach!! She has the mad skills!

I’ve been inspired to make my own online course (the excellent e-course Masterclass by Beth Kempton is just what you need if you feel similarly inspired)- mine is  a work in progress. And I’ve taken Beth’s Do What You Love course (perfect for those who are looking to make sense of their journey). From that course I know that although I love teaching and my job security I love designing surface patterns. My paid job supports this passion and maybe one day I’ll be able to earn an income from designing.

So the next big steps towards being a paid designer is to get a portfolio together. I’ve carefully considered my options and decided that MIID’s Ultimate Portfolio Builder is for me. I’m also slowly exploring manufacturing options which I will cover in another blog- but needless to say you don’t always get what you expected and in this case my scarf is more of a wrap.


Terrazzo Skies

I’m completely in love with the look of polished concrete and terrazzo as a surface pattern texture. Marble is still really big in all areas of design, so my little twist on this is to use terrazzo. Here is a collection of six designs for gift wrap using soft feminine colours contrasted with the strength of stone.


These designs were made as part of the creative exercises for the Make it in Design course, The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design Module 3.

Make Art That Sells: Student Showcase

I’m very pleased to say that my Home Decor designs have featured on the Make Art That Sells, Student Showcase. Click through to read the article


Wood, Week 5 (my favourite with Pears)

I completed the 5 week long class earlier this year. To say that it was intense is an understatement, but on the flip side my understanding of the Home Decor Market has grown beyond belief.

The course is structured so that each of the 5 weeks is about a particular substrate (wood, metal, glass, fabric and ceramics). Each week the course tutors, Lilla Rogers and Margo Tantau explain the substrate and provide background information about the art market.

On Mondays a “mini”art task/theme is set and on Wednesdays the assignment is “handed out”. The final page of concepts is due on Sunday. It’s a very quick turn around.


Painting flowers and herbs from my garden in gouache

Having enough art to produce a comprehensive collection is the key to making the assignments a success. Lilla says, “It’s all about the icons”, which means painting and drawing, not just a single idea or object but the same thing in a variety of ways.


The single rosemary spring was scanned in and photoshopped to make the bouquet.

(Ceramics, Week 4)

Photoshop skills are not considered essential but I believe that you need to have a good working understanding of the program (and/or Illustrator too) in order to get the most out of the course. I’ve been a fairly confident and competent Photoshop beginner for a couple of years. I think I would have been struggling to get what I needed from the Photoshop if I hadn’t spent the previous three months up-skilling through various paid courses (Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design, Skillshare) and free tutorials (Thank you Teela, from


Glass, Week 3

The funny thing is that I didn’t even know I was going to do the course until a week before it started (and I didn’t even know it existed three months before that!) I was actually enrolled in a design course that was deferred. However, I was super keen to try out all my Photoshop skills and after a chat about finances with Mr Eden I decided to take the plunge with Make Art That Sells (This is not a cheap course but I believe it was worth every cent).

I absolutely love designing for Home Decor and plan to spend time working on a #FancyCasual range within the next 18 months. My priority is getting Eden Art School started and then focus on the designing.

The next Make Art That Sells (MATS Home Decor) course starts next week. Are you ready to take the plunge?