More 10 year Etsy Anniversary Celebrations

As I said before, my Etsyversary party is not over yet!

Day 22! Some of you may remember this from last year. I didn't intend for this to be today's #robayre100days but then time slipped away as I played with it. When I originally designed it, I didn't know quite what to do with it, but when I began #The100Day

I’m offering this letter writing paper as a free download through the rest of the month! Insert party emojis here, wooooo! I originally created this stationery in 2015, using watercolor lines in what is becoming my signature stationery style, and added a dotted writing line, but I never knew quite what to do with it because the image area bleeds off the edge of the paper. When I was creating my to-do list for #the100dayproject I added it. I’ve finally tackled the file, and now it is available for download! Get it now for free while you can because I will add it to my shop after the month is over.

Robayre Watercolor Lines Stationery Set

This letter writing paper is set up with 2 vertical sheets on an 8.5×11″ horizontal paper, and the image bleeds off the edge. If you are printing from home on 8.5×11″, make sure your settings are set to print at  landscape, 100% (actual size), best or high quality printing, centered, and print to the edge of the paper. You could also print it out on larger papers and crop it down or print it reduced for super mini stationery papers, cute! Print it back to back for double sided stationery. Once it is printed, cut it in half for two 5.5×8.5″ sheets.

watercolor cut down sample
Let me know if you download it and use it, I’d love to see pics of it in use (#robayre), or if anyone tries printing it out on different types of papers, etc.

This is the part where I get all legal on you: This stationery was created and copyrighted by Robyn Wells in 2016. This stationery is for personal use only and may not be reproduced, transferred or sold and profited from in any way. Make good choices, be good people, follow the golden rule. Thank you very much

The download is hosted on Google Drive, so you may need to be logged into google, not sure. Download here: https://goo.gl/ENkbMn

As I promised, the party has not ended. I'm still celebrating my 10 year #etsyversary and it's time for another giveaway, only this time everyone wins! I'm offering a free printable stationery over on my blog today (link in my profile). Get it now while i

Discount and Giveaway Announcement

robayre.etsy.com is still celebrating 10 years!

The party isn't over yet! It's so late (for me at least 😂😴) but I finally listed two of the quilted journals in my shop. I have also created a coupon code for 10% off of everything in my shop for the month of May, 2016. Just enter ROBAYRE10YE

For the month of May, please use the code ROBAYRE10YEARS at checkout for an additional 10% off.

I've decided that I'm going to do a few things to celebrate my #etsyversary. To start out, I've been sewing up a storm and so Tomorrow (May 1st) I'm going to do a #giveaway of one of these quilted book covers with mini journals inside. I'll post a "giveaw

Today I gathered up all the entries from instagram and the blog post and drew Natalie of Cellowingnut on instagram for the quilted fauxdori giveaway. Congratulations Natalie! Thank you so-so much to everyone who entered, and to all the friends who shared and posted about it. It made me feel so special. The party isn’t over, and I have a few more things to look forward to this month while I celebrate my etsy shop’s 10 year anniversary.

I’ve also added a few more of these quilted doris to my shop, click image for link

and the following have already sold

10 Year Etsyversary

🎈🎉Today is the day!!🎉🎈Robayre.etsy.com is TEN YEARS OLD today. I can't believe it has been 10 years already. I will forever be grateful to the @etsy platform, for introducing me and allowing me to sell the precious things I make

Last fall I shared a post about Etsy over the last 10 years, but today (May First, 2016) is my shop’s actual 10 year anniversary. It has been 10 years since robayre.etsy.com was born! It’s almost impossible for me to fathom that my shop has been open that long. There have been ups and downs, droughts and floods of sales. It has not always been easy, but I can easily say that I am SO PROUD of myself for having opened the shop and sticking with it. In celebration of my shop turning 10, I am doing a giveaway! First a little back story. Last fall, via a facebook Midori Traveler’s Notebook group, I discovered that, in addition to other leatherbound fauxdoris, people make their own covers from fabrics as well. I come from a long family history of quilters, raised by a quilter, have made my own quilt as well and own an ever growing fabric hoard. I liked the idea of sewing my own fabric collection into book covers, as I am OBSESSED with always carrying the little books around with me everywhere, and piecing fabric together this size is SO do-able.

Last fall I made this #fauxdori for my friend @shealwayslovedlarking. Earlier this week my sister checked in on me to see what I had planned for my 10 year #etsyversary. What?! A whole month has passed already?! I know I would have completely forgotten it

Looking through my collection of fabrics, I was immediately inspired to make one for my friend Courtney. She loves yellow, and is working on her very own quilt made from vintage yellow fabrics. When I finally saw the quilt she was making, it was like this book couldn’t have been more perfect for her. I was so pumped at the result, that I started making more.

Tomorrow, May 1st, is my 10 year #etsyversary! Even with the accidental month warning (see April 1st), I still feel overwhelmed and lost at how exactly I want to celebrate this. I'm so thankful for the platform, which offered me a way to create and put my

I’ve been calling them fauxdori, as they are somewhat modeled after my leatherbound faudori, but actually they are 4.25×5.5″, rather than the standard passport size. I’ve always wondered why all these products, and even the moleskine cahiers that also fit inside standard midoris, are an odd size. Odd size meaning, you can’t replicate them easily without trimming away excess and wasting paper. I speculate that it is because they are based on (1/4) European letterhead size? I use 8.5×11″ and so these covers fit books that are 1/4 of that. These covers I made come with books inside, but once those are filled, it is just as easy as cutting letter sized paper in half, then folding the pages in half and stapling it together. Replacements fillers are easy peasy, and don’t rely on you purchasing from other people or businesses, and you can use the kind of paper you like, whether it is ruled writing paper or watercolor paper. Essentially, it is about the same height as a passport sized midori, but wider. You could still use the small moleskine cahiers inside, but the cover would just be wider. The inside has two elastics, that can hold one or two quarter sized books (it will come with two ruled and blank alternating paged books), a string that you can attach a bead, for a bookmark, and another elastic on the outside to keep the book shut.

I've been calling them #fauxdori, like a fake #midori travel journal, but actually they are 4.25x5.5", rather than the standard passport size. I've always wondered why all these products, and even the moleskine cahiers that also fit inside midoris, are an
With my 10 year Etsy anniversary on the horizon, I had the idea to finish the ones I started, make some more, and offer one as a giveaway.

From my instagram post:

Today is the day!! Robayre.etsy.com is TEN YEARS OLD today. I can’t believe it has been 10 years already. I will forever be grateful to the @etsy platform, for introducing me and allowing me to sell the precious things I make and love. I’m going to kick off the celebration by giving away this quilted fauxdori.

For a chance at winning, please feel free to leave a comment on this post, and then visit the instagram post for more chances there.

International entries are welcome.

On Friday, May 6th, 2016 at 3 pm CST, I will pick one winning entry at random and announce it on isntagram and then here on the blog. I will contact the winner, and request a mailing address at that point. If I do not hear back from the winner within 24 hours a new winner will be chosen

The remaining quilted faux-fauxdoris will be listed in my shop (hopefully) before the end of the day today.

More #PatternsWithAnika part 2

Anika tagged me in a post for the #100daysproject and I really want to do it. I’ve wanted to do it in the past and have enjoyed watching other people tackle the project. My only question now is what to do for my project. I keep having different ideas, do this, do that, just make sure to do something (anything) everyday and share it, no wait, I need to focus my energy in one direction, but wait, I don’t want to be stuck doing the same thing for 100 days. Blergh. It starts on the 19th, so I still have a day to stew on it. In the meantime I should wrap up sharing the rest of my #patternswithanika from february and march.

I shared week 1 here

Week 2 was themed Chocolate
The theme for @letsmakepatterns #patternswithanika last week was chocolate and my idea was to make a pattern where I could include all sorts of candy. When I was drawing and painting samples of the different kinds of candy I just ended up really focusing

I am one of those freaks of nature that isn’t obsessed with chocolate. BUT, I do LOVE candy! So when I saw chocolate I thought I’d do a pattern with a lot of different kinds of candy, but my mind just kept only going to those gummy raspberry candies with the hard little balls on the outside. They are one of my favorites. I decided to stop fighting it and just go with that.

Week 3 – Hearts

Week 3 #patternswithanika #hearts. I had different ideas but then ended up just continuing these hearts that I started painting on Valentine's Day and added pattern with a white gel pen.

Pretty self explanatory, watercolor and gel pen

Week 4 – Red & Pink

I started this week's #patternswithanika while riding in the back of a bumpy vehicle. The theme was pink and red. Pencil, watercolor and gouache.

Watercolor and pencil in my sketchbook. So many times I end up doing a pattern and finishing it after it is fairly dark out and the resulting pictures don’t really do it justice

Week 5 – Avocado

It started out in my sketchbook and then I scanned it and created a repeating pattern while at work. Did I mention that my computer DIED a few weeks ago during a brownout from a windstorm? What a pathetic way to go out. I haven't been able to scan or do a

I turned to the computer to do this. I think I sketched it in my sketchbook and then scanned it and worked on it in illustrator and photoshop.

Week 6 – Pine

I got a jump on Week 6, #patternswithanika - the theme is Pine. The car air freshener was a sketch in bw and the rest was digital.

Another piece that started out as a sketch and then scanned and worked on in illustrator and photoshop

Week 7  – Veggies

All week long when I thought on the #letsmakepatterns / #patternswithanika theme of #veggies, I thought of sugar snap peas. In the end I decided to stick with the pea pods alone. We grow them in our garden and every year there are more and more... Still,

Back to my sketchbook. This was a combination of watercolor and pen and ink illustrations.

Week 8 – Emerald

The final #patternswithanika - #Emerald. I used #watercolor, and salt, with subtle effects because I'd let it dry too much before applying it, and I finally got a #uniballsigno

Watercolor and gel pen in my sketchbook.

That is all for now. Stay tuned for the 100 days project. And if you are participating too, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear about your project. And if you haven’t heard about it before, check it out here and feel free to join in on the fun.

Market Tote Bags, or as I call them Everyday Bags

I have a bit of a crafty post that I’ve been meaning to share for a while.

#AccidentalStillLife i hung these hooks in our foyer for key racks. Matt refuses to use them (but still looses his keys daily) and you can see, I use them for way more than keys. Oh, ya know, like hanging your fairy wings, constellation crown, and works o

Last fall I got a Stay Home Club bag at Renegade and immediately LOVED it. I had wanted one for a long time but had no idea how LARGE it was. I loved how big it was. I always carry large bags, big enough to fit sketchbooks in it.  I have to also thank my friend Courtney for the inspiration of carrying and using what I had previously dismissed as only a grocery-style-tote-bag, as regular everyday-type-bags. It can hold, not only my sketchbook, my wallet, sunglasses, tons of pens and various art sundries, BUT ALSO when I go to the grocery store, it can also hold a few items from there too, lol.

I love it so much, but using it every day I was so afraid I was going to ruin it, or get it dirty, since it’s mostly all white. Normally I don’t care about such things, but I LOVE this bag that much. I decided the size and shape was simple enough, and the handle was furniture webbing that I’ve bought and used for a bajillion other projects, I should be able to make another bag to switch it up. I went to the fabric store and found a perfect material for an alternate bag.

Immediately after I got my Stay Home Club bag I wanted more bags the exact same size. I've had the fabric for months but tonight I finally sewed it. It's not perfect, bot not too bad for a first attempt. I pretty much love it! I used the #craftygemini tot

You got it, black and off white stripes. But then, the fabric sat forever. Originally I was going to wing it and just sew without thinking too much, which is my usual approach to making things. I don’t follow patterns. But then my SIL had asked my mom to sew library book bags for my niece and nephew. My mom found this video pattern online, by the Crafty Gemini*. I still didn’t want to follow the pattern, but then after I saw how it worked I realized it was easy enough and would hold up better than I had planned. The thing that is great about this bag, even better than the original SHC bag is that it has a flexible base, so it holds it’s structure even better. After the first bag I sewed, I was obsessed and knew I wanted to make a ton more for friends for Christmas presents.   winter 2015-16 2bags

It was fun looking for patterns that suited each friend. At first I was just selecting from the canvas in the regular section, but then I wandered into the upholstery section at JoAnn’s and my world opened up! The fabric may seem expensive, but the amount I’m buying, along with coupons or sales is about the same as the regular canvas.

winter 2015-16 bags

I’ve made so many bags and still have more fabric to make more.

*The pattern I based my bags off was slightly different. It has a strap that is a bit more complex, but looks really nice with the fabric and a contrasting/corresponding colored ribbon, where I just simply bought cotton webbing straps. I made my strap longer, as well as the whole bag wider and longer, to suit my needs, easily.  Each bag is also double stitched for reinforcement and again on some of the bags where the handle is sewn into the opening of the bag.

More #PatternswithAnika

After #PatternJanuary, Anika continued on with 8 more weekly themes, and somehow I stuck to those as well.

Week One was Bouquet, which in reflection, was my absolute favorite finished pattern from the group. I took a lot of progress shots, so I’m devoting a whole post just to this pattern.

My #bouquet pattern for #patternswithanika. I keep playing around with it and making different versions that I also really like: repeating pattern, spots of color in the background, or the background elements all individually colored. This is the original

To say I loved the outcome of this pattern is an understatement. One of those situations where I question “that came out of me?!”

It was inspired by my contributions to the #tinyposie hashtag (looks like I need to do an update post with my whole collection so far).

Good morning! My second #tinyposie incorporating #goldenrod, #queenanneslace, #heatheraster and some weed things in the back.

I referenced my #tinyposie pictures for the flowers

hand

and my hands for the rest

2.16 sketch

drew everything in pencil (I’ve probably said this here before) but there’s always this part of me that thinks pencil is not for “finished” pieces. I’m definitely getting over that and loving the quality more and more. It has to be the right pencil and the right surface.

Work in progress on my #patternswithanika #bouquet #pattern. If you haven't guessed, it's inspired by my the tiny poise hashtag, primarily #robayretinyposie and I can't wait to share the rest!

and then used watercolor to paint

Tiny Posie Bouquet more color

I pieced it all together in photoshop (top picture in this post) and then here is a variation which shows what it might look like in a more repeating style, and I added more color, digitally, to the background.

I’m Back, Baby!

It’s been silent over here on ye old blog for far too long.

Some time in February we had crazy winds which caused day long power outages all over the county. We only suffered from weird brown outs, where somethings turned off (like the oven and humidifier), somethings stayed on (like the TV), somethings dimmed (like the lights), and somethings just DIED FOREVER (like my computer). Honestly, I’d been complaining about my ancient computer (10+ years old) for quite a while, but Matt kept assuring me “It’s fine”. Well, it wasn’t, and I was quite annoyed. Note, I was annoyed and not hysterical because I had fortunately backed up my computer not too long beforehand. He tried to resurrect my computer with no luck. I looked around for a thrifty alternative; even the cheapest computer I could find has to be better than a 10+ year old monster, right? Fortunately, Matt’s mom heard about my plight and had been wanting to get a new computer and offered us her old one. Apparently, her old one is better than what I would have purchased brand new (faster and larger) and so now I’m back in business. High Five!

I feel like I have a mile long to-do list of things I wanted to get done on my computer. I have a list of new paper products that I want to make, I need to print more of my nephew’s stationery that I designed for him for Christmas, and I want to blog about a bobajillion things. I have recovered or redownloaded any of the design and photo editing programs I use. I’m in limbo with anything I want to scan because my scanner apparently is no longer supported on Window 10. womp, womp.

Winter 2015-16 chalkboard calendar

Anyway, Here I am, breaking the ice after a long time. I thought I would share my seasonal chalkboard calendar, as I need to erase it and start it all over for Spring. SPRING!

and while I’m here, let’s do a “Currently” post, so here it goes-

Right Now I’m…

AnticipatingMy best friend’s wedding next month. I’m nervous and stressed just thinking about it, and it’s not even my wedding.
Buying Food Should Taste Good, sweet potato tortilla chips (ok, I didn’t buy them, my sister did)
Creating  Oh, my gosh! I’m working on so many projects, it’s great! Most recently I’ve been inspired by the artwork of Xochi Solis, and playing around with a new line of envelopes for a potential stationery set. The envelopes aren’t like her work, but listening to the Art for Your Ears podcast with her, and looking at her work lit a fire, and the idea just popped into my head.
Eating HEALTHFULLY! I know one thing and that is eating unhealthily (overeating, processed, and take out foods) leaves with you even less energy to prepare meals and eat well, and I was caught in a bad downward spiral. This year my sister gifted me one of the best gifts ever – She paid for my mom, my sister and herself to do a 5 week run of Seattle Sutton. It is not cheap, folks. But now that we’ve been eating better and have learned quite a few lessons, we are taking our newfound energy and momentum and continuing with it. And I’m so happy, and so grateful. Thank you, thank you, Chris!
Feeling  Lighter, happier, more energetic and inspired! I always walk (fitbitting with 10k steps daily now for 2.5+ years) but lately, I’m incorporating more actual workouts and it feels great.
Listening Podcasts! Podcasts! Podcasts! I’ve been talking forever about sharing a post where I list my favorite podcasts, and I promise, Courtney, I haven’t forgotten.
Loving Walking. I was going to say “The warmer weather so I can go out walking” but in reality, this winter, I really never stopped going for walks outside. When I was young I would go and stay with my grandma and she went for walks every day. I remember feeling like it was a chore and her having to persuade me sometimes, but instead of it being this “workout” she made it more of a whole experience; getting fresh air, listening to and trying to spot birds, observing all parts of nature, collecting cool rocks and leaves, etc. Later, I always wished that someday I would do that as well, that I would go for daily walks, and now I am so happy to realize that vision is finally true!
Missing My scanner (see above, dead computer)
Procrastinating – This category is giving me serious guilt. I have a bunch of things I need to do and haven’t. The kind of guilt that stressed me out of deep sleep this morning. Did I take care of any of those things today? No, of course not #failure. OK, wait, before I’m too hard on myself, I have also been really productive and crossing lots of things off my to-do list.
Reading – Um, this is causing me guilt too! I have a pile of books on my bedside table, some overdue books even. Let’s not talk about the backlog of magazines I subscribe to and have been carrying around with me, but never reading. 
Seeing  The grass starting to turn green and grow. Normally this might be exciting to me, but the trees are all still absolutely naked and yet, I think we are going to have to mow soon. Gah!
Watching We are watching the last season of Community with our “movie group”, which originally aired on yahoo. We’ve watched all seasons up to this. SIX SEASONS AND A MOVIE, Whoop Whoop! Did you ever watch this show? If not, I highly recommend starting from the beginning. Also, we watched the Good Dinosaur the other day, meh.
Wanting – I recently started a wishlist on pinterest and I’m trying to remember to put things there, rather than just spending thoughtlessly, or forgetting what it was that I really wanted.

Other Right Now posts

#PatternJanuary Recap

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I put together this collection of all 31 days of my Pattern January pieces. I’m pretty happy with it and proud of myself.

Dear Anika, You ROCK! Thank you so much for coming up with this awesome project. It was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. Not only did you come up with this awesome challenge, but you are such an incredibly supportive and creative inspiration. You challenged me to create a new pattern every day in January, but you also challenged me to do and be better! I hope you know that you are a gem, and not even the kind of gem that my parents used to call me as a kid, when they’d sarcastically say “what a gem”  and then roll their eyes dramatically. No, you are the kind of precious gem that one doesn’t find often and when one does, one holds on to it, and tightly. Thank you again for putting yourself out there, for prompting other people to do the same, and for just being yourself.

Week One Pattern January

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

#PatternJanuary is now over and Anika has officially decided to continue on with a weekly prompt, Wahoo! If you are interested in participating, follow @aisforanika and @letsmakepatterns on instagram and don’t forget to check out the hashtag #patternswithanika. Week one theme was Bouquet and week two was just announced, Chocolate.

Week Four #PatternJanuary (+ a few days)

During week four I was suddenly hit by a few things.

First of all, before I even realized it I had gotten over the halfway hump and had successfully posted a pattern everyday (champion hand swing over the shoulder emoji).

Secondly, I was suddenly overcome with a mile long to-do list of things I want to do after the month was complete. I had been so productive and had a TON of forward moving momentum and couldn’t wait until the month was over and I could work on this and work on that and everything else under the sun and moon. As much fun as I was having, I was also excited to start on some new projects.

Lastly, it’s funny how as the month went along, what I thought would be a typical pattern for the day at the beginning of the month (quick and small in a little art book, easy-peasy, no stress) ended up being no longer acceptable in my mind. As I did pieces that were more time consuming and I became more and more pleased with them, the standard elevated and I felt guilt if I only had time to do a quick piece.

Case in point:

Day 22 Letter
Little art book

The theme of letter should have been an amazing pattern! I obviously went with a mail theme and I LOVE MAIL. Instead, this was one of those days where after I got off work, got in my daily steps and all the other things that had to be done, it got so late that I ended up just grabbing an old gelatin print, slapping it in a little art book and scribbling out some envelopes and postcards in white gel pen with a touch of pencil shading and called it a night. The letter pattern should have been a passion piece, where I spent all day thinking of ideas, a good amount of time playing with ideas in my sketchbook and then a few hours executing the pattern.

On top of everything else I had going on in January, I was also sick for 3 weeks. Now that the month is over I am astounded that I got through it and made a pattern every day. I am immensely proud of myself.

Day 23 Everyday

This is the closest I've come to the midnight deadline. It took me forrrreverrrrr to think of an idea for "everyday" but then it hit me, black and white stripes! That is my everyday.

This was a day that I was kinda  stressing out about what I was going to do for “Everyday”. I don’t think I had a single idea until I finally sat down to try and get to business and it finally hit me. Black and white stripes. That really is part of my everyday. I’ve had a love affair with stripes since high school and I remember being crushed hearing “horizontal stripes are not flattering” but I decided I didn’t care. They made me happy. I’ve kinda transitioned to preferring a black and off white or cream. For this piece I created some new black and white stripes and opened other little art books to pages that were already black and white stripes. The one page that says “ERRYDAY” was an already made page, but the center box was empty, so I was able to add that.

Day 24 Supplies

Day 24 #patternjanuary, #supplies. This is the first time I've made a pattern that I'm actually excited to make into a fabric. It would need some work because I literally just did a rough paint bucket background so the edges are wonky when you blow it up.

I immediately thought of art supplies, and then when I was thinking of specific art supplies I thought of my love for tiny pencils. I love tiny pencils. I feel like if you use a pencil all the way down to a nub, you did the pencil great justice. Meanwhile I have a coworker that was throwing away pencils after she sharpened them a few times and it broke my heart, so she started passing them off onto me, hurrah! I love, love, love this pattern. Originally I was just going to do one yellow #2 pencil and create stripes, but after one I had to do another and the next thing I knew I was searching my drawing table and art bins for other small pencils to paint.

And the #tinypencils I used as reference for the "supplies" pattern today

There’s the eraser, which would have come from my coworker Fred that passed away last fall, the chewed pencil, the blue drawing pencil left over from college, the “natural” wood colored pncil and for one more touch of variety, a red mini pencil. I plan on making this pattern into a fabric and hopefully a skirt.

Day 25 Put a Bird On It

Put a bird on it, papercut over gelatin print collage #patternjanuary

I saw this theme ahead of time and thought “That’s gonna be a fun one!” but when the day came I got stumped. Finally I decided to watch the original skit and was reminded that most of the birds they used were silhouettes of birds. Boom! I drew out birds on black construction paper and then pasted them over a gelatin print collage and I ended up really liking it.

Day 26 Argyle

#PatternJanuary #argyle - Vintage papers (Browns) and gelatin prints (pink) with digital linework (dots) - off to bed 😴💤

This piece’s color palette and materials were inspired by this piece by Suzanna Scott. I went into my studio and grabbed a bunch of vintage papers, and then went through my gelatin prints for pinks with patterns. I cut the papers into squares and alternated the vintage with the prints, assembled them on paper, scanned them and then repeated the pattern and added the white dot line digitally.

Day 27 Snowflake

Day 27 #PatternJanuary #snowflake

Continuing on with my grass and prairie theme, I thought how as much as I’ve photographed winter prairie, I’ve never tried to paint or draw it. I looked up some pictures I had taken and there was a lot of them with dead queen anne’s lace. I was pleasantly surprised how this one came out. I put down a layer of gesso to add texture to the paper and then built layers upon that. I originally thought I was going to try and accent with white gel pen for snow or frost on the queen anne’s lace, but after adding a few lines I could tell it wasn’t going to work and I was happy with how it came out, without any additional snow on it.

Day 28 Snowflake

Work in progress, #PatternJanuary

When I read log cabin I immediately thought of nothing else other than the quilt pattern. Instead of pulling from already patterned papers, I took it upon myself to decorate papers for this pattern.#PatternJanuary #logcabin #letsmakepatterns #robayrepatterns

It definitely didn’t come out as I had hoped. You win some (snowflake, above) and you lose some (log cabin)

Day 29 Diamond

#Diamond immediately made me think of the mailart series I did with these random geometric shapes. I painted this in color but I actually like it better in black and white. 2 more days to go! #PatternJanuary #robayrepatterns #letsmakepatterns

This piece was inspired by a bunch of mailart pieces I’ve made in the past with made up geometric shapes. I made it in color, but liked it a whole lot more when I de-saturated the color dramatically. De-saturate Dramatically, that has to be an oxymoron. This piece and the next piece were created in a hotel room downtown Chicago, that was gifted to us by Matt’s family. I love making artwork in hotels. Change of scenery.

Day 30 Stipple

#PatternJanuary #stipple Inspired by the way @aisforanika discharges her brush onto another sheet of paper with the intentions of building upon it to make a new pattern, I created this piece. I added the stipple polka dots with a 40% gray prisms color mar

I was inspired by Anika’s periscopes where she shares how she discharges the paint or ink from her brush on a consecutive page in her sketchbook to create new patterns. Normally I’ll just use a rinse jar and try to drop any excess paint back in the well on my palette. I was using one of my water brush pens, so sometimes I’ll turn to a scrap paper and drag long lines to discharge. But this time I started leaving different marks on a new page, which led me to liking that new page better than the original, but then I started a third pattern when I was discharging from the second piece and I liked that even more. This is that third piece. It’s is so not a Robyn color palette (no bright reds or yellow greens) but I think I got a few comments on how people really liked the colors.

Day 31 Symmetry

Here is a little thumbnail of my final piece for #patternjanuary (symmetry), see the full piece on the @littleartbook page. Last week I was so excited to reach the home stretch and welcome February and start working on a list of other projects. Now here i

For this piece I did a technique that I’ve done several times in the past. I use the neocolor II watercolor crayons and color a pattern thick and heavy and then spray down the page and close the book. Leave it for a few minutes and when you return you get something like this.

#patternjanuary day 31 symmetry

Depending on how much you spray and how long you leave it before closing the book and if you spray the blank page as well, or keep it dry, and how long you leave the book closed, will give you different effects.

That’s it! a whole month of pattern making. I had a blast and I’m so thrilled to know I still have it in me to do a month long daily challenge. It felt SO GOOD! I’ll be back in a few with a recap.

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Three #PatternJanuary

This week was a good one for patterns. I think I got over the hump of “oh great, what am I going to do today” and kind of dreading the work, to realizing this is actually fun and I can be very proud of these pieces. I had an “Aha! moment”. It seems so simple yet it’s one of those things I need to learn and relearn over and over in my life. You really get out of this what you put into it. When you devote a large amount of time to something, most likely it’s gonna reflect that. Despite my best efforts to come up with an idea that is quick and simple, the pieces I have liked the most are the ones that I spent hours working on.

I have one of those 642 Things to Draw Books and when I got it I was really excited, until I started REALLY looking at the prompts and then I was done. I think I drew one or two things before I threw my hands up in the air. Sailboat? Really? It’s asking me to draw a sailboat? I had no commitment to push through the discomfort. I will be honest. I didn’t really look at Anika’s list too much before committing to this project. If I had, I probably would have talked myself out of it. Finally during this third week I hit some real (to-me) “clunkers”. I had zero inspiration and had no idea how I was going to approach these themes. Mackerel?! I had gotten this far in the month and I wasn’t going to throw the towel in so I just kept thinking, thinking, thinking, until something would hit me. Sometimes those difficult themes led to even more developed ideas, which took longer, but that extra time really paid off. It took me until this third week to stop pushing back, trying to come up with a quick idea and the “get it over with” attitude, and instead embrace it and really enjoy digging into the hard work. It pays off!

Day 15 Mackerel.
Not a mackerel, but #wip for my #patternjanuary all the same #rainbowtrout #watercolor

The prospect of this theme was less than inspiring to me. Mackerel. I could think of NO personal ties I have to this fish. Nothing excited me or evoked any inspiration at the word mackerel. Even, holy mackerel. No nothing. Then all of a sudden I remembered a fabric I bought, probably as a 15 or 16 year old, after I had just started my first quilt. Most of my yoyo quilt was made from scraps of my mom’s left over quilting, but occasionally I would buy little bits of new fabrics that caught my eye.

Rainbow trout plaid fabric

I found this blue and white plaid fabric with “rainbow trout” in it and my teenage self thought that it was SO HILARIOUS that I bought tons of it in hopes to make a skirt or something from it. I can’t tell you how many yards and yards of fabric I’ve bought over the years in hopes of making skirts and probably only have made two or three. Anyway, remembering this fish fabric pattern was the spark I needed to inspire me. I had the vision of painting a variety of fish and then incorporating them into the center of a pattern.

fish scribble pattern

I envisioned a scribbly pattern. I painted the fish in watercolor, and scanned and photographed them before adding the scribble. I was glad I did that, not that it ruined the fish, but I might have been so disheartened my vision did not work, that I would have quit. I had the scans and made made a repeating pattern and I ended up LOVING it! I actually did the digital pattern before returning to add the scribbles. I was wanting a very loose, scribbled and textured circle. I wonder if I tried it again with a thicker line?

#robayrepatterns This is what happens when you have a whole day to devote to your #patternjanuary. I painted the fish in watercolors and the background was digital. I'm kinda in love with it.

One thing I’ve remembered while doing this daily project was something I picked up from my one illustration class in college. The teacher highly recommended we scan our work, and then print copies and build upon those, rather than possibly destroying a piece and having to start over from scratch. It really makes sense, and from a designer’s viewpoint, one knows you have to “SAVE OFTEN” because you never know when you will have done tons of work and the program crashes or the power goes out. And I definitely have saved variations with layers in case I want to go back a few steps.

One last note on this piece. To paint these fish I had to look up pictures of the various fish. I referenced a collection of each to find parts I liked and find out what elements were true to the fish as a whole species and not a specific fish image that was shared. I obviously had to include mackerel because that the day’s topic, but then in addition I chose rainbow trout, blue gill, large mouth bass and yellow perch. Did you know that Mackerel do not have scales?

Day 16 Layers.
Little art book

When I first started this challenge I thought about how sticking with one theme might be a good idea. I love this little art book I made and filled with abstract compositions, made almost entirely from gelatin print collage, and thought about doing that all month long. In the end I decided to keep it open and breezy, so if I want to work in watercolor one day I can and if I want to work in collage and mixed media another day I can too. The theme of layers was perfect for collage so I did just that. I really do want to revisit this more and can see filling lots of books this way.

Day 17 Pods

Work in progress on my pod #patternjanuary earlier today

And the finished pattern for today.

This is another pattern that took a long time, but was worth it. The theme was pod and I was once again searching and searching for inspiration. Funny enough, the inspiration came from the stained glass windows at church that morning. The finished pattern looks nothing like the colorful abstract shapes in the windows, but I love-love-loved the results of this piece. I could see this one printed as a fabric. The pods are supposed to be poppy seed pods, which is that elusive plant I have always want to try and grow in our yard, but it just won’t ever take.

Day 18 Free.

#patternjanuary for "Free" is this cloud piece in a #littleartbook. It was my first idea, but then I tried other things, but I ended up coming back to it anyway.

When thinking of “Free” my first idea was a cloud pattern, but it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and so I couldn’t resist a “freedom” themed pattern. I tried doing a hand lettered pattern with the word Freedom repeated, but halfway through I HATED it. It was getting late and with an early wake up call the next day I decided to quickly revisit my first idea in a little art book, and I ended up liking it. I still ended up getting to use some of those same loopy, almost calligraphy like shapes inside each cloud.

Day 19 Groceries

I originally planned on coloring it, possibly using watercolor, or colored pencil, or watercolor colored pencils 😉 but I ran out of time. I have less than 6 hours before I have to be up for work in the morning. Maybe I'll post a color version tomorro

The inspiration for this piece started with some tote bags I’ve been obsessively sewing this winter. As soon as I had the bag idea down I thought of my trip to my last trip to the grocery store. I made this DELICIOUS recipe (vegetarian version of the knock-off, Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli, which I’ve never had at Olive Garden, but my SIL made recently).  After I was done with this pattern I immediately wanted to add color, but it was once again getting late. I printed out a couple copies to add color (once again, remembering advice from my illustration teacher) and those copies have been kicking around the living room ever since. I want to record a time lapse while coloring it in and don’t have a tripod, so I’m pretty much stuck with propping up the camera or pulling Matt in for the extra hands.

Day 20 emoji.

#patternjanuary #emoji #🌾 how is it already the 20th?!

I love my emoji’s, like any card carrying member of the iphone-disciples. Which emoji should I choose? The Mushroom? The Balloon? Fingers crossed? As I was looking through all of the emojis I noticed (what I call) the tall grass prairie emoji (but suspect it is probably wheat or rice plant). As soon as I saw that I looked up and saw a watercolor washed background I had started for another piece, but ended up not using. Perfect! It’s funny how tall grass prairies have been part of my visual language in my artwork, since I was probably in high school. And yet, as often as grass is in my work, I felt like I had to do it in a more abstract way, but lately I’m finally finding a more representative way that I think works.

Day 21 Cactus.

#patternjanuary day 21: #cactus My Christmas cactus (which I just found out is probably actually a Thanksgiving cactus) is in bloom, so I decided to make it into a pattern. I might revisit it later and add color

When I read cactus I immediately thought of my Christmas cactus because it was in bloom. When doing research on the Christmas cactus (because I was questioning if it was even really a cactus) I found that it is probably actually a “Thanksgiving Cactus” which looks very much like a Christmas cactus, but has more pointy tips on it’s leaves, where the Christmas cactus is more rounded edges. I thought of making my pattern as stripes with the long arms of leaves with occasional flowers. I wanted to color this one as well, but ran out of time. I’ll have a few patterns after this month is over, that I can revisit.

There are just a few days left of #patternjanuary so I will be back shortly with the last week plus a few days.

Week One

Week Two