Tag Archive for 'patterns'

An Honest Review of Society6 Products

I’m still trucking on the 100 day project, but like last year, I’m sure I will have plenty of make-up days afterward. Just a reminder, my goal this year’s 100 days was to focus on getting more of my work up on print on demand sites, and to finally start getting some designs printed at spoonflower on fabric. I found a 2017 planner I bought at the dollar store last fall, and so I’ve been using that to keep track of what I’ve been doing, (since I haven’t been posting daily on instagram) to stay accountable.
Society6 robayre

Today I am excited to share a review of some items I purchased from Society6 of my own designs. I placed an order which included a cell phone case, a tote bag, 2 zipper pouches, and a pair of leggings. Most of the items were birthday gifts for my sister, while the cell phone case and one of the zipper pouches were for myself.

Society6 robayre haul

The phone case came first (a week out from ordering it) and I snapped it on my phone immediately and it’s been on there ever since. I love it! I’ve had my society6 shop up since 2012 and have mostly sold phone cases from there. You don’t get to see who makes the purchases, and there isn’t a review/feedback system (that I can see anyway) like on etsy, ebay or even amazon, so as far as I know my customers have been happy. I know one customer that has been very happy… my sister. She has purchased a few phone cases from me over the years, so I had been able to see them in person and can vouch for the quality. I’ve also been told that she got lots of compliments on those cases, and was even present a few times when people praised the phone cases. I bought the slim case for myself (image and video above), specifically because the thick one looks like it had a black liner and the buttons that stick out are black, and I didn’t like that with this light and bright pattern. I love my case, which is great because I’ve been saying for years that I was going to buy one for myself. I don’t think it will be my last one either!

Society6 robayre haul

The rest of the haul arrived together, the next week. Opening up the packaging felt like Christmas, I’ve been waiting for this moment forever. I pulled the fish bag out first and was all heart eyes. My sister had specifically said she wanted this bag, and this pattern was a favorite.

6.16.17 fish bag society6

A picture of the bag in the wild. It looks great! The fabric is a nice sturdy canvas and the resolution is what I’d hoped for. The inside of the fabric is coated in black, so it has a dark lining, but not an additional fabric lining, has black handles and it seems very sturdy.

Society6 robayre haul

Here is a picture of my pattern on the left and here is a picture of the bag on the right. You can see the texture of the fabric, but it still translated well. The color being off is probably more of a camera issue and lighting issue, as I took it with my cell phone. Now it’s time for some brutal honesty…

Society6 robayre haul

My sister also wanted this zipper pouch with my grass and stars pattern. I placed the order for everything, and then while I was impatiently waiting for everything to arrive I had the idea of watching some Society6 product reviews. At first everything was going great. The reviewers were stoked and raved about the pouches they ordered. Then I hit a couple videos comparing society6 to redbubble. The reviewer confirmed a fear of mine. She complained that the printing on the fabric was really low resolution. When you look at the mock ups on society6 of the carry-all pouches, the fabric looks very rough. Society6 describes the fabric as a “a durable canvas-like exterior”. I was still hopeful that maybe when they arrived I would be pleasantly surprised. When the package arrived, I pulled out the two pouches and you can see… they are very low resolution. The fabric, while much softer to the touch than canvas fabric, has a VERY low thread count. So low that you can literally see gaps in the fabric between the threads with the naked eye. The result is a very low resolution reproduction of your design. I likened the fabric to a luxurious burlap, lol.Society6 robayre haul

When you look at these two pouches it looks like I took very blurry pictures, but if you look at the surrounding grass, you can see everything is sharp, it’s just the printing that is fuzzy. The zipper seems durable, and there is a fabric lining with interior pockets. It has a cute zipper pull and I love the detail of the society6 label on the side. I just can’t understand why they print on such horrible fabric for the pouches, the part that matters the most. I’m not sure why they don’t use the same fabric that is used on the tote bags. The products are all marked as made in the United States and Society6 has full guarantee and return policy within 90 days. If I understand correctly, after 90 days they will only provide store credit, and not cash back. My sister said she liked her pouch, though it was smaller than she imagined. I won’t be returning my pouch either, as it gets the job done, and you can see that it is still pencils. I am chalking it up to a learning experience. I hope that Society6 will make updates to this particular product line, but in the meantime I deactivated the pouches from my shop. I don’t want any customers ordering something expecting what is on the left in the picture, but getting what is on the right. If someone would like a pouch with my patterns on it, there is always redbubble.

Society6 robayre haul

Lastly, the leggings. They came out wonderfully! The color and print is what I expected and hoped for, and the construction and material are high quality. The material is a silky and stretchy material, with a good thickness to it (not sheer/transparent). I’d highly recommend them. Overall I am happy with my purchases. If I were made of money I’d buy more and explore different items, hello pillows, bed linens, and rugs! I’d also google a review of any item I bought first, youtube reviews are great because you get to see the items in action. That being said, at the recommendation and encouragement of Julie Tillman (once again) I decided to also start uploading to Redbubble. I’ve only added 3 designs so far, but I’ve already had 2 sales (Thank you to whomever you are out there!) They seem to be very much like Society6, but have slightly different product offerings…

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My favorite has to be this adorable A line dress, so cute. My sister might get it in the star pattern.

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I love these cell phone wallets, unfortunately it appears they don’t have it for my phone, although I have a regular iphone 7 and the cases for 6 fit the 7, with just a bit of difference in the camera lens location, so it might still work.

redbubble

The barn quilt pattern on a t-shirt dress

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I could see these acrylic art blocks becoming addictive. They make me think of Sid Dickens blocks, but small and we all know how much I love small things, especially small art (ahem, artomat).

That’s it for now. Thank you for stopping by!

 

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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.

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.

#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 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

Week Two #PatternJanuary

It took me until in this second week of #PatternJanuary to realize this was a month long, daily project and that I hadn’t done one of those for several years. I used to do a daily project once or twice a year and have been wanting to do one again for a long time. Anytime I’d see one I’d think about it, but then I would think of all the other things I want to focus on and decide against it. This time the project is in line with my goals and things I want to be working on.

Day 8 Fast.
#patternjanuary

I knew I wanted to make a video, which would illustrate the time it took to do this piece. As I said when I posted it to instagram, it took 2 minutes to make the piece, but it took 4 hours of procrastinating, so how is that for fast?

Littleartbook
And the finished piece.

Day 9 Monoschrome.

Littleartbook

This piece is entirely watercolor. I made it while I was at an all day craft event.

Day 10 Time.

Time is a spot on theme today, as I've been acutely aware of how much time I spend worrying, anticipating, trying to think of ideas, procrastinating and then finally (feeling like I'm last minute-ly) throwing together my daily pattern. #patternjanuary #ti
This piece is a watercolor background with white pastel infinity symbols on top with a bit of pencil shading to make the symbols pop.

Day 11 Geometric.

It's not finished but here is my #patternjanuary for geometric. Lily of the valley, four leaf clover, poppy and chicory. Time for bed! #robayrepatterns #letsmakepatterns #watercolor

I wanted to create a pattern that had a geometric pattern with a contrasting organic pattern. I still want to try adding some more linework patterns to the background geometric shapes.

Day 12 Mug.

Once again, an unfinished pattern for #patternjanuary : mugs. I immediately thought of my McCoy smiley face mug. It was slow at work today so I started "rendering" some of my favorite mugs in Photoshop. Digital illustration is SO not my thing, but I'm pre
In an attempt to possibly finish my daily pattern early in the day, I started working on digitally illustrating a few mugs while it was slow at work. I knew I wanted to paint my vintage McCoy smiley face mug, but then decided to branch out to include other favorite mugs in my collection. The diner mug was an homage to my father who collected diner mugs, so I designed a mug for him, Red Truck Diner. I was really excited that I had the idea and while I was designing it, but now that I type this it makes me so sad to realize that would have been an AMAZING gift to give him in real life… designing a diner mug specifically for him, especially since he was such a hard person to buy gifts for.

Day 13 Jelly.

Littleartbook

This pattern was kind of a bust, and a last minute attempt to get it done, because I have been staying up way too late. My first attempt was to try and make jellyfish with tendrils that were in some sort of pattern, like a Celtic knot. When I was done it just looked like a mess and did not resemble jellyfish or even have a recognizable pattern in the knot. This little art book was what I came up with as a quick alternative to get something done.

Day 14 Dessert

It's been a while since I worked in this #littleartbook. All day I thought about the #patternjanuary theme of dessert, and the same thing kept popping into my head, sprinkles. So I went with it. I thought about self serve ice cream with my best friend and

I LOVE DESSERT! Ice Cream, Hawaiian Snow, Cotton Candy, Cookies, Cake, I can’t think of a sweet I didn’t like. Oh wait, lol, guess I’m not a fan of Chocolate, but you add enough sugar to it and I’ll eat it, for example fudge. When proposed with this pattern theme my mind went wild with the possibilities! I even asked people throughout the day “what’s your favorite dessert?” For some reason the same thing kept popping into my head all day long and that was Sprinkles. At the end of the day I just decided to stop fighting it and went with it.

Week One

spreading inspiration

 

Hello! Just thought I’d drop in to share a little inspiration.

Here are a few new-to-me inspo blogs. I’m not sure where I  found them all, but hey, let’s face it, they probably all came through Mim some way or another. She seems to be on the pulse of all awesomeosity that is the world wide interblogosphere.

Run With Scissors, Art Equals Happy, Art & Musings, liisforlovely, and this flickr group for all the people taking the Tell Your Story online class through Red Velvet Art.

Here is a repeating grass pattern I’ve been working on while at work. I made it using this same pattern making technique roughly, only I did it all on the computer in photoshop. Layer by layer, believe it or not.  I’m thinking of repeating the pattern a few times and having it printed at spoonflower. If you are into patterns, its worth a trip over to spoonflower just to peruse the other patterns customers have submitted and had printed. So inspiring!

It’s spring time and that means garden time. Here is my container dirt garden. Every day I water my dirt. Hopefully someday soon I might actually have some plants. That would be nice. Did you hear that gardening guru Gayla Trail has a new book out? I need to get this.

And last but not least . . . my nephew is smiling so much now. It’s not the greatest picture (ancient camera phone) but the cute still translates.

update update

Earlier today I saw this knit piece on flickr and was inspired. I want to knit a vest using my handspun, I’m excited. And then if you notice the belt in that same piece. The pattern is so perfectly suited (small and repeating) for such a piece. It has inspired me to create the pattern at the top of this post to iron onto fabric. I love fabrics with small repeating patterns. Often I see fabrics with the cutest patterning, but it is so big, so if you cut or sew the fabric down you can’t really see the pattern much anymore. So I decided to design this tree pattern where each tree is less than 1.5″ in size.

On Monday, my sister and I went into the city to the Art Institute to see the Hopper and Homer show. Chris liked Homer and I liked Hopper. I kind of had this impression that Hoppers work was all like Nighthawks, and kind of lonesome and distant, but after seeing this show I don’t think that anymore. His pieces really spoke to me because of their interesting and unusual composition, angles and obvious inspiration from film noir. His work is not sad and lonely, but like a screen capture of a story. That being said, my favorite piece in the show was a very simple painting that actually didn’t really have elements that I listed above. The above painting titled Hodgkin’s House, has a pretty central composition, the content isn’t very dramatic, but just a sweet house with angles of the light and spectacular use of color; greens with splotches of dramatic red flowers.

One last thing: here is a cool tutorial to turn an altoids tin into a tiny water color palette.