No more getting up and leaving the house at 7am to commute for 1.15 - 1.30 minutes into Central London and then race back to make sure I wasn't fined by the school for picking up later than 6pm from teatime club. Kids activities stopped and we had movie nights! One other thing that I found time to learn to paint. I'd had a set of watercolours but really am an amateur! Earlier this year I painted the images for my Christmas Advent Calendar, but had always wanted to be shown how to paint flowers.botancials. Last year I was due to do a botanicals drawing session at the William Morris Gallery but sadly the teacher never turned up. So when I saw that the very talented Natasha Gulliford (Flowergirl Studios) was holding a watercolour bootcamp on her Facebook group I knew I wanted to take part, and I signed up along with Ella. Sunday's became our day for following the tutorials and learning to paint. Each time I would carefully follow Natasha's tutorials, who made it look so easy that within a few strokes her image looked like a delicate flower, yet my 'exact' same strokes didn't look like a flower and always lacked depth! Week after week we painted and enjoyed it (with some frustrations). By the end I had a pile of paintings, none of the same calibre as others taking part, but enough that I was happy with that by scanning in a number and mixing them up, I was able to design my Summer Bliss fabric.
When I design I scan my images into Illustrator, it picks up every stroke and small mark. I often wonder if I should do it in Photoshop but I can only afford one programme at the moment and I have invested time in learning this one - plus I can make images bigger without losing definition and make fabric swatches.. With this design each brush stroke shows and I love that! On the smaller products you can't necessarily tell its a flower and I wanted that effect, that although I wil be printing it onto fabric slightly smaller so the flowers are more visible for those that prefer.. All in all, this is currently my new favourite (I'm not sure I'll ever replace my Blue Chive as my favourite - also because it was my first design) and would also make lovely girl's dresses and bedding.