We can't become who we need to be by remaining who we are - Oprah

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Forms, Forms, Forms.

Well it's official. I am a third year Textiles student!

The relief I felt on yesterday morning was immense. It was the happiest I had been in a long time, and more importantly I was just ready to get stuck in! Just one thing was stopping me...

One of the things I think I seem to have blanked from my memory was the amount of forms required for university. I spent most of the day running from one person to another with proof of interview forms, enrolment notifications and (mostly) trying to get my library card to work - definitely burned some serious calories!

But. It was all worth it :) At first I was worried that I would be a bit out of my depth and would feel a little out of place but, after a lovely chat with my tutor, I received a warm welcome back and now I feel more relaxed then I had most of the summer (regardless of the long list of work I have to do!).

Hopefully in a few days I'll be able to show you all starting points of my first project!

Found through: http://kaotikrevelations.tumblr.com/post/7567809329

Thought I'd leave you with some truth - something I certainly have learned over the past few years!

Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday!

Jessica :)

Sunday, 14 October 2012


Happy Sunday from Yorkshire :)

I hope you are all having a lovely Sunday (perhaps a lovely Sunday Dinner too...). As I said in my previous post I am hoping to get a place back at my University to study Textile Design (Ba Top Up) and, even though I may be getting ahead of myself, I can't stop thinking about ideas for my first project back - The decision to go back seems to have made a huge impact at the moment, it's like I've had the jolt of inspiration I needed!

As a printed textile designer I have a continued love affair with pattern, however, looking back over my old work I have realised I tend to design one off prints for cards, single sheets of wrapping paper or art work. So for a little bit of a personal challenge I have decided to do a strictly patterned based project...and also centre it around a more geometric stimuli. Again something a little new to me, but it seems fitting that I should experiment with these things given my recent spontaneous decision!

Crystals. I can't believe I've never considered this theme before! I love the unusual formations, striking colours and how something so strong can look so effortlessly beautiful. So many ideas are running through my head at the moment, so fast I couldn't write them all down, but I'm so excited to get started! 

Here is an image I found on National Geographic's website that has inspired me...

I can already see the digital prints...
Cave of Crystals in Mexico...I also love the illusion of scale - something quite surreal about this image...

Well, fingers crossed they let me back!

Jessica :)

Saturday, 13 October 2012


Hello all!

As this post title suggests, I've been missing in action for quite some time now and I think it's about time I got back to it...

For lots of different and personal reasons, I've found it very hard to put thoughts and feelings down on this blog, and I've definitely been suffering from writers block. I won't dwell too much on the negatives of taking time out from blogging, and designing in general, and especially not on the reasons for this break...I would, however, like to talk about the most important thing I have learned and the next steps I'm about to take...

In the hopes of not sounding too sentimental and emotional, I will keep this post short and sweet!

When I finished university in June I made the decision to take a year out, with the hope of regaining a little more control of my life and to build up the confidence I had lost in the last few months of my course. Most of the summer, this seemed to be the right choice. I reignited my love for Thomas Hardy, learned to ease my stress with baking and, most importantly, how to enjoy the little things.

However, in this past month I have found that something is missing and I continually have this sinking feeling that something is not right...Of course, how am I to fix this when I have no idea what it is, right?

It wasn't until a a week ago, faced with a blank page, ready to write my next post when it hit me. Designing. Textiles. Pattern. Colour. I missed it all. I was still looking, longing and thinking about these things, but somehow my life had gotten too busy for me to do much more then that, just think. I was too consumed with this idea of reducing my stress levels, panicked that I would loose it again if I was to do too much, yet here I was...with no deadlines, no worries and no expectations and I was more unhappy then ever. I hadn't really thought about what this break was for or , as it turns out, what I would be giving up in the process.

I always cringe when people say that they've "changed who they are" and have become "a new person"...and for the most part, I still think that. In fact, I disagree with those statements even more, because right now I feel more myself then I have for a long time now.

Getting too sentimental now...

Okay. So what does that mean now? Well, now I know the problem, and - in true Jessica-style - now I can try and fix it. And so I am trying to gain a place back at my university to complete my Ba in Textile Design, this year. Its definitely difficult, and will mean big changes for not just myself but the people around me, but thankfully they're nothing but supportive.

It's taken me a while to understand why people say it's so important to do something that you love...perhaps thats because, until now, I didn't know what it was that I loved doing...

Jessica :)

Here is just one of the many quotes that pushed me to make this decision...

Found on Pinterest through the page http://madeofsparkles.tumblr.com

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Bake, Bake, Bake!

Happy Sunday!

It's been a very busy month for me, covering lots of shifts at work has left me with little time to design and create...which makes me sad.

However there's been lots of reasons (and excuses) to do lots of baking, and it wasn't until now that I realised how much baking relaxes me...and Im not just talking about the sampling afterwards!

Here's a photo of my first attempts at some Macaroons, a little bit of cheating with some ready made vanilla buttercream filling but I was definitely happy with them. It is now my mission to go to Paris and spend the whole time in the Ladurée and see how the professionals do it...

Vanilla Macaroons

As it was also my lovely sister's 18th birthday I had yet another excuse to get the icing bag out....I had a great time baking them however I think she had an even greater time eating them!

Birthday Celebrations!

Chocolate Fudge Bite - Kinda turned into my signature desserts!

Mini Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcakes for the Birthday girl!

We both also have a teeny obsession with Despicable Me...After finding these Minion cupcakes on Pinterest, I couldn't resist!

I'm no expert in sugar craft but I'm quite proud of my first iced unicorn!

All in all it was a great day and it was lovely to celebrate Hannah joining the Adult Club. Seems like yesterday that I was saying hello to my baby sister for the first time! Just reminds you that you should cherish each day cause before you know it it'll be over - and it always helps if there's cake!

Recipes to follow....

Jessica :)

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Back to Reality...

Well it certainly has been a long time since I posted, as I have taken a much needed blogging and designing break after the end of my university course.

So I thought I would share with you the final results of my most recent project (hopefully not my last!) and how it all came together in the end...

As I mentioned before, my Final Major Project was centred around the theme of A Midsummer Night's Dream...It was certainly easy to gather inspiration for the floral, woodland  imagery, but I really wanted to give the project a mystical feel. As a result, my work began to centre around a beautiful purple and blue colour palette, which I had taken from my photographs of wooded areas as night fell. I feel that it really captures the fantasy element of the play without being too dark...whilst still remaining commercial and attractive (Always a bonus!)

By using CAD software I began to layer drawings, photographs and mark making artwork to create my gift wrap and card collection. As I had only starting using photoshop the previous year it was certainly...an experience! But a good experience none the less and an area I'd love to experiment with in the future.

Please excuse the quality of the images, I-phones were not meant for dark exhibition spaces!

...My Overall exhibition...

...Giftwrap designs...

...Table of Treats...

Overall the exhibition was a success and I had some lovely comments on my collection. Being my first "serious" exhibition I was certainly happy with the results and after all the hard work put into setting up (by myself and all the girls involved!) it was sad to take it all down. However two years from now and it'll be full steam ahead with another exhibition and New Designers...Scary!!

As the photos are, shall we say, on the dark side...here are a few images of my final products...

"Midsummer" Wrapping paper

"Hermia" Wrapping Paper

"Titania" Wrapping Paper

"Puck" Wrapping Paper

"Helena" Wrapping Paper

"Twilight Forest" Wrapping Paper

"Out of this wood do not Desire go" Greeting Card

"Hermia" Greeting Card

"Oberon" Greeting Card

"What Angel Wakes me from my Flowery Bed?" Greeting Card

"The Course of True Love never did run Smooth" Greeting Card

"Ill meet by Moonlight" Greeting Card

"Lost Lovers" Giftbag

"I know a Bank whereon the Wild Thyme blows..."Giftbag

"What fools these Mortals be!" Giftbag

And so that ends my second year at university! I hope you've enjoyed looking at my final major pieces...

Feel free to comment or contact me if you have any question, queries or general wonderment and I'll also be posting work by some other fabulous graduates soon!

Until next time...

Jessica :)

*And also, a blog-make-over is occurring so please pardon the current layout whilst I embark on an online adventure to master HTML code and website templates!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Experimenting with CAD...

It's been a while since I posted, so I thought I'd share some more work that I've been doing...

It's coming up very close to the end of the uni year (scary!) and to the end of my Final Major Project. Ideas have changed and I've spent far too long deciding over the smallest of decisions but I'm hoping that these CAD designs will be close to finalised for my final pieces in the exhibition. It's been a long few days cut and pasting (and I think I have square eyes from staring at my monitor!) but I think it was all worth it.

Here's a few of the things Ive been working on...Hope you like!

I've gone for a dark, magically feel in these design which I hope shows through. I think some pieces work a lot better then others (especially those towards the end). Going to continue experimenting and print layers onto different textured paper, some mark making and then work on top with a little bit of stitch and photo transfer.

Still lots to do!

Jessica :)

Friday, 4 May 2012

Chicken Soup for the Soul...

Afternoon Bloggers!

Theres nothing better then browsing through blogs on a cloudy day when you're in bed with a cold. There's so much inspiration, I found it hard to pick just one designer to post about today!

Decision made.

I've been really inspired by the work of Louise Tiler recently, graduating from Leeds College of Art, Louise Tiler has won awards including BDC (business design centre) New Designer of the Year 2011 and SURTEX 2011 designext Student Design Competition, has a wallpaper collection for wallpapered.com (Which I think would look great on my feature wall...), a cushion range for Mary Portas' new london store, a stationary collection for Woodmansterne Publications and upcoming exhibition at New Designers one year on - Yes thats right, she is only one year out of University! She is definitely heading for great things and is one to watch..

Her inspiration of the past and historical design is clear in her beautiful hand-drawn designs. I love her floral patterns and the intricacy of her animal motifs are stunning!

I Know you'll love her work as much as I do...

Louise is also a contributor to the groundbreaking e-course "The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design" run by Rachael Taylor and Beth Nicholls...Can't wait to sign up for this during my year off!

Read Louise's interview for New Designers One Year On and information on the exhibition here.

Too much inspiration! Going to get my sketchbook out for a a few hours of drawing...

Enjoy your day! Jessica :)