We did a very basic outfit for Book Parade based on That Pesky Rat (a huge favourite of Cee Cee's). Nothing fancy, just some faux fur ears and a tail teamed with some tatty shorts and a jumper.
Fortunately Pesky Rat doesn't need impressive clothes: he just wants to be loved and to be someone's pet.
Lauren's aesthetic in this and other books is a total delight to anyone of a crafty persuasion. She uses gorgeous origami paper, wallpaper and fabric motifs to create her collage-style illustrations, all of which are totally awesome.
And to top it off, she entered into a partnership with Liberty of London to create some truly amazing fabrics.
Check out this link in her official website milkmonitor which tells, in characteristic style, how she developed her inspiration for the fabric collection:
A doubly good reason to love Liberty! Long live Lauren.... (and happy Book Week!)
I've been considering Photoshop for a while and now and just recently decided to make the leap. Being a little clueless on how to actually use it, I'm consulting a variety of things from online tutorials to the "Dummies" series to help me along the path to enlightenment.
Anyway, one of the things I've always been interested in learning is how to remove those pesky grey casts from photos shot against a white background.
I found this tutorial, which shows you a super-easy way to do it. I applied the technique to one of my favourite old photos and you can see the results below.
Actually, this can probably be done in any photo editing program that allows you access to "Levels" (I think the program that came with my SLR did).
However, in the photo immediately above (as you'll probably notice) the colours have been somewhat degraded by the whitening process and it's here that Photoshop allows you to go one step further in taking them back to a more natural hue. As I discovered in my Dummies book, after adjusting "Levels" as per the tutorial you then choose "Edit, Fade Levels" and then in the pop up box change the mode from "Normal" to "Luminosity".
Sounds a little technical, but hey, I'm going with the flow here and it does look somewhat better as you'll see in the next example (note, especially, the more natural look of the red dots on the fabric....)
Also, whilst this can lessen grey casts it doesn't necessarily get rid of them entirely. To do that you'd need to remove the background completely. That would require a different Photoshop process which is a little more involved and which I'm yet to try.
Here is the process applied to some other photos going from left to right (click on any of the small pics to see in more detail):
This process works well when you want to show the features of the subject in a good amount of detail and would give small sized photos in online shop listings the edge by helping the subject pop against its background.
This was going to be my photo for "Wordless Wednesday" but instead it's going to have to be "Talkative Thursday" - complete with words - because I spent all of yesterday wrangling with Typepad technical issues and didn't get to post.
Anyway, I now have a 2 column blog instead of 3 column, leaving me more pixels in the main column to feature bigger photos. At least, I think that's what I've done if the tech gods have smiled on me....?
And I think I've finally found a fabric that happily coordinates with that Japanese print in the foreground, purchased in Tokyo and lovingly hoarded. More pictures to show later....
I know it's been around for some weeks but, really, I can't stop listening to this to the point where eyes are rolling around the house. Can't decide whether I prefer the Sarah or Martha bit, or the bit where Paul Kelly comes in. Anyway, enjoy if you haven't already....
As much as I try to push pants and jeans for their practicality Miss Wink, given the choice, will opt for a skirt (or a "princess skirt" as they are known in her world) every time.
So Mummy desperately needs to "up" the skirt production to satisfy her demanding 3 year-old wardrobe requirements. This ruffle style has always been popular with the girls and, thinking of ways to put a spin on the conventional look, I decided to leave the ruffles unfinished instead of hemming them.
Enter this fabulous Chambray fabric which I recently bought at Tessuti. It worked a treat, the different coloured warp and weft threads standing out perfectly when frayed.
I think it would look equally good with denim or linen and I also have some shot cotton and a cross-weave cotton which I'm keen to try out.
I drafted the pattern for the skirt and am in the process of putting it together in multi-size PDF format. Will post again with developments on this one.
If you have an etsy shop and haven't yet clicked on the little "shop stats" link in your sidebar, I'd recommend you have a go.
Usually trying to understand blog and shop stats leaves me totally bamboozled but the format etsy provides seems much clearer. Not only that, but the information on shop traffic sources gives you a direction to either build on what you've been doing or change it for the better.
For example, of the 1,600 plus views over July, I can see that Wink Designs top 5 traffic sources were etsy itself, the etsy "mini" in my blog sidebar, direct search entering my URL, Google search and Pinterest in that order.
Of the traffic on etsy itself, I can see that most is coming from direct searches in etsy's search engine, followed by specific searches for my listings, specific searches for my shop, category searches and traffic via customers who "favourited" my listings prior to purchasing.
The fact that etsy is my top traffic source means that I have to pay a lot of attention to the categories and keywords I enter for my listings. And to help with this, etsy shop stats tell me what the top key words that people who viewed my shop are using for their searches. "Girls dress pattern" is an obvious but "Wrap dress pattern" and "Reversible dress pattern" are also high up meaning that I have to make sure those keywords appear in every relevant listing.
The stats also give a breakdown of shop and listing favourites, orders and revenue by periods of a day, week, month, year and beyond.
There is an article on the etsy blog here that goes into more detail about shop stats and is a good read if you're planning to use it regularly.