from the Design Library today...FOLLOW THE LINE THROUGH THE HOUSE

this is such a cute book, i'm not normally one for buying kids books as inspiration but this had such a lovely concept and great graphic images i just had to!

basically there is one black line that follows you through the whole house drawing all manner of objects as it goes...the kitchen...

...the fridge...

...the basement...

...the bathroom cabinet...

...and of course the attic...

there are more books that have been added to the range including FOLLOW THE LINE AROUND THE WORLD and FOLLOW THE LINE TO SCHOOL.

this book can be bought used from from £8.96 and used from for $3.57

the make lounge!

i've had a hugely creative week this week (which seems a strange thing to say as i design nearly every day!) but i had a lot of variety to it which makes a change. i visited the Make Lounge on saturday morning, a wonderful little place in Islington run by a group of crafty ladies. 

it's not a fuddy-duddy place to go and sit quietly and sew stuff - there's chit-chat over coffee and biscuits (and of an evening wine), music, and the whole set up is very social so you can get to meet like-minded people.  i went with my friend who wanted some creativity in her life, and we settled on the lampshade workshop.  

classes are rated on difficulty and most of the classes have the materials provided for you. there is an array of fabrics for you to select from before settling down - this is usually the hardest part of the whole class!

the tutor talks you through each step offering one-to-one assistance if you're having trouble - our tutor was very friendly, the whole atmosphere was very relaxed and comfortable

friend alice and me in action!

look how neat those edges are!

the final piece! it looks lovely on my bold blue lampshade base...i'm rather pleased with it  :) 

the Make Lounge offer a huge selection of classes including making: chocolates, aprons, dresses, knickers, hand-bound journals, and beauty products.

Tent 2012 visit!

another trade show as part of the London Design Festival and this time it was the rather trendy Tent at the Old Truman Brewery. i hadn't visited Tent before so wasn't sure what to expect but it was full of super modern

we saw a burst of colour amongst some furniture stands and finally reached Sian Elin's stand - such a delight! i love her hand drawn motifs, and her use of colour is just delicious:

Sian Elin at Tent and her Tent advert

we also popped along to the stand of Surfacephilia, aka Helen Stevens. stunning drawings, a whole selection of products bursting with feathers and birds from her Navajo collection:


my new favourite find was Zoe Murphy. she restores funky retro furniture products with her unique take of her home town, Margate. great prints and colours. that's all i ask for!:

and i got to see my other favourite design team (that i saw at Top Drawer on Monday) - Mini Moderns. in a nutshell - i just love everything they do...simple as that!

Tent had a very different vibe to Top Drawer, almost like gallery exhibition in the way it was spaced and laid out.  there was a strong retro feel to a lot of the work there, both in style and in colour. which i LOVED. 

would i like to exhibit there? yes, one day, but i think i'll stick to Top Drawer as my first show...i'm not 'cool' enough for Tent just yet ;)

ola Portugal! (part 2)

on to part 2! i know you've all been DYING to see it! ;)

tiles, tiles, tiles - they were everywhere you took me forever to get anywhere as i kept having to stop and take photos. such a visual delight :)

they seem quite fond of their blue & white patterns, some nice traditional prints here:

some lovely inky tiles all along the beach, nice & sunny. suited the location perfectly:

 i just LOVE how they add pattern into all their steps. it's the little details that make the difference...

top drawer 2012 visit!

i visited top drawer on monday and had such a fantastic time! i really needed a show like this to give me a boost and give me something to aim towards!

i got to meet Rachael Taylor and Kelly Crossley and have a good chat. the stand looked brilliant - so much going on, pattern everywhere! Rachael offered so much information and advice - was great to finally meet her after completing the ABSPD course.

i also met the lovely Louise Tiler - her work is stunning. and that is still an understatement!

the 'potted stand was great - full of loads of new & fresh ideas. i had a chat to Lucy Alice - fab work and such great packaging! here are a handful of my favourites:

the show was sooooo inspiring, really needed it to give me a boost and put me back on track. i am DEFINITELY going to do the show next year (i say that in capitals to you all so i can't back out now!) plan now is to research manufacturers and get lots of pretty things made! i'd love to have a kitchen range (oven mitts, aprons, tea towels) but am also thinking greetings, and some small many things my head is buzzing so much!

passion 4 pattern blog hop!

welcome to my second blog-hop!

so i've been rather busy since my last blog-hop, lots to share! on the last blog hop i was just setting up my facebook page...and since that day i have never been off of it!  turns out i'm now somewhat obsessed...BUT that's ok, because it is such a great tool! you can follow me here...and @melsmithdesigns for twitter (which i'm still getting the hang of!)

my website has been given a bit of a makeover, it's now a nice fresh site but no doubt i'll want to change it again in a few weeks!

since my great feedback from my Olympics designs went up for sale...yippee! i also have 2 prints from my Paisleyscope range (released just this week) and 2 kids designs from my Zinnia and Winterland ranges:

i have another licensing deal under way...soon to be release so stay tuned for the latest news on that one here!

my online shops have expanded - society6, etsy and folksy all now stock various items from my Olympics/Sports, Paisleyscope, Black Border, Zinnia, and Bold & Beautiful ranges:

my work has been featured on 2 fantastic blogs - the first on Print&Pattern and most recently on Design Juices:


i would also like to share 2 brand new designs - never before seen! these are new to my Black Border range, 'feathers' and then 'cocktails' - inspired by my recent holiday perhaps ;)

after returning from a short holiday to portugal i have (what i think is) a FANTASTIC new idea for a collection! you'll have to stay tuned for this one though, there's a bit of planning involved before i can this space!

well that's enough of me waffling on about what i've been up to...why don't you pop along to Amanda Taylor for more visual treats...her A-Z Guide to Summer is fab!

hopefully you joined me from Maraya Rodostianos over at PrintPaperCloth...if not then you best go back and check it out otherwise you'll be missing a treat!

and if you want to skip back to the very start to view the complete running order just visit the blog of Claire Smillie...enjoy! :)

ola Portugal! (part 1)

ola!  i've just returned from a short break to Portugal - it was absolutely gorgeous so i thought i'd share some of my holiday snaps with you! this first is all things floral...

the apartments we stayed in (although a little bit of a walk from the main town) was just made the extra walking in the heat worth it!

my new favourite flower - 'bougainvillea' - decorated the hotel all around. it looked stunning against the bright white walls and rich blue sky [sigh] :)

these flowers were amazing - 'wandelroschen' - so rich in colour and such interesting shapes...just yum!


left: 'hibiscus', right: 'morning glory'

gorgeous 'morning glory' flowers

i struggled to find any info on the others but if anyone knows what they are please let me know!