July - round up!

so so glad summer is finally here and seems happy to be sticking around (it's due to rain tomorrow so don't think it's me jinxing it this time - it was already decided by the gods!!). i think that has helped lift the spirits after the block and i feel very much on my way with my new collections, hoorah! most of this month has been working on them but with a few other bits thrown in for good measure...

* i've been thinking of which new products to produce to feature my new designs. i'll be keeping some of the same products as i currently have, but also looking to add something new to the mix...suggestions have been garden gloves, mugs, bedding and scarves. what do you think?

* i was honoured to be 'chiefo' for my wonderful friend Emily's wedding. not only was i lead bridesmaid but i also got to design all the wedding stationery as well as do the flowers. i see floristry in my future...

* i've had some great feedback and press opportunities the past few weeks. they always work so far in advance - they're all doing their Christmas shopping guides now! seems so wrong when it's 30 degrees outside!! these should be coming through the ranks soon so stay can see my latest press release here.

* so pleased my competition winners loved their prizes! one is even on it's way to BRAZL!  follow me on facebook and twitter for your chance to enter the next round and to keep up to date with all my latest news, hot off the press! 

* might as well also plug that i'm having a * { ! SUMMER SALE ! } * pop over to my shop to have little lookie... i have a whole selection of stationery, accessories and homewares and lots of bold summery designs...perfect for this season!

*  really want to share some sneak peeks of my new range but not just yet, still some more to do and then i might just be ready ... it's a range that is really personal to me and it is one that can grow year on year and be a whole lot of gorgeousness!

a new direction?

i've had a lot of friends weddings the past few months and yesterday was the last one on the list. and what a stunner it was! i was 'chiefo' bridesmaid for ex-house mate emily and hubby to be rob. not only that but i was enlisted to create their wedding stationery, organise the all important palette and (due to a love for floristry) to do the wedding bouquets. such a great celebration of our friendship to be involved so heavily.

emily already had her eye on one of my 'rose' designs so we worked together to sort the palette and then this became the basis for the rest of the stationery (save the dates, invites and menus). the wedding was held outside on the grass leading up to a beautifully painted pagoda which was featured in the invites and the rose theme ran throughout.

all that was left to do on Thursday was the flowers. now i hadn't done much since my last friends wedding (last april...eek!) so i bought some flowers the previous week to have a practice with. and loved it! it was no different on Thursday, apart from the fact these flowers were absolutely stunning. a beautiful selection of corals, creams, and greens , including peonies, roses, stock, rosemary, and eucalyptus. (there were a couple more but i can't remember their names!)

it was so relaxing to do, i really miss it and i really hope one day it can become an actual part of my job. popping round to the florists house (she did the main displays) beforehand and seeing her works pace with all the flowers out was just lovely and i'm very envious! the smells were amazing and it's just such a gorgeous job.  if only i can leave my admin job and replace with floristry...oh wait, i could do that. might get job searching this week...

me and imogen (emily's sister) the 'maids' with our flowers :)

attack of the Creative Block monster

it's been a tricky couple of months in 'create-amazing-things-land' for Mel Smith Designs. as you may have seen on my latest monthly round up posts i haven't been anywhere near as productive as i was at the start of the year. and this is because of one thing. i've been suffering from the dreaded Creative Block monster.

he's a meany.

he steals all ideas / visions / general ability to do ANYTHING, and you're left with...not all that much actually. on my big plan schedule for this year i was dedicating May through August for designing my new collection(s), starting with woodland. well he scuppered that plan well and good! it was the last week of June and i had 1/2 a design. HALF. crap.

i felt like i had a solid idea and could see what i wanted. but nowt happened. as continued for about 6 weeks.  moodboard - done, doodles - yeah a few, thumbnail ideas - check, i even did the individual characters...but no actual FULL COMPLETE STUFF!!

i'm not sure what made the Creative Block monster strike. i guess i wasn't totally secure in the 'woodland' theme so switching projects also as a wise move i think. 'woodland' is something i'd still like to pursue but as another designer said to me, it's been done a lot and i'd have to do something crazily different to stand out. i haven't done many characters before (apart form my recently completed Christmas 2014 card range) so that all made me a bit nervous. but i can build on this separately and go back to it once i feel confident enough. 

there are tonnes of advice pages on how to battle creative block, they all pretty much say the same - step away, go for a walk, try a different technique...but i think for me booking a 3 week trip to Peru this September may have helped somewhat! i did 3 designs in 4 days!

i ditched the woodland idea and went straight to what was going to be my 'supporting' range, a smaller collection based on my travel adventures. you've already seen some of my line drawings of the beautiful houses in Amsterdam. well, here's them all designed up. this is just a small part of my full illustration, don't want to spoil to great unveiling :p

and so i continue this weekend, concentrating on other traditional dutch pieces.

so for now i shall stick with the travel bug and continue our tour merrily around the memories from the wonderful places i have been fortunate enough to visit so far...where shall we venture next i wonder...