Adventures in Surface Design

I thought I'd let you know I've opened a Spoonflower shop and have some of my designs available as fabric. I have a little collection called Lilium, which you can see below, as well as an assortment of some of my other patterns, and I have a few more I'll be listing for sale in a few weeks. (See what I did there? I made the layouts look like plates from The Grammar of Ornament!) Anyway, you can visit my Spoonflower shop right here. I really love designing patterns and have other pattern-related projects simmering away that I'll tell you about later. Patterns! Patterns!! Patterns!!! How are you? I'm so happy about the lovely autumn weather and that daylight savings is over and I finally got that hour back I'd been missing all summer - pity about it getting dark so early though!

Pretty Patterns

A little look at a new pattern I've designed called Autumn Cottage. I love surface design so much, & will be selling fabric in my shop, as well as jewellery & accessories, featuring some of my new prints & patterns. I also have some new greeting cards & gocco prints in the pipeline & I would love to sell gift wrap too, if I can find a good place to have it printed. (If you know anywhere in Australia that prints small-run gift wrap sheets on good quality recycled, uncoated stock, please let me know!) As for that elusive shop of mine... I keep on being sidetracked by new work coming along, but I promise you I'm working on it & it won't be long! The actual development & design of the shop is done, it's just a matter of filling it with nice things, which I am busy doing - mark my words!

Memory Lane: It's Cracker Night!

After Christmas & birthdays, there was nothing so exciting to my younger self as Cracker Night, when the suburbs were aglow with catherine wheels, sparklers, roman candles & bonfires. Cracker Night was held in late-autumn here in Australia (a lingering tradition of the Empire Day holiday of May 24th that were phased out in the 1960s), & it was commonplace to set off fireworks on the abandoned circle of sand in your backyard that, come summer, lay beneath your 3-foot swimming pool. We also observed Guy Fawkes Night on November 5th. I recall an exciting evening at my primary school, where they assembled (what seemed to me) a gigantic bonfire on the school oval & burnt a floppy effigy made of newspaper-stuffed pantihose. I had no idea what the Gunpowder Plot was all about, but it was all very thrilling nevertheless!

Sadly, Cracker Night came to an end in the mid-70s, but I still have fond memories of the excitement of backyard fireworks. To celebrate the exuberant packaging design & advertising of the fireworks of my early childhood, I thought I'd dedicate a series of blog posts to them. This first one is devoted to the beautiful patterns & colours of fireworks labels, & coming up will be a post packed full of fireworks typography, & another about posters & advertising.

I think fireworks packaging & branding was absolute genius - so evocative & exciting - I'm sure you'll agree these patterns are gorgeous. I love that so much attention to detail was lavished on something that would eventually be set alight & explode! But what an explosion...raining stars, fizzy, sparkly, noisy & glorious.

The names of the different fireworks were as colourful as the packaging, conjuring images of fountains & fire bursts, space travel, magical creatures, snow storms, bombs, warfare, jewels & flowers.  Here are some of my favourites...

Twinkler, Floodlight, Crackling Pearl, Emerald Cascade, Harbour Lights, Golden Rain, Sequin Shower, Carnival Torch, Jewel Casket, Silver Fountain, Crystal Spray, Magic Flowers, Star Stream, Silver Cloud, Silver Mist, Silver Streamer, Glittering Cascade, Scarlet Runner, Shimmering Cascade, Golden Zodiac, Jewelled Pyramid, Silver Tree, Jewel Fountain, Harlequin, Magic Tracer, Jewel Torch, Flower Pot, Whistle Stop, Shamrock Shooter, Snow Drop, Snow Blizzard, Royal Squib, Jack in the Box, Signal Beacon, Whirligig, Spitfire, Smasher, Spangled Star Bomb, Fiery Whirlwind, Thunder Flash, Electric Whizzer, Air Bomb, Flash Gun, Dam Buster, Wonder Banger, Mine of Fiery Serpents, Humming Spider, Will o' the Wisp, Pixie Tree, Banshee, Screech Owl, Fairy Fountain, Little Demon, Flying Imp, Fairy Fern, Crackling Cauldron, Moon Travellers, Radium Dazzler, Mighty Atom, Meteorite, Lunar Rocket, Silver Orion, High Ball, City Flicker, Sunset Strip.