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A new pattern in the making – Wildflower Walkies

Greyhound greeting card

For spring/summer 2021 I have been working on ‘Wildflower Walkies. A pattern based on the memories I have as a child – walking my dog in the Cheshire countryside.

One of my most cherished memories as a teenager was walking my Labrador amongst the fields in the Cheshire countryside. I remember the fields of wild flowers, the floral fragrances and the sounds of no cars and only the occasional bee.

Starting to paint

I always start a new pattern by painting my elements. Making sure I have a range to play with is important. I started to paint the flowers from my memories including poppies, cornflowers, daisies and long blades of grass. As they appeared on the page, I could see my vision coming to life.

Paintings of the flowers

Choosing and painting the dogs

Choosing the right dogs for this pattern came from picking some of Britains most love dog breeds. I chose the lovely Golden Retriever, the fast and beautifully natured Greyhound and the energetic Springer Spaniel.

Also, while visiting my local park this year, I noticed that Cockapoos are really popular! Every few minutes, one would walk past so I knew that this much loved small dog had to be in the design.

Paintings of the dogs

Starting to put the pattern together

Once I have painted all the elements for a design I then scan in my drawings into Adobe Photoshop. From there, I then start to place the elements in my style considering balance, compostition and colour. This process takes as long as it takes depending on how the design is working for me.

The finishing touches

Finishing off the design, I filled in the gaps with long blades of grass to create the image of wildflower fields. I absolutely love how this design has turned out. For me, it is a great achievement in design as I love the depth of colour and the painted dogs. Painting for me is not my strongest area but I feel like in this design the painted elements really work well together and ‘pop’!

When is this design available on products?

I have been working on a very special new product for this design! I really wanted to push my gift sets and stationery range this year which is where the idea came for this new product. It is a bit of a secret at the moment BUT I can tell you it will be available mid may.

If you would like to keep updated on when my new work is available you can sign up to my newsletter below:

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Samantha’s favourites from her stationery collection

The favourites from my stationery collection

There is nothing more satisfying than owning beautiful stationery. Writing in a notebook that is amazing quality, wrapping a gift with matching gift tags or writing in the perfect card. I absolutely love stationery and I know you do too which is why I am here today to let you know the favourites from my stationery range!

A treat for you and your home office

A5 Horse lined notebook

My horse notebook is an absolutely must if you are an equine fan! Featuring the nation’s most popular horse breeds and inspired by the New Forest national park, this notebook is sure to please every horse and nature lover. This design features black Friesan’s, Mustangs, Andalusian’s and Haflinger horses galloping and enjoying the forest with little hints of lavender and leaves.

My notebooks are made from the finest boards and papers. This makes them weighty, beautiful to look at and easy to use. Perfect for writing down your ideas, thoughts and creations. My books are made in the UK and all of the materials used to make them are sourced from sustainable forests making them 100% eco-friendly. I only use the very best materials so rest assured you’re getting a really good notebook!

Gifting just got easier

Labrador wrapping paper

Two of my favourite things combined in one. I absolutely love Labradors and making a gift look extra special so making wrapping paper with one of my favourite patterns on it was a natural move for me. Made from weighty non-coated paper sourced from sustainable forests, this paper is completely eco-friendly and makes your gifts look amazing! If you are not a keen present wrapper or don’t have the time to wrap yourself then you can always choose my gift wrapping service at checkout. Give the responsibility to me where I can add special touches like adding jute ribbon and gift tags.

… and matching tags!

If you love my wrapping paper then you are going to like my matching gift tags. Featuring Chocolate, Black, Golden and Fox Red Labradors. Great for really tailoring your gift to your friend or families pet.

The perfect card

Happy birthday horse card

I absolutely love my new horse birthday card! Combining the nation’s favourite breeds and a special event was a goal for me to achieve this spring. You can grab this card on it’s own or as a part of the Horse Notebook gift set.

If you haven’t already, sign up to my newsletter below to get 10% off in my stationery shop!

I have shown you my favourites, now I would love to know what yours are! Let me know in the comments below.

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‘Coming Home for Christmas’ A Sneak Peak At The Products

‘Coming Home for Christmas’ A Sneak Peak At The Products – Author Amy Mcdonogh

Over the summer, Samantha and I have been working really hard on creating patterns for unique, good quality Christmas products. We have been focusing on creating carefully detailed Christmas designs. I can now reveal what products will be released for you.   

Our “Coming Home for Christmas” collection will include dog collars with matching leads, notebooks and cards and will be released in two batches. In the first batch, the dog collars and leads, four notebook designs and matching cards will be sold. The release date for the first wave of products will be on the 5th of October.

In the second batch we will release other notebook designs. But these are a surprise for now.  

These products will be sold separately as well as in gift sets to give you more options.

Dog collars and Leads

There will be dog collars with matching leads for two of your favourite dog breeds…. The Golden Retriever and the Dachshund! We have made the collars even more Christmassy by using red webbing for the inside for the Dachshund, which Sam hand dyed herself. We have sourced a skilled local seamstress which Sam uses for her other dog accessories who is based in the south of England. This supports our commitment to ethically sourced, eco-friendly and high quality products.  

Key Features of the Dog Collars:

  • Fully adjustable
  • Made from 100% Cotton
  • All fabric is dyed using water based dyes
  • Antique brass D ring, side release buckle and adjustable slider
  • Cute Dachshund and Golden Retriever patterns.

Key Features of the leads

  • Length is 110cm
  • Made from 100% Cotton
  • D ring and swivel clip
  • Strong durable webbing which has been hand dyed

First batch of notebooks

We will be selling the superior slim lined A5 notebooks in four different designs. Two repeat designs and two placement designs to give you more options to mix and match for gifts.

You can use these exclusive products for making your Christmas present or card lists, keeping a record of your favourite Christmas recipes, guest lists or the never ending Christmas “to do” lists. Let us know what you use yours for!

I previously created three repeat designs and we asked your help as to what design you would most like to see in our collection. It was a VERY close call, but the winning design is shown to the right. Thank you for your input in this project!  

Christmas Cards

We will also be selling these four different card designs, each with one of your most loved breeds. You can mix and match designs or buy the card with your favourite dog breed on. These cards will come in Dachshund, Golden Retriever, Black Labrador and Beagle. All 4 are designed to match the notebooks which will be sold as gift sets. The perfect gift for loved ones this Christmas.

We are so excited that these products will be available soon. If you want to be in the know and to be kept in the loop for when these will be available, click the link below to sign up to Sam’s newsletter.

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Coming Home For Christmas – Starting The Design Process

Coming Home For Christmas – Starting The Design Process

Mine and Amy’s project is coming along nicely and we are well into the design process. In this blog post I will share with you the design decisions we have made and why and where we are up with creating this fab collection for Christmas 2020!

The main colours are a light grey and a dark chic blue with pops of red and green

Designing the main pattern

At the beginning of the process, we divided and conquered. This was the best way as we were still in Lock down at this point so it was impossible for us to be in the same room to work on this together. We have however had great communication throughout through Skype!

We both did our own patterns but in a similar way to how I do my main collections. We chose to mimic my signature style – the grid formation I do in all of my designs. As we developed our collection, we thought it would be interesting to have 2 different patterns within the collection. One by Amy and one by me. I think because we are both strong textiles designers and because of the current situation with COVID and working separately, we wanted to both have a go at a designing a print.

What unifies the patterns is the composition, the colour palette and the similar elements. I am pretty chuffed with the colour palette. The main colours are a light grey and a dark chic blue with pops of red and green. A classy chic Christmas collection is born!

Developing the Collection

After we created the main pattern, we took elements from it to create accompanying placement designs and other patterns. It really has been great so far, as we have had so much time to play with developing the collection, which is not always a luxury!

Now that we have the main designs, we started this week to think about which ones will look great on the products we are going to produce. We have decided to do a range of notebooks and cards alongside dog collars and matching leads! We are so excited to be doing dog accessories, especially as they will be Christmas themed. Your dogs are going to look fabulous!

Above, you can see the designs for the dog collars. We decided to do the most popular breeds out of the 4 we chose, the Golden Retriever and the Dachshund. The designs are taken from the main patterns and then placed into a stripe to form the shape of the accessories. Me and Amy are really happy with these and we can’t wait to get them made.

In our next blog post, we will talk about our final design decisions and we will start to reveal what you will be able to buy in October!

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Amy Lynne Design- Painting the four dogs for Coming Home for Christmas

Amy Lynne Design- Painting the four dogs for Coming Home for Christmas

For this blog post I am going to pass you over to the amazingly talented Amy Lynne as she talks about her painting process and why we have chosen the below dog breeds for our new collection!

About the four dog breads that will be in our collection

Me and Sam together decided on four dog breads to feature in our collection. We made this choice after finding out what the nations top 20 favourite breads were! loyal Labradors, gorgeous golden retrievers, endearing dachshunds and loving beagles were our final choice. We chose four images to paint that would show the compelling natures of mans best friend!

The beagle below is actually my cousins sons dog called “Tonks”. Like all dogs, Tonks is full of character and brings us all so much joy! I felt this was the perfect opportunity to include her in our collection.

What is my painting style?

Detail, detail and lots of detail!

Ever since I was little I have been fascinated by the minute components that make up an object or living thing. I believe there is so much beauty in the detail of nature that I aim to reflect this in my artwork. 
I aim to capture the personality and expression of an animal or person in my paintings. I believe that all humans and animals have been uniquely made with their own character.

What materials have I used to paint the dogs?

I have used Windsor and Newton professional watercolours to paint the dogs. The pigmentation in these watercolours are high, resulting in stronger colours. I love using watercolours as it is such a versatile medium that allows me to blend colours together and also add fine detail. 
I also use Windsor and Newton series 7 Kolinsky Sable brushes and Arches 100% cotton hot press watercolour paper. I find these materials help to create beautiful results!

What is my painting process?

I begin by doing something called “stretching the paper” and taping it onto a board. Secondly, I sketch out the image using a faint pencil line. Thirdly, I paint a base layer of the lightest colour and whilst the paint is damp I blend darker tones in. When that is dry, I finish by adding in detail with little paint and a very small brush! I tend to paint small sections at a time to allow me to focus in on different areas. 

Keep up to date with the development of our project on this blog and social media! She is incredibly skilled and it’s a joy to be collaborating with her 🙂 

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Introducing – Coming Home for Christmas. A Special Collaborative Project

Coming home for Christmas. How did it all start?

Coming home for Christmas all started when I met the lovely Amy, a student from Brighton Met College. She originally approached me for an internship but! I thought her art style was amazing and I just knew we could work on a project together that would be so special and unique. With mine and hers love for the environment and for man’s best friend, we just knew it was fate!

“I first heard about sams buisness from a university friend who got work experience with Sam and told me what a positive experience it was. Instantly I was drawn to Sams beautiful prints that are theamed around nature. Nature is a constant influence for me and features heavily in my work. Sustainability is something that is important to me and I respect how much Sams business is geared around running ethically. In January 2020 (before covid hit the U.K.) I contacted Sam to see whether I could gain work experience with her later on in the year. In January I had an interview with Sam and got the position. I felt I instantly got on with Sam and was excited for this opportunity. We spoke then about possibly collaborating together in the future. Little did any of us know then that COVID 19 would change our lives! However that has not stopped us! Once I finished my second year of university,  I contacted Sam to see whether I could gain work experience remotely and collaborate with her. We have decided to create a Christmas collection together that is going to be around an animal we both love… dogs! We are combining our styles together :)” Amy Lynne Design

Who is doing what?

With Amy’s amazing drawing skills and my pattern design knowledge we are hoping to create a beautifully cheesy Christmas collection. These patterns and drawings will be on a range of dog collars, leads, notebooks and cards, just in time for Christmas.

The main elements of the design are the gorgeous Golden Retriever, a Black Labrador, a Beagle and a Dachshund. All of these dogs have been voted in the top 20 of the nations favourite dog breeds. Combining all of your favourite breeds and Christmas, we thought it would be the perfect combination.

All of the drawings of the dogs are done by Amy. Beautifully painted using watercolours. She is an amazing artist and really takes her time to get the detail right. Resulting in very life like drawings! These combined with my complimenting elements showing less detail, our drawings work well together.

When is this collection available?

We are currently in the design process of this project and we plan to have the collection released for mid October. This collection will be available online, in shops and at the amazing Country Living Fair in London.

I can’t wait to see what we come out with and we can’t wait to show you. Keep an eye on my blog for updates to follow our journey!