Punk Posters Get Swissted

Mike Joyce is a designer from New York who has had the clever idea of re-designing old punk/indie band posters using a slick Swiss Modernist style. He uses the same Akzidenz Grotesk font throughout his series and has managed to create a collection of charming, playful and beautifully minimal designs.

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I actually wrote about these posters about 2 years ago but his work seems even more relevant to me now that i’m screen printing and designing patterns. These pieces are very inspiring and remind me of the Ogami notebooks featured here a few weeks ago. Some of these designs below seem to reflect the direction my work is taking at the moment. I’ve always dreamed about owning a swanky loft apartment by the Thames with a few of these posters on the wall. I haven’t quite fulfilled that dream but I have finally ordered the book which includes an impressive 200 posters. You can visit his personal site at swissted.

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Psychedelic Circles

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Last week I ventured back into the studio with a bunch of new fabric that i’ve sourced from a lovely place up north. I decided to try overlaying two colours on a large scale to see if it would look good. The day started of really badly with a few terrible prints and an exposed screen that just disintegrated when I washed it. I kept at it though and after 3 hours of faffing and moaning I managed to get my first colour down.

Once I started on the second colour I lifted up the screen and was so chuffed with the results I actually cried! It was the first time I’d printed something that is 90% perfect (minus a few image glitches here and there.)

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I have to say the new fabric i’m using is just gorgeous to print on and at half the price of my regular fabric. All this hard work is starting to pay off! I’ll probably make some tote bags from this and am designing some printed tags to go with them.

Print of the Week: Lulu and Luca

There are certain designers and printers that never fail to inspire me and Lula and Luca is one of them. It’s just one woman whose textiles are screen-printed and hand sewn into cushions and bags. I popped along to this months Crafty Fox Market in Brixton, saw her stall in the corner and bagged myself one of her large purses. It even inspired me to make some larger purses of my own which means I can use some offcuts of my bigger patterns designs.

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Notebooks by Ogami

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In between screen printing and designing patterns I have a serious obsession with beautiful stationery. That includes everything from notebooks, pencils, rubbers, diaries, pens, paper, did I mention notebooks? I’ve usually got about 3 notebooks on the go at once and I use them for writing down ideas, lists, doodles, reminders, pretty much everything. There are so many beautiful designs out there that I thought i’d start sharing a few. Today I discovered the “quotes collection” by a company called Ogami. These designs remind me of the Swissted posters I featured a few years ago. They have inspired me to create a range of my own. You can buy them from origin68.com for just a few pounds.

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Colourful Tote Bags

The last printing session was such a success. This was the first time I was able to print a large run in different colours with minimal problems. I managed yellow, blue and pink. I’ve now sewn them all into tote bags and am chuffed to bits. I’ve overlocked the inside seam so the edges don’t fray and have tested one out with all my heavy shopping and they take the weight. I’m now thinking of making larger purses in bright neon colours with a black zip for a really bold look.

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I’ve also been working on some new designs as i’m desperate to print something different. Here are some fun strawberry patterns i’ve been working on. I can just see these working as a two colour print (oh lord!) and really large so each strawberry will measure about 5 or 6cm.

 

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How to Make Origami Storage Boxes

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These paper boxes are perfect for organising all your small items like beads, bobbins, buttons, and light bulbs. They fit perfectly into small draws, making everything perfectly neat and tidy.

I’m going to show you how to make them. It takes a while to master this but once you’ve practised on scrap paper a few times you should get the hang of it. Then you can start having some real fun with different papers. Here you can see I’ve used magazines and old envelopes. In this example I’ve chosen some scrap Christmas paper and customised it with some stripes out of the sticky tape bought from Slanchogled.

You will need:

1. A 25cm square, this will make a 6cm box. Ruler and a pencil.

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2. Fold your sheet in half so you have a nice crisp fold along the center.

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3. Take the corners of your square and fold them in to the centre. You can see here my box is going to be stripy with the snowflake pattern on the inside.

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4. Now you need to measure this square in thirds and fold along the lines.

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5. Make sure you make these creases nice and sharp – it will help you later on.

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6. Open your square and rotate 90 degrees and repeat step 4.

7. When you open this up you should have a 9 square grid.

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8. Now open two opposite flaps.

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9. This is the tricky bit. Take the top right square and fold it into the middle. Sealing down the creases as you go. Repeat this on the other side.

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10. What you should have is a flap at the top like the image below. Fold this flap all the way over.

Repeat step 9 and 10 for the other side.

And there you have it, a cute little box. It took me quite a few tests but it’s worth it!

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Craft heaven at Slanchogled

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Slanchogled is a fantastic little craft shop just a few minutes away from Chalk Farm Station and has been one of my little London secrets for a few years now. There are so many exciting items to get you inspired to create. There are the usual artist supplies like paints, pencils, notebooks and glue. They have colourful beads, wooden letters, balsa wood boxes and tiny little glass bottles with cork lids. They have a great selection of papers, pots, envelopes, little stamps and all at a reasonable price.

I bought some tiny metal buckets (£1.95 each) a small terracotta pot, (only 85p) a small glass jar and some fun sticky tape all for less than £10.This truly is a treasure trove for anyone who wants to get into crafting or is looking for some unusual items for a party or wedding. They even do workshops too! I have plans to use the sticky tape in my next post.

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Product Photography

I’m starting to build up a little collection of handmade bags and purses now and have been playing around with the dreaded task of photographing my products for ETSY. It’s so ridiculously important to have great product shots and i’m finding it difficult to get that perfect image. However, I won’t be beaten! I made a few test shots on a white chair directly in the sunlight. The white balance is completely wrong and I blame that on the lack of studio lights and sunshine. It’s very tempting to hire a professional company to do this sort of thing but i’m determined to do this on a budget, and besides, it’s quite fun learning these things yourself.

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