Recent Mingus sunset. Hope you can see the warm hue that blanketed the hills. Subtle, but caught my eye. The next view is of shapes usually unseen. This section is to the right in the photo above. Most often it is a long stretch of blue or green, one solid “piece”. I love how the shadows brought out the shapes. I see a painting there.
Started with a little spackle…
Ended up tearing down walls and laying a new foundation. Prior to last month’s design frenzy, my Spoonflower patterns were at about 85 total. I now have 128, and about 40 more to add. I knew when I started, that this re-design, clean up project would take longer than a week. Still, that was my goal. Could have been done days ago, if I didn’t add new to-do’s to my list as soon as I cross items off.
The project will be complete today. I am on the last two design redo’s. Wooo – Whoo! I will share those with you soon.
Your comments on my last post made me aware of my terrible explaining skills. So here is an explanation of one part of making a repeating pattern. Hiding your seams. The edges of your design.
One task was to create more complete collections. Some are just the same design in different colorways, others have a main pattern with coördinates. Both of the samples below are part of the Farmers Market collection.
I took the lemon from Bountiful, and made a quick toss pattern. There are only nine lemons in the design. Below you can see two sets of lemons. (For this design, I only used one painted lemon, very simple.) I place one element on the edge of the design. Make a copy, and with the help of Photoshops design guides, line them up to match top to bottom, and side to side.
Sometimes you can “cut” the element in directly half, and then matching them on the edge is quick and painless. Often that does not work with the overall pattern, (and you can’t have all the elements line upon a seam). The guides are a frame around the object. The edges are clearly marked, and the center is marked as well. And when you have copies of the same element centered, highlighted lines appear to let you know you have a perfect match. You get top and bottom, and center lines in bright pink.
When I am trying to match up two uneven halves, I look for a mark I can use to measure. A leaf, a spot. On the left and right lemons above, I used the end of a line detail. Got lucky on the first try, without even having to zoom in. What makes it so precarious, is that you will see the matching point on one half only. On the other half, that point is past the edge, off the canvas and invisible. So zooming in is essential, and you get really good at counting pixels.
Once you have your edges, disguised, it is a matter of placement. Fussing and fidgeting. You save the pattern (define), open a new doc where you can see it as a full repeat, and zoom in to check your edges. You also zoom way out to see it smaller, and that is when you will start to notice a different set of mistakes. You might define your pattern 20 times or more on a complex design, before you get it all right. I work in Photoshop CS5, and I am sure this part is quicker in newer versions.
So, after quickly finishing the lemons, I came up with the brilliant idea you see below. (Brilliant Sheila, make more work for yourself! LOL) I have never done a pattern like this before. But there seem to be quite a few on Spoonflower, so I thought why not give it a try. Not as difficult as I had thought, just time-consuming because there are so many elements.
There are seven rows, of seven pears. SEVENTEEN sets of pears to be matched. I first lined up the top and bottom edges, and left and right. Lucky score on the sides, three pairs matched right off. Hands in the air! None of the top and bottom matched. As expected.
I learned, that I should have just started at the top, and worked my way down. I was working in reverse. Big mistake. Oh well, one thing I won’t forget soon.
When I reached the end, the top, the last layer covered up the edge. My previous matching was under new pears. Another lesson learned. One of the things I love about designing and Photoshop, always learning!! Click here to see the finished pattern. On that page you can click on the test swatch drop down to see it in “yard” view.
All designs for sale, were revamped, or copy was edited. The same is true for Designs not for sale, 41 of which are new additions from this week. I also have private designs that will be edited and posted later today. So blessed to have had the energy to focus on this much-needed project. I will explain more about that soon.
I usually take anywhere from a day, to three days to complete a design from scratch. That includes researching the theme, choosing a palette, creating the elements digitally or by hand. And finally, creating the pattern.
I am floored by how much I have managed to work through. But my new normal is, that this burst of energy will be followed by a need for rest. Another reason I am so focused on completing the work before I move on. As it is, when I finish list one tomorrow, I have an additional dozen items that I need to address. But I will take a week or two to get through those.
Whew! Hope that answered some of your questions. I appreciate your interest and support!