Today was the kids’ last day of school before their Fall break starts. That meant being able to dress up for Halloween a bit early.
While they had already made specific costume requests for the official Trick or Treat night, I couldn’t resist the temptation to do something else. To be creative just for fun. To use materials that I wouldn’t necessarily usually use, like artificial flowers, rubber bats & plastic leaves. To go that extra mile, just to put the biggest grins on their faces.
So here’s what I came up with:
Max, the mischievous late night monsieur.
Dollar store top hat dolled up with a piece of iridescent ribbon & some purple & blue feathers from our craft box, topped with a dollar store raven.
Rubber bats (yup, from the dollar store) with pin backs hot glued to their undersides, pinned on to a button up white shirt.
A bow tie I made from a $$store halloween necktie (because little boys always look so much more dashing in a bow tie).
Makeup of moustache, spider & monocle, not easily painted on a squirmy 4-yr old.
Emma, the colourful garden.
Emma doesn’t do things in half measures, so she could not be a garden nymph or fairy, she was the whole garden.
Silk flowers, butterflies & dragonflies, hot glued to a green toque.
A garland of plastic leaves with extra flowers, birds & bugs hot glued on hither & thither. (All dollar store finds)
A daisy painted around 1 eye & a dragonfly on the other cheek.
Simple as that. A pair of bright stripy leggings & a green felted dress my clever Mom made her a year or 2 ago that still fits.
This weekend’s job: finish next week’s costumes. And I do believe I will be donning that flower headpiece come Wednesday night!
A few things about working with a fabric house:
thing 1: I can happily say that there seems to be a huge amount of artistic license given to the designer. Fabric companies want something new & fresh. They don’t want formulaic work. They don’t want you to be stuck in a tight style that becomes predictable. Creativity and individual voice are applauded. There are, I’m sure, limits to this, but so far, so good. I’m still trying to feel out my position in the relationship. Building a rapport seems to be key. Everything can be discussed. Want to add another colour way? Go for it. Feel strongly about a certain colour staying in a design? Express that opinion. After all, your name will be on it. Things may have to be eliminated down the road prior to production, but decisions will be made together.
thing 2: Know the repeat size. I now know that everything must work within a 24″ vertical repeat. Repeat sizes can be any number that divides equally into this 24″ (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12 or 24″). I will now always keep this in mind when designing anything new. Saves time down the road.
thing 3: Don’t go crazy with the colour!!!!! I’ve just spent 4 days doing “pitch sheets” for 2 collections. I, who LOVE colour, am, quite frankly, a tad tired of it today. This is a little section of what my desk looked like at the beginning of the process.
Because there is a limit to the number of screens that the mill uses (19 in this case, but they prefer you stick to 17), one needs to carefully pick colours. In my case with the very first collection I wanted to focus on, this was a stressful task. I started out trying hard to not think of each of the colours I was eliminating as one of my children. By today, however, I was willing to give those kids away to anyone who would take them. Anything to get this process over & done with. I tried to be meticulous. I will keep my fingers crossed.
thing 4: There is a good stretch of time (probably about 6 months) before the fabric will be on the shelf of your local fabric store. Once all the original designs are finalized & all the original colour analysis is done, it is all sent to the mill. They will make the screens & do a first strike off of all the patterns which will be sent back to the fabric house & back to me. We will make decisions about which colours need to be tweaked or changed & the process will start again. This can happen a number of times until things are just right. Then production starts. This is very reassuring when starting out, as I am unsure if my colour choices will print the way I envision.
thing 5: I will be the recipient of close to 20 yards of each and every pattern & colour way that is produced. That means that in a few months, it will be GIVEAWAY TIME! Stay tuned.
What I’ve been hoping for has finally landed on my plate. I have a licensing contract with a fabric company!!!
It means cutting back in some other areas, but I know that the timing is absolutely perfect for that to happen. Changes to my routine, and surely changes to the way I work. It’s a journey I am so thrilled to embark upon.
Ever thought it would be fabulous to be able to wallpaper your walls with whatever was swimming around in your head?
Well, the fabulous Spoonflower just gave all of us this option.
It’s easy to apply, easy to remove & eco-friendly and all just a click away.
And there’s a certain 6-yr old girl I know who’s mighty happy about it, indeed.
And if you don’t feel the creative urge to come up with something on your own, there is a gazillion of designers like me from whose work you can choose.