Wednesday, 27 June 2012

hawkstone follies

hawkstone follies 2

I want to show you some photos I took over the weekend of an amazing place we explored in Shropshire called Hawkstone Follies. I thought it was really enchanting. It was full of intricate pathways, towering cliffs and awesome caves and tunnels through beautiful woodland.


There are lots of winding paths through sandstone and twisting trees, bridges to cross and ravines to walk through.


I was really surprised by the amazing tunnels and caves carved into the sandstone… so much fun to explore. It is said that King Arthur addressed his troops here before his final battle.


You can’t help but think of Middle Earth.


It is a bit of a slog but you are rewarded with beautiful views. Especially if you climb the spiral staircase up to the top of the monument tower.

hawkstone tower

It gave me jelly legs and I clung to the tower for a few seconds at the top with a touch of vertigo but the view was fabulous. Please click on the panorama below for a better look.

hawkstone follies panorama


Floss enjoyed herself, great to be able to take dogs there.


I loved the twisted and gnarled trees and roots, and little paths where you have to duck through leafy tunnels.


hawkstone follies 3

I am constantly noticing patterns and motifs everywhere I go since I have been doing the surface pattern course. It has changed the way I look at things.


One of the many tunnels. You do need a torch in places, I used the flashlight app on my phone.


There’s a cafe at the end for an ice cream and a drink. If you ever decide to go I have to warn you that 3 days later I am hobbling up and down the stairs because there was a lot of steps and steep climbs but you might be a lot fitter than me! It was definitely worth it.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012


delicious diary astrantia web

One of the exercises from the surface pattern course I’m doing was to design a set of stationery. I tried to design something feminine and luxurious, and used metallic gold, coral and smoke as my colour palette. One of the fun things has been naming colours to make them sound even more appealing… I do find naming patterns very difficult though. This one was easy to name though as my starting point was some astrantia flowers I picked from the garden. I sketched them first, scanned them into Photoshop, then used Illustrator to make them into a vector based pattern.

Here is the whole collection:

delicious stationery collection astrantia

I am throwing myself into this course. It is the best thing I’ve done for myself in years.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

first exercise… sketchbook to pattern


So this is my first creative exercise from the Surface Pattern course I’ve signed up for. I’ve already learnt so much from reviewing module 1 yesterday (I’ve dived straight into module 2 because I was too impatient for module 1 to start in August!) Can’t believe how intense this course is already… I’m finding myself completely absorbed by it. Already noticing patterns everywhere!! 

Anyway… for the first exercise I chose to draw the mug on my desk and ended up simplifying it to create a motif (although I was supposed to embellish it). Then after scanning it into the computer I worked it up into a complete pattern. I never thought about creating motifs in this way… it’s a bit of a revelation to me!


Thank you for all the kind comments on my last post. It’s great to be back blogging again!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

perfect timing

Well, it has been a while but I have just signed up to an exciting e-course!!! The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design!!! So I think it is the perfect time to settle back into blogging which I've wanted to do for a while. Hopefully interesting times ahead!