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Here comes Halloween

September 25, 2014

Black Cat Damask fabric by Jenimp on Spoonflower
My Halloween-inspired Black Cat Damask is third this week in Spoonflower’s Cat Damask contest (I love it when they get weird and specific!).

It was fun (I say that a lot, don’t I? But I really do think most of my job is pretty fun) to think about the shapes of the cats and leaves and fit them together into a pattern. And I love how those pairs of cats came out looking like they know something we don’t…I didn’t think about it until I saw this photo, but the cats remind me a bit of the yellow-eyed black cats in one of my favorite books when I was a kid, The Witch of Hissing Hill by Mary Calhoun.

With its playful-but-still-sophisticated black and yellow-orange design on an off-white background, this fabric would be perfect for a Halloween tablecloth or throw pillow.

Photo: Spoonflower via Flickr

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Library love

September 11, 2014

Old Friends library card fabric by Jenimp on Spoonflower

I agree heartily with Jorge Luis Borges when he said, “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” I volunteer with the Friends of the Library group for my local branch, and am probably driving the staff crazy with the number of books I request and check out weekly. So I was happy to see that the theme for last week’s Spoonflower contest was Libraries.

I played around with a few ideas (look for more library designs from me in the future!), but the one that I ended up using was scans of library checkout cards, altered to feature some of my favorite books, from “Where the Wild Things Are” to “The Bell Jar.” I love those cards – they’re a link to pre-computer times, a tiny record of the past, and such cool-looking pieces of ephemera.

I also changed some of the identifying details on the cards, like the library locations – often to match the setting of the book or something from the author’s life. Being a type geek, I had a lot of fun matching up the old fonts and the look of vintage typewriters.

Apparently there are a lot of other fans of checkout cards out there, too, because my “Old Friends” fabric came in 5th in this week’s voting. Thanks everyone! I’m off to order the design on Spoonflower’s Eco Canvas and make a book bag, myself.

Happy reading, happy sewing!

Photo by Spoonflower via Flickr.

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S’mores

August 8, 2014

Smorgyle fabric by Jenimp on Spoonflower

I’ll bet you didn’t know that August 10th is National S’mores Day.  (Really – look it up.  I’m not just making up excuses to eat roasted marshmallows, I swear.)

Sounds like the perfect time to break out my Smorgyle fabric, ideal for BBQ aprons, picnic napkins, pillowcases and more.

The topic also reminded me of a fun, easy invite I did a few years back for a camping-themed birthday party: I topped rectangles cut from an old topographic map with a printout of my s’more illustration for a quick, inexpensive invite that set the mood for the outdoorsy party.

Camping birthday party invitation by Jeni P

Are you hungry yet?  Check out this S’mores Dip from Hungry Brownie – no campfire required.

 

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Here there be monsters!

May 22, 2014

Doodle Monsters fabric by Jeni Paltiel. Photo by Spoonflower via Flickr.

This week’s Spoonflower contest was crayon-drawn monsters – so I made some monsters drawing with (or occasionally eating – they are monsters, after all) crayons. It was a lot of fun, once I got over my fear of crayons (there’s no erasing!) and got into it. I think my favorite is the green guy with horns, or maybe the hapless orange one eating the blue crayon.

And my entry came in third this week – yay! Check out my Doodle Monsters fabric at Spoonflower or buy all of the top 10 designs in a fat quarter bundle from the link on the Contests page.

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Resolutions

January 10, 2014

Manifesto fabric by Jeni Paltiel. Photograph by Spoonflower.

Usually when I think about resolutions, it’s in terms of dots per inch, the almighty dpi that can make or break a print project or keep things running smoothly on the web.

But for last week’s Spoonflower contest, I had to think about New Year’s resolutions – specifically, hand-lettered ones. I’d been itching to try more hand-lettering, so I came up with my list of aspirations, from the practical (do the dishes more often) to the creative (make art) to the esoteric (let it be) to the probably impossible (get more sleep), and wrote them out in my nicest, funkiest writing. It was fun to explore lots of different styles, and to think about what I wanted to improve this year. So far I’ve been flossing regularly, and making art. The rest of them I’ll have to keep working on.

As a nice bonus, my Manifesto fabric came in 3rd in the New Year’s Resolutions fabric contest. Thanks, Spoonflower voters!

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Summer inspiration

July 18, 2013

It’s time for another Minted inspiration board, this one playing off the Watercolor Strokes Party Invitations by Shari Margolin.

Inspired by the bright, warm colors and casual style in the invite, I imagined an easy, fun summer brunch or afternoon party for all ages with paletas and gourmet donuts, papel picados, casual flower arrangements with dahlias and succulents, and cheery bubbles. (The embedded board gets chopped off by my layout here, but click on it to see the whole thing.) Planning a virtual party is fun — way less work than a real party. :)

Sweet Summer Party by Jeni Paltiel, see more Minted

Sweet Summer Party board by Jeni Paltiel. See more Minted

Featured above (clockwise from top left):

  1. Watercolor Strokes Party Invitations by Shari Margolin
  2. Paletas from Las Paletas in Nashville, TN (photo from Tennessee Home & Farm)
  3. Blowing bubbles by Always Anne
  4. Donuts by Tiny Water Photography via Inspired by This
  5. Fabric bunting by Accidental Vix
  6. Succulent centerpieces by Flora Grubb

Here are a few more things I didn’t have room for in the inspiration board, but thought would go well with the party:

  1. Another great book about gourmet ice pops
  2. A make-your-own mimosa bar for a morning party or sangria for the afternoon — or go with strawberry lemonade
  3. Martha Stewart’s over-the-top giant paper flowers and lanterns
  4. How About Orange’s fun Compliment Bunting
  5. Perky orange stripe and dot paper straws from Delish General Store
  6. These pretty little grapefruit cookies from Une Gamine dans la Cuisine – perfect take-home favors

Hmmm…I may have to throw a party!

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Persephone’s Garden

May 29, 2013

Persephone's Garden fabric by Jeni Paltiel at Spoonflower

My “Persephone’s Garden” fabric came in second in this week’s Greek myths-themed Spoonflower contest. This was a fun fabric to research – I imagined what plants and insects might live in Persephone’s garden in Hades, and came up with a dark mix of thorny, carnivorous and poisonous plants, along with death’s head moths and black widow spiders and of course the fateful pomegranates. It turns out that dangerous plants like Castor bean pods, venus fly trap, mala mujer, poison hemlock and nightshade are all surprisingly beautiful.

Inspiration props go to Annie’s Annuals, where I won’t even walk near the table with the Solanum pyracanthum (“Porcupine Tomato”) seedlings; the dark and creepy Wicked Plants exhibit a couple years ago at the Conservatory of Flowers, which was in turn inspired by Amy Stewart’s book Wicked Plants; and Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief, which had a description of Persephone’s garden that, although different from what I envisioned, stuck in my mind. I love thinking about all the disparate threads from different parts of my life that get pulled together when I’m working on a design!

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