Eye In The Envelope

The next task on the agenda was to make an envelope to go with my greetings card.

Originally, I wanted to have a black envelope so that it would really match up to the card, but then after speaking to Keireine, I realised that while the envelope was just an add on to the card, the design of the envelope could be something that elevated the design of the card. Also that a black envelope is really unpractical, and the the post office doesn’t like having addressed write in white ink.

The envelope could be something subtle so that when the card is revealed it would be a wow moment, which is kind of what I wanted.  I also wanted my envelope to mask the brightness which is inside the card, which is why I decided I didn’t want yellow on my envelope because in my experience, envelopes do tend to match, and I didn’t want to give any clue about the bright yellow colour pop that goes inside.

That was my original motivation for a black envelope, so that when looked at, no one would realise that the card contains a bright yellow centre!

However; to match up with both my collection and my card, and with some tips from Keireine, I decided on a grey envelope. This works nicely with the black and white design of my card and also with my two wrapping papers, which are both mainly monotone.  With the colour of my envelope decided, I though it would be too easy, and a bit boring to have just a plain envelope, so that’s where patterns come in.

I made three different envelopes, each with a different design inside. It was then a case of choosing which envelope I wanted.


Out of the three patterns, one was on my roll wrap and the back of my gift bag so that was automatically pushed to the bottom of my chooses; it would work well but I didn’t really want to have the same designs on three different products.

The other two designs were both on my greetings card, while one was also on the handles of my gift bag; which would again, give me the same designs on three products. So the other designs, which was also on my greetings card isn’t really noticeable; its used as the background surface pattern (because I have two surface patterns on my greetings card) and as such, isn’t a design that is dominant, which pretty much puts this design at the top of my choices list.

However, after all that reasonable thought, I decided to pick the envelope design that I thought looked the best, which was the second design; the one that matched the design for the card. It just looked better and sat more coherently with the rest of the collection. All the logical arguments can be made, like in this case, but sometime you just ave to go with you instinct and choose which one you think will fit better, instead of which one would logically fit better.


The Tag In Blue

One of the suggestions that Keireine give me to think about was the fact that my tag was black, and that not everyone had white pens, meaning the tag isn’t really that practical.

With this in mind, I then started to think about how I could bring this practice element into my tag. My swing tag has two layers already, the black front with the laser cut design, and a separate film-work layer all held to other by black and blue foil ribbon.

What I needed was another layer that I could insert between these two, which would work really well with the rest of the tag, and also have a surface which is a much more practical writing area.

I tried a grey insert which I didn’t think worked very well; I also tried white but that was a bit too plain; I then experimented with a insert that was white on one side and blue foil on the other. There was just too much blue for it to be classed as a coloured pop, I think.

I left one tag with the blue foil insert, and started to experiment with another insert, a white one that had blue foil strips on it. I felt like this insert could be the one, but when I attached it to the rest of the tag, there was just still too much white. It looked really lovely on its own, but I don’t think it added anything to the tag itself.

So I was looking at these two tags with their different inserts and decide that the fully blue foiled insert was better, but when I added it onto the other tag, I noticed that when the holes lined up, the blue was hanging over the edge of the black tag, thanks to my terrible cutting/hole-punching skills. However, I actually really liked this mistake!

(I feel like half of this project has come about from mistakes and happy accidents!)

What I was left with was a thin sliver of blue foil above the top and right hand side of the black tag, and I love it. There not too much blue; it makes the black look blacker and it helps to accentuate the blue in the ribbon; it also, gives me suitable writing surface because the reverse side of the blue foil is white card!

So I glued the foil insert to the back of the black tag, making sure I had those slivers of silver and that white backing, which really just bring the tag onto another level. It also mirrors the small slivers of purple foil that I added into my roll wrapping paper. I love having small elements that are repeated in more than one project, it just helps to knit the whole collection together more.

Professional Practice – Jason Davies and Daisy Dando

Jason Davies and Daisy Dando were the second professional practice speakers today. There were here to talk about teaching as a career path. I’ve had fleeting thoughts about teaching, but then I realise that I have no patience whatsoever. I would love to be able to give people what I’ve gotten from my previous teachers, the help and confidence but I just don’t have the temperament for teaching. It was however, I very good presentation, you could clearly see how passionate Jason Davies was about teaching.

Professional Practice – Keireine Canavan

It was really cool to hear about the work that Keireine has been doing these past years. It was interesting to hear about the path she’s taken after university, and how each project or adventures has lead to the next.

Its so fascinating to think about all the places Keireine has been, all the people she’s met and worked with. I really love that Keireine knows her passion, and has been chasing it since having left university. It’s inspiring to think that I can do the same thing, find what I love and then endlessly pursue it.

Its also really fascinated to hear about all the different weaving she’s been doing, the research and the people around the world, the last of them, who know hoe to use these old and pretty much forgotten techniques and processes.

The Sheet Wrap Dance


The design for my sheet wrap happened to be a happy accident. I was playing around with samples, layering and then bam! There was a result that I liked. A white pattern printed onto film work, with black organdie on under and white organdie over it. The result was a very tonal wrap design that was quite soft, which worked really well as a contrast to my roll wrap design.

While it was great to find a design I liked that easily, I still wanted to experiment with adding more tones, or maybe a contrasting stripe like in my roll wrap.

I used slices of film-work for thinner stripes and tape to create larger spaces, trying out a few different combination.

I experimented with closer stripes, overlapped stripes and stripes that were quite far apart.

Two of my designs had very structured lines that contrast really well with the more expressive lines of my grid design.  the other however has overlapping designs that are a bit more similar to the foreground pattern which I think makes the designs look a bit busy and doesn’t have a good as contrast of the more regimented stripes.

I think I prefer the design without the added tonal elements/stripes. I think by adding in extra elements its taking away from the simpleness of the design which compliments the business of my roll design. I like that both of the designs play off each other in both print and colours, I think this makes my collection more complex and well thought out.

Greatest American Ribbon

The idea I had for my ribbon was pretty solid. It cam from a lot of experimental printing the happened at the beginning of this project, and came from a specific sample that actually printed wrong.  I took this design and scanned it in, so that I could re-created the mistake I’d made. Not that I didn’t know how to, I had accidentally printed onto the wrong side (or maybe the right side given the results) of photo paper, so that the foil I was transferring in the heat press, stuck not only to my pattern but also to the plastic of the photo paper in a random, but beautiful pattern.

This is the design I chose to have on my ribbon; a structured grid pattern that had suddenly turned into a unpredictable mess. I loved it.

I also knew that I wanted my ribbon to be white, with orange foil, just like that original samples because, lets face it, I am obsessed with that happy accident.

There was a problem though, all the foils had been used up in a second year workshop and it was going to take while before more could be ordered in. So about two weeks later, I was still waiting on my foil, but it was ok, because my ribbon was going to look boss in the end.

With only three weeks until I/G came back for another visit I was getting a bit insane in the membrane. I wanted my ribbon done so I could check that off the list of things I needed to complete, and low and behold! The new foils arrived on Friday (or was it Thursday?). I was so excited, I rushed into the office to ask Steve for some of that beautiful orange foil, only there wasn’t any. None what so ever. To say I was crushed wouldn’t be an exaggeration. I was actually gutted, still am. I adored that orange, I’d even tried to order some from two different places while waiting for Steve’s order to come in, and neither of those came anywhere near to this colour.


I had no choice. There wasn’t enough time for me to order any more foil and have it here in time for my presentation. I had to choose another colour. One from my colour scheme. I’d used the yellow in my card, the pink on my bag, the purple on my wrap and bow, and the blue on my tag. There was only one option for me, to use the same aqua blue as I’d used on my tag, for my ribbon. Thankfully it wouldn’t look too similar, because while it’ll still be the same foil, the fabric I was printing it onto was a different colour, and I was also using a different design.

It looks good, don’t get me wrong, its a lovely looking ribbon which I finished off with white and blue overlocking, but I just isn’t the ribbon I wanted. It isn’t that beautiful deep orange that I loved so much. It does however fit in well with my collection, and ties the tag and the ribbon together in a way that the roll wrap and bow tie have been connected. It works well, but its just not that orange.

This Must Be The Bow

The quest for the best gift bow is upon us. The rules are as follows; use only grey, black, white and purple; include organdie and embossing foil; be creative, be inspired and, embroidery is allowed.

You have 1 day to complete your task.


Four bow ties later and I was ready to give up for the day. My mind was literally crying out for me to stop looking at bows; to stop making bow, and for the love of all things glittery, to stop looking at bows!


The first I created as a tester, to experiment with shape. The second was combining embossing foil, with white print and purple thread. The third, black, white and grey came into play, along with some font and foil. The fourth bow was getting better; made from printed organdie with a purple foil backing and silver foil holder.

It wasn’t until after my tutorial with Keireine (a most welcome break) did I make the bow to surpass all other bows. A masterpiece made of white organdie, with a white printed font design; combined with colour pops of purple embroidery and wrapped safely in a silver foil holder.

I can’t take all the credit mind you, Keireine told me what she liked most about the other bows, which was the printed font pattern and gave me a few ideas on how to combine the colour pops and from there, there was a lot of finger stabbing and squinting.

I definitely think that the colour pops are ingenious. I can think of a few other ways of trying to add colour to the bow but none would have been as effective and good looking as embroidering a few random letters. The purple takes the bow into a whole other level of interesting. The colours work well with both of my wrapping papers, and while my roll wrap also had purple colours pops, these aren’t enough so that my sheet wrap looks like the odd man out.

Im really happy with my bow, and how this has made my collection process. I’m very happy with the direction it is going in and I can’t wait to see what feedback I get from the I/G visit coming up.