The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design – One of my learning curves.

Surface design is a journey… baby steps forwards, and giant leaps backwards into self doubt. While I’m comfortable creating art that I love, my ultimate goal is to produce beautiful, versatile textile designs. So the more I have delved into what this involves, the more I’ve realised that I need to become competent using Adobe Creative Suites. *insert stress, anxiousness and self doubt where technology begins* aaaargh. 

So, I enrolled nervously in the Art and business of Surface Design

And set about working my way through the workshops….

Mood boards and colour experiments.

Mood boards and colour experiments.

The Art and Business of Surface design is a comprehensive online course that breaks down the creative process involved in creating motifs, and turning them into marketable surface designs! The course is the product of a creative collaboration between Rachael Taylor (a successful surface Designer) and Beth Kempton (formerly Nicholls) the founder of “Do What you Love”

The course runs over four modules… I paid for Modules 1 and 2, and then effectively got busy and really only completed module 1. But the magic thing is that the workshops are downloadable, and you can save them for a later date when you are ready. I think above all else, this course leads you to making connections with other dreamers and doers, while showing you the process from beginning to end. 

As a beginner in Adobe, I got a little lost, due to not having enough time to really invest in the program, so I’m enrolling in a short course to improve my skills, before heading back to finish modules 3 and 4! 

a Beautiful mistake… Sometimes we make pretty things from having NO IDEA what we are doing! ;)

a Beautiful mistake… Sometimes we make pretty things from having NO IDEA what we are doing! 😉

If you are comfortable with Adobe creative suites, and are wanting some insight into the industry, this course might just be for you… 

what have you got to lose? 

Bec x

Collaborate for a Cause: Making Art for Charity

This time every year, hundreds of busy hands join together collectively to stitch, paint, measure, glue and carve out beautiful one of a kind pieces destined for an auction. Big hearts blossom, and cooperate in a way that unites the handmade world, all in the name of the biggest social media event to date.. “Collaborate for a Cause”

The Auction to date has nearly 200 handmade “collections” created with love for a charity of choice. Anywhere from 2 – 20 handmaidens collaborate online to create one of a kind pieces to a theme decided amongst themselves. Then comes a flurry of creating, late night cups of tea chatting online and photo sessions. There are superheros, frozen princesses, Waldorf Dolls, summer dresses and bedroom collections to make your little princess’ friends swoon with envy! Most collaborations are months in the making and involve frantic ordering of expensive quilting fabrics to ensure quality matching collections. To participate one must register to bid, and be available to sit and hit refresh at the mad last minute to gain these much prized creations. I can guarantee, though, whatever price you pay, it will be less than that which you would for a mass produced collection from a department store and filled with much more handmade love, sewn in every stitch. All donations are provided with no remuneration to it’s makers, other than the happiness that comes with giving. All proceeds go straight to charity. 

My little Handmade Facebook page “Mustardpots and Butterscotch” has participated for three years now and this year I have created four Collaborate for a Cause entries… it is with great delight that I can share them! 🙂

Beautiful Size 4 Pinny out of “Slipper Rose” quilting fabric and a size 4 Hand embroidered owl appliquéd t-shirt. 


Hand embroidered rose and lace Fascinator. 

Hand Embroidered Baby deer screen print singlet with vintage doiley flutter sleeves

Hand Embroidered Baby deer screen print singlet with vintage doiley flutter sleeves. #MustardpotsandButterscotch

Bear Lino-art , stamped and hand embroidered throw cushion

Bear Lino-art , stamped and hand embroidered throw cushion


I hope that anyone who see this will head on over to the “Collaborate for a Cause” Charity Auction, and if you don’t have the means to bid.. perhaps share with your friends.. to spread the word so that we can raise the most funds possible for the many amazing Charities chosen. 



Bec x

The Makings of a Surface Designer

Ive been on a  journey for a couple of years now… slowly finding my way to becoming a Surface Designer. For a while, I didnt really know that “Surface Designer” was the title of my dream job. I just wanted to make art that sells… specifically on textiles. So…. Here’s the path that Ive taken…. maybe someone wanting to be a surface designer will read this… and discover how to get there quicker!!

After I had my first son, I was bitterly disappointed by the lack of interesting boys clothes and fabric options. At this stage I hadn’t yet encountered the handmade world, and didn’t know about the wealth of unique fabric designs available on sites such as and

So after I had my second son, I decided to take a screen printing workshop in Lismore with Marina Cavalieri of She is amazing to work with, and I still incorporate what I learned there into some of my designing!

This is a boys outfit I made from the viking ships I printed with Marina Cavalieri

This is a boys outfit I made from the viking ships I printed with Marina Cavalieri

When I returned home from the course I googled how to make a home made Screen for printing using organza and an oversized embroidery hoop…. This does work, though the screen eventually stretches leading to an imperfect print…. The design is made by painting glue where your design is not……

Home made screen and its successful print..

Home made screen and its successful print..

Eventually I purchased a speedball Screen printing kit! You can find them at “Riot Art” here in Australia for about $99. I now use it a lot, generally I cut my screen printing designs out of contact paper with a razor… This does limit you to one colour per cut, but keeps my costs down as I can keep screen printing with the one screen! Here is an example of my very popular “Bambi” design that I sell via my clothing label “Mustardpots and Butterscotch”.

bambi bunting

I will eventually return to Marina and take the next stage of her course, which will teach me how to create permanent screens with photographic Stencilling!

The next part of my journey into surface design begins with Spoonflower….. but that post is for another day… Have a lovely day

Bec 🙂