Cat ladies are crazy…trendy!

I just started a four week workshop called Designing Textiles for Fashion: Women’s Activewear through the Pattern Observer.  Every time I say “activewear” I have to sing it just like this. I am one of those people who wear activewear for working out, pretending I’m going to yoga class as well as binge watching Netflix. As an avid athleisure consumer, I think it is important to learn about this niche textile market.

In the first part of the course, we are learning about trend identification. I’ve been checking out the looks coming down the runways right now and have come up with some fun and funky trends. The first trend I noticed is, and I’m not kidding, cats. Stella McCartney, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci  and others are strutting their fierce feline stuff. See it to believe it on my Cat Fancy Pinterest Board! 40 is the new 30, navy is the new black, and cats are the new owls.

Now the challenge is to take this feline inspiration and translate it into some patterns for the activewear market! Stay tuned for two more trends from the 2016 runways.


Trend board photo attributions (clockwise from top right)


Into The Woods mood board


I’m doing a new challenge over at the Textile Design Lab to create a collection to add to my portfolio. The theme is Earthed and I’m a little out of my comfort zone with these colors. But I’m up for the challenge as comfort and growth aren’t really besties anyway. So I’m heading into the woods to see what I can create. I’ll keep you posted.


PS- All photos in the mood board are from the amazing free photo resource: Unsplash

Ideal Customer


I’ve got my destination inspiration of the Greek Isles and I’m going to incorporate some citron green into my patterns. The destination inspiration provides a loose framework that will guide my process. There will be a strong influence from the sea and beach landscapes, organic shapes and an overall mellow and relaxed vibe. Okay, great. But who am I designing for? Who is going to put these patterns in their house? Picking an ideal customer is immensely helpful for the editing process in design. My ideal customer is the third anchor that I will keep coming back to as my patterns develop to keep my collection on track.

My time in the Textile Design Lab taught me what to look for in an ideal customer. Where does she live? Where does she shop? What is her style?What items would she buy with your patterns on them? I get to pretend I’m an author. I like that, because I don’t have the talent to actually be an author.

My ideal customer for this collection is Samantha. She is 3o something and lives in Santa Cruz, California. She loves the ocean and runs along the coast every morning with her mutt, Buster. She is adventurous and her home reflects her travels. Her style is eclectic but modern and she is not afraid of a little color. She likes to shop at Anthropologie, Etsy, West Elm and She is looking to redecorate her bedroom and turn it into a relaxing coastal sanctuary. Now, what would Samantha buy?



Have you ever seen Fantastic Mr. Fox? If not, you should. Even if you are an adult. If you are feeling foxy or feisty or somewhere in between, this is the wallpaper for you!



smartphone wallpaperFoxy-iphone

ipad wallpaperFoxy-ipad

Santorini Mood Board


I will admit I am a mood board junkie. I love to make them myself and I love to look at those of others.  The mood board phase of my process is where I come up with some of the references, textures and trends I will use for my collection. This is also the time that I develop my color palette. Semi-side note- one of my favorite ways to create a color palette for a pattern is to take some beautiful photos from my destination inspiration and pull colors directly from the photo using the eyedropper tool in Adobe Illustrator. This probably sounds odd, but I feel that process lends some authenticity to my work- like somehow I’m being true to my inspiration by using the actual color captured there.

I also want to share two amazing resources for creating beautiful mood boards: and These two websites create and curate gorgeous high resolution photos that are under the Creative Commons Zero license which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer. I always like to attribute though, when I can. Artist honor code.

As you can see from this mood board, I have addressed the first two anchors of my design process:

  • Destination Inspiration: Santorini in the Greek Isles
  • Trend: Using a bright pop of citron
  • Ideal Customer: Coming up in my next post

Attributions as promised! The photos in the mood board are courtesy of:

  • Jay Mantri at (washed textures and patterns from the sea)
  • Mykonos by scott1723 on Flickr (door)
  • Mykonos Town by DarkB4Dawn- modified on Flickr (boat and beach)
  • Blue Dome @ Santorini Oia by Kevin Poh Flickr
  • Santorini by Margaret Barley on


First Friday Freebie

Maybe I’m wacky, but I love to change out my iPad and iPhone wallpaper on a regular basis. I change it based on the season, my mood or when I need a new mantra or mindset. Because I change it every few weeks, each time I turn on my phone I get a happy little surprise. Hey, I never said I was a complex person. When I get used to it, I switch it. Free phone or tablet wallpaper won’t change the world, but it may make you crack a smile. It’s the little things, people!

It’s definitely fall in Portland, Oregon. In a predictably Pavlovian way, the gray skies and rain signal the need for massive increases in coffee consumption. Coffee is my buffer from the outside elements and it creates a cozy cocoon of industry for me. Am I addicted? You know it. My first digital wallpaper freebie is an homage to my favorite beverage. Enjoy!

smartphone wallpapercoffee-freebie-iphone

ipad wallpaper  coffee-freebie-ipad

The Process


I use three ‘anchors’ when designing each collection:

1.) A travel destination

2.) A trend

3.) An ideal customer

Picking a destination helps guide and drive my design process. I use it as a loose framework from which to draw inspiration for the colors, shapes and textures in my designs. How can I reference unique architectural, landscape or cultural details? How can I convey the overall feel or mood of this location? Participating in the Textile Design Lab at the Pattern Observer, I learned the importance of the other two anchors, researching upcoming trends and defining an ideal customer. Researching and incorporating trends is essential, a dash of deconstructed geometry or a pinch of primitive motif keeps the designs fresh and relevant. Finally, I always create an ideal customer for my collection. This customer even gets a name, I know her personal style, what her house looks like and even where she shops. Definitely bordering on creepy stalker- if she were real! When designing a collection, I constantly ask myself WWSB. What would Sophie (or Sadie or Suki) buy?