I’ve been finding more and more great tutorials on YouTube. Illustrator tips and tricks, Photoshop stuff, but I could not find a decent vid on how to trim and train my beast of a bougainvillea! I’ve not given up. I’ll get there. It’s just a little daunting. So many thorns! So high up on the ladder! Just so much plant!
Instead, for now, I’ll focus in on its finer beauty, the essential shapes, and just draw it. I’ll study the petals, leaves, colors, shadows and highlights to get a sense of how I want the new pattern to feel.
The flowers’ shades of pink have taken me in. Deep magentas, pale pinks, ice cream oranges. Analogous colors like these are challenging to bring to fabric but I love this kind of puzzle. Also, my big B is climbing up a trellis so translating this movement into a large scale, climbing pattern sounds perfect. Branches and flowers working their way up a chaise or drape feels so romantic and dramatic – untamed, just like my vine.
The below is an image I pulled from Pinterest a while back. Often a vignette like this drives a collection idea. I say to myself, this is pretty but how would I do it? The floral fabrics and furnishings in this design are very traditional, which I love and appreciate and would die to find in my room at a bed and breakfast in England. But my mind goes to the modern and how to feel the feels of a little corner getaway but with a lighter take. A place to curl up, but one that gives energy and refreshes instead of inviting the big snooze.
My bougainvillea inspired fabric on its own will be wonderful. I love how it’s coming together, but it’s only part of what I see this corner becoming. Only part of the story, or the collection. Just like in the inspiration pic – there’s more going on than just the pinky chaise. The chaise is the center, yes, but you’ve got the heavy drape on one side and that enormous armoire on the other giving the space a tucked away (closed-in?) feeling. The light wall color and the stripe from the shiplap keep the corner from feeling too heavy and the peaceful landscapes add to the calm. Grounding it all is the rug that repeats the subtle colors of the vignette. Nice, very nice. But bolder and fresher is where I’m headed. I’m gonna change it all up except for the wall! Gotta love shiplap!
Now entering the creative process! The new floral print will go on the chaise – climbing up the center with a deep navy background. And I love a contrasting welt so adding that. The large scale will mean that I’ll use the full width of the fabric for the design. That’s 54″! Chaise lounges are usually around 34″-36″ wide so I’ll keep that in mind while I’m laying out the pattern. I really like the Kate by Jessica Charles. Modern feeling but not super angular.
I like the idea of a bold stripe to go with the floral for the drape and a colorful allover pattern of some kind (to round out the collection) for a pillow. These smaller scale allover prints make great pillows, small ottomans, footstools etc. but I wouldn’t use them on a drape. A little too busy.
Accessories!!! I will always add a nice living thing, in this case a fiddle leaf fig. Barloga Studios is becoming my go-to for art. The light, fun, beachy feeling photos always seem to fit with my work. New to their site is Three Sandpipers. I love watching these little guys run around down at the beach. Another staple at La Selva Studio is a sisal rug. I love them, anywhere with anything! Fibreworks has a great selection.
It’s a lesson in patience pulling a fabric collection together. But the process is so much a part of the fun. While I wait for the first strike-offs to come in (gotta get the colors right), maybe I’ll head out and try one more time to tame the great beast in my back yard! Maybe. 🙂
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All my best and enjoy your home!