Category Archives: Pattern Design

Playing With My Designs…


Stationery Set

Tonight  have been playing!  In my Surface Pattern Class by Rachel Taylor we were given an assignment to create a line of stationery from a brief.  The brief specified the elements desired in the line, and that it is to be aimed at a contemporary audience, trendy with a touch of sophistication.  Do you think I hit the target audience?  I hope so!

The class is comprised of many wonderful and talented aspiring designers.  Most of them design digitally on their computers.  While I am fascinated by what they create, I am too “hands on” (or maybe that should be “hands messy) to design that way.  So I have taken my mixed media designs and manipulated  them to finish this assignment.  It’s much more my style…and much more fun for me!

I started with this background that I painted.  I scanned it before adding the words or picture.

Believe In Your Beauty
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Then I manipulated it to create this pattern board – taking snippets of it that I thought were visually interesting.

Wild Garden Pattern

From there I took the pieces of this pattern and repurposed them into the pieces of the stationery set according to the size specs from our brief.  This was really fun for me to do.  I am imagining seeing it on the shelves of Barnes & Noble and wanting to write on these with a fresh sharpened pencil!!

Pattern Pretty!


I am excited to share a new Pattern Page on my website!  Check out all of my fun pattern designs at

My latest pattern was fun to put together…. it started with this simple drawing below…

Firework Motif

And it turned into a pattern like this!  Oh the fun things a gal can do in photoshop!!!

Fireworks Pattern

I need a little fairy dust….


Sometimes a girl just needs a little fairy dust to help everything in life move towards that happy ending.  Right now my daughter is really struggling and has been hospitalized for post-partum depression.  I am taking care of her little baby – my sweet and adorable grandson.  I am loving every minute with him, but I’m tired.  He is two months old….and I have forgotten just how little sleep a new parent gets!  I am also trying to help my daughter regain her footing and grow back the point where she can take care of herself and of him.  Can you see why I need a little fairy dust to help along the way!!

I believe that things happen in life that make you smile with the synchronicity of it all.  I participate in an Artists Trading Card Swap monthly.  For those of you new to the ATC world – it’s kind of like trading baseball cards – except they are handmade little lovelies that you trade with artists around the globe!  Most swaps have a them, and the March theme was Fairytales.  I created a couple of cards with this them in mind.  What a magical them for a girl who needs a little magic right now!

The second piece of synchronicity is that I am taking The Art of Surface Pattern and Design course and I learned how to make repeat patterns in photoshop of things.  I decided to combine my ATC work and my Surface Pattern work and voila – we have a Fairy Pattern!  I guess if I can create a little beauty along the way using the thoughts of love for my daughter and grandson, then maybe I am creating my own fairy dust and something magical will happen!

Mixed Media Pattern Design – Just Mary Style!


Oooh I am having fun with this!!!  I have been working on a class called the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design put on by the very lovely Rachel Taylor and Beth Nichols.  I was really struggling with the class – most of the designs are done or heavily manipulated on the computer.  I am simply NOT a digital designer.  My heart sings when my hands get messy.  I am called to play with paint and canvas, not a mousepad or illustrator wand.  BUT, the content and the way pattern is used really does speak to me.

So I looked for an out of the box way to marry traditional surface pattern design with my mixed media love affair.  And I think I found it!  When I do a painting, I always start with a background.  The finished work will normally have some type of central image or theme to it.  But the background is pure texture and pattern.  So why not carve a “Surface Pattern” out of my “Mixed Media” background?

With this in mind I pulled out sections from some of my finished work, and from some backgrounds that don’t have completed central images yet.  In the class we have been taught how to make pattern boards.  So here are my out of the box Pattern Boards – Just Mary style!!

Pattern Love!


Lately I have been working my way through an e-course by Rachael Taylor called Surface Pattern Design.  It has opened my eyes to a whole realm in the art world that I have never been exposed to before!

Among the many great things I learned was how to take a simple drawing and turn it into a motif inside Photoshop.

Then I learned how to change its color, copy it, and play with patterning.  This is the first one I made!  Super Fun!

See how simply changing the background color alters the feel and mood of the whole design?  Who knew!  I’m having a blast playing with it!