Spoon Fed


How did I find out about such a great resource as Design Cuts? Go on over to Spoon Graphics headed by Chris Spooner. Here you will find many an “a-ha” moment as he takes you through tutorials that show how to get trend-setting results.

There are also plenty of freebies to keep you coming back. He also has an exclusive All Access
pass for premium members at only $7/month.


More to Explore

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Design Cuts is a wealth of resources to build your library. They offer everything from textures, fonts, vector graphics and brushes. If you sign up for emails, they will let you know when cost-saving bundles are available. If you can’t wait, they just opened an online store so you can get the goodies as needed.

Not only do they give you access to plenty of resources – but they also show you how to use them in clear, easily reproducible tutorials. All of them can be found in the Design Tutorial Archive.

Tis the Season!


Another fun competition can be found at tigerprint. This time it is all about design Christmas-themed wrapping paper. Your design could end up in stores nationwide. Just make sure you don’t submit a design that is currently for sale or has already sold. Submissions must be original or unpublished work. The closing date is November 10 so don’t delay.

Challenged in a good way


Do you like to challenge your skills? Take a stretch from the norm? Or build a portfolio in an organic way?

Another contest for you to try is at minted. The next one is focused on Valentine’s Day.

Good Luck!

For the budding surface designer


Spoonflower  is an online service that allows you to upload your patterns and have they printed on several mediums – fabric, wallpaper or gift wrap.

Fabric choices include basic combed cotton, Kona cotton, performance pique, cotton poplin, poly crepe de chine (for a limited time), silky faille, performance knit (a fave of mine), cotton silk, linen-cotton canvas, organic cotton interlock knit (another fave), organic cotton sateen, eco canvas, heavy cotton twill, faux suede and silk crepe de chine.

Wallpaper choices include smooth and woven wallpapers with adhesive backing or peel and stick wallpaper.

Gift Wrap is available in matte or satin.

It is a great community offering weekly contests to participate in and be inspired by the great works of others.

Not ready to design your own? You can browse other people’s designs or check out their design tools to lead you to your heart’s desire.

Learn and create


For Mother’s Day, I received the best gift – a year’s worth of learning. Creativebug provided a great price and my family picked up on my not-so-subtle hints — $50/year which provided me unlimited access to all workshops. Looks like the annual subscription is still available!

Creativebug offers online craft classes, with classes added weekly.

So far I have learned basic embroidery stitches, crochet stitches, strung bead and leather bracelets, and free-form machine embroidery.

Some of my favorite designers are instructors – love being inspired by them:

Natalie Chanin

Heather Bailey 

Amy Butler

Lisa Congdon 

Anna Maria Horner 

Heather Ross

On My Bookshelf


One of my favorite reads at the moment is the one that led me to the Global Talent Search. “I Just Like to Make Things” is written by Lilla Rogers who heads an agency representing leading artists in the surface design, illustration and other designed goods field. Her book, as well as the website, provide a wealth of knowledge with insights of the field and art markets.

Inspired Community

Invested $40 this summer and enrolled in the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search. They email you a creative brief. You have two weeks to complete and submit for consideration. I only had 999 other eager candidates vying for the 50 spots for the second round. I didn’t make the cut, but it did set me up with a network of wanna-bes that inspire me each day. Check out the 50 semi-finalists.