SPOTLIGHT ON: Uni week 1

SPOTLIGHT ON: Uni week 1

Now with starting any new university college or even job you are bound to be given the obligatory starting off project just to dip your toes into the water. This was no different for me with starting at GSA with our first project Drawing Beginnings based no the practise of mark making and drawing from still life. In an effort not to make it as mundane as it appeared I decided to try and make the project very much my own by developing some pattern designs from the mark making and still life sketchbook work. So this week I am taking you down a small trip on memory lane back to starting off at university (those long 4 weeks ago).

After being told to go on somewhat of a scavenger hunt to find possible mark making materials (please say you hate that term mark making as much as I do), after slopping them in some ink and various paint materials as groups we created these large mural like images all out of our different marks. When creating these all ideas of being neat and precise went out the window in exchange for being expressive and abstract. 

Offending items for mark drawings and final experimentational images.

As you can probably see compared to the rest of my group I decided to work solely in black and white just using ink and ignoring the brightly coloured paint used by others. This decision was based on the fact that I knew from starting this that I wanted to take these drawings into photoshop to edit and manipulate into patterns so didn’t want to overcomplicate them with colours and with not yet deciding on a colour scheme (although the odds of it starting off as a variation of red and blue were pretty high) I didn’t want to tie myself down within any of the source drawings. 



Taking this combination of lines as a whole this is the design I produced this with my usual style of mirroring and rotating. I’m very pleased with this design with it being possibly my favourite coming out of the whole process (I promise it doesn’t go too far down hill from here) with one of my favourite aspects being the fine detail within the thinly crossing lines contrasted the the larger black spogges. Although I thinks it works really well as a finished black and white illustrated design I think this one would look really cool if colour was added to it creating an almost paisley inspired design but obviously in a slightly different style however when it comes to adding colour I would have to deconstruct it and go back to the beginning to create a repeatable section of it instead of trying to colour in the whole thing which would be madness. 

pattern 5

pattern 3

2 more created from mark making experiments

pattern 4

When it got down to creating some of our own smaller scale mark making experiments I did decide at this point to start adding colour and surprise surprise as I had preempted earlier on red and blue were the chosen suspects – with a smattering of orange and various shades of blue to not limit it too much. A while ago I had the idea within my pattern design to of using oil paint to blend together a background with the pattern arising with various marks over the top. This was a perfect opportunity to try this idea out. Using some of the earlier mark making techniques I layered these on top of an acrylic paint background starting to make a pattern with it.  As well as adding on top with the black ink with using oil paints as a base I was able to mark into them dragging the paint around creating another element within the design. I really wanted to try and replicate some of the flowers I had found and used for mark making within the designs by using the colours of them within the choice of paint and using the flowers them selves to print with creating the black flower splodges.   



As I did with my earlier back and white drawings I mirrored, repeated and layered these scanned in images to create the new designs. Im really pleased with how these and the previous black and white ones have come out however I can see how my work is all becoming very similar using the same ideas and techniques with a lot of my designs. This could be considered as my style of working however I think it is still quite simple and could be pushed further and maybe isn’t the style which I ideally want to be creating.  

pattern 1

pattern 2

In order to do this I took the jump and decided to try to start using adobe illustrator as well as photoshop. After plenty of blood sweat and tears (maybe subtract the blood for watching countless youtube videos) I started pick up some of the effects which I wanted to try and create. 





I found that the marks I created using the feathers when sectioned out and played around  of By some sort of happy accident when using the pattern brush tool created a really cool butterfly image. This wasn’t really what i intended to create but I’m very pleased how I managed to create it.  Unable to leave my beloved photoshop for too long, I took this motif I had created and used and manipulated it in there, adding colour from some of my previous designs and layering design behind it until I has created a design with them which I was really happy with. 



This final butterfly design is a lot more muted than the work I usually do however I still really like and it and is a good start at varying my portfolio a bit. I also love it when I create a design which has a lot different designs and layers involved in it knowing that a lot of different work came before it and wasn’t just simply created in 5 minuets.        


Drawing from still life of a dream catcher. The still life element of this project was an area which I definatly struggled having not gained much inspiration from the items we were drawing. The dream catch was the only item which caught my eye with the design made out of wood in the centre and the lovely feathers hanging off it. I did first draw it in its natural colours of brown and beige but changed it when paining it into red and blue to link in more with my collection of other designs.

kscope start

pattern 1

          Final design of dream catcher kaleidoscope

Thankyou for taking a look and reading, I will be doing regualr updates on my uni work so please make sure to come and check back in the future to see what I am up to.

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Style File – Glasgow street style – The midi skirt

Style File – Glasgow street style – The midi skirt

For years below the knee length skirts were something that I thought was reserved for the elderly population with them usually swamping you and making you look old fashioned. But with their second coming over the past few years they have become a statement item in my wardrobe. Long skirts I find are just so easy to put on and style well. Be it a days when you need to look smart and put together or just a day when you just want to cover up and save that little bit extra body heat they can be perfect for so many occasions. 

Every once in a while we all have our eye on that one item in the shops which after seeing it once is constantly nagging at the back of our mind ‘buy me buy me!”. This skirt was defiantly one of those products. I was first struck by how different it is from the design and the print. 

With it not just being a simple stripe with it changing from vertical to horizontal it really helps to add curves to the body in a modern and current way. I am especially loving the vertical stripes around the middle to help streamline and slim all those problem areas around the waist down (or just make you look even more amazing if you don’t have any!) This skirt also brilliantly combines so many different trends, bringing in the whole 70’s vibe with the large bold pattern and the classic elegant look of the slim fitting pencil skirt. 








Now I’m not going to lie, when I first picked it up I did think that it had been oddly put back on the hanger with slits in skirts tending to be at the back or on the side. But to my confusion this one was defiantly intended to be on the front. This was defiantly a style which I hadn’t seen before I love how it brings another point of interest to the garment, making the eye draw to the centre, slimming you down and defiantly making it easier to walk at least!

Due to in my mind it being a statement piece, I decided to keep the rest of the outfit simple with plain black jumper and tights and tan coloured snood all from H and M, with my new plain black soft leather Doc Marten boots (sorry not in shot in any of the photos) which I haven’t been able to take of my feet since buying them and one last plain black item being my Urban Outfitters back pack. This skirt brilliant as a colourphobe like me could introduce a small amount of colour and print into my style just keeping it contained and not too bold. 

(to read my blog post on styling statement items, click the link here ………….) 

If you had told be I am going to love a garment which is below the knee, with bold pattern and have a slit up the front I would have laughed you out of the shop but this has turned out as defiantly one of my favourite looks of the moment and no doubt if i see anymore skirts in the same style to this one in the shops they may have to sneak home into my wardrobe (just don’t tell the bank balance) 

Photos taken by Tom Flathers

Buy the look: 

Skirt – Topshop

Black jumper 


Boots – Doc Marten 

Bag –  Urban Outfitters 

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Homewear Haul

SPOTLIGHT ON: Homewear Haul

Now you ay have seen that over the past few weeks I have taken a slight break from this blogging business, but with the stresses and strains of starting out at university, something had to give, however I am back with blogging avengeance and now and what better way to start back than a homeware haul! 

Now with moving away to university, along with the moving away and obviously starting uni one of the things I was most looking forward to was styling my own interior even down to the  designs on the plate and the mug. Sharing a small uni flat the space can become an issue and if i purchased every mug and plate that I liked then I definitely wouldn’t have been able to store the food to eat off them. One way that this turned out not to be a problem is that before I started shopping I had a clear Idea in my head of what I wanted to find. 

As you may have gathered from me at this point from my design work red and blue are defiantly my preferred colours and after having years of staring at quite plain and dull kitchen items (no offence mum and dad and your interiors choices) I wanted to finally have some of my own which I can love and get excited to eat off (and yes I have just realised how sad that sounds, me being the most uncool fresher ever.) 

I always liked the idea of having mismatched dinning wear but all working together on one main theme. Also I wanted to get something that wasn’t too garish and style specific, find something which will last me for years and still look as current and stylish.

When shopping around I saw many beautiful ready together sets which would be fine for me but with them wanting to last me as long as possible and not get bored of them, I didn’t want to rest until I found the ones right for me. 

Also one hurdle which did slightly get in the way was that of being a student, budget was defiantly always on my mind. Looking in somewhere like Marks and Spencer’s seemed like high end luxury. But in the end after searching high and low (and inevitably coming back to buy from the first place that I started looking), I managed to find some lovely kitchen wear that I am really happy with. 


Ive always loved this style of blue and white patterned plates and and with loving vintage fashion and interiors these defiantly fit well with my interior’s vision.  I remember as a child always seeing them in my nan’s kitchen dresser all nicely laid out as displayed. Now back then I didn’t think much off them especially my confusion with them only being there for display and not to be eaten off, however, minds do change and I have grown to love them and its nice that they give a slight feel of nostalgia from my rural home town to the busy city I now live in. 3 out of the 4 of these were purchased from Dunelm, with one later addition being from T K Maxx after realising that washing up really isn’t my favorite hobby and I would like to leave as long a gap between washes as possible, so slipping in one more plate kind of helped the problem even if it does mean a bit more elbow grease. Despite loving these traditional patterns, Ive tried to mix in these more modern circular and floral patters to try and strike the balance between old and new. In the end I think this smaller spotted plate on top has ended up being my favourite design with it just being so simple yet classic (and is a perfect size for toast in the morning) 



As someone who may have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with mugs I may have ended up with hoarding a grand total of 6 for one person, but its ok, 2 of them can be used as pen pots (see! totally saving money on pen pots)  Sticking on the blue and white theme from various shops and various different shopping trips I managed to find these 6 which I really like. As someone who finds a small mug of hot chocolate a crime against drinks one of my struggles was finding mugs big enough to full fill  my addiction. In the end TK Maxx yet again turned out to be a crakcer with these various different styles and shapes of mugs all found on their shelves. Also if you are a particular lover of Cath Kindston homeware and mugs in particular I would make sure you take a little peak into TK Maxx on your next visit with them having a wide range of their mugs all waiting to be snapped up (as I did with the red and white spotty one) 

Now as you may be getting bored of me praising TK Maxx to the high heavens I have one last thing that I purchased from there. Since buying them I have actually realised that I rarely use bowls but it there was any reason to use one, what better than to want to eat of this lovely bowl. Obviously this is also blue and white and a pattern which ties in with the rest of the plates and bowls nicely and completes all of my uni crockery. 

Being TK Maxx and many of the products they stock being one of a kind within there stores I unfortunately don’t have links for any of their products but all the products which I purchased from Dunelm are linked down below :)

Light blue plate -Dunelm 

Matching bowl

Dark blue play – Dunelm

Spotty plate – Dunelm 

Circle pattern mug – Dunelm

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Wanting/Wearing/Working Week 4 – Beach holiday edition!

Wanting/Wearing/Working Week 4 – Beach holiday edition!

This week, inspired by my little 3 day holiday to Norfolk, (yes 3 days to me does count as a holiday) I have done a specialised seaside edition of this weeks Wanting/Wearing/Working post.   


Wanting – Interior designer and Illustrator Jessica Hogarth 

Now instead of fabric print design, with surface pattern design stretching beyond the bounds of fabric, this week I have chosen to focus on the work of Illustrator Jessica Hogarth. As someone who has spent many a family holiday walking along windy beaches in the pouring rain her beautiful illustrative prints of seaside towns put a bright and colourful portrait of our beloved seaside towns and let you believe that sometimes the sun does come out.    

I first discovered her work many months ago when scrawling through Instagram looking for inspiration for my own work and with the beautiful weather and the glorious scenery in Norfolk, it reminded instantly of her work. Now her style is rather different to mine with it being solely illustrative and using whole landscapes and scenes for her drawings but it being different to my work is a reason I think why I love is so much due to knowing I would be hopeless if I wanted to create something similar. One of the things I love about it the most is the simplicity of it, the simple squares and lines put together to create beautiful boats and houses and beach huts which seems so effortlessly drawn but knowing that a lot of time and effort has gone in to making each one perfect. The bright block primary colours which she has used to fill in the designs also add to the simplicity of it with no complicated shading or photographic images, just bold and exciting colours to draw your eyes in. But to contradict that, I it is the colour which adds a lot of the detail to the prints with the stripy beach huts and coloured house roof tops. Looking at it, it seems so simple and replicable, but I’m sure with all the time and effort put into each design, she makes it look easier than it is. 


With the sea side known for being full of colourful houses and boats her style of working is perfectly portrays this. She has definitely honed and created her own individual style of working and made her stamp upon the interior design world with her stylish wall paper and cute tea towels and coasters.  

Over the years I have seem many different seaside illustrations and paintings but I think her work is defiantly my favourite I have come across. Her work doesn’t just continue on a seaside theme but consists of many different prints and illustrations all as lovely as on another.   

Weather you live by the sea or in inner city London, I think her work would defiantly help make your house into a home or her greetings cards I’m sure would cheer up a loved ones day.  

Who knew a group of plain white houses could look so pretty 

Jessica’s work is available to purchase online at her website: 

Wearing (well viewing at least) –  

This week due to the beautiful scenery I was surrounded by in Norfolk,surprisingly with the rest of the country seeming to be getting a lashing from the rain, instead of the usual outfit post I’ve decided to do what all Grandad’s do best and that is show some of the old holiday snaps. (yes still persisting that it was a holiday) 

Despite the weather being nearly 30 degrees, I lived up to true form and didn’t venture too far away from my black comfort zone but, somehow did manage to ditch the scarf! (desperate times call for desperate measures). Now as as beautiful as the sunset behind me was, in terms of seeing what I was wearing its rather impractical, but you can slightly see. After a long day roaming around Cromer and relaxing on the beach I decided to crack out the comfortable mom jeans (which you will know I love if you have read my last post all about them, hint hint ;) ) this time in black and paired them with a loose fitting cropped black blouse with floral pattern. Now its probably useless me talking about it due to the fact you can barely see it but I love the cute little red and yellow flower pattern with spots which is printed on this blouse. With it being quite small and discreet it makes it easy to wear along side any other items however adds a nice bit of interest to an otherwise plain black blouse.Pairing it with the mom jeans make this outfit fell nicely thrown on and vintage which is a style which I am currently loving. This was perfect in the evening with the weather cooling off and was very easy to layer with plain black jumper and brown scarf as the night drawed in.

Tom Flathers
A sunset in Cromer, Norfolk, Augist 22 2015
Tom Flathers








Working – 

In some the of the down time I had in the evenings in Norfolk, I couldn’t resist cracking out the laptop to continue with some of the work I started last week. Again taking inspiration from henna tattoo designs I started working solely with one motif I had created and started to add colour to it. With the print last week being mostly blue with areas of red, this one I wanted to make the opposite with red being the main colour with the blue accenting it. To create this I rotated the motif round in blocks of 4 to make one bigger motif and then closely repeated them together. I did two different versions of this pattern, one where the motifs are separated apart with a light coloured background and one where the motifs are layered closely onto of each other with no background separating them. Im not sure which one of these I particularly prefer, I think you can see the detail of the motif’s more in the one with the background however I like the compactness of the one without with the blue being the colour which pops out to you as if that is the motif and the red around it is just a detailed pattered background. These patterns particularly reminded me of middle eastern tile designs with the colours, the style of motif and how the motif is arranged and repeated.

Due to the fact I really love this motif on its own without lots of colour in it I decided to use it again to make a more simple, complementing design with the motif differently laid out and simply in white with a bright blue background. These two designs work really well together and are a good starting place along with the design from last week to start building a collection.

Both posts next week are going to be very London themed following on from my recent trip down to London ( I really am getting around!). In W/W/W you will be seeing some of my new purchases (of course including fabric) and some work inspired from all the lovely sights and smells (…well maybe not smells, but you get the idea). Come back on Wednesdays Spotlight On: for a designer focus all about Archie Mac London 

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Styling Mom Jeans

SPOTLIGHT ON: Styling Mom Jeans

The ‘mom’ jeans first came into fashion a few summer’s ago with revival of the 80’s trend and vintage fashion coming into the for front of modern culture. Now it may have taken me a few years to cotton on to the trend at first dismissing after feeling a bit frumpy and making me fell rather large, but after seeing too many people looking far too brilliant in them I made it my mission to find myself the perfect pair of mom jeans. 

With me being so down with the hipsters (well..hmm..) the one stop shop for mom jeans tends to be levi’s with them being the height of fashion of the era so populating the vintage shops around the globe, but with such a range of styles and limited sizes, vintage and second hand shopping doesn’t always work out. But brilliantly many high street shops have adopted the trend and produced there own versions bringing them into the 21st century. Also, with the style staying around for the past few years and others coming in and out around it, mom jeans have defiantly evolved, now being available with rips, holes, sequins, even pom poms to adorn them.

inspiration montage

As much as a love accessorising  decided to stay to the more simple approach choosing just a simple light blue wash denim pair. Now these ones are more of a slim fit, fitting quite tightly around the bum and the tops of the tights but getting looser around the knee and ankle to give them the mom jean style along with the high waist.




When styling them I unintentionally decided to go full 80’s with this look pairing them with a short electric blue 3/4 length sleeve jumper. With light wash jeans already being unusual for me I continued to stray out of my comfort zone with the electric blue jumper. When Harry met Sally eat your heart out! 

Now, when I find something I like and which works, the idea of getting them in more than one colour is just too appealing. These light blue wash denim ones I found from H and M surprisingly with it being a shop which I generally struggle with their jeans with there irregular sizing. Not long after in a store of luck I found a black pair very similar in Urban Outfitters in the sale no less. Ive looked at Urban Outfitters previously for jeans like this 

They were a size too big but it was nothing a few stitches in the back couldn’t fix and if anything when cinched in with a belt, it adds to the whole style of it.  

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to tossing my black skinny’s to the waste side just yet, but my thighs defiantly heaved a sigh of relife after pealing off the skinny jeans for a while to be replaced with the airy and roomy mom jean!  So may rummaging around our mums old cupboard hoping that the jeans have not yet been a victim to the charity shop continue to go strong. 

 Photos by Tom Flathers 

Buy the look: 

H&M Jeans:

Simular blue jumper: 

Matching scarf: 

Topshop nude ballet pumps: 

Simular brown glasses:

Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook:

Etsy shop 

Please feel to leave comments/messages in the comments and follow me on instagram at @cnknottay or on twitter at @ChloeNatKnott