Tag Archives: Inspire By Kim

Creative Apps, Tools and Tips

I thought it may be helpful to share some creative apps, favourite tools and tips for use in visual arts and design.

CamScanner App

A great convenient, ‘on the go’ tool for scanning using your phone and the CamScanner app. You can either take a scan/picture using the app or can import an image to convert that into a scan. The app locates the boundaries of your image and adjusts the light so you can even scan in low light. It’s a huge time saver and has a good memory capacity before it requires any payment. You don’t get bugged by ads. CamScanner is 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 in my opinion.

CamScanner App screen grab
Screen grab of my CamScanner latest work

iPhone XS

My phone is a key tool in my work, for photographing, drawing, editing. The camera on this phone model takes beautiful images and the ‘portrait’ mode is a useful feature for product shots and photographing work. I like the ‘pano’ feature for creative shots. Couldn’t function without this. Great size, weight and stable when used with a tripod. iPhone XS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Screen grab of my photo album.
I take a LOT of photos and create new designs on my iPhone

Pixelmator App

How I love Pixelmator. I can’t say how much I use it as it’s seamless in my work. I’m probably across in the app 5 times a day. Layering images, drawing, adding text, creating social media ads, resizing, mocking up ideas, creating repeat patterns. The app is intuitive, making it easy to learn and to use. This is a corker of a creative tool 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Pixelmator App Screen Grab Showing Layers of a Design.
Pixelmator App Screen Grab Showing Layers of a Design.

Bernina Sewing Machine

I would never have thought that I could love a sewing machine as much as I do my Bernina. It’s reliable, compact, and with the digital display I know what the machine settings are at a glance. I want to make the marks myself so I’m not interested in sewing machines that take over and do the sewing themselves. Swiss engineering is renowned and my Bernina is a fabulous example of this that runs like clockwork. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Bernina B215 Sewing Machine sewing an ice cream themed fabric that I designed

Bernina B215 Sewing Machine sewing an ice cream themed fabric that I designed.

YouTube

A learning gateway for everything you might ever want to learn about, where someone always seems to have the answer for using a new product, or technique. I’m going to give YouTube 🌟🌟🌟🌟 as the ads can be annoying, but then again it’s ‘free’. YouTube is about the people who take the time to share their experiences and knowledge. Of course it’s best to watch a few videos for any given subject to be able to gather a few perspectives/ methods.

I’ve always enjoyed making films so I love that I can share my movies and reach people through YouTube. Here’s a link to go to my channel.

Inspire by Kim YouTube Channel screen grab
Inspire by Kim YouTube Channel screen grab

50 Ways to Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life

This book is like a hug of a drawing course. The creators of Flow magazine have done something magical by bringing together exercises from their illustrators to make this big beautiful collection of inspiring, drawing skills inducing delight. Love it with some good TV and a pencil or fine liner. ❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️ Flow Magazine.

Collage of the cover and pages of my drawings in the book.
Collage of the cover and pages of my drawings in the book.

Instagram

The place to see image based posts, as opposed to more wordy content. A window on creative studios, processes and what everyone is working on, it’s such a creative time that we live in. Instagram makes the world shrink to the size of the app and I love how we can connect with kindred creatives and find people with shared interests. And there’s always someone somewhere on Instagram, even in the middle of my night – when the darkness becomes a blank creative canvas for new idea seeds to germinate in my mind. Hoping the ads, which have increased in frequency, don’t takeover, like they appear to have on sister site Facebook 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Inspire by Kim Instagram Screen GrabInspire by Kim Instagram Screen Grab

Also I have to mention PicCollage, which now allows a mix of still images and videos in collages, and WordPress for my blog.

I hope this proves helpful. Wanted to share these findings and also this is a way of expressing gratitude for this tremendous tech and fabulous phone based functions which are my fundamental tools.

Please stay and see some more posts here.

If you’d like a street these are my favourite ones.

Fabric Design Doll

Fabric Birds

Workshop – Testimonials

Reflecting on 4 Colour Full Years

Fabric Birds

I’m loving birds at present and after 18 months of construction disruption close by, I feel blessed that they are now returning to our garden.

Their song is like a sweet heartwarming tonic after the din of demolition and the intrusive vibration of ground working and construction.

Yellow and orange fabric bird in joyful flight on a blue sky background with light fluffy clouds

Bird activity is recommending with the sweet joyful chorus of this busy beautiful season for the birds.

Bright orange bird on a blue sky background. The bird has been printed using bluebells and he’s sensitive dyes.

Inspired by their uplifting song and always fascinated by flight I’ve created a number of fabric birds.

Printing, stitching and embellishing the fabricThree fabric birds with stitching suppliesPrinted and embroidered bird sitting in the silver birch tree

Designed and printed from plants in and around my garden using heat sensitive dye techniques, then embroidered and embellished before stitching the birds.

The birds have developed from work for a customer’s commission, in which I was asked to produce a bespoke cushion design of a bird with flowers.

Bluebird with flowers cushion design, pictures on a yellow garden bench.

This led on to a tulip stocked window boxes design for a draught excluder for our home, which featured a bluebird.

Tulip window boxes, with bluebird and rabbit, design. Pictured at the Juliet balcony.

If you’ve enjoyed this these related posts may be of interest…

Fabric Design Doll

Fabric Design Highlights

Reflecting on 4 Colour Full Years

Workshop – Final Places Available

Make a fabric bird, or two, or something else that makes your heart sing at the fabric design. workshop on 2nd June. Book now with Sue of Stitched Up and Fleeced, Sheffield’s leafing textile studio.

For more details about the workshop click here . To see inspiration for what you might like to make visit this link. There really is no limit to what you can design and make.

Here are some examples of workshop attendees designs.

Hope to see you on 2nd June. If you’re too far away let me know where you are and how you like to learn and we can find a solution for you to try these techniques.

Book the workshop and enquire now by contacting Sue at Stitched Up and Fleeced using this contact form.

Your Suggestions Please: Affirmation Doll

I’m planning to make a supportive, comforting doll using fabric design techniques. My plan is that the design of the doll is made of positive affirmations and statements. The doll might be a companion to help during a really tough period in someone’s life.

I’ve been wondering what words and statement my followers would find most comforting to use when I make the doll.

Please take a moment to pop a suggestion in the comments for this post.

Please feel free to forward this post to someone you know who this idea might resonate with.

These images are my work that has led to this idea.

Related posts:

Fabric Design Doll

The Inspire Dress

The Inspire Bear

Reflecting on 4 Colour Full Years

It is four years since I decide to push visual arts to the top of my priority list.

Major knee injury meant I had to pass on the opportunity that I’d been hankering for years, to manage the PR for Meadowhall. Facing months on crutches and unable to drive, life was taken up by the countless rehab exercises and everything normal took three times as long. With a recovery period quoted in years rather than weeks time began to feel different. I had so little time spare that I had to get to the nub of spending time how my soul needed and what emerged from valuable sessions with my wonderful life coach Heidi-Mai, was art… making… creating, colour, I felt like there was a whole lot of colour and creations inside me that needed to be let out into the world. And so my visual art journey changed up a gear and I began to prioritise this work, moving it from the ‘indulgent, blissful hobby’ to the ‘if I don’t have much time available I’m going to spend it on what feels great’. And with a feeling of naughty delight I signed up for an Art Foundation course.

What an exploration it has been, and continues to be. I’ve  always enjoyed a steep learning curve and staying on such a curve keeps me interested and motivated.

In the first four years I’ve had a solo exhibition, had work in four public exhibitions, have begun teaching fabric design techniques, have shared art skills in school, created commissioned artworks, designs, infographics, videos, animations and have made products from miniature pot plants to fabric birds.

I don’t know where the work is leading and when I’m in the creative moment I don’t think it really matters where or whether it leads. For me creating and making is calming, rejuvenating and present. It’s my antidote to the harrowing stories that the media try to intrude into my calm.

Here are my favourite pieces from the past four years. I look forward to seeing what will emerge from my work in the future.

I’m not stopping here. I’m busy preparing for my next workshop on Sunday 2nd June at Stitched Up and Fleeced, Sheffield.

I’m working on personal projects and strategic commercial communications. I’ve a plan for a book, watch this space, and have some exciting collaborations ahead.

Here are my favourite posts from the past four years:

Fabric Design Doll

Satin Cheese Plant…

Drawing With Silks – Cute Dog

Animating paper pictures

Here are anniversary stories from the years you may have missed. I’ve always worked on the proviso that my work will improve, although I’ve a good way to go to be at the level I aspire to, when I reflect I can see the progression. Practice makes better…

First Birthday and Art Exhibition

3 Years and Beyond

Paperart Originals – Ready for a new home

Years in the making, and hundreds of tiny details in paper, but I’m pleased to have completed my Brighton inspired Seaside Arches.

In a big move forward for me I am, for the first time, offering three paperart originals for sale in my Folksy shop. (Act quick before I change my mind).

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The British seaside inspired this piece. I tried to keep to a limited colour palette, which is tricky as I love colour so much. The steam train is arriving at the seaside where the arches are a tea and ice-cream cafe, a beach paraphernalia shop and a boutique with pretty dresses, hats and handbags. The picture captures a warm sunny day with brightly coloured bunting being tousled by the warm, salty sea breeze.

This time the small white dog Sam is joined by my new little four legged friend, thanks to www.BorrowMyDoggy.com, with both wearing neckerchiefs.

There’s a deckchair and beach towel available for anyone wanting to imagine themself into the pretty seaside scene. Hmmm memories of happy days by the sea.

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This winter scene is influenced by gingerbread houses, ski trips to the Alps and Russia, my love of ice skating and a chocolatier selling from a street booth I spotted in Lisbon. There’s a shift in the scene from Autumn trees into winter and the cosyness of festive lights.

IMG_6165 2

Going to the seaside is all about breaking away from the norms and city to race eagerly towards the seaside, the East coast of England in this picture, the shores of Lincolnshire and Norfolk. A pretty cottage awaits the family’s arrival with a fun big wheel and ice cream van to cool down after some sunny time on the beach.

People always ask how long the pictures take to make but I’m never counting the hours as I find a happy space in cutting and placing each piece of paper to build the picture. It can be almost meditative. I most like to do this work at the table in our garden but it’s rare for sunny days still enough to work with such tiny pieces of paper; they can so easily be carried by the wind, but those rare days are magical.

More images and detail about these artworks at my Folksy shop.

I’m going to be bringing my paper art skills together with the fabric design techniques I’ve been exploring to create some cut paper fabric designs. There, now I’ve said it here I’ll make it happen. Watch this space and see more at my Instagram feed.

Here’s more about the paper part of my story.

Related posts:

Paper Art Pictures

Animating Paper Pictures

My Life in Paper

Paper Art Time-Lapses

Fabric Design Highlights

It’s a year this week since my Heat Press machine arrived and made it possible for me to press my painted designs from paper onto fabric.

I’ve been reflecting on the work and continue to enjoy exploring the potentials of this colourful science of heat sensitive dyes.

Here are the highlights of the work using these fabric design techniques.

Heat Press Machine uses heat and pressure with special heat sensitive dyes.

Most recently this colourful doll. All the fabric was white when I began the work. I added colour and stitch inspired by my favourite things.

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One of the first things I made with my machine was this miniature bunting. img_4125

As I wanted flowers to always be at our Juliet balcony I created this tulip box draught excluder.img_6089

To help me relax and snooze whilst travelling I made this pretty eye mask, printing the fabric and the bias binding with my hand painted designs.

IMG_8898

In a campaign to raise awareness of bell pepper allergies and intolerances I created this piece by painting then free motion embroidery.

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I collaged pieces of painted paper to create this portrait.

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Blue Hair Tulip Lady

My latest make was tennis themed bunting, joined with heat pressed ribbon, as part of promotion work for a tennis club.

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In February I created samples to show different techniques and shared these at a half day workshop. Thanks so much to the workshop attendees, it was wonderful to see how you enjoyed putting your designs onto fabric. I can’t wait to see your creations with the fabrics you designed and made.

One of my favourite creations was the miniature cheese plant. Using hand painted leaves I pressed them onto satin, and using wire I stitched them and arranged them into this pretty home decor gem which doesn’t need watering or tending.

There’s the opportunity to play with these techniques and design your fabric for a craft, fashion or home decor project at my next workshop.

I’ll be demonstrating and teaching these techniques at a one day workshop in Sheffield on Sunday June 2nd. The workshop is at Stitched Up and Fleeced studio from 10 – 4pm, Β£60.

The one day workshop will bring stitch techniques into the process to explore how stitch can be used before and/or after pressing the designs onto fabric, to achieve some beautiful effects.

The workshop can be booked at the venue website. Just complete the contact form to ask any questions or to book. You can of course ask me any queries at inspirebykim@outlook.com

We’ll be exploring how we can reuse and upcycle existing fabrics that you already have, to breathe new life into them.

Here are testimonials from workshop attendees.

Can’t make that date? I also offer Fabric Design one to ones. Just message me for more details and dates.

So here’s to another year. I’ve some new ideas I’m developing, so watch this space. You can see my work in progress through my Instagram and Facebook.

These are related posts, enjoy. Thanks for being here.

Fabric Design Workshop – 2nd June, Sheffield

Fabric Design Project – Window Box Tulips

Workshop – Testimonials

Satin Cheese Plant…

Fabric Design Doll

Fabric Design Doll

With an idea to create doll I drew sketches then began assembling pieces of fabric that I had created through exploration with free machine embroidery techniques and heat sensitive fabric paints.

I’ll be demonstrating how to design and colour fabric in this way at a workshop on Sunday 2nd June. More details here and to follow.

I arranged the fabric pieces I’d created and stitched them together on my beloved Bernina before free motion embroidering further details of my favourite things, swimming fish, tulips, spiral shapes, hearts and flowers.

Fish and clams inspired by exploring the coral reefs of Egypt

Once I had the assembled and embroidered a length of fabric I drew pattern shapes and then cut them from the fabric thinking carefully about the placement of the different designs, details and colours, so as to create a striking bright design and balance where the colours popped against each other.

I stitched the legs and arms front to backs and she started to take shape.

My optician had asked me to capture my colourful Johann Von Goisern frames with my artwork so this seemed a good opportunity for a shot for this. The optician called it ‘frames and threads’ and shared it on their social media.

As the doll has two facial expressions one eyes open and one in calm restful bliss I needed only a little hair. I had a small piece of the bias binding leftover that I had pressed with magenta coloured heat sensitive paints, and wax relief of Passion flower tendrils, for the draught excluder project.

Turns out she’s a sun lover, I spotted her relaxing in the sunshine as I rethreaded my needle.

This work gave rise to the idea of placing supportive words and phrases on a doll to reassure and inspire the owner when life feels its most challenging, I’m going to develop that idea further.

Try it yourself:

All of these pieces of fabric were plain white when I began this project. Using heat sensitive paints I added colour and design to the fabrics to create something unique and original.

You can learn and explore these wonderful dye and stitch techniques, creating with colours and designs that you love to make something beyoutiful and uniquely you.

Join me on Sunday 2nd June at Stitched Up and Fleeced in Sheffield. 10 – 4 pm, Β£60. A wonderful day, no experience necessary.

You can book now by messaging your interest at this link.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed this work.

I’m off to draw the doll now in different poses and develop a story around her.

If you’ve enjoyed this post these are other projects that you may enjoy seeing…

Bird and Flowers Cushion Design

Fabric Design Workshop – 2nd June, Sheffield

Fabric Design Project – Window Box Tulips

The Inspire Bear

Heat Press Inspiration

Fabric Design Project – Window Box Tulips

Now there will always be flowers 🌷 by my window. Started with plain white fabric and hand painted the design before printing it onto the white fabric.

From my initial marker drawing to being in use, my designer draught excluder, here’s the story in a less than 40 seconds video.

Marker sketches

Painted designs ready for pressing into the fabric.

Used passionflower tendrils for wax relief to add texture to the bias binding.

I reused filling from the previous draught excluder, which the fabric had worn through.

I’m delighted with the end result it’s practical and pretty at our juliet balcony.

I like the immediacy of these fabric design techniques. It takes just 30 seconds to transfer the painted design from paper to fabric. I only use the fabric I print, not having to buy patterned fabric by measurement and trying to match up the patterns, with lots left over. I can just work with white fabrics and print the panels to the size and scale for whatever I am making. This can be reusing and repurposing fabric, anything from clothing to pillowcases. The designs are entirely my own and are unique and unrepeatable. This uniqueness and bespoke nature of these techniques is the magic that I’ve found, and that I enjoy sharing through workshop sessions.

Follow my blog to see dates of upcoming workshops or email me if you’re interested in a one to one session inspirebykim@outlook.com

Related posts:

Fabric Design Workshop

Bird and Flower Cushion

Miniature Cheese Plant

Fabric Printing Workshop

On Saturday I ran a workshop at Stitched Up and Fleeced Workshop textile studio in Sheffield. The feedback from the workshop attendees was:

A great start to exploring the technique of using transfer paints and the heat press.

I really enjoyed the workshop, it’s amazing what can be achieved in a short time. There’s a lot of opportunity for experimentation as the process is very quick.

I would definitely recommend this workshop as an introduction to using a heat press. Kim was a generous and helpful tutor.

Really enjoyed today. Would like to do another full day course.

it was great to be able to share the techniques and see people’s faces light up at seeing what they had created so quickly transferred onto fabric.

Thank you to host Sue at Stitched Up And Fleeced textile studio and Colourcraft for product support.

If you’d like to register your interest in a future workshop then ping me an email inspirebykim@outlook.com

Bye for now.

Kim x

Related posts:

Fabric Design Workshop

Bird and Flower Design

Sublimation Samples