Bärbel Dressler

Bear Bell Productions

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3 focal point prints in 3 weeks: Christmas Creatures, Sea Treasures & Auburn Alley

Now updated with my final focal point prints, see further below.

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Hi everyone!

I'm Bärbel Dressler from Stockholm, Sweden. A couple of years ago I realized I was spending most of my awake hours doing something I didn't feel passionated about (marketing for a big car brand + commuting several hours a day), and left no energy for anything else. So I decided to quit (scary) and started my small design company Bear Bell Productions, where I create pattern designs and illustrations (Bear Bell because thats how my name would be pronounced in English. It's actually a German name, not Swedish in case you wondered - most people do :-). I've been doing this for about a year now, and it is the best choice I've ever made, just jumping out of bed every morning and into my studio to start creating.

My inspiration mostly comes from nature - plants and animals, but also from historic items, such as an 18th century plate, or a shoe. With this workshop I'd like to both challenge and test that, to see if I can expand and do something new. I've had a LOT of help from Bonnies classes, and I'm so thankful that she shares her skills and talent with us :-).

I had a lot of ideas for pattern themes in storage in the back of my head, but there were three that have been anxiously waiting to come out:

1. Winter Magic (this will be the name of the pattern collection) - the way you look at winter when you're a child, it's pure magic with the snowy, frosty landscape that triggers the imagination of secret worlds where animals could be wearing clothes and prepare for christmas.

Descriptive words: pinetrees, snowy, hidden, narnian, fauna, frostwork, christmas, muffled, tracks, imagination.

Focal point print 1: Christmas Creatures

Christmas Creatures inspiration board & sketches:

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Christmas Creatures illustrations and motifs:

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Update Tuesday Nov 1: Final print

Here's the final Christmas Creatures print. I have changed the background color to a warmer hue. This collection is primarily design with wrapping paper and Christmas cards in mind, but some of the coordinating patterns will probably work well for other products. Below is also two coordinating prints:

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I've always wanted to try to make my own tartan pattern, so I gave it a try. I think I was a bit overambitious, building it from thread to thread and oh my god did it take time, but I really wanted that authentic weave look. It came out just as I imagined it, so I'm happy. Now I just have to stop playing around with the recoloring tool... There are sooo many beautiful combinations. I call this print "Sparkle Tartan". Below it is the other coordinating print "Snowfall" - a winter/Christmas night sky:

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2. Where sea meets shore (collection name) - in the space where sea meets the shore you can spend the whole day, collecting shells, watching the horizon, sailboats and waves while the sun is warming your skin.
Descriptive words: treasures, shades, glitter, horizon, boats, waves, dunes, mirage, zenith, sunset

Focal point print 2: Sea Treasures

Sea Treasures inspiration board & sketches:

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Sea Treasures illustrations & motifs:

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For this pattern I might just use the illustrations with no fill or color at all, just the outlines but in a couple of hues. Or use the outlines combined with a few strokes of accent colors inside the illustrations to highlight.
Below I have explored the option to color the motifs. Now I'll experiment with some different variations to see what works for the best.

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Updated Tuesday Nov 1: Sort of final prints (two)

Sea Treasures print is still in two versions: one with colored motifs that I have cleaned up a bit from last posting, removing a couple of motifs to make it less messy. The second one in monochromatic colors is still my favorite, but can't seem to scrap the first one. I'll just stew on them for a while longer to see what I will do. 

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3. Pattern collection Flaming Fall - put on your hat and mittens and take a walk in the crisp autumn air, revel in flaming colors, and watch birds and small creatures preparing for winter.

Descriptive words: flaming, trees, leaves, knits, chestnut, crisp, glow, berries, acorns, animals.

Focal point print 3: Auburn Alley

Auburn Alley inspiration board & sketches:

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Auburn Alley illustrations & motifs:

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For Flaming Fall collection I have already a lot of ideas for other patterns and so far this is my favorite, trying to capture the feeling of autumn and all the colors. Here in Stockholm we just had that period when the trees are just mindblowing beautiful, but sadly it is a short story and now the leaves are falling down, leaving empty naked twigs. We have an old oak just outside of our bedroom window and the color combination of green leaves with yellow edges mixed with brown has inspired me a lot (no doubt since it's the first thing I see every morning when pulling the curtains :-). I've tried to capture that combination in one of the motifs below.

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Updated Tuesday Nov 1: final focal point print in two color variations + two coodinates:

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All along I have had an idea of a complementing pattern of a vast forest line in flaming colors. Like when you go for a walk along a lake, and across it you see this, almost like a quilt. I call it "Across the lake" (bottom left pattern above), and it's not finalized yet. I will make sure the little trunks will be solid in the same color as the backgound (off-white and brown), plus I might even add a lake and have the front tree line mirroring in the water.

The bottom right pattern I call "Oak Float" and consists of falling oak leaves. These colors are initial and will probably be changed when the other patterns develop.

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