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Stable Girl + Every Witch Way

PATTERN #1: STABLE GIRL

THEME

I grew up as a horse crazy kid, obsessed with getting my hands on any piece of horse-related anything.  Books, t-shirts, school supplies, everything.  While I think Elizabeth's tasetful, floral based pieces are absolutely gorgeous, I thought I'd start out appealing to this first passion of mine, designing something I would've wanted to snatch up as a kid.  I went with the fun things you'd find around a stable: horse treats, hay, ribbons, stirrups, horseshoes, crops, etc.

I collected some reference images to work off of:

STYLE

Artistically, I love Eliazbeth's simple style, and while old style floral, intriquite patterns I do find intruiging, I gravitate towards a more minimalist display so that small details don't detract from the overall asthetic.

PROCESS

My original sketches:

I vectorized and added colors that are bright, cheerful, and kid friendly, but based on the original colors.

I initially quite liked these colors, and decided to work the pattern off of them.

I started duplicating them, rotating, and just general massaging to get them to fit into a pattern.  I ended up working off two connecting sides so that I could start planning for how the edges would overlap.

Then I added in the right side to the left:

And finally, the bottom to the top:

But when I tested it as a pattern, there seemed to be some pretty noticeable problems.  The two buckets so close to each other were really bothering me:

So I moved some things around, got rid of one of the buckets, and began adding different colors to the multiple brushes, curry combs, and buckets.  

I also added a light blue background:

And here's a 3x5 set:

I liked this outcome a lot, but following Elizabeth's advice I knew it'd be worth while to play around with the colors.  I played around with some bright, lighter colors I was drawn to as a kid, then recolored all items accordingly, and got this:

Here's that 3x5 set:

THOUGHTS ON THE PROCESS

Small Items are Important!  Elizabeth's examples included stones and small flowers.  Other examples in the gallery used starbursts and abstract shapes.  These small things can help fill space, keep a design tight and more seemless when placed on the edge.  Since most of my items were big, I needed to add some smaller options.  The sugar cubes proved most versatile for me, though I used some spilled oats around the buckets as well.

Color helps the pattern!  I repeated some of my objects several times in my square, but to keep them from looking repetitive I changed their size, angle, and color.  While all three helped, color was the most useful.

USES

I picture this pattern on notebooks, the end papers of horse books, and iphone cases.  But I could only find a mock up for one of those, so here it is:

PATTERN #2: EVERY WITCH WAY

I felt confident enough from my first try with stable girl that I went back to my original idea, a Harry Potter themed pattern just in time for Halloween that I call "Every Witch Way."  It features the regular school supplies of a Hogwarts students, again making it fitting to adorn the notebooks, pencils, and tech cases of muggle school kids.

I'll spare you the gory process details in this one.

Here's my final square:

And here's how it might look on a notebook:

And the 3x5 set:

Do you have a favorite?  Any suggestions?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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