Inspiration for 2011

Let’s start this year off with some inspiration! Here are a few things that are making me want to do new and exciting stuff…


Digital Textile Design by Melanie Bowles and Ceri Issac

I’d had my eye on this book since it came out in 2009, and just got it for Christmas! (Thanks Mom and Dad!) I haven’t yet delved into the technical stuff, but I’m determined to be designing myself some textiles by year’s end. How cool would it be to make a stuffed toy out of your own fabric? I know Spoonflower has been around for a while, but I’m interested in seeing what other possibilities there might be. And then actually doing it!



Ninon is an Italian plush artist living in Berlin, and she totally has my heart right now with her fun fabric combos and lovely embroidery. I bought this beautiful creature by her at Schmancy on my Seattle trip, and she has plenty more in her Etsy shop and also in the current plush show at gallery hanahou! (Read an interview with her on the gallery blog.)


The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design by Shannon Okey

I ordered Shannon’s book several months back, and finally had a chance to read through it toward the end of the year. Just reading about her experiences being a professional designer (along with her interviews with many other designers) gave me some much-needed motivation to take a step back and think about where I would like to go with my work and life in general. It’s definitely not just for design professionals, either—if you have any interest in designing, or blogging, or some other kind of crafty enterprise, this book will give you some good ideas and a starting point.



CRAFT featured one of this knitter’s amazing designs a little while ago, and it was the most inspiring knitting I had seen in a while. I had to send her fan mail right away! She has patterns and gorgeous finished items and available in her Etsy shop. (And I would be lying if I said her designs didn’t make me want to make insane color work toys…)



This 2009 documentary popped up on Netflix Saturday night, and it turned out to be a good way to ease into the year. It was a bit slow for John, but I appreciated its low-key, reflective tone, and I enjoyed hearing about the processes of various people working in industrial design and how they each define “good design.”


Crazy Rhythms by The Feelies

I am constantly plugged into music and podcasts while I knit and do everything else, so I get excited when I come across a new album that I can obsess over. In the case of The Feelies (thanks, Leah!), this is not a new album at all (it was originally released in 1980), but that’s almost better—it’s somehow reassuring to think that there are great things from the past waiting to be re-appreciated. New music helps stimulate new ideas, is what I’m thinking!