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Behind the Scenes

Designing the Winter Wishes Collection

When I thought about Christmas and Winter I always remember happy moments from my childhood. One of those moments were watching Christmas movies. I grew up in Brazil, where Christmas happens during summer. I’ve never seen snow until I moved to Canada, so watching those kids playing in the ice and snow was fascinating for me!

One of my favorite movies when I was a kid was Home Alone. I love movies from the 80s and 90s and I thought that would be the perfect inspiration for my new winter collection.

Choosing the elements

I watched the movies again and did an analysis of some key elements, you can read about it below:

I wanted to design some people but I didn’t want to use the thieves or Kevin’s family. Instead, I focused on characters that barely have a screen time during the movie, like the ice skaters, choir singers and shoppers. I also got inspired by some of the house wallpapers, overall colour palette and ornaments.

  1. Characters: Ice Skaters, Shoppers, Choir Singers, Kevin and Santa Claus
  2. Elements: Wallpapers designs and Santa House
  3. Miscellaneous: Toys, Presents and Christmas ornaments

I designed the elements in my own style and then digitalized using Adobe Illustrator. My goal was not to recreate the movie most famous scenes, instead I tried to illustrate the fun atmosphere of Christmas and winter in the 80s and 90s. I really enjoyed dressing the characters in vintage clothes and vibrant colours.

Slide the picture below to see my original drawings and the digitalized version

Slide and watch the magic!

Creating the Patterns

For this collection I decided to create 5 hero prints,5 secondary prints and 5 blenders.

Hero Prints: the statement ones! Patterns with characters, lots of elements and colours.

Secondary Prints: patterns with smaller elements and medium complexity

Blender Prints: abstract patterns with limited colours

I tried to create patterns that could be used not only for Christmas but also for the whole winter, so colours include not only the basics red, green and golden but also some whites and blues to add a bit of ice and snow to the mix.

Mock-ups

I always like to visualise how the patterns are going to work in products, here are some tests

Printing Fabrics and Licensing

This collection available for purchase in my Spoonflower shop – that means you can shop fabric by the yard and create your own projects.

I ordered a small quilt to make sure colours will look all right, that’s how it’s going to look like:

Producing Embroidered Products

As usual I’m offering some of the designs in an embroidered version. The winter tote bag is a must have, and the hoops are a great idea for decorating your house or for giving as gifts. Visit my Etsy Shop to see what is available.

What did you think about this project? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments!

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Analysis

Home Alone • House Decoration Analysis

I’m designing a collection of Christmas patterns and one thing that always come to my mind when I think about Christmas is the movie Home Alone. It was a funny story, there was some strong 90’s vibe and it was on the TV every year, so I watched many times. I remember especially the McCallister’s house, it was so gorgeous and it was it’s own character. In my mind, that was the ultimate Christmas house, so I decided to take a look and get some inspiration for my next illustration project. Let’s visit it together!

When I was a kid I dreamed about living in a mansion just like this. Georgian style, no fences, a beautiful garden and lots of charming windows. Just amazing! Lets take a look inside!

Above you see the entry hall with an overwhelming red and green wallpaper. The walls are decorated with family pictures and some botanical illustrations. There are some white poinsettias at the door and other red and green details like the rugs and chairs. A fun fact: on the first picture you can see a large window above the stairs, but in the last picture you see a green wall with doors. This happened because the scenes on the main floor were recorded in the real house, and the upstairs scenes were recorded in a studio. Do you see the difference? I never noticed that before!

The house has a very traditional floorplan with a rooms for everything, completely different from the open floor current obsession.

The living room layout is a bit weird for a family with 5 children, I feel there is not enough places to seat if they want to gather everybody in this room. And what if they have visitors? No wonder they seem so stressed! And what is this living room wall paper? Christmas wreaths? How about the velvet green sofa and the jacquard curtains? It looks like it’s permanently Christmas at the McCallister’s!

I love houses with a separate dining room, it’s just so nice! The choice of furniture, table cloth, art frames and light fixture are all so traditional, it reminds me of some old grandma houses, I feel nostalgic about it.

The kitchen is a 90’s dream! I absolutely adore the huge kitchen island and the tiled countertop, it’s been so many years I haven’t seen one of those! When I was a kid, one of my rich neighbours had a dark green tiled countertop and I thought that was the maximum luxury someone could ever have! How naïve!

The collection of red cookware hanging is just amazing and what do you think about those stairs in the eating area? The wallpaper? The huge table? The ruffled curtains? The porcelain swan? This kitchen is a nostalgic dream, I would love to have breakfast there before going for some ice skating.

Here we can take a look at the master suite. The wallpaper and the red bed sheets are so overwhelming it’s hard to focus on anything else. But once I did, I got a bit disappointed! What’s up with the tacky wall art? Those are just cheap prints and badly framed. How about the objects on the shelves? Nothing beautiful or memorable. At least the chest and the vintage sewing machine are cool. I wonder if Kate McCallister worked with fashion, because you can see a lot of mannequins and sewing supplies around the house.

How about the white swan wallpaper for the main washroom? I guess swans were trending in the 90s! I also found many swans in my You’ve Got Mail analysis.

The suite washroom is the one in the famous scene after the after shave. The space is basic but, why so many green and white towels everywhere? How about the red artificial flowers? They look just terrible. The gold accents on the shelves, fixtures and mirror frame reinforce the Christmas theme, and what colour is the marble? Dark green, of course.

We don’t get to see the girls bedrooms but here is a glimpse of Buzz and Jeff bedroom. Buzz is a big fan of sports, with lots of basketball posters and baseball memorabilia. He also loves board games and he is full in his teen years with all the bikini posters. The striped wallpaper reminds me of baseball uniforms. There is even a wallpaper border with some players. We can’t see the other bedroom but we quickly peak at the lovely dots wallpaper. Since most of the toys are boy’s toys, I assume this is Jeff’s bedroom, but maybe it’s Kevin’s… who knows?

The attic and basement are the clutters paradise, there is so much stuff! Basically everything from all members of the family are here: toys, clothes, maternity pillows, sewing machines, appliances, laundry baskets, tools… it’s insane! Kevin was afraid and I would be too if I lived there! Those mannequins are just so creepy!

And that was basically the whole house from inside. There is way more tacky décor and clutter than I remembered. I would love to visit for a weekend, but definitely wouldn’t like to live there, unless we could renovate a bit!

Now it’s time for me to draw and I’ll be back to tell you all about my process. I hope you enjoyed this tour and got some inspiration for your own Christmas décor. Would you live in the McCallister’s house? Tell me in the comments!

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