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Botanical Inspiration

Botanic Inspiration is part science part art. The technical part was very important in the past for studying biology. With the advent of photography, these techniques have been combined to depict all kinds of plants with the best detail.

I find the artistic side very inspiring and I love to create illustrated products and embroidery inspired by botanical illustration. My favourite botanical artist is called Pierre-Joseph Redouté, he was a famous artist in the court of Napoleon Bonaparte and his favourite flowers were roses.

Do you have any botanical art at home? Where do you think they fit best, hallway, living room, bedroom? Let me know in the comments!

ps. some people messaged me asking the name of the book. It’s named a Garden Eden. I’m linking some more inspiring books below, A Garden Eden, another book by Redouté and one that is actually more towards chinoiserie but have some great art inspired by botanical illustration, from de Gournay. * those are affiliated links and I might get a small commission if you shop using these links *

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Home Alone • Kevin’s Neighborhood

We already visited the iconic Home Alone house in my previous post (if you missed, check it here), and we had a great time analysing some very festive interior décor. Although there is so much to get inspired by the McCallister’s house, today I invite you to get a quick peak at Kevin’s surroundings.

Let’s go around the lovely neighborhood where Kevin and his family lived in the 90s.

I love the shoppers style in the 90s, ladies in long wool coats and guys in bomber jackets and mullet haircuts, so iconic! Take a look at the teenagers ice skating, I love the colours here, mostly reds and blues, some headbands and cozy sweaters. Really nice vintage vibes! I also like how there are brick facades everywhere in this suburban neighborhood.

The church is very traditional and the choral scene is one of my favorites, the kids are singing some lovely hymns and Kevin finally discovers that Marvin (the old man) is not the bad guy. I also like the stone façade and real size Nativity Scene, what a huge setup for a neighbourhood church!

And isn’t this Santa House a total dream? Such a cute design with a million colourful lights! I also really like the very cool teenager giving Kevin directions, she looks so cute with the leather jacket.

It seems like a dream to live in a mansion located in such a cute neighborhood! Kevin was a very lucky boy!

Did you see his house? Check here

What is your favorite part of his neighborhood? I love the ice skaters! How about you?

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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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Designing The Book Lovers Collection

It’s been more than a year since the last time I drew a surface pattern design collection. Reading is one of my passions and drawing a book collection has always been in my plans. I’m also a big fan of the visuals in the movie You’ve Got Mail, since the main characters are owners of bookstores and there are books everywhere. I’m specifically attracted by the decoration with so many bookshelves and cozy objects, I find it simply brilliant. With a bit of inspiration and lots of imagination, here is a bit of my process creating The Book Lovers Collection.

The Book Lovers Collection

This collection is perfect for book enthusiasts, writers, students, all people who loves vintage vibes of old paper books, typewriters, lots of coffee and a cozy environment. Adding a hint of humor, warm elements and colours, it’s a perfect collection for back to school in the fall or to enjoy the whole year.

Deciding what to draw

I decided I wanted to get most of my inspiration from the movie You’ve Got Mail, so I watched it again. There are so many things to get inspired, like the Shop Around the Corner, or NY in the fall, or even the Fox Books store. But the place I would love to seat and read was actually Kathleen Kelly’s brownstone house. You can read my analysis of her living room here.

I wanted to have a mix of characters, objects and miscellaneous designs. Watching the movie, I tried to focus on the people who visited the house, on objects, patterns and colours that decorate the space. I divided those in 3 categories:

  1. Characters: the people who frequent the house
  2. Elements: The furniture and larger objects
  3. Miscellaneous: Small objects that decorate the place

With that in mind I drew each element by hand in my own style, and later digitalized using Adobe Illustrator. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see a likeness to Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks or Greg Kinnear, that was intentional. I placed these characters in new situations and tried to focus in the book lovers theme. I want my drawings to appeal to all book lovers, not only fans of the movie.

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

Slide and watch the magic!

Creating a Pattern Collection

For this collection I decided to create 4 hero prints, 6 secondary prints and 6 blenders.

  • Hero Prints: the ones with more colours, more elements and higher complexity. All the characters are in the hero prints.
  • Secondary Prints: patterns with medium complexity, moderate use of colours, medium contrast and no characters
  • Blender Prints: simple patterns with limited colours and no complex elements, low contrast

When choosing colours I always try to imagine if the patterns were transmitting that cozy, cute and fun atmosphere. My goal was to create an attractive universe for book lovers, with patterns that work well in different applications.

Trying a few mock-ups

It’s always great to visualise how the patterns are going to work in products, so I always make a few mock ups to test.

Printing Fabrics and Licensing

I decided to make this collection available for purchase at Spoonflower – that means you can shop fabric by the yard and create your own projects.

In order to sell on their website we need to print prof the designs and make sure all colours are fine. I ordered a sample of each fabric on a cheater’s quilt (an amazing option available on their website, you can make one for yourself!). Here is how mine is going to look like, in case you need some inspiration. (If you would like to shop these fabrics visit my shop ).

Producing Embroidered Products

And of course I wouldn’t miss the opportunity of offering some of these designs in an embroidered version. So hoops and tote bags are available featuring some of the icons from the collection. Visit my Etsy Shop to purchase them.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about my process. I find it amazing and surprising to see how much we are able to create with few pieces of inspiration. As the times passes I’ll have even more items to grow this collection so keep in touch! And please let me know what do you think in the comments!

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You’ve Got Mail • Kathleen Kelly’s Living Room Analysis

After so many requests, I finally bring you an analysis of You’ve Got Mail. With Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, the movie dates from 1996 when internet romance was still something very new. Who would guess we would end up swiping forever on Tinder? No, no, things were way slower, romantic a mysterious on those times.

The characters of the movie are very interesting and fun, but for me the best part of the movie is the visual. Kathleen Kelly brownstone house in NY is the coziest home in the universe, it’s been more than 20 years and we are still talking about it! Her store, The Shop Around the Corner, is a paradise of books, cute toys and lovely sparkling decorations. The way NY in the end of the 90s is captured is so captivating, the city looks so lovely and full of life. The “Starbucks” aura and Joe Fox apartment are also very on point. Seriously, filmmaker Nancy Meyers is a genius for style.

If you never watched this film stop and go watch. My analysis has lots of spoilers and revels the plot – just a warning!

But now lets get to action. Today we are going to focus on Kathleen Kelly Living Room and a tiny bit of her other rooms. The movie starts with the camera flying from outside to the inside of her house showing an overview of the space.

Looking from the window to the inside of Kathleen’s place

From the first scene you can get a glimpse of how cozy is this place. The colours are warm and harmonic, the wide door moldings have a soft and pleasant texture and all objects feels purposely mismatched in a casual, effortless vibe. This scene is already a masterpiece of composition. Notice how many planes you can see at the same time:

  • The outdoor curtains
  • The home office corner on the left
  • The washroom on the right
  • The piano room and living room behind the office
  • The entry hall light coming from the washroom window
  • The building on the other side of the street (through the window)

Lovely introduction! Now let’s check some details

Bookshelves on the home office, in the back the piano and living room

On this side of the apartment you can see this lovely cube bookshelf, Kathleen’s desk , her piano and the living room. Notice how the books are not organized, there are piles in all directions and no shelf is perfectly tidy. Everything here is intentional and this “messiness” creates the feeling of a well lived place, specially close to the desk. You get the impression that Kathleen actually reads a lot and check those books all the time.

Kathleen writes an email in her cozy desk, surrounded by books everywhere.

Above, a better view of the home office . The wooden desk and wicked magazine stand add to the warmth of the space. Notice the frame with a round in the middle – that’s actually a framed crochet dolly! Other frames around the house have lots of vintage botanical illustration. All these small details helps build Kathleen Kelly character: she is a warm person who treasure family mementos and values her history.

This bookshelf is built around the washroom and faces the piano room.

Here is another floor to ceiling bookshelf! It’s probably normal for a bookstore owner, but seriously, that’s a lot of books! Here you can see more objects and the decoration team tried to reinforce a few messages:

  • Kathleen’s love for daisies: the vase and the frames feature her favorite flower
  • Her longing for romance, symbolized by objects in pairs. Here you can see this pair of frames but her whole apartment is full of objects in pairs: table lamps, frames, candlesticks and even a painting with a couple of swans. I find this just a genius idea coming from the filmmakers!
A better view on the living room, with cube bookshelves and a floral comfy sofa

Here you have a better look on the living room and bit more of her bookshelf on this side. Again objects in pairs – notice the frames on the wall and candlesticks on the bookshelf. This sofa is an invitation to get cozy, isn’t it? I just adore this print and all the lovely cushions. The mismatched chairs give a lot of personality and bring contrast and value to the space. On the shelves some more amazing decisions from the filmmakers: here the books are more organized since they are a bit farther from the desk and you can notice a picture on the top left, that’s probably Kathleen’s enchanting mother.

When Joe Fox visits Kathleen you can get a quick glimpse of her living room

When you get to the last corner of her living room: Surprise! Another book shelf! This time it’s a smaller one, slightly less crowded and decorated with objects. Joe Fox brought some daisies for Kathleen and the green of the leaves stands out on this warm and blush frame.

So we crossed the whole living room, from window to window. Now lets get back and take a quick peak on the other corners.

Kathleen runs to check if Frank is really going away

Above, on the left you see the bookshelf that surrounds the washroom and behind it, a bit of her bedroom furniture. On the right you see her desk, the TV (she can watch it from her bed) and a bay window with another sofa. This window faces the street and is the one we “used” to get inside her house in the first scene. All spaces are integrated, except the washroom and the kitchen.

Don’t miss the details, like the pairs of pictures on the wall, or pair of objects on the shelves. I adore her desk chair and the curtains, so delicate! Also notice the lovely vintage furniture with green details, absolutely charming!

Kathleen falls in her bed after a disappointing date

Here a quick peak on her bedroom. Her bedsheets and bed cover changes throughout the movie, reflecting changes in her own life. The quilt adds to the Kathleen’s love of history and family mementos. You can see the pair of table lamps on the dresser and the painting above her bed is actually a pair of swans (you can see better in the next picture).

Kathleen and Frank watch an embarrassing TV interview

Above, the couple of swans in whole glory! Speaking about pairs, notice how her nightstand lamps are mismatched. This is to symbolize how Kathleen and Frank were not made for each other, her love life is not in perfect balance yet.

Kathleen’s love for daisies is in the first scene of the movie, before she even speaks

Should we talk about the bed linens? Throughout the movie they are are so inviting I could write another post just about her bedroom and linings, seriously! But not today! Our goal was just the living room, I’m already getting distracted!

Still we can get a very quick peak on the other spaces, above the dining room (taken with Frank’s electric typewriters), the lovely kitchen, a glimpse of the washroom and the entry hall with the amazing stained glass window. By the way, guess what is in the painting on the entry wall? Tip – it’s also a sculpture in the kitchen window. Yes you guessed right, a swan!

If you like this movie you might enjoy the products I designed based on this story. Click to visit!

So what do you think about all this? Would you like to live in a place like that? Do you like this aesthetics? Let me know what you think in the comments!

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Image Credits: Warner Bros Pictures

Director: Norah Ephron

Set Decoration: Susan Bode and Ellen Christiansen

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10 Delicate Floral Pink Wall Coverings

I’m obsessed with romantic style and lately I discovered they are popular again, thanks to grandmillenials. House Beautiful describes this as: “Ranging in age from mid‑20s to late‑30s, grandmillennials have an affinity for design trends considered by mainstream culture to be “stuffy” or “outdated”—Laura Ashley prints, ruffles, embroidered linens.”

Pink floral wallpapers give a dreamy vibe to my grandma chic style. Scroll through for a glimpse.

Morris and Co

By YvesTown

De Gournay

At Houghton Hall

Rifle Paper Co

With Loloi Rugs

Sanderson

By Yves Town

Sanderson

By The Green Eyed Girl

Bennison

By McGraph2

Bennison

By McGraph2

Vintage

By Minnette Jackson Interiors

Eijffinger

By Brewster Home

Laura Ashley

By Peonie Cole Cottage

Did you like my selection? Leave me a comment telling me what you think

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Turning point

Improving a skill requires constant effort. As an illustrator, I’m always trying to find interesting ways to tell stories through drawing. After a long gap without producing art, I finally felt inspired again and started a series of illustrations in late May. I was motivated and happy but in less than two months I felt trapped and had to stop again to reorganize my plans. What happened?

I’ll tell you the truth. I’m addicted in social media.

I need to draw, post on Instagram and see the reaction of people immediately. I even started to post videos everyday sharing not only the completed drawings but also the process and each part of what I was doing. The result? In one month I got stressed and bored. Every time I was not producing fast enough, I would feel guilty and on my videos I would repeat just “I’m stuck, I’m stuck, I’m stuck”. So annoying! Not having time to reflect about my work led me to make a lot of mistakes and bad choices. In the last week of July I chose some very strange colors and did some really weird patterns. Not proud!

Making these mistakes helped me realize I needed more time. I decided to draw 2 months in advance, so in August I started to draw for Canadian Thanksgiving , October 12. That was a great decision. I finally got time to breathe and see a full collection finished before I started posting. It’s been challenging to stay away from social media and don’t see interactions everyday, but I believe this will be very important to start producing good quality artwork.

On Writing, Stephen King. I listened to the audio book, it was really fun!

I recently finished reading On Writing, from Stephen King and it’s a great book! Here is something he said that was important for me (on drawing on my case)

Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you

Stephen King

I think I opened too much of my process and the truth is that most people are not interested, except for my artist friends. That limits too much my potential and reach. Also makes me insecure about my choices and I feel very inconsistent, as I rush things to show in public fast. I also notice I don’t give myself time to review my work.

If you are in the creative career, either writing, painting, music, anything artistic, I really recommend this book. I’ve never read other books from Stephen King because I’m not into suspense stories but I really enjoy learning about his creative process and where he gets inspiration for his projects.

The September Issue is available for renting on YouTube

I also watched the September Issue again. I love this documentary about Vogue and Anna Wintour. I really love Grace Coddington participation, Anna and Grace are both really inspiring women in very different ways. It’s great to see how they prepare the fashion editorials, how the teams plan the stories and what happens in the edition room. I like how they take their job very seriously and how sometimes hard decisions are made to keep the magazine aligned with their ideals. One thing I noticed is that they started the plan for the September issue about 5 months before the launch! I didn’t know they start so early.

A picture from the board at the edition room. I really love how they print the pages and see the whole magazine together before publishing!

All this helped me regain my focus. I finished my fall illustration series and I’m ready to start the Halloween series. I will post on Instagram only in September but if you are reading here you can see my fall illustrations before everybody! Just visit my portfolio page –> here.

That’s it for today! Thank you so much for reading and we keep in touch!