Friends, I've got a fun little surprise flash sale today that you can jump in on if you've been wanting to register for Pattern Camp but haven't jumped in yet.

TODAY ONLY (Tuesday September 30, 2014), when you sign up for Pattern Camp you'll get a free copy of my e-book, Jump Trust Repeat!

Yeehaw! That means that once you finish all the lessons in Pattern Camp and learn how to create your own patterns, then you can read the e-book and start learning about what to do with your gorgeous designs! (Licensing? Making your own products? Oh yes.) 

You'll get an email with your unique login information for the private Pattern Camp classroom + a link to download the e-book within 24 hours of successful registration + payment (likely much sooner than that!).




This offer ends Wednesday October 1, 2014 at 7am PST.

Hope to see you in class! The classroom is open, the Facebook group is starting to get active, and I can feel the excitement in the air…. come play with us!




There's something about this time of year that always makes me want to start fresh. It seems like no matter what age you are, this time of year has that back-to-school feeling -- new beginnings, learning new things, making new friends….

Not to mention the fact that it's pretty much full-on Fall here in Portland all of a sudden, so I'm feeling that pull to hunker down and stay inside, which is a ripe time for new learning. I love cozying up on the couch with a cup of tea and my laptop to dig into something new and exciting!

Have you heard of Blog Boss? It's a new e-course by Holly Becker of Decor8. I've been blogging for quite some time now, but there are certain parts about blogging that I've always struggled with…. like the age-old "what should I write about?" question, not having any sort of blog strategy (do I need one?), how to take more beautiful photos, not pre-writing posts when I'm going to be out of town, etc.

Holly is obviously a blogging pro, and I know her e-course would be a good kick-in-the-butt for me, to start developing some new and improved routines. I mean hello, there are lessons covering allllll the topics I just mentioned above in the course! Writing, marketing, branding, business lessons, work/life balance….

Blog Boss runs from October 10 - November 10, 2014.

You can find more info about and register for the course on Decor8.

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Speaking of blogging + photography, my talented photographer friend Vivienne McMaster is offering a couple of courses that are starting soon that might also be up your alley. This one in particular, geared toward creative entrepreneurs and bloggers, looks and sounds totally awesome:


It starts on October 6th. 

Her very popular Be Your Own Beloved class is starting up soon, too, on November 1st. It's all about using photographs of yourself as a doorway to healing. So completely amazing. Vivienne is one of the kindest people I know, and she teaches in the most loving, gentle way…. you'll love her classes if you sign up.

More info about both classes can be found on Vivienne's website.

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I'm also taking this Skillshare Photoshop Brushes class right now. (Well, let me be real: I signed up, but I haven't done anything yet. But that will change soon, my friends!) I am *very* excited to get more skilled at using and creating Photoshop brushes.

I haven't yet taken advantage of the incredibly vast amount of inexpensive knowledge that is Skillshare…. do you ever take Skillshare classes? There are so many!

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Also, I'm going to be teaching a mixed media lesson as part of Life Book 2015, a year-long (whoa!) mixed media e-course. There are so many wonderful teachers throughout the year (Flora Bowley! Rachael Rice! Alisa Burke!), and WOW, what a fun way to dive into your creativity for an entire year. Love it. Registration opens October 6th, and class starts January 1, 2015. More details here.

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Oh, and one last thing. There's a little course called Pattern Camp, which you may have heard about…. ;)
The classroom opened this morning! The Facebook group is filling up, the welcome video is being watched….. come jump in if learning to create repeat patterns is calling to your creative soul. It's going to be so much fun.

Hope you have a great day!

*ps - I'm an affiliate for the Life Book course, but not for the others -- I just like what each of these talented people do, so I thought I'd share here with you. Because maybe you struggle with aspects of blogging or photography or Photoshop brushes, too, and could use some advice from the pros!









Surprise weekend posting!

Laura and I have a new limited edition set of sea elves available today -- the Sea Elves of Gemstone Island. Each is inspired by a specific gemstone!

There are 8 one-of-a-kind sea elves in this collection. The 4 picture above are available here in my shop. The other 4 are available in Laura's

Here's Turquoise:



And Ruby:



And Pearl:



And Citrine:



Scoop one of these gemstone cuties up if it calls to you! I love rocks and stones and gems and minerals, don't you?

Hope your weekend is glorious so far!




Friends, it's calendar season! I seriously can't believe it's almost October. Wasn't it just January?? Time is a mind-bending experience sometimes, isn't it?

Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I'm picking up my 2015 calendars from the printer next week, and they'll start shipping out shortly thereafter!

There are 4 different varieties this year. Yes! Four.


Below is the desktop version (which comes in a cool plastic display holder case!):






Below is the desktop version (this one comes in a cool plastic display case, too!)



If you order a calendar between now and the end of September, you can choose a free print to go along with it! Yes. I'll send them both at the same time. :) (Matted prints not included)









Scoop one up, and get ready for 2015! You can find all the calendars in my shop right here.

Happy weekend to you, friends!
xo





Lately God's Eyes (Ojo de Dios) have been popping into my mind at random times. Did you make these as a child? It was one of my favorite activities (along with making friendship bracelets)! Since they keep coming up for me, I think it's time to get crafty and create my own grown-up versions of God's Eyes.


I love that God's Eyes are "symbolic of the power of seeing and understanding that which is unknown and unknowable, The Mystery". Isn't that beautiful? They are often "created for celebration or blessing, presented as a gift or designed to bless a home". (source)

Everyone might be getting home-made God's Eyes from me for Christmas this year!


I searched around pinterest this morning for inspiring images of God's Eyes and came up with these ones. Ryan is working nights right now, so I think I might plop myself on the couch with some piles of yarn and sticks tonight to keep myself occupied.It's really feeling like Fall in Portland all of a sudden, so I'm getting the urge to nest and snuggle and do cozy crafts. I love Fall.


What sorts of crafts do you like to do in the Fall? What crafts did you love making as a kid? I'm trying to think of other things I loved to make…..


Something else I'd really love to learn how to do is loom weaving. Like these, by Maryanne Moodie. Wouldn't that be so fun? Where can I get myself a small loom?


There's my inspiration for the day! What's inspiring you?

Sources:

3 // via Buzzfeed
4 // via pinterest





I had the pleasure of joining Tiffany Han recently for an interview on her new podcast called Raise Your Hand. Say Yes, and I'm happy to tell you that it's live and ready to be listened to on her website today.

Tiffany and I laughed a lot, and we talked about some topics that feel pretty big and important in my life -- things like staying motivated, productivity, procrastination, how we make ourselves small by not owning what we are (when we say things like "but I'm not a reallllll artist…."), and much much more.

I remember there being a few nuggets of what felt like gold that popped out of my mouth, so I think I'll need to have a listen to the conversation again, too! Sometimes I find that I don't quite know or understand what I think or believe until I've said it out loud or written it down… does that happen to you? Well, I remember when Tiffany and I chatted that I had a few of those sorts of a-ha moments when some of my beliefs gelled in my own mind a bit more than they had previously. Love that! 

Anyway, you can listen to the podcast on Tiffany's website. I hope you enjoy it!

Make sure you check out the other podcasts, too -- my interview is #4 in the series, and I'd say Tiffany is on a roll so far with her interviewees. Erin Loechner! Lisa Congdon! Yes. Good stuff.

Happy Wednesday!




Pattern Camp is looming closer and closer, my friends…. are you signed up? Hundreds of you are so far, and I can feel the excitement building! It's shaping up to be a big, creative, colorful group, and I *can't wait* to see what everyone creates.

If you want to join up with a supportive community of like-minded creative souls, all learning to create stunning repeat patterns together, this is your place.

The private classroom area will open on Monday, September 29th, where you'll have access to an Illustrator Tools Primer video, a Photoshop Tools Primer video, our private Facebook and Flickr groups, 4 video interviews with inspirational surface pattern designers, and more! Then class begins on October 11th.

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You can find out more about the course and if it is for you right here.

If you have questions, check out the FAQs! Also, you can send me an email. :)


ps - in case you missed it, I created a short, informative video about the course! Here it is:

(If you don't see the video, click here)

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Hope to see you in class! 



On Friday last week I returned home from a joyful trip to Colorado. My time was split between my hometown of Boulder (above, on a glorious morning out walking with my mom!), Denver (where my youngest sister, Bizzy, lives and where I was teaching a painting workshop), and Ft. Collins (where my middle sister, Britt, and her family live).

I didn't spend much time at all in Denver when I was growing up, so it's fun to be there now as an adult. It's such a cool city! I snapped this pic of the capitol building during the lunch break of my workshop:

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Stunning, right? I know. I love Colorado. Union Station, which was not used for quite some time, has reopened as a train station now and is also home to a whole bunch of new restaurants and bars and such. My sister and I took a spin around to check it out, and of course I had to snap a pic of this gorgeous building:

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The workshop I taught was at the inaugural Art Makers Denver event, and oh my goodness it was so much fun! I got to meet several people who've been in my online sphere for quite some time (Hi Lexis! Hi Catherine! Hi Erin!), and everyone who was there was so lovely. 

We carved stamps (here are some of mine that I brought as examples):

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And then we painted and stamped on canvases and boards (there are by one of the students):

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Here are some gorgeous stamps made by someone in class:

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And Sarah Fitzgerald, one of my new favorite artists who works in this incredible Clayboard technique, started out her paintings like this:

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Amazing colors, right? So Autumn-y. Love. I think I'll have to devote another post to her work. Seriously, it's so amazing. Check out her site.

This is what our tables looked like, and they just got messier (read: better) throughout the day:

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After the workshop I headed up to Ft. Collins to hang out with my sister Britt, her husband, and my niece and nephew. They are the CUTEST! We went on a hike on a beautiful morning:

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I got to carry my sweet little niece, who alternated between being happy and cranky:

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She is a little diva, that one! Those 2 kids….. my heart melts every time I see them.

Then it was back to Boulder (I spent a lot of time driving back and forth from town to town!). Thankfully Caroline's and my schedules matched up the last day I was there, so we spent some time walking and chatting in the sun around Wonderland Lake. I love this dear friend of mine so much:

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Oh Boulder, you slay me:

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Sometimes I wonder why I ever moved away. (But I love Portland!)

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In other news, I worked all weekend on my birdhouse for the Put A Bird In It auction here in Portland that's happening on Saturday night, October 11th:

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I was honored to be asked to create a birdhouse for the 2nd year in a row! That's how I got started, above, and here is how it turned out:

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I'm sort-of in love with it. I'm calling it the 'Hanging Tribal Bird Box'. It's for hip birds, obviously.

Also, check out this gorgeous backdrop:

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I ran my third half-marathon last weekend in the Columbia River Gorge here in Oregon, and oh MAN it was stunning. I got to the 10-mile mark and hardly realized how far I'd gone because I was just taking in the views…. the trees, the river, the big sky, the birds. It was so beautiful. These are some of my running buddies (Suzanne is missing, but she'll be at the next race!) and I after the race -- aren't they gorgeous? I'm so lucky to have such fit, strong, fun women to run with. They inspire me so much.

Now, it's back to work. I've got to finish up everything for Pattern Camp, which is starting in just a few short weeks. Are you signed up yet? Over 200 people are, and I can feel the excitement building…. the classroom opens a week from today! Get more details here if you're interested.

Have a super Monday!
xo



In between e-course hoopla the lately (there are almost 200 of you signed up for Pattern Camp already, omg!), I've been painting in small bursts, and this new piece just emerged in the last 2 days.

The background was already painted and ready for layers, so this was Step Two.

I like that it's a bit looser than how I usually paint. Sometimes I get so rigid in my painting that it's nice to loosen up and try something a bit different.

I'm thinking I'm going to find a spot in my house to hang this one for a while…. the original might be a keeper for me, not to sell. It's got some personal meaning to it that I might not want to part with. Sometimes that happens.

Happy weekend! I won't be posting here much next week as I'll be in Colorado teaching a painting workshop at the fantastic Art Makers Denver retreat as well as spending a bit of time visiting my family. Follow me on Instragram, though, if you want to see follow along on my adventures!

xo





Today is the day!

Pattern Camp registration is officially open! There's a special discount price, too, through this Sunday September 14. Read on!



WHAT: Pattern Camp is a 2-day, intensive, weekend-long virtual, online pattern design workshop created + taught by me, Jessica Swift. It’s pattern design boot camp! (Except fun, and no one will yell at you, promise.)

WHEN: Saturday + Sunday OCTOBER 11-12, 2014 from 8am - 4pm PST. Online in a private classroom at patterncamp.com

PRICE: $159 USD. This discounted price to invest in the course is available for the next 4 days only, through Sunday September 14. On Monday September 15, the price goes up to the full $189 USD.






If you dream of learning how to make repeat patterns but are unsure of where and how to begin, this course is for you. Throughout the 2-day online workshop you will learn to design repeat patterns in both Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Videos, tutorials, written posts, and live Q+A’s will guide you through the tools, techniques, and tricks to get you quickly on your way to proficiency in the programs + creating your own beautiful patterns.

If a YES resonates within you for any or all of the following:

:: You dream of creating your own patterned products. (Hello, fabric and gift wrap printed through Spoonflower! Hello, greeting cards, gift wrap, or stationery to sell in your Etsy shop!)

:: You like the idea of a jam-packed, intensive, weekend-long workshop, at the end of which you’ll know several different techniques for creating your own repeat patterns

:: You stare (confusedly) at patterns and try to figure out how in the world it repeats seamlessly

:: You feel like pattern design is your calling, but you don’t know where or how to begin

:: You feel a pang in your stomach when you see beautiful patterned products in the world and wish you could figure out how to take the first step toward creating art like that

:: You want to start learning how to use Illustrator or Photoshop (or just how to use it better!)

:: You want to develop your own unique pattern design style

:: You wish someone would down with you and walk you through the pattern design process step by step

:: You already know how to design patterns, but you want to pick up some fresh tips and tricks from a professional designer

:: You want to connect with other like-minded creative souls in a supportive and private setting

Then it's time to sign up!








Pattern Camp is designed as a 2-day intensive online workshop. Throughout the 2 days, lessons will be released at specific times, leading course participants to work on the same lessons at the same time. We'll share our work in private Facebook and Flickr groups, meet up in live Spreecast check-ins to get questions answered, and I will be on hand and available for email support for the entire weekend as well as in the Facebook group.

We'll be an active community of people learning how to create gorgeous pattern designs all at the same time and sharing our work as we go!




It's going to be a jam-packed course!

:: You'll learn how to create straight repeats, half-drop repeats, and brick repeats in Illustrator and Photoshop.

:: You'll learn how to create a color palette and how to edit the colors in your patterns.

:: You'll learn what makes up a pattern collection.

:: You'll learn tips and tricks for making your designing efficient and precise in Illustrator and Photoshop.

Investing in Pattern Camp, completing all the lessons in the course, and then practicing consistently will lead you to mastering all the skills you need to begin creating your own unique portfolio of pattern designs.



I know a 2-day intensive course just isn't realistic for everyone. Time zones are tricky. Kids, family commitments, and work need our attention. Sitting at a computer for 2 full days just might not be doable in your current circumstances. So what if this is your scenario?

If 2 full days of lessons just doesn't jive with your schedule but you still wish you could take the course, you can absolutely sign up anyway. You’ll have access to the website and all the lessons for one full month and can work through the lessons at your own pace without missing a thing.

Whether you work through the lessons in 2 days or in 30 days, you'll be part of the community of creatives in the Facebook and Flickr groups, so you'll be able to interact with the other Pattern Campers and share your own patterned creations when it's convenient for you.

The live check-ins will be recorded, so you can participate live or watch them at your convenience. There will not be any un-recorded live content during the course. You truly won't miss a thing by working through the lessons at your own pace.



So, if Pattern Camp is tugging at your creative soul but you live outside the USA, you just know that you won’t be able to steal away 2 full days for yourself, or the dates simply don’t jive with your calendar, don't let that stop you from discovering the thrill of creating your own gorgeous patterns.

You won’t be at any disadvantage whatsoever if you choose to work through the material at your own pace, over a longer period of time.

Listen to the urging of your creative soul and sign up anyway!





Check out the Pattern Camp website for more info + answers to FAQs, and send me an email if you have any other questions.

I'm so excited to share my love for pattern design with you + teach you the ways during Pattern Camp.


Here are the details again:

WHEN: Saturday + Sunday OCTOBER 11-12, 2014 from 8am - 4pm PST. (Remember, you can always choose to work through the course at your own pace instead of just during the 2 days.)

PRICE: $159 USD. This discounted price to invest in the course is available for the next 3 days only, through Sunday September 14. On Monday September 15, the price goes up to the full $189 USD.





Hope to see you in class. It's going to be SUCH a good time.

xo 
jess

ps - here's a video I made about the course!


(if you can't see the video, click here to watch.)



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