The days in between

My nine best liked posts from 2017 on Instagram!

Christmas came and went and now we’re counting days to the next celebration, New Years Eve. Usually I am not very into Christmas, or at least I haven’t been for many years. This year I made a decision that I was going to embrace it instead of rejecting it, go with it instead of against it. I think at some point it was about embracing myself, my new self, who is much more happy with life and the path I have taken in the last year. 2017 has been a strange and difficult year for the world and the people on the planet. Me and my family have had our share of difficulties and some things have really put us to the test, as human beings and as a family. I started this year recovering from being burnt out and trying to figure out what I needed to be able to get back to work but not to the state I was in when I crashed. One thing had becom absolutely crystal clear during my sick leave – I had rediscovered my creative self and I knew that this was the key to feeling whole and not frustrated.

Some of you who know me might think that I have been very creative since I have been singing the whole time, performing even when I was ill. And surely, singing is still what makes me feel most alive and fulfilled – but I no longer feel the urge to sing at any cost, anywhere, at every occasion offered. I love to sing when I am free to express myself in the way I want and to use my voice to connect with people. Which leaves some rare occasions…
So this year I have been exploring the world of art and patterns. I have painted with watercolours as pure therapy. I have taken courses and classes in pattern design, connected to like-minded people all over the world. I have invested in hardware to be able to create and share my work. I have watched hundreds of tutorials learning everything from drawing simple motifs to the most advanced technical skills. I have created lots of patterns, exploring my style and the things I like. I have started to put myself out there, with my instagram feed, on twitter and with this blog. When I look back on 2017 I have accomplished a great deal and I am very happy and proud of that. Exactly a year ago I was if not a mess, at least a bit messed up and at the end of this year I feel strong and full of hope and I have a very clear picture in my head of what I want for 2018. I will continue to put myself out there, share what I do and start selling my design. I am usually not the kind of person who set goals and very decisively work towards them, but this time I feel different. I want this to happen, a dream I want and need to come true. I hope you will join me and I would much appreciate questions, feedback or just a like now and then.

These are my thoughts on the days in between. See you soon!
And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram: @madeleinewidelanddesign

Saturday night amusement

On Saturday nights some people do things like spending time with family and friends, having a nice dinner or watching tv. I spend my Saturday night in front of the iMac and some tidying up in what we in Swedish call ”filträsket”. Freely translated into ”the file swamp”, a place that I know all of you are familiar with. The creative work demands a certain structure and organization, which can appear to be obvious but oh so hard to achieve for some of us. For me at least. The pattern making is a process with many steps and sometimes there has to be several kinds of files in different formats: a work file (original file) in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, made in layers and with all the motifs, correct settings, colours, swatches, and so on. Then you might need a .jpg or .png for web. If you are to send a file to a manufacturer you need to adjust the settings to their requirements and save for that purpose. This is a very time consuming work, since these programs seem to have a life of there own and even might have been designed to destroy the lives of creatives. I tend to be very organized in the beginning of working with a new pattern, but as the creative juices start to flow a forget to think ahead and stay organized. So when the pattern is finished and I am satisfied with the outcome, I often end up with a document that is a disaster. Luckily for me I haven’t done this for a very long time and I don’t have hundreds or thousands of patterns in disastrous documents, so I decided that before I start presenting my patterns in a portfolio or launching my website, I must organize my patterns carefully. I decided to use Adobe Bridge CC since I am used to that from work and I find it to be powerful and give a good overview.

I started with a folder named Collections and numbered each collection folder 01, 02 etc to make sure they appear in chronologica order.

Each collection folder contains the patterns named with the number and name of the collection, the name of the pattern and size of the file. I also mark the file with ‘repeat’ if that is the case.

There is a seperate preview window and a very extensive meta data list underneath. I like the keyword feature where you can add as many keywords you like which makes it easier to search for a specific pattern later on.

This is a very technical blog post, I am sure, so those of you who are not into pattern making, or at least the technical side of it, I am sorry if I bored you to death…

Have a nice weekend – what’s rest of it anyway!

A new year approaching

I am creating calendars for Christmas gifts and that makes it obviously impossible not to think of the new year and what lies ahead. 2018 – what do you have in store for me? Or maybe it should be the other way around – 2018, what do I have in store for you..?

The other day my husband called me a fatalist and that stunned me for a while. We talked about it for a while and I explained that I really am nothing like a fatalist, I am actually more of a cynic. However, with the twists and turns of life and having been in some bad places I decided that I needed to be much kinder to myself, and that meant learning to let go of control, learn how to lean back and trust the universe. In that I have faked it ‘til I made it, telling myself that the universe will take care of it. It gets really tireing to be a cynic and have a deeply rooted conviction that nothing will ever sort itself out, I have to sort it out myself. The mind and soul needs to rest sometimes and that it was trust do.

But. If I want to change things. If I need to follow a dream. I will have to work hard and not leave everything to universe to take care of. So I will – in a kind and gentle way – take a grip on 2018 and offer it some great stuff, and much of that I will share with you along the way. To help myself with planning the business side of making a dream come true, I have today ordered Your Best Year 2018: Productivity Workbook and Online Business Planner Lisa Jacobs from Market your creativity.

And I will of course use my Calendar for 2018 – with inspiration and tips from wonderful designer Bonnie Christine – I have come to April, so there is a good chance it will be finished before New Years Eve!

 

How to go crazy when building a website part 1…

..or part 5, I don’t know really. I am sure that there will be many more parts to come so here we go.

 

Today I thought I would try to add a link from the website (building that in Adobe Muse) to my blog (using WordPress), and I was convinced that adding a link is not very difficult. One hour later I am thinking that I can manage with paper and pen in the future. I made the blog text part of the menu in Muse and no matter how and where I clicked there wasn’t a hyperlink option anywhere in sight. So I started googling and suddenly I found myself downloading RSS feed widgets and trying to install that in Muse with the widget library and that rendered an ugly text box and not my nice looking blog. And then I thought that it MUST BE POSSIBLE to insert a hyperlink to a text box so I added a plain text box and then it was very possible to just add the link to my blog…as I thought in the first place…

Tada!

I’m back!

And I’m super excited to share my stuff with you again – this time in a little different way, though. I have decided to write in English this time, since I have so many new friends around the globe after taking courses in surface pattern design and creative business. This blog will mainly focus on my creative process, my patterns and everything connected to the birth of my business.

The blog is under construction, as well as my website – mwdesigns – and I want to share the construction work with you. Some might have an interest in the nitty gritty of webdesign and others maybe like my patterns. Don’t be strangers – I would love to make contact and I will answer any questions in the best way I can.

mw are my initials.
mw is short for my world.
mwdesigns is the name of my business.

See you!