Original surface pattern designs that can be licensed or purchased.


Pillow Love

In my last post I mentioned my fabric stash waiting to be made into something beautiful, well, I have actually managed to get the sewing machine humming along again and made five new pillows, all using my own designs.

Flutter of Feathers Cushion

Flutter of Feathers on Faux Suede, so lovely and soft.

Cushions Oct 2015

All these pillows are printed onto cotton, and all my own original artwork (ink sketches and watercolours) apart from the stripes which is just a simple graphic line design but works in well with the other designs.

All these designs are available to buy from my Spoonflower shop.  These pillows are not for sale as they are for a personal project but I am hoping that I will be able to get more time to create in the New Year and reopen my shop.  It has been a really busy year with so many other projects going on, it has been challenging to find time to work on my own projects but I am hoping that the New Year will bring more time to do more designing, more creating and hopefully more selling.

For now, I am heading to New Zealand tomorrow to see my lovely mum who may not even know who I am as her alzheimer’s has got worse in the past 4 months, however, it is important for me to see her now as you just don’t know what the future holds.  I think she will like the pillows I have made for her new room, she was a brilliant dressmaker so I am sure she will be checking out my stitches!!

I will be back attempting to write more posts at the end of November.

Apologies if you have tried to leave a comment in previous posts and it has not worked, I am looking at revamping the whole website and will be sorting the comment section too.  If you do want to get in touch, please go to the contact section of my website and leave a message, thank you.

Sketching / Painting / Drawing / Doodling – my therapy

Okay admittedly I have let this blog slip as life has become so very busy over the past six months with new exciting projects happening.  However, I still make time for some sketching, painting, drawings and doodling, it is my therapy to total relaxation.

Here are a few of my pieces I have found happiness in doing:

Abstract Fern Leaves_blog

Abstract Fern Leaves – black fine liner


Watercolour pencils – Pear


Week 15 _ Vietnam_BLOG

A simple dot doodle – took a while to do this but I like the effect dots have.


Week 18_ARt Deco_BLOG

Art Deco panel – black fine liner



Watercolour Pansies



Leaves doodle – black fine liner



Watercolour rose

As you can see, it’s a real mixture but that is pretty much what I am all about, I love to experiment and explore different shapes, lines, form, and method.  I have always thought I needed a defined style and maybe I do to succeed commercially but I need to also be true to myself and what I love doing is trying new things out, pushing my boundaries further each time and learning from each piece I do and there certainly has been a lot of learning.

I am still wanting to make with the fabric that I have had printed with my designs, it sits resting on a chair in my studio waiting patiently to be stitched into something wonderful.  Sometimes wonderful things take time especially when life gets busy and that is certainly the case at the moment.  I haven’t created many new fabric designs this year, and I do miss it.  I will continue to work on more drawings/paintings/sketches/doodles and hope to have some new and exciting surface pattern designs in place in the new year.  I hope to keep up with this blog in-between managing the build of our new house, a new design project, and managing the fishing lakes. One thing is for sure, life is certainly not dull or boring!

Ahh, it’s great to be back! Please say hello, it would be great to connect.

52 Week Illustration Challenge – Week 7 to Week 12

I am still keeping up with the 52 week illustration challenge and enjoying the learning process that comes with being a beginner in illustrating and as well as this, I have now got some new material to work with to develop into new patterns.

Week 7 – Farm

Week 7_Farm_Sheep

These sheep are hand drawn and painted with watercolours and then digitally edited into a seamless repeat and currently fabric for sale at my Woven Monkey store. I am planning on making pj bottoms with this fabric when there is a spare moment to reach the sewing machine again!

Week 8 – Coffee

Week 8_Coffee


Week 9 – Texture


This is Hedgie and he was a very quick watercolours illustration as I was running out of time but I am happy with how he turned out in the time frame. I am beginning to enjoy working with watercolours the most.

Week 10 – Night


This watercolours illustration was based on a photo I took of a roof top in Covent Garden at night.

Week 11 – Green


Created using coloured pens. I really like this design and I am currently working it into a seamless repeat, I think it would lend itself well as a surface pattern for fabric, wall coverings and gift wrap.

Week 12 – Costume


Admittedly character drawing is definitely out of my comfort zone and area I need more work in but I like getting out of my comfort zone and playing with character faces. This costume was based upon a diy halloween costume I saw online which I actually think my seven year old would quite like!

I am really hoping to be more regular on this blog as I do miss writing regularly and I also miss creating and experimenting like I have done in the past. I hope by the end of April I will be on top of my work load and be back on track to creating more fun and exciting projects and designs. For now, you can follow me on Instagram (theoriginalthread) as I do try to post most days.



52 Week Illustration Challenge

This year I am participating in the 52 week Illustration Challenge where each week you are given a theme to do an illustration and then you post that illustration to a dedicated Facebook page which is a closed group that you can request to join if you wish to participate in it. There are over 3000 members and a huge amount of talent, each week I am blown away by the sheer talent that is on offer and admittedly slightly intimidated by it! That said, I believe you only can improve by practice and showing your work and being proud of what you produce even if it wasn’t executed how you imagined in your head.

Here is the first six weeks illustrations:

Week one – Fairy Tale

Week 1_Fairy Tale_Castle-01

Week two – Italy


Week three – Retro


Week four – Insects


Week five – Kitchens


Week six – Magic


I have much to learn in illustration and using different mediums but I am loving this challenge so much, it is all very inspiring. I shall bring you more of my illustrations in blocks and hope by showing my work, I gain more confidence in my ability and maybe inspire you to join the challenge.

52-week Illustration Challenge

Every Which Way – Space Inspired Designs

Yes, I know it has been quite a few months since I have posted anything and all I can say is that life has been way too busy and this year seems to be continuing the busy trend!  It is all good though, life would be boring if I wasn’t busy!  I have recently designed some new space inspired designs which are up for sale in my new Woven Monkey shop.  Woven Monkey is a digital fabric printers based in the UK which means for me that I can now get my designs printed onto fabric and delivered to my door within 10 days! This is my Woven Monkey shop; http://www.wovenmonkey.com/designers/theoriginalthread, please do pop by, I shall be uploading more designs in the coming weeks.  For now; here’s a little look at what’s on offer.







The motifs in these designs are hand drawn and then digitally edited to make seamless repeats for fabric.  I have some samples on there way and I can’t wait to see how it prints out.  To keep up to date with my new designs and my daily coming and goings, please check me out on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/OriginalThread or on Instagram; http://instagram.com/theoriginalthread/.

Let me know what you think, I always appreciate and enjoy getting comments.

Winter 2014 Blog Hop

Thank you to the wonderfully talented Sarah Savage for the ‘hop’.

A few months back whilst doing The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design (ABSPD) online course I started putting together a Christmas collection for both fabric and paper.  One of my fellow students, Sarah Clare organised a special Winter blog hop to showcase and share our work amongst fellow students and the wider community.  Here are some of my winter and festive inspired designs, please continue to the hop to check out more fantastic designs on offer, link at the bottom of this post.


I have a love for birds so they do appear quite often in my designs and are the main focus of my Christmas designs.


christmas collection4-01
This is the full collection which is available to buy from my  Spoonflower shop.  There are one or two additional colour variance available in my Spoonflower Fabric shop.

I developed the above designs further to use for Christmas greetings cards.


These cards can be bought in my ETSY shop from Friday 14th November.

To keep blog hopping to see more lovely festive and winter themed designs, please check out some beautiful work by the very talented Joanne Cocker.



Inspiring Autumn

Well Autumn is well and truly here and it is a time of year I do enjoy in terms of nature and not so much in terms of weather!  I am fortunate enough to have access to my own woodlands on our 23 acres of land and it is truly beautiful at this time of year with so many colours about.  We recently put a treehouse up for the kids and I am seriously thinking of moving into it whilst the kids are at school and using it as my outside studio, if only, I could find a spare bit of time to go down to the woods to sketch!


Thru the Treehouse Window

There is something about the rustling of leaves, the colour and the smell in the air that makes me feel more alive and inspired.


It is an amazing privilege to have this space and we enjoy every moment we spend there. I am dividing my time up between many things projects lately and with doing so I am struggling to write as much as I would like.  I have yet to do a new tutorial for many months which is both disappointing and frustrating at the same time, so hopefully I will have some to share next month.


This photo is courtesy of one of our members, Philip Candlish.

Having purchased a coarse fishery on these 23 acres back in June, life has changed direction quite quickly. I never imagined I would be part owner of a coarse fishery and it is kind of ironic as I am not that keen on fishing. However, it is the land that I am more interested in, having plenty of space has always appealed to me having grown up on a small hobby farm in New Zealand.  It is funny how you don’t really appreciate what you have until it is gone or not easily accessible.


I will be going back to New Zealand in less than two weeks to look after my mum. I am looking forward to spending time with her but it will also be very sad at the same time. It is so hard being on the other side of the world sometimes! I will be in New Zealand for three weeks and to help me through this time I thought it would be good to do a lot of drawing as I find drawing relaxing and a type of therapy for myself. Therefore, what I would love to get from my readers is a list of subject matter/object to suggest to draw because for me, the hardest bit is thinking of what to draw! So, if you have any ideas for subject matter/objects, please do let me know by commenting here or alternatively drop me an email, melanie@theoriginalthread.com.

One last thing, meet the newest member of my team, he will be joining us this weekend!  Meet Ned!



Vintage Letterpress Typography

I have been busy working on new projects and in particular, having fun with my vintage letterpress letters and developing new pieces of work using personal sayings. It was a bit of an inky mess but I do enjoy working with these vintage letterpress letters and would love to purchase more of them.


I really like these words, and I think it carries a strong message and one that I agree with totally. It was inspired by my son who is one of the most original people out there and who doesn’t really tick any box in particular and doesn’t conform to normality but that is why he is so special and I love him! I think it is important to be original and true to yourself!

When I developed this digitally to use on products, I did take out the Be Unique as I wanted to be a much simpler but stronger message.



These are available to purchase from my Society6 store and I do have a few cards getting printed which I hope to list on my ETSY store in a few weeks time.



Sometimes we are afraid to let our imaginations go and just have fun with it, sometimes we think things through too much and by doing so, we forget to have fun!




This saying is one that my son said to me when he was about 5 years old and he was talking about a girl at school, it was all so cute! I really love this saying and just had to develop it further.




I think this cute saying would be fantastic for valentines.  I may look at getting some printed up early next year.

For now, all these products are available from my Society6 shop.

Inside My Sketchbook

Last week I did a wordless Wednesday but to be quite honest, it is hard for me not to write, I love writing so it is probably not going to be a weekly thing just when the mood grabs me!

In August I took part in a fun drawing exercise set by Spoonflower where they gave you a prompt to draw, for example, first one was Cactus.  I really enjoyed taking part and I do hope there will be more in the future as it get’s my creative juices flowing and I find drawing so relaxing, I should make more time for it!  I didn’t get the last week completed as I was so busy on holiday, I just ran out of time, but here are three weeks worth of sketches.









Books - Focus on Typography

Books – Focus on Typography

Arrows - Focus on Typography

Arrows – Focus on Typography

Tea - Focus on Typography

Tea – Focus on Typography

Toast - Focus on Typography

Toast – Focus on Typography





Dung Beetle

Dung Beetle

Cheetah getting ready to hunt

Cheetah getting ready to hunt

Fish Highway

Fish Highway


I am hoping to develop some of these sketches into new surface designs and pieces of work, which one is your favourite?

I am feeling very inspired by my doodles and drawings, what inspires you and what are your favourite things to draw?  I love hearing your thoughts so please do drop me a comment below.

Wordless Wednesday – Reflection

reflections 2

Nambiti Private Game Reserve – Early Morning Reflection

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    In my last post I mentioned my fabric stash waiting to be made into something beautiful, well, I have actually managed to get the sewing machine humming along again and made five new pillows, all using my own designs. All...
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