Thursday, July 27, 2017

Made with Little Smilemakers Studio Fabric // Memphis Style // July 2017



It is so exciting to see a finished project after working hard on a new collection of design or a series of illustrations for our clients. But with finished fabric designs it is even a bigger surprise to see what customers create. To see how final products evolve when people put their own creative energy in there is amazing.

If you browse around on Etsy or Instagram for some kids fashion or home decoration you are very likely to stumble upon some Little Smilemakers prints. Most creatives with small home based businesses sell their projects via internet and tag us via Instagram. So we see some amazing things pop up in our feed every month. We love how Little Smilemakers creations are the foundation for other creatives all around the world to work with. So here is our monthly blog post that features some creative results from Russia, The Netherlands and the United States. This month we selected a our top 3 Memphis products, turned into the most gorgeous items. Kids fashion, nursery accessories and have you seen those baby booties? There was so much to choose from! We have selected some cute baby shoes, shirts, leotards. And we have a link to our Society6 shop, if you would like to add some Memphis to your home. This is our top 3 July selection.

1 // Tiny Little Cactus - Adorable Baby Booties
Krista visit our shop in The Hague to get her hands on some of our Memphis fabric. She became a fan of our designs and a week later she ordered a whole lot more of our fabric via Spoonflower. When we asked her to tag us in her social media posts, because we are curious what peeps make from our fabric, the most wonderful items popped up. We love anything cute and love this local webshop filled with crafty stuff and everything Kawaii. For this months “Made with” we selected her adorable little baby booties in our trending white Memphis print. Soft sole shoes, perfect for your little ones tiny feet. Seriously, things don’t get much cuter than this! We love these fresh colorful booties, but if you prefer our darker Memphis designs: She also has the black Memphis designs available in her shop. If you are looking for some baby shoes or if you are a big Kawaii fan like we are check our her website. Such a perfect new born or baby shower gift!



2 // Mami’s Little Muse - Baby & Toddler fashion
We haven been following this shop for a couple of years already. Isis is one of our regular customers and has made some cute fashion items for little ones over the years. For this month’s post we selected some of her newest rompers and leotards made with our Memphis fabric. We love how she mixes and matches colors and prints. Isis started her little shop after giving birth to her preemie daughter. She could not find any clothes to fit her tiny new born baby girl. Her little muse Kaili inspired her to start dreaming about sewing a whole wardrobe full of clothing for her. And her husband, sensing her determination, came home one day carrying a brand new sewing machine. With all it bells and whistles, it wasn’t long before Isis preemie was the most stylish kid in town with a dressed overflowing with handmade outfits in all the colors of the rainbow. Now she has expanded her collection by adding cool boy designs too. her shop is fresh, fun and colorful. And her items all have a little something special. if you are curious just take a look into her Etsy shop.

3 // LU Kids - Cool boys and girls
Our Memphis designs haven been travelling all over the globe and even in Russia you can find a cool range of kids wear. LU Kids offers trendy fashion items and accessories. This Moscow based shop offers shirts, pants, shoes, everything for your little ones wardrobe. But they have also reated some cool accessories. Shoes, hats, backpacks. An entire series of back to school Memphis prints is released this fall. For this new collection LU Kids has used organic cotton and eco-friendly printing, water-based inks on natural and synthetic fiber textiles. No additional chemicals are used in the printing or preparation process. That is something we just love to hear! Many of our customers are choosing a more conscious approach so we really wanted to list them in our top 3 this month.
Curious about their new stuff? Visit their webshop.

Home decoration & Accessories
We usually only feature handmade items and licensed products in our monthly Made With post. Because this month is a little different that our usual posts we also wanted to add a link to our Society6 shop. Where you can find fashion accessories, bedding, and als sorts of fun items to decorate your home with. If you want to add a little Memphis to your home. Go take a look. We have a whole bunch of other designs to choose from too.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sources of inspiration: Iceland // Landscapes, textures and delicious food // Top 5 things to do and places to visit while traveling this amazing island



Sometimes you just need a change of scenery. When I booked my trip to Iceland I needed an easy getaway, staring at lagoons and endless lava landscapes seemed like the perfect vacation. The perfect break from all the chaos, heartbreak and loss. I never travel to colder places, but I usually don’t book a trip during summer so I decided to go North and visit this beautiful island full of amazing landscapes. Adventure was  waiting once again!  

I woke up and was starring out of the plane window 10 minutes before landing and the glance I had over the landscape instantly gave me a little peace of mind. The roads and the landscapes under me where completely empty. Such a relief after all the rush and chaos I had been in for the past months. My first stop was Reykjavik, from here I would travel the Golden Circle and then after a few days it was time to have a little road trip and go east. 

The weather quickly changes and in Iceland they have a saying “just wait 5 minutes.” So when the rain comes, chances are it will be gone in 5 minutes. Definitely something to keep in mind when you arrive at that waterfall and it is pouring. I was lucky with the weather, out of 8 we had 4 days of sunshine, but I did need lot's of layers. Make sure you pack enough clothes! Make sure to pack warm clothes and proper water resistant hiking boots are a must if you want to experience this Island’s raw nature.

Iceland only has a small population and most of the people you will meet are tourists themselves. Therefore the country is focused on serving that tourist majority, the food, the shops, you will find fries and hamburgers and 50% of all shops are selling souvenirs. This is what hell looks like for me, I am not a big fan of the American food culture and I don’t like to buy things, but if you get out of Reykjavik and travel around the country you can dodge this consumerism a little bit. Leave the mass behind and soak up the peace and quiet of this amazing country with snowy tops and black beaches, lava landscapes, waterfalls and geysers. Here is a little short list of things to do and some tips to enjoy this place to the fullest. 



1 // Reykjavik 
The old city of Reykjavik is definitely worth a little peek. I loved the colorful wooden buildings and the city is pretty small, easy to do it all in a day or two. Personally I am a big fan of modern architecture and I love to see how old places are renovated and get modern interiors. The Hafnarhús Art museum is both an interesting building and a great place to visit if you love modern art. A ticket to the art museum is also your entry for two other museums: The Asmundarsafn sculptures and Kjarvalsstadir that houses the works of Iceland’s most influential artist, Jóhannes Kjarval. So if you are an art loving creature like me, this is what a perfect afternoon looks like. 
In the harbor the modern glass concert hall Harpa is definitely worth a glance. This brand new building is a beautiful contrast with it’s surroundings. Take the elevator up to the top story, stare into the reflecting textures, take a look at the ocean view and have a coffee in the lobby after you walk your way down the pretty stairway in this amazing building. Don’t forget to look back. it is such a delightful piece of architecture.  
Although the main shopping street is one big souvenir avenue, there are some nice places where you can find some more authentic memorabilia. Reykjavik still has some record stores where you can get your hands on some original LP’s and they have a great collection of Icelandic music and movies. If you rent a car to make a road trip you can buy your soundtrack in one of these places. I am a big fan of Icelandic music and have made a playlist in my Deezer account for those who want to listen to the landscapes. 

2 // Icelandic cuisine 
On my first day in Iceland I had a terrible meal and as you might know already, food is important to me, so I was not very happy to eat shitty. Iceland is very popular among American, Canadian and British tourists and unfortunately most restaurants serve hamburgers, hot dogs and fried things like fish and chips. While traveling around the country you will notice the donuts and unhealthy take away options when you stop to fill up your tank. Eating out is pretty expensive on the Island but if you want to eat a proper meal it is best to spend just a little more on your dinners. With a little extra you can eat so crazy good! You will thank me for this tip, seriously! The fish on the island is amazing and so are the typical Icelandic dishes where hamburgers are left off the menu. My top 3 restaurants in Reykjavik were Matwerk, Sushi Social and Rok. The last one has small dishes to mix and match and was definitely my number 1. Iceland has some typical local dishes on their menu. Whale can be found in big touristy places but since the whale hunt is up for debate, the more sophisticated restaurants don’t put it on their menu. Reindeer and puffin however are not endangered, if you want to taste Icelandic meat, this is your chance.  

I was surprised Iceland has so many local beers to choose from. If you are a beer lover you can eat your heart out! But it’s expensive. A proper beer will cost you around 1400ISK choose your beer wisely! Wine is just as expensive, but they do have a standard of good wine, not like here in Holland where the wine can be extremely bad sometimes. Not sure how that works, bad wine.  

3 // Walk over water 
Iceland is an amazing country and has lot’s of amazing places to visit. One of the highlights of my trip was a glacier walk, at the Jökulsárlón-Glacier. Maybe also because I am a little challenged doing hikes with my rheumatic joints and I was pretty proud completing an afternoon of hiking over ice, but I am sure it also has something to do with the amazing views, colors and the knowledge the ice won’t be there forever, you can hear the water flowing under you, the melting ice you are standing on. if you are afraid of heights this activity might be a little challenging. The black lava peaks, the gaps between the ice, the textures, the view over the glacier and the ever changing landscapes. It is breathtaking. You can also make a short boat trip on the glacier lagoon and see the blue reflection in the ice caps. The colors are amazing. You won’t be needing any meditation before going to bed that day i promise you!



4 // Chasing waterfalls 
Iceland has over 30 amazing waterfalls, enough to accidentally find some along the way, go off the beaten track and find one of these hidden gems around lunchtime. The perfect way to have a little break from driving and enjoy your lunch. Make sure you are equipped if you want to visit the main waterfalls: protect yourself from the water or get soaked. The Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss and the Gullfoss are Iceland’s most popular waterfalls, they attract a lot of tourists so these are not the best places for a lunch stop but they are worth the visit. The Seljalandsfoss has a path that takes you on the other side of the water. You can see the water drop 50 meters from the cave behind the waterfall. The water comes from Iceland’s notorious Eyjafjallajökull volcano. If you walk up and follow the track you can find another three waterfalls. You can either climb up and go down through the water of enjoy these forces of nature from the main track.  

5 // Geyser watching 
Most households in the city of Reykjavik get hydropower and households are heated with geothermal water from the surrounding springs and is the only country that solely uses renewable sources. Hot water is everywhere and so are hot springs, one of the most famous one is by far the Blue Lagoon. It is also the most expensive and crowded one. There are some little less touristy hot springs scattered throughout the country. If you travel by car you will bump into a few that are more natural and less crowded. The water is important to Iceland and the steam of hot water rivers and geysers turn the landscape into magical sceneries. Water comes in so many forms. The one thing I really wanted to see with my own eyes were the geysers. A rare phenomenon you can only see near active volcanic area’s and one of the worlds famous geyser is the Icelandic Strokkur where you can see the active geyser erupt every 10 minutes. It is truly spectacular. 

These are just a few things on my trip that were spectacular and I really wanted to share. Do some research and explore this amazing country. Make sure you pack a camera and some proper lenses to spot wild life. Puffin, whales and seals. And whatever you do in Island, take your time and respect nature. Don’t go off road or walk into the lava fields, respect and don’t impact and most of all take your time to look. And take in the spectacular views of snow topped mountains, volcanoes, glaciers, green canyons and wild ocean waves. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Made with Little Smilemakers Studio Fabric // Handmade faves // June 2017



It is so exciting to see a finished project after working hard on a new collection of design or a series of illustrations for our clients. But with finished fabric designs it is even a bigger surprise to see what customers create. To see how final products evolve when people put their own creative energy in there is amazing.

If you browse around on Etsy or Instagram for some kids fashion or home decoration you are very likely to stumble upon some Little Smilemakers prints. Most creatives with small home based businesses sell their projects via internet and tag us via Instagram. So we see some amazing things pop up in our feed every month. We love how Little Smilemakers creations are the foundation for other creatives all around the world to work with. So here is our monthly blog post that features some world wide creations from Canada, New Zealand, The Netherlands and the US. This month we selected a whole bunch of clean Scandinavian themed designs, turned into the most gorgeous items. Kids fashion, nursery accessories and have you seen those cute cuddle cloths? There was so much to choose from! We have selected some cute lions that make a perfect gender neutral baby shower gift, leggings, bibs and pillows. Take a look and see if there is something for your little one too. This is our June selection.

Rosa Deco
This Dutch shop has a wonderful collection of new born accessories all handmade by Sabine, shop owner and passionate sewer. These fun gift boxes make perfect gifts for a mom to be or the conscious mommy who is looking for organic pieces for their little one. Teething rings, baby cloths, take a look into her shop and check out her fresh style.



Wild Littles
This shop creates modern handmade quilts & bedding for teeny tiny humans. Designed and handmade in beautiful Victoria, BC, each quilt is professionally designed, pieced and free-motion quilted. The very nature of being individually crafted by hand means that there will be slight variations and no two quilts are the same. The quilts make a wonderful, thoughtful gift for an expectant or new mom and are perfect to drape over the side of a crib and easily transition to toddler bedding. Plus they can be used as a play mat for the floor or tummy time, spread out for a picnic or for cuddling and snuggling. These baby quilts are designed to stand the test of time and are sure to be a favorite heirloom to last for many years to come. Go check out the shop!

Bean Sprout
Bean Sprout must be one of our favorite webshops using our Spoonflower fabric. Hiedee has a great eye for unique and bespoke designs and we love her style and gorgeous clean photography. Bean Sprout has a pretty big collection of Little Smilemakers fabrics, all turned into the most adorable baby and kids fashion accessories like baby bibs, book bags, summer hats and nappy wallets. For this months post we selected our abstract rain drops print that was turned into a cool boy bib. Wanna see more? Take a look into her gorgeous shop for all wonderful handmade creations.

Itty Bitty Leggings
Monica is one of our frequent Spoonflower customers, she has a range of Little Smilemakers designs up in her shop every season. She makes wonderful leggings from her Salt Lake City home while she raises her two sons. This shop is perfect if you have some gentlemen to dress. Because she has a fun range of cool boys stuff in there. For this months post we selected out abstract grid fabric. One of our most popular prints this year. Monochrome fabric is trending right now! She also has some gender neutrals and more girly items too. They're lovely! With her fun stylish eye her collection is always on trend. Go take a look!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Creative Business & Infringement // About design ethics and copy cats // How to protect your designs



Something needs to get off my chest, that is why I decided to write this piece. As an artist I have been working in the creative industry for over 12 years now and I have seen things change and shift over time. I love using social media such as Instagram to show what I am creating, new designs I launched and to give my followers a little insight about what I am doing. Get feedback and discuss work. A lot of it is very helpful to running a creative business. But the downside is that my business is a very visual one. I need to show my designs in order to sell them and over the years it has gotten more and more common to see ‘Little Smilemakers Inspired’ designs pop up. So with it is not about creating only, it's about being clever and work smarter. I have grown to tackle quite some problems over the years, maybe this could also help you a little.

Your designs are my inspiration
“Who inspires you” is a question that is often asked to artists during interviews. And to me too. Inspiration to me is something that itches. Something that triggers an emotion, something that creates a response. Shows things in a different light. Confronts, stirs up. It can be a walk on the beach. The perspective of a child. Joy, grief, pain, it is all converted into creation. And therefore very personal. But the interviewee usually refers to another artist, style or brand. And this is why they are so wrong. Inspiration is not something you can copy, it is a trigger, a mood, an energy that gives you power and drive to create. If you are an artist and have your own handwriting you are not highly influenced by other styles. Somehow being inspired has turned into copying that style and handwriting. And it is not ok.

The people I approach that copy my designs usually think it is okay to copy that handwriting instead of contributing to the world, finding their own ‘voice’ in their own unique way. They forget all about staying close to their own strength and choose to disrespect the artist by making a rip off version of a product or in my case a print. I find copied work almost every day. And it saddens me. Today I run across another ‘interpretation of a little Smilemakers concept’ and usually I just feel bad for a second, eat chocolate and get on with it. But some days it is just too much and I reach a point of thinking “shall i just stop doing this” a couple of times. I make things but what people don’t seem to realize is that it is my livelihood. My bread. I spend over 60 hours a week working my ass off. Things don’t just happen. Most importantly I create from the heart, designing is a very personal process and I can see the difference between ‘inspired by’ and copied, I know why I make a certain shape, toss elements a certain way, because the design is me. I am the designer, I know.

Everyone’s a designer
When I started working as a graphic designer 12 years ago, creating things on a computer was done by a selected, talented, few. But more and more software was made, printed media was turned into mostly digital pieces and more recently it became a lot easier to get your hands on cheap software and apps to create your own ‘whatever’. So I changed my graphic ways and started to create illustrations and patterns. Serving another niche of clients. But the past year this business has gotten more and more saturated. Not because of an increase awesome new artists that entered the business. Unfortunately it is the copy cats that seem to thrive nowadays.

My work has been copied by Etsy selling housewives and big multinational businesses. When I confront people that copy my work that are individuals, mostly housewives with Etsy stores claiming to be artists, it is a different story than approaching businesses. They have no idea how copyright works, since they usually never attended any creative business classes, they don’t have any legal insight. Neither do they have any ethical thoughts about copying creations. I started to realize these woman really have no idea how disrespectful it is and how wrong they are. Today I confronted someone I noticed putting up a new design via Spoonflower, the same person already added another design similar to mine a few months earlier. I was stunned. If you have several designs similar to another artist up for sale on the same website it is not dumb luck they seem similar. It is not ‘inspired by’. It is called fraud. Design infringement. When you pick the same shapes, same composition, same theme in the same colors it is not an ‘interpretation of a concept’. Unfortunately somehow I can not get my point across to these people. There is not an easy way to prevent this. Trust me I have tried. We all have to think global and the problem is every country has it's own regulations about copyright. And I am curious how other designers deal with this.

If you are a true artist no one can take away your own uniqueness.

Everyone’s a designer so it seems. But there is a difference to a skilled professional and a copy cat. A professional approach will lead and not follow. If you are also dealing with this kind of nonsense know that a true creative heart always ticks, always creates. Rely on your own creativity, find your own voice, your own style, your own handwriting and don’t focus on others. Do not focus on the negativity and try to let go of the heaviness in your heart when you bump into copy cats and copied work. If you are a true artist no one can take away your own uniqueness. Trust yourself.

Business to business
With all visual exposure from social media it is getting harder and harder to earn a living with my designs. And every few months I work on exclusive designs behind the scenes. Within a few days copies pop up when I put something on Instagram I am working on, or add new designs to my Spoonflower shop, so I choose to keep these exclusive prints private until they are send out to a selected few. When I present my exclusive designs business to business, it’s a given one of them will add the same themes and colors to their collection next season while turning my originals down. This is of course a problem. With my thorough market research, experience and skills it is not only the design I send out. It is weeks of researching the market and target group, scaping upcoming themes, color schemes and trends into new designs. It is not just the print but a whole lot of other information too they are handed before pay out. It took me a long time to resolve this matter but when last year’s batch of spring designs became worthless I knew I had to do things differently.

Last year I made a presentation that was send out to a select few customers. One of them, I had worked for before, shared my work to a company that has stolen my designs before. The customer I send the designs to asked me to prepare a license for three designs that were part of a collection containing 10 other designs with the same theme, concept, colors and elements. However, that same customer did not get back to me to confirm these licenses. After turning down several other companies interested in the prints, I finally got in contact with them and they told me they did not want to buy the designs any more. A few weeks later, the same theme, same colors, same elements…. copies of my designs popped up in their shop. I was curious where they came from: Nooteboom, they said. Which had copied my work before. My entire collection became worthless and I could not sell any of the designs I put weeks of work in. I knew, this was the last time this was ever going to happen.

Working in the fabric industry is shady business. When I visit fabric fairs it only takes me a few seconds to find copied work. It is crazy. So yeah, I learned a lot from my 6 years of making designs for the fabric industry but it still surprises me, the lengths people will go to not pay the artist. To resolve the business to business exclusive design issue I now make customers sign a binding agreement of not adding same themes and elements to their new collection for at least a year after receiving my collection of new designs to choose from. Invest in some legal assistance every now and then. This way your ideas and heard work are at least a little more protected.

It is not much and I am sure there will be another person or company trying out something new here. But do protect your work, add a little business mindset to running a creative business and I hope this piece can prevent you from making the same mistakes I have made so far. I haven't by far figured everything out yet, being an entrepreneur means setting new goals, make mistakes and learn from them. I am working on a top 10 of mistakes, things to think about as an artist while doing business. Things to consider to protect your artwork. So stay tuned!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Made with Little Smilemakers Studio Fabric // Top 5 // May 2017



It is so exciting to see a finished project after working hard on a new collection of design or a series of illustrations for our clients. But with finished fabric designs it is even a bigger surprise to see what customers create. To see how final products evolve when people put their own creative energy in there is amazing.

If you browse around on Etsy or Instagram for some kids fashion or home decoration you are very likely to stumble upon some Little Smilemakers prints. Most creatives with small home based businesses sell their projects via internet and tag us via Instagram. So we see some amazing things pop up in our feed every month. We love how Little Smilemakers creations are the foundation for other creatives all around the world to work with. So here is our monthly blog post that features some creative results from Canada, Germany, The Netherlands and the USA. This month we selected a whole bunch of fresh blue colored fabrics, turned into the most gorgeous items. Kids fashion, nursery accessories and have you seen those baby booties? There was so much to choose from! We have selected some cute baby shoes, leggings, blankets and a cool babynest. Take a look and see if there is something for your little one too. This is our top 5 May selection.

Hen House Apparel - Umbrella Leggings
Nicole is a mother of two boys living in sunny California who runs a small etsy shop with organic materials and unique prints. You can find a small selection of our designs in her shop, mermaids, guitars, polar bears and our cool umbrella rain design that is featured in this months post. With our umbrella print she has made some cute boys leggings and these are also available in her shop in different sizes. Take a look and enjoy her fun collection of leggings, shorts, head bands and more.

LoveBird BabyNests - Blue hedgehogs
LoveBird BabyNests was founded by Ashley, an adventure seeking, outdoor enthusiast, nutrition and fitness passionate, loving mother of 4 beautiful children. While she was pregnant she decided to take on a sewing project creating a little baby bed that turned out to be a cute little baby nest. After her son was born she it became clear she couldn’t live without it and started making custom BabyNests on request for friends and family. Her business grew and now Ashley has a wonderful little online shop. For her small collection of BabyNests she selected some of our favorite Little Smilemakers fabric. Our hedgehogs is one of this years hot selling fabric and available via Spoonflower. Not having any sewing talent? Don’t worry, you can order a custom BabyNest via her webshop.



Tiny Little Cactus - Blue Baby Booties
Krista visit our shop in The Hague to get her hands on some of our Memphis fabric. She became a fan of our designs and a week later she ordered a whole lot more of our fabric via Spoonflower. When we asked her to tag us in her social media posts, because we are curious what peeps make from our fabric, the most wonderful items popped up. We love anything cute and love this local webshop filled with crafty stuff and everything Kawaii. For this months “Made with” we selected her adorable little baby booties in our abstract pink dashes print. Soft sole shoes, perfect for your little ones tiny feet. Seriously, things don’t get much cuter than this! If you are looking for some baby shoes or if you are a big Kawaii fan like we are check our her website. Such a perfect new born or baby shower gift!

Cover Up Baby Studio - Dino Blankets
Did you know Spoonflower also has a very soft minky fabric which is perfect for nursery blankets?
Mary, who is grandma of two, runs a small Etsy business from her home in Michigan selling fresh and unique new born baby swaddle blankets. We love what she made with our blue dinosaur fabric and love her style which is fun and colorful. Take a look into her shop if you want to get your hands on one of these adorable items.

Glitzerpüppi - Blue Garden Fabric
For this German shop we made this cute blue garden fabric that popped up on our Instagram feed a couple of weeks ago. This print is also available via Spoonflower and we love this cute little new born set: a baby romer and a matching headband was made for this little one. Curious about their own fabric production and available fabric? Take a look into their shop and get your hand on some of our exclusive prints.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sources of Inspiration // Top 5 spring-summer trends in fashion and home decoration



Another warmer season is coming, so it is about time to plan those decorating and sewing projects. With these top 5 trends for this year you can never go wrong. Add some Boho to your wardrobe, or add some retro geometric textiles to your garden as a contrast to your tropical plants and leaves. We are curious to see what style you like most. Have fun creating!

Bohemian romance
Summer is for dreaming. And this summer this dreamy bohemian breeze takes over fashion. The Bohemian style has been around for 200 years and back in the day it was a style that was carried by artists and intellectuals who wanted to reject the bourgeois lifestyle. Adding imagination and color the bohemian style was a way of expressing a different way of dressing and decorating. This style reflected the fashion in parts of Eastern Europe called Bohemia, where lot’s of Gypsy people lived: Immigrants without a home, traveling and living on wheels. Nowadays we still associate the Bohemian style with freedom. The romantic prints, colors, the ethnic elements. it all turned into a cult. A carefully picked outfit with lot’s of colors and accessories.

The Boho trend has been on the rise for a few years now including indian icons, such as native aztec prints, feathers, arrows and dreamcatchers but also flowers, natural and oriental elements are part of this easy trend. Mixed with bright color pops, think of neon detailing and wooden ornaments this is the perfect trend for romantics. We have created some modern version boho prints, our own interpretation of the Boho trends, that are available on wallpaper, home decor items via The Roostery and fabric of course. Pick your fave fabric type and order our boho designs. Have fun creating pieces for your new summer wardrobe.

Explosive Pastel
The Scandinavian style still is on the rise. The dark days of winter are behind us and the pure clean white makes place for a little hint of color. The nudes, blush and pastel color palette has been popping up going strong in Scandinavian fashion brands and home decoration and is a definite must have in your summer wardrobe.

But did you know the big pastel wave in the 80’s had it’s origin in Miami? Back in the 80’s Miami Vice was recorded, I bet you all know about this iconic TV show. It was situated in Miami and the Art Deco architecture was translated into the set and the shows wardrobe. Around that time film, music video’s and effects became very influential and lead to a pastel wave. Anyway, I am a big fan of pastels and since my skin is pretty white, winter is not really the season to pull off these soft colors. With a little more color on my cheeks I can finally wear those mints, soft grays and blush pinks again.



Colorful Memphis
During the pastel Miami wave there was another crazy trend popping up in the eighties. The Memphis Movement. Highly influenced by pop culture; their name alone was based on a Bob Dylan lyric. The movement was established in the early 80’s by a group of designers and was very strong in interior design, furniture, film decor and fashion. Geometric shapes, strong lines and bright contrasting colors were the groups signature and this short term colab has made such an impression that it is celebrating their revival. We especially love the geometric patterns that go hand in hand with the contrasting bright chunks of primary and secondary colors. Inspired by this style we have made some colorful, geometric Memphis inspired designs with of course a little twist. We left out the primary colors and made pink, mustard and blue hues. Hope you enjoy them!

Botanical Jungle
Book a ticket to the tropics this year cuz we all need a piece of tropical green. The past year we have seen an increase in more conscious prints. We noticed our customers buy more gender neutral prints and with more knowledge about climate change people are more attracted to nature based trends. Green has always been a very difficult color in retail but the past few years green is all back and this summer it is back in a lush tropical way. Think about palm leaves, jungle life, botanical creatures, corals, everything tropical & nature is hot hot hot. And we cannot get enough of these greens. Back to nature with this tropical trend. Yes please! For this post we selected our not so common print.

Summer Candy
Last year we saw an increase in sales on our Kawaii designs. Japanese graphics inspired prints and with this trend on the rise now we see the lollipop, sugar candy and popsicles take off as a trend on their own. We all need to eat during those warm summer days, so a little refreshment here and there is very much needed. These whimsical illustrations sell best in the brightest colors and are perfect for your little ones wardrobe. So if you’d like your little one to be on trend, splurge and pick your favorite candy! Oh and don’t forget those ever strong pineapples. We have them in all shapes, colors and sizes. need another scale for your wall of sewing projects, just send us a message and we’ll add another size to our collection for you.

Here are the links to all featured prints. All prints are available on fabric and wallpaper and if you are interested in a license, please fill our the contact form.

Boho: Pineapples - Arrows Memphis: Rain - Umbrella - Geometric - Memphis Eyelash - Lilac Stripes - Mint Swirl Ice Cream:
Yellow - Blue - Beige Botanical: Desert creatures - Spiders

Friday, April 28, 2017

Behind the scenes: Printmaking // New Under Water World summer fabric collection 2017



Last week we released a new series of designs we have been working on. Our new Under Water World collection with over 25 different prints is now available as fabric and wallpaper and we would love to show you a little sneak peak, a little behind the scenes of making this collection.

Yeah yeah, I know, you know. I love traveling and I adore being in and on the water. When I travel I try to make boat trips and look for places to go snorkeling and have a little peak into the colorful world of sea creatures and coral. I have seen quite some amazing things with my face in the water and my ass catching a nice sun burn. Tiny colorful fish, beautiful coral reefs, sharks, yeah, not my fave! And I love the textures and shapes. So very inspirational. Unfortunately I could never capture the beauty of all this n my prints but for these new ocean series I tried to make some joyful colorful designs.

We originally designed these series for our own production and shop in The Hague. But since we were partnering with someone that decided to step out of this process we are now releasing the entire series at Spoonflower as well. Our own production is on hold at the moments and these prints are too cute not to share right? For the print making process I started out making some a quick list of all sea life I have witnessed while traveling to tropical places. There were so many creatures but there were a few which I thought were most fascinating. The Octopus, turtles, the sea horse and the colorful corals. These were the base, the foundation of these new series.



Corals
From here I started making some sketches. For the first stage of sketching I use a fine pen with black ink, usually a sharpie or a micron. For this series I used both since I did not only draw outlines but texture as well. I started off making a whole bunch of different illustrations, a variety of corals, leaves, plants. And after filling several pages of my sketchbook with drawings I try to select the most interesting shapes. For the corals I choose three completely different shapes that make a wonderful series of abstracts by there own. I turned these into three different designs. These three designs all have a different quirky shape and texture, eventually these are put into the Under Water World color scheme so the prints are easy to mix and match with each other, or with some of the creatures. But not at this stage. I just focus on shape and how to get a strong repeat with basic elements. After that we started with the creatures.

Under Water Creatures
After sketching a whole bunch of ocean creatures we had to make our pick. We decided to skip the fish designs since we already have some cool dolphins, sharks and whales up in our Spoonflower shop. So after eliminating these three main characters stood out. The octopus, turtles and sea horse.

The Octopus, which I keep calling Jelly, stubborn as I am, since the characters are a little mix of both, has two variaties. The small ones; that are all slightly different and make a great print for kids fashion items and home textiles for the nursery. And then the large ones; for the older kids, these illustrations have a nice texture filling with dots and stripes and is also available as home pillow. Making the shape larger gives the illustration more character. The image looses a little of the cuteness that makes is more suitable for a slightly older audience. I wanted to make one illustration suitable for both babies and slightly older kids. But I could not figure it out. So instead of choosing one, there are two versions of these awesome creatures. Hope you like them.

The Ocean consists of so many amazing and colorful creatures. But most interesting are the shapes and textures down there. The Sea Horse has always fascinated me. Such a curious face and funny shape. We added some sea horse designs to the collection. I just couldn’t resist. I love the shape of these creatures. So beautiful! We could not leave them out. To complete these series we made one design with all corals and creatures combined. We are so curious to figure out which of these designs will pop up in our feed first. We are so curious to seeing what our customers will make from this fabric!

Home decorations & Paper art
Finishing up a series of prints means I can use them for all sorts of products. Our new series of designs has also been translated into a bunch of colorful posters and wrapping paper. For now these will only be available via our shop in The hague. We also added some pillow patterns to our Spoonflower portfolio so you can make your own cool jelly or sea horse pillow. I am looking forward seeing these babies pop up in nurseries and kids interiors! Hopefully you like our new summer series as much as I do. Click on the link to check out all our new designs over at Spoonflower. Select your favorite fabric or try out a swatch for some unique wallpaper.

SHOP NEW UNDER WATER COLLECTION

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Happy Kingsday Dutchies // Veel plezier deze Koningsdag!



In about five days' time the entire country will turn orange while Dutch people celebrate Kingsday. On the 27th of April Holland celebrates the birthday of our King. All show windows, supermarked candy and fashion boutiques show off their orange collection this week. Slowly everything will turn into orange. If you are visiting Holland during this period for the first time make sure you know what to do, how to behave and what to wear.

Fleamarkeds and under age street musicians
Kingsday is the day to get rid of old junk. It is the only day of the year where you can get rid of old toys and worn down clothes and actually make money. Street musicians are everywhere sometimes 5 year old kids are playing in the street earn a little something and small games and activities are created to bring in some change to spend on candy the next day. During Kingsday most of the shops are closed. It is the biggest and most celebrated holiday of the country so businesses are shut down so everyone can celebrate this quirky day. Even the entire Royal family is out in the town to celebrate, have a drink and take part in typical Dutch games.

Beer & Orange
If you decide to celebrate Kingsday make sure you don't walk the streets on a empty stomach. Beer is served everywhere but you can see groups of people in the streets and parks drink from their own stash too, they will offer you drinks and before you know it you are struggling to stay on your feet even though it's only 2 in the afternoon.
If you like to be ridiculed on the street you should not wear orange. You will be the joke of town. Make sure you add something orange to your wardrobe. Groups of drunk Dutchies can be very enjoying when they decide you are not wearing enough of this national color. Spray paint your hair, add some orange lipstick or get yourself a cheap orange t-shirt that can be bought in every single clothing shop in the days leading to this party. If it is not over the top orange, it is not good enough!

Where to go?
Kingsday is celebrated in every city and every small town. If you are up to big parties do celebrate this day in Amsterdam. One huge mass of people will turn the city into one giant party. If you like a party but want a little escape go celebrate Kingsday in the South, Brabant. My all time favorite place in Breda. The city center turns into a dance party around noon and if you like to escape the people you can walk to the city park, do some vintage (junk) shopping and grab a drink just outside of the city center where terraces are a little more quiet.
Not good with masses of people? Go visit a small town and see how locals entertain themselves with typical Dutch games and activities on the street. Here are some very typical and interesting activities you might bump into.



Koekhappen - Cookie biting game
Your hands will be tied on your back and without any help you will have to eat and finish this traditional dutch baked cookie that is hanging on a rope just above your head. If you win, finish the cookie first, well, it is all about the honor...

Spijkerpoepen - Nail pooping game
As a kid this was my favorite game. A string holding a nail will be tied around your waist. The nail will be hanging from your back in between your legs. You will have to try and get the nail into the narrow neck of a bottle. It sounds easy but it's hard work!

Zaklopen - Walking the bag
This game is very popular among kids. You will have to crawl into an empty potato bag and run track. Walking in a bag is not easy and can be very painful and I won't recommend it. I sure don't want to break a leg during Kingsday but if you want to take the challenge, I did warn you!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Woohoo! // Yay! // Celebrating 5 years of Little Smilemakers fabric on Spoonflower



This year we are celebrating our fifth anniversary this year over at Spoonflower. We opened up our Spoonflower shop back in 2012 when Spoonflower was only a new bee in the digital on demand printing business. There was so much to do and so many themes were not covered yet. We started making designs just for Spoonflower since the fabric industry was pretty old school and it was hard to find some colorful, fun and on trend designs. And while we were licensing to fabric printers, the designs they would pick were not really our own faves. We had so much stuff we wanted to put on fabric!

A great platform for Artists
For us working with Spoonflower was a great step of getting back in controle of our designs. We had been selling our prints over at Shutterstock but there was more and more misuse. Fabric popping up with our designs everywhere, but without paying for the proper license. It was way to easy to get your hands on the original vector files and do whatever. With Spoonflower we felt our designs were safe, our files were never shared with third parties and this way we could rely on the fact we would be properly compensated for each and every sale. In the beginning sales were pretty slow but after a year or so our designs got picked up. After starting our with our more colorful prints. Our plus signs, feathers, triangles and other geometric prints became hot sellers and we started to upload more designs ahead of the trend. Our 10 year old pineapple print suddenly took off and was lucky enough to catch the trend wave. If was fun to see how some of our older surface designs were suddenly selling like crazy when the trend kicked in.

Let's print color
Back in those first years, digital printing was all new and exciting for fabric designers, there were no color limitations so we could go nuts on color. Instead of designing fabric in the usual 5 colors we could add watercolors, use a rainbow of colors, shades, anything seemed possible. But of course after that first crazy exciting omg-we-need-more-color rush we toned down our prints a little bit. With a background in graphic design and typography I was looking for a more clean balance. Reducing colors and shapes lead to our very recognizable Scandinavian range. I always loved designing on a crisp white background and we were lucky this trend picked up immediately. Our woodland animals and geometric prints have been going strong ever since and the past two years we have been focussing more on adding more abstracts and raw detailed prints to our shop. Prints we love to see in our homes and fashion ourselves.



Researching & insight
Spoonflower has been a great way to built our portfolio, test the market, monetize our designs, get insight about what works where, since they sell and ship world wide. having that insight is very important. With all that information we know what works where and we can advise and coach our clients in their design signature for their brands. But what we love most of all is to see what our fabric is used for. We see new creations pop up on our Facebook page and Instagram every day and it is so much fun to see people from all over the globe enjoy working around our themes and color schemes. Making wonderful creations, kids fashion and accessories, totes, sports stuff, home decoration, pet accessories, you name it, we’ve seen it and we love it!

Links & Credits
For this post we have used some finished items from our long term supporters. Bean Sprout, Pistol and Arrow, Lucie June Boutique and Hen House Apparel. We just love their beautiful range of products using some of our all time best-sellers: Black and White Hedgehogs, Little Lions, The grid, Pineapple Arrows and of course our fave Bunny design. If you have some cool creations to shop yourself, please send us your finished items!

We’ll keep continuing expanding our portfolio, adding new designs and new color schemes every week. Our portfolio has over 3400 designs up for sale on fabric and wallpaper. Spoonflower has been a great platform for designers and creatives and we are proud to have over 2200 people following our work and with over 138.632 favorites received so far we would like to thank each and every one of our customers who has even ordered one of our designs. Thank you so much for your support and your awesome creations, sweet comments and requests. Let’s continue this journey!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Made with Little Smilemakers Studio Fabric // Top 5 // April 2017



It is so exciting to see a finished project after working hard on a new collection of design or a series of illustrations for our clients. But with finished fabric designs it is even a bigger surprise to see what customers create. To see how final products evolve when people put their own creative energy in there is amazing. 
 
If you browse around on Etsy or Instagram for some kids fashion or home decoration you are very likely to stumble upon some Little Smilemakers prints. Most creatives with small home based businesses sell their projects via internet and tag us via Instagram. So we see some amazing things pop up in our feed every month. We love how Little Smilemakers creations are the foundation for other creatives all around the world to work with. So here is our monthly blog post that features some creative results from Australia, UK, The Netherlands, New Zealand and the USA. This month we selected a whole bunch of pink fabric designs, turned into the most gorgeous items. Kids fashion, nursery accessories and have you seen those baby booties? There was so much to choose from! We have selected some cute baby shoes, leggings, baby bibs and a cute little teepee romper. Take a look and see if there is something for your little one too. This is our top 5 April selection.

Little Living
This fun children’s clothing shop based in the UK specializes in fun, comfortable apparel handmade with love for your little ones. They sell all of our favorite prints this season. Our featured pink teepee's, clouds and bunnies are up in their Etsy shop. All items are made with soft jersey fabric. Little Living. Perfect for your little ones soft baby skin. Wanna see the entire collection? Check out the shop on Etsy.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/littlelivingshop

Tiny Little Cactus
Krista visit our shop in The Hague to get her hands on some of our Memphis fabric. She became a fan of our designs and a week later she ordered a whole lot more of our fabric via Spoonflower. When we asked her to tag us in her social media posts, because we are curious what peeps make from our fabric, the most wonderful items popped up. We love anything cute and love this local webshop filled with crafty stuff and everything Kawaii. For this months “Made with” we selected her adorable little baby booties in our abstract pink dashes print. Soft sole shoes, perfect for your little ones tiny feet. Seriously, things don’t get much cuter than this! If you are looking for some baby shoes or if you are a big Kawaii fan like we are check our her website. Such a perfect new born or baby shower gift!
https://tinylittlecactus.com



Quinn & Belle
When you're looking for something modern, fun, stylish and cute, Quinn & Belle has you covered. From handmade, one-of-a-kind items to unique tees & dresses, we truly are the one-stop shop for modern parents that is sure to keep you smiling. Quinn and Belle is a shop based in Arizona run by a mom of four girls. Creating beautiful clothes that were as unique as each of their little personalities. That's how Quinn & Belle was born. A girl should be two things in life: whomever and whatever she wants! Everything you see in the shop is hand selected and handmade by someone who understands how important it is that your dollars go as far as they can and your little ones look great in the process. For this months post we selected a cute Easter theme that has been a hot seller this spring: our pink bunnies. Take a look into her shop and check out all Little Smilemakers creations.
https://www.quinnandbelle.com

Ollie & Coco
Ollie & Coco is a small company based in Australia and makes adorable baby bandana's and bibs. They just added a big selection of Little Smilemakers prints to their shop. We love designing on a clear white background and clearly we are a good fit. We love seeing so many of our designs pop up in their shop so for this months post we selected their pink blush leopard. But there are so many more to choose from. We have counted over more than 20 Little Smilemakers designs so far so eat your heart out! Wanna get your hands on one of these cool new bibs? Check out their cool webshop!
https://www.ollieandcoco.com

Bean Sprout
Bean Sprout must be one of our favorite webshops using our Spoonflower fabric. Hiedee has a great eye for unique and bespoke designs and we love her style and gorgeous photography. Bean Sprout has a pretty big collection of Little Smilemakers fabrics, all turned into the most adorable baby and kids fashion accessories like baby bibs, book bags, summer hats and nappy wallets. For this months pink theme we selected our bow ties, bunnies and one of their abstracts with pink and white brush strokes on pink. Curious? Take a look into her gorgeous shop for more wonderful handmade creations.
https://www.beansproutstore.co.nz

Friday, April 14, 2017

Happy Easter holiday from our Studio!



Are you also super excited for Easter? I love this time of the year. Easter for me is the start of the easypeasy season. The sun is shining, leaves are popping up making the trees look all pretty again, flowers start to blossom and with Easter comes: egg hunting!

For this post we are using one of our customers creations. We made this Ice Cream fabric for the new colorful BB Fabrics collection. Un xic De Coses made this adorable egg basket. Perfect for Easter brunch or sunny breakfasts out on the porch. Wanna see more of their summer creations? Check @unxicdecoses for more colorful creations! We have had so many fun Easter projects to choose from this year. So inspirational! But if you are in lack of inspiration and start your own creative project, take a look at the Sprout Patterns website. There are heaps of fun projects you can choose from. So for every spring nutcase and egg loving creature out there. Thank you for sharing your new and fresh spring summer creations, keep them coming! Enjoy Easter holiday!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sources of inspiration: On the white // Living & working Nordic style



In a world where you can get anything on demand within a day, our lives and days are fully booked with appointments, skype call, internet dates and every day things we are all looking for a little ease at the end of the day. We are becoming more and more aware that dedicating our lives to more important things, spending our time with a more mindful approach is probably a better way to peace and happiness. That is why the Scandinavian design is a very strong trend, influencing design, fashion and interiors all over the world.

As a Dutch designer I also am stuck with the Scandinavian handwriting: I don't mind, space and white is important in our designs. Dutch design can be characterized as minimalist and clear with a little touch of color. Colors are usually trend related choices but the handwriting will always remain pure and spacious. In Scandinavian design white is also an important element in the design. It is not just clear space that can be filled up. try to convince your client of that when he buys a full page add in a magazine and want to fill up every inch with info. Designers love there 'space.'

Peaceful white
For our designs we use a white canvas. Every designer, painter, artist or musician, they all start out on a blank canvas or well, at least a clean slate. The very start. This white element is very important to our design process. I love designing prints on white and the majority of our designs are in fact originally made on a crisp white background. The strong black inky lines form a wonderful contrast to the white and the extra colors. And after designing for over 10 years, I am so happy this Scandinavian style was embraced in home decoration and fashion in other places than just Scandinavian countries only. The serenity and purity is finally picked up in other parts of the world too.

Easy home
So many things are keeping us busy each day. We have to get up, check out messages, get dresses, eat, work, we get exhausted by all the choices that cross our path. Here in the Northern part of Europe we live inside our homes for the biggest part of the year. Our cold climate keeps us cuddled up inside for months during the colder season and while most of us live in urban areas we do need our piece and quite. Our interiors have been a little more clean, and our spaces a little more serene compared to interiors in warmer climates where the colors are brighter and nature is lush and green.

Our Scandinavian style of living gets adopted in homes in warmer climates and in very different cultures such as India and Japan. Mid-century architecture and interior design is booming again and we all love to reduce the amount colors and stuff in our lives. Going back to a little more basic again. That is what Scandinavian design is all about. Natural colors, textures and lot's of white. Don't be afraid to grab that cluther from the shelves and you really don't need all those tacky commercial buddha's. Make your space one where you can get some rest and refuel.

Japanese serenity
Our Scandinavian inspired designs have been more and more popular each year. Recently we have been exploring the Japanese market with our designs. We are now selling our prints at Green Apple, a fabric shop and Milk Panda, a webshop that sells toys, bedding and other interior products for the Japanese home. I think the traditional Japanese style is very much related to the Scandinavian one. It is pure, with our too much fuss. That is why Natsuko Anderson, founder of Milk Panda, started her business, she wanted to combine these two styles, offer well designed honest products and in her worldwide search she found our Scandinavian designs. In the Milk Panda shop you can find a special range of clean crisp black and white prints for kids. We are very happy to see our prints pop up all over the world but Japan holds a very special place in our designers hearts. Of course. It's Japan!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Made with Little Smilemakers Studio Fabric // Top 5 // March 2017 



It is so exciting to see a finished project after working hard on a new collection of design or a series of illustrations for our clients. But with finished fabric designs it is even a bigger surprise to see what customers create. To see how final products evolve when people put their own creative energy in there is amazing. 
 
If you browse around on Etsy or Instagram for some kids fashion or home decoration you are very likely to stumble upon some Little Smilemakers prints. Most creatives with small home based businesses sell their projects via internet and tag us via Instagram. So we see some amazing things pop up in our feed every month. We love how Little Smilemakers creations are the foundation for other creatives all around the world to work with. So here is our monthly blog post that features some creative results from Australia, UK, The Netherlands and the USA. This month we selected a whole bunch of fresh trendy fabrics, turned into the most gorgeous items. Kids fashion, nursery accessories and have you seen those baby booties? There was so much to choose from! We have selected some cute baby shoes, leggings, masks and swimwear. Take a look and see if there is something for your little one too. This is our top 5 March selection., 
 
Tiny Little Cactus
Krista visit our shop in The Hague last month to get her hands on some of our Memphis fabric. She became a fan of our designs and a week later she ordered a whole lot more of our fabric via Spoonflower. When we asked her to tag us in her social media posts, because we are curious what peeps make from our fabric, the most wonderful items popped up. We love anything cute and love this local webshop filled with crafty stuff and everything Kawaii. For this months “Made with” we selected her adorable little baby booties in our colorful Memphis print. Soft sole shoes, perfect for your little ones tiny feet. Seriously, things don’t get much cuter than this! She has our Memphis print in both black and white in her shop but also lot’s of our other abstract designs are coming. If you are looking for some baby shoes or if you are a big Kawaii fan like we are check our her website.   
 
Ad Hoc
We were going bananas when we saw these fun eye masks made by Ad Hoc sleepwear. For their new range of masks this Australian webshop selected three Little Smilemakers prints including one of our all time favorites: Our Banana Memphis design in yellow. We love their fun range of sleep marks and pajamas for both men and women. These fun masks make a great gift for the travel addict like me. I really wanna get my hands on one of these a.s.a.p. Feel the same way? Check out their webshop



Bambino Mio 
The new Bambino Mio swim nappies are finally launched. For this years splashy season we made two designs that are included in their new range; Pink blush coral for girls and Memphis rain drops for boys. We have been working with Bambino Mio for a while now and we love their nappies, potty training pants and other products, making life so much easier for moms and dads. Their now have a broad range of Little Smilemakers designs in their range of products and we love to see all those cute little baby bums pop up in our feed. Check out all Bambino Mio products in their webshop
 
Little Eskimo
Good news for all Little Smilemakers fans down under! We found this modern lifestyle label for baby and kids over at Etsy. This Australian shop has a big collection of Little Smilemakers fabric in their cute shop full of kids clothes and accessories. We love their colorful fresh picks that are on trend. Abstracts, cool gender neutrals, lions, ice cream and many more fun prints are included into their collection. For this months blogpost we selected a cute range of girly harem pants. Aren’t they darling? Go take a look
 
Mama Sew Happy 
We love this small online shop full of fun, fresh fashion pieces for kids created by stay-at-home-mom Amber who runs her small business from her home in California. With a good eye for design she has created a wonderful collection of kids clothes. And she is one of our returning customers so you might have seen some of her handmade items already somewhere in our social media feed. Her style is fresh and cool and full of gender neutrals to choose from. Take a look at her shop and select your fave pieces.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sources of inspiration: London // Food, art and shopping // Top 5 things to see and do in this bustling city



The last time I visit London must have been around 9 years ago when I was meeting up with a friend that moved to the UK. I haven’t been back ever since, so many places to see and so many new cities I haven’t been yet. This year i decided it was about time to rediscover this fun metropolis.

As you might know, I live in The Netherlands, from here it is only a 40 minutes flight to London, traveling to my nephew in the south of The Netherlands takes me more time. But of course there are so many places to discover on this earth going back to London was not really on my list, even though I loved it every since my first visit, when I was sixteen London was my first destination to travel to all by myself. I love experiencing the freedom, see all neighborhoods and it’s subcultures, art and live music.

I got to make two trips to London in a row this year, and I finally had some time to rediscover the city last week when I decided to stick around for a little longer. Go check out the Hockney exhibit and soak up the creative energy. And whenever I make a trip a little tip 5 follows. Here is my top 5 of things to see and do in this amazing always buzzing capital of Britain.



1 // Transportation
Ride the Tube, take the bus and travel over water. Ok this might sound a little nutty, but if you visit London make sure to use public transportation. It shows you London’s diversity and gives you a little taste of the buzzing city life. Take the underground going from A to B. I love traveling with the tube, seeing the different stations, architecture, tiles, signage. Traveling on the deck of the buss gives you a lovely view over the busy London streets and taking a boat will give you a sense of freedom. Watching people go on and off and while you visit different neighborhoods the people change too. London is a colorful place with so many subcultures and fashion styles. So use public transportation, I would usually recommend a walk, but London is huge and it is definitely worth the experience if you are not used to living in a city.

2 // Brick Lane
Whether you like shopping or not spend you Sunday in the East of London. Take the tube to Liverpool Street or Aldgate East and visit the brick Lane market full of fun unique fashion and accessories. I am not a big fan of shopping myself but love to see unique creations and I love the atmosphere of this place. Brick Lane is famous for it’s market, vintage stuff, but there is so much more to do and see. I love spotting street art. And this place is heaven for people like me. Amazing pieces of art cover building facades form top to bottom. Huge pieces of art. Stencil art, spay painted animals and portraits, stickering, you name it. This is street art at it’s best and around every corner you can spot beautiful gems, pieces of art. If you walk up North you reach Shoreditch, another up and coming neighborhood filled with graffiti murals. Done sightseeing? Sit your ass down at Spitalfields market and grab some food or have a beer at the Old Truman Brewery. Enjoy your day!



3 // Tate Modern
All right, this may not come as a surprise. Of course my number one place would be the Tate. Even though I got to see the Hockney exhibit in Tate Britain I have to say whatever happens I just love Tate Modern, go when you have the chance. The building itself is magnificent from the outside, and an adventure from the inside. This former Bankside’s power station has been turned into one of the the worlds most amazing art galleries. This very spacious and industrial building is perfect for large scale art pieces. Quite recently the museum expanded with a brand new wing, the tanks and the switch house, go up to the bar and from here you have an amazing view over the Thames and the city of London. Get a proper coffee, grab some lunch and enjoy the breathtaking view. But, enough about the building itself. Tate Modern might be my number one art museum and it is not because of the building itself. The permanent collection of contemporary art is free of admission charge, you can find pieces by Klee, Lichtenstein, Mondriaan and Warhol. Sculptures, paintings, video’s. The permanent collection itself is worth a visit. But don’t forget to check out the temporary exhibits as well. I spend a good two days here. So if you visit London on a rainy day and need some inspiration, fuel up on some art and go visit Tate Modern.

4 // Pot roast & Beer
The food. I always chat a little about food. I remember London having a bad name what it comes to food. But a lot has changed over the years and there is so much to choose from besides the traditional pot roast, eggs and beans, and fish and chips. There are some amazing places to have food, like the peep show my friend took me to that turned out to be a Mexican restaurant. And a good one!
What I also like about London is the beer culture, I love beer, a proper one, and there are a lot of breweries where you can find some local draft beer.

If you are a foodie go visit the Borough Market, you can grab a quick bite for lunch or shop for some whole foods or fresh flowers. Have a quick snack or taste some imported olive oil. I love the raw atmosphere while wandering around the place. The market is located under the railway track and is a dramatic place of brick and metal. The market consists of more than a hundred food stalls with a range of fresh products like fish, cheese, meat, veggies and baked goods. The Borough market used to be a wholesale market for local groceries in the city and has been around for centuries. It is one of the oldest and largest food markets in London.

5 // Camden Town
There is so much to do all around London. But there is one thing I love: see some live music. One place that will be stuck with me is The Monarch in Camden Town. Back in the day I was a little rock chick, do you remember those metal beads necklaces? I think I even bought one back in the day when I visit London for the first time and came to Camden Town. Anyway, if you like to see some live music; this is the place where metal is alive and kicking’. Every Sunday there is a live performance with some proper metal and rock music. Guns ’s Roses, Iron Maiden. It is all part of the weekly playlist. Camden Town is a great place to wander around and spot some street art, do some shopping. I still like this neighborhood, it is like time stood still here.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

BB Fabrics & Little Smilemakers Studio // New Memphis style inspired collection



Have you seen our new collection over at BB fabrics? We have been working with this company for a few years now and last months they launched their new summer collection of colorful home textiles. I collaboration with their creative studio we made a new collection with a mix of pastels, geometric basics and a Memphis twist.

BB fabrics is a company that has been running around the textile business for four generations. With an eye for good design and a warm heart in doing business they are the absolute top of the industry. This year they changed their entire look with new name, a new logo, and a stylish new website and we are honored to be part of this new direction with our new summer range.

You might have seen some posts on our Instagram already. We are very proud to share this new collection with you. We made some memphis inspired ice cream designs that lead to this colorful collection for the summer season. BB fabrics offers a large collection of home decoration textiles and heavy weight fabrics. With their in house design studio they collaborate with designers and license brands to offer a broad range of unique prints with every new season. Their high quality fabric is sold from stock, so they are ready to ship within 48 hours. Check out their website for all new prints and order your favorite Little Smilemakers designs here. Stock up for your business and order these new prints before they are all sold out!

For a few years we have been collaboration with BB Fabrics now. We have developed a whole bunch of designs together in the past. We love their no nonsense honest way of doing business and which lead us to a long term collaboration with hopefully many more fun collection to come we are currently looking into doing exclusive work for them. We love to give them a shout out here. So stay tuned!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Made with Little Smilemakers Studio Fabric // Top 5 // February 2017



It is so exciting to see a finished project after working hard on a new collection of design or a series of illustrations for our clients. But with finished fabric designs it is even a bigger surprise to see what customers create. To see how final products evolve when people put their own creative energy in there is amazing.

If you browse around on Etsy or Instagram for some kids fashion or home decoration you are very likely to stumble upon some Little Smilemakers prints. Most creatives with small home based businesses sell their projects via internet and tag us via Instagram. So we see some amazing things pop up in our feed every month. We love how Little Smilemakers creations are the foundation for other creatives all around the world to work with. So here is our monthly blog post that features some creative results from Canada, Sweden, The Netherlands and The United States. This month we selected a whole bunch of fresh trendy fabrics, turned into the most gorgeous items. Kids fashion, nursery accessories and home and interior decoration, so much to choose from! We have selected some cute blankets and baby nests, leotards, leggings and jammies. Take a look and see if there is something for your little one too. This is our top 5 February selection. 

LoveBird BabyNests
LoveBird BabyNests was founded by Ashley, an adventure seeking, outdoor enthusiast, nutrition and fitness passionate, loving mother of 4 beautiful children. While she was pregnant she decided to take on a sewing project creating a little baby bed that turned out to be a cute little baby nest. After her son was born she it became clear she couldn’t live without it and started making custom BabyNests on request for friends and family. Her business grew and now Ashley has a wonderful little online shop. For her small collection of BabyNests she selected some of our favorite Little Smilemakers fabric. Our Geo Rain in pink and our very popular minty blue Camping print both available via Spoonflower. Not having any sewing talent? Don’t worry, you can order a custom BabyNest via her webshop.
www.lovebirdbabynests.com

Maxomorra
For the new fall/winter 2017 collection we have licensed some really cool prints to one of the most trendy Scandinavian kids fashion brands: Maxomorra. For this year’s fall and winter season they expanded their collection with 8 of our designs. We love how our bunnies turned out. They make the cutest little Jammies. But of course we also have these 8 prints available in our Spoonflower shop as well. So if you would like to start your own roject with one of these designs check out our Spoonflower shop. The new collection hasn’t been launched just yet but stay tuned for more info. We will let you know as soon as these items become public and available in the Maxomorra shop.
http://www.maxomorra.com/

Ansje Handmade
For our brick and mortar shop in The Hague we are collaborating with Anouck who runs a small online fabric and sewing supply shop, and of course creates the most adorable kids fashion pieces and home decoration for our new collection and store in The Hague. For this months “Made with” we selected some of her kids home pieces. Gorgeous blankets and pillow made with our Bebé Casa Poland textiles. Soft certified fabrics with our cute kawaii designs and spring pears and triangles are available on pillows and blankets in our shop and fabric per meter via the Ansje Handmade webshop. Wanna see more of what she makes? You can visit our store in The hague from Thursdays to Saturdays or check out her website for more handmade items.
http://ansje.eu/



Woodbean
If you are looking for some unique snuggle wear for your little one this shop is the place to be. Lisa, who is based in Minnesota, creates the most wonderful soft pieces for your little one and we love her style of mixing and matching prints and uni’s. Her style is like no other and we wanted to share one of her custom made orders with you for which she has used our Amsterdam Bicycle design. These soft little shorts and cute romper are just to die for. We love how Lisa mixed the print with the contrasting ochre and mint. Such a lovely set. Check out her Etsy shop where you can see her wonderful collection in a series of beautiful, soft photography. Check out all her wonderful handmade creations.
www.etsy.com/shop/woodbean

Quinn & Belle
Last but definitely not least we wanted to show you two of our favorite prints that were tuned into cute joggers and leotards by Quinn and Belle. We love this blue Lion design picked for their new leotards. Usually leotards are pink and meet with the girly ballerina dancer cliché but not there. Quinn and Bell turned are cool Lions & Arrows fabric into some super cool stuff for tiny little dancers. And they also added our bunnies to their new spring collection. Our hot selling bunny fabric is now available on joggers. But you should definitely check out the rest of her fresh new spring range of kids fashion items; headbands, tops, leggings, bloomers and more. Check out their shop!
https://www.quinnandbelle.com/