Zipper Pouches

Over the summer I ordered swatches of fabric with my patterns for a potential project I decided not to move forward with (for now, at least)...but I was super happy with the fabric and loved how my designs printed on it, and thought you might too.

So I sweet talked my mom into sewing these mini zipper pouches (she said yes!), found some great quality brass YKK zippers, various fabric for lining, and we got to work.

Now I get to introduce these fun mini pouches to you which will be for sale next week when my shop opens on Wednesday 11/1. There's literally only one of each design (with a couple patterns showing up twice but in a different scale), and I have no plans to ask my mom to make more ;) so they're one of a kind and only available while they last.

They'll be available here starting on Wednesday:

Coming Soon: an online Shop!

Guess what!? In the next few weeks, I'll be launching a shop, right here on my website, where you can find goodies featuring my watercolor work! To begin, I'll have stationery, art prints, and a couple other fun items.

Speaking of fun items, here's a sneak peek at some zipper pouches that will be available. I had some of my patterns printed on linen cotton canvas and am so excited about how they came out. I think you'll love them too! I'm only making about a dozen of these and don't plan on stocking more so if you'd like one, be sure to follow me on Instagram for updates or join my email list (and get free downloads while you're at it!) to find out when they'll be available.

Stay tuned...

Zipper Pouches designed by Amanda Gomes •

Painting to Pattern: My Process

I'm a curious type who asks lots of questions in hopes of finding out how things work, why they're done the way they are, and how little things fit into a bigger picture. And since I have a fairly standard process when it comes to how I create a surface pattern from my watercolor art, I thought I'd share for you other curious types. So here it is...


When I'm creating patterns, I usually have a color palette in mind and paint in those particular colors. There are ways to change the colors in Illustrator or Photoshop but when possible, I prefer to keep my designs pretty true to the colors I use when I originally create them.

I'll usually find floral images in a book, on Pinterest or from photos I've taken around town and use them for inspiration. When I paint fruit, however, I typically do a google image search because I can see multiple colors and variations of a piece of fruit in one place which is super helpful.

Last week I worked on this pattern:

©Amanda Gomes • Watercolor Floral Pattern

Which started as these individual motifs:

My process for turning my painted (watercolor) elements into patterns. ©Amanda Gomes •

I then scanned at 600 dpi using the software that came with my scanner (not an amazing scanner by the way, but it works: HP Officejet Pro 6830). I selected separate motifs and made new layers from each so I could edit them one by one. I edit the levels, remove the paper background and any dust spots, smooth edges if necessary, brighten or adjust color, and sometimes remove or add part of the painted motifs if their shape needs a little help.


Each motif is then transferred as a separate element into Illustrator. For this particular pattern, I made mini bouquets from the elements and then laid out those bouquets to create my final design. I tried out a few background colors and then saved the few I liked best. And that's it!

My process for turning my painted (watercolor) elements into patterns. ©Amanda Gomes •

How to Make a Repeat Pattern with Illustrator's Pattern Tool

Somehow I completely forgot about Illustrator's built-in pattern tool and just rediscovered it for some simple repeats I've been making. This tool keeps equal spacing between motifs and I've found it to work best for fairly simple patterns and geometrics. It's fun to use because it seriously provides instant gratification. As in, you have a motif or element (such as the flower seen in my image below), and five seconds later you can have a pattern from that motif. If you haven't tried it, I think you'll love it.

How to make a simple repeating pattern using Adobe Illustrator's pattern tool  | Tutorial by Delighted Creative Co.

I created a quick 4-minute tutorial video to show you how to use the tool. I hope it's helpful and feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions.

Have fun making patterns!

Free Download: November Tech Wallpaper Calendar

Happy Friday! In preparation for next week, I have a November tech calendar for you. Available for your computer, iPad or iPhone. I sketched the flowers and used purchased fonts for the design.

Free Download: November Calendar for your tech • iPad, iPhone, and computer • Delighted Creative Co

Free Download: Watercolor Notecard

Happy Friday! If you like colorful note cards, I think you might enjoy today's free download. Using one of the practice watercolor designs I worked on this week, I designed a size A6 note card that you can print and cut at home.

Free Download: Watercolor Note Card •

It's super easy: print on card stock, cut (I've included crop marks), and fold in half. I love Paper Source envelopes and am using a fuschia A6 envelope for mine but I think Clover or Royal Blue would work well too. In case it helps, I also used Paper Source 8.5 x 11 card stock in Pure White. 

Another idea...instead of folding in half, you can cut in half and use as A6 flat cards. Have fun and print as many as you'd like!

Free Download: Watercolor Note Card •
Free Download: Watercolor Note Card •
Free Download: Watercolor Note Card •

What I'm Learning: Watercolor

Watercolor has always felt a bit mysterious to me. While watercolor does have a welcoming feel being that it is often used by kids, there is a complex side in that it doesn’t provide as much control as I’d like. The bleeding and color differentiation can frustrate me because I don’t know what I’m doing.

Learning to Watercolor using Yao Cheng's Beginner Class on Creativebug | Amanda Gomes •

I am a complete novice when it comes to painting in general and until recently, have used the same palette of watercolors and very inexpensive brushes from Michael’s for the past few years whenever I felt a desire to paint. I have had no skill or understanding of how much water to use, how to use the brushes appropriately, or even how to paint anything other than stripes. Seriously. I’ve tried and always end up a little frustrated.

So I am, yet again, very happy for the myriad of online courses available to me during my sabbatical. This week I’m working through Yao Cheng’s Watercolor for Beginner’s class on Creativebug and have found a new respect and understanding of the medium. Even after learning just the basics, I feel much more friendly towards watercolor and I’m having a lot of fun!

A few of my takeaways:

Supplies. Paintbrush, Paper Towel, Watercolor Paint, Two Jars of Water, and Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper (has more of a "tooth" which is that texture you expect from watercolor paper vs Hot Pressed which I think is a little smoother).

Water Jars. Yao recommends using two jars of water to keep the cool colors (blues, greens, purples) separated from the warm colors (reds, yellows, oranges). Separating the cool and warm colors means you can have more flexibility with rinsing and even using some of the water from the jars in your painting while avoiding the dreaded brown, muddy color that so often happens when mixing.

Wetting the Brush. Always start by getting your brush really wet and swiftly move the brush around in the water jar before dipping into the paint. This might sound super basic (it is), but I used to just quickly dip my paintbrush in the water and start. What that meant is that the water wasn’t filling the brush and in turn, the paint wouldn’t go as far on the page. When your brush is really wet (versus simply being damp), you’ll end up with a lot more paint in your brush.

Brushes. Using a larger brush (Yao’s is size 20, I only had a size 6) can get you lots of great effects. Use the point for small strokes and dots or press down for thick lines. The projects I did for the first part of her beginner’s course were all done with my size 6 brush. (Side note: in the art stores there are so many brushes, it can be overwhelming. But brushes are made for different media so find the brushes labeled W/C or Watercolor and get those instead of the brushes made specifically for Oil or Acrylic. The helpful guy at Blick gave me that tip...apparently the watercolor brushes are made to soak up water.)

Work Quickly. Getting colors to blend provides interesting effects and often creates unexpected colors. When you work quickly, there is a better chance of blending before the colors dry on the page.

Colors. When you want a lighter color, add more water. When you want a deeper color, don’t use as much water. But unless you’re going for a dry brush effect in your work, saturate your brush with water before dipping into the paint.

Shapes. One pointed tip round brush can create a lot of different shapes. As I mentioned, all of the lessons I painted were done with the same brush and I ended up with triangles, circles, dots and swashes.

Don’t Aim for Perfect. Have fun and don’t expect things to be perfect. Obviously as a beginner I should know this from common sense but I still always have an idea in my mind that I wish I could execute. However, experimenting with blending, colors, different amounts of water, shapes, etc. is fun and is all I need to worry about right now.

If you haven’t tried watercolor but want to, I recommend Yao’s class to get started or any other class / tutorial available on YouTube or Skillshare. I think you'll like it! (link below)

What I'm Learning: How to Watercolor | Amanda Gomes •
What I'm Learning: How to Watercolor | Amanda Gomes •
What I'm Learning about Watercolor | Amanda Gomes •
What I'm Learning about Watercolor | Amanda Gomes •
What I'm Learning about Watercolor | Amanda Gomes •