11.18.2011

Fabric Friday {Spoonflower Feature - Monda & Fabric Giveaway OPEN INTERNATIONALLY}

I am excited to share with you a wonderful designer who is giving away a yard of her fabric, your choice!  I actually stumbled upon Vanessa through Flickr.  I saw a cool print, and I asked her if she designed her own fabric.  Come to find out, she has a Spoonflower account!  Gee, I should realize by now that a lot of great designers are using Spoonflower.

Vanessa has a different kind of style.  I feel a retro vibe when browsing her designs.  They are fun, humorous, uplifting, and most definitely kid friendly.   I can definitely see some of her prints used for clothing, blankets, quilts, accessories, toys, and some furniture pieces. 




You can view all of her prints on Spoonflower.



Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Vanessa Waller - but I'm also called Monda (which was a childhood nickname). I'm 35 and live in Berkshire in the UK - not very far from the Queen in fact. In January this year I married my best friend (Brendan) after 14 happy years together.  Our little family includes our 2 cats, Mellie and Stevie.

When did you know you wanted to be a surface pattern designer?
My preferred subjects in school had always been art and design, so when all my friends were leaving for university, I went and did a foundation course in Art and design which covered lots of disciplines and helped me learn that I was interested in textile and pattern design. I then studied for a Design Crafts degree at Cumbria College of Art and Design, in Carlisle, which was where I met Brendan, who is also a Designer. My course was a mixture of printed textiles, multi-media textiles and ceramics. I studied from 1994-1998, and back in those days we didn't use computers at all when it came to designing. Everything was done by hand - I learnt the old school way, which I think gave me a good grounding and understanding of how to produce printed textiles. I loved screen printing, and I specialised in this during my last year, along with multi media textiles - more specifically machine embroidery.

Were there any challenging obstacles you had to overcome to get to where you are now?
After leaving Art College, I looked for a design job, but found it so difficult. We didn't use the internet back then and I had no working experience as a designer, so whilst looking for my dream job and getting countless rejections, I got a job in retail to tide me over and help pay the bills. Then, 13 years seem to pass by and I still wasn't working as a designer - although I had dabbled here and there and have kept a blog since 2007 to document my endeavours. 
In 2010, I finally made the decision to leave my job as a recruitment manager to follow my dream, and I can honestly say I haven't looked back. At that point I was working to live, not living to work.
I used my savings to pay for a 'zero to hero' adobe illustrator course so I could learn how to use the computer in order to design digitally. I'm still very much in the early days of my design career and as much as I miss the monthly salary (I'm living like a student again!) I feel so much richer for loving what I am doing on a daily basis. I can see my own work improving daily and I'm sure it won't be long before I can earn a good living from what I do.
I'm currently working from my spare room, which has been converted into an office/studio, but I'd love to have a real home studio one day - a dedicated space that's not also trying to be a guest room!

Where does your inspiration come from?

Everywhere!  Since making the decision to leave my job last year my eyes have really been opened to how pattern and print is used in the wider world.
I read a lot of blogs - the wealth of visual stimulation out there is immense.  I love books - design books but also picture/children's books, I take pictures for reference when I've seen something that catches my eye - this could be a flower, a piece of packaging, a building, a piece of fabric or clothing - countless things.  I draw ideas and doodle in my sketchbook, as well as making countless lists of things I want to achieve.

Deceased of living, whose studio would you raid?

Oh this is hard!  I can't pick just one person/designer.  I love Mary Quants bold 60's patterns and I'm also a big fan of Alexander Henry fabrics, past and present.  I would definitely raid the Paperchase studios.  I can happily spend a good few hours looking at all the stationary patterns and designs in Paperchase.  I also really love the vintage Figgjo Flint pottery/ceramic designs, so I would definitely like to go back in time and take a look around their Norwegian studios.

What is success to you?

I feel like every day is a little bit of a success at the moment and I know that this is just the beginning.  I love what I do.  My work is starting to achieve recognition and that makes me very happy.  I like to create things that will make people smile and feel happy - whether that's a piece of fabric, a greetings card, some stationery, or a soft toy.  I guess from a very practical and boring point of view, it will also feel like I have achieved success when I don't have to worry about how I will pay my bills!


Where would you like to be in the next decade?

In the future I'd love to be able to see my design work on many different surfaces, and I'd love to drink out of a mug with my designs on it, draw in a sketch book with my design on the cover, wear a dress with fabric I have designed or go into a shop and see my designs on cards and gift wrap.
My dream scenario is to live in a house in the country with a separate design studio in the grounds (where I can work with my husband), a huge garden with lots of fruit tree's, flowers, a vegetable garden, my moggies, and a few new little people additions to our family.




Thank you so much Vanessa for sharing a little piece of your life with us!
You can find Vanessa on Etsy, Spoonflower, Pinterest, Twitter @mondaloves, and her blog.

One lucky reader will win 1 yard of quilting weight fabric.  

Giveaway Rules:

Visit Vanessa's blog and leave her a comment.  Come back here and let me know you did!

Additional Entries:

1. Follow Monda on Twitter @mondaland
3.  Follow me
4. Blog, tweet, or FB about this giveaway
5. Add Monda to your Favorites on Etsy

Giveaway will close on 11/27 at 9 PM EST.  Winner will be chosen via random.org and announced 11/29. 

144 comments:

  1. I left Monda a comment. Great fabrics!

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  2. I already follow you. (as of recently, and am enjoying your blog.)

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  3. I follow Monda on pintrist too

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  4. I left Vanessa a comment on her blog!

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  5. I am a follower of Owen's Olivia

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  6. These are totally adorable!I love the pendants!

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  7. I added Manda's shop as a favorite on etsy!

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  8. Visiting amanda's blog and left a comment!

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  9. I follow you! (yay international giveaway!)

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  10. left a comment on monda's blog (and started following)

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  11. Patchwork and Play said...

    Loving "Flower Power Orange!""

    18 November 2011 09:55

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  12. Blogger Hoola Tallulah said...

    So hard to choose a favourite! Currently I am loving itsy bityst ditsy, and the wee hanging birds :)

    18 November 2011 09:59

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  13. Blogger Hoola Tallulah said...

    I am a follower on twitter :)

    18 November 2011 10:00

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  14. Blogger selfsewn@summerfete said...

    juggling balls as I'm really into red right now!

    18 November 2011 10:51

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  15. Blogger selfsewn@summerfete said...

    following on pinterest!

    18 November 2011 10:52

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  16. Blogger anna said...

    hello! i can't choose :(
    i really like the two cut and sew stocking designs but monster mash always catches my eye too!

    18 November 2011 11:57

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  17. anna said...

    also i favourited your shop on etsy

    18 November 2011 11:57

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  18. Blogger Kate said...

    i LOVE the rootin tootin - (the one with the white background) that is fabric awesomeness!!!

    18 November 2011 13:49

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  19. Kate said...

    AND - i just favorited you on etsy. :)

    18 November 2011 13:50

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  20. I am following you guys on everything and my favourite fabric is the little hanging birds xxx

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  21. I left Monda a comment. Love her fabric!

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  22. Just started following Monda on pinterest.

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  23. I commented on Vanessa's blog! She's amazing

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  24. I left a comment for Vanessa. So glad you introduced me to her and her gorgeous fabrics!

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  25. I love http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/753346


    twannywun at hotmail dot com

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  26. I am following Monda on Pinterest :)

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  27. I blurbed on FB about this... with a link to your blog :)

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  28. I left a comment on Monda's blog!

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  29. I like the fabric Autumn Forest!

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  30. I left Monda a comment and became a new follower! She has a great blog! Thanks for introducing her to us! KERIHAG at YAHOO dot COM

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  31. I did visit Vanessa's blog and said Hi!

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  32. Loving her stuff...super fun!leaving her a comment now...

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  33. I left her a comment. Great fabric! I wish I were creative enough to pull off my own fabric!

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  34. I am following her on pinterest.

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  35. I left Vanessa a comment on her blog! :)

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  36. I really like the little hanging birds fabric to cut out by monda.
    jowynj@blueyonder.co.uk

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  37. i'm following monda on pinterest
    jowynj@blueyonder.co.uk

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  38. I'm following monda on twitter
    jowynj@blueyonder.co.uk

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  39. I have tweeted the giveaway.
    jowynj@blueyonder.co.uk

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  40. I have added her etsy shop to my favourites.
    jowynj@blueyonderr.co.uk

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  41. i'm following your blog.
    jowynj@blueyonder.co.uk

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  42. I left Vanessa a comment on her blog. :)

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  43. Monda is now in my favorites on Etsy.

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  44. I'm now a follower of your blog through Google Reader. :)

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  45. I love the sharks!! brilliant .. left a comment>>

    cleo
    cleo (AT) techgear.co.za

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  46. i followed her on PINTREST

    the_cleof
    cleo (AT) techgear.co.za

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  47. im following her and tweeted about this on twitter

    cleo
    the_cleof
    cleo (AT) techgear.co.za

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  48. I visited Monda's blog and left a comment-- love that cheerful fabric! :-)

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  49. I follow Monda on twitter :-)

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  50. I tweeted about this giveaway! :-)

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  51. I follow your blog-- thanks! :-)

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  52. Left a comment on Vanessa's blog. Love her fabrics!

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  53. I Visited Vanessa's blog and left her a comment

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

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  54. i Follow Monda on Twitter @mondaloves

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

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  55. I Follow Monda on Pinterest


    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

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  56. I Follow you on rss feed


    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

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  57. I Added Monda to my Favorites on Etsy


    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

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  58. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=714748746331&id=71005186

    I shared on facebook

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

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  59. https://twitter.com/#!/jrwarfield/status/138457385474854912

    I tweeted

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

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  60. I follow you on FB ! Nice fabrics

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  61. I left Vanessa a comment on her blog

    Anna

    anna_k67 at yahoo dot com

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  62. following on twitter-annakul

    anna_k67 at yahoo dot com

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  63. tweet-https://twitter.com/#!/AnnaKul/status/138700706466107393

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  64. on fb-https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=220489818023484&id=100000397851099

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  65. Commented on Vanessa's Blog

    enterthegiveaways at gmail dot com

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  66. Following Monda on Twitter @mondaland

    user name: roycedavids

    enterthegiveaways at gmail dot com

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  67. I Follow your blog

    Rachel David

    enterthegiveaways at gmail dot com

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  68. tweeted,
    http://twitter.com/#!/roycedavids/status/138972836462211072

    enterthegiveaways at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  69. FB about this giveaway

    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=313739875304810&id=100001747168355

    enterthegiveaways at gmail dot com

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  70. Added Monda to your Favorites on Etsy

    Royce ( user name)

    enterthegiveaways at gmail dot com

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  71. Posted on my blog

    http://enterthegiveaways.blogspot.com/2011/11/owens-olivia-fabric-friday-spoonflower.html

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  72. Hi! Left a comment for Vanessa. Great stuff!

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  73. I left Vanessa a comment. She has some really great fabric!

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  74. I left a comment on Monda's blog :)

    porcukorborso at gmail dot com

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  75. I'm also following you via GFC: szappanbubi

    porcukorborso at gmail dot com

    =)

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  76. I left Vanessa a comment on her blog!
    And I done the 1,3,4 and 5 additional entries and comment on her blog.

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  77. Left a comment at Monda (what gorgeous fabric!!!)

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  78. Love Monda's work, if I win I think it will Monster Mash That I get although it is so difficult to choose!

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  79. I follow you!
    in fact i have become an internet stalker :o)

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  80. tweeted
    http://twitter.com/#!/jojoebi/status/139831022253637632

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  81. I love mr and mrs cupcake. They are so cute!

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  82. My favorite is spring garden iv.

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  83. I left a comment :) Thanks for this giveaway.

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  84. I just left some love on Monda's blog :)

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  85. I am following Monda on Pinterest

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  86. And I already follow your blog!

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  87. I facebooked this giveaway, too :)

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  88. I left comment #71 MarciaW for Vanessa.

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  89. I went and said Hi to Monda and left her a comment saying Thanks for sponsoring the giveaway. Thanks for a chance to win.

    missmoozie(at)gmail(dot)com

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  90. I already follow your blog. Thanks for a chance to win the giveaway.

    missmoozie(at)gmail(dot)com

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  91. Frugal foodie said...

    You are so talented, beautiful fabrics I can't wait to make something with
    24 November 2011 12:59

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  92. Frugal foodie said...

    You are so talented, beautiful fabrics I can't wait to make something with
    24 November 2011 12:59

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  93. FoxFamilyFive said...

    Oh my goodness. Not sure how on earth I'm just finding you. LOVE your fabric!
    23 November 2011 19:00

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  94. FlippyHippy said...

    Sent here by BowerPower. SUPER cute prints!!
    23 November 2011 17:52

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  95. livelover3 said...

    Found you through Owen's Olivia! You are inspiring! I'm too afraid to make the jump...too many things I don't where to even start or who to talk to.....congrats. I'll be a follower from now on!!
    18 November 2011 20:32

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  96. Hi, I did visit Vanessa's blog and told her that I was so encouraged by her story, it is wonderful to hear how her call to designing is unfolding. Thanks Nancy for reminding me to get back here and comment I am so prone to distractions and thanks for sharing Vanessa with us!!

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  97. I stopped in at Vanessa's blog and left a message.

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  98. I am a happy regular follower of your blog!

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  99. I visited Monda's blog and left a comment. I just realized I said I was visiting from Olivia's Owen, instead of Owen's Olivia. Opps. Sorry.

    Thanks for the giveaway and a chance to win.

    usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com

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  100. I follow your blog.

    Thanks for a chance to win some gorgeous fabric!

    usairdoll(st)gmail(dot)com

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  101. I now follow Monda on Twitter.

    Thanks for the giveaway and a chance to win.

    usairdoll (at)gmail(dot)com

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  102. I tweeted about the giveaway. (@usairdoll)

    Thanks for a chance to win.

    usairdoll (at)gmail(dot)com

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  103. I left a message on Vanessa's blog. As it so happens, I already have some of her fabric designs in my favourites on Spoonflower ... just waiting to order some of the 2 for 1 fat quarter sale at Spoonflower which is starting about now.

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  104. Monda is now one of my favs on Etsy.

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