FUN with Spoonflower's Fill-A-Yard!

Hello Friends! It’s been ages since I blogged, and now I remember why…. It takes forever to put together an informative post!… From the planning and photography, to the text and editing, yes, it’s a long process, especially for someone who has an endless to-do list.. But, this feature article has been brewing in my mind for several months now, so it’s time to make the time to share and inspire!

As many of you you know, I have a Spoonflower Shop with a growing collection of fabric designs. We really love this source as our Go-To for very unique prints, catered to whatever quantities and fabric types desired. Recently, I started playing with Spoonflower’s new “Fill-A-Yard” feature, and I LOVE it! As a designer, it’s a great way to order my samples in various sizes. This way, I can proof the colors and check the repeats at the block size of my choosing….

Here’s a portion of my most recent designs on a “Fill-A-Project.” (…and yes, I’m standing in our bathroom because the lighting was just right!) Out of several different templates, Spoonflower’s “One Yard Cheater Quilt” option was my choice for this order, and I filled it up with a medley of new designs. I chose to print on their new Petal Signature Cotton, and the results are crisp and the colors, accurate! Yay!!… I plan to cut these swatches apart and photograph them by theme.

Another idea for a “Fill-A-Project” is to arrange matching prints in a coordinating motif. You can alternate designs in a playful checkerboard pattern or scatter a medley of styles into various sized blocks. With this particular template, you can print up to 42 designs in each 6” square. Or, choose to allow some surrounding squares to extend your favorite patterns into larger areas. Arrange them as you wish, place your order and then Quilt it! That’s why they call this one the Cheater Quilt!

The key to a great “Fill-A-Yard” project is to Create a Collection FIRST! Choose from any of my existing Designed Collections, or curate your own from the various designs in my Spoonflower Shop or search Spoonflower’s vast website for something specific and mix and match. Then, choose your Project Template and start arranging your design. It’s that easy…

Screen Captured Example:

I communicate best through images, and hence, visual aids are key. Above is a screen capture of a work-in-progress Cheater Quilt project. At right, is the “Pink Halloween” Collection that I chose to source this particular project from. At left, is the quilt template. Simply click and highlight a specific design from the collection at right, and then click a block on the quilt. From there, arrange and fill it up! …What FUN!

My first “Fill-A-Yard” order was back in early February. I needed to order proofs of my latest Valentines-themed designs, but I also had a No-Sew project in mind. So, I combined those to-do’s into one yard! You can see my V-Day & holiday print blocks covering half of this yard, and my aqua cherry print running along the other side of the yard’s length for my No-Sew experiment. Enjoy Before and After photos below of how that idea turned out!…. (Notice how excited Jack was!)

Here’s what I meant by “cutting the yard up into swatches” for photography. How fun are these playful folk art snowman prints?! I hand-painted these guys during the holidays, and then created the repeat in photoshop. I asked our friends on Instagram what color combos they preferred, and based on popularity, we added all 3! We always appreciate the feedback :) You can click on all of these photos for a larger view…

Again, here are more matching swatches, grouped together in a Valentine’s motif, all cut from my initial Fill-A-Project. Again, I was able to create the block sizes of my choosing. Photos of the actual prints are helpful to communicate the fabric color, texture and quality….

As for the No-Sew Project, we recently mounted some work lights above my studio workbench. JP found these great vintage aluminum brackets, just perfect for the space. But, the unsightly black cords were, well, just that. So, my solution is often “fabric to the rescue!” That’s been one of my Go-To, Fix-It solutions for many years! Just cover anything unsightly with attractive fabric!

Back in the 80s when I was just a kiddo, my mom and I would tear fabric into long strips. We’d wrap all sorts of stuff to create rag baskets, rag balls, rag necklaces and the list goes on. You could say that were very raggedy back then! :) Recently, visions of those rags resurfaced, and that’s when I picked a playful print from my Spoonflower Shop, and added it lengthwise across a portion of my fabric order, with visions of rags in mind….

Here’s the before photo of my “Cherries and Dots on Aqua” fabric…

A few quick pencil tick lines, spaced one inch apart, helped me layout my strips..

Just a snip and a rip at each tick mark, and soon enough, I had a series of long bandage-like strips to start the mummy wrap!


BEFORE, we see the contrasting black cord in all it’s bla bla bla boringness….

……and AFTER, we’ve got playful, colorful, swirling JPD Style!

Here’s a side by side…… The color and whimsical print just makes me giddy! While the boring black cord, just hurts my eyes. I prefer to customize my world with color and pattern whenever I can.. :)

That’s me, touching my mummified cord… And no worries, all of the wrapping efforts happened while “unplugged.”

BOOM! Instant style!…. Well, it took a couple hours and some pre-planning, but who’s counting? :)

Jack approved too! I like how the cords blend in more with my color palette and decor. Upon a closer inspection, you can enjoy the cherry patterns too… Fun from a distance and up close!

Well, I hope I offered a few tips and inspiration with these fun ways to order and play with Spoonflower’s unique fabric! The picture above is the other portion of my recent “Fill-A-Project” order. Yet another yard, it’s a medley of prints for my proofing and marketing. It includes a set of my new retro spring designs as well as last year’s Top #13 Cycling Challenge print and more folk art florals! Sure, it’s a hodge podge….. But, if I’m gonna cut it all up, who cares, right?

The ideas for Filling-A-Yard are endless, and I just wanted to share my excitement! If you have a project such as pillows, this is a great way to block out the alternating fabric for the fronts and backs and maybe add in some strips of blending prints for any trim work, playful patches or ruffles. Test it out, and see what creative ideas bubble up! You can thank me later… hehe!

PS: Share photos of your finished JPD-inspired projects so we can feature you in our Customer Gallery. Happy Sewing or in my case, No-Sewing!


~ Johanna

How - To Halloween Hats!

Have you ever wondered how I make my conical paper hats? We have several spooky sweet decorative hat designs in our DIY Printables Shop for you to try your hand at, but if you’ve never made one before… well, it may be a wee bit daunting. GOOD NEWS! Abby from @KatPaperLove on YouTube & on Instagram surprised us with her How-To Videos! She shows us how easy it is from start to finish to make these vintage style delights that feature my illustrations! I have been wanting to make a similar video that walks you through the process, but I’m always designing new things. And well, I just haven’t had a moment to play with that! So, we are grateful that Abby picked our signal and jumped on it! Thank you!! Please check out her following YouTube links for crafting inspiration and secrets revealed to making these vintage style delights:

Vintage Halloween Hats ~ 100 Days of Katoween (Day 24)

DIY Vintage Crows from the 99 Cent Store! - 100 Days of Katoween (Day 25)

NOTE: Abby used a clever combination of both our FREE Print & Share Cat & Owl faces as well as our new “Black Cat & Jacks Halloween Hat” design, available in our Store. The results are clearly spooktacular!

We hope you watch and are inspired to try some for yourself!

Happy Crafting,

~ Johanna

Watch & Learn HOW TO make these Vintage Halloween Hats on Abby’s   KatPaperLove YouTube channel!

Watch & Learn HOW TO make these Vintage Halloween Hats on Abby’s KatPaperLove YouTube channel!


It all starts with printing our high res digital download and cutting it up from there! Once you purchase the file, you can print as many as you wish for personal use.


Screen capture from Abby’s How-To video, showing how she uses her glue gun to make the magic happen…

Once she finished the hat, Abby added my freebie cat to embellish the look!


Voila! Vintage style Halloween can be yours at home with a few simple crafting supplies!


Abby shares a few tricks to help shape the hats and adorn the tops… She printed these at a smaller scale to add more variety to the group.

Just roll, glue and press… Abby takes the fear out of the project..

Make them large or small and festoon the objects in your home with a little Johanna Parker Design style!

Many thanks once again to our creative guest feature, Abby @KatPaperLove for jumping in and sharing her talents and tips with us! You can peek at her artful creations at @artista.kat as well. ENJOY!

Vintage Tuesdays

Let's face it ~ I LOVE Vintage things... The artistry of the past certainly intrigues me. People often ask what inspires my art, and although I don't keep a stack of old magazines and books on hand from the 1930s, I do seem to easily tap into the spirit of the Art Deco era. It's no wonder that I was drawn to our 1939 cottage home with its authentic archways, nooks, vintage stove and old fixtures. I don't belong in 2018 in a world of shiny, sharp-edged products and disturbing blue-lit screens. I love the amber lighting of the past and all the flowing lines and curves of the artistry that crafts-men and women poured into their work. You'll see these elements reflected in my folk art, over and over again. 

Our house is filled with many family mementos and vintage finds that I have collected along the way. Yes, dusting is a chore, and that doesn't happen as often as it should. But, I do love to surround myself with these delights. In honor of my passion for pieces of the past, I recently started a Vintage Tuesday feature on my Instagram page @jparkerdesign. Each Tuesday (time permitting) I'll post a little snippet of something timeworn in our home that brings delight to me. If you have an Instagram page, follow along and join in by posting photos too! Use the hashtag #VintageTuesday :-) I'll see you there! Happy Treasure hunting!

~ Johanna


New Fabric ~ Sneak Peek!

Sewwwww, I'm thinking that the timing is PERFECT to Give the Gift of custom, American-made, designer fabric to Mom! Luckily, I've added 30 NEW designs to my Spoonflower Shop!... Themes range from Floral to Halloween, and there's even a Heart scatter in the mix. JP and I snapped some pretty vignettes to show some of these yummy combos. This time around, I designed larger focal prints as well as smaller coordinates that work great as blenders for quilts, trim details on apparel, fashion accessories, pillows and the list goes on. I hope you will enjoy these and find them useful as you design & create!

*Gift Idea* ORDER NOW to receive swatches or yardage in time for Mother's Day!

She'll dance in delight over your thoughtfulness, & maybe she'll even make something for you too! WIN WIN, right?! We think it's a great way to inspire creativity, support artists & support made in America. So, GIVE it a try :)

Visit my Spoonflower Shop for over 120 designs!

Questions? Feel free to ask away! 

For now, ENJOY a medley of photos that we hope will entice you to place an order and get to making something special! Orders may take up to 2 weeks for production and delivery. So, place your Mother's Day orders now  :)

Pictured here are playful designs from my Hooty Tooty Fruity Collection!

Choose from 50 Johanna Parker Halloween prints! Here are a few of the latest designs incorporating purple in the mix...

Loving these new Spooky Vintage Black & White prints...

More yummy Halloween Designs, NEW to my Spoonflower Shop!

Zooming in for a closer look at:  Wild Bats on Purple small

American & German Made Fabrics!

Halloween's not complete without webs and spiders! Directly above are: Spooky Swirl Gray Cobwebs on Black ~ and ~ Black Widows Red Webs small

These 8" x 8" swatches are all printed on Basic Cotton Ultra

Ghost Frame Spooks ~ and ~ Faces of Halloween pair well like costumes & candy!

Spooky Swirl Cobwebs on Gray offers a haunting neutral effect...

Make something Unique!

More peeks at my fabric draped ironing board reveals a large grayscale version I call:  Ghost Frame Gray Spooks ~ and a hint at:  Spooky Bat Skeleton leaves us wanting to see more!

Although Halloween is my love, so are Flowers! Whimsy Floral Stripes is simply delightful in print along with the rest of my Hooty  Tooty Fruity pairings....

We will SHARE photos of your finished projects to INSPIRE others, so please SHARE with us!


~ Johanna ~

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A Peek at Art Licensing & How Products Take Shape...

I often receive inquiries about our Johanna Parker Design licensed designs and the process of getting something made. Well, it's a long one, and it takes patience to see it through. To help illustrate, I am going to take you on a visual journey from A to Z and share with you my perspective on the steps it took to create my recent grinning black cat Halloween mug, being offered through Transpac Imports. He was one of our very first ceramic items which debuted last year! So, go get your favorite sipping beverage, pull up a chair, and I hope you enjoy the read...

Many artists will tell you that it all starts with an idea and then a sketch. Same goes for me...From a page of rough concepts, I'll pick my top faves and refine the illustrations from the pre-chicken scratch phase to something that I feel comfortable sharing with a licensee. Depending on my mood and time of day, I may illustrate my ideas with ink, water-based dyes and colored pencil, or create them straight from Photoshop using various brush tools, or a mix of the two. If it's late at night, I often opt for the latter because let's face it ~ at 1 am, it's easier to just sit at the computer (with the screen dimmed, mind you) and start drawing stuff vs. getting all my supplies out and starting a project, well, at 1 am...  Yes, I'm a night owl..

This is a photo snap from an older sketch book of ideas from 2015.... If you're familiar with my Halloween product line through Transpac Imports, you'll recognize several of my characters here in their early, raw stages- straight from imagination to paper! I guess you could say that this is where they were born :) And notice at this initial stage, the black cat has arms and legs...

Above is a cluster of Halloween characters that I scanned from my sketch book and then roughly colored in Photoshop. Visually, it helps to present them all together to see how the characters play off of each other in a collection. You can see that the black cat now has some color!

Once the visuals are tightened up a bit closer to what I have in mind, I'll format a page expressing what a collection of characters could look like. I pull the elements together, add some text, and then send them off to my licensing contacts! With fingers crossed, I wait and hope for positive feedback. Timing is crucial, and sometimes I just nail it while other times, I miss my window of opportunity, or I'm just way off target. That's life. If it's a miss, at least I have the art for a future opportunity. I have drawers full of those, just waiting for their big day. If several days go by, and no enthusiastic replies flood in, chances are, it's a no-go. That's just been my experience. On the other hand, a quick reply can mean a big YES, and we start brainstorming from there. Every once in awhile , there are also those magical times when I thought all bets were off, and a favorable response appeared weeks to months after its submission. We can always wish for those surprise nuggets of news as well.

Moving forward after interest is expressed, the licensee will often ask for more supporting designs that help create a cohesive collection. I try to do that at the start, but the product development team may take the ideas a different direction or perhaps broaden the designs to other materials and categories, especially after a year has gone by and response has been favorable. For example, if I submit ideas for figurines, a return request may evolve to making those characters into ornaments, plates, mugs, plush and beyond. More work for me, but also more skus. I've been licensing my work since 2004, and the resounding message from the various companies I have worked with is that a larger collection creates more impact. From personal experience, a small handful of pieces will indeed get lost in a showroom full of things. You need to make a big splash! I love this, and I hate this. More pieces equals more exposure and more goods to offer folks, but it's more work and more time dedicated to building a licensed collection. There are no guarantees that the designs provided will make the cut. 

Initial artwork for my black cat "Punkin Peep" shelf sitter... It was from this guy that the black cat mug was inspired and developed a year later.

A quick before and after, from rough illustration to final product which debuted in 2016...I'm thinking that I like the figurine better than my sketch. Gotta love that!

Once we have settled on a group of product designs, the art needs to be shared with the manufacturing factory team to get the process in motion. In the majority of cases that relate to my figurines, there will be a communication barrier. So, I create visual aids for the overseas sculptors to review. I will develop a page for each character with titles and a brief description. Sometimes I will add photo excerpts from past work to capture similar profiles as examples and to help express 3 dimension. This is just how I do it and not necessarily at the request of the licensee. They ask for artwork, and this is what I provide. Text is included for the translators, but visuals are key. I will often include a rough profile and backside sketch, submit the graphics to my licensee and then await the clays.

Here is an example of where I expanded upon certain products to create supporting designs. In year 2, I was asked to build a group of shaped character mugs, inspired by the popularity of  my Punkin Peep sitters. I will focus on the black cat mug in particular to express the process of this product's evolution. I submitted the above illustration to the sculptors at Transpac's ceramic factory. (The mug art was created in Photoshop using various brushes atop existing scans - it must have been late a night for this one.. ~wink~ Oh, and JP calls it "Frankensteining" when I do this, especially when I cut the head off of one piece and add it the body of another, tweaking the features as I go!....)

Emailed photos of my designs in clay often arrive within a couple days, but rarely capture the design just as envisioned. In that case, I will make a "Fix-it" graphic with more visuals, showing the before and after along with a few red lines to indicate the changes I would prefer to see. This alone is many hours of work, but it's a detail that I feel is critical in capturing the spirit of my characters. When I have omitted these steps, the finals are just not "me." So, there is a bit of back and forth, and sometimes a lot, to refine each product. When satisfied or at least closer to my vision, the clays are molded, and the prototypes are produced. Through years of experience in licensing, I have realized that it really helps to be more engaged in the process, so that the final product resembles the vision. Years ago when I started out with other companies, I was not given the opportunity (or perhaps I failed to ask) to see or comment on the process. Nowadays, I am grateful to be more involved in the development of each design whenever possible.

Round One - 1st Clay sample of my Punkin Peep Black Cat Mug, direct from the factory. The sweeping nose to brow line had ridges!.. The sculptor was adding dimension to my paint lines. It's not like we were able to discuss this, so I don't blame them. I acted quick to correct this amongst other tweaks in the first Fix-It graphic. We also decided to remove the recessed teeth lines and just use paint for those... 

Round One Fix-It Graphic - I often create my "after" image in Photoshop, using the factory photo as a base and then paint over it in the same tonal clay palette with my revisions. The "fix" image is a screened back version of the unaltered factory photo with red lines over top, indicating the changes.

Round Two - 2nd Clay... A few things were looking off still, including the funky dip in the chin.. So, here comes another Fix-It graphic. Yes, my black cats are dear to me, so I was extra particular about this guy. 

Round Two - Fix-It Graphic included the chin detail as well as reshaping the profile of the nose. When possible, I ask for a profile photo. There are some hidden details that can be completely missed from only a front view.

Round Three & Four: I probably could have skipped this step, but I really wasn't loving his subtle buck teeth. It's just not a feature that I give my cats if I can help it.. hehe! 

From here, we move on to paint, and in most cases, I will receive emailed photos of the painted protos for approval before production ensues. I much prefer this in case the colors are off, or details are missed, and that's often the case. Who better to catch this than the artist who designed the art?

Paint Revisions - This step usually goes a lot faster once we have a workable shape to paint on. But, it's funny, no matter how obvious the visuals are, there is usually something that gets lost in translation with the paint. In this case, it was the black interior. Here it seems easier to me to paint the inside black and not worry about painting a clean seam line at the mouth of the mug, but that's not what was presented. I went ahead and corrected that as well as adding some notes on patina (yes, I like patina!) as well as ear and teeth lines. We're almost there guys! The finished mug pic is up next...

Once all is approved, production commences and samples are made. From my experience, maybe a dozen or so samples of each design are produced and sent to the licensee for their reps to cart around to the various buyers' market shows. The licensee's design team will photograph each sample to display on their website as well as for future catalogs. So, this handful of samples, that have likely made a long journey across the ocean, need to look their best! A lot weighs on these little guys, so it's a "handle with care" kinda situation. If they arrive broken, well, we can pretty much kiss those guys goodbye, at least for that year!

Final painted mug  photo sample, sent direct from the factory!.... He's not perfect, especially once he goes into full swing production, but he is hand painted, and with that, each cat is a little bit unique. These guys were a big hit in 2017 and will  be back for 2018 ~ Yay!  :) And with that, our first ceramic cat mug was born...

So, the big market season is at the start of each year. Buyers for stores who have a budget for these annual events will travel in to Atlanta, NY, Vegas, Dallas, etc.. to attend and see the latest products for themselves. A lot weighs on these markets. Licensees are looking for feedback and obviously orders. This is where the big collection vs. the small grouping can really boost sales and attention for an artist's work. We hold our breath and hope for a positive response, a flock of excited buyers, attracted to our displays, and well, you get the idea. But all in all, orders need to be taken. If the order count is low for any item after a series of shows, well, that piece gets cut. The factories have their quotas for production. So, let's say 500 pieces need to be made to get a certain price break and only 300 orders were written at market, there is a risk for the licensee. I'm not privy to all of these details and decisions made about ordering my product. But, I can safely assume that if an item is dropped at the start of the year, its early orders didn't meet the quota.


Quick snap from my January 2018 Halloween display in Transpac Import's Atlanta Showroom. I am not involved in this phase of the design process, so I cross my fingers that the displays will be eye-catching. The majority of the items grouped together here are my designs, minus the textiles and the large jack-o'-lanterns hovering over the scene. My Black Cat Mug is in the mix, albeit a bit tricky to see from this angle.


As you can see, a lot has led up to the moment of showing the products at the markets. I don't keep track of my hours, but it's a LOT... At this point, we are really handing the power over to the buyers. I did what I could to create something unique and special for collectors, and now it's up to the folks that place the orders to show up on time. I'm not sure if they realize how critical their timing is. Production orders need to placed early in the year so that products can be made in time for their seasonal release. If too many buyers hold off and decide to place their orders later in the year, then there is a good chance that an item with a low, early-order count will never see production. Just because a piece made it to market or even made the catalog, does not promise that it will be available later. It most cases it will, but over the years, we've had frustrated store owners as well as the public contacting us, wanting to know why they cannot order a Halloween reproduction pictured in a catalog or pictured on social media. This is the reason. Either the early orders barely met the factory quota, so production was kept at a conservative low and pieces sold out quickly. Or, they just weren't met at all. So, to sum it up, we are so very grateful to buyers who place an early order! It really helps to ensure that our designs will be available once Halloween & the holidays roll in! Thank you Thank you Thank you (in advance! :)

Speaking of, some of you may have noticed that I have been sharing new product photos on social media (mostly Instagram) at the start of this year. I know some folks don't want to see Halloween & Christmas in January & February, and I've had my share of unfollows for it, but here's hoping it helps to remind our shop friends of what's new for this year and to consider placing their orders now.. We so appreciate it, and our collectors will thank you for it later!

With all that said, I've spelled out the steps from my experience to help explain the process from idea phase to tchotke shelf collection  :) It takes about a year+ from initial sketch to product in hand. At that point, once the items are exiting stores, wrapped in tissue in shopping bags, the artist begins to receive royalties. So, it's not for the impatient at heart. It's a waiting game for all aspects, including the compensation part. 

So, why do I do it?  Well, we have built a hearty following for my collectible art. Our folk art originals, as special as they are, are just that. We can only make so many each year, and then a new year begins. They take countless hours to create, and each is unique. But, really, we're only reaching close to a hundred or so collectors each year that actually are in the right place at the right moment to adopt them. And, many thanks to those dedicated people! The rest of you who wish for a taste of our style in your home are eager (or so we hope) to snag a reproduction or two or more for your collection. That's where the licensed designs come into play. In this case, through licensing, we are now able to offer my designs in ceramics and other new mediums too! Typically the price is right, and although we may have to compromise on quality and detail, we can connect with so many more people through larger production. I know, that's pretty obvious, but sometimes I have to remind myself of the obvious. It's a choice that I continue to make because I have this innate drive to share my talents with you. Excuse my cheesiness, but it's true. Making art for myself and stashing it away feels incomplete. I have this need to connect the dots and fill the void. It's a lot of cyclical work, but we do find joy in your enthusiastic response! That in turn creates the momentum for the next round.

Sharing some photos where I was tagged on Instagram by fans who were thrilled about their new Johanna Parker Design black cat mugs... Your enthusiasm is contagious!

Sharing some photos where I was tagged on Instagram by fans who were thrilled about their new Johanna Parker Design black cat mugs... Your enthusiasm is contagious!


At this time, we do not have our own production factory, so we can never guarantee that the next year will bring a new collection of Johanna Parker Design reproductions. Some days I wish we did have our own local warehouse of skilled workers producing our designs, while other days I'm glad to not have the extra worry. For now as things are, I do my best to submit new designs each season, via the process that I've spelled out above. Then, I cross my fingers that something gets picked up. Many of you noticed our dry spell for Christmas collectibles over the last several years. That was due in part to one licensee's decision to stop offering papier mache products combined with other licensees choosing to focus their JPD collection only in the Halloween category. Trust me, I was submitting, but we can't win 'em all. We do have a new collection of figurines and ceramics for this Christmas via Transpac Imports, so please place your orders or tell your favorite shops about our designs so we can keep that wheel spinning :) It's taken a few years to get that ball rolling again...

Well, I hope this post answers some of your questions about my product development in the field of licensing. Perhaps it's interesting at least to those that are familiar with our work! So, thank you for taking the time to read it, and thanks to Transpac for granting us the thumbs up to share the steps with you. I often receive questions about the process, and I feel this is an easier way to share my answers, all in one place for whomever wishes to visit. Let us know if you found it helpful or interesting by clicking the heart below. If there are other related topics that you would like me to cover in the future, feel free to leave your thoughts, future product suggestions or questions in the comments section below, and I'll do my best to respond to you.

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Keep an eye on our Instagram feed for more product sneak peeks along the way...

Best Wishes,

~ Johanna

Merry Christmas to you!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas! May it be purrrrrfect! ....Speaking of, Jack is back, donning his latest holiday fashion. I made an extra top hat this year, just for him. We borrowed the mini scarf from one of my snowmen, and voila!... You can also watch a fun animated time lapse from our holiday photoshoot on my Instagram page, HERE!  Enjoy!


~ Johanna, JP and Jack :-)


Where Women Create Holiday Teaser...

Have you picked up a copy of the November 2017 / January 2018 issue of Where Women Create Magazine yet? If so, turn to page 70 for an 8-page article featuring Johanna Parker Design! We received the exciting news at the start of this year that we would be included in the holiday edition. Keeping in mind the release date, I quickly switched gears and made a collection of winter-themed originals to include in the mix. When summer rolled in, JP and I blocked out some time to take the photos of my studio space, and now we're in print! It's been a long time coming, and those that have acquired a copy to read my story will know why. We submitted plenty of photos for the editor to choose from, and obviously not all could make the cut. So, I am including several more here for you to enjoy! It's a beautiful magazine, so please keep an eye out for the issue on the stands or order yourself a copy directly from Where Women Create - HERE! Enjoy the peek into our home and my cozy sunroom studio space...

A sneak peek at my article intro includes me sitting at my drafting table where I illustrate…

This was the secondary portrait photo we took, showing me surrounded by my space

An old family shelf now houses both art supplies and one of a kind folk art pieces.

We enjoyed taking the photos for this article. I styled and composed most of the images and JP helped adjust the settings and played with the various camera and lens technicalities. In my opinion, it really does take a team...

This vignette shows a snapshot of various holiday art projects all grouped together. It's a fun mix of my printed graphics, rough pencil sketches, a painted art panel, pattern repeats and illustrated gift tags ~ All a variety of designs that I could easily delve into on any given day!

We chose this mischievous pair of holiday folk art characters, a rare, grinning red cat candy container and a standing snowman, to accompany me in my portrait.

A hand-me-down hoosier hutch from mom is now the keeper of art supplies, fabric swatches & collectibles that inspire new designs.

In the corner, the bare bones of an old lampshade offer easy hanging for a handful of my original ornament bell characters.

An original owl sculpture, perched atop a decorated ball, keeps watch over my studio space.

Like I say in my article, my sunroom studio space is by far my favorite. Even though I have been sculpting my folk art originals for well over a decade, I've only been crafting in this sunny room for a couple of years. Get the issue to read more about my journey through time to find the right inspired space for making my art.

A wall nook of my hanging aprons creates a soft backdrop for my jolly ball-shaped Santa and winter kitty ornament bell. 

A closer peek at my shelf reveals a sweet penguin kettle cup and an owl ornament bell. Everything from feathers to vintage pottery and glassware add functionality and design inspiration to where I sit to sculpt and paint.

Paintbrushes and pens surround a sweet Santa egg cup character.

I'd be remiss not to include a holiday crossover or two in the mix. Here, a ghost of Christmas Past howls from the corner of the room. With a cobweb collar and holly-winged bats, the lines of Halloween and Christmas begin to blur....

A festive snowman egg cup whistles a merry tune!

A jolly snowman head, donning an illustrated top hat, sports an enchanting smile.

Collectors interested in adopting some of the one of a kind pieces pictured here and within my magazine article are encouraged to Join our Mailing List for news and updates coming soon. We will be releasing pieces in a couple different ways during the month of December. At random, collectors will be able to CATCH a special one of a kind, directly from our website. And, we will also be hosting a few select auctions, again here on our site, and accepting your best offers. Stay tuned for more information once we finalize the details.. 

Many thanks to Where Women Create for including us in their current edition! I am honored to be included amongst a medley of talented artisans. It's a joy to realize a dream, and we appreciate our friends at WWC for supporting that vision. 

Now, go get a copy!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays...

~ Johanna, JP and Jack



Happy Halloween!

October 31st is here, and we gave Jack a different look this year! While I typically make a special paper hat for our furry friend to wear, he sported a mini-sized strand of my Vintage Halloween Pennants. Really, what a ham! He was fully engaged for this shoot. I placed him on an old picnic basket, draped his fluffy coat with Halloween flags, and he basically played along for the camera. JP snapped the shutter while I kept his attention at play. Enjoy a handful of photos from our Halloween photo shoot day!

Happy Halloween dear friends!


~ Johanna, JP & Jack

Here's one of the first lucky photos JP snapped ~ Jack sitting proud with puffed chest and eyes to the lens!


I'm readjusting his Halloween finery here... He didn't seem to mind one bit...


What a good boy!

He tries it out  for size....


Then, there was that brief moment where he realized that something odd was wrapped around his neck! I quickly distracted him from licking it off...


Sweet profile...

Paw in motion, ready to bat at my little distractor that I sometimes use...

Back to calm and cool... Jack has had his portrait taken countless times, so this is old hat... Hence no hat this time around.. LOL  :)


Showing a little tongue and fang in this one!

A snuggle hug after the session ended....

A snuggle hug after the session ended....

... Those lips....

What a charmer!....

And, we'll end it with a touch of spookiness for Halloween! Hope you're not too scared! Thanks for stopping by for a little furry fun and behind the scenes black cat cuteness... 

Wishing you a Purrrrfect Halloween!

Get this look in our Store's DIY Printables page! The complete set comes with 6 unique designs that I have illustrated. Download and Print as many as you wish for personal use. Print 'em big or small and ENJOY them each fall!

Behind the Scenes * Spoonflower Designer Spotlight

Last month, in the midst of my Halloween-mania, I entered one of Spoonflower's weekly design challenges. The theme was Vintage Halloween, and well, how could I resist? When the results came in, I placed 4th out of several hundred entries. Being the Spoonflower newbie that I am, I was thrilled to make the top 10! We did our high-fives and moved on to show preparations and the endless Halloween art to-do list! Then, a few days later, I received an exciting invitation! Spoonflower's team had taken notice of my Spoonflower Shop and all of my Halloween patterns for fabric, gift wrap and wallpaper! They detected my passion for October 31, and found the timing just right for a Halloween Edition - Meet the Designer Spotlight! Of course we said yes, and with just the weekend to shoot photos for their Q & A Blog Post, JP and I got busy! You can enjoy the full feature on Spoonflower's October 9, 2017 Blog Post. I am honored for the feature and look forward to making many more designs for fabric and the like... 

This post includes some photos and bloopers that we did not submit. But, they're fun, and we thought we'd share them here... Enjoy!!!


This is my "portrait".....  Spoonflower only used my face in their marketing. I thought I would share the whole scene - A busy table with many of my Halloween Spoonflower designs strewn about as well as our Halloween fire screen that we made years ago, all surround me in the image. It's symbolic of my head which is often immersed in Halloween art.


A peek at our living room table has my Halloween fabric swatches and illustrations scattered about. Composing an image and taking photos usually means moving furniture around and making a grand mess.  There's no way around it in our tiny home!

Action shot - talking while shooting - I'm probably offering a snarky response to the camera man here... :)

And who's the man behind the camera? That would be JP! I had him sit for me so I could frame up the shot I wanted. Then, we adjusted the soft focus from there. Notice we swopped out the spiky air plant and pottery combo for one of my owl sculptures. 


Let's face it. I don't sew ~ it's been years since I sat down at a sewing machine! But, I do love designing patterns for other people to craft with. Spoonflower asked me to photograph some of my projects using my fabric. Fortunately, I had ordered a fat quarter of my Jack Vine Sitter design, so I whipstitched a rather crude, doughnut scarf to wear. I asked JP to focus on the scarf and to keep my face blurry while I looked away. There were too many distractions, so it was hit or miss. Jack wanted to know why I was sitting on the floor, and of course, he got involved. This scene  was more funny than serious and difficult to keep a straight face. :)

Spoonflower asked me to submit photos of things, animals or places that inspire me. Our black cat Jack is always an inspiration. We chose another more Halloween-centric photo of him that you can see on their Blog Post. But, this was the runner-up. 

This photo shows a glimpse at one of my Printable Halloween Pennant Garlands. The same pattern work is featured on various designs in my Spoonflower Shop too.

This is my favorite silly pic from the day! Again, I asked JP to pretend to be me so that I could help to frame up the composition that I wanted...  So, this is his version of me... LOL! Notice, he's drawing with his index finger.. I'm not that good yet :) You'll have to go to Spoonflower's Blog to see the actual photo that we shared...

I sat on one of our rock walls for this photo with a large Moonflower plant in the foreground... You'll see me sniffing one of the blooms in the Spoonflower Article. JP art-directed that pose... :)

Here's a close-up of a furled Moonflower bloom. I absolutely love these flowers. Look at the spiral-shaped curls on the tips! It opens to reveal a large white trumpet-shaped blossom  with a soft purple cast. I find it gorgeous and very inspirational to this spiral-loving artist...

Our garden inspiration shoot occurred in the midst of a painted lady butterfly migration! With each step, a flurry of Halloween-hued wings would scatter and resettle on surrounding blooms. It was magic! Spoonflower included this photo in my Q & A, but this view offers a closer peek at the character of this intriguing insect.

This year, our garden is full of orange poppies and bees! They go hand in hand, and I captured this photo to express the mystery and whimsy of nature that offers more artistic inspiration for me. 

Jack sniffs my giant spider from my Transpac Imports Halloween line. We moved it around a few times to include this fun character in some of the photos... Plus, spiders belong outside..

I'm not sure what's happening here. This was after the official shoot. I put on a sweater  as the weather was quickly changing and cold drops of rain were beginning to fall. I watched Jack roam around the yard, munching on grass. JP obviously was still snapping a few candid photos...

Another spider relocation effort. We do this with real spiders too. We save them and take them outside whenever we can. Jack was mildly curious in this photo, but more interested in the sounds of shuffles and chirping from the trees.


Me again at a little backyard garden table, staring off into imaginary land like I often do... Giant spider in tow....This feature was so last minute, I didn't have time to iron my clothes. Bad weather was rolling in, and we just had to wing it... I rarely iron anyway....  :D


We hope you enjoyed a peek at the Behind the Scenes... Now, hop on over to Spoonflower's Blog to read the official Meet the Artist ~ Halloween Edition and to enjoy my Q & A!  Thanks for stopping in to take a peek. Let me know what you think of our new Blog format in the comments section below.

By the way, here are all of my Halloween Spoonflower fabric designs, grouped together! I am looking forward to adding more to the mix! Your suggestions are welcome too...

Happy Haunting,

~ Johanna, JP & Jack

A Glimpse at the Glens Art Walk...

I have been waiting for this moment to add a hearty blog post, chock-full of Halloween eye candy! As it turns out, the 3rd Annual Glens Art Walk is just the subject matter for this playful scene. Many many thanks to ALL of you that joined us! From both near and quite far, we enjoyed your company, and it was a pleasure to bring smiles to so many faces! Many weeks led up to the unfolding of this special event, and we were graced with such a lovely fall day. Shoppers enjoyed the warmth of the sun and autumn's palette of changing leaves as they walked from one home to the next. JP and I are so thankful to our hosts, Robert Hickler & Ann Lederer for allowing us to perform our annual Halloween invasion. :) We hope it was a happy haunting! We took lots of photos this time around, and I am thrilled to have a place on our new website where I can share them in the format of my choosing. You can click on each picture for a light box view. Enjoy and do share your feedback too!

Yep, that's me striking a Halloween pose :)

I stuffed old tins, vintage pottery and baskets with my new ornaments!

A grinning black cat candy stand to go with your sweets!

Cubbies were lined with Halloween mugs, candy stands, shelf sitters, candles & other delights...

Frightful or Fun? Heads of Frankenstein, toothy-grinned Draculas, spooky black cats, mummies and owls were all there to tempt collectors of my vintage Halloween style!

A Halloween assault on the eyes! EEEK!

The old white shelves that house my originals here came with our 1939 home. It served as a double door to hold canned goods in our basement. Whomever made this years ago would be stunned to think an artist showcases her one of a kind folk art in each nook, but that's how I roll! I love it :)


I think this has been the busiest fall on record for our biz! In between a medley of photography requests for Artist Features as well as  Q & A's, responding to the influx of inquiries from our new website, (some of which I still need to tend to!) a mounting list of licensing deadlines, and many other distractions, I was really biting my nails over completing this year's collection of Halloween folk art originals in time for the show. I had to forego a few pieces that just weren't going to meet my timeframe. And, there were quite a few long days in the mix. But, in the end, I was able to complete 22! With a goal for 30+ sculptures, the shelves may look a little bare, so, bear with me :) We did what we could without completely losing our minds. But, I did come close a few times... Despite my Halloween-mania, I think this year's collection of one of a kinds turned out quite swell :) Farewell my little dears and enjoy your new adventures!

JP shares a smile at his new and improved check-out station! We had a nice tucked away space to process orders, store trays of reserved pieces and a wrapping station in the back. 

My displays were overflowing with all the latest characters that debuted this fall! We had a medley of Halloween ornaments, shelf sitters, ceramic plates, mugs, candy bowls, salt & pepper shakers and the list goes on! That's why I called it the Halloween invasion... 

The other white cubby shelf is a recycled find. We cleaned it up and for several years, it housed our collection of music CDs back before iTunes was a thing. Now, it's become basement storage, but it works just perfect for this event. We do shuffle a lot of stuff around when doing a show. For example, tins on my dresser that hold earrings and such, get to take the day off and display ornaments instead. Vintage lamps are pulled from their plugs and glow in another home! We also grab stools and carts that function for us at home and use them as props for Halloween. Needless to say, our house gets a little stripped when we do the big move, but it's an excuse to dust and clean before it all gets put back! And, we're only carting these goods just a few blocks away. Love the ease of that!

An old suitcase reveals my embroidered punkin peep guest towels, a stack of illustrated plates and candy bowls!

Glass candy jars with candy corn pair sweetly with their shelf sitter buddies...

BOO! My meringue-topped ghosts in various shapes and forms have been a popular fave with this collection...

Beyond my spooky display, an open door lead the way to Ann's colorful painted silks...

Across the way, Robert and Ann gave us a portion of their front window to share some Halloween magic. You can see that Robert jumped into the Halloween spirit and made some metal spider webs and skulls.. It's contagious!

Another peek at my front nook....

Approaching visitors were greeted with Robert's contemporary wall art as well as our vintage wagon filled with harvest delights. My giant spiders brought some smiles too :) Later, Ann tucked in her silk laden dress form to complete the scene...

From spooky to sweet, Robert Hickler added a touch of Halloween to his metal cut-outs this year!


A place for bats and owls to take roost....

We had a steady flow of folks dropping in to see the various creations that we all had to offer. It was a perfect day for a walking tour!

Halloween collectors came in clusters to see the latest collection!

A variety of snowflakes, skulls & bats were scattered across Robert Hickler's table...

You can find a giant version of this sculpture by Robert Hickler in Fort Collins' Old Town Square, winning the People's Choice Award!

You can enjoy more of Robert Hickler's portfolio on his website. He has been very  busy in his shop making all sorts of magic, including large scale installations for various public places. The mantel guitar sculpture was quite the marvel, and Robert will do commissions at various scales. 

The hue happy colors of Robert's contemporary sculptures, marry nicely with his wife Ann Lederer's hand-painted silk scarves. Beautiful patterns and floral whimsies by Ann were displayed on racks in their back sunroom...

Ann Lederer points out her handmade cards while an attendee caresses her lavender-filled eye pillow, all made of painted silk. They smelled divine too...

Their back sunroom proved to be the perfect spot to highlight Ann's colorful work, capturing the light!

More captivating hand-painted silk scarves by Ann Lederer greeted guests upon entering her space...

More captivating hand-painted silk scarves by Ann Lederer greeted guests upon entering her space... Ann does not have a website, but you can reach her by EMAIL, and yes, she does all sorts of commissions, specializing in Prayer Shawls, Challah Covers, Huppahs as well as many other special occasion painted silks for all walks of life.

Year 3 at the Glens Art Walk was a charm! Thank you ALL that attended and came out to support our creative endeavors! We enjoyed seeing you! 

At the end of the day, JP played a little air guitar for all of us on one of Robert's sculptures! Teehee! We hope you enjoy the photos! Mark your calendar for 2018 - When the first Saturday of October rolls in, we will roll it out again :)

Happy Haunting,

~ Johanna