Tag: Retro

1990s Nostalgia Pattern

1990s pattern

This pattern was a lot of fun to make! It features items I find very nostalgic from the decade I grew up in. Stretching between being a child and becoming a teenager, the pattern features a real mix of iconic items.

What’s included:

Boglins: I wanted one of these so much. My best friend’s older brother had several that lived on a shelf in his room, in their little prison style boxes. They were so much fun to play with – rubbery monster hand puppets with grotesque expressions.

Polly Pocket: Another childhood favourite. Polly Pocket was a tiny doll that lived in little cases that opened up to reveal a house or other diorama scene. There was a boys version too that lived in a monster’s head but I cant remember what these were called…

Gameboy: I remember when my cousin had one and I played Tetris for the first time… I felt like I wanted to play it forever!

Friendship Bracelets: These seemed to keep coming and going throughout the 90s. I remember having a set of neon ones like those in the pattern, but I also had a big thing for making ones out of embroidery floss and selling them.

Trolls: I had quite a collection of trolls and I can’t think why! They were really odd things to collect! Me and my friends used to have the mini troll catalogue booklets and go through them again and again choosing each of the ones we really, really wanted. The ones with the rainbow hair were always the most coveted.

Lipsmakers: I really remember these lip balms being advertised in the younger teen girl magazines when I was about 13ish. It felt like it was important to choose a flavour that represented “you” … like at the same time how it was important to know all about your star sign and complete all the personality quizzes in the magazines to find out who you were.

POGs: I cant remember when these were a thing exactly, but they were quite a thing for a while. Walkers crisps gave away similar disk things called Tazos at some point too. Did anyone actually know how to play with them?!

Cord necklaces: Yin Yangs, Suns and Moons and peace symbols were all over the place in the mid 90s. They always seemed to be on black cord necklaces with silver balls either side of the pendant. Or on a chocker of course.

Dummies: I guess these were a rave scene thing, that seemed to seep into kids and teen culture through sweets. They never appealed to me, but I remember school friends wearing them and feeling grossed out by the idea of wearing a big boiled sweet that gathers fluff and dust.

Hard Candy nail polish: Oh how I wanted a bottle of this! I never had enough pocket money to get one, and even if I did, I don’t know how I could have chosen a colour and ring from their range. They were all so bright and desirable!

Tamogotchi: Everyone at school had one, or a copy version of the virtual pet. I remember wanting one so much it almost hurt. When I got one of the copies, it was great for about a day before I realised it was a waste of time. Oh well.

Nokia mobile phone: Everyone started to get mobile phones when I was about 16. I couldn’t afford one and there would have been no point as there was no mobile reception where I lived, but seeing the others playing Snake made me want one badly! It would be two more years before I finally got to live the dream and play Snake on my own phone!

Mix tapes: I’ve saved the best till last. I LOVED MIX TAPES. I still love mix tapes. Everything about them excites me. I remember making and receiving them from other people. Sometimes they were beautifully executed works of art, with handmade inlays, glitter, stickers and tip ex, and sometimes they were just straight copies of albums with scrawled listings. I loved them all. They let me get music I couldn’t otherwise listen to, and share music I loved.


The Smiths – Meat is Murder Illustration

Illustration of a helmet and daffodils

This is a concept illustration for an enamel pin badge, featuring the iconic ‘Meat is Murder’ army helmet from The Smiths album of the same name. Morrissey was photographed with daffodils many times during the 1980’s too, so I’ve used them to increase the ‘Smithsyness’ of the pin. Just four colours – it seems like this is the basic limit of colours on simple enamel pins. Its nice to try drawing something a bit different!

Retro Owl Pattern

Blue and Yellow Retro Owl Pattern

These owls are inspired by retro owl ceramics from the 1960’s and 1970’s. The pattern isn’t flowing quite right – I’m tempted to re-make it as stripes of owls.

Illustration of blue owls

1970’s Purple Flowers Pattern

1970's Style flower pattern

Here is another floral pattern inspired by the 1970’s textiles I’m so obsessed with. Just simple shapes drawn directly into Illustrator and softened with a round brush. It’s a bit of an odd colour pallet: sort of warm and cool at the same time. I may well tweak this to send it one way or the other, we’ll see.

1970's style flower illustration

1970’s Inspired Mushrooms & Flowers Pattern

Bright flowers and mushroom pattern

I’ve been increasingly fascinated by 1970’s surface pattern designs. They’re so bright and stylistically vibrant. This is a little pattern based on a series of sketches I’ve made ogling Pinterest for exotic retro patterns. Scroll down to see the sketches…

1970s stylised illustration of a mushroom and flowers


Pencil sketches of flowers and mushrooms

Party Dogs Pattern

Pattern with black dogs on a yellow background

This pattern is inspired by those dogs you see out for walkies who smile with pride at their owners, like walkies is just the best thing ever.

Black dog illustration

Here’s a close up view of one of these doggies. Look at that smile!

I drew the dog character directly in Illustrator, using the blob paintbrush and laptop trackpad. He’s lovely and imperfect because of this.

Pink Vines Pattern

Pink and purple retro flower pattern

This pattern began quite differently. It was originally going to be in shades of blue, green and white, and much more geometric… but it morphed into this. The purple vines are taken from an illustration I’ve been working on, and the bendy vine was an experiment to see if I could match up a bendy line (I did). All in all this is a fun pattern that could look sweet on a duvet or blanket, no?

Junk Shop Flower Garden Pattern

Red blue and white floral pattern

This pattern was inspired by 1970’s fabrics and simple flowers. I imagine it on some soft, warn out needle cord, maybe on a knee length A-Line skirt, a large cushion or some kid’s dungarees.

All of the pattern elements were drawn in Illustrator using the pen tool or the blob paintbrush.

Floral pattern with colour palette

Flower pattern on a cushion mock up

Flower pattern on a tote bag

Red floral pouch

Photo of a dress with a red floral pattern

Vintage Sheet Pattern

Mint vintage sheet pattern

I love vintage sheets. I’ve been buying them up in bulk from charity shops, eBay and Etsy with the goal of sewing summer dresses from them. There is something incredibly charming and nostalgic about them, particularly those from the 1970’s. I don’t know why they excite me so much.

This is my go at making a digital version of a vintage sheet. I sketched most of the flowers and scanned them before tracing their shapes in Illustrator. I created some extra elements using the pen tool before assembling bunches of flowers and foliage.

Digital vintage sheet pattern

© 2022 Woodland Cabin

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑