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Design Inspiration

Design Inspiration, dVa at Home

My Top 3 Ways to Take a Break While Working From Home

When working at home it’s easy to become engrossed in what we are working on. Before too long hours can go by and we don’t even realize it. I’m especially guilty of this happening when I am working on a new design or drawing. 

Below are my top 3 ways I have learned to combat this bad working at home habit.

1. Set a Timer or Alarm

Use the timer or alarm on your phone or use a site like Egg Timer – to set a specific amount of time between breaks. I like to get up and move around about every hour – sometimes a little less depending on what project I’m working on.

It’s ok to take breaks when working. In fact, studies have shown that taking regular breaks every hour or so have the following benefits:

  1. Increased Productivity – breaks can help with focus and raising energy.
  2. Improved Mental Well-Being – time away from your work area can help reduce stress
  3. Creativity Boost – this one really applies for me. Sometimes walking away from a creative project can create a new perspective when coming back to it.

2. Take a Lunch Break

Either pack a lunch (which is what I like to do) or get up and make a lunch or even go out to grab a bite to eat. No matter how you do it – TAKE A LUNCH BREAK!

Stopping to eat lunch – especially away from your workstation – helps you recharge, refuel and refocus. That way when you get back to work you are fueled and ready to go.

3. Schedule a time to stop working for the day

Often times when working from home, distractions can start to take over and blend itself into your work life – hence making for a very unproductive day. 

In order to create balance between work and home, schedule a specific time to stop working each day. After your workday is over – use that time to make dinner, do a load or two of laundry, or whatever household chore that needs to be done.  I look at it this way – If I were working away from home and in an office – I would not be able to do household chores – therefore I won’t focus on them while I’m working.

I hope these tips help you while adjusting to working from home. Creating a schedule and a system that works varies for everyone.

Bottom line is do what works for you. You may make some changes along the way but eventually you will be set up for success doing and creating your best work ever!


Design Inspiration

5 Artists & Surface Pattern Designers You Should Follow

When I decided that I wanted to be a Licensed Surface Pattern Designer several years ago, I started doing research on what it took to be one. During my research journey I found there are many artists and pattern designers out there. These artist and designers not only inspired me, but also educated me and to this day still motivate me when I’m feeling “stuck” or “lost”. 

Let me introduce you to 5 Surface Pattern Designer & Artists that have not only inspired me but also impacted my career in one way or another.

Tara Reed

It was while doing research on art licensing that I stumbled upon Tara Reed and some of her informational posts (and videos on youtube) regarding licensing your artwork.  Even though our artwork styles differ, her information regarding licensing I found valuable and useful during my surface pattern design journey.

My in person encounter with Tara, so to speak, was at Surtex in 2011 in New York City. She was speaking at one of the breakout sessions that I had signed up for. I learned even more during that session, which encouraged me even more to reach for my dreams. 

If you are interested in licensing your artwork, Tara is a great resource; check out her website, blog and videos!

Khristian A. Howell

Khristian A. Howell is not only a surface pattern designer but also a lifestyle designer. Khristian was speaking at the breakout session with Tara Reed at Surtex.  She talked about her experience first breaking into the art licensing business and gave tips on communication and follow-up. It was at this session and through Khristian that I was introduced to WordPress for my website platform. 

Khristian also had a booth at Surtex showcasing her many beautiful and original pattern designs. She has a very unique style all her own, with wonderful use of color and dimension. 

Khristian has been featured on the Today Show, HLN & Good Day Chicago and in Better Homes and Gardens. I definitely recommend you follow her on her Instagram and her Youtube channel for inspiration and motivation.

Follow Khristian on Instagram @khristianahowell

Monica Lee

Monica Lee is a fashion type illustrator and painter and brand strategist. I stumbled upon Monica, literally by accident, while researching art licensing after my visit to Surtex in 2011.  At the time Monica had a weekly platform called Smart Creative Women.  Each week she would interview (on Monday’s I think it was) a new artist. I would literally start my week off with a cup of tea and her video interviews or podcasts – I looked forward to them! 

If she didn’t have anyone to interview, she would speak about something art related. It was during one of these times that she was talking about something she learned in a Skillshare class; hence I was introduced to Skillshare and the next two artists that really helped me keep my passion for creating going at a difficult time.

Follow Monica on Instagram @monicaleestudios

Bonnie Christine

Bonnie Christine is a licensed surface pattern designer. I discovered her on Skillshare when I was in a creative slump several years ago. She offers several classes but the two I took are called “Intro to Surface Pattern Design: Learn Adobe Illustrator” and  “Surface Pattern Design 2.0: Design a Collection/Start a Career”. 

Even though I was already well versed in Adobe Illustrator and knew how to create a repeating pattern, I found her class very informative and just what I needed at the time. I even learned new ways to use tools that I already use. 

Aside from Bonnie’s Skillshare classes, she also has an online community called Flourish; for artists and designers. She has a roadmap for building your career as a licensed pattern designer or artist with videos and pertinent information as well as an online support group.  She even has tools to help you figure out where you are in your career.

It’s my philosophy that even if you are well versed in something, it doesn’t hurt to brush up and keep up on your skills, learn new trends in design and business and most of all make new contacts. Following Bonnie has done this for me and I highly recommend following her or taking her Skillshare classes or even her Immersion Course when it is offered. 

Bonnie’s patterns have a soft, yet colorful hand drawn feel to them. Her market has been mostly fabric, but her work can also be found on wallpaper at Wallternatives and ribbons at Renaissance Ribbons just to name a few. 

Follow Bonnie on Instagram @bonniechristine

Elizabeth Olwen

Elizabeth Olwen is another surface pattern designer that I discovered on Skillshare. She, like Bonnie, also has classes on pattern design. I took her “Introduction to Designing Repeat Patterns in Illustrator” class. She offers two other Skillshare classes as well; Pattern Design II: A Creative Look at a Full Pattern Collection” and Pattern Design: Bring Your Artwork to Life on Products”. 

Elizabeth’s patterns a full of color and dimension. She has a wonderful use of florals as well as shapes and lines. I really love following her work, whenever I see one of her patterns, I seem to notice a smile on my face.

Her list of collaborations are impressive and some of you may be seen her work without even realizing it – Fat Fit Fun Box  and Madison Park Greetings for example. 

Follow Elizabeth on Instagram @elizabetholwen

Design Inspiration, dVa at Home, Fabric, Gift Wrap, Wallpaper

Fabric, Wall Paper & Gift Wrap

Spoonflower; A Partnership!

Designs by dVa is so excited to announce that 16 of Deanna V. Amirante’s designs are now available on Fabric, Wall Paper & Gift Wrap at

We have been waiting so long for this day to come. We have been asked over and over again; can I get your designs on fabric or wall paper? Well now you can.

Wallpaper – It’s Removable!

The wall paper is amazing! The rolls are 2 feet wide by 12 feet long. They overlap so the design works across the wall and is available is two kinds; Water Activated (removable) in a smooth finish and Peel & Stick (repositionable) in a woven finish. Removable wall paper – how great is that! Spoonflower also has an amazing online resource area in their Help menu to answer all of your wall paper questions; even diagrams on how to hang wall paper.

Deanna Amirante of Designs by dVa - Anemone White & Black Floral

Anemone White & Black Floral


Fabric Options Galore!

All of the designs are available in an array of Woven, Knit and Performance Fabrics giving you the best options for your sewing or craft projects.

Davina Mum Floral Design

Gift Wrap/Wrapping Paper

Designs are also available in a rolls of satin finish gift wrap measuring 26″ x 72″. Our designs make great gift wrap options for many different occasions. From Birthdays to Bridal or Baby showers or just because; dress up your gift with these beautiful design options at my Spoonflower shop.

Circles & String in Red Gift Wrap/Wrapping Paper


More of my designs will be added very soon, so check back often for the latest designs by me available at Spoonflower – Enjoy!


Design Inspiration, dVa at Home

5 Ideas for Left Over Gift Wrap

I always seem to have left over pieces of gift wrap of all different shapes and sizes. Recently I started getting a little creative with what I could do with them, especially if there was a beautiful pattern on it. Below are my 5 favorite things to do with left over gift wrap ~ Enjoy!

1.  Curly Ribbon Bow 
























Take strips of paper and curl as you would curly ribbon. Then either tape pieces together or use a piece of ribbon to tie them together and attach to your gift. 


2.  Embellish a Plain Gift or Kraft Bag














Measure out a strip of gift wrap and use a glue stick to attach to a plain gift bag.


3. Line Drawers

IHeart Organizing: UHeart Organizing: Making Up Pretty Organization. Use wrapping paper to line drawers.:





Line drawers and embellish the sides with left over gift wrap. Click here for instructions.











4. Wrap Baked Goods 

cute idea to do a band of patterned paper tied with ribbon/tag...@Anjali Rajani Gosalia wouldn't this be a great idea for Mom's persimmon bread?:






Take a strip and wrap baked goods to highlight a gift tag. 










5. Place in a Frame For a Special Gift or Home Decor


Leftover pieces of gift wrap make for great wall art too. Cut to size a piece and place in a pretty frame to dress up any wall or space.

Design Inspiration, Wedding

Tablescapes Anyone?

Oh my goodness! I have been so inspired today and I just couldn’t keep it all to myself. While perusing Pinterest I have come across some amazing…yes amazing tablescapes. What I love about these is that they can be used for a wedding, shower or any kind of party or get together. And the greenery, oh the greenery is just amazing – yes I am totally crushing on the greenery!

First is this minimalist Italian-Style wedding ensemble. I just love love love the brick and the greenery. It’s so simple yet so elegant. The clear, acrylic chairs are perfect in that they don’t take focus off the beautiful table. Your eye goes directly to the classy, elegant table decor. The mix of texture and simple colors; white, green and metallic are in perfect harmony and contrast with the dark table, the clear chairs and stemware.

Greenery table runner | Lauren Carroll Photography:

Minimalist Italian-Style Wedding


Next is this simple and rustic gem. I could just see myself sitting at this table in a mountain or outdoor setting. I can imagine a fire in a fire pit not far away. The elements for this simple and elegant table setting go perfectly together. I love the soft furry cushions on the wooden seats. The candles give a harmonious glow off the table highlighting the simple greenery and florals. The reclaimed wood table ties it all together giving an added feeling of warmth and coziness.

Table Setting (scratch the furry cushions) JACLYN PAIGE:

Rustic & Elegant Outdoor Table Setting


Finally, for those of us who like a little bit of color; I found this example. A romantic rustic outdoor setting. Here they have used a blue chevron patterned table runner to add a bit of color to the setting. What’s awesome about this particular tablescape is that whatever color table runner you want to use would work. The white florals and simple greenery along with the white dinnerware and candles really play off well against the dark table and chairs. The addition of the white/linen colored seat cushions to the chairs helps tie the whole look together. This look is warm and cozy while maintaining a sense of class and elegance by the choices of glassware and florals used. Yes I can definitely see myself at a wine country wedding here!

Al Fresco Dinner Reception - Chevron Table Runners - See more on #smp here: Vrai Photography -

Romantic Wine Country Wedding


I hope you have enjoyed these few examples I’ve shared. All photos are linked to their Pinterest post; just give them a click for more information.



Design Inspiration

Door County WI now serving Fruit Salad at Studio 768


I am so very excited to announce that my Fruit Salad Note Card collection is now being sold at Studio 768!!

Studio 768 is a wonderful shop located in the garden shops behind Ecology in Sister Bay, WI. 2017 will be their second season open. The shop has welded metal sculptures created by the owner, Camilla Hitzeman, along with some t-shirts designed by her son among other artistically designed products. Camilla often paints her sculptures in bright colors, so my Fruit Salad Note Cards will fit right in at Studio 768.

So if you are planning a trip to Door County, please take the time to stop into Studio 768!


Design Inspiration

2016 Floral Pattern Portfolio by Deanna V. Amirante of Designs by dVa

I know it is the holidays, but I couldn’t resist in sharing my newly completed portfolio with you all. I now have my Floral Patterns created this year in a portfolio complete with realistic mock-ups.

Hopefully these patterns will be on products you see here in the future. Contact me directly for licensing inquiries – I’d love to hear from you!


Design Inspiration

Hello Heirloom…Floral Repeat Pattern Design

It’s amazing to me just how a change into a new season can bring about so many elements to inspire me. As spring was underway, the garden outside my studio window was taking on a new life…literally. As the stages of the flowers began to bloom, I couldn’t help myself but to go outside and take a closer look. The first flower had bloomed. It was the Mischief Peony which had grown to the size of large bush; an inheritance of a previous owner.


It had flowered and was beautiful. I was instantly inspired and new pattern was brewing in my mind. I snapped a pic for inspiration and hence, a new pattern was born – say hello to Heirloom…


Heirloom is a repeat pattern design created and copyright 2015 by Deanna V. Amirante aka Designs by dVa. Interested in having this design on your product?

Contact me directly; I’d love to hear from you!



Design Inspiration, dVa at Home

Designs by dVa now at!

I am excited to announce that Designs by dVa can now be found at!

Do you have an event or party to plan? Have a special announcement to make? Want to let someone special know how you feel or that you are thinking about them? Then click below to see my designs on cards and ecards. I even have Valentine’s Day designs! – Enjoy!