Digital Design Preview

Hi Friends,

I’ve been working on some new designs for pillows and tote bags for the holidays. After years of experimentation, I’ve found that digital designs print better than handmade artwork scanned or photographed for digital printing. So I’m taking a deep dive into the world of Photoshop and digital design.

I’ve always loved the bold prints of Marimekko, the textile design studio in Finland. I thought I’d try something similar, using some of my paper cutout collage work as inspiration. Here’s the collage piece I had in mind, that recently sold.

Cassandra Tondro collage

And here’s the digital design I came up with based on the collage. The colors may not print this bright, and there may not be enough contrast between the background coral color and the purple-pink. I’ll have to do a test print and see.

Cassandra Tondro design

I’m also drawn to mandalas, which are really fun to create. These are my first three attempts at making digital mandalas. I like the stained glass effect of the black background and detailing.

Cassandra Tondro design

Cassandra Tondro design

Cassandra Tondro design

I’m still working on perfecting my digital skills before releasing any of these as products, and I’d appreciate any feedback you might have for me about this new line of work.

Which of these designs do you like the best for pillows and tote bags? Are there other color combinations you’d like to see as paper cutout or mandala designs? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,



  1. Love the images you post but in my experience translating images to wearable items (or pillows and tote bags) is not a successful 1:1 exchange. What one wears, carries, or sits next to requires some modification from wall or print images. There are millions of examples of this miscalculation on t-shirts being worn right this minute. Just a process of conscious curation, not a damper on your creative ingenuity.

    1. Yes, I know what you’re saying, Lyn. But are you referring to the difference in the printed colors, or the design itself? I wish there was an option in Photoshop to show how the colors will look printed. Converting to CMYK doesn’t really do it.

    2. Don’t know why the quilterly collage would be my favorite…You should be able to get a fabric color chart printed in dye for the fabric of choice that gives the color number. Then it doesn’t matter what it looks like in Photoshop or on your monitor…you’re choosing the actual ink color.

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