As we come towards the end of 2020, here are some affordable gift ideas that bring beauty with a personal touch into our lives. Each highlighting how the surfaces of our lives can evoke joy, love and gratitude...


I have been sorting through my surface pattern design work and settled on a bunch to make these high-quality porcelain ornaments which double as gift tags - find them in my holiday shop.

Contemplative Art

Alan Haras, my husband and now creative partner started painting as a creative contemplative practice during the pandemic and now has a collection of Rabindranath Tagore portraits that have been a big hit. Instead of titles he has paired each with a quote: “Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.” (Rabindranath Tagore).

2021 Calendar

Jenny Bova, friend and fellow member of Textile Design Lab. Her generosity and care in what she does comes through in her gorgeously soothing designs. Harmony describes it best. I own the 2020 desk calendar and I looked forward to each month’s art – each is a keeper. Check out the best seller 2021 desk calendar and all the rest of Jenny’s shop.

Home Decor

Jessica Molnar, friend and assistant who really made so much of what you see here possible when I injured my shoulder by helping me fulfill my goals being a working artist. Her art and surface designs make me feel both uplifted and calm AND I love the surprise of the unexpected in it – serendipity. I am personally eyeing the throw pillows. Check out her home décor, holiday and arts prints.

Tea Towels

Joann Condino is an artist and textile designer who helped me get started with block printing (loooong time dream of mine!) in technique and collecting antique wood blocks from India. She creates beautifully handmade linen tea towels and other tabletop items from woodblocks she designs and are carved in Italy. You can watch her process and learn a little about tea towel history (I had no idea to keep bread fresh all you need is linen tea towel!) and check out the tea towels shop. (bonus: you get a subscription to the tea towels)

Updated: Nov 15


Color, coloring and my growing set of art supplies are bringing me great joy and breathes life into my days. And light is on this Diwali (#festivaloflights) when we cannot celebrate as we would like, I thought to make coloring pages where we can all bring light (color) into our lives - making our time, spaces and places brighter.

One of the things I love about this is how each one of us will take the same coloring page and add our unique fingerprint - from something seemingly simple and perhaps plain we all get to be and show ourselves. The happy surprise of diversity in how we all create is the best gift so grab your free pages here and share your individual creations with all of us in celebration of the joy of goodness, light, and justice #coloringindiwali. #happydiwali

**favorite art supply highlight** One of my favorite art supplies are the Crayola Ultra Clean Washable Broad Line Markers. They come in so many colors (40!!) and are inexpensive. I found that they are perfect for making beautiful overlapping stripes and smudging for a watercolor effect. But, when they start drying out the textures they make on paper are even more interesting making them a go to for my surface pattern design. Kind of a "good to last drop" and full of surprises from the humble kids art supply. nostalgia + creativity :)

Some links used within this post are affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a small commission if a purchase is made on their site.

When I was a toddler I drew all over the length of our wall in our railroad apartment. I recall I was illustrating some sort of story to my younger sister. It is a vivid memory, and one brings me great joy - especially knowing I felt so free in that large canvas.

I still dream about drawing and painting on walls and it is why I do murals and... now wallpaper. And you can join me in coloring on the walls – in a nondestructive way. Since off label use is my middle name, I am using my swatch here as a temporary cover to color on my drafting table. As a way to celebrate #Diwali this year (November 14th) and find some peace through coloring (what’s Diwali without color?), I have drawn this pattern for you to fill in (I found ball point pen, colored pencils worked best with some light watercolor and acrylic paint). Think of it as a modern day #rangoli design your own home decor #coloringindiwali.

The images above show a 2' x 1' **prepasted smooth removable wallpaper swatch** that I designed that you can get from my Spoonflower shop.

>>>Share what you create #coloringindiwali<<<

OR if coloring is not your thing but you love the print - you can add some beauty to your home with my latest design as fabric, throw blanket, face mask, bedding, curtain, tablecloth, napkins, tea towel, placemats, and more in my Spoonflower shop.


Diwali is celebrated by over a billion people. The specifics vary and are distinctive, but all the models embody liberation, justice and the triumph of light over darkness.


about the motifs used:

flowers = beauty

diya (lighted lamp) = keeps darkness at bay and lights the way

paisley = life and eternity

#coloringindiwali #happydiwali #pandemicdiwali #diwalirangoli #homedecor #drawingonwalls #surfacepatterndesign #diwalidecor


©2020 Rita Patel