ColorPlay Ferry Building

ColorPlay March - original
ColorPlay March – original

For a number of years (3-4), I took a picture of the Ferry Building in SF every day as I went to work. I had read an article about a guy who took a photograph of the same NY shop every day around the same time. Somewhere in the article the author (or, perhaps, the photographer) commented on the subtle differences that can me seen in such a project.

This sort of subtle project appealed to me. While I took photos from different angles, there are still differences. Periodically, when I am downtown near the Ferry Building, I will take a new photo for old times sake. Photos to use for my ColoPlay posts are getting thin so it seemed like a good time to dig out a Ferry Building photo.

ColorPlay March n.2
ColorPlay March n.2

The default effort actually turned out quite nicely. No nasty or ugly neutrals. I got a palette that would look great for a boy. I like the addition of Kona Blue Jay. Not because of the same, but because I think it reflects the color of the sky almost perfectly.

ColorPlay March n.3
ColorPlay March n.3

I do like the lighter blues shown in the example above.

ColorPlay March n.4
ColorPlay March n.4

The above palette tends more towards the greys and is very San Francisco-like. The Kona Shadow is particularly good for representing fog.

The photo really doesn’t have enough color data points to get very many palettes. All of them seem to have a variation on the same group of hues.

Try out the Palette Builder by Play-Crafts to make your own palettes.

ColorPlay Workroom

Some things take time. I know that in our house, if something comes in it is difficult to dislodge it. This has a number of effects. Nothing temporary may come in. Temporary has no meaning in our house, so only things that we want to keep forever may come in.

As I work towards my ideal workroom, I have to work with this stricture. Thus when I walked by a new shop downtown and saw the sweets shop with the look and feel I wanted, I had to take a photo. Knowing the look and feel I want helps to weed out anything that doesn’t fit.

 

ColorPlay: Dream Workroom original
ColorPlay: Dream Workroom original

I decided to use this photo as our ColorPlay this week. What is the dominant color you see? And the secondary?

For me, I see a white domination with a turquoise, or, perhaps pink (salmon) secondary color.

ColorPlay: Dream Workroom default
ColorPlay: Dream Workroom default

I do NOT see a preponderance of neutrals! The above is the default palette. Are you kidding me? No white. No turquoise. This is a big failure to me. If we were matching up palettes with original pictures, nobody would pick this palette to go with my picture. Can you tell I am miffed?

ColorPlay March 17 first attempt
ColorPlay March 17 first attempt

My first attempt to stack the deck is not much better. The colors are slightly nicer, but still no white, pink or turquoise. I know this is because of the shadows, but I am still annoyed.

ColorPlay March 17, 2d attempt
ColorPlay March 17, 2d attempt

My second attempt is, at least, slightly more palatable (HA!). The colors are a bit lighter and a bit fresher. Still no white or turquoise.

ColorPlay March 17 n.5
ColorPlay March 17 n.5

Despite the fact that the Kona Emerald doesn’t look anything like any emeralds I have seen, this palette is slightly better. At least there is a pinky-red included.

 

I absolutely will not use any of these palettes for my workroom. If you haven’t tried the Palette Builder by Play-Crafts, go and try it — after you leave a comment ;-).

Creative Spark #10: Break Your Own Rules

The title should make a post unnecessary, but I am going to write anyway.

“You must disrupt your normal patterns so you can see the world with new eyes” (pg.45)

I don’t know about you, but I have a routine. Several, actually. I have a routine to get my day started, though it varies depending on the day. I have an evening routine and a work routine. If someone were to look at the week overall, they would see a larger routine overlaid on top of these other, daily, routines.

I am not sure about disrupting these patterns right at the moment, but my patterns for working on my quilts can, and, according to Bloomston, should be disrupted. One of the things Bloomston learned in her Drawing 101 class was to “seek surprises” (pg.45). I took down my design wall in order to sell it. The sale didn’t go through and I haven’t put it back up yet. It is a hindrance, but the surprising thing is that I am finding I work on more projects simultaneously than I did with the design wall up.

Huh.

Don’t get me wrong, I need my design wall. It is a vital tool, but at the stage I am in with my various projects, I can do without it.

Seeking surprises could mean using different fabrics. My SIL did this recently. She made a GREAT quilt, which is totally not in her colors.

There is a section in the chapter where Bloomston relates her experience learning to see art or a piece of art on which she was working ina  different way. “We dove beneath expectation, convention, intention, and ego. We spoke about art as liberation from conscious thought. We discussed abstraction and pure form-pure mark making” (pg.46). I get a new view when I hear people talk about their perceptions of art.

“…seek the unexpected” (pg.46). This is the best advice.

There is another worksheet that is all about doing the unexpected. Do the unexpected. What does that mean for you?

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. There is a lot more to each spark than what I am writing and the original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of the fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

You can find the last spark on the blog about a month ago.

ColorPlay Hawaii

Available photos to use for the ColorPlay are feeling thin on the ground. I dug deep and chose a photo from our trip to Hawaii a few years ago and took it to the Palette Builder for some play. I can certainly get my blue fix from Hawaii, right?

ColorPlay March 3
ColorPlay March 3

The original photo is quite simple. I would guess not that interesting.

ColorPlay March 3 n.1
ColorPlay March 3 n.1

However, I found I was wrong. Even the default palette is interesting. It is a nice array of blues and even the grey of the lava fits right in.

ColorPlay March n.2
ColorPlay March n.2

There is not a lot to do with a simple photo primarily in monochromatic colors. Still, I made an effort and came up with a different palette that is similar, but a little different.

ColorPlay March 3 n.3
ColorPlay March 3 n.3

The third palette is only a slight variation. Some of the choices repeat, but the overall look is different than the other two.

I am only doing three today, because of the simplicity of the photo. All three give an excellent overview of the Kona blue variations available. As usual, let me know if you make anything from one of these palettes.

 

ColorPlay: Tulips

ColorPlay: Tulips original
ColorPlay: Tulips original

Tulips are, possibly, my favorite flower. I am pretty partial to spring flowers, such as daffodils, hyacinth and narcissus, so it is hard to say. One reason I like them is that florists don’t tend to pair tulips with baby’s breath. I sincerely dislike baby’s breath. I had white tulips for my wedding bouquet and DH often gives me white tulips when he wants to give me flowers. They are also delicate and simple.

Above is the original image I uploaded to the Playcrafts Palette Builder tool. I can’t remember where I took it.

The first palette is appealing. I like the Coral and Black combination with the other neutrals included.

ColorPlay Feb 24 n.3
ColorPlay Feb 24 n.3

Since I have to mess around with the palettes, I moved the little circles and came up with a slightly brighter palette. I love the addition of Kona Red and the Kona Snow to this option.

ColorPlay Feb 24 n.4
ColorPlay Feb 24 n.4

Fiddling further allowed me to add another warm hue, Kona Tangerine to the mix. This grouping is getting quite warm.

ColorPlay Feb 24 n.5
ColorPlay Feb 24 n.5

The Kona Snow and the Kona Coal seemed to want to stick to the palette. This palette has no more greens, but includes an icy blue called Frappe.

ColorPlay Feb 24 n.6
ColorPlay Feb 24 n.6

This final palette is probably my favorite. I was excited to be able to move the circles in such a way as to add Kona Carnation. I have been using Aurifil 2479, a lovely carnation-like pink for another project, and loving it. It was so nice to see a similar hue show up in this palette.

Let me know if you make anything with these palettes. Thanks to Anne over at Play-crafts for her tool.

ColorPlay Travel

View towards Fortuna
View towards Fortuna

Last weekend we went on another #politicalwifery trip for the Native Sons. We headed up to the North Coast. After, what seemed like, days of pouring rain, Saturday dawned beautifully clear. DH pointed out a gorgeous view so I am using that view, on our way back from Stitch in Ferndale as today’s ColorPlay.

You can see why I picked this. Last time I was trying to get a nice blue palette. Today, I’ll be hard pressed NOT to get a nice blue palette.

ColorPlay Feb 17 n.1
ColorPlay Feb 17 n.1

Today I remembered to save the ‘auto color’ image. The tool seems to cluster the images into the dark. It is interesting. This isn’t the perfect palette, but I do like the Kona Regatta and the Dresden Blue (top two).

ColorPlay Feb 17 n.2
ColorPlay Feb 17 n.2

This might be my favorite. I am not 100% sure, but it has Kona Niagra, which is close to Kona Jamaica, a sure favorite. There are also a sufficient balance between light and dark.

ColorPlay Feb 17 n.3
ColorPlay Feb 17 n.3

N.2 was my favorite until I saw n.3. Still no Jamaica, but the Lapis with the Niagra work really well together. The medium blues really make this subtle.

ColorPlay Feb 17 n.4
ColorPlay Feb 17 n.4

I added in the greens to see what would happen. they are more mossy than I like, but the balance works. I think n.4 is probably the most successful palette.

Try the Palette Builder out yourself and show me what make.

 

 

Creative Spark #9: Grace

Grace is something that I skitter around when I come across it. Grace is, of course, a name – a name used often in our family, by the way, though not in my branch – but I am talking about the personality trait. It is also a trait, or, perhaps, a series of traits that seems old fashioned in our fast-paced, car driving, mobile phone wielding, kid juggling life.

The definition of grace from Merriam Webster online is 1a :  unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification; b :  a virtue coming from God; c :  a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance.

I prefer the American Heritage definition. It is more what was on my mind. It came up when I performed a search for ‘grace definition’:  “n. Seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion. n. A characteristic or quality pleasing for its charm or refinement. n. A sense of fitness or propriety.” This is more of what I was thinking. I think of well bred English ladies from the Edwardian and, possibly, the Victorian era who were strong, but had pleasing manners, welcomed visitors warmly, etc. I don’t mean this in a judgmental way.

I also think that thinking about grace and striving towards it as individuals is important -right now more than ever. Bloomston writes “we are programmed to think that work has to be hard to be valuable – that we are supposed to struggle in order to yield the most prized outcome….Creativity is a flowing thing. You can’t white-knuckle it into existence. Loosen your grip and give some space to flow” (pg. 41). I find a physical manifestation of this when I am doing balancing exercises in Pilates. If I am standing on one foot and completely tense, I tend to teeter and am more likely to fall. If I concentrate on loosening my muscles one a at a time, not only does the time of the drill melt away, but I am more stable.

I have felt tense and uptight as I worked through The Peacock. Mostly, I wanted the piece done and off the design wall so I could move on to something else. I was having a hard time giving myself over to the process. I talked a little about working on too many projects at once, trying to make sense of it. Stopping that, and finishing a couple of tops by a self imposed deadline helped a lot. Feeling tense and uptight does not make for good work. After The Morass, I tried to focus on the piece. First, I thought about what I was trying to achieve. Second, I thought about whether I wanted to finish it; whether it was worthwhile. Third, I recommitted to the piece and the process. For me, this was a glimmer of grace.

Bloomston writes “grace comes from not only being filled with purposefulness and spirit as we work, but also enjoying the moment and being present with the process” (pg.42). Of all she says in this spark, this hit me the hardest and has a lot of meaning for me. I often think about what is next, leaving the moment for the future. This makes moments go by unnoticed, which is sad. My interim talk with myself (above) for the Peacock helped me to find the purpose in the piece and be in moment as I worked on it.

I am still trying to get a firm image of grace in my mind. Bloomston provides several metaphors which inch me closer. “Grace is the hinge between effort and effortless. There is a moment in our creative flow in which we are utterly absorbed, content, focused, and present with the moment and everything in it” (pg.42). This is the place I strive for. I do think, however, that we can get snatches of it within each project when the stars align, but that actions we take outside of each project, though including each project help make those moments more and more frequent. For example, how we tidy up, where we find that one scrap we need, etc.

There is also an element of coats in this spark. “I told her that I was afraid to design my first line of fabric (and write my first book) because everyone I spoke to said it was hard when they did it. She looked at me, with her water-clear blue eyes, and said, ‘That’s their story-their experience: Each time someone tells you her story, you put it on and wear it like a coat. Many of those coast don’t fit you and yet you are wearing them. Why are you wearing everyone else’s coat?” (pg.42). This is amazing! How much do we not do because someone else had trouble with it? This reminds me of some of the technique tutorials I have in my quilt sampler class. I worked hard to show how to do Y seams, how to do machine applique’, how to put hexagons together and many other techniques. *I* feel these are valuable and can help when one wants to make a vision into a quilt. So often I hear that they are too hard so the quiltmaker won’t try. I suspect she has heard from her friend, who heard from another friend that Y seams are too difficult. Wear your own coat. Figure out your own story.

Like others, this spark has some worksheets.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. There is a lot more to each spark than what I am writing and the original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of the fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy. Also, take a look at Carrie’s website.

You can find the last spark on the blog about a month ago.

ColorPlay – February 3

ColorPlay Feb 3- original
ColorPlay Feb 3- original

I have been thinking about my trip a lot lately, so I am back to one of my Austria photos. I wanted an image that was bright and cheerful. This is my friend’s bath. I have to say that one of the things I looked forward to on my trip was a deep soak in that tub. It is is easily 3 feet deep and after a 5 year California drought, a long soak in a tub filled to the brim with water seemed like a fantasy.

When the YM was about 4 we visited and I kept a strict eye on him in that tub in case of drowning. He was a good swimmer, but that tub holds a lot of water.

ColorPlay Feb 3- n.1
ColorPlay Feb 3- n.1

While I wouldn’t say that the yellow in the photo is neon, I would say that it is bright and dominates the room, thus you can imagine my shock when I saw the first iteration of the color palette for this post.

Talk about neutral!?!? This palette has no color! I can’t even think about whether this neutral palette is interesting or not. It needs pink and yellow.

ColorPlay Feb 3- n.2
ColorPlay Feb 3- n.2

My second attempt was marginally better. Kona Banana was the closest I could get to the yellow, which is decidedly not the color of a banana. The choice isn’t terrible and it is better than the Kona Caramel in my first attempt. I was pleased that the turquoise showed up as Kona Jamaica. The towel is no better than Kona Spice, which is not pink and I could get a nice white (chair and radiator) to save my life.

ColorPlay Feb 3- n.3
ColorPlay Feb 3- n.3

I made one more attempt. I made sure to keep the Kona Jamaica, but tried for a better yellow. Banana is probably the best as the only actual yellow alternative I could come up with was Kona Butterscotch, which is only marginally yellow in my mind. The Grass Green is a good addition.

I think, in general, the shadows in this photo obscure the true colors.

Let me know about your efforts as creating a palette.

 

ColorPlay Peacock

The Peacock - Jan 2017
The Peacock – Jan 2017

Since we have been obsessing over the Peacock, I decided to use the Peacock piece, as is, for ColorPlay this week. Ok, I have been obsessing

I would have cropped out more of my design wall, but decided just to leave it in and see what happened.

Since the colors are all cool colors, I thought I might finally develop the calm palette I have been seeking.

ColorPlay Jan 20 n.1
ColorPlay Jan 20 n.1

Using the Palette builder tool is always interesting. I am fascinated by the tool’s initial selections of locations on the photo. There are always circles on the edge. The choices the tool made tends towards darks and neutrals, in my opinion. If I were given the palette and then shown this quilt and asked if it was the palette for the  quilt I am not sure I would say yes. There are only 1 each of green and blue.

ColorPlay Jan 20 n.2
ColorPlay Jan 20 n.2

Fortunately, we can move the circles around. This palette is almost the perfect palette. It might actually be the perfect palette. While not complete, I do think it reflects the colors of the piece. I particularly like the addition of the green – Kona Blue Grass on the bottom of the list. The fabric I used was not that manufacturer, but it is a good match. I might need to use Kona Blue Grass if I run out of the solid that I have been using.

ColorPlay Jan 20 n.3
ColorPlay Jan 20 n.3

Of course, it is impossible for me to leave well enough alone. I moved the circles around again.

This is similar to the number 2 above, but tending more to the neutrals again. I wanted to get the lavender in the palette to see what that would add. Despite the Kona Blue Grass, I don’t like this palette as much.

ColorPlay Jan 20 n.4
ColorPlay Jan 20 n.4

I had to fix it, try to make it less depressing, so I tried again. The palette is still somewhat tending towards neutrals, but the Lapis, Holly and Stratosphere balance out the Kona Coal and Graphite.

It isn’t the perfect palette, but I am rather partial to Stratosphere and Lapis. They make great additions to almost any palette.

ColorPlay Jan 20 n.5
ColorPlay Jan 20 n.5

There is a gold color in some parts of the fabric and I wanted to try and get that into the palette and see what it did sitting alongside the other colors. I worked on trying to get it from the area with the greens. It shows up there in the original panel. The closest I could get with that strategy was Kona Peridot (second from the right on the bottom). Between the Peridot and Coal, the palette is starting to look depressing again.

ColorPlay Jan 20 n.6
ColorPlay Jan 20 n.6

Distracted from the gold for a minute, I moved more circles to try and get back to the first palette.

The palette I came up with is different than the first palette, but still quite pleasing. The addition of Kona Leaf (second from the right bottom) and Candy Blue (far left bottom) are wonderful. This looks like a very restful palette.

ColorPlay Jan 20 n.7
ColorPlay Jan 20 n.7

I got back to trying to capture that gold. It was a lot easier when I realized there was a gold center in one of the hexies towards the bottom. The fabric chosen by the tool is Kona Gold. It is fairly brown and I am not sure I like it.

It occurred to me, as I assessed these different palettes that each palette is very limited. I always use many more fabrics when making a quilt. The Peacock is actually one of the most limited in terms of fabrics, but I still have 7-10 different fabrics. It looks like more because of the way I cut up the Peacock panels. Combining all the different colors from the various palettes might be the way to go in making a quilt.

Let me know what you do with the Palette Builder.

Creative Spark #8: Process

Bloomston's The Little Spark
Bloomston’s The Little Spark

“Each moment you spend tending to the Spark, the more your life will go in that direction” (pg.37). I like this line because it is all about process without saying ‘process.’ The whole first part of the chapter is about telling the reader that how we live our lives or spend our days has a direct impact on how our lives turn out. “…if you are frustrated and rushing to the next part of your day, then you are creating a life of hurry and frustration” (pg.37).

When I read that I saw myself in my old job straining to the weekend to get away from the unhappy and sour people around me. It was an eye opener! How could that image be so fresh in my mind after two years? I don’t want to be frustrated and rushing around. I want to be pinning a Peaky to a Spike while I talk with tech clients about why they can’t find their content. I want my life to be infused with creativity whether it has to do with Peaky and Spike or whether I am puzzling out a creative solution to a search algorithm.

I can’t infuse my worklife with creativity if I don’t have work. I have to remember that “…what feels productive doesn’t necessarily move me towards my goal” (pg.38). Part of the process is figuring out what your process is. Filling time to passing time isn’t necessarily productive in a money making sort of way. Filling time is filling time and you should recognize that. Recognize is for what it is and where it fits into part of your process.

My process is well described by Bloomston when she says “work as much as you can. Period. Be as mindful as you can about your process” (pg.39). My process is to have the next step in my ind and some pieces ready to sew. I don’t like wasting time figuring out what to do next if I have 10 minutes. When I have been sewing for a few hours I know what the next step is and can prepare it. Once it is prepared, the sewing is the easy part.

“…Enjoy the process free from choosing expectations. Be gentle as you find your voice and your wings” (pg. 39).

Bloomston has another worksheet in this chapter, which will help you define your process. Your process is YOURS. It is not better or worse than anyone else’s process. Know it. Document it. Honor it.

Nota bene: we are still working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. There is a lot more to it than what I am writing and it will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of the fabulousness!

 

ColorPlay New Year 2017

ColorPlay Jan 7 2017
ColorPlay Jan 7 2017

I took this photo on one of my walks. It was late in the afternoon so the sun was going down. One of the beautiful things about this time of year is the way the sun tinges the clouds with pink at about 4:45 or 5pm. I love it. Of course, the clouds help and they have been dumping rain on us. We don’t complain about the rain, but I will complain about the cold. It has been bitter for a place that doesn’t get snow regularly. I have been wearing so many layers!

ColorPlay Jan 7-n.1
ColorPlay Jan 7-n.1

My first iteration of a color palette has all of the circles clustered around the upper left hand corner. I am not sure why. However, this is almost a monochromatic palette with a serious number of blues. I see more colors, including a tinge of yellow in this picture, but I do think that the tool has got it mostly right.

ColorPlay Jan 7 n.2
ColorPlay Jan 7 n.2

For the second palette, I wanted to try and keep the monochromatic look, but add some contrast. I wanted the contrast to be light so I tried to find areas that might be in the white-cream-light grey realm. The Kona cream and ivory chosen by the tool both have a tinge of pink, which I think is a good choice.

ColorPlay Jan7 n.3
ColorPlay Jan7 n.3

I moved the circles around a little again for the third palette. I wanted to try and capture the yellow. I wasn’t really able to find that yellow in the photograph. I guess that is one reason we should take care of our eyes: they can see things our camera can’t. Still, the palette is pleasing and would make a very calming quilt.

 

Have you tried the Palette Builder? What have you made?

Creative Spark 7: Permission

Kind of ironic, huh, after yesterday’s posts?

Permission is an odd thing. Sometimes you need it to move forward. My husband has only once complained about the quilts we have at home. He helps me with quilt math and did all the figuring for the Triangle Technique chart. In these way he has given me permission to create.

He wasn’t, however, the first. We did a lot of creative things at home when I was a kid. My dad tied fly fishing flies and had us work along with him. My mom sewed and painted those plaster decorative pieces with us. My grandmothers all cooked and did needlework. We often received kits to make things as gifts. It was normal to be making at our houses.

I also remember various teachers who encouraged creativity and making. Mrs. Cole and Mrs. Kay created a entire play based on Fiddler on the Roof called Piddler on the Loose that included costumes, music and a completely rewritten script. There was also an art aspect to our learning in Mrs. Gellman’s class: kites when we studied Japan, a mission built by the entire class when we studied California history and something to color or glue in general.

Bloomston talks about her various teachers and how they inspired her. About one she writes “she gave her students nothing but space, time, materials and permission. She offered an open door to her wild studio filled with crazy, sophisticated materials and tools” (pg.33).

I don’t think we need “assignments, lectures or instructions” (pg.33). I think we need a sense of possibility and permission. Permission can be tricky, however. I don’t need someone to say “it is okay for you to go and sew today”. It is more that I need the space to be able to go and sew. My family giving me the mind space to make the decision to sew is a kind of permission.

Part of permission is the mindspace, but Bloomston points out that the “blessings and resources in our lives that allows us freedom – open doors, yesses, possibility” all have a hand in getting us to create. The good thing is that no matter how much money a person has, anyone can take a pen and draw lines on the least expensive piece of paper and make art.

Bloomston says “Seek out people who say yes. Seek out people who give you permission, whether teachers or friends” (pg.34).  One of the most important things that helps me to create are the people in my guilds. The fact that they show up and show their work inspires me so much! It makes me want to make that or this other project as well.

Bloomston has some worksheets in this chapter, which will help you focus on the things discussed in this chapter. Take a look at the book.

Nota bene: we are still working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. There is a lot more to it than what I am writing and it will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of the fabulousness!

Late Pre-Christmas ColorPlay

Nobody died, but I did have a slightly stressful week, which you can see on Instagram and Twitter, if you are interested. I post more about my life there. No quilt related emergencies. thus, the late posting of ColorPlay and little other posting this week. I also haven’t sewed much.

ColorPlay Christmas 2016
ColorPlay Christmas 2016

This is an old photo from a prior Thanksgiving dinner, but I thought it would make a nice themed ColorPlay this week.

ColorPlay Christmas n.1
ColorPlay Christmas n.1

The first color palette is the default. It is what the tool gave me out of the gate; I didn’t make any changes. I really like it, mostly because I got two in the red area right off. I also like the neutrals.

ColorPlay Christmas n.2
ColorPlay Christmas n.2

I fooled around with the dots a bit on the second option, keeping the reds, but changing up the neutrals. I also added some additional greens, which, though present in the first palette, were not representative of the theme of the tablecloth.

ColorPlay Christmas n.3
ColorPlay Christmas n.3

Finally, this is my masterpiece. I really like this color palette. I like the various greens – they are brighter – in combination with the two reds and only one neutral and think it would make a great quilt.

ColorPlay December 16

ColorPlay December 16
ColorPlay December 16

More torture for you for the sake of color. This is an example of a standard sundae you can order at almost any Austrian cafe. I indulged several times with different sundaes while I was in Austria. I had this one in Steiermark near GroB St. Florian. I didn’t think much about what I was eating while I was there, though I didn’t stuff myself either.

This one is called Pfirsich Melba, I think, meaning Peach Melba. I’d give a lot for another one in Austria just now.

ColorPlay Dec 16 n.2
ColorPlay Dec 16 n.2

The first one, the standard made by the tool, has a load of neutrals as the others in previous editions had. I kind of like the coffee colors and the combination, but would probably never make a quilt with these colors. I get depressed using dark purple fabric in the winter. No pink; I’d get depressed and never finish it or toss it or give it to the Charity Girls. If I ever go live in Hawaii I’ll think about trying a neutral quilt.

ColorPlay Dec 16 n.1
ColorPlay Dec 16 n.1

I made some changes to the location of the circles to get some color.

I got some red and a kind of gold Kona calls Yarrow. I wanted to keep some of the neutrals to see how it would look.

More color. I needed more color. I didn’t have much with which to work.

ColorPlay Dec 16 n3
ColorPlay Dec 16 n3

The third time I put all the circles on the colored areas. Lots of red, mauve dusty rose, which are really called Cayenne, Sienna and Deep Rose in the Kona world.  Yarrow is back as well.

One thing that this exercise does is it makes me look – really LOOK – at the photos. After trying to get more pink or color, I finally saw the blue towards the base of the dish. The blue looks lighter to me than the Palette Builder determined.

ColorPlay Dec 16 n.5
ColorPlay Dec 16 n.5

Kona Everglade was added to the mix. As usual, the work paid off and this is the best of the lot.

Have you made something with one of the palettes. Let me see it.

Creative Spark 6: Perfectionism & Messes

“Perfectionism is the enemy of the creative act.” pg. 29

The above quote cannot be learned. It has to be infused into your bones. The single thing that prevents it from being infused, possibly forever, is someone (mother, father, grandmother, well meaning person) crying “how did you get so dirty?” These simple, seemingly innocuous words can doom someone to a lifetime of cleanliness and perfectionism. I know this because I have only made some strides into messiness. When I am in the midst of projects, my workroom is terribly messy. The boys are scared to walk across the room lest they step on something important. The YM gives me dirty looks and stern admonishments as he walks through the bathroom he uses.

The strides I have not made are into dyeing and painting. I do both very occasionally, but they are just too messy. My godmother had a lot of good qualities, but encouraging and supporting messiness was not one of them.

However, it is important to encourage creativity and one way is to validate process and exploration. “Life is filled with opportunities and if you are worried about getting dirty or making a mess…then you will be limited in your possibilities” (pg.29).

Life isn’t a show. people are messy. Perfectionism “constricts and confines you” (pg. 29). Your life and work “doesn’t have to be tidy. It doesn’t have to be tidy. It doesn’t have to look perfect. But it does have to be true to you” (pg.30). I have started to get rid of fabric that I bought because people said I needed to add ugly fabric to quilts to make them sing. This is not my authentic style: out they go. I look at fabric in a quilt store in the context of the fabric I have at home not in the context of the quilt store, so I can bring home fabric that works with the fabric I have. Most fabric looks fantastic in a quilt store; not all fabric looks good in my workroom. I want the fabric I buy to be authentic to what I am making, so I can include it in quilts that will end up being my style.

The other thing is that allowing the messy part out allows you to grow as a person. “Allowing the messy part of the self-the unresolved part- to have a voice is a way of healing and a way of understanding yourself and the world” (pg.30). Not all of your work will be perfect. There will be tears and raw edges and corners that don’t match. You won’t ever get to perfect without these things.

In this Spark, I am reminded of the 10,000 hours. Someone said you had to do 10,000 hours worth of work in your chosen field in order to master it. I don’t know if that is true, but if things aren’t going well for me in my work, I think about that and tell myself I have to put in the hours.

I was reminded on Saturday, at the CQFA meeting, how much I enjoy hearing about people’s process and how they got to the piece they are showing. It shows work and a process and trying things out that might have sort of worked or didn’t work. It shows tweaking and thinking.

Anne Lamott wrote (and Bloomston shared) “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of hte people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life…Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend” (pg.31).

Nota bene: we are still working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. There is a lot more to it than what I am writing and it will help you.