Creative Spark #16: Have a Secret

Bloomston got an assignment from an art professor to go and make a secret piece. The class was to do it and not tell anyone. They weren’t to turn it in or ever talk about it. Having and keeping the secret was the assignment. Having a secret doesn’t mean going and destroying some public property and then never telling anyone because of the guilt. Guilt is not involved. Having a secret in this context means finding that the “reward is inside us” (pg.70). If you are doing your art to get attention or to post on Facebook, then this spark is for you. Don’t make things because you think they will sell; make things that come from your heart.

I decided at some point that I would create this blog for myself 1) as a chronicle of my quiltmaking work and 2) as tool for practicing my writing. It isn’t a secret since, presumably, you are reading it. While I adore comments and interactions with my readers, if I only wrote the blog for you, I would have stopped a long time ago. I don’t get enough comments to get motivated to keep writing. I do refer back to old posts often enough to make it worth it for me. My blog isn’t a secret, but I have gained the benefit of the secret status because I really do write it for me.

There is something about having a secret project to work on. “Your own creative voice can get a bit clouded by all the other voices you hear from peers and teachers. It can become confusing and difficult to listen to your own voice.” (pg.70). No Instagram comments saying followers “LOVE IT”. Nobody has to get it. Just you.

Journals are often very private. My husband knows I keep one, but he has never read it. He can read them all when I am dead.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. 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 her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

You can find the last spark on the blog a few weeks ago.

ColorPlay: Pressed Glass #4

White & Red Pressed Glass - original
White & Red Pressed Glass – original

I still have some of the pressed glass photos from my trip to Indiana and wanted to try a few more palettes. I thought this color scheme would be an interesting challenge.

ColorPlay July 14-default
ColorPlay July 14-default

The default was, of course, in Jaye-world, not to my tastes. It isn’t horrendous. The Silver and Pewter, as well as the Primrose are all nice. The Cayenne adds some zing.

I did think it was interesting that most of the circles were clustered in the top of the photo. Not all, but most.

It is a little dusty for my tastes – the colors are not clear. It is good that I could try again.

ColorPlay July 14 - n.1
ColorPlay July 14 – n.1

The second palette, the first where I moved the circles, was much more focused on the reds. I intentionally kept the circles to the top row of vessels and tried to get as many reds as possible.

As you can see there is a Peach, Pale Flesh and Spice, which are tones and shades of red, but not strictly red.

There might not be enough contrast in this palette for a quilt where one really wanted to show off the piecing, but for a subtly shaded quilt, it would be great.

ColorPlay July 14 - n.2
ColorPlay July 14 – n.2

In the third palette, my second, I tried to go for bright and cheerful.

Success! The combination seems cheerful to me and all of the colors go together.

This palette also has Peach in it and I noticed that the peach looks very different next to the Butterscotch than it does above next to the Sienna. I have always wanted to play around with putting one color next to a bunch of different ones to see the effect of the different colors on the one. Someday, perhaps.

ColorPlay July 14 - n.3
ColorPlay July 14 – n.3

My third, the fourth total palette, uses the middle of the image. This is a challenge on a couple of levels based on the question “what color is clear?”. Well, our eyes say something different than the Palette Builder tool. The Palette Builder tool has to assign a Kona fabric color. I knew that this palette would be wintery.

It is. The greys and blues are colors I would use for a snowy landscape quilt. Some of the darker greys are a little depressing for me, but I do like the Silver and the Oyster is okay, too.

ColorPlay July 14 - n.4
ColorPlay July 14 – n.4

I wanted to see if I could make a very different palette in the same area of the photo. I ended up moving the circles down to the next row on the photo.

My idea didn’t work very well. The two palettes are very similar with the addition of Bison (hilarious name if you have ever seen a Bison).

Stone shows up, which is repeat, as does Ash, which is not. Ash is another one of the Konas that I really like.

ColorPlay July 14 - n.5
ColorPlay July 14 – n.5

I was running out of photo, but I decided to try with the white and clear pressed glass one more time and see what I could come up with.

Another wintery landscape palette with some more blue tints added. Some of my favorite Konas are included: Ash, Snow and Silver. The Shale was an unexpected addition. I think the Shale gives the whole palette an icy feel.

I think I went in with a different mindset this time and was much more openminded about the palettes. The Palette Builder is a great and fun tool. Try it out! Let me know if you make anything with any of these palettes.




Creative Spark #15: Doubt

Remember the Crazies in Spark #4? I think Doubt is related, but the Crazies prevents us from doing things while Doubt makes **me** think I can’t do something and should just continue on as I am. Doubt prevents me from taking risks. Not knowing the outcome is scary.

Bloomston says we have to trust the process. She says to “befriend your doubt…. Maybe even nicely ask your doubt to leave.” (pg.65). Hhmm. I have never tried this. She says that “When we are trying to get rid of something, we expend a lot of energy and we are unwittingly feeding it.” (pg.65). This is interesting and really makes me stop and think. If I have doubts, are they creating other doubts – inviting their friends to the party?

Bloomston has four ways of removing doubt: Rituals, Music, Affirmations and Talismans. Rituals spoke to me most. We do not “…have enough rituals in our modern culture…” (pg.65). To each his own, but I feel this is true for myself. I have created some quiltmaking rituals:

  • I turn on all of the switches and things in the same order.
  • I check all of my tools: are they in the right place? Are there any issues I need to resolve?
  • then I get started with the step I have set up unless I have been working through a construction problem in my mind and am ready to tackle it.
  • When I finish for the day, I always set up the next step so I can get started right away when I have a moment.

Perhaps I have more rituals, but I will have to think about what they are.

Carrie Bloomston describes a talisman as “…an object believed to contain certain magical properties that may provide good luck or fortune.” (pg.66). I definitely have talismen. I have a little shrine of photos of people closest to me. In that same space I have some objects that I care about: a shell, a smooth glass heart, some rocks with words – courage, peace, healing – carved into them. I also have a rotating ATC and a few other things there as well. There are a few places where I have placed things I care about. I guess these all could be called mini-shrines. I never really thought about it because I have created these instinctively, but these are my talismen.

What are your rituals?

What are your talismen?

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. 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 her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

You can find the last spark on the blog several weeks ago.

ColorPlay: Pressed Glass #3

White & Pink Pressed Glass - original
White & Pink Pressed Glass – original

The latest ColorPlay photo is another of the pressed glass photos from May. I thought it would be fun to play with some pinks and whites to see what I came up with. I really do like the actual items, especially those white cake stands. I might have bought one if I hadn’t been flying home from Indiana, and I had space in my cupboard at home. I also like the variety of items they had. You can see bowls, pitchers, salt & pepper shakers, candy dishes and more in addition to the cake stands.

While manipulating the first one, I realized that my dreams of creamy whites and blush pinks were going to come to nothing with this photo. Again with the preponderance of neutrals. Sigh.

I know. I know. The lens doesn’t see the world as our eyes do. I just have to find a photo that creates beautiful palettes.

ColorPlay: Pressed Glass #3 - default
ColorPlay: Pressed Glass #3 – default

So the default palette was dark. I think the palette would be good for an on-the-market/for sale house interior, but not for a quilt. At least not for one of my quilts.

Cynthia W made a comment on another post about a pop of color, which made me think. While looking at the default photo, I looked for the pop of color. I think, in this case (right, default palette) it is the light blue – Kona Fog. I don’t really consider that a *pop*, but in this context it is.

ColorPlay: Pressed Glass #3 - n.2
ColorPlay: Pressed Glass #3 – n.2

Of course, I tried again. I really tried to get some bright colors in the palette.

I sort of succeeded.

The Primrose and Cinnamon are fairly bright and the Primrose is definitely the *pop* color in this palette with Cinnamon doing some propping up. I have to say that the Moss does nothing for me. I think of the Ash as a background color. I really don’t know what to think about the Cobblestone or Taupe. They are too beige for me and not my colors.

ColorPlay: Pressed Glass #3 - n.3
ColorPlay: Pressed Glass #3 – n.3

Yep. You guessed it. Around a I went again for another try.

This palette is even worse in terms of dead. If I had to pick a *pop* color, I would be hard pressed to do so.

Perhaps the Seafoam? It is such a wimpy color, how can it pop? The Oyster is the background in my mind with the Cobblestone, Stone, Taupe and Sable boring me to death.

ColorPlay: Pressed Glass #3 - n.4
ColorPlay: Pressed Glass #3 – n.4

I decided on one last try.

I didn’t make much of an effort. I was tired of this photo, so I just went for an easy palette.

Funnily enough, this one is much better than any of the others. There are a couple of reddish/pink tones plus the Steel works very well with them. It isn’t great, but I do think that working with the photo made me get to this palette.

The Palette Builder is a great and fun tool. Try it out! Let me know if you make anything with any of these palettes.

Creative Spark #14: Inner Kid Care

This chapter is about finding the original flame of your creativity. So many people I meet see one of my quilts and say something like ‘I could never do that’ or ‘I am not creative like you.’


What I do isn’t that special. I may get special results from my choices, but anyone can sew a straight line. Really. ANYONE. The key in this chapter is to read the text and think about it. Remember ‘images of your creative life as a child.” (pg.61).

I was fortunate that there was always plenty of opportunities at my house to be creative. We painted plaster 3D objects, we made stained glass and painted canvasses. The theme was not perfection but to make stuff and keep trying. the items I make are not always perfect, but I don’t get discouraged; I keep trying.

People I meet or know use negative self talk as the basis of their life, it seems to me. The phrase: ‘I did that terribly, which makes me a bad person’ is one of I heard in various iterations a million times, many times from women friends. It is VERY important to “replace those negative messages with some others. Take each of the negative messages” you thought “and write the opposite.” (pg.63). Then practice positive self-talk. Anytime something negative starts to escape your lips, spit it out (quietly) and say the opposite. It doesn’t make you cool to degrade yourself.

This chapter is all about exercises. If you only buy the book for this, buy and do these exercises.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. 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 her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

You can find the last spark on the blog last week.

Creative Spark #13: Get in Your Body

The first thing I noticed about this chapter was the sidebar on the chapter’s image. It says “Phoenix, Arizona yoga teacher Anton Mackey encourages students to turn off their minds and look within by closing their eyes as they practice their yoga: ‘You don’t need to see the pose, you just need to feel it.’ Trust your body to take you where you need to go.” (pg.56).

What I thought it said was that the teacher could teach students to turn off their mind. I got a much more adamant message from the sidebar than what is actually there. I need someone to tell the way to turn off my mind, because when I am not listening to something (usually an audiobook), my mind is reeling. This chapter’s main message is that “…sometimes you just need to get out of your head.” (pg.57). I do need to get out of my head, but I also find that if I let my head roam free for awhile, it goes crazy at first and then settles down to some interesting and, possibly, enlightening commentary.

Some of this chapter is about moving your body. I don’t want to use the word exercise, which has a billion nasty connotations, but moving my body helps my mind. “Regular exercise increases the number of tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood to the brain and body.”(pg.57). More blood to the brain means more creativity, right?

The whole package, blood, brain and quietening the mind, is about providing “…space between yourself and your thoughts.”… “For creativity, it is important to turn off the incessant chatter of your mind and to bypass the intellect…” (pg.57) I really believe this. I listen to audiobooks when I am sewing, but more and more I am turning off the story to just be with my fabric. Sometimes I get the monkey mind and incessant intercranial chatter. More and more, I get peace. It is practice.

Is it connected that I exercise regularly (and I am not trying to make anyone who doesn’t move as much as I do feel bad-I am not judging!)? “The mind often seeks the comfort of the rational solution, the safety of habits and the status quo. It’s filled with those dudes that limit us: critic, judge, axman of dreams.”(pg.58). These guys are quieter when I exercise. I don’t always push myself, but I do always get my heart rate up and sweat. The more I do those things, the quieter the monkeys tend to be.

“Creativity comes from innocence, openness, curiosity, and playfulness.” (pg.58) and there are other ways to achieve these things than exercise. Exercise, IMO, is kind of a shortcut. “Your rational mind doesn’t always serve you. It can impede your intuition and the strong messages you are receiving. Learn to turn it off so you can get to the business of tending to your soul,” (pg.58) improving your creative self and being creative more frequently and without fear.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. 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 her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

You can find the last spark on the blog a few weeks ago.

ColorPlay: Flowers

ColorPlay May 26, 2017
ColorPlay May 26, 2017

I spent a BBQ in a walled garden last week at Grand Parlor. In addition to the walls keeping the wind out and the cozy nature of the gathering, it was so gorgeous I could have stayed there all day.

There was a whole slew of different flowers. They were all different. I chose this one because of the cropping, to be honest. As I went through the Palette Builder options, I found that this picture came up with a lot of different color options.

ColorPlay May 26 n.1
ColorPlay May 26 n.1

The default again was very neutral with reddish overtones. I am sort of interested in the top color, Kona Cotton Earth. It reminds me more of chocolate than earth.

Again, there are lots of browns and other darks. The Kona Cotton Earth and the Kona Cotton Cobblestone are the two significantly beige-y ones.

Two interesting color options came up while I was playing, neither of them having much to do with purple: dark and light.

I continually find it interesting and entertaining that such differences can be made in the same photograph. To make it even more entertaining, the color palettes above have very little to do with purple, which I see as the dominate color.

ColorPlay May 26 n.2
ColorPlay May 26 n.2

The first palette that I made after the default was more purple, but still reddish and some neutrals.

It is interesting to me how Orchid and Pansy look so similar. Even I can tell they are not exact duplicates, but I like it that Kona feels that two so similar colors are worth making. It warms my heart.

Again, Kona Cotton Cobblestone and Kona Cotton Taupe are more towards the brown and beige tones. I don’t know why they show up so much.

ColorPlay May 26 n.3
ColorPlay May 26 n.3

I tried to get more of the purples in a palette and I pretty much succeeded. Kona Cotton Sienna is the only one that looks out of place in this palette.  If I were using this palette for a quilt, I would remove the Sienna, maybe replace it with something else and maybe not.

The light colors are interesting. On the bottom, the second one looks like a blush pink, but it is actually Orchid.

ColorPlay May 26 n.6
ColorPlay May 26 n.6

I tried again to find a purple palette that excluded that Sienna. I went a little lighter (working my way to the very light one above), but got mostly purple tones.

I thought the Violet and Dahlia were very similar and I like the gradations between those and the Orchid.

I screwed up, though and Oyster is in there twice. Oops. I tried to avoid that .

ColorPlay May 26 n.4
ColorPlay May 26 n.4

I did a green palette as well just to do it. I thought the greens were a nice variety. I don’t know if Kona Ash is a green or not, though it looks green with the other greens.

So, go out and play with the Palette Builder. See if you can make something awesome.


ColorPlay: Pressed Glass #2A

Green & Yellow Pressed Glass
Green & Yellow Pressed Glass

I decided that I would do a few more palettes with the photo from last week. I realized that I wasn’t quite done with it yet.

ColorPlay May 19 n.1
ColorPlay May 19 n.1

We are skipping the default image since it will be the same as last week’s. Go look at it if you want to see how neutral it was.

I wanted, first to explore the lighter section of the bottom shelf and see what light greens Kona came up with. There is an interesting selection. Champagne is included and it looks very green to me in the bottom palette. I think the lighter colors, in general, look like succulent colors.

ColorPlay May 19 n.2
ColorPlay May 19 n.2

I really wanted to combine all the colors and see what I could come up with. I had no plan for selecting sections fairly and equally, so I just lined up the bubbles in a row and came up with a very different palette.

There is a certain look that all the colors have except for the Kona Parsley. This ‘look’ seems to make them go together in kind of a 1970s avocado and gold sort of way. Still there is a warmth about the palette. I wouldn’t make a quilt with it, but I can see it as being a successful palette for someone.

ColorPlay May 19 n.3
ColorPlay May 19 n.3

I was a little more careful with my final selections (yes, I think I might be done with this photo and the palette possibilities) and came up with one last palette.

The palette doesn’t have any real yellows although I did put three circles on the yellow shelves. I wonder if the green is reflecting or somehow influencing how the camera sees the yellow?

If green and yellow were neutrals, I would say this would be another neutral palette. It isn’t neutral as the greens are clearly defined, if still in the succulent area.

Go try the palette builder tool and take a look at Anne’s quilts while you are there.

ColorPlay: Pressed Glass #2

Last week I talked about the pressed glass glassware I saw at Yoder’s. There was a lot of it and I decided to do a series of posts about the different colors.

Green & Yellow Pressed Glass
Green & Yellow Pressed Glass

The green and yellow weren’t my favorite, but I could appreciate the colors. The green also reminded me of my Jadite batter bowl.

The yellow is really interesting. There is a combination of milky and clear that I can see in the photo. (I don’t remember from the store)

The Palette Builder is a great and fun tool. Try it out! Let me know if you make anything with any of these palettes.

ColorPlay May12 - default
ColorPlay May12 – default
ColorPlay May 12 n.2
ColorPlay May 12 n.2

The default palette is predictably neutral based. There is one yellow and I guess Meringue can be either a neutral or not, depending on whether it is next t a neutral or next to a bright. It is kind of shocking how many neutrals can be found in an image where my eye sees mostly green and yellow.

A very smart reader pointed out that the camera has limitations on what it can see. I know that is true, but it still amazes me.

It was interesting do move the dots around for the first time on this image. I always get a little tingle when I do that. All of the circles were towards the top in the default image, so the green was not even touched in the default palette. I kept my range in the yellows and tried to get as many yellows as I could. I will work my way down.

ColorPlay May 12 n.3
ColorPlay May 12 n.3

The third option is a combination of neutrals and greens. It is fine.

I got two marginally different green palettes out of this image. While there are some similarities in the exact shades, which makes sense, there are no duplicates in the palette. This is a good thing about camera images. The camera can pick up the differences in shades and tones found in shadows and in bright light.

ColorPlay May 12 n.6
ColorPlay May 12 n.6

Finally, I wanted to play around the Jadeite looking pieces on the bottom. I was concerned there would be too many lights for Kona, but I don’t know how many lights they have so I decided to see what I got. I was surprised to see the tool register so many darks. I did stay towards the back of the case, I’ll admit that, but still. The pieces seem lighter than the pieces one shelf higher.

I could have gone on and done more palettes, but I had to get on. Enjoy!

ColorPlay: Pressed Glass

I haven’t done any sewing for the past 14 days or so, thus Indiana is being featured again. At Yoder’s they had a section of housewares that had the most interesting stuff: 5 kinds of molds for popsicles, the old versions of Risk, Clue and Sorry as well as bowls, plates, locally made wooden spoons and cutting boards and a zillion other things you didn’t know you needed.

Yoder's Pressed Glass
Yoder’s Pressed Glass

One thing I saw was a whole display of pressed glass serveware. OMG! I never saw such pretty stuff. It wasn’t expensive, but I could have fun with some of the serving pieces. How do you like that square cake plate?

ColorPlay: Pressed Glass-default
ColorPlay: Pressed Glass-default

Will I ever learn? The default palette has nothing to do with what I see in the photo. I always expect so much more.

ColorPlay: Pressed Glass n.2
ColorPlay: Pressed Glass n.2

Of course, I liked my first attempt much better. It isn’t great. I could do without the Kona Taupe, but the Morning Glory is wonderful.

ColorPlay: Pressed Glass n.3
ColorPlay: Pressed Glass n.3

I am not a fan of the Midnight but otherwise the third palette is much better. The Sage and Aqua really add to this palette.

The Palette Builder is a great and fun tool. Try it out! Let me know if you make anything with any of these palettes.

Creative Spark #12: Go Window Shopping

“Retail, in our capitalist society, has cornered the market on creativity in so many ways” (pg.53). I have to say that the opening line makes me happy and sad. Sad, because retail=shopping=spending money, sometimes unnecessarily. Happy, because creative people work in retail who create beautiful environments that are free to peruse. We have to just keep a tight hold on handbags and wallets. The opening line is a double edged sword throughout the discussion of this topic.

ColorPlay: Tableware original
ColorPlay: Tableware original

I always look into windows as I go past, especially in areas where there are small shops rather than chains. Some chains have great displays, but other all look the same.

The photo, left, used in a recent ColorPlay post, is an example of a great display I saw in Graz. In a way, it is an interesting example of repetition with variety. It is a display I enjoy looking at a fantasizing about buying and using at my house.

Additionally, “[t]he creative aspect of consumerism is that we are all curating our own story through the things we buy” (pg.53). While we can all curate our own story, stories from others creep in. Great Grandmother’s sewing cabinet has sentimental value. The antimacassars lovingly tatted by Aunt Margaret take up space in the linen cupboard. If you have someone with whom you have merged your life, their stories take up visual space as well. Also, we, usually, can’t buy everything in a line, so we have to fit in bits and pieces with the story we have already been creating at home. Sometimes, we get something home and it doesn’t fit at all with the story we have previously created. Then we have a choice of changing out everything or adding in an incongruous piece.

I find this to be true with fabrics. I love French General, but the colors don’t fit with my other fabrics. I get some of their dusky rose red home and find it looks dull and unappealing. I think this is why people like to buy lines of fabric. They know everything would go together.

I really like just wandering around a new city, looking in windows, checking out the various streets, photographing facades of buildings new to me.

Regardless, looking is free. Look, take a photo and be inspired by those who get paid to create beautiful environments. Commercial things I like to look at:

  • signs
  • window displays
  • whole display ‘rooms’ of furniture
  • wrapping paper
  • gift bags
  • repetition of items – like jars of candy, rolls of ribbon

I can’t use inspiration of the things around me if I don’t see them. “Being creative means wandering through your life like an openhearted warrior, paying attention to the world around you.” (pg.54).

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. 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 her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

You can find the last spark on the blog a few weeks ago.

ColorPlay: Tableware

ColorPlay: Tableware original
ColorPlay: Tableware original

I am working on the next Creative Spark, but am not quite finished. I thought I would give you a preview with today’s ColorPlay Inspiration photo.

ColorPlay: Tableware default
ColorPlay: Tableware default

Once again the default was a disappointment. More neutrals. This is a colorful photo and all I get are neutrals.

I wonder what the algorithm has against colors? Of course, it could be that the algorithm clusters together towards the top automatically. I noticed that the circles don’t go towards the bottom in the default.

ColorPlay: Tableware 2
ColorPlay: Tableware 2

The second option was much better. Of course, I moved the circles around and picked the colors that I like and moved the circles around and came up with a very nice palette. I want to just stop and rest on my laurels.

Look at those pinks and the turquoise! The Kona Wasabi is an added bonus.

ColorPlay: Tableware 3
ColorPlay: Tableware 3

With the third palette, I tried to get different shades and tones of the same hues as in the second palette. I was moderately successful.

The Sage and Cactus are a good combination, though the Cactus looks a bit yellow in the lower part of the picture. I also like the combination of Deep Rose, shadow and Blush Pink. I like the three of them together.

ColorPlay: Tableware 4
ColorPlay: Tableware 4

I made some minor adjustments to the fourth palette. The colors are a little dustier than I normally like, but I think this might be my favorite palette. the Regatta blue is a very good addition.

It occurs to me that I could make a palette out of many or all of the colors from all of these palettes.

The Palette Builder is a great and fun tool. Try it out! Let me know if you make anything with any of these palettes.

Creative Spark #11: Jar of Markers

The picture on the title page of this chapter speak to me in a way that is hard to explain. The picture is of two full pottery jars, one of felt markers and one of colored pencils. The jars are full and the variety of each says that the person who sits near them has whatever they need to draw or color whatever they want to draw or color. Carrie Bloomston calls them ‘artful bouquets’ (pg.48), which I think is a fitting description.

Bloomston writes “No matter if your creative passion is playing guitar or glassblowing, you need a jar of markets or colored pencils on your dining table (or some other table that you sit at regularly)…..They sit in the center of the dining table where we eat every day, three times a day…., like an artful bouquet of creative possibility.” (pg.49) I adore this idea. I am sad I didn’t think of it when the YM was small. We had pens, felt tip markers, paint and paper galore, but we always had to get it out. There was never a moment of whim that could be fulfilled in an instant. “No matter what your creative fantasy is, you need ready access to writing, doodling, planning, and sketching tools. Creativity can strike at any moment, and you want to be ready for it when it does.” (pg.49)

She goes on to say that creative ideas are ephemeral and flit away as easily as they came. I am sure you have seen shower noteboards, which must mean that that rote activity is what people need to churn out ideas. I am amazed that office blocks don’t have shower cubicles yet. “the jar of pencils is a butterfly net for those fleeting thoughts and ideas. If you can capture them in their pure, raw state, you have the makings of a new idea, a new beginning.” (pg.49)

Carrie tells us that the jar of pens is an emblem, but it is also a reminder…”they “will quietly call to you, gently reminding you to listen to the call of your heart.” (pg.49). She shows reminders in other people’s studios: rolls of fabric, a bowl of embroidery floss.

I find that my cell phone camera is a wonderful tool, not for the pictures that it takes but for the reminder that I can take pictures and, therefore, must look at things I see in my daily travels in order to notice them so I could photograph them. Although Instagram can be a little bit of a competition, it is a tool that can be used to post reminders, if that works for you. Scrolling through the photos always reminds me to go and be creative, if for no other reason than so I can show something.

As with other chapters/sparks, this one has a to do list of things we must do to remind us to be creative.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. 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 her 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 Pitcher

Grass Valley Pitcher
Grass Valley Pitcher

I saw this pitcher at an antique store in Grass Valley. Along with the green glass in the background, I thought it would make an interesting ColorPlay. There still aren’t very many colors, but the greens are varied, which makes them somewhat interesting.

I have no idea what time period this pitcher is from, but I imagine it is the pitcher from a wash basin set. I didn’t see the basin anywhere, but I also didn’t look very hard.

ColorPlay March 31-default
ColorPlay March 31-default

I settled down with the Palette Builder by Play-Crafts and got to work. The first palette, the default, was predictably neutral.

It is a mystery to me how so little of this palette can be green. I know our eyes are much more finely tuned than any kind of technology, but still. It is so strange how these default palettes gravitate towards the neutral.


ColorPlay March 31 n.1
ColorPlay March 31 n.1

I had to try and get some joy with those greens. I was really curious to know what the various greens were in Quiltlandia.

In the second palette, you can see that I moved the circles around to every green I possibly could.

My palette is pretty green and I am pretty happy with the choices. I think the Kona Spruce does a pretty good rendition of the green of the pitcher.

ColorPlay March 31 n.2
ColorPlay March 31 n.2

I decided to be ornery and see what kind of palette I could come up with that had no green. Predictably (or just my luck): neutrals.

This is actually a pretty sophisticated palette. It would make a great palette for a house you wanted to sell. I can see a realtor choosing this palette for a house s/he was about to list. I think the Kona Pearl Pink and the Kona Ivory keep it from being too neutral.

ColorPlay March31 n.3
ColorPlay March31 n.3

That was fun, but I decided to get back to the greens. I wasn’t very successful, because there are only so many spaces in the photo and a limited number of greens. I came up with a slightly – very slightly – different palette from the one above.

There is some overlap in the greens, but they are in different places in the picture. This is about the time I start thinking I am getting towards the end of the exercise.

Next, I decided to try to capture that gold. It was an interesting challenge that resulted in more neutrals.

That Kona Cinnamon is interesting. I am not sure I have seen it before. I couldn’t get a good white, but I was able to tease out Kona Cotton Cream, another nice pinky shade, and Kona Oyster, which tends towards the greys.

I would never make a quilt with these colors, but it is interesting.

ColorPlay March 31 n.5
ColorPlay March 31 n.5

Finally, more neutrals. What else is there to say?

This palette tends towards the grey. I think it also might reflect the truest palette, if comparing the photograph and the palette with a quick look.

Let me know if you make anything with any of these palettes.




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.