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.

North Coast Inspiration pt.2

Misty scenery
Misty scenery

This post will make a lot more sense if you go and read part 1 first. That post has pretty pictures as well.

Down the street from the Humboldt Parlor Hall is the Clark Historical Museum. It is housed in an old Bank of Eureka/Crocker Bank building, which was purchased by Cecile Clark for her collection of items related to the area. The museum is small, but very well done. They had a special exhibit of 1960s fashion when we visited.

The museum also has one of the largest collections of Native American baskets in the US. I thought the designs on some of the baskets shared similarities with quiltmaking.

The museum also had a suite of rooms depicting a Victorian parlor and bedroom. Several vintage sewing machines were displayed along with a couple of quilts – two crazy quilts and a beautiful log cabin. I am concerned about the scrunched up display of the crazy quilts and hope they are replicas.

Eureka is a very nice city and there is a lot to do, wonderful restaurants and many historical sites. It is well worth a trip.

Part 1

Bunny Hop Quilt Shop Review

Stitch Quilt Shop Review

Ocean Waves Quilt Shop Review (previous review, not 2017)

North Coast Inspiration

The trip did not rest on my visits to Stitch and Bunny Hop. Eureka and the surrounding is beautiful. I found it to be especially beautiful on this trip because we have had enough rain to make the hills green and everything seem clean and fresh. Aside from the quilt shops, there is a lot of history and they have done a nice job making the downtown appealing, so it is well worth a visit.

Watercolor Sky
Watercolor Sky

The drive up (about 6 hours) was beautiful after we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge with blue sky and green hills. We were pleased and a bit relieved to see some blue sky after the crazy hard rain we had on Thursday. We stopped in Willits for lunch and then it rained on and off the rest of the way to Fortuna. The rain clouds make for some beautiful sky photos.

I thought the blue of the sky in the first photo (right, above) looked like a particularly good watercolor.

Trees and mist on Hwy 101
Trees and mist on Hwy 101

The area was known for logging at one time. There are tons of Redwoods that have grown back or been preserved. These trees with their mist also made for some nice views as well. As mentioned, the weather was rainy on Thursday at our house and the highway did not escape the pounding. there were a couple of places where we had to detour off the main highway to get around work being done.

On Saturday, DH dedicated Fire Station #6 on J Street. It is now a fire museum and the Friends are working on restoring the building and preserving fire equipment. It was a very nice ceremony, one of the best I have attended. Humboldt Parlor did a great job organizing the event and even had a TV reporter along side newspaper photographers.

Parlor Hall doorknob
Parlor Hall doorknob

After the dedication we were invited for lunch at the Parlor’s hall, which is in downtown Eureka. I always wish DH’s Parlor had a hall, but there are a lot of issues with owning property, not the least of which is buying it.

One of the things I noticed was the artistry of the doorknob plate. This could be a quilt design with a little reworking.

I love this kind of detail and, though I wouldn’t want this exact doorknob assembly, I do think the plate would be fabulous.

Building decoration, Eureka
Building decoration, Eureka

We walked around a little bit on Saturday after the dedication and I saw various details that made my brain spin with ideas. The photo left is an interesting version of a spiral. It is one of  many that decorated one part of the building. It made me think of Friend Julie, as she is my spiral girl.

I am not sure what it is made of, but it looks somewhat soft, in terms of stone being soft.

Check back for part 2 in a few days.

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.

 

Updated Gift Ideas

In 2015, I created a list of gift ideas. As mentioned at that time, I like the idea of giving and making sets of gifts: choosing a fabric and then making a number of items from that fabric. Since then there are lots of new patterns and ideas. I came across a few other items that I thought would make great additions to my list and be useful as well. I decided to update this list and get the ideas out to you again.

The point is not to use the patterns I use, but to make the gifts in whatever pattern YOU like. This is a gift idea.

You might be wondering why I am talking about this in January when you just finished with the holidays. Simply, you will need time to make everything without getting stressed out.

Pincushion – Fig Tree Quilts Petit Gateau pincushion pattern. I like this pattern, because the pattern makes sense, is not difficult and looks like a pincushion. I have made several and they go together very quickly. I use wool roving and some of the Beanie Baby plastic pellets to fill it. I buy both at Beverly’s when they are on sale and keep a supply on hand. The pellets give the pincushion some weight. I don’t use walnut shells, because so many people are allergic to nuts. The only issue I ever have with this pattern is to find an appropriate button to put on top and bottom. Often I make these and don’t think ahead and then find myself wanting to finish, but have no appropriate buttons. Of course, there are plenty of pincushion patterns out there and you should use your favorite.

Needle case – many people don’t do handwork and so this is an inappropriate gift, but it is so cute! Regardless, I find that a bit of hand sewing is needed at various times. I found the pattern in the Spring 2013 issue of Modern Patchwork. It was designed by Rashida Coleman-Hale of IHeartLinen. I wasn’t able to find a pattern for it on her blog or the web. The pattern is in RCH’s book, Zakka Style, according to Frances Newcombe from Belly Buttons Boutique. You may be able to find I copy of that magazine on Etsy or eBay. I am sure there are other needlecase patterns out there.

Tissue case – This isn’t something that I would really use, though that might change. It is a nice stocking stuffer or small hostess gift. I got the idea to make them from Valerie over at Evening in the Garden blog. I made a few, which you can see in December gift posts. I used the YouTube tutorial that Valerie used. I found that these make great boutique or Secret Santa Shop items since they are very quick to make.

Lanyard – these are great for guild meetings, but also for hanging scissor sheaths, keys, pens, etc. Think of a chatelaine’s key ring.

Scissor Sheath – as mentioned above, a scissor sheath can be added to the gift pile and adding a ribbon or fabric hanging loop on it enables the owner to hang it from a lanyard.

Project bag – Jeni Baker Drawstring bag (pattern to purchase). The pattern has multiple sizes. This is good to keep project supplies together. She also has a tutorial for one size – Example

Tote bag – There are lots of different tote bags that I have made. I really like the Jane Market Tote (pattern to purchase). I also like the Eco Market Tote from Favorite things (pattern to purchase). I made a version of that bag with Heart fabric and it is still a great pattern. I have another one in mind. Including a tote bag in your gift selection is a nice way to package all the gifts. Choose any pattern that you like.

One Hour Basket – An alternative to a tote bag, especially for a group of small gifts is the One Hour Basket. This is a free pattern by Hearts and Bees which you can download from Craftsy. She has a new pattern with different sizes as well.

Journal/Sketchbook Cover – you can adjust the pattern to accommodate a number of sizes of journals. This pattern, as you have seen many times on this blog, is for a 6.5in x 8in Miquelrius journal.

Pencil roll – I love the pattern by Pink Chalk, but it is no longer available. If you can find it somewhere, such as Etsy, buy it and keep it safe. It is useful and fun even if you are not pen hog like I am. I have made, perhaps, a dozen of them and I want everyone to love them. I always put a few pens in to give people an idea of how to use them. I reported on one of my pencil roll posts that this project took me about 3 hours to make. (updated 1-26-2017)

An Alternative to the pencil roll is a tool holder. I haven’t actually made one of these yet, but I do like the pattern. I like the idea of having my most used items all in one place and viewable to so I don’t have to dig for them.

You could also add a Sidekick from Jinny Beyer’s store. It is good for handwork and I could have used it on my trip this past weekend. I have the pattern, but haven’t made it yet.

You can also think up themes and find patterns that fit the theme. For example:

  • Kitchen: apron, potholders, kitchen towels, casserole carrier, roll basket
  • Bath: makeup bag (zipper pouch), towels, tissue cover, stiff holder for TP and such

Get sewing!

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!