Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

It has been quite a while since I have written a blog. I think my last one was around Halloween time in 2015. I got really busy making Christmas presents, then birthday presents, and things got a little crazy for a while. I have barely been on the computer in the past couple of months, just long enough to clean out my email. I have been using my Kindle Fire more often, because it is so portable.

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I thought I would share with you one of the birthday projects that I made for a friend. This is a very small scale version of a quilt pattern designed and made by Patti Carey, called Misty Pines. It was published in the January/February 2013 issue of McCall’s Quilting, and you can see many images of quilts that have been made from this pattern. Because of copyright issues, I’m not sure that I can copy an image from the magazine, so I have listed the link here:  http://www.mccallsquilting.com/mccallsquilting/articles/Misty_Pines_Dramatic_Trees_and_Mountains_Lap_Quilt_Pattern. You can also find images of this quilt on Pinterest and a few other places on the web.  Just search Misty Pines.

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Basically I just put together blocks from various parts of the pattern to come up with what I named “Can’t See the Forest for the Trees.” The original quilt uses fabrics from Northcott’s Stonehenge line, which are shades of gray. I used gray, green and black batiks for my quilt. My friend loves this quilt; it hangs on her bedroom door. I would not call myself the best quilter in the world, but friends and family like the things that I have made.

Most of the projects that I make are cards, so this is a nice change of pace.  Right now I am busy making a bunch of birthday and Christmas presents, so I’m not sure when I will be writing another post.

Have a wonderful spring day!

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I’ve been playing Sims Freeplay lately

6 inch Fire HD with caseI haven’t been posting on my blog lately because my knee has been giving me problems. I discovered Sims Freeplay for my Kindle. I can play this while keeping my leg elevated. If you like playing the Sims, this is a really fun game, time consuming, and totally free! You don’t have to pay money to play unless you really want to. Patience helps out.

There’s a really great blog that helps out with the game: https://thegirlwhogames.wordpress.com/.

I want my knee to get better, I miss my crafting!!!

It’s not okay to copy

teapots_copyrightIn the past couple of months I have written blogs regarding Angel Policies and copyright issues. Angel Policies are permission to use products in your crafts that you make and sell.  I have questioned some of the policies because these are products that are produced in large quantities that are sold in stores, brick-and-mortar and online. The intent behind these products is for the consumer to buy and use. I’m not quite sure that the use of these items falls into the “fair use” copyright category for all crafters, but you are actually buying a product, not a license.  When you buy an individual item you can do whatever you want with it except make a copy and distribute it. However, you have to respect the rights of the artist, and always give credit.

In researching copyright law, I have come across a few message boards and blogs from artists who are concerned about individuals copying their work. Don’t copy, it is against the law. You can use photos for inspiration, but your work cannot look like the photo. I saw one instance where an artist was sued because he had created a ceramic piece that was an identical copy of a photo. The artist did not have the rights to the photo and lost his case because he “made a copy.” I have also seen some examples where individual jewelry makers have seen some of their work reproduced, sometimes in large quantities, without their permission. In fact, there is a lawsuit in progress regarding an artist who lost a large commission because somebody had used an image of one his paintings and used it on merchandise sold online. The commission was lost because the image was no longer considered unique.

What really concerns me is that I have seen more than one comment on a message board stating that the individual “never buys anything on Etsy” they just “figure out how to do it and make it.” Again, this is against the law because not only is the item made copyrighted, but the photos are as well. Also, it is not fair to the artist who has spent a lot of time, effort and materials to create the item that you “copy.”

I purchase fabric and have several subscriptions to quilting magazines that I use in making my quilts. Most of these are given to friends and family. I do, however, create my own designs, since most patterns are geometric and easy to create. A lot of quilt designs are based on blocks that are in the public domain. And I don’t buy “licensed” fabric, so I am not restricted on how I can use the fabric.

Things are not so simple in my cardmaking. I like quality paper. Home printers cannot print with the paper, inks and finishes that commercial printing provides. I don’t have the money to be able to have my own designs produced in large quantities. You won’t see me use a crafting design CD in my work because of copyright and quality issues. I don’t have the artistic skills to create the beautiful designs on the paper and stamps, so I purchase items that have the design and quality that I prefer. I always give credit to the company or designer, and I always abide by the Angel Policy. And I never make copies, I hand stamp individual pieces of art.

Respect the artist, and if you can afford it, buy the item. The phrase “starving artist” is not just a saying.

The teapot design at the top of my blog was inspired by an image of a teapot, but it was entirely created in Adobe Illustrator by figuring out the geometric shapes and combining them into a teapot shape. There was no tracing involved in this artwork.

You Really Need A Thumb

I have been down for the past couple of months with an injured right thumb. You really pay attention to how many things you use your thumb when it is not working correctly. Simple things like folding laundry become painful. I am a crafter. I make things with paper and fabric. I had to slow down on my craft making. I did discover that using my rotary cutter was not painful, so I managed to do a lot of cutting of paper and fabric with my rotary cutter. (Don’t worry, I have separate rotary cutters for paper and fabric.)  Typing has also been a problem, which is why I have not written a blog for awhile.

My thumb is a bit better, I now can type and use scissors most of the time. But there are still bad days.

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I’m all about color

This is my introductory blog.  I recently went back to school and have just obtained a digital design diploma. Many years ago I received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, and promptly got a job as a secretary. Not much of a fit is it? Well, the job was in support of my real passion, theatre. I spent quite a few years working with my local community theatre groups, both onstage and backstage.

Like many people, my interests changed as I got older, I am now an avid quilter and card maker. I went back to school basically to learn how to design my own fabric and paper. The digital design program is what I would call “graphic design lite.” The focus is more on software, but you do get a solid background on design. I was never much of a drawer, but with my new friend Illustrator, I can draw and design with the use of software. And I am pretty good with Photoshop and InDesign.

This brings me to my blog about quilting and card making. I am embarking on a new craft career selling my quilt and card designs. You can see some of the items I have for sale at www.etsy.com  my store is prettycolorful. You will be able to follow along with me on my new creative journey.

This leads me to my first topic: Color I love color. When people ask me what my favorite color is, I tell them “the rainbow.” One of the most amazing things about being a human being is that we can see a wide range of color. Color can be our personal statement, color sets the mood, and color can be used to express emotion. Color can also mean different things in different cultures. Red can represent power or it can represent good fortune. White can represent purity or mourning. Since I am an American, my focus on color is going to be from the Western frame of reference.

One useful site that explains the basics of color is Color Matters. This is a great website to visit if you want to explore more information about color.

http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory 

Many designers will tell you that their designs start with an inspirational object. The first thing that I use when I design a card or a quilt is a piece of paper or fabric. I then coordinate with additional fabrics, papers or embellishments. My method is just to arrange the colors and objects to see what works for me.  Simple black and white designs can also be very striking. You can also add a pop of color to black and white designs to give them an extra “pop.’ If you are not comfortable with this method, you can always use a color wheel. For anyone not familiar with using a color wheel, the following link to ehow.com shows how to use the color wheel. 

http://www.ehow.com/how_5101578_use-color-wheel.html