New work! Try again :-(

Well, here goes round two. I wrote a nice little post last night, tried to post to TNTN and lost the whole thing!! Grrr!!So, here we go again, girls.

I have started a new piece at last- YAY!! Remember the foot square one I donated to the SAQA Benefit Auction?
My honeysuckle berries.
Well, I hated giving this one away. My poor old DH is still devastated so I decided to do a larger version. I am using the same photo but instead of cropping it to a small square section, I am using most of the picture.
The whole photo . 
I am not using quite all of it but most. The next problem after making a larger version of my pattern was to be sure I had enough hand dyed fabric to do the job. Apart from enough background colour to do the trick, I found I was ok. I would have chosen a less intense colour for the background but did not have anything and , being lazy, chose this darker piece but I think now that I like it. It is nicely mottled.
This is a fuzzy sort of photo but you get the idea. Very early in the process!

And here are the fabrics and the picture I am working from.
I will post this to the . To correct a little booboo, it was I who was fortunate enough to win the Christmas panel, not someone called Carol :-) so thank you, Sew Sisters! Check out TNTN and enjoy!

It DOES make a difference!!!

Wow! A week of experimenting and I believe , at last, we have liftoff! We have learned the following-

1- Lights make a HUGE difference- we have 250 W and 500 W blue photofloods and having photographed all the quilts using the smaller bulbs, we now have to redo a LOT of them! Just TOO dull and lifeless - stay tuned for photographic evidence!

2- We DO know now how to get a clean white ( or black) background for quilt photos. It works like a charm and DH should be VERY pleased with himself. I am :-)

3- Paper for printing makes an ENORMOUS difference ! I had my pics printed at Costco and they did them on matte paper- great , except that our pics were too dull and dark. I just found Satin Finish paper at Staples and bought a package of 100 sheets. GORGEOUS!! Now, I cannot afford to print all of my pics myself but for ones I want to be VERY clear and nice, I will always use satin paper now. Gloss is just TOO much. Matte is lovely if the colours are bright and right.

I have made up a sheet for each quilt , full of all the pertinent info- name, address , telephone number, title, materials used, techniques, date and notes for Artist's Statements. I also have ( or will have) a full shot of the quilt as well as several detail shots per quilt. Just bought a small binder and will have the sheets and pictures all organized alphabetically by title soon ( finished my teaching career as a Librarian !)

Now, for the evidence...

You remember this one! This is straight off the camera at the exposure indicated as correct by the camera.
Now , here are the three shots he took , first at normal reading, then at +1/3 and lastly, at +2/3 stops.
These shots have been edited for size and white background ONLY! No other editing.
The original exposure

At + 1/3 stop

And at +2/3 stop.
I have chosen the middle ground, the plus 1/3 stop. The + 2/3 is just washed out. 

We plan now to go back over the pile of quilts and redo the ones I feel are most important to me . It will take time but if it is worth doing at all, it is worth doing well! When I make my quilts, I choose my colours carefully and aim for "singing colours" - even the subtle ones! I want a glowing, jewel-like effect always and when I have a picture of my quilt, I want that singing colour too. The larger, brighter (500 W) bulbs have made a HUGE difference! We intend to buy a couple more pairs - just in case. Soon, we will be unable to buy them at all as they are incandescent tungsten bulbs.  They certainly DO generate a LOT of heat in this warm weather, but we must suffer for our art, no?

I see that this week is the 100th posting on TNTN and I will post this to the in hopes that someone may find all of this rambling yammer useful. One of these days, I WILL get back to some actual quilt making. This little project was a gotta do for this summer though and it is almost done now ! Yay!!

Gelli Arts Printing Plate

These things are FUNNN and a great way to rest my finger. No pinchy gripping, just smushing and painting and printing! Great . I have been pulling prints galore, some nice, some not so nice. I will show a few so you can see.
A step too far :-(

Reminds me of frog's eggs.

Love this one...

...and this one. This reminds me of Mediaeval floor tiles.

Pale but possibilities

Too much paint :-(

Makes me think of an Hawaiian Tourist's shirt- GARISH!

I'll add some more around the edges so I can include the top leaf.

Do I like this one?

Possibilities, but needs more detail, maybe embroidered??
As you see, it is coming along but I have a long way to go. Every one I do teaches me something though. My WB could have been better but I was hurrying. In reality, the colours are brighter.

DH has been playing with my serious quilts and has finally found a superb method for photographing them accurately AND getting a white ( or black) background WITHOUT damaging or altering the edges of the quilt, just like SAQA wants. Between lights, WB and Photoshop he has a fool proof method now that is VERY accurate. I am VERY excited!

I will post this to the I am anxious to see what everyone posts this week. Post something yourself and show us what YOU do.

Photo Shoot

We have started the photographing of all of my "serious" quilts, ones I would show or enter into shows. Having recently purchased a used Background Stand assembly, DH and I have been dying to try it all out. In our daughter's old room, we have set up a board for the quilts to hang on and the floodlights with daylight bulbs on the New/used Background stand.

Here we are all set up.This is only the two big, heavy duty tripods with the lights. There is also a huge crossbar that goes on it so a backdrop can be hung over it!
I have been harping away about white balance and am STILL having problems. As you can see , we are using old fashioned Daylight photoflood lamps and we both set our respective white balance using the standard grey card. So far, so good! However, when it came time for DH to see what he had gotten with his first shot, here is what happened...
See how grey this looks! 

As you can see , the white background---is GREY! Now, organizations like SAQA ask for quilts to be photographed on a WHITE or BLACK background. So... back to the drawing board . We tried incandescent lights and DH still got distinct grey whereas I got cleaner looking , paler grey in the background. I feel this has to do with digital camera technology . Trying to use old incandescent lights- either regular or photofloods , is just NOT cutting it! I think we need to go to the new quartz lamps designed for use with digital cameras. DH is not yet convinced.

To show you how critical White Balance is, here is a shot of the room with the lamps turned on and WB set with a grey card. The next shot is taken with my camera set to Auto white balance . Zowie! What a difference, eh??

With the photofloods and WB set with grey card
How do you like THESE apples???
It DOES make a difference- a HUGE difference. The great challenge will be to get the Westport Sunset quilt photographed properly. I have taken SOOO many shots of it in an attempt to get a good rendition of the colours of that quilt, all , so far, totally unsuccessful.

This is a reasonable version of the colour but not exact. 
Well, to finish off, my Dear Patient Husband has experimented all the time I have been writing this post ( and I type s l o w l y ) and has discovered that by putting some nice white printer paper behind the corner of the Red Iris quilt, he gets a pretty white background. So, if you are folks who don't get out much ( like us) and get excited about stuff like this, stay tuned because later this afternoon, I will hie me to the fabric shoppe and get a nice big chunk of white sheeting. It may be whiter and will definitely be thicker than what is on the board now and maybe that will help. Other than that, I will buy a pair of quartz photoflood lights. I thank you for your attention and for your patience. Good luck to ALL of us in photographing our lovely work!

When the time comes, I plan to post this on the My bet is it will win a prize for the most boring post EVER :-) Be patient with me, please !

Playing it safe

 I have finished the Big Peony now and it hangs in the sitting room at the moment. In an attempt to give my poor old hand a rest, I have been playing with the Gelli Pads. I have a ton of fabric drying downstairs so cannot show you that just yet but here is what I DO HAVE to show you!
This is the second  homemade Texture Plate, still drying

And this whiter one is the first one, dry, hard and ready to use.

I saw a "recipe" for making your own texture plates for  Gelli Arts pad . It is built on a little  canvas board using Molding paste and stencils, tools for making marks etc. I have been collection lots of little bits for combing, drawing and stamping into the painty surface of the Gelli pad as well. My first attempt is dry and hard now and I have tried it several times and IT WORKS!!! It is amazing. My second plate is made and drying as I type.

Here is the first one starting to get a nice patina of paint- Looking pretty!

Closeup #1 of the paint on the plate- Gutermann and Metrosene thread spool bottoms!

Closeup #2- a commercial stencil

Closeup #3- same stencil but decorated using a flat palette  knife and pulling it straight up off the wet paint!!

I have been pulling prints on fabric first, then a "ghost print" on paper for fun. It seems to work quite well. I am using Lumiere paints as well as Open Body acrylics from Golden- SUPER colours! To date, I have done only some backgrounds to play with but hope, eventually, to do a series of little quilts- Whole Cloth, albeit SMALL cloth, to make a little grouping with my first Gelli Quilt. It is fun, easy and easy on my hand .

As soon as I have some dry fabric samples for you, I shall add them to the post. Meantime, enjoy this steamy Sunday in July 2013.

OK, I said I would post the backgrounds I have already done . They are dry enough now. These are just bases for more work but you can see what is happening. I want to try some different colour combos too. This limited palette is getting tedious!!
This is a bad picture of the first piece I did a while ago so you get an idea of where I will go with these.

Now, this is just a series of prints, some multi layered , some only a single layer so far. Some are more successful than others.

Like this part of this one. It makes me think of roses

I really like this part too

This will get more layers later

This is the whole print I took those two earlier bits from

Same piece again

OK, This is making me crazy! I will try one more time to put the rest of the pictures here at the end. Fingers crossed.....

Yay! It worked!

Partly with no stencils, partly with.

I did these two earlier and will over print on them .These two are just paint and the Catalyst Wedges.

See above!

My original homemade leaf stamp with a single colour. More to follow.

This is a paper print - just kept pulling ghost prints after the fabric had soaked up most of the paint.


...and the last one. Not sure if I love it, but maybe ...

Quilting done! Lily gilding to follow...

The background is quilted and I THINK it is done.

Just loose, freehand peony leaf outlines- all I am doing to the background-- I THINK!

The quilting is finished- I THINK!

My brain hurts now. Too much THINKING! I am pretty happy with most of the quilting and have started to do some "lily gilding", as I call it. Pencil crayons, Caran d"Ache Neocolor pastels- just to define certain spots. It should make ME happy but you will not likely see an appreciable difference. As it is almost time for TNTN to close for this week, I will post this and bore the people stiff. Sorry folks, but with a dud finger, I am not working very quickly. Others are ! Check out the and enjoy what you find there.

Happy Canada Day

One corner of our garden last night- 30 June, 2013, about 8:30 PM

My view while I was enjoying a cup of tea

LOVE these pale little Columbines . They are almost finished for this year. We have deep blue and bright pink ones and one, not very prolific pure white one. Very old fashioned and pretty! The hummingbird likes them!

I hope you are all enjoying a very happy Canada Day? I especially wish some joy to our friends in Alberta and hope that they are soon well past this current sadness and agony.

We have a cool, grey day today but , true to form, it is not raining- YET! Today is our 47th wedding anniversary and , having celebrated so many times, we realize that 01 July is rarely rainy! There is a fact for you :-)

I have been gainfully employed, ( see below) although hampered by a splint on my right ring finger! Not TOO sure it is helping as when I remove the splint, the finger "triggers" VERY tightly now and is hard to open up! Guess who is NOT a "nappy camper"????? Anyway, I have some work to do on a bit more of the detail, more work on the carpels and then the bit of background. Then.... clear sailing to the blocking, the facing and the hanging sleeve. I WANT to do some more this summer but I am not sure with this stupid finger. There are so many ideas burning in my head. I may just have to bite the proverbial bullet and get on with making arrangements for the surgery and have done with it. I dread the long recuperation time though.

Getting very close

The peony to date

I wish you all a very happy Canada Day. Enjoy family and friends and return home safely .