Since I can quilt only 30 minutes a day right now because I’m trying to fix a pinched nerve in my neck (the massage is the best part of physical therapy) and my output is minimal, I’ll give you inspiration from Greece. More specifically, some of my brother’s photos taken on his recent sailing trip there. I’ve opted for scenes I think would inspire an art quilt, so historically important sites are mostly missing.
The pandemic has heightened my anticipation of mail. No more store browsing for me. I dash in, list in hand, and grab what I need. It reminds me of the name of a South Dakota convenience store I once passed, the Whoa ‘n Go.
The internet is all well and good for classes, resources, and keeping in touch, but I miss actually handling items. So, I look forward to brown paper packages wrapped up in string, or the modern equivalent of them. Recently I’ve received two packages that made their way to me in spite of USPS difficulties. (Three day delivery is a fantasy right now.)
First, my blogging friend Ann Scott raffled off four fabric artist postcards, and I was the lucky winner. Ann created the cards as part of the postcard class she teaches. You can follow her blog and her YouTube channel.
Second, Spoonflower ran a 50% off fat quarters sale and since I am unable to pass up a sale I had to have several of my Photoshop edited pictures printed. The price worked out to about $5 each. Most are on cotton, and I may cut them up or use them whole.
I had more printed which I’m not showing as I don’t want to give you any more reason to question whether my sanity has been affected by our current situation. Well, of course it has, but as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, who cares?
Sometimes you have mishaps despite being careful. Recently I was cutting silk fabrics into circles and ovals.
Then, this happened while I was putting the guard over the rotary circle cutter’s blade.
My left index finger and thumb are out of commission for a bit and I’m left handed. That means I need to keep the fingers dry, and not put any pressure on the cuts. So, no sewing, no painting, no gluing, no cutting.
Of course I panicked. Then I remembered a collection of photos I had set aside for digital manipulation in PhotoShop Elements. When I walk outside or sit around my house I take pictures of odd things that catch my eye. While I’m clumsy with my right hand I can still use a computer mouse.
Of course the upside to my self-inflicted wounds is I can’t cook or wash the dishes. Fortunately my husband is shouldering that work. Many thanks, dear.
Bless the Library of Congress for making so much good stuff available. To quote from its website,
This page features items from the Library’s digital collections that are free to use and reuse. The Library believes that this content is either in the public domain, has no known copyright, or has been cleared by the copyright owner for public use. Each set of content is based on a theme and is first featured on the Library’s home page.
These sets are just a small sample of the Library’s digital collections that are free to use and reuse. The digital collections comprise millions of items including books, newspapers, manuscripts, prints and photos, maps, musical scores, films, sound recordings and more. Whenever possible, each collection has its own rights statement which should be consulted for guidance on use. Learn more about copyright and the Library’s collections.
I can’t add to that description, but will share some of the delights that appealed to me as I browsed the collections.
Japanese woodblock prints
Covers and Miscellaneous
Word of warning, you can spend many hours poking around the Library’s offerings. And what’s shown on the Free to Use and Reuse Sets is a small fraction of what’s available. The digital collections contain thousands of items, some more esoteric than others.
This year I’ve vowed to get better at photography. No more crooked or bowed photos of quilts. My spare room now is accessorized with a tripod and lights.
I’m a few weeks into an online class in PhotoShop Elements. I know there’s cheaper/free photo editing software available, but the issue for me is always learning how to use it. My class has already been useful as I clean up and straighten quilts in old photos.
One fun task was abstracting a photo. This is sometimes known as posterizing an image. I know some software will do this automatically, but we’re learning the layers way, which gives more flexibility. I’ve been experimenting with photos from my last year’s Around Here posts.
These abstractions get even cooler when you invert them.
I’m beginning to know enough to become really dangerous.
This is a photograph by my brother, who is an accomplished sailor and has visited many glorious places. One of them is Salt Whistle Bay on the island of Mayreau, which is part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
I’ll tuck it away as my personal, private happy place this winter while I wrap myself up in more wool, and watch the salt trucks circle our street.
The different textures of tree trunks show up now that the leaves are down. The sycamores gleam with patches of white, and the hickories and oaks reveal deeply fissured bark. On a recent walk sunlight enhanced the textures on a trunk and cast interesting shadows. It could be a striking abstract composition.
Other tree structures have been revealed as well, thanks to some sunny days.
A gnarled crabapple reaches toward the sun. I love all the angles.
Denuded wild grapevine stems and brush frame woods lit by the afternoon sun. Maybe it could be the basis for an austere pieced abstract.
Over the river and through the woods? I only wish the path led to my grandmother’s house though it does lead me back to my house. We’ve had a very light dusting of snow, but the ground is frozen and ice is forming on the local ice skating pond.
I have no idea where the blue in the shadows came from, but I like it.