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Posts Tagged ‘Creativity’

Is your smartphone stealing your creativity?

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Do you have a love/hate relationship with your smart phone? I know I do. I love how convenient it makes everything. Google is at your fingertips; so is Instagram, Facebook and Words With Friends. Your camera is always at the ready for the moment you see something inspiring or something you want to share.

The problem is that the constant readiness or attention to your phone could be affecting your creativity. Studies have shown that you need “boredom” to be creative. You need time to just be and let your mind wander. If you are always connected to your phone, this doesn’t happen.

Some of you remember before the days of cell phones when we didn’t have the distractions. Free time was spent playing outdoors or using your imaginations creating indoor games and stories. Here are a couple of ideas to limit use of your smartphone and instead recapture some of that lost creativity.

Read more…

Breaking Through Your Creative Blocks

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

break-through-blocks

I had a conversation last week with a client who was stressing about spending so much time on and in her business that she was feeling stuck. Beth told me how she used to love to create just for herself, without a business outcome involved. Only now, she just did not even have time to do that. And, she was suffering. She felt lost and was beginning to be “stuck” with the creating that was important to her business growth. I suggested that she schedule “Beth time” into her calendar for creativity and stick with it, no matter what. By allowing time for herself, I believe Beth would show up better in her business.

As we were talking about how to schedule that time, I remembered the  lecture Elizabeth Gilbert gave at the 2009 TED Conference entitled “A Different Way to Think About Creative Genius.” It was about nurturing creativity.

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Book Review: Painted Appliqué

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Painted Appliqué
Painted Appliqué
Linda M. Poole
AQS; $24.95

Creativity — photography, writing, painting, sewing — has been the mainstay of Linda Poole’s life, so it is no wonder that she took the opportunity to combine those loves in Painted Appliqué. Linda teaches you both her glue stick appliqué method and her painted appliqué technique using the same patterns; i.e., you see the same pattern completed in both mediums. By reproducing Linda’s patterns or creating your own, you have the option of using either or both techniques. You will learn how a variety of paints, mediums and ink pencils work on fabric. I really liked the close-up, step-by-step instructions. If you are looking to add painting to your fiber toolbox, this resource will answer many of your questions.

This book can be found on Amazon.com; leave a reply below to tell me what technique Linda taught you.

Book Review: The Quilter’s Color Club

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Quilter’s Color Club

Christine E. Barnes
C&T Publishing; $27.95

Most quilters at some point need help with color and Christine Barnes offers the perfect way for you to gain color confidence. She found that when students took her workshops they wanted more color help, particularly in a group setting. That led to her creating a “color club,” where you can work with friends to explore color concepts and get feedback. She even offers tips if you want to work as a “color club of one.” The club works by following 12 hands-on exercises titled “Give It a Try!” In addition to the 12 exercises, Christine offers eight projects that build on what you’ve learned about color, including value, intensity, visual temperature, luminosity and more. The gallery section of the book features 35 examples of quilts and vests that demonstrate the color qualities. Christine also answers questions that she frequently gets from quilters about color. I loved Christine’s practical, easy-to-follow approach to understanding color concepts, and anyone who “joins the club” will see positive results in the color in her quilts.

Look for the book at your favorite quilt shop or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Book Review: Give & Take Fabric Appliqué

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give & Take Fabric Appliqué

Daphne Greig and Susan Purney Mark

AQS: $24.95

I love the possibilities of this simple concept – using a patchwork block, tracing the design onto fusible web, fusing on fabric, cutting the shapes apart and using them in two blocks as a negative and positive. After explaining the concept, Daphne Greig and Susan Purney Mark get you started with the complex New York Beauty block. The book includes 12 different projects and templates and can be adapted to other patterns of your choosing. The authors note that the concept is great for fat quarters and guild challenges. This is a fun technique to add to your toolbox.

Look for the book at your favorite quilt shop or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Take Time to Sharpen Your Saw!

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Stephen A. Covey, in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says “Sharpen the Saw” is Habit 7 and shares the story of a man who has worked for more than five hours to saw down a tree. When asked why he doesn’t take a break and sharpen the saw, sure to speed his work along, the man replies, “I don’t have time to sharpen the saw. I’m too busy sawing!”

Covey goes on to define sharpen the saw as “preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have – you.” It’s about renewing yourself, physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially/emotionally. This requires a proactive investment in ourselves. And it takes time, something we all seem to find in short supply. I’ll be the first in line to say it’s easy to get caught up in my daily activities and neglect sharpening my saw. With so much going on with the day-to-day activities of my business and other commitments beyond work, where am I going to find time to “sharpen the saw”? For me, it’s about making it a priority – and honoring that priority. I’m big on time blocking, and this is one way you can put that to use. Currently I have time blocked for a variety of “sharpening” activities.

Here are some ideas for sharpening your saw:

  1. Visit a museum
  2. Try a new technique or class
  3. Educate yourself (read something new, go to a seminar, listen to one of our teleclasses)
  4. Journal
  5. Organize your studio
  6. Review and update your goals
  7. Take time to exercise or try yoga
  8. Enjoy natural surroundings

Covey also explains his “Upward Spiral” concept of renewal that allows us to grow and change. To do this, we must consciously learn, commit and do; learn, commit and do; continuously. This will keep your blade sharp. Where are your blades dull and what are you doing to sharpen them?

Please share your thoughts on “sharpening your saw” and how you do this below.

Book Review: Quilted Symphony

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Quilted Symphony
Quilted Symphony
Gloria Loughman

C&T Publishing; $29.95

If you’ve ever seen Gloria Loughman’s award-winning quilts and wanted to know how she was able to create such wonderful art, you are in for a treat with her book. She goes through the basics of design and composition and color and then focuses on the construction process step-by-step. She covers appliqué, piecing and embellishments, including painting, beading and stitching options. The book also includes four projects and a gallery of student work. I found myself so engaged by the book that I was torn between wanting to look/read more or getting right to my fabric. This is a definite keeper!

Look for the book at your favorite quilt shop or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Book Review: 501 Quilting Motifs

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

501 Quilting Motifs
501 Quilting Motifs: Designs for Hand or Machine Quilting
From the Editors of Quiltmaker Magazine
Martingale & Co.; $24.99

“Quilt as desired” can often leave you wondering exactly what quilting design works with your quilt top. What style is it? Do you want to enhance or contrast the lines of the quilt top? How much quilting do you need? Those questions and more are answered in this collection of quilting designs from 26 years of Quiltmaker. The motifs are shown as a single design, put into corner triangles, border strips with corners and squares in various sizes.The book has a hard cover with a spiral binding, which makes using the patterns easier. In addition to an index of designs alphabetically, a size index is included that shows designs in various size squares, rectangles, triangles and borders. If you are looking for inspiration for a design for your next quilt, this is a nice collection.

Look for the book at your favorite book retailer. Here’s a  link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Book Review: Art + Quilt

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Art Quilt
Art + Quilt
Lyric Kinard
Interweave Press; $26.95

Lyric Kinard introduces her book by telling you it is not intended to teach you all you need to know about art. Rather her goal is to give you a solid foundation upon which to build your art. Lyric begins by introducing you to the elements of art: texture, shape, line, color and value. With each she includes ideas for gathering inspiration and then provides exercises to develop your skills. She follows the same format – information, gathering inspiration and working through exercises – as she tackles the principles of design: unity and variety, focal point, balance and symmetry, scale and proportion, depth and space, motion and rhythm. While understanding the basic concepts of art is key, ongoing practice is essential if you expect to develop as an artist, and Lyric offers a number of 30-minute challenges to get you on your way. What I found quite valuable was the discussion on evaluation and critique, whether self- or group-focused. If you want to work with others, Lyric offers guidelines for setting up a critique group and suggests elements to consider for a variety of quilts. She goes further to offer critiques of 17 of her own works. Understanding and practicing the concepts Lyric presents will help you improve the look of your quilts. You’ll also appreciate her easy-going, comfortable style and the hardcover, spiral binding so you can open the book flat while you work.

Look for the book at your favorite book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Book Review: Flip Flop Block Quilts

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Flip Flop Quilt Book

By Kathie Alyce
American Quilter’s Society; $22.95

In 2004 IAPQ member Kathie Alyce introduced her Flip Flop Block template at International Quilt Market and sold out. She knew she was onto something when a few years earlier she created a four-sided curved template that would serve as a basic shape from which to create many designs. What seemed like a simple idea has endless possibilities: Imagine a log cabin fitting in a block with curved edges or even a New York Beauty block. Kathie also produces an acrylic template for the blocks, and the book includes a paper shape that you can trace onto your own template plastic to create a template to use. The book includes 18 projects that range from placemats  to queen-size bed quilts. This is a great creativity stretcher for designing outside the square block.

Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.>

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