Saturday, March 13, 2010

My New Heart and Colors

For four days now I have been posting colors for a new heart I finished stitching a short while ago. I have posted a new version on my home page each day, then after a day on my home page I move the heart to a page called "My New Hearts". On this page is the whole collection.

So how many colors are there? I am afraid to count.

I used this heart to learn about a color changing aspect of PhotoShop which I found difficult, so I had to practice and practice. Each practice I made a new heart.

It has been a long haul, learning PhotoShop, but I hope it will prove worthwhile for my students and followers. If I can use it well, it will be the best tool I have found for showing alternative ways of looking at a piece of needlework.

All too often in needlework, we get fixed on a single way to do a design, as if the mistakes we make have to be ripped immediately and corrected to look just like the model; in reality, there are as many ways to do a design as there are people stitching the design. We just have to convince our little needlework world that bringing a bit of yourself to your needlework world is a worthy goal.

So onward and upward with PhotoShop, and onward with more and more heart colors, as I hope it all makes a valid point.

Gay Ann

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A New Hearts Project: Undertaking a New Design

Several days ago I started a new project on my website and in my general classroom at Shining Needle Society: 2 new heart designs.

One of these new heart designs will have a twist: I will ask the people in my Shining Needle Society to help me design it.

Our first undertaking: I asked people to suggest themes for the new hearts. After a small bit of editing, the list is now 26 themes long and is posted on my website,, click on Stitch Gay Ann Stash. Now the people in my classroom are voting to narrow the list to 5 subjects.

So how is it going? I have 2 leaders who emerged quickly, but after yesterday's vote, 4 of the subjects are now nipping at the heels of the leaders. Today should be interesting.

Once I narrow the list, I will ask people to vote again and choose the topic of the heart I will design.

Then all along the way I will ask for advice. For example, I may do two drawings and let the group choose which one they like better. Then I will seek advice on choices of threads and stitches and we will see how it comes out.

I must admit, I look forward each day to seeing how the vote is going. Tomorrow I will know the answer.

So what is the purpose of all of this? Too many people think a design emerges complete and finished and ready to stitch. I am hoping people will see that the design process is the opposite: not just one single correct choice, then a bunch of wrong choices, but many choices of merit. Choices all along the way. The choices aren't over till one takes the final stitch.

If people begin to see this process perhaps they will bring some of the freedom of choice to their own needlework. I can always hope.

I hope this is an adventure in more than a bunch of stitches and threads on a fixed and static design.

Gay Ann