Thursday, August 25, 2011

Reflections on Designing and Stitching in 2011

This morning I posted on my website my own personal favorite of the Summer Solstice designs I doodled this summer.

For a long while the Flower was my favorite and I would still like to try and convert it into a thistle. I don't think it would be a difficult conversion and as I love purple, green and white together, I would enjoy working on it. Maybe early next year. Till then I fear my days are filled to capacity and I would like to know, does anybody know how to stretch the days?

Right now an elephant is standing very near me in my work room. The Elephant is E-Week, my yearly sale. A month and a half to go and I am working away every moment at it.

Some time ago an acquaintance remarked quite authoritatively at a meeting that I had stopped stitching entirely and I spent ALL my time on my computer.

I do spend a lot of time on my computer, most of it writing instructions for the nearly 30 pieces of needlepoint that I have designed and stitched since January 1 this year.

5 hearts, the Royal Wedding pieces and the Summer Solstice designs have all turned up on my website so far but they account for only a part of 2011 for me. Most of my new pieces are for E-Week and I have indeed been busy writing instructions on the computer.

I have not given up stitching. I don't think I ever will. Quite simply I love my time with my needle. It feeds my soul.

And besides, I have far too much stash to give up stitching. Far too much!

This brings me back to Summer Solstice and my favorite of the designs in the series. In the end I like my original Sun-like Geometric the best. It looks like the Summer Sun to me and after all, that is the most appropriate of the designs from a Summer of busy stitching time.

Gay Ann

Monday, August 22, 2011

Plans for My Summer Solstice Designs

I had a great weekend, a bit of everything I spend my time doing.

I stitched quite a while on both Saturday and Sunday evenings.
On Saturday I went bead shopping (yes more beads, it seems an endless addiction).
On Sunday I went to the Apple Store for lessons. I face the long task of redoing my website in the next year.
In between I wrote about my plans for Summer Solstice, my designs from a summer of doodle-stitching.

I just posted my plans on my website in Summary 4 of my Summer Solstice experience, but here is a bit more about my plan.

I had not been working for long on Summer Solstice when I noticed that I was using a single center motif and building up patterns around it. It surprised me how much the various patterns changed what was essentially the same design. By the time I started colorizing the parts, I thought all the designs took on such a different appearance, even though as I said they were essentially the same design.

In the Summer Solstice Banner I made up a series of new squares and each could easily function in the role of my original center design. If someone took one of these little center squares, she could gently and non-threateningly build herself a new design.
She could juggle my patterns and add her favorites to them; she could experiment almost endlessly with different colors.

In short, I could turn Summer Solstice into a simple little design experience with anybody willing to try.

Of course anybody who wishes to can stitch any one of the designs just as I did, but I am hoping they will join me in a Study Room at Shining Needle Society and watch what happens. I even have a prize, a yummy cake shipped, for the stitcher who makes the most creative adaptation of Summer Solstice.

I am hoping to start the Study Room for Summer Solstice the first week of the new year and have it up until April 1.

More details on my website, and still more will show up at E-Week, my sale in mid-October.

Gay Ann

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Forty-Six Cheers for Adobe!

This summer my life got a lot worse: Apple took away the program I use to create my website. Yes, iWeb is disappearing and MacSoph, Queendom Website and I have become iWeb Orphans.

All summer long my angst has been, what do we do?

Now almost every sophisticated computer person has looked askance at iWeb as 'not sophisticated' 'a very bad web design program' 'not for serious people' 'only for amateurs' etc. OK, I've learned enough to know that some of the complaints are well founded.

Still, iWeb gave me a very simple format and a great deal of freedom to stitch together my bit of magic.

As I've looked around for a program to replace iWeb, I've 'auditioned' several and found that the simple ones slot me in a box and force me to stay in the confines of the box. They may be more sophisticated in terms of web stuff, but for design possibilities they don't live up to iWeb.

The only way around the dilemma was the long arduous task of learning code, so I spent a considerable amount of time learning a bit about html and css. I found I actually enjoy it, but I was not at all certain I wanted to spend each day using it to make daily changes to Queendom Website. I could see my treasured stitching time evaporating in a mist of angle brackets.

Still I soldiered on, each day feeling more and more like sending a stream of darts toward Apple's management for its decision to kill iWeb.

All along DH has told me, there are too many iWeb users and someone will step up to the plate and do something that will help all the iWeb Orphans.

Who knew that the someone stepping up to the plate would be the almighty Adobe itself.

Forty-Six Cheers for Adobe! It is as if they heard my own personal cry and brought me the perfect solution for Queendom Website!

MacSoph, Queendom Website and I will live on for another day after all. Thank you, Adobe! Thank you thank you thank you!

Gay Ann

Sunday, August 14, 2011

An Unseasonal Christmas Banner on Queendom Website

Today is the second day I have a Christmas version of Summer Solstice Banner on the homepage of my website. I just finished updating my website for the day and as I clicked on it, all the red and green looks so strange as we wind into the third week of August.

Tomorrow morning the fourth and last design will magically appear on my home page and I will convert back to the sunny summer colors.

I have whiled away my summer doodle-stitching the series and I've had a great time with it. I've enjoyed not having to plan where I am headed, but just kick back and see where my needle leads me. Although I have doodle-stitched many times, this is the first time I've documented and published my day-by-day progress and it has been a journey full of surprises for me.

So what have I learned in this journey? And what have I hoped my followers have learned? And what am I going to do with it all?

After I post the fourth design, I will write about my nearly 2 months of Summer Solstice and hopefully answer the above questions.
I didn't start with a plan but gradually one evolved as I stitched the pieces.

Gay Ann

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Summer Solstice is Coming to a Close

After a whole summer of doodle-stitching, I am finally to the end of my Summer Solstice Project.
I will reveal the last two designs over the next couple of days.

So what am I going to do with these four designs?
I have a plan and I will write about it very soon.

In fact I wasn't very far along with the first of the designs when the goal occurred to me and I have been stitching with it in mind ever since. The only hint at this point? It involves a bit of creativity, and it involves a Cake.

To read about the Cake (yes, CAKE) check out my website, and click on 'CAKE' on the navigation bar.

I haven't finished the cake yet, but boy is it delicious! I am guessing that the cake will add all 6 lbs I've just lost. What I've never figured out is how a cake that weighs less than 1 pound can add 6 lbs to me. Don't tell me it doesn't happen, because I have countless experiences countering your argument.

Oh well, who can resist a delicious cake.
Gay Ann