Wednesday, August 17, 2016

How to easily design your own fabric on Spoonflower


I should probably say I am not affiliated with Spoonflower and don't make any money by promoting their website. I just really enjoy designing my own fabric there, and want to share how easy it is!

But first I do have a link you can go to which will take you to a sweepstakes at Spoonflower in coordination with Plum Print..... You can win a custom hardcover 13x11 art book with up to 30 pieces of your child's or your artwork plus $100 in spoonflower credit!
Just click here to enter! 

There are so many ways to design fabric using the tools on Spoonflower website but I believe this one is the easiest by far. You don't need photoshop or any special art tools!


Start with a tiny notebook or an index card.
With any type or color pen draw a small figure. Think cute animals, faces, flowers, fruit, bugs or geometric shapes.......
Go over some of your lines to darken them in a little.
You might even be able to use an image you already have in your sketchbook.


Take a photo of it as close up as possible, or scan your image. (If you are using a camera then try to take your photo in bright, even, natural light, so your background appears all white and not gray on one side and lighter on the other, and hold your camera as level as possible.
If you didn't take your photo with your IPad or iPod or iPhone, and it is not already in whatever device you will use to upload it to the Spoonflower website, then download your image now to your computer using the camera card. 
Crop if needed to remove any edges of the card or notebook that show and to have less white space around you image.


Log into spoonflower.com
Upload your image to spoonflower by clicking on 'add a design'
Click on 'change colors' on the left of your uploaded design.
Click on 'advanced changes' then on '2 colors'
Once the site has broken your image down into just two colors you can change the color of the lines and/or the background by clicking on the square box of color you want to change, and then click on the color from the color choices that you want it to be. For example change your white background to a light blue or peach. Leave you lines the color they were drawn in or change them to a darker black or any other color. You could even make the lines white if you made the background color dark enough. You can easily experiment because if you don't like it, just hit cancel.
Once you are satisfied, Click 'save'


You will be directed back to your design page in your design library. There you can alter it further with the tools at the right of your image........
1. by choosing design size (there is a ruler at the top of your design to show you how big it is. Pay attention to this as it is easy to misjudge the size.)
2. by changing the repeat. There are 5 types. I used half drop. Just click on each one to see how they change the look of the image.
3. by changing the fabric type.
4. by changing the fabric size for your order. I like to change this to swatch size to see how the image will look close up at 8x8 inches.
And 5. Below the image are extras.....You can name your design, add tags, make it public (if you want to either sell it once you have previewed it or if you want to have household items created for you from your design etc.)
You are ready to order!


Or ......
You can now go to roostery.com, which is a site that is connected to spoonflower that sells housewares sewn with spoonflower designs, yours or other designers.  You can get there from the "shop" tab in spoonflower, then click on rookery, the sign in using your spoonflower usernames. Once there you automatically have your own "shop" if you have any public designs in spoonflower, to see it click on "my designs".
You can preview your designs on napkins, pillows, linen towels etc. and order them there so that someone else will do the sewing for you!



I didn't include any photos but you can also order your fabric printed on clothes patterns at the site 'Sprout.com' by clicking on sprout under the shop tab. They also have a program where they will sew the pattern up for you as well. So cool!

Of course, if you want my designs on the pillows above instead of creating your own you can get to my roostery account here, or you can go to my spoonflower account from the links on the right of my blog.

Thanks for visiting! 
And last week i said i may stop linking up to paintpartyfriday because i just don't get around to visiting everyone there, and i felt guilty linking and running. I really didn't say it just to get people to tell me not to go, but since some if you did tell me not to go, here I am again this week... Happy PPF!




Saturday, August 13, 2016

The small magic of white flowers in the moonlight

“I am your moon and your moonlight too
I am your flower garden and your water too. I have come all this way, eager for you
Without shoes or shawl
I want you to laugh
To kill all your worries
To love you
To nourish you.”
Rumi 

There is something about white flowers that draws me to them, even more than colorful flowers. Maybe it is the romance of a moonlight garden, something I have always wanted.
But I spent my lunch hour recently at a local greenhouse, photographing just the white flowers there.
the sheep live outside the greenhouse and were just a bonus of the afternoon...






















I have been known to waste time googling 'moonlight gardens', like this article on how to create one, or pinning photos of white flowers to this board.
(Trust me, that board is just too beautiful not to click on)
And I have painted other white flowers along the way too, here and here....

I love color 
and I love just about every flower, 
wild or cultivated.
Does anyone hate a flower?
But for me,
 the white flowers hold the most magic.
Like they have a secret to tell...

A pure thought just waiting to be whispered in your ear
If you just take the time to listen.


A few weeks ago I posted about my idea of small magic, and that I planned to make a monthly post on the 13th to show what I find magical. I had planned to add a linky tool so others could link with their posts about how they all find small magic. I am now using blogger on my Ipad, and for some reason the linky tool will not work for me, but if you have a post about small magic you want to share, please leave a link to it in your comment and maybe I will have the tool thing worked out by next month on the13th... 
I hope you feel like joining in, and I can't wait to see what you have to say about 
what  charms you, 
What enchants you,
Or what takes your breath away!

Friday, August 12, 2016

More alphabet kids

YAnother miserably hot, humid friday has come around so quickly. But that means since it is friday it is time for paintpartyfriday. I actually have been thinking I may stop linking up as I never have the time to get around and visit more than one or two other people there, and I feel guilty just linking and running. I have been with Eva and Kristin since the beginning I think, only missing a few weeks here and there. And all the people at Paintpartyfriday have always been so supportive and creative. Maybe I will just pop in and check them out when I can instead of linking weekly. But I want to thank all the visitors from there who have fathfully stopped by and commented even when I didn't get back to their blogs in return!


I have been working on painting more alphabet kids....

D is for Dex and his ducklings, which will be the page before his daughter and her dogs that I Posted awhile ago......
I had to have TWO D pages because i just needed these ducklings to happen.
 And I started Z'beth and her zebra. They are not quite complete but I posted it as a WIP.





Stay cool!

And don't forget to come back on the 13th for my first official 'finding small magic' post. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

How to find small magic in life

"It's all a matter of paying attention, being awake in the present moment, and not expecting a huge payoff. The magic in this world seems to work in whispers and small kindnesses.”
Charles de Lint


Most of my life I have been in search of small magic,
the kind of magic that is real and quiet and makes our days wonderful,
The kind that is in the little pleasures of life,
Things like treasure hunts with children,
Or planting herb gardens,
Or in quiet pine groves,
Or in the details of a feather...
Or creating a flower mandala...
Things we see all the time but in our rushed lives we often overlook.
Or in things we only see rarely but that fill us with small wonder when they do happen....
Like an unexpected moment when the wind blows and covers you with a soft snowfall of pink crabapple blossoms.


(A few years ago I made a video of the small magic in a feather here...I was very early on in my video making skills at that time but I still like it and hope you will too!)
(And another video here  of the small magic in a flower mandala... I was getting a bit better by this video. I think it is my favorite)



So for awhile now I had been thinking maybe I would make a post about my search, and try to show you all where I find small magic,
But I kept putting it off, until two things happened.

1. One of my daughters posted this on my facebook page...
(I had no idea that she or anyone really, was aware of how I felt about "magic" till she put it in words for me...)

"This right here is one of the many reasons I love my mama so much! She is so thoughtful and sweet, with a touch of magic on the side Her loving energy and her constant push for us to see the magic in everyday life is what I will always remember her by. My childhood memories are full of books about spells and unicorns. We went on trips to the falls and cricks and rivers, where we would stack rocks and build houses out of sticks and stones and flowers for the fairies. My birthdays consisted of vibrant decorations and pins and hats that were hand made by my mother and full of flare! I remember treasure hunts, with maps that looked like a REAL pirate could have handed it over himself... And even to this day, she still finds a way to bring magic in my life!  I can only hope that I become even HALF the mother that you are, one day. Thank you for everything you've done and continue to do, Mom. This little text has brightened my whole day and I can't WAIT to see the crystal you picked out for me!! I love you.. Yesterday, today and tomorrow♥ Forever and always!
  • 'This right here is one of the many reasons I love my mama so much! She is so thoughtful and sweet, with a touch of magic on the side ;) Her loving energy and her constant push for us to see the magic in everyday life is what I will always remember her by. My childhood memories are full of books about spells and unicorns. We went on trips to the falls and cricks and rivers, where we would stack rocks and build houses out of sticks and stones and flowers for the fairies. My birthdays consisted of vibrant decorations and pins and hats that were hand made by my mother and full of flare! I remember treasure hunts, with maps that looked like a REAL pirate could have handed it over himself... And even to this day, she still finds a way to bring magic in my life! :) I can only hope that I become even HALF the mother that you are, one day. Thank you for everything you've done and continue to do, Mom. This little text has brightened my whole day and I can't WAIT to see magical thing you have picked out for me!! I love you.. Yesterday, today and tomorrow<3 Forever and always!'
     

and 2. Nicolas, (a maker of fairy houses and much more, 
and a fan of following the same wonder one might have felt in childhood), 
suggested, after a conversation about needing magic in the world, that I make the idea a regular feature on my blog with a link....


So, now I have been hoping... if I added a linky thing at the bottom of this soon to be monthly post (starting this month on the 13th) that others would join in with posts of their own letting us know where they find...
wonder
and awe
and joy
And
Small magic!


“She wore flowers in her hair and carried magic secrets in her eyes. She spoke to no one. She spent hours on the riverbank. She smoked cigarettes and had midnight swims...” 

Back to browsing etsy too much.......

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Constellation Sterling Silve...
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Friday, July 29, 2016

Adventures with autism

Well, I am finally posting some photos from the vacation we recently took (with Bigbig and two of our 4 kids) to Gilbert lake state park, where we have gone for at least 5 years. Traveling with someone who has autism on Jace's level is not always an easy experience. 

Jace normally has trouble dealing with certain aspects of the trip. He gets very anxious about the packing and after a week there, he gets anxious again about the packing to come home. 

We all love it there though. It is a quiet, calm place. With lots of places nearby to eat good food. Jace loves the swimming especially,  but part of the reason we have gone to this park over and over is to give him some consistency. We rent the same cabin every year and still Jace has been so upset in previous years that we thought he was sick. He made trips to the bathroom every 20 minutes one year, but after a trip to the doctor we found there was nothing wrong and he stopped doing it as soon as we got home. Other years he has wanted to walk nonstop and even though he's pretty much non verbal as far as actual communication goes, he can talk and that trip he kept saying "sad people walk".

BUT....This year was so much better. He is 13 now and we were warned puberty might make things worse, but for him, it doesn't seem to be the case. He was so much calmer this year. He didn't show any anxiety this year when we packed, and then he had no trouble on the 3 hour drive. (We have had to stop at least twice other years.) He is certainly nowhere near "over" all his autistic tendencies but he is now calmer most days on average.  

The forests there are lush 
and quiet 
and full of ferns 
that seem primeval.
Primordial.

So we hiked a bit. This year we only got Jace to hike with us one time, he refused the rest of the week. So I stayed in the cabin or on the beach with him more while my husband and daughter hiked. Which was fine and relaxing.  I got to quilt and read and get a tan. Other days my husband stayed with him while my daughter and I did things. 

The photos don't really show how many ferns and fungi there are....

Can you read the sign?





(The photos of Jace at the beach are stuck on my camera which I can't transfer online without a computer yet) These were all taken with my daughter's cell phone.


Oneonta is 20 minutes away from the state park so my daughter and I went to the Butterfly conservatory there one hot afternoon.  It was too hot to try to take Jace as he hates the heat. Plus we really don't take him out in public unless we are sure it is something he can handle. 

It was extremely humid in the conservatory, and there was panflute music playing in the background. The owner, I am assuming he was the owner, had a gray beard held together with a ponytail holder and he told us the names of all the birds, not just the species names but the names they gave them as well.





This little poisonous tree frog was very tiny. The owner explained he isn't actually poisonous now because he hasn't eatten the ants that make him poisonous. 


This bird is a cousin of a toucan. He let me pet him and his twisty black "hair" actually feels as plasticy as it looks. 


These blue morphos are so hard to get photos of, this one was mid flight!


I only got a gew sketches done in my sketchbook while I was there....Because I actually spent more time reading. I finished 'Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar children'. But here are a few pages from my sketchbook. Of the beach and things I bought....




And since it is Sunday, and I did show sketches in my sketchbook, I will happily link up to Sunday sketches at Bluechairdiary...
Have a good week everyone!