Saturday, March 22, 2008

Another New Toy

This first year back into the money making side of my artwork is going to be quite heavy on the capital investments. I guess next year I'll keep some of my profits or take my family on a nice vacation. I probably should save for tuition payments. Years and years and years of tuition payments. I should say it's my first year back into traveling around and making new friends while playing with fabric together. The money is a very fun side benefit. 

I've decided I need to go digital. Most of the techniques I demonstrate in my classes are up-close by hand things. Caryl Bryer Fallert was the first teacher I saw demonstrate something with a camera and projector so that everyone in the room had a great view of what she was doing. She's always on the cutting edge of the technology curve. 

I've been reading so many reviews that my head was spinning and finally decided to give up on that and go straight to the people who have given me much of my quilting education over at the QuiltArt mail list. As usual, someone had the information I needed. I try, I really do, to do lots of research on my own but almost always end up just following the recommendation of someone who has already done the same thing.

Marilyn Bedford loves her InFocus.
Elizabeth Spilker loves her Sony VPL-ES1
Jane Davila loves her Hitachi CP-X253

The best information came from Jane who said that the folks over at the Projector People
have the best customer service available. She was right. I called and asked questions. Then called and asked more, and more and more! 
They know their stuff and are used to dealing with people like me who don't.

Through Jane's wonderful information and her people I learned:
LCD is much better than DLP for those concerned with color accuracy
Set your computer's resolution to the same res. as your projector
Minimum lumens = 2000, minimum contrast ration = 400:1
Get the right cords for your laptop
Some projectors can present with a usb thumb drive rather than your laptop but it wouldn't work with  my Mac. 

I decided that my priorities were:
great looking pictures for my lectures
good enough for lit classroom demonstrations

and the winner is.....(drumroll)

Like I said. I just ended up giving up on more research and going with a strong recommendation. 3.9 lbs and a great picture. We shall set it up this week and play.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wearable Art

This piece was made for the Bernina Fashion Show several years ago. It's made from absolutely to die for, custom dyed, sueded rayons by Cherrywood Fabrics.

It took hundreds of hours to make with a full double circle skirt with yards and yards of reverse appliqué, an easy technique, but there was just so MUCH of it to do in this garment! can I tell you how absolutely spectacular it was to see it swishing down the runway on a professional model with all the lights and music. I felt like a rock star even though it wasn't me up there. The dress traveled to a couple of other venues and didn't come back to me for almost two years later. It had aged out of most of the competitions by then so it did nothing but sit on my dress form for a very long time.

Last weekend a dear friend had a "formal dress" 50th birthday party. I haven't been to a "formal dress" anything since my senior prom in high school. Not even a company Christmas party. (Can you hear the "poor me" whine coming through here?) Quite the hardship for someone like me.

Hmmm. I was going to call my self a fashionista there, but I don't think that term fits. I adore clothes and wearable art but am not interested in fashion trends. I believe that most current trends are incredibly unflattering to the majority of women. And girls. I'd rather just wear what I like and what looks good on me. If you want to read more about my fashion philosophy, my favorite style book of all time is Simple Isn't Easy. It makes the case for finding a uniform that you look fantastic in, and sticking to it, no matter the current trends.

Back to the point. I got to wear my dress for the first time. And dance in it. My hubby and I know a little west coast swing and a little two step but mostly they played salsa and rock. I had fun anyway, since my lovely friend comes from a culture where all the families just get up and dance with each other without waiting for an invitation or partner. They just find joy in friendship and music and dance. I think I'm going to try to be more like that.

I wish every one of you a little time back in that little-girl-twirly-dress blissful place.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Isn't this cool? Blogging on my laptop from a kid's sport event. I didn't know the center had a network I could hook up to. Really I should be cheering for my kid (I am mostly) or writing away but there are just too many distractions here. I'm finding I'm very distractible.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

On The Road

Gotta love a laptop. It turns a seven hour road trip into productive work time. My parents are visiting and we decided to take the little ones and head up to see my brother and his new little one. The kidlets were great in the car. They watched a movie on my tiny little i-pod when they got fussy.
Here's a little detail from a pice that reminds me of travel... marks in a line. What do you get done on the road? I've gotten a lot of work done but not a whole lot of writing. A couple of new classes outlined and a bit of editing. I think I need to sit isolated and quiet for a bit of a chunk of time in order to write