My new community site for textile folks

ning screenshot

Waving to everyone in very excited manner this morning! For l those with very sharp eyes. Last night a little bit of text appeared in my side bar which reads “Visit stitchin fingers a new community site for stitchers.” Well for anyone who noticed great work!

I have finally got around to doing something I have meant to do for ages and that is create a stitchin/textile community site over on Ning.

For a long time I felt that the community needs a hub that can act a depot to spread news of events etc. Ning is a social software site that helps people build communities. I think may provide the service the textile folks need. Ning looks to be good place to make announcements, share news and photos hang out online etc.

I have called the network Stitchin Fingers So far I have put a forum on there, and since Ning has an RSS feed so you can subscribe and new activity will appear in your reader. It is an ideal place to act as a hub for all sorts of news and activities that the whole community can make use of. So all are welcome to use it and be as active as you choose on the site.

It is free and looks like members can load their own photos, create albums, share them etc. This feature alone would have made it ideal for any of the challenges I have run. It means people who don’t have to have a blog can join in on activities and for those that do have blogs they tell us about them there! But its more than simply that. As I say its a community site – or I see it as that and I will keeping pure self promotion at bay . People can use it to spread the word about textile related events but I don’t see it as an avenue for business to peddle their wares.

Last night I spent far too long trying to decide on a theme and I will organise some sort of image in the banner. I don’t want to spend an age designing something only to find not one is interested. Basically I will polish it the more people join and use it.

Since its free you have nothing to lose head over to Stitchin Fingers, sign up, join and leave a hello message and we can see what develops from there. Bloggers and those on lists please help spread the word because it will not work if people don’t know about it. This is a community site so lets hope it builds!

I have described it as “The group is open to all who are interested in textiles both contemporary and historical. Since many textile practices cross or inform each other all areas are welcome ”
Actually I will reshape the description when
figure out how to describe the group as I am sure it will shape itself!

This is what prompted me to finally get this network site going as Tricia of Lets Create contacted me as she is establishing a group for people who are interested in challenges. Go and check out her blog here This is the sort of news that is ideal to spread on the Stitchin Fingers site.

On another note I thought I would bring this link to Designer Bookbinders to the top as
kimsarahtillyer left a comment point me to it. Designer Bookbinders was founded over fifty years ago and is a society devoted to the craft of fine bookbinding. There is some delicious eye candy in their gallery so do go and gobble some up (after you have checked out Stitchin Fingers that is)

Take it further in May

I hate that what do you do question as I have often wondered how to describe my various creative activities.

How do you describe yourself as an artist? One moment I am doing one thing that could be described easily as Art and the next I am doing something else that is craft! One moment my curiosity has lead me to to look at something quite strange as beautiful like the mould that grows on food in the fridge and the next I am looking at something most people would find familiar and boring and finding it fascinating like the bubbles in the washing up water.

Have you noticed that the term maker is being used to describe the activity of various people who may in the past be referred to as crafts person, or applied artist? For instance the British Crafts Council provides some interesting and thoughtful reading but in the Makers in Focus which looks at the working environment of West Midlands people producing crafts, the term ‘maker’ is used to encompass practitioners who variously describe themselves as craftspeople, or applied artists.

One of the ways I try and make sense of what I do is by defining what ever it is, as clearly as I possibly can. I think most people do that. The way I see it is if you can’t talk about what you do, or haven’t taken care in how you think about what you do, how do you expect others to respect the way you spend your time? Or how do expect people to respect what you make?

OK there is a few questions in the passage above but this month the challenge question is what do you call yourself and why?

Hopefully this will have everyone scratching their head but if you don’t like the challenge question you can elect to use the colour scheme instead.

Once again I came up with it by using ColourLovers and the palette was inspired by a crazy quilting block ( below). Remember that the colours can only ever be a suggestion as computer screens display colours differently. The aim is to be as close as possible to the colours on your screen. From ColourLovers you can download swatches to use is Photoshop, Illustrator, or in a CSS file. Have fun with it!

If you are wondering where the idea for the swatch came from it was this block and request for some pink that provoked the colour scheme. Once again click on the image and it will take you to a larger image.

As usual when you have worked the idea swing back to this page and leave a comment with blog or flickr address so that people can take a look at what you have been working on or done. There is a flickr group for the Take it Further Design Challenge and Debra Spincic has set up a another TIF blog. Please remember if you use Debra’s tif blog to swing by here too!

 


Take it further challenge for April

Since it is the first of the month it’s time to set another Take it Further challenge. With the arrival of Autumn in my part of the world and Spring in the Northern hemisphere my mind turns to ideas of cycles that involve change. Some people see change as positive while others are fearful of change.

Recently I have had two separate conversations. Both times I spoke about knocking a wall between kitchen and lounge area in our house. This would make the kitchen larger and open up the house considerably. One friend reacted with a comment about how houses are shaped to accommodate changing needs and how they grow to fit the family. In other words she saw this reshaping of the home in a positive light. Another friend jokingly asked me if it was mid life crisis time. In other words one person saw change as positive the other saw it is negative.

There are stages in life when it is almost unacceptable to change. For instance it is often implied that it is not acceptable to change when you are middle aged and the desire for change at this stage in life is often referred to as a mid life crisis. Yet often at the same time, in the work place expensive consultants are being hired to help corporations and institutions ‘manage change’. We are expected to adapt to different work stresses and embrace change in the work place but changes our private lives is framed as bit of issue. It amuses me when people say we have to learn to live with change as change has always been part of life. As soon as we are born we start to grow in other words we start to change.

How do you see change? That is the challenge topic this month.

I was torn about a colour scheme but came up with this one.

This is the source image I used. It is a holiday snap from when we went to China

Once again I came up with it by using ColourLovers If you have not seen this site before and love colour do check it out as there is much colourful fun to be had over there.

Remember that the palette you can only ever be a suggestion as computer screens display colours differently. The aim is to be as close as possible to the colours on your screen. However from ColourLovers you can download swatches to use is Photoshop, illustrator, or in a CSS file. Have fun with it!

As usual when you have worked the idea swing back to this page and leave a comment with blog or flickr address so that people can take a look at what you have been working on or done. There is a flickr group for the Take it Further Design Challenge and Debra Spincic has set up a webring for the challenge and another TIF blog.


Take it Further challenge March

Do you ever notice the little things, the small moments, the details in life? This months challenge is to do just that, pay attention to the tiny details. Sometimes the small things become emblematic for something larger. That is it! I am going to keep it brief.

The colour scheme is taken from one of my blocks.  On colour lovers you can download swatches to use is Photoshop, illustrator, or in a CSS file. It can only ever be a suggestion as computer screens display colours differently. So the aim of this challenge has always been to simply be as close as possible. Have fun with it!

As usual when you have responded to the challenge swing back to this page and leave a comment with your blog or flickr address so that people can take a look at what you have been working on or done.

There is a flickr group for the Take it Further Design Challenge and Debra Spincic has set up a webring for the challenge and another TIF blog.

On an important note Debra has asked me to remind folks that membership to the TIF webring will close on March 15th. I am not running this ring or blog so if you have enquiries please contact Debra about it.