Archive for January, 2011

January 31, 2011

Support for Free

by heatherkp
But what about free content?

Image by pr1001 via Flickr

It’s the last day of January, wow can’t believe how quickly it’s gone!

Over the last year (maybe more) there’s been a lot of discussion about the current culture of free and the sustainability of free content.  I first became aware of this discussion over at Crafty Pod and have been reading and participating in the discussion in an effort to help find some solutions to the currently non-sustainable practice of free in the creative community.   Last Friday Diane posted about How she supported some Free in January. I’d like to contribute to this discussion by being more transparent about how I contributed and I’d encourage you to do the same!

I currently am not selling products (that will change in 2011!) but I provide my customers with a service and I hope to offer inspiration and from time to time a free idea, tutorial etc.  I try to support others in return for their free content by way of encouragement, links back to them, credit where it’s due etc. but I’ve always believed that the strongest form of support is the monetary kind.  I believe in the Thriving Artist not the starving artist!

In the past year my income has dropped dramatically but I can still manage to support others in their creative purpose, especially those that inspire me and give so generously of themselves!  So, in the month of January I’ve supported Tara Gentile by taking her fabulous Website Kick Start class (I’ll be rolling out my new website in February!).  For now you can sign up for new class notifications here.

I purchased a gorgeous calendar from Jessica Swift and she threw in a FREE print with the purchase!

Lastly I purchased an amazing marketing bundle from zero 2 illow which included contributions from about 6 different creative contributors including Khristian Howell, Tara Reed and Chris Guillebeau!

All of these creative people offer free content on their sites as well as beautiful products and super helpful services.  Please check them out and support our creative community (especially financially)!

How do you support other creative people who contribute by offering us free content?

January 29, 2011

Silent Saturday::Sunrise

by heatherkp

Sunrise Fantasy

January 28, 2011

Fiber Friday

by heatherkp

Happy Friday!  This has been a relaxing week and we’ve finally gotten some real snow.  As I sit here writing this there is snow on the ground and more falling.  Due to the snow this week I was unable to get out for my weekly field trip so today I’ll bring you some fibery goodness from around the web.  These are some of my all time favorite fiber artists (not an extensive list though).  I hope I’ve shared a few new artist and designers with you here, or some old favorites.  All photos are courtesy of the individual designers and artist websites and if you click the photo’s you will be directed to their sites.

Spirit Cloth Stitched and Quilted Textile

Red 2 White Scarf

Alabama Chanin Pillow

Betz White New Scarf

Elyse Allen Knit Textiles

Anne Kyyro Quinn Textile Installations

Jeung-Hwa Park Shibori Knits

Tinctory Fiber Jewelry

January 26, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Exercise for Mind & Body

by heatherkp

What kind of exercise makes you feel good?  Do you love to take walks, dance, practice yoga, run, spin, lift weights?  I know that when I get regular exercise I feel better physically and mentally and I’m so much more creative.  When I’m stuck creatively I find that taking a quick walk can spur on the creative ideas.

Exercise is really as vital to my mental health as physical.  When I’m getting regular and routine exercise I’m a more happy person and I don’t tend to dwell on or over-analyze negative thoughts.  Without exercise I tend to get sucked into that downward mental spiral.

Nia Jam (photo courtesy Suzannah Weiss

My absolute favorite forms of exercise are dance, walking and yoga.  I practice this particular form of dance called Nia which incorporates different forms of dance as well as martial arts and yoga.  I love it and try to practice in a class once a week (it’s a little hard to find classes where I live) and once a week via DVD.  I also practice yoga 2-3 times a week and try to take as many walks (2-3 at least 30 min each).  When I get a minimum of this much exercise I feel pretty good.  I’ll often add in some weight lifting and stretching if I really want an energy burst or feel like I need it.

Why do you exercise, does it keep you inspired, de~stressed or energized?  What is your favorite type of exercise?

January 25, 2011

Techinique Tuesday::Folds and Pleats

by heatherkp

I’ve been quite obsessed lately with folding and pleating.  Through my research I’ve been so inspired by some of the creations I’ve come across in both fabric and paper (as well as other materials).

Folds and Pleats on Pinterest

Once again I’ve put together a collection of folded and pleated images that inspire me over at Pinterest (I LOVE that site!).  Click on the image to take you to the sources.  On Saturday I decided I would sit down and learn how to fold an Oragami Crane.  This is one of those things that’s been on my creative To-Do-Learn list for years.  I folded 7 cranes to start with (somewhere I heard that if you repeat something 7 times it sticks).By the end of the day I had it memorized and was able to demonstrate it for my family while we were at dinner waiting for our food to arrive.  I gave this crane to my mom who promptly turned it into some other unique form of bird by manipulating it a bit more, gee, wonder where I get my creativity from?

Here are a few other creations I’ve been playing with in both fabric (and ribbon) and paper that use techniques of folding and pleating to transform a two dimensional surface into a three dimensional form.  I wasn’t very good at math or geometry in school but if it had been taught to me via creative devices such as paper folding I think I might have been a lot more interested!This textile Aris cabinet designed by Moritz Schmid for Swiss manufacturer, Pfister captured me!  I’d love to incorporate more textiles into my home by perhaps collaborating one day with my husband since he loves wood working!

Have you ever tried oragami or using folds and pleats in your art or design work?

January 21, 2011

Flora Foto Friday

by heatherkp

A little floral cheer to bring you the warmth of summertime on this brutally cold winter day.  Happy Friday!

Hardy Begonias (copyright 2010 HKpowerStudio)
January 21, 2011

Field Trip Friday::Oasis @ The Textile Museum

by heatherkp

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (image copyright The Textile Museum)

I went to check this show out last week with a friend.  We had also intended to go to the Phillips Collection which was FREE to the public last weekend to celebrate their 90th, but alas the line was insanely long so that didn’t happen!  It was okay because I’d had this exhibit on my to-see list for way too long.  I admit that sometimes I take the Textile Museum for granted and don’t get as excited about some of the more traditional exhibits, boy was I wrong about this one!  I just thought it would be another nice Ikat exhibit (right~ you know I’m a textile designer when I say that) but it was so much better than I had anticipated!  Look at the COLORS, wow!  No wonder they called it Colors of the Oasis.

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (image copyright The Textile Museum)

This exhibit showcases 19th century Ikats from central Asia.  The collection (of over 200 Ikats but not all are on view was donated to the Textile Museum by collector  Murad Megalli.  This is the first time this collection has been on view for the public and many of the pieces were beautifully restored.

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (image copyright The Textile Museum)

They chose such a fantastic color for the walls to offset this collection.  I can’t say I’ve ever really noticed the walls at an art exhibit but this color really does the collection justice.  These warp ikat designs are characterized by vibrant colors (with a lot of primary’s used) and bold, rather large scale motif’s with quite a bit of contrast.

Colors of The Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (copyright The Textile Museum)

I would love to really be able to study the motifs and color combination’s used more closely, it was so inspiring.  It’s no wonder these magnificent textiles were a sign of prestige and status in the Oasis towns of Central Asia.  Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (copyright The Textile Museum)The exhibit also featured a small display and video explaining the technique and process used to create warp Ikat designs.  These were contributed by students at MICA’s Fibers department.  The exhibit is also accompanied by an in depth exhibit catalog (that I would LOVE to have!).  I’ve been a member of The Textile Museum for the past 5 years and I’d greatly encourage you to donate or join if you are inclined to value the research and exhibitions in textiles that this world class museum provides.

January 19, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Sleep Well

by heatherkp

Do you get enough sleep?  Being well and feeling well literally begins with getting a good night sleep.  I know that I generally need 7-8 hours of sleep a night to feel my best.  I am not really able to sleep in past 7 or 8 so this means I have to get to bed by 11 or 12 at the latest.  We each have to listen to our internal clocks to determine the right amount of sleep and the optimal time for sleep.

I know the practice of napping is something some people swear by but I’ve never been able to nap.  I’m just not a napper, wish I was!  So that means I need to get that sleep at night because once I’m up, I’m up.

There are so many fascinating studies that illustrate all the ways in which sleep is important for us.  Lack of sleep and fatigue can lead to stress, weight gain, depression, anxiety, heart and other health problems (especially with sleep disorders) and it can be downright dangerous (as in driving and falling asleep etc).

January 18, 2011

Trend Tuesday::Pinwheels

by heatherkp

Here is another fun trend I’ve seen popping up all over.  With it’s historic roots in quilt patterns and the fun paper pinwheels that kids play with this design motif is so cheerful.

Pinwheels (click on image for links)

There are so many variations on this motif (like the Chevron’s) and there is probably a style of pinwheel that would make almost everyone happy.  It’s geometric and linear, can be more about form or linework or color depending on how it is rendered.  Not to mention the 3 dimensional versatility that can be used in many materials such as paper, fabric and other materials used for building (plastic composites, metals etc).


Pinwheels (click on image for links)

Have you ever made a paper pinwheel?  Don’t you love the childlike spirit invoked by this little motif?

January 18, 2011


by heatherkp

They are all over the place on everything from grand mom’s vintage throws to wood flooring, paper goods, textiles, rugs, jewelry and wall coverings.

Chevrons, Zig Zags & Flame Stitch (click the image for sources)

I think that the versatility of the chevron is what makes it such a satisfying pattern that never goes out of style.  Weather it is a bold graphic chevron, a subltle knit pattern or a simple line work impression it can be so effectively used in such different ways.

Chevrons, Zig Zags & Flame Stitch (click the image for sources)

I love a well placed Chevron (or Zig Zag or Flame Stitch), how about you?

Do you prefer the bold two color look like black and white or do you like more subtle or multi-color chevron rainbow effects?