Who me? aka How to direct people to your social media sites.

I taught a class a few weeks ago about social media for fiber artists. We were at a conference, which is a great place to network with people who have similar interests and passions. One of the things we did at the very end of class was to pass around a sheet of paper for everyone to share their Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media handles. I volunteered to gather up all of that information and email everyone a list of links so they could all follow each other. It would be like a jump start for your new social media account.

It wasn’t until I sat down to put it all together that I saw the flaw in my plan. Nobody knew how to share their handle or contact info for these various sites. For about half of the things that people wrote down, I couldn’t find them no matter how much I searched. I felt terrible. If you are an experienced user on any of these sites, this may seem like something that’s obvious to you, but I realized that nowhere is there an explanation for newbies that says “this is how you tell other people how to find you”.

So here it is; a quick-and-dirty guide to how to share your stuff.

Facebook Page

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 10.33.40 PMThey just redesigned the Facebook Page a little bit and now this information is super easy to find.

Go to your Facebook Page. Look on the left side under your profile picture and you will see the name of your page (ie Becka Rahn: Fiber Art). Right underneath that in lighter type it says @yourusername (ie @beckarahn.fiberart).

In the screenshot you can see […]

2016-08-31T00:42:14+00:00Everything Else, Tutorials|Comments Off on Who me? aka How to direct people to your social media sites.

Tutorial: Seamless Arrows Pattern, Part Four

(This is part four of a tutorial for making a seamless arrow pattern.  Find Part One and Part Two and Part Three here.)

Proofing and touching up the pattern is the finishing step to create the seamless arrow design and I am going to do that with the Photoshop pattern tool.  The first thing I do is select the whole design (Edit -> Select All) and create a pattern tile by choosing Edit -> Define Pattern and click OK.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 10.46.34 AMIt will look like nothing has happened.  That’s ok!  The tile that you selected has been saved in the patterns palette, which is kind of hidden.

To proof the design, I create a new blank file that is the size of a yard of fabric. That’s an arbitrary size – I just think it’s nice to look at a large number of repeats.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 10.46.58 AM

Then I choose Edit -> Fill from the menu.  From the pop-up Fill menu, choose Pattern from the contents drop down menu.  Just below that in Options there is another drop down and in it, you should find that pattern you just saved.  (See what I mean about a little hidden.)

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 10.47.25 AM

 

Now you can see what it looks like when the tile is repeating across a whole yard of fabric.  And right away a couple of things jump out at me.

arrow

Oops.  I didn’t think about the edges and I have a blank space where there aren’t any arrows. […]

2016-03-16T10:04:02+00:00Spoonflower & Fabric Design, Tutorials|Comments Off on Tutorial: Seamless Arrows Pattern, Part Four

Tutorial: Seamless Arrow Repeat Part 3

(This is part three of a tutorial for making a seamless arrow pattern.  Find Part One and Part Two here.)

For Part Three, I am going to move over and work with the design in Photoshop now.  Why?  I could easily add color in Illustrator, but the effect I want is to cut those arrowheads out of another photo, which will give it a very organic color wash instead of a solid color.

Open the file in Photoshop.

So first I open that file we just saved in Photoshop. I first double click the Layer marked Background to unlock it (making it Layer 0).  Then I use the Magic Wand tool and delete to remove the white background and just leave the pattern of black lines.  (Make sure the option marked contiguous at the top center is clicked off and you will select all of the white in the image and not just the parts touching where you click.)

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.11.41 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.15.30 AM

That will leave a checkerboard pattern in the background.  That is Photoshop’s way of telling you that is now transparent.

Add the photo layer.

Next I will add something to create that colored layer.  For my grant project design, I used one of the layers from the photo created by my design partner, so that her print and mine would coordinate.  But really anything will work, as long as it has the colors you want.  So for this example, I used a photograph of a columbine.  Choose File -> Place Embedded and pick your image.  Size/resolution is not really important.  Once you […]

2016-03-16T10:03:14+00:00Spoonflower & Fabric Design, Tutorials|Comments Off on Tutorial: Seamless Arrow Repeat Part 3

Tutorial: Seamless Arrows Print – Part Two

(This is Part Two of a tutorial for creating a seamless arrows print.  See Part 1 here.)

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.06.48 AM

Part two of the tutorial is all about making the design seamless.  What does that mean?  I want these arrows to look like they are traveling all over the fabric without having a a start and stop.  Even though I only made a small section of the design, I want it to look like I designed something bigger and disguise the edges of the repeating element.

Check and adjust your lines.

With this design, one way to make it look seamless is to make sure that any line that extends off the edge of the drawing, joins up with the design again.  In orange I circled two lines, which go off the edge at the top of the repeat, and then show up again at the bottom.  When I make this tile repeat and put two identical tiles next to each other, those lines will match up and look like they are one continuous line.  I should also say, you don’t have to always work in a repeat, in fact I don’t make repeats very often, but for this particular project I just needed some yardage and not a specific shape.  So a repeat was the easy way to go.  Make sense?

Try the Pattern Tool.

Illustrator also has a Pattern Tool which you can use to get a preview of what that repeating element will look like.  Select all of the elements in your design and then go to Object -> Pattern -> Make.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.09.17 AM

 

[…]

2016-03-16T10:02:27+00:00Spoonflower & Fabric Design, Tutorials|Comments Off on Tutorial: Seamless Arrows Print – Part Two

Design Tutorial: Creating a layered design

Often when I teach an intro fabric design class, the students and I create a collaborative fabric design during class, which I have printed and mail to them after class.  This most recent class played along with me and made this design using speech bubble shaped post-it-notes and wrote their favorite “clean” swear word.  I thought it would make a funny fabric, especially given the day I had before I got to class.  So I scanned our design and got ready to put it into a repeat and it just seemed sort of blah.  We needed a much more colorful fabric to match our colorful language.  So I added some color and after I sent the swatches, I told my class I would post a tutorial about how I did it so they could check back.  My screenshots for this are in Photoshop, but many other design programs have the same tools you can use.

We started with a scanned image of post-it-notes on black paper.  I scanned this at 150 dpi because I wanted to print it at the same size and that is the resolution I need for fabric.

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 9.47.06 AMThe first thing I wanted to do was to move the speech bubbles to a layer all by themselves.  This way I could insert something into the background and have them float over top.  When I open the image in Photoshop, it automatically makes it a locked background layer. (See the lock icon?)  When I go to the Layers palette and double click the layer that says Background, it will unlock it and convert it to a regular layer (Layer 0), which is […]

Sometimes the best tutorial has no words

photo(5)I had a vast quantity of tiny rolled hems to do this week.  The project is something I can’t really share yet, but I can talk about rolled hems and what I learned.  So I have done both machine stitched and hand stitched rolled hems before and although I am pretty good at the machine variety, I hadn’t really mastered the hand stitch. I could make it work, but they were fiddly and so very slow.  It was frustrating.  So I started to do a little research.  Maybe there was a better way to do the stitch?

The tips that really helped?

Rolled Hem Hankies at the Purl Bee.  Not only are the photos beautiful and clear, but the tip about slobbering on your fingers is essential.  I did just grab a damp washcloth and throw it on the table in front of me, but it’s amazing how much of a difference that made in getting the roll to happen.  She also does the stitch just slightly differently than what I was taught (with much of the stitch hidden in the roll) and this is much nicer.

It turns out that the best “tutorial” I found has no words.  But just by watching an anonymous and skilled seamstress hem a Hermes scarf, I picked up another really helpful hint or two.  If you watch the video you will see how she pins the scarf to a heavy pincushion.  This is genius.  It’s like having an extra hand to put some tension on what you are stitching and I could go twice as fast.  My tomato pincushion isn’t heavy enough.  I ended up weighting it down awkwardly with a […]

2014-10-09T22:53:11+00:00Embroidery, Sewing & Design, Tutorials|Comments Off on Sometimes the best tutorial has no words
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