Category: Books


I’ve heard about ISSUU from reading other magazines and brochures published using their platform. My most recent encounter was in the form of UPPERCASE magazine (of which later). I got my grubby hands on a hard copy of Issue 21 of UPPERCASE just the other day, and the quality of the paper and layout are superb. Sure it’s rather pricey, but UPPERCASE is, like most ISSUU magazines, an independent production and has a small (but growing) subscription.

So impressed have I been by this that I’m now contemplating publishing my own magazine on mobile photography art. I haven’t figured out the technicalities of doing this yet, but that’s another story.

From ISSUU’s website http://www.issuu.com

Rediscover reading
With over 15 million publications, Issuu is the fastest growing digital publishing platform in the world. Millions of avid readers come here every day to read the free publications created by enthusiastic publishers from all over the globe with topics in fashion, lifestyle, art, sports and global affairs to mention a few. And that’s not all. We’ve also got a prominent range of independent publishers utilizing the Issuu network to reach new fans every day.

Created by a bunch of geeks with an undying love for the publishing industry, Issuu has grown to become one of the biggest publishing networks in the industry. It’s an archive, library and newsstand all gathered in one reading experience.

The statistics:
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Signing up was easy. I chose to do it via my email address, but you can also sign in using Google+, Facebook or LinkedIn.

The user interface is very similar to that of Pinterest and Flipboard. You start out by selecting a few publications to follow. Then you can save your favourites to “Stacks”. Magazines can be read online for FREE, but you can also buy hard copies from good newsagents worldwide.

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As you can tell from the photo above, I could start my own magazine online straightaway. But I won’t right now…instead I’ll check out some of the publications and assess them for quality of print and clarity of images.

My first magazine is the Maxwell & Williams “Joie de Vivre” 2014 catalogue. (I ♥ Maxwell & Williams teacups. My birthday is on 1st July. Just sayin’). With all ISSUU online publications, you can enlarge the pages to zoom in on text and images. Depending on how each publication was set up, the quality of enlargement may vary. (UPPERCASE wouldn’t zoom in enough for me to read the text clearly, which is why I had to resort to buying a hard copy).

Here are some screenshots from the Maxwell & Williams catalogue. (I have the red teacup and saucer already, ahem!)

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And here are some screenshots of UPPERCASE magazine issue no.21. You can see how the text is blurry and pixellated upon zooming in.

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That said, so far, the quality of ISSUU’s publications has been on the whole impressive. I can see myself getting lost in a world of fresh magazines. Have I said you can read them online for Free? I haven’t started any “Stacks” yet, but when I do, and when I start investigating how to publish my own magazine, I shall write and let you know, of course.

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http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

Cupcake Fever!

Um…yes. I confess I do have a predilection for yummy, scrummy cupcakes. For me, the perfect cupcake is moist, with an open texture, and releases a subtle waft of vanilla with each bite. The frosting has got to be buttery and just so, not too sweet, and the icing sugar has to be perfectly dissolved so you don’t actually feel your teeth bite into sugar. A few years ago, I developed an obsession with cupcakes, and now I’m still trying to get my waist back. They say too much cake isn’t good for you, and oh I do agree wholeheartedly, but sometimes I just can’t resist those wonderful swirls of butter frosting with silvery sprinkles on top, and the luscious chocolate taste, or even the beautiful little boxes they sometimes come in.

One thing I am fussy about, I like my cupcakes to be made from all natural ingredients, if possible. Vanilla extract, please, not vanilla essence or vanilla flavouring. And NO food colouring, please, if possible. Oh, I’ve nothing against brightly coloured cupcakes, they look gorgeous, but a couple of years ago my cousin brought some gluten-free, sugar-free, additive-free cupcakes to a family gathering, ostensibly for the kids…I tried a bite of one, and it was quite possibly the most taste-free cupcake I’ve ever tried. Not to mention the kids were running around with blue and green tongues all night.

In the midst of my cupcake obsession, I accumulated several books on the subject. You can get them on Amazon or through your local bookstore, I haven’t any esoteric, antique books that contain the Holy Grail of Cupcake recipes. Each book listed below contains one or a few of my favourite recipes, that I’ve tried. A friend asked me a while back why I stopped making cupcakes, and I said to her “Have you seen my face?  When you look up at the night sky and see the Moon, think of me”. Remember also, these books are much more than a collection of recipes for making cupcakes; included are also tips on baking, equipment, ingredients, recipes for cookies, cakes, pies, etc.

Anyway, here are my favourite recipe books from my collection:

The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, by Tarek Malouf.  I actually bought this book from the bakery itself, or should I say, the cake shop in romantic Notting Hill, London.  The Hummingbird has several branches all over London.  My favourite cupcake? The Lavender cupcake. http://www.amazon.com/Hummingbird-Bakery-Cookbook-Tarek-Malouf-ebook/dp/B00J75NDN0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398603743&sr=8-1&keywords=the+hummingbird+bakery

Baking Magic, by Kate Shirazi with Susannah Blake. I haven’t tried any other recipes within this, apart from the Chocolate Guinness Cake recipe, which I modified and used for making cupcakes.  And which, IMHO, alone is worth the price of the book.  I have made this Chocolate Guinness cake many times over, and always get rave reviews. http://www.amazon.com/Baking-Magic-Series/dp/186205889X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398604014&sr=8-1&keywords=Baking+Magic+Kate+Shirazi  

Eat Me! The Stupendous, Self-Raising World of Cupcakes & Bakes According to Cookie Girl. Quite a mouthful, but so yummy! Part memoir, part cookbook, written  by Xanthe Milton aka Cookie Girl. Photos are vintage-y and Cookie Girl looks Nigella Lawson-esque in a sexy, buxom way. My favourite? Lemon meringue cupcakes.  http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Me-Stupendous-Self-Raising-According/dp/0091925118/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398604682&sr=8-1&keywords=eat+me%21+cookie+girl

The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook, by Jennifer Graham. This book has handy guidelines for equipment, ingredients etc and even an index on where to buy supplies. It’s Australian, by the way, so the directory at the back only shows Australian suppliers. I love the Church Picnic Carrot cupcakes best.  http://www.amazon.com/Crabapple-Bakery-Cupcake-Cookbook-Jennifer/dp/0143004948/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398604826&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Crabapple+bakery 

Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery, by Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas. I bought this for the sheer eye candy food photography. But I do like their Chocolate and Banana Cupcakes very much.  http://www.amazon.com/Cupcakes-Primrose-Bakery-Martha-Swift/dp/1906868085/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398605199&sr=8-1&keywords=cupcakes+primrose+bakery

Of course, time has flown by and nowadays there’s a gazillion other cookbooks out there for you to choose from. I haven’t really looked on Amazon, recently, for fear of succumbing once again to Cupcake Fever. I’ll let you do that to yourself, lol.

Photos courtesy of Google.

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P/S: Cupcakes tie in very nicely with my vision of someday running a tea shop serving Mad Hatter Tea Parties! I have a feeling that I’d eat up all my profits, though…

I was reading Issue 9 of Renegade Collective magazine just today, and one particular article struck a chord in me. The article was called “The Art of Stealing”, and it was about one Lukas Renlund’s project called “Steal My Photograph! (SMP)”. Essentially, it is an Art movement where Lukas hangs framed prints of his photography on a wall in the street, with the invitation to simply take what you like. It started in Copenhagen, where the Finn was living and working, but now Lukas has taken his project to Barcelona, London and Cape Town, and is now preparing for a global tour. Each “exhibition” is filmed by hidden cameras installed behind the photo frames to capture the art thieves in the act of stealing.

Here are the videos of the Copenhagen, London, Barcelona and Cape Town “exhibitions”. Copenhagen Oct 2012, Barcelona Aug 2013, London Oct 2013, Cape Town March 2014.

The premise of Lukas’ social experiment is simple – steal a framed photograph, hang it anywhere you like, take a photo of it and email it back to Lukas. I love the idea.

A similar concept was hatched by my favourite Assemblage artist, Michael deMeng, called “Art Abandonment“:

Art Abandonment is a group designed to encourage random acts of art, left in various locations around the globe. The idea is that folks can make something and leave it for a lucky unsuspecting person to find. Artists can then post locations and photos of abandoned goodies…and finders can let everyone know that they are the lucky finder! O’ sweet abandon! So leave some art. Leave a contact email for the finder…and if you get notified share the message with this group. If you prefer you can use the contact email: i.found.artwork@gmail.com we’ll be checking it often and share the results.

Here’s an intro page on Typepad for full explanation:http://michaeldemeng.typepad.com/art_abandonment/   

Have fun!

The Art Abandonment Project is now also a newly published book by Michael and Andrea Mateus de Meng, available on Amazon.  I’ve just sent off for my copy, which I will share with my friends and hope that they will join me on this…as I  intend to give away some of my Photographic Art for free.

Actually, I’d come up with a very similar idea last year, which I mentally called “Random Arts of Kindness” and involved me giving out free art at subway stations, with the instructions that the recipient takes a photo of the piece and emails it back to me. Then last December I resigned from my workplace, which meant I was no longer commuting to the Perth CBD every weekday, so the idea went on the back burner. I did toy with the idea of having a Flash Exhibition at the Rockingham Library…but then quailed at the logistics of transporting the pieces and hanging them up and then the whole event being the world’s shortest exhibition lasting under 5 minutes as a flashmob of varsity students stole my Art during their tea break and I never heard back from any of the recipients. But now, perhaps, as a member of Michael deMeng’s Art Abandonment Project, I might be more motivated to get my arse into gear and actually practise what I preach?!

 

 

 

…then these speak volumes. Literally.

Scroll down to the end to find out who this amazingly talented artist is. Astounding work!

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Artist: YUSUKE OONO
Medium: 360° laser-cut story books

Just Google “Yusuke Oono” for more website articles relating to his amazing talent! He’s an architect by trade, by the way.

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http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

I blame Sarah Gardner for leading me astray. There I was, minding my own business, post-processing my mobile camera images willy nilly and anyway I liked, until She came along and veered me along in a completely different direction. I’ve been meaning to thank her ever since for doing that, and so here we are today.

I had been toying with the idea of romanticising my flower photography, by adding texture, grunge and scratches to them to make them look vintage and antique. At the same time I’d been playing with the different layering methods in Photoshop Touch – multiple, screen, overlay, difference, add, subtract etc…albeit instinctively without really understanding what they meant. All I knew was that sometimes one or another filter worked better than others. Then along came Sarah Gardner and the blinkers came off.

I found Sarah’s book “Art Beyond The Lens” at Boffins Technical Bookshop in Perth one day, and was hooked immediately. I loved Sarah’s style, her delicate colour palette, the sheer romanticism of her imagery. Plus, she also described in detail how she achieved each image. Here then, were templates that I could actually follow with my rudimentary Photoshop skills, and/or apply to the mobile version, Photoshop Touch, on my Samsung Galaxy S4. Don’t forget to check out her tutorials also on her web pages!

Sarah Gardner is a hard act to follow…literally…she has not just one, but several sites and blogs, dedicated to different aspects of her work.  A busy girl, indeed :-)! I shall list them below for your ease of reference:

http://www.sarahgardnertextures.com

http://www.sarahgardnerphotography.com

http://sarahgardnerphotography.blogspot.com.au

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgphotographyclient/

http://www.pinterest.com/sarahjgardner/

There’s a lot to take in from those sites, so I shall leave you with a few examples of Sarah’s beautiful images:

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Sibella Court claims to be part Gypsy, part Pirate. I think she’s a magpie, a magnificent, multicoloured, majestic magpie (not your usual black and white one). A collector of ephemera with a keen eye for detail and the esoteric. A dealer of trinkets, a world traveller with unlimited baggage allowance. A glittering jewel in the crown of some long-ago fairytale Princess. A writer extraordinaire whose books bend genres and deserve a shelf of their own in bookstores.

Sibella has written numerous books on styling and collecting. It was her book “NOMAD” that first brought her to my attention. Here was something that wasn’t a travelogue, or a photo book, or an interior design book, or a history/geography book … but was somehow all rolled into one at the same time.  “NOMAD” had everything I dreamed a book could have – a compelling story, advice about collecting and displaying stuff, interesting pages made from different papers, stamping and old-style typography, nostalgic photographs…I loved “NOMAD” so much that I found Sibella’s other books on Amazon and bought another 3: “GYPSY“, “BOWERBIRD” and “ETCETERA“.  All gloriously, swooningly lavish in detail.

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Here is Sibella’s Biography, taken from her Amazon shop profile:

Sibella Court has had a 20-year international career as an interior stylist. She has been based in Sydney since 2008 after over ten years living and working in New York. In Australia she creates interiors for the Merivale Group and private clients, her most recent spaces including: El Loco, MsG’s, Palmer & Co., The Fish Shop and Mr Wong. She is the award-winning author of books, ‘Etcetera etc’, ‘The Stylist’s Guide to NYC’, ‘Nomad’ and ‘Bowerbird’. Sibella’s books are personal, functional & aesthetically beautiful reflections of her style and the way she sees the world. Sibella is the owner of shop, The Society inc. and product designer with a 110-colour paint range, nail polish, soap, candles and a hardware range. She spends her time exploring for inspiration across the globe in backstreets, markets & fairs discovering new artists, designers & products for her shop & commercial designs and holding workshops. After living in New York styling and concepting for the likes of Bergdorf Goodman, Jo Malone, Donna Karan, Gourmet, Bloomingdales, West Elm, Saks Fifth Avenue and Domino to name a few, she continues to collaborate on projects in the States and looks forward to opening a studio in New York soon selling her own wholesale product ranges range. Sibella works extensively with Anthropologie, travelling on their inspiration trips and designing product ranges for them. She regularly contributes to VogueLiving, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and InsideOut and has been involved with television shows, as a judge on Channel 9’s ‘HomeMADE’ and featured on Keith Johnson’s ‘Man Shops Globe’. Sibella is currently working on further books, ranges and an array of design projects including designing an island.

As the blurb above says, this marvellous maven is the proprietor of a shop that us mere mortals can only fantasise about – The Society Inc. Here Sibella’s dreams are encapsulated in reality, her many unusual finds from her travels around the globe delivered into the feverish hands of her customers. It is essentially a junk shop, filled with ephemera, all sorts of oddities and curiosities, souvenirs from travels to far flung places…oh, but what a glorious junk shop it is! It makes me want to jump on the next plane to Tibet/Spain/Morocco/Zanzibar/(insert bucket list destination here) and scour the souks and bazaars for those delicious little trinkets and keepsakes that remind us of the wonderful experience we’re having. But, being of very modest means, I have to contend myself with leafing through Sibella’s beautifully crafted books, dreaming her dreams, and living vicariously through her.

We live a digital age, where traditional methods and materials are fast becoming a rarity. These days, works of art can be created at the click of a button, literally. Masterpieces that would normally take years to achieve now only take days. Consumers want more, and they want it now, so technology is developed to oblige. Even 3D objects can be created within hours from concept to reality. I predict that within the next decade, we will have the technology, and it will be affordable technology, to have our own personal “Wardrobe Generator” in our homes… Imagine this:  you wake up, and you can’t decide what to wear. So you go to your touch-screen Utility Wall, and you search through a catalogue of hundreds of thousands of clothing designs. You find a design that you like, but the colour’s wrong for your mood. Also, the design repeats are too big, as the original design was for upholstery.  So, with the touch of a few buttons, you simply change the colour and size of the design, then transfer your choice to a template…today you’d like to wear a simple organic cotton top.  While your “Wardrobe Generator” is literally fabricating your top, you turn to your selections for pants and shoes. That done, while your clothes for the day are being created, you go into your kitchen where you create your own blend of coffee and have your morning toast done to perfection by a voice-controlled robot toaster. Meanwhile, your automatic robot cleaner is quietly cleaning your home from top to bottom, using its numerous multi-tasking attachments.  You read your “Personal Newscaster” informing you of news relevant to your social circles, as well as World News. You send off a few birthday greetings, buy some flowers for your Mother just because, synchronise your virtual diaries on your TabletFone and SmartWatch to remind you that you’re having dinner with some friends this weekend. Your clothes are now ready, so you slip into them, and on your way out the door, your smart refrigerator spits out a list of groceries to get, as you are running low on some things. It also reminds you that your local Starbucks is having a special on Double Froth Organic Cappuccinos today only. That evening, when you get home, you simply throw your clothes into the “Garment Recycler”, where it will be stripped of its dyes and accoutrements back to its basic components, ready for when you call for it again tomorrow.

A strange but logical twist from this high-tech scenario is a renaissance in artesanal products, where people are learning to treasure and appreciate stuff made the good old ways in the good old days. “Artisan”, “Artesanal”, “Handmade”, “Handpainted”, “Made the traditional way”, “Organic” now carries big price tags to match.  The easy availability of materials has led to many people taking up nearly-forgotten arts, or simply doing it themselves. For years now, people have been making their own cheeses at home.  Ditto wine and beer, ceramics, silversmithing, jewellery, leatherwork, etc etc etc. Back in the 1990s, when Artist Teddy Bears were all the rage, I was part of the scene, creating my own handmade teddy bears for collectors, using high-quality materials such as mohair, alpaca and designer fur fabrics, and traditional cotter-pin joints and glass eyes.  When MDF became de rigeur for home improvements, I became quite the Handy Annie, designing and making my own bedside cabinets and ornamental  boxes, which I then decoupaged or applied various paint finishes onto.

 

Perfumes can be made to order, if you have the finances available … most celebrities these days supplement their already burgeoning income by having fragrances created under their own brand.  And if you don’t have the financial clout of Jennifer Lopez or David and Victoria Beckham, there are perfume kits available for you to concoct your own fragrances…seriously. I have one myself that I bought from a perfume lab in Paris, France.  (Only, I can’t seem to lay my hands on it, I know it’s somewhere in the house…I have in the past used it to create my own bath salts and body scrubs). My favourite story re: perfumes is the one about how the actress Sarah Jessica Parker created her first fragrance, Lovely. http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Scent-Inside-Perfume-Industry/dp/0312425775/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1390649732&sr=1-1&keywords=sarah+jessica+parker+LOVELY. The book is a great read, if you are interested in learning the inside story of how perfumes are created. In fact, I was so enamoured of this story that in October 2008, I took my young son, Jack to Paris, where we divided our time between constantly queueing up for 45 minutes at a time at Disneyland Paris for a 3 minute ride, and travelling on the train for 45 minutes from Disneyland into Paris for an entire day of perfume-hunting and window-shopping.

The Perfect Scent

The Perfect Scent

Right now I’m toying with the idea of taking up silk-screen printing. This used to be the traditional way that textiles and wallpaper were created.  It still is, but only just…as now of course we have Digital Printing. Much less mess, more accurate and predictable results, faster production, more cost effective after the initial outlay. My local Riot Art sells screen printing kits and inks, and it’s affordable enough, but the thing stopping me is this one fundamental point: I am not an artist who can draw or paint, beyond the basics. I remember reading the inspiring story of Blue Mountain Arts (Susan Polis Shutz and her husband Stephen) “Turning Dreams Into Reality” http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Mountain-Turning-Dreams-Reality/dp/0883966956, where they operated out of an open pickup truck and silk-screen printed Susan’s motivational poems and Stephen’s art onto greeting cards. Of course, Blue Mountain Arts, like many companies these days, has turned to e-greeting cards and digital printing, to keep up with the times.

Turning Dreams Into Reality

Turning Dreams Into Reality

While half the world is keeping up with technological advancements and all that entails, the other half is trying to “get back to our roots” and rediscover the good old days. These halves intersect, mingle, go separate ways, in an ever changing dynamic much like a murmuration of starlings. Such is the beauty of humankind.

Last year, I got it into my head that I wanted to learn about textile design, specifically how to print seamless repeated patterns. The subject was as obscure to me then as the Tibetan language, but I bought myself several books on textile designs and digital printing, and away I went down the rabbit hole. I marked my progress by recording my experiments here on my WordPress blog, more for my own reference than for anything else…you can see my explorations in the 30 posts titled “Not Quite Photoshop…but close”.

Months later, I’m pleased to report that whilst I still fumble about in the dark with Photoshop, I now know a good thing or three about creating repeat patterns using only my Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 10.1 and iPad2, along with iOS and Android Apps. And I’m glad I went through all those months of research and experimentation, because it led me to discover the wonderful works of ANGIE LEWIN.

Angie Lewin’s work is right about where I would like to be now, creatively speaking.  She uses wood engraving, linocut, silkscreen, lithograph and collage, and her subjects are drawn from Nature and include seedheads, dried seaweed, seed pods, grasses and feathers. Angie is an Art school graduate, with a firm grounding in drawing and illustration. She also runs a fabric design business with her husband, called St Jude’s Fabrics.

Here are some links to Angie’s work in interior design settings and as greeting cards, to whet your appetite. If you are a budding mobile photographer/artist, take a leaf (haha, pun!) from Angie’s book (in more ways than one) and aspire towards her level of perfection!

http://www.stjudes.co.uk/angiepdf/homeantiques_nov2008.pdf

http://www.art-angels.co.uk/cat/angie-lewin

http://www.onebrowncow.co.uk/stationery-cards/angie-lewin/cat_57.html 

http://www.theblankcardcompany.co.uk/acatalog/ANGIE_LEWIN.html

All of which I find very inspiring, as it is my fondest wish to see my own creative output on cards, posters, bedlinen, curtains, rugs, china etc etc. I’m sure you will be inspired by Angie’s work too!

http://www.angielewin.co.uk/pages/about-my-work

http://www.stjudesfabrics.co.uk/collections/angie-lewin

I will leave you here with some examples of Angie’s work, taken from Angie’s book “Plants and Places”, which is available on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and The Book Depository. I have it on order, and I can’t wait for it to arrive!

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I’ve had the App Deco Sketch by App developer Ben Guerrette sitting in my Samsung Galaxy S4 for a year now, but never got round to using it until recently. Here is an excellent review of the App http://www.knowyourapps.com/reviews/deco-sketch-review/ The purpose of me writing this is not to review the App, it’s to show how I use it in creating my mobile photography art images. In particular, my little secret Project, “Alternity”, that I’d been working on for a few months.

The “Alternity” Project is inspired by Steampunk, ancient artifacts and cryptic manuscripts. I played “Zork – Nemesis” on my PC many, many years ago, and have been hooked on the idea of strange worlds ever since, where you have to solve riddles or find objects, in order to get from one stage to the next. “Myst” was another favourite game. I had the original “Tomb Raider” on my original Playstation in the 1990s (I’m starting to show my age!), and spent weeks playing it through to the dizzying finale. I love the whole idea of ancient manuscripts, letters from the past, Steampunk devices and machines, grungy, gritty elements, the sense of being on the verge of discovering something earth-shattering.

I have enjoyed playing with Deco Sketch, learning how to use it by creating several geometric designs using the various shapes and brushes provided. With so many different types available, it is quite possible to generate thousands of different combinations and not come up with a duplicate. The possibilities are mindboggling.

I used the following Apps on my Samsung Galaxy S4 for “Alternity”:

Deco Sketch – geometric design image as the base image

Impressionist Fingerpaint – brush marks, texture

PS Touch – blending of images, fine tuning

HDR FX Pro – add texture, change photo effect colourways

Phonto – for text and placement of text within image

iMage Effects Pro – for borders, grunge and textures and lomographic filters

Pixlr Express – for more grunge, texture, borders and fine tuning

Watermark  – for my digital signature, faded out til very light

 

Of course, I could have used iOS Apps such as Tangent, AddLibS and AddLibU, etc for the geometric design backgrounds, but for this Project I deliberately limited myself to Apps I had on my Samsung Galaxy S4 only.  I must confess I do enjoy having such restrictions and working with a limited palette.

I am thinking of creating a different set of “Poem pages” to go with this series of images, and putting together a little book using one of the Print On Demand Sites online.

Here are the images from my “Alternity” Series. The Series starts with dark, brooding and atmospheric images, hinting at obscure secrets, then gets lighter and brighter towards the end. Symbolising perhaps Humankind’s progress from Darkness to Light. In each of these images are hidden Clues or Words that give further meaning to the project as a whole. I hope you have fun deciphering these clues! Answers on a postcard, please! ;-)

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In this post I will share with you my list of books that I’ve found useful in my exploration of the world of textile design and pattern repeats.

For textiles, there are a plethora of books available. Some relate to the fashion industry, others to home furnishings. Both are equally useful if you, like me, are wanting to see your designs on a scarf or wrap, or as the cover of an armchair.

The book I like to refer to for inspiration is “Textile Designers at the Cutting Edge” by Bradley Quinn.

Textile Designers at the Cutting Edge by Bradley Quinn http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1856695816/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_7bsMsb0XDQ0D1

Now, if it’s a primer on how to design fabrics, using Photoshop and Illustrator, I would recommend reading these 4 great books:

1) A Field Guide to Fabric Design, by Kim Kight A Field Guide to Fabric Design: Design, Print & Sell Your Own Fab… http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1607053551/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_gesMsb00NR4A7

2) The Complete Guide to Designing and Printing Fabric, by Laurie Wisbrun The Complete Guide to Designing and Printing Fabric by Laurie Wisbrun http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1408147009/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_1gsMsb0H18H34

3) Printed Textile Design, by Amanda Briggs-Goode Printed Textile Design by Amanda Briggs-Goode http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1780671180/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_RjsMsb0RT6D53

4) Digital Textile Design, by Melanie Bowles and Ceri Isaac Printed Textile Design by Amanda Briggs-Goode http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1780671180/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_RjsMsb0RT6D53

The book that is fast becoming my Pattern Bible is Jane Callender’s brilliant “2000 Pattern Combinations – a step-by-step guide to creating pattern”.

2000 Pattern Combinations: for Graphic, Textile and Craft Designers by Jane Callender http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/184994007X/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_HtsMsb021ZCM0

In her easy manner, Jane sets out to explain how patterns are created, with diagrams showing each step. Everything you need to know about designing patterns is in this book. I can’t praise it highly enough. I want to run, not walk, but I find I have to make myself really sit down and read each mini-tutorial slowly so I understand how it’s done. Jane explain how patterns are created on a computer as well as freehand. My task is to challenge myself to see if I can replicate these using only my Samsung Galaxy S4 and Apps.

When creating patterns, you may want to find clip art or images to use. Try the Dover publications, Dover specialise in non-copyright images or those whose copyright have expired. They literally have millions of images available for use. Some of their books come with CDs containing TIFF files of the images, so you can download them to your computer to play with to your heart’s content. Be aware that there may be certain restrictions as to the usage of these Dover images, these will be outlined in the preface of their books.

http://store.doverpublications.com/

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