Monday, 20 February 2012

Easter Bunnies, Norooz Goldfish and Denim Patches

This week I’ve got myself into a bit of a muddle, to put it mildly, and I was doubtful whether I’d get the ‘new, improved’ (and larger) bunnies finished in time for this week’s post. 

But here they are -

It wasn’t just my hospital visit eating into three days that made sticking to usual my plan very difficult; nor was it finding that Greeting Card Universe are asking us to create more Persian New Year (Norooz - 20th March) cards as a matter of urgency. I actually enjoy doodling and painting fishes and, with different wording, this one will double as a Pisces birthday card for a friend's upcoming birthday -

These interruptions didn’t help. But what really threw me off course was that I allowed myself to be distracted into trying out an idea for a repeating pattern, a patchwork of denim pieces, that I’ve been wondering about for a while.

I didn’t think it would take long because I decided to colour it with my new, rather scrumptious Derwent Coloursoft pencils, with the idea that if I used them on a rough-surfaced watercolour paper, they might give the effect of a grainy fabric.

Or, on the other hand, it might come out looking like a small child’s scribbles! Which is EXACTLY how it looked when scanned.

Apart from that, I didn’t much like the configuration of the  shapes.

You have to be careful when making a repeating pattern as the overall finished effect can be quite different from what you intended. Sometimes a colour will seem to be too dominant; or a shape will stick out like the proverbial ‘sore thumb’.

In this case, it was the two shapes by the arrow that, put side by side, reminded me of a modern tower block – quite the wrong connotations for a design that was intended to be soft and folksy and erring on the side of ‘country’! It’s difficult to anticipate these things unless, I suppose, you are very experienced in creating repeating patterns, which I’m not!

I’m still not entirely decided whether to make repeating patterns the old fashioned way or whether to use the computer throughout. Both have their pros and cons. 

  • The computer has the potential for greater accuracy but I often run short of memory when I’m placing the blocks side by side, in spite of my son buying me a whole lot more memory for Christmas last year! Even if I manage to get all the blocks positioned, if I use the paint bucket to colour the pattern, after a bit I get the dreaded ‘this programme is not responding’ message!

  • Making the complete repeating pattern with tracing paper on real paper has its limitations too as I only have an A4 scanner nowadays and these patterns usually need to be bigger than that.

So here’s my way round it – I hope - my 'cunning plan', as Baldrick would say!

While I was waiting for the Norooz goldfish to dry, I painted a very simple pattern based on the pieces of  a patchwork bag I made years ago and using the colour scheme of my first attempt, which I rather liked.

It’s just the one unit, so it fitted into my scanner, and I’ll upload it to Zazzle and hope that I can ‘add image’ repeatedly and then slot all the pieces together on the item I’m creating, like doing a jigsaw puzzle.  That way I should avoid the memory problem.

I very much hope to have something to show for all this in my next post – please keep your fingers crossed that this new ‘Cunning Plan’ of mine will work!


Betsy Grant said...

Thanks for the inside view - to see your struggles in your creativity and not being satisfied until you've achieved your best. I appreciate this. It requires patience, and persistence which you seem to have plenty of. Keep up the good work.

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you so much for your encouragement, Betsy. I don't think I have a lot of patience, but 'persistence' is probably my 'middle name'. And it's so satisfying when it pays off!

Country Mouse Studio said...

I like the last pattern and can't wait to see the finished product. I don't know why it's so hard to find a repeating pattern program. I'll keep searching.

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Carole - I've been very tied up this week, uploading all those new greeting cards for the Persian New Year, but I hope to get that denim pattern made into something over the weekend, even if it means forgoing the Six Nations Rugby!