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fiberart, contemporary stitchery, handmade soft dolls,
quilt , beading, needlework, Southwestern design by CSisson, RareAir Designs
.... Tips & Ideas 2 ....
Design Games that work
1) CUT & PASTE is CRITICAL!!--Before you pitch magazines, go thru them and clip anything that catches your eye. Don't forget to look at advertising and type faces. Everything is potential "grist for the mill". Hide all in lg. box under the bed until you have the flu. I find it soothing to do something mindless but pretty with cups of herbal tea. I gluestick "pretty pictures" in notebook for "stitcher's block."

I use black construction paper to make the colors stand out. Categories are loose--earth, water, sky, flora, fauna, folk, things/ornaments, seasonal. When I need a shape, a color scheme, a place to start, a place to be inspired--there it is. Don't get too organized, the point is to design and stitch.
SHAPED WINDOWS--I think most everyone knows about placing a cut-out shape over the picture or drawing as a useful design technique. Add to that making a VERY simple collage from whatever, look at the elegant stamping galleries on the net--they are doing great things with collage, some resemble layers of transparent fabric.
TRACING PAPER--Shapes will almost always go together if they come from the same source. This works best with fairly complex yet stylized shapes, I think. Shapes that have several "shapes within shapes".

For example, a drawing from a large slice of agate rock--scaled to a reasonable size on tracing paper & be generous about the amount of graphite you put down. Turn it over & trace on other side. Now, you can use it to transfer some of your design to drawing paper. And, you can "flip/flop/flip" the shape(s). Experiment with making NEW shapes by putting parts of the design next to other parts & lines. Use the smaller elements as seperate shapes--create borders, centers, lines from them. Create a large motif...repeat until you like it. Use light, medium and dark values to fill some shapes in. The designs for the 2 examples below were taken from the same agate slice drawing--but treated differently.

"DESIGN BY CONCEPT": I learned this technique many years ago from Wilcke Smith. It is among the most useful things I know.

a) Make a list of "polar adjectives" (descriptive words that are opposites). As many as you can, paired next to
each other. Keep these. i.e.

b) The CONCEPT is about what the finished piece should FEEL like...what it communicates. Let's take a few concepts--mystery, magic, celebration, ancient, a dance, lullaby. Pick one. Realism does not exclude concept.

c) Look at your list of polar adjectives & you are making design decisions...and narrowing/focusing on what THIS piece will have to say about the concept. If you have chosen "the dance", you will find yourself being forced to be very specific--which tune? What is the tempo? Pick only ONE word from a pair, pick all that FEEL like they apply.

d) When you are done, you will have the main shapes, lines, information about texture and fabric, etc. It doesn't matter if your ultimate design is realistic, geometric, abstract.Your list of adjectives should contain 55+ pairs.

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