Saturday, February 20, 2016

Contests or Collaborations in Quilling

The NAQG Winter
Newsletter with Quilling
covered tree!
I found the winter edition of Quill America (the newsletter of the North American Quilling Guild) in my mailbox yesterday.  I was happy to see that the highlighted project on the front cover was "Festival of Trees:  Quilling Around the World."  This was the project that I had contributed to in October last year.  On the cover you can see the fully decorated tree, decked out with quilling.  And you can see close-ups of the tree-topper, a lacy angel in white.  I'm very proud to have contributed to such a beautiful tree.

And more fun was to be had upon opening up the newsletter.  Turns out the organizer took the time to photograph and catalog everyone's contributions!  I was surprised to find my own quilling right there in the newsletter :)  Warm fuzzies!  I felt my work was very appreciated.  I hope the tree raised a nice sum for the charity.  This was a very fun project, and I certainly enjoyed being a part of a larger creation like this, and for a good cause.
There are my ornaments in the circle!
It was so nice that the organizer took this
time to highlight all of our contributions!

This makes me think a great deal about contests versus collaborations.  None of us has infinite time to spend on quilling and so has to strategize what they will do with that time, and what they won't.  I much, much prefer to get involved with collaborative projects like this one.  I enjoy the feeling of all working together to a common cause, and the sense of community that engenders. 

Now, I have certainly entered quilling contests, and will no doubt do so again in the future.  But I do it mostly because that seems to be the go-to way for us to share our quilling with one another.  But I don't prefer it - quilling is already such a solo endeavor, it seems to be more enjoyable to me when more people are involved.  I also think it makes for a stronger sense of community.  I like seeing other people's quilling, but it does not have to be a contest for me to want to do that.

I'd really love to see more emphasis placed on community/collaborative work, and less on contests.  I'd like to see us move towards a model where we focus on these group projects and build strong community connections.  Winning a contest can be fun, no doubt.  But it just seems like there is too much importance placed on the contests.  What do you think?

Image Credits:  My pix of my own NAQG Newsletter

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Valentines and Maybe a Quilling Conference

Oh dear, I'm two days late posting my valentine, but no matter, here it is!  I hope you had a happy day and a chance to spend at least a few moments with a friend or family member.

I was lucky - I got chocolates, flowers, AND that framed commemorative stamp I've been going on about.  You know exactly the one I mean, of course ...

Now in addition to these pleasant ruminations, my mind has been taken up with a few other matters.  Such as pushing forward with my current WIP, the herb sampler, as I mentioned before.

But the big thing is trying to decide if I will take some precious time and funds and go to my first ever quilling conference.  The North American Quilling Guild is having its conference in Tennessee this year, not too far from where I will be at another meeting, right beforehand.  So it would be pretty straightforward to just hop over there and see what it's like.  I'd really like to go, meet other quillers, maybe pick up some new techniques, and see what the vendors have for sale.  But I don't have many free weekends as it is these days, so I just don't know.  Are you going?  What is it like, and what draws you there?  Are there any younger quillers?  I'm always interested in meeting the next generation!  I'm also considering offering a class about sharing your quilling online.  A lot of the quillers I know are not computer-savvy, and haven't really started connecting with the online community at all.  I think it might be useful and fun to show these folks what is out there, other than Facebook, like Twitter, say, as well as DeviantArt, Craftsy, and of course blogs!  What do you think?  Would you check out such a class?

Image credits:  My pix of my quilling, also my chocolates and my own new framed commemorative quilling stamp!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Ideas for Quilled Flowers and Plants

I've blogged before about how much I love books with different kinds of design motifs.  Well now I've found a wonderful resource for ideas on plants and flowers.  This is "5000 Flower and Plant Motifs" by Graham Leslie McCallum.  I'm surprised I missed this one; it was published in 2011, and I only spotted it late last year.  Yet this is exactly the sort of book I have my eye out for when seeking ideas for new designs for quilling, and more.

I had been originally looking at a number of possible other books, but read many comments suggesting that this was the real source book to buy.  So even though it was a bit pricey for me at about $24 I gave it a chance.  I was pretty impressed when it showed up, the book is an absolute brick, heavy, and filled with pages and pages of densely depicted designs of all types, drawn from a variety of cultures.

There are a number of versatile types of borders, for example, that could be adapted for use with cards, or used around the edges of matting for other designs, pictures, and invitations. 

Other pages show flower after flower, from the view of directly above the bloom.  Many of these are adaptable for quilling, and give a new way to look at centers and petals of flowers, rather than many of the typical quilled flowers we are used to seeing. 

The pages go on to show flowers in a variety of perspectives, including potted.  If you enjoy making floral miniatures, these would be excellent for new ideas.

One feature of the book is that it goes into incredible detail of some plants.  For example, there are two pages that just deal with the strawberry, showing the exterior, interior, leaves, flowers, and all the rest.  If you are planning to quill strawberries, this would be a fantastic resource to help consider all the different perspectives that these berries might be viewed from, and how they might be represented with paper.

A last feature of the book, is that all the designs also come on a CD, so you can get them into your computer for adjustment, color, or whatever.  I haven't tried the CD yet, since I'm still browsing this volume manually, but I look forward to trying it out.

Image Credits:  All images are my own, from my own copy of 5000 Plant and Flower Motifs by McCallum.