Monday, April 14, 2014

Phone Tech Savvy to Benefit Your Fiber Art

If you are getting to know the features of your iPhone, and like me, you may never use that cell phone tool to its full advantage, today's blog post will give you one good reason to stretch beyond your technology boundaries! I fully admit that I am technology adverse. I seek out all the paper and pencil in the house well before I seek out a machine on which I can write. No calendar on my phone, no movies on my iPad--I simply like things old school. I get a little twitchy when people ask me why I don't take advantage of the time-saving tools on my iPhone, and I maybe even tune them out a bit, because I've convinced myself that I won't understand the steps involved in using my phone, at least not in a way that feels comfortable. Can you relate to any of this?

So, now that you know about the low-tech place from which I function, I am about to tell you that I am enamoured with the Turbo Scan App on my iPhone! My patient husband looked at me during my recent rant regarding my HP Office Jet Pro. "I don't know how to scan anything or send a fax! I cannot find anyway to make my computer and scanner 'talk' to one another!!"  Or something to that effect. With a respectful pause, my husband told me that he uses this App on his phone and he can send a scan to anyone he wants, quickly and easily. Well, good for you, smarty pants! He very kindly showed me how to do just that.

If you are an artist and often have fiber art in some stage of creative expression, you, too will love this phone App. I attended Jean Herman's workshop on fabric collage in Loveland, Colorado, this past weekend. Fabric collage is a fun technique that reminds me of creating your own puzzle from scraps of fabric. Gather up your scrap bag, a jar of gel medium, and a few of your favorite photos as inspiration, and you can in an afternoon, create a landscape, portrait or abstract image in fiber. The photo series I am sharing today reflects just such an experience. This fabric collage was developed during a four-hour workshop under Jean's guidance.

Here is when the Turbo Scan tool on your iPhone comes into play! I opened the App on my phone and was directed to take three successive photos of the piece [the original looks like the image on the left]. The App then melded those three photos into one scan, which I could then manipulate. To say that I manipulated anything sounds like an exaggeration of what I personally did at this point...I simply pushed a button that let me see the scan in black and white [middle image], or with a bit of color [image on the right], or as a complete photo [the first image]. Can you see how helpful this functionality is to a fiber artist? I can easily see in this series of scans that the simple fabric shapes I glued down actually do have a 3-D impact, are of interesting tonal values, have line that moves the eye, and finally, where I might need to add more detail. All from the push of a button! The exciting use of this tool let me see in just moments where I need to go next with this fiber art. No pinning it up across a large room and looking at it all squinty-eyed until I can see room for improvement. No need for getting expert form and function critiquing to determine the next best move. In just moments, I used technology to guide myself, and I feel great!

I am reaching out to my fellow tech-avoiders today in a selfish manner. This is my way of passing along the first step in healing myself of the notion I do not need to learn how to fully use my new phone. I hope that you have visions about how you could use this tool to get instant feedback on your next creative project! Or, I hope that this silly story is proof that old-school women can join together and learn new things! As Jean gently told us all at the workshop yesterday, her hope for us was that we would all end the day knowing that we had learned one important thing. Thanks Jean! I definitely did. You are a wonderful teacher.

Thanks for stopping by,

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