Create Art Everyday UPDATE 2-14-2012

I have given myself this challenge, and I have to remember, I am not necessarily looking for the next masterpiece every day, but rather, that I DO something creative. Some days, it is more an exercise in creativity to SEE that something was creative than to actually create.

I am in a challenge group to get some of my quilts that up until now have not managed to get finished, finished!

So, a good number of the daily creativity will as a result reflect this.

Also, creativity to me is puttering on the computer, playing with Lightroom or PSE…(which don’t always result in RESULTS)

Without further ado, here are the photos from the first two weeks, in no order at all!

A pretty orange pepper I found at the grocery store the other day:

2012 FEB 04-8


2012 FEB 06-5

Timmy and I, self portrait at the beach:

2012-FEB 13

A pair of Lampwork earrings:


My 2×4 quilt, getting back into the swing of it:


Layla and I had Arts and Crafts when she visited last:


This is Timmy’s Valentine:


THIS is going around Facebook lately— pretty much sums it up!



Today is February 2,  2/2. Groundhog Day. How about having creativity being the thing that runs in a loop—do something creative! EVERY DAY.

I made it through January, which seemed a drag. I had finished up my 2011 Photo a Day Project, and just didn’t feel the desire to do it again.

I finished shooting for my Year on the Appomattox, as well.

While I probably did do some creative things, they were done without purpose, or true acknowledgement.  I am going to try to change that, starting now.

Some days, the creative bug is difficult to find, and it may be that doing something creative will be as exciting as some of those last minute, oh, shoot I forgot to take a photo images… But I hope that more of them will be on a higher level than that!

Limitations to creativity—none. I am not locking myself into any particular medium. Creativity comes from where it comes, and we shall not argue with it!

I probably won’t post a new blog post daily, but I WILL post on Facebook what my creative endeavor was, and I will update the blog at least weekly, and sometimes even with photos!!

Ready, set, START.

February 1—Yesterday I quilted. I finished the binding on a baby quilt. Now, it is washed, folded and awaiting the newest baby on the scene…

February 2—I worked out the pattern I was attempting for a tote bag, and finished up two totes, which need some threads snipped. Then I can photograph them and mail them off to their new homes, as late Christmas gifts.

Copy Wrongs…..

I cannot believe I am going to attempt a blog post about copyright law. I need to have my head examined. 🙂

Copyright is a topic of conversation that comes up with seemingly scheduled regularity at one or another of the creative-leaning message boards to which I belong. (The fact that this blog is being posted now is not because of any one thread, anywhere…. so don’t be paranoid…I frequent reading, writing, quilting, photography and multi-media art boards. 🙂)

It matters not an iota apparently, that there are pages and pages of governmentally published, legally complete and sound copyright information at one’s fingertips, because before a few pages go by, the threads almost always resort to virtual shoving matches; with an entertaining variety of supposition, assumption and plain old poor legal advice being offered as ‘truth’ and ‘don’t let the turkeys get you down, do what you think is right.’ (Some of the ‘best’ will eventually invoke Godwin’s Law.)

It is no wonder, after reading these sometimes amusing and highly fictionalized diatribes, that people do not understand copyright law. They probably understand less after finishing a thread than before. Therefore, I am not offering you any legal advice (other than the link above).

But I do want to throw on my ethical sombrero for a moment, and pose these few thoughts. (And let’s remember, people, this is a blog. A semi-humorous rant even. :)  It’s my opinion, offered up to you on a carefully seasoned sarcastic plate. YMMV.)

Often, the reasoning begins with—“I’ve heard (or was told by my college art professor) that if I change 10% –or 20% or 30% or the background color– it is no longer copyrighted.” Or the line of attack borders on quantity, or the amount of money changing hands.  “I certainly can understand why it’s illegal to copy CD’s, after all, that is thousands of dollars…” (I never know whether they mean that the artist is losing or the ‘thief’ is making :) ) They then excuse themselves with the line—“but if I only want to make 4 of this to sell, or copy 15 of that so I can teach a class (where they receive monetary compensation??) it’s not hurting anyone.”

These appear often to be the same upstanding, God-fearing citizens that feel there is nothing wrong with not following the rules of redemption for coupons in a store, other little acts of civil disobedience or dishonesty because they feel entitled,,or for belittling a service provider and telling them to “Have a blessed day” as they storm off.. (But that is another rant entirely. 🙂)

I am a photographer. (And quilter and writer….) I’ve spent a good long while attempting to ‘perfect’ my craft. I am not perfect. Not by a long shot. But every photograph I take, the moment I take it, BELONGS TO ME. (Even if it is a photograph of you–unless you paid me to take your photograph and I agreed to transfer the copyright.)

The fact that I post it on the internet does not mean that anyone is permitted to simply find it, click on it and sell it, print it, design a quilt or paint a painting using it, put it on a T-shirt, or a notepad, use it as a screensaver—well, you get the idea. That is why on my site, all images are Right-click protected. If you find one that isn’t doesn’t mean you are allowed to have it and do any of the above either. It belongs to me. You are welcome, and indeed ENCOURAGED to contact me if you would like to do any of the above, and we can discuss it! 🙂

There are legal limits, however, to what I may do with a photograph that I take. For example, when I go to a quilt show, almost all of their brochures specifically state you may NOT post photos of the show on the internet on a public forum. (With or without attribution.) I don’t have the specific language, but basically they say is “Don’t shoot images of quilts whose makers you don’t know and toss them up on Flickr.”

I take hundreds of quilt images. They are for my own perusal, for my own satisfaction and enjoyment. I take a photo of every placard, so I can reference the artist. I do put them online, on my own photo website, and they are locked and unavailable to the general public. I still state in the comments field that they are NOT my work. If I am so inspired by one that I end up designing and making a quilt based on one of these images, you can bet your patootie that I will be contacting the original artist before I post it online and I will always give him or her attribution.

I took an incredible shot of a hummingbird at the San Diego Zoo. I cannot sell it for profit, because that is the San Diego Zoo policy (Which I agreed to based on my entrance fee) Sure, I could not tell anyone where the shot was taken. If I really needed to sell it, I could contact the zoo and see what I need to do. I do have photos taken at a Botanical garden with an entrance fee available for purchase on my website, but before I posted them, I contacted the location and they stated sales are permitted.

I do not frequent Wal-Mart (A whole other thread, 🙂) But, I am aware that if I take my photos in to them to print, chances are, they will not do so, because my work is of a quality (depending on subject matter) that smells to them of professional. And they are to err on the side of copyright law. Much to the chagrin of folks who attempt repeatedly to make copies of studio images. While I can’t condone much about Wally, I am glad to know that they take this seriously.

I sometimes write Fan Fiction. Which basically means using another author’s characters. At the top of every chapter I type a disclaimer. ‘These are so and so’s characters, they don’t belong to me, I am making no money, yada yada.’

In quilting there is a long history of sharing and a wealth of public domain quilt blocks available, and this can sometime make the entire copyright situation confusing. However, physically copying someone’s instructions for construction of a quilt is a no-no. The act of combining this block with that block and a creating a totally new interpretation, etc. can ….well, wait. I said I was not offering legal advice, didn’t I? (I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV) Whether a lot of the other information that the author expresses in the fine print is legally binding is debatable (hence the pages of threads, etc) but still—

There is a simple understanding and basic rule of thumb to follow, and it is not a law at all. It is simply called the Golden Rule. Be nice. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Found in pretty much every civilization and in every religion on the face of this earth.

How would YOU feel? Isn’t that something we ask our four-year old when we try to teach them that taking the blocks someone else is playing with isn’t nice? The grown-up version may be more along the lines of “How would YOU feel if you spent all of that (time and effort and money and education) coming up with ABC, only to find that someone else is trying to make $money$ from it, without even saying you had inspired them?

FILE UNDER: SARCASM, HUMOR, with a dash of ‘Do I see myself?’ 

©2010 Trish Casey-Green  (Which I don’t need to state. The act of my fixing these words in a tangible form automatically copyrights them to me. You may link this entire post only (not a part out of context) and you may not do so without indicating I am the author of these words. By the way, titles can not be copyrighted. So, a million pardons to anyone else who has used the title before. (I imagine myself to be clever, but I am probably not THAT unique.)  Oh, and if you want to know how to affix that neat little © ? Hold the ALT key and on your numeric keypad and type 0169.

Baby, come back…

All of the art that I create, either to keep or to give away, holds a deep and precious place in my heart.

There is always an internal tug-of-war to the giving of something that takes so much time and energy. First there is the creative and psychic energy that is required to contemplate something into existence, and then the actual on-the-clock time to design and actually make said object.

Maybe this shouldn’t be so. Maybe as I create, I should allow that part of me to separate, and become its own being, allow it to find its way in the world, alone and without my loving arms around it.

Letting something precious out into the universe, unprotected by my hands any longer, is exactly akin to allowing your child to climb up the steps onto the school bus for the first time, watching and waving long beyond the time that they have turned away from the window to chatter with their newly found friends.

The bus comes back, and the child, victorious at succeeding at separation, but thrilled to bits to tell you every single thing that has happened from the moment the bus pulled away, runs down the steps and into your arms.

And yet, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, you keep bringing the child to the bus stop, to the train station, to the airport. One day, they have to make it on their own.

Do you make things to give to people with an expectation of how they will use or display said object? Do you worry about whether the blood, sweat and tears that went into its creation is appropriately appreciated?

Can you gift-wrap something that spoke to you so strongly during its birthing, and know that wherever you send it, it will be happy?

Or do you worry that somehow, your baby won’t be appreciated…(That his sense of humor is not understood, that his quirky behaviors rattle other people, that your little love will not be voted ‘Most Likely To Succeed’, ‘Mr. Popularity’ or ‘Most Beautiful Baby’?)

Are you miffed if you visit the recipient one day and don’t see your masterpiece displayed with the honor you feel it deserves? Do you b#t%h that everything you’ve ever made and given to Aunt So and So has been relegated to the linen closet because it doesn’t match her decor?

Does the quilt you made your mother sit in a hope chest, because its “too nice” to actually put on the bed?

Did your grandmother knit a sweater for your son, that you grinned through clenched teeth a “thank you” and then you packed it away because the colors she chose where oh-so-not-trendy and today?

When you say that you think that handmade gifts are better than store bought, do you mean it, or does it just sound less commercial and greedy? Do you think that right up till the time you receive something that doesn’t meet your standards, but was made with loving hands?

I’ve read blogs and forum posts where the very same collection of people who carry on about how perfect their children are, how creative their handmade gifts will be and how tasty the homemade baking that they will do is, turn around and complain about the above.

They have said that they never eat the homemade gifts from a certain person because they’ve seen their kitchen; teachers have stated all homemade food gifts go directly into the trash after the children get on the bus; and inevitably the day after Christmas there will be whining and astonishment that their mother-in-law would even think that they would dress their child in such an obviously handmade sweater!

How hypocritical are you, really?

I am working on something that I may or may not turn into gifts, and if I do, I don’t quite know who the recipients will be yet.

My muse is still working out the details. (Timmy understands to the degree that he actually commented the other day on whether or not these guys had ‘spoken’ to me yet… They hadn’t then, but I am starting to hear their voices)IMG_5475

When something you have made returns to you, after having lived a life in the outside world, you welcome it home in the same way you accept into your arms your child, at any age, for any reason.

I received in the mail, totally out of the blue and way past the time that I would have believed it possible, the quilted wall hanging I finished for my Nana in 1999.

She died two years ago, and moved out of the home where it had hung (and had I visited her and saw it hanging) 18 months prior to that, and yet last month, a box arrived from her estate lawyer, stating the new owners of her home found this, and wanted it to be returned. I am thrilled to have it home….Machine pieced, hand quilted and probably the first thing I ever FINISHED!!!IMG_5478


45 days till Christmas, folks! I hope those projects are fully in swing already for a wonderful handmade holiday season!