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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

2015 APL: Three new publications on 2014-04-28

This week, only three new publications - sorry, there have been too many other things interfering.
But they are three lovely ones, and I hope they inspire people to take up a needle and thread - or a blackboard chalk.

The first on the list is Cusack's Blackboard Drawing. It's a training course for elementary school teachers, helping them how to illustrate and explain by drawing on the blackboard. Of course, a blackboard is not required nowadays. Drawing is drawing, no matter the medium.The lessons here go far beyond the basics. This book is from my own collection. We have another book, Cusack's Freehand Ornament, but that one has not been edited yet. If you like this one, there's more to come.

The second is the last Sajou fruit chart: the grapes. The scan was donated by Mark Bolhoeve, the chart made by Franciska Ruessink. I really like the brownish outline that gives the illusion of light shining through the grapes. I wouldn't have thought of it myself. The designers who wo
rked for Sajou really knew their craft - the design is timeless.

The third is an overview of architectural styles, with 10 plates illustrating the main points. Although it is in German, the illustrations speak for themselves. That is from my collection as well.

There might be another set of publications next week if no emergencies interfere. After that, it'll be the end of May before the next set.
In the meantime, enjoy this set, and look through our catalog for any other treasures that you did not notice yet. There'll be more. Many more.
Best wishes,

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2015 Bringing the arts to the masses

Why did I choose to do a video blog post? The answer is simple. The internet is an amazing place that allows me to talk to you though whatever medium I choose. New media Arts is using the internet and all of the technology and flexibility it offers, to bring the arts to you, no matter where you live.

Want to know more about everything we do?
www.avatarmediaproductions.org - Video and Audio 
www.antiquepatternlibrary.org Art, Books, Patterns
www.newmediaarts.org - Our home on the web

Did I mention everything you find is free of charge?

If you'd like to donate to the cause, you can do that right here 
 Click to support New Media Art's general fund - this pays for expenses such as accounting, crowd fundraising fees, government filing fees and outreach.

If you shop at Amazon, you can sign up at Amazon Smile, and they'll donate a small amount for each purchase: 

Monday, April 13, 2015

2015 APL: Four new publications on 2015-04-14

Only four publications this week, since there's been some administration to catch up with.

The first one is an ebay image donation of ebay seller cotswoldcats, a lovely length of embroidery for an unknown purpose, and its charted design.

The second is a theatre scenery design. There's three of these in a series, and we have two of them. This is King Lear, the other is Faust, the third one was too expensive ;-) even when I was earning more than I do now. The designs are lovely, but "empty", there's only background because that's what the scenery design is. I have been playing around with the idea of having one as wallpaper image, there's printing companies that will print a high resolution image on a wallpaper to cover a wall 2 meters high and 3 wide. The raw images have the required resolution. Unfortunately, every wall in my house is covered in bookcases or otherwise stacked books, there's no room for a wall painting.

Third are the rice paper flowers that I was thinking of two weeks ago, and forgot to do last week. Although there were maybe twelve flowers printed, there were actually only two designs each in two colors, so I picked one of each. They can easily be drawn by hand if the printer does not take thin paper, and then colored and covered with wax to bring out the colors.

The fourth and final one is the Young Ladies Journal Complete Guide To The Worktable, a quite wellknown and famous book about the fundamentals of needlework. Well, "fundamentals", here and there a bit more advanced work as well.

Enjoy this new set, and if there's anything you can add to our knowledge about these publications or their contents, don't hesitate to let us know.
Best wishes,

A great Blender tutorial

Aine's OpenSim blog jumped out on my screen today. For all of us who don't have formal education in 3D graphics and want to learn Blender anyway, her tuts are, in my opinion, the best for getting over the hump on the learning curve.

The short version and my take on it:

We should model with 4-sided faces that loop around your shape logically. That's textbook. Then, and here's where I wasn't quite getting it: convert the quadrangles to triangles before exporting to OpenSim or SL. Or it will get done for you, and not the way you'd want. Pay attention to the angles of the cuts. The faces texture better if the edges of the faces are going in similar directions, in relation to the shape as a whole. Rigging works better, too. 

Before you export make sure that all the faces are pointing outward, so the textures land on the visible side of each face. Blender can usually do that automatically (Edit mode>Mesh>Normals>Recalculate). 

Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 Notes on aging

National Center for Creative Aging

Wisdom Seeker (SL)
Ok--First, the Ageless Mind Project has just officially become a 501c3. We are going to be working with the National Center for Creative Aging on their new Caregivers Initiative. We want to bring it into SL. If you are interested in participating, contact me,
[09:54] Wisdomseeker: Second, tomorrow from 9 to 10:30 am slt, Inspiration Island is hosting both a VWBPE Tour--open to all--and an SL MOOC for students who signed up. We start with a panel of our members and send you off on our Tour Challenge.
Inspiration Island (230,156,701)

2015 No cost, automatic support for arts on new media

No cost, automatic support for arts on new media
All you do is click that Amazon button and tell Amazon you want to send a small fraction of what you spend with them to New Media Arts.  You have to shop through the Amazon Smile page, rather than the main Amazon page.  But that is just so they can record what you spend, so they can give that tiny fraction to us.  It is the same catalog, same prices.  Check it if you want.

It is important that you shop through Amazon Smile.  Otherwise, they keep all the money.  I buy almost everything at Amazon, so I have the link to Amazon Smile in my browser favorites.  That way I have it at hand anytime.  

Why would they do this?  Marketing. Amazon is paying for people's attention. It comes out of their advertising budget. That's money that they might have paid to Facebook to remind us about Amazon.  This offer got me to put a link to Amazon Smile into my browser favorites.  Got them a lot more than they would have gotten out of an ad on Facebook.

And when I buy from Amazon Smile, I get a little window that offers to post a notice for me in Facebook saying that I supported New Media Arts. Of course I let them post that notice, because it reminds people about New Media Arts. So Amazon gets a signed mention  on FB and New Media Arts gets a signed mention plus a penny or so.  

Of course I would not do this if I did not like Amazon.  But I do like Amazon because they let me shop from my computer in the middle of the night.        
--Selby Evans


Monday, April 6, 2015

2015 APL: Eight new publications on 2015-04-07

Another eight publications this week

And drat, I forgot the rice paper flowers! That's for next time. Judith pointed out to me that my administrative backlog is worse than the publication backlog, so next time will have less publications than this one - but they will all get done (eventually).

First, a bit of a riddle concerning the title. There is a number on the cover, but I can only read the first two digits. Anybody who recognizes the patterns or otherwise can tell me what the proper number should be, I'm happy to hear from you!

The second publication has had a long run-up. Judith King donated the scans for a booklet of transfers, more than a hundred pages. They have been edited now, and Patricia Voss has shown me far better images still, but the resulting pdf is really big (some 100 Mb) and it needs watermarking still (and will get even bigger) so I have not put that one online yet.
We might eventually include it on a CD or something like that. For now, the detail images are online and I hope everybody enjoys them as much as I did.

The third is a stained-glass book, with actually only leaded glass patterns in it, and not the painted glass we usually consider "stained". Since that's another hobby of mine (though I don't have much time for it lately) there's some patterns there that I myself would not try in glass. But they might suit very well for patchwork. There's a building in Amsterdam, the Beurs, that has windows that might have been straight out of this pattern book. I was there for a conference last summer, and photographed all the windows that I could get to. I'll probably publish the photographs later, when I've had a chance of editing them.

The fourth is one of Marleens patterns, charted and since it's a quarter pattern, with an extra illustration to show the complete pattern. I've had to guess a little bit on the corners, since the pattern looks a bit strange with the points snipped off, as they are in the original pattern.

Fifth, a special request, one of Flora Klickmanns books, "The Cult of the Needle". I saw some illustrations of workboxes and tools that now sell on ebay for hundreds of dollars. Plus many techniques, even knotting with a lucet and another type of knotting that I don't know the current English name for.

Sixth, a Sajou booklet with alphabets in cross stitch. These are not meant for just marking a little handkerchief in a corner, some of them would cover the entire handkerchief. They'd look great on personalized items, so if you want to give someone a nice hand-embroidered T-shirt or something like that, these might be worth looking at.

Seventh, the Sajou cherries. Mark Bolhoeve sold me my current scanner, and was so kind to do the testing with embroidery patterns, thereby assuring me of scanner quality and beautiful donations in one fell swoop.

The last one is a pattern off ebay, from joan10605. Her grandmother had a sewing/embroidery studio which must have done some fabulous work, judging from the materials that were left. If you are interested in antique embroidery stuff, have a look at her shop, she's selling things off bit by bit and they really are worth putting on your watch list.

In addition to this, detail pages have been added to some 10 existing publications, I haven't counted them exactly.

So, have a look at the new items and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, as well as find good uses for them. Again, the donation page has not been updated, but let me assure you the donate button works well ;-)

Best wishes,

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Night at the Virtual Theater

The morning after: striking the Rocket Man set

Wee had ourselves a time last night, we did.

It started rough. I get to the theater an hour before curtain, Sam is there, we're rezzing our avatars and costumes into the sim, I'm checking the set. Then I try to use my microphone. Nothin. I didn't panic, at first. I hear Sam fine, he can't hear me. No green bars. Nothin. We get into G+ to talk about it. I try Skype to test it there. Nothin. I'm playing two small but critical parts in the show, no cover. We've already rescheduled once. Sam is starting to talk about Macbeth and doom.

Forty five minutes later. I have checked that everything's plugged in and turned on. Checked settings inworld, at the control panel. Swapped out the mic, routed around the external sound card. Swapped out the whatsis cables, the ones that connect the mixer to the sound card. The only thing I can't find a spare for is the mic cable, the one that connects it to the mixer. A brief memory flickers, the mic stand got knocked over the day before, whew the mic didn't hit anything, dangling from the. from the. Cable.  I have a Bad Feeling.

So now I'm scrabbling through more boxes of tangled stuff. Whoo, 8 year old $15 USB headset. Plug it in, wait for the drivers to load, log in.  Sodo and Geo have arrived, we're all backstage, I can talk!! yay! but can't hear. Sodo types in Chat, asks me if I plugged in the headset before logging in. Yah, but I didn't reboot. Log out. Reboot. Relog. Mirabile dictu! I sound tinny, but Geo, who is going to record vid and audio, says it sounds good. It actually doesn't, but I'm ready to be a believer and he knows that.

Somewhere in my adrenaline soaked brain, I do manage to notice that Jamie, our publicity guy, has been cookin with gas and we have some audience, new people, regulars, looks good. I haven't helped the nervous levels of our two lead actors, Sodo and Sam, at all, and Sodo is also the writer so is probably even more freaked than I am. So I start to worry about them. Show Time. Get yer avatar onstage, actor sound checks, meet and greet, make sure audience is OK with their audio, like I know what I'm doing angels and saints preserve us. I get my avatar to place and type Go in the actor's group IM.

I forgot to put my equipment back where it goes. I can't get my script book out where I can see it and move my avatar at the same time. I screw up my first few lines, get off the stage, and Sam and Sodo settle in. It's a talky show, mostly the two guys sitting around a 4th millenium campfire in front of a beat-up rocketship talking about space travel and time dilation. I'm freaked the pacing is laggy, we've got a Whole Hour to go and audience is going to just leave. Which is easy to do in virtual theater - if they get bored, they click a button, outa there. I start nagging in the actor's group, pick up your cues, yada, like they're going to have time to actually read it. I give up on getting my equipment out of the way of my script book and rip the pages out, throwing them one by one on top of the cables that are still all over the floor.

And then it happens. Sodo is mature intelligence and Sam is raw energy bouncing around him, just like they sposed to. The story is strong. Our audience is responding to it in chat! Someone must have called friends, more people show up!

Dionysus, the god of theater and drunken chaos, has gazed at our tiny tiny free virtual production and said OK, you guys do not suk, you are OK.

Then I get to blow up the rocketship.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Avatar Repertory Theater Presents Iain McCracken's "Throw Back the Rocket Man" @ 5PM PDT



Sets, costumes and props by Aley, adapted by Judith Adele (Ada Radius iSL).

“You have one thing to do. Make that monster leave, and make him take his abomination with him.”
By special permission of the author, our own Iain McCracken (Sodovan Torok iSL) we have adapted his hard sci-fi novella from the collection "Dreams and Snippets", available at Amazon:

Actors: Sodovan Torok playing Jacob, Ada Radius playing Baxter and Mary, and Sam Brautigan playing the Tom (Rocket Man), Ed and the Amish Guide.
http://www.avatarrepertorytheater.org is a project of New Media Arts, Inc.
http://www.newmediaarts.org a nonprofit organization tax exempt under IRC 501(c)(3)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

2015 SHUTIN: A sobering experience, even for a teetotaler.

A sobering experience, even for a teetotaler.
By Sytske

There was this question, what use is the Antique Pattern Library?  We, New Media Arts,  have our charitable purpose, where it's worded to perfection of course, but what about the actual good it is? How do people profit from having that resource available? And does that match our original purpose, or even come close?
It would be nice to have a well-grounded answer to that, so that when we apply for funding, we can argue why that would be money well-spent. And how that expenditure would serve the goals of the funding organization. 
A recurring theme with these funding organizations is that they wish to make life easier and more open for people who are restricted in their activities, and to me fell the task of finding out more about that. I am Dutch and those of you who have experienced the unadulterated Dutch people in close contact will guess what I did next: I put that question in our user forum, plop, like that: Are you housebound or otherwise restricted in what you do?
Our forum members, a sizable number of whom are Americans, may have blanched a bit and swallowed their initial reaction, before they bravely sat down at their keyboards and answered: fully, honestly, and with an openness that even I had not expected, and their answers have given me a lot of food for thought.
People with chronic pain, fragile bones, or anchored to their house because they are the sole caregiver of family members who need round-the-clock care.  People living 100 miles from the nearest book- or thread shop, people on very slim incomes who can't afford a trip to the bookshop nor the buying of a book there, nor have space to put it in; people without a driving licence in rural communities, no library services, never outside unless it's for church or doctor visits. 
I had not thought about that, that daily life could be pared down to such a limited circle. 

Sure, I love books. When I see an old pattern or needlework book I think what others think when they see a mewling kitten or puppy, Come to me, and I'll take care of you. I'll ensure your survival for the next few years, while I can. But here are people who don't just take care of a book, they actually use it as it was intended.
They do fine needlework, are inspired to new designs, actually make the things described, teach the younger generations, make presents that may motivate others to take up a needle and thread as well (or a hook and thread). And they enjoy it; for some, it's one of the very few things left to enjoy. The internet is their window to the world, their communication channel, and the Antique Pattern Library a treasure trove where they can take what they like, browse whenever they wish, and never have to calculate if they will be able to afford it. It's there, open for all.

Back to the facts.

Adding up all the poll answers, forum posts, and mailed-in replies, 139 people answered. 104 said no, 35 said yes. Among the no answers there were quite a lot who explained how they used and appreciated the Library, and of course among the yes, many did so as well. 
And that's the second thing that gave me pause. There was no difference. 
In doing needlework or other craft work, in reading and appreciating the resources saved and opened to them, the yes-and-no disabled or restricted were the same. In that, there is no distinction.  

I had expected (another assumption smashed to pieces) that those who were more disabled would be more viewers and less actually doing the work. That was not so. Apparently, the ability to do, enjoy, and appreciate some craft work is one of the last things that leaves us. That's encouraging. 
Thank you, all forum members who answered with such open honesty. With your kind permission I'll add a few quotes.
I'm on limited income, so love coming in and looking through all the older patterns, and trying several of them, getting so either one gets yarn or a pattern, so these really help, thanks
Being on a limited income... just Medicare, I also rely on my sewing and crocheting for making up little gifts for people that I love. I don't feel very handicapped, just very blessed I can still see and work my hands to do my work. 
I keep my hands busy by knitting or crocheting or spinning constantly, and that helps control the ADHD. Handwork also affords me a place to practice focusing, and finishing the task at hand. Because of my disabilities, my work record is spotty - handwork helps my income, also. 

I'm able to use my time well, and do a lot of charity work.  I also have time to look through this marvelous library.  I can spend hours browsing!  I have to be careful or I won't have time for my needlework! lol
Fine embroidery gives me intellectual occupation and something to do with my hands. APL is an important resource for me and has been for many years. All the more so because the patterns and other information (such as the old manuals/magazines) are free and being on a disability pension I can't afford to buy more than the minimum of items related to embroidery - 
the kind of kits I'd want to do, for example, tend to be out of my price range.

And these are worth repeating more in general:

It occurs to me that there are other good reasons why people might need the library.
(1)    Some people are housebound because they care for others who are  also housebound. They don’t have the money or the resources to get information in other ways. Their computers can be their link to the outside world.
(2)    There are people who are housebound because of other disabilities.
(3)    There are people who live in locations where there are no libraries or library resources. (They often lack access to shops which sell any sort of craft related materials too.)  I live in a relatively large city in Australia and specialist craft supplies are extremely scarce.  In rural areas these things are almost non-existent.
(4)    Creativity aids mental health and physical wellbeing. In turn that reduces the need to use other resources, particularly those related to health and welfare.
(5)    Many communities have "multi-cultural" policies and are trying to retain traditional arts and crafts but they need to be backed by the on-line resources which are the natural means of  younger people finding information. This is especially important as younger people have less time to attend formal classes or even social groups.
(6)    We are in increasing danger of losing many resources forever. If we do we will forget our cultural past and everyone, not just those who do these crafts, will be the poorer for it. We have  to look on arts and crafts as languages which will be lost and when we lose them we also lose another way of thinking which can lead to development in other areas, such as the sciences, as well.


I'd also point out that all needlework is something that even the most physically limited people can enjoy, so long as they have some use of their hands. If not, I suppose one could learn to work with one's feet instead, and wouldn't that be marvelous! Braille or audio versions of patterns are even somewhat available for those with no/poor eyesight. For the physically limited,  needlework fulfills the basic human need for creativity, artistry, feeling useful, feeling a part of a community, and being able to gift handmade items of value to people we love. The physically "whole" have so many other options to fill these needs, many very rightly supported by public financing such as public parks, although of course a great many also love the needle arts as well. Those physically limited can feel very cut off from the rest of society, and that they lead very narrow lives without something as fulfilling as needle arts.
To add another point, needlework is a relatively inexpensive art, providing rewarding and useful occupation to those with limited incomes. It is even possible to earn much needed income. For those both physically and economically limited, needlework is, quite literally, a life saver.

All this has changed my focus more than a little bit. I love beautiful pictures, and part of our collection is about master pieces of historical craft masters. But the forum answers have pointed out to me that beautiful pictures are not the most useful and usable parts of the Library; I'll keep the focus on the actual executable craftwork. That'll show in the future acquisitions.
A sobering experience. And I wasn't drunk, to begin with.