Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thoughts on Blogs, computers, and the Internet

Several years ago I seldom turned my computer on, people would email me info and I'd not get it, 'cause I only turned on the computer every 2 weeks to once a month. Instant messaging with my family across the country encouraged me to connect more often, then my Dad got me a wireless connection, and I got a newer computer. I still didn't work on it very often, I would much rather quilt!! With the addition of a digital camera I was finally ready for the internet revolution. My Dad showed me how to download my pics, and a friend showed me how to sort and file them. I love photography, and was getting to the point of not being able to afford the developing, and some film sat in a drawer for years. Printing my photos on fabric treated with bubble jet set, was economical and easy. I got a cheap version of Adobe Photoshop Elements ver. 6 and was very frustrated with it. It did SO MUCH!!! My knowledgeable friend was using a HP photo editing program and my other friend a Mac, so I had to be self taught. This is where I got sucked into the computer, I purposefully sat down to LEARN Photoshop. I had several quilt books about quilting with photos, they all assumed a basic knowledge that I didn't have. I read and reread them, struggled with one part of the program at a time. I started to get the hang of it a little bit, I was managing to make quilts with my photos in spite of the learning curve. Then a friend wanted to learn how to download her photos to the computer, she had just been buying new memory cards when they were full. So I helped her and a few others, suddenly I was the one who knew what was going on??? How did that happen? By spending A LOT of time on the computer. I started typing up directions for them, but they didn't do their homework, they weren't putting in the time I had. Computers led to Facebook, and more knowledge, and the wireless connection made it so much easier. One of the ladies in our textile arts group Fyber Cafe, had to start a blog as an assignment for one of the Cities and Guilds units she was doing, so I thought if she could do it, so could I. Where did this confidence come from? I have always photographed ALL my quilting work, and I digitized the older photos so they too were available. Photos of in progress pieces gave me a starting point for the blog, talking about technique, inspiration and projects. I am really enjoying the writing, I feel like I am sharing my work, and making connections with family and friends. Staying in touch with my quilting friend in California was a big plus, we both got more involved in quilting about the time I moved to Oregon. I would still rather quilt, paint fabric, machine quilt, and take photos, then spend time on the computer, but it too is a creative outlet for my thoughts. Through hard work I am learning Adobe Photoshop and helping others with it, and my goal is to use my photos in my quilts. I still don't know how to add links, gadgets? or other stuff, but I am very proud that I managed to add a counter, and the webring info, and I feel like more people are seeing my site now too. So I have been pulled kicking and screaming into the new millennium, for a long time we kept saying we had no cell phone, no satellite TV, a 1999 car, no CD player, etc... I even started a blog for the Fyber Arts Group, check it out at See you on the internet! AMY

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