Monday, January 08, 2007

Online Guild Workshop Update

My Computer Design Workshop for the Online Guild has gotten off to an enthusiastic start. As my friend Ann stated, computers are the one thing all OLG members have in common. Even though we all work in different fiber and textile media, we are all computer users, so everyone who wishes is able to participate.

It hasn't been without problems however. I have learned that one can't simply copy-and-paste some word processor documents into emails. Various formatting features are reinterpreted by both Yahoo and various email programs as weird little characters instead of what they're meant to be, i.e. bold text, italics, etc.

Then there's plain text versus html in emails. A link is a link is a link, right? Wrong! This turned into an exercise of discovering how many different ways one can access a website if the link won't work. Formatting is a problem in the plain text versus html arena too.

The goal of the workshop is to learn to take a selected image like this ......

And transform it into a source of inspiration for textile design. Perhaps something like this.....

The challenge has been trying to communicate this process without pictures or without actually being able to demonstrate it. Combine that with the various computer operating systems members use, plus their various levels of computer experience, not to mention the different photo editing programs, and I wonder what I've gotten myself into!!!

Fortunately, this is an exceptionally friendly, helpful, and encouraging group; both to me, as I struggle to explain things clearly, and to one another, with our various operating systems, questions, and software. One thing I especially admire about them is their eager willingness to learn.

That may sound odd, but in the past I have had membership in groups where one's level of personal knowledge almost seemed to be some sort of status symbol. This in turn, represented placement in an invisible pecking order. Those who deemed themselves somewhere near the top never seemed open to learning new things, especially from someone else deemed lower in the order. Eventually I felt that I didn't fit in and went my own way.

As with most things, I tried to walk away with something useful from that experience. Therefore, my hope for myself is that I may always be in the process of learning; that my sense of self esteem is never be based on how much I know, but on who I am. And that I never base who I am on skills or possessions, because those things can be lost through physical disability or the circumstances of life. Of course all this is easier said than done, but I'm working on it.


  1. I have met groups such as you describe, Leigh, and others where no-one is interested in learning *anything*, which is just as deadly!
    Your OLG workshop is terrific, and getting a more enthusiatic response than any I can remember. Congratulations!


  2. What an extrordinary swirl design from such an ordinary source. I've been guilty of not wanting to learn knitting in the recent past, when popular trends have been regressive. But your point is well made and well taken. I'm working on it too....
    The online guild looks so fascinating, but now is not the time to add "one more thing" to my list.
    Thanks for sharing through your blog posts.

  3. I've been in several of those kinds of groups too. I'm interested though in this Online guild group and checked out the website. I didn't see how to go about joining if you live in the US and I didn't see where there was any application to fill out.

  4. Sue, at the Online Guild website there is a list of links on the left. The one you want is "subscription information." The fees are listed in pounds sterling, but to convert these, check out The Universal Currency Converter. I pay my dues via Paypal.

    We have quite a few US members, plus members from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Spain, France, Trinidad, Holland, Germany, etc., etc., etc.

  5. Leigh the workshop is great, I'm encouraged to try out all sorts of ideas in my photo editing program. I'm looking forward to the next lessons.

  6. I found your site via A Blip on the Radar. I am a spinner, knitting and crocheter. I am always looking for other spinner and fiber sites to check out. Glad I found you!

  7. Hi Leigh!

    How'd you do that swirl thing? It is cool - reminded me of those paintings we used to make at the fair when we were kids.

    I was thinking about your problem with the "formatting issue" going between programs - I've had that problem with the newsletter that I do for my church, people would email me their articles and when I went to put it into Publisher it would be gibberish, so I copy everything into a Word doc then click on the formatting bar & find "clear formatting" - that seems to get rid of all the little blips & bleeps - it might help on some of your stuff...

    I'm so glad my friend Vicki (vib5757) found you. She has two great blogs - one for food and one for her fiber works - & she's a neat gal.

    XOX to Rascal & CatZee from all of us in the SNOWY (again!) Pacific NW. :-) T.

  8. Thank you for that Tina. I use Open Office, but found the "clear formatting" function. The other thing I learned to do was to copy and past the whole thing into my text editor, and then copy and paste into an email. It worked too, but your method sounds easier.

  9. Hi Leigh - Thanks for the welcome to WeaveRing. Your blog has lots of useful information so I will visit frequently.

  10. Hi Leigh
    I am a newcomer and never posted a comment.
    The Computer Design Workshop on the online quild of wearvers looks great. Do you plan a similar in the near future? Heidi

  11. Hi Heidi,
    Thank you so much for leaving a comment. At this point another computer design workshop isn't planned with the Online Guild, but there will be a design journal workshop later this year. The Online Guild has a programming committee, who try to respond the the group's interests with as much variety as possible. Several OLG members have requested various repeat workshops, so it is possible that we might have another computer design workshop sometime in the future.

  12. Thank you, Leigh, for the good News.
    Do I have to be a member or a weaver to attend a workshop? I am neither - I am a quilter. And I am of German mother tongue.

  13. Heidi, you do not need to be a weaver, but you do need a member to participate in the workshops. We have a variety of member interests in the group, including quilters. Not everyone is a weaver. We also have quite a few members from Germany. For more information about joining, you can either go to the Online Guild website and click on "Subscription Information" or you can email me directly at leighsfiberjournal (at) gmail (dot) com. We'd love to have you join us.

    If you do join, you will have access to all the lessons for the Computer Design Workshop, plus you can join the Computer Design Study Group. So actually, there is no need to wait for the program to be offered again.


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