Color notebooks: start with gray

“He who works with his hands is a labourer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”
– St. Francis of Assisi
Read this on Threads Across the Web blog August 27th, 2013 (

I love this quote…My heart just wishes my hands would work as fast as my head. I can wake up in the middle of the night with either a new idea…or an “ah-ha” moment for a problem that has been bugging me. I have learned that to try and maintain my sleep pattern, a notebook by the side of my bed helps. I just write down the thought and sometimes I can go back to sleep…and well yes other times I just give in and get up and “putz” around the house, computer, or stitching. (a nice lady once told me “putz”…it means “to do”; she also told me to “utz” someone was to give the a joyful dig or pun. So since “utz” is in “putz” I always take a second look at the “putzing” I have done in the wee hours of the day…I need no surprises…I can create those on my own with a good night’s sleep.

And before I forget, Kurdy Biggs sent me a comment and she has posted the pictures of her tote and stitching book to her websight ( and even linked you to her finisher…Now I can go lust and drool over her finishing anytime. They are beautiful.

Can’t believe August is over, seem like it just started a few days ago…but  I did OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAspend August organizing the color and design notebooks. I spent a good deal of time working on just sorting and getting myself more organized in the color and design notebook area ( don’t want anyone to get the idea I went over board and organized my life) These notebooks have long been neglected; they were sitting in the corner of the library just growing. This month I whipped them down to a manageable size…okay so I just cleaned them up a bit. (I am also trying to convince myself that I am a packrat…not a hoarder…you can still walk through my library but it is filling up. After a general clean-up of the growing color and design area I eliminated one computer box of stuff and several piles of growing “I may need this” piles; I feel like I have a grasp on this project now and I am committed to working on this project long term.
When I was in teacher certification you were required to take adult education classes related to art…and this never hurts anyone…you’ll find a bunch at your local colleges and now even online (and in some areas if you are over 55 these classes are free or at least offered at a reduced rate). I was and am a sucker for a color class and so I signed up a few times in different medias…silk dying, watercolor, acrylic…you get the idea.
The one thing that was consistent in all these color classes are the first thing they would talk about is value and most would also start with gray value system because once you understand the value system in grays then value of colors is easier. So I have started with my “The Value of Gray” notebook too. Notice I didn’t say much easier…gray values and even color are greatly influenced by the values or color used together (one color influeces another and this can be very frustrating), the light we live with and our very own color perceptions. My gray OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAvalues may be warmer (more to the browns and greens) or cooler (more to the blues) than yours. I may see a different number of gray values between white and black than you do. A value scale can have many grays or just a  few…a good number to strive for is: white, 5-9 values of gray, and black in your value scale. I took a picture of some of the value scales I have collected or made over the years, most have 7-9 gray values.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have started to organize the gray notebook and even planned some of the exercises but not all the stitching exercises. I have folders in the back of the notebook with extra pictures I collect. I have started some of the exercises and have others at least written down. I have also collected the floss for this project and have taken 13-09-04 floss togetherpictures of the floss by brand as well as13-09-04 floss company family by color, even scanned the floss for better color clarifications. This month my goal is to get the gray notebook pretty much completed and ready for a pilot test.
I’m off to gray stitch a value scale or two…Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!