Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Product Review: Grammar of Ornament

Grammar of Ornament CD Rom Collection of Clip Art for Mac and PC
by Susan Lazear, Encinitas, CA

Many of you may be familiar with a large coffee table book called The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones.

First published in 1856, the Grammar was the first text book on ornamental design and design theory. It is a marvelous collection of designs that cover a vast range of cultures and history, from the Egyptians through modern time. The original Folio edition has over 2,300 designs on 100 color plates. It was printed using Chromolithography.

Direct Imagination (Pasadena, CA) has taken the book and reproduced it on CD ROM for use with computer graphics. They has used Adobe's Acrobat software to create a 'click and choose' format for the user, and Adobe's Acrobat Reader is included free on the CD ROM. There are two versions of the CD ROM collection: a Compact version $99.00 and a Professional version $199.00. In both versions, you have access to 2100 copyright free images and you can use a 'click and choose' approach to locate, view and read about the images. You may print an mage, move it to Photoshop (by simply clicking on a Photoshop button) or copy the image to the clipboard and transport it to the graphics application of your choice. The Professional version includes additional files (160) which are in vector format for Illustrator or Freehand. These will give professionals output that is non-jaggy. In addition, the Professional version includes greyscale, black/white and line art version of all the vector files.

What you get:

The program comes packaged in a beautiful box which will aid you in keeping things together. This box was created to simulate the original packaging of the plates. You receive two manuals; one explains the 'how to's' and the second manual is pictorial synopsis of the various plates or images found on the CD Rom. The CD Rom is multi-platfrom (as are the manuals) and can be used on either a Macintosh or a Windows computer.

To Begin:

The first thing you will need to do in order to use the Grammar of Ornament effectively, is to ensure that you have Acrobat Reader installed. Since this is included on the CD, this process is simple. Once installation is complete, take a quick tour, by clicking on the Demo icon. Finally, you may delve into the images. Walk through the tutorial, as laid out in the manual. This will teach you how to use Acrobat to view the various images.

Experiment and Enjoy:

Direct Imagination had done a wonderful job in organizing the images and creating a easy to use environment via Acrobat, so that all you need to do as the user, is click on the appropriate image to be taken to a new chapter/image/text description, etc. A pictorial index exists in the form of icons or button, and these act as 'links'. When you click on an image icon, it links you to the next image. If you click on the notepaper icon, you link to a text description. It is really wonderful! As you explore the collection, you will see that Direct Imagination has also included 'clickable button' that show you movies of morphed designs, end-use application of ornament artwork, etc.

So, how would you use this wonderful source of clip art images?

There are numerous ways you, the craft person or textile artist can work with the images. You could print them onto Heat Transfer printer paper and ultimately decorate your clothing. Or, you could take the images into a paint or image processing program, reduce the number of colors, and import the graphic into Stitch Painter. With Stitch Painter's Full Color Import Module you can take images directly from this Ornament clip art collection into Stitch Painter, which will color reduce and graph the images for you. That is when things will get wild and wonderful. Another use for this clip art, is 'ornamentation' of anything you do on your computer. Imagine creating your own letterhead or business cards, using the artwork from historical eras. Or, create party invitations and banners yourself. Your only limitation is your imagination.

This collection is a must for any designer who wants copyright free, historical ornament at there fingertips! Not all craftspeople would need the Professional version, but if one does desktop publishing in any form, this would be recommended.

~Susan Lazear

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blast from the Past

Hi all you machine knitters from the past. This past weekend I was at Newton's Fall Seminar. I ran into a long-time-ago friend.
Can you guess which machine knitter instructor and author is here with me? Yes, we were having fun with Photo Booth on the Mac.... creating Andy Warhol type images.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Workshop in Denver

A couple of weekends ago, we had a Garment Designer workshop in the Denver area. It was a great day. Computers were lined up around the table and adjacent areas, and lots of laughter and learning occurred.

Thanks to college room-mate Edie, for hosting the workshop.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cochenille News Monthly Email

A few words about signing up for our email list.

If you have signed up on our email list on the website and are not receiving it, you might want to check your spam filters, or you can try adding to your address book.

If you have signed up by writing your email address on a list at our booth at any of the trade shows we attend, and are not getting our emails - you might want to check the above first, if you still don't receive anything go to our home page and subscribe on our website. I might not have been able to read your handwriting.

We will start adding the monthly communication here, just in case you still can't get it, check back often.

Here is Octobers:

Hi Everyone,

October is here, and the weather is reflecting it. We hope you are all safe.

Susan has been busy making short video's about Garment Designer, She has
finished a fair amount and posted them on our website: Come see! She's working on more
so if you would like to comment or suggest one feel free to email

Cochenille on the Web:

This months Tips/Techniques blog post is "Beading..Peyote Stitch Basics" a
Compendium article by Eleanor Romanowicz (Egor) from Phoenix, AZ. If you
have Tips/Techniques or would like to write an article or product review for
our blog feel free to email us with your thoughts -

We so wanted to give away a Free Europe Summer/Fall 2008 Fashion
Inspirations DVD, but no one came over and wrote a review, posted some
pictures, or started a Discussion (or you can introduce yourself on the
Discussion already started). Well we'll give you another chance the first to
do any of the above will get the DVD and maybe depending on how many we get,
we might give away two!

Where We'll Be:

October 9, 2010 - Highlands Ranch, CO - Garment Designer Workshop (1 space left!)
October 28 - 31 - Hartford, CT - Stitches East

October Specials:

Here's your Holloween Treat from Cochenille to you. Place an order of $75 or
more and recieve one of the following items free:

Stitch Painter lesson book CD
Get the most out of Stitch Painter and learn basic design skills as you
go...Motif Creation, Motif development, Basic Repeats, Coloration & Design
Promocode: FreeSPLBCD Regular: $14.00

Stitch Painter Training Video
GIn this 90 minute plus video, you will be given a guided tour through
Stitch Painter's. . .Toolbox, Color, Symbol and Texture Palettes and Menu
Structures and Commands. To solidify your learning Process, Susan will
demonstrate the creation of two projects: a stitchery oriented project and a
knitting oriented project.
Promocode: FreeSPVD (for VHS)or Free SPDVD (for DVD) Regular: $29.95

Garment Designer's Easy Seven Jackets
Learn how to think 'outside of the box' and use our software to the fullest!
Book includes: 7 jacket styles with instructions on how to make them in
Garment Designer software, Illustrated Sewing Instructions, Knitting Tips
and General Techniques and Tips.
Promocode: FreeEasy7 Regular: 24.00

Thank you all for you support:

Susan Lazear

Sonia Barton

Business Blog: