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  • My QR Code

    I am by no means a technical expert, but I do love many of the things that modern technology can do.

    I’m currently fascinated with the QR code. Perhaps you’ve seen them. They are showing up in magazine ads, billboards, even T-shirts, and probably many other places that I haven’t seen yet.

    QR_code_for_website_hi_res

    QR code stands for Quick Response code. It’s similar to a bar code and has unique, embedded information, such as URL’s, business contact information, or other text information. The codes can be scanned with a Smart phone or device which reads the matrix code and takes you to a website or pulls up the information that has been embedded there.

    QR codes were invented in Japan in the 1990's, by a subsidiary of Toyota as a tool to track inventory. They are rather commonplace in Japan and Asia. I think they’ve drifted across Europe where you may see them more than you see them in the US. Now they are gaining usage here in the US and I’m sure you’ll see them popping up all over.

    Some tech geeks express skepticism of the usefulness of the QR code, calling them clumsy, or gimmicky. That may well be, I don’t know. As I said, I am not a tech geek, but what I do know is that I think they are way cool and fun!

    I created a QR code quite easily. If I can figure this out then anyone can! First you need a QR code generator. There are any number of companies or websites that can generate a code. As my techie son always tells me, “Just Google it”. I used one from Google and put the widget right on my iGoogle homepage. Just fill in the requested information and literally a second later your QR code is generated. Pick the code generator of your choice. They’re all free. Create as many as you want. Each one carries unique information, so create a new one for whatever your needs are.

    My QR code takes you to my website. I plan on using it on my business cards and placing them on the back of my art – anything that is going out to another location. For example, if someone sees my art at the gallery or at a show, they could scan the QR code, which will take them to my website where they can learn more about me and see more of my art.

    To read the code you need a QR code reader. Once again, “just Google it” and choose one that’s compatible with your Smart phone or device, and download it. Then, next time you see one of the codes, scan it with your reader and see where it takes you. Reader downloads are free too.

    I know there are many more uses for QR codes and I’m dreaming up what else I can do with them. The QR code above is one that I generated to take people to my website. I printed some on fabric as labels for the backs of my quilts. THAT was a whole different adventure that I will save for another post!

    Until next time -

    MCH

    P.S. I'm sure you've noticed how gridded and quilt-like these are. No wonder I like them!

  • And the Winner Is....

    Lucky me! I was the winner of a bottle of Citra Solv in the blog contest I talked about here.

    They also included a package of Strathmore Bristol paper in ready-made ATC size of 2 1/2" x 3 1/2". How cool is that?! I can't wait to try out some collage techniques, and of course to make more Citra Solv-y papers.

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    On another note, I invite you to read my interview over at TraillWorks: The Blog. Corrie asked me some questions about my background and about some of my work that's hanging in the gallery. Thanks Corrie and Jennie!

    Until next time-

    MCH

  • Cardinals and the Month of May

    I fell in love with a cardinal family this Spring.

    They built a nest in the Blue Juniper outside our back door. Both momma and poppa were coming and going with bits of straw to build their nest.

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    Lady Cardinal, 4" x 6"   ©2011 Martha C. Hall

    Cardinal mates remain together for the whole year. Often they’ll mate for life and only when one dies do they look for another mate. The brighter red males get the better mates – surprise! It was fun to watch our pair stick together.

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    Orange Eggs, 4" x 6"   ©2011 Martha C. Hall

    Then came the eggs – I’m not sure how many. I never could get a clear look as I was concerned about disturbing our family and having them abandon the nest. And no, cardinal eggs are not orange! I took liberties with my artistic rendering on this one. Cardinal eggs are brownish and speckled.

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    Lord Cardinal, 4" x 6"   ©2011 Martha C. Hall

    As momma incubated the eggs, poppa kept watch over her. The males take food into her while momma sits the nest. During the egg-laying and incubation phases cardinals exhibit “mate feeding” behavior. The males pick up a seed and, beak to beak, feed it to the female. I saw it once as the two met on the patio - like a little stolen kiss.

    Once the chicks have hatched there is plenty of activity as momma and poppa fly in and out with worms and other goodies for their babies. I admire male cardinals because they are devoted to their women and help raise the kids!

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    Cardinal Fledgling

    I don’t know how it happens that one day the chicks are being mouth-fed and the next day they have flown the nest and are on their own. If you blink you could miss it. I happened to witness the last of the young’uns making his way out into the world. He floundered a bit on the tree branch, but momma and poppa were close by to assist and encourage. And then, off he flew with the folks by his side. I saw them a few more times around the yard helping the little one find his wings. But then . . . they are gone.

    Poppa_Cardinal Momma_Cardinal
    Poppa and Momma cardinals watching over their young'uns

    I miss their comings and goings. It surprises me how quickly they are gone. I mean, don’t they want to come back at the end of a long day and get a good night’s sleep in the comfy nest they built? But no . . . . once they fly they are gone for good. Would that my kids could learn that lesson… sigh…

    Cardinals_Nest_empty
    Empty Nest, inspiration for more art

    Now that they don’t need it anymore, I’ve decided I would like to keep their nest. My cardinal family was an inspiration during the month of May – for creating small fabric art and for learning more about all kinds of birds. I plan to chronicle some other backyard birds in the coming months.

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    Robin's Nest 4" x 6"   ©2011 Martha C. Hall

    Eastern_Bluebird_small_art
    Eastern Bluebird 6" x 4"   ©2011 Martha C. Hall

     

    Until next time -

    MCH

  • Keeping Secrets

    I've been in the studio many, many hours working on a new idea. It involves lots of obsessive work, which takes a lot of time and can be frustrating. As I was working along recently I remembered a box of old fabric that I inherited and which was stored up on a high shelf. It's perfect for what I'm making. These are fabric scraps saved by my great grandmother from her quilting days. She was actually an all-around artist. She painted in oils as well as practicing almost every form of needle arts. I have several old quilts, framed needleworks, tablecloths, and paintings of hers. As the designated sewist and artist of the family they came to me when the various homes were cleaned out. I'm am so lucky to have them! Like me, she saved even the tiniest of fabric scraps - Yankee thrift was successfully handed down through the generations! I'm thinking of my great grandmother, Stella Mae Page, as I sew with these scraps in a decidedly untraditional way. It's amazingly appropriate to have her materials to work with.

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    What am I making you may ask? Well, I'm keeping it a secret for now. In my head it's a fabulous idea and I'm working diligently to bring it to fruition. For now, a couple of hints. The picture below is what my studio floor looks like at the moment. Also, my last post provides some hints.

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    I look forward to the time when I can show some finished work. Until then, it's back to the studio.

    Until next time -

    MCH

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