Oct 24 2012

Houston, We Have Our Reservations!


For those of you who don’t yet know about it, the International Quilt Market and Festival begin this weekend in Houston! Market, which is not open to the public, is a trade show for the fabric inclined. It will be our first trip to market! We will be giving a furoshiki demonstration in the C&T booth. If you’re there, we hope you have a chance to visit us! We’ll also be volunteering in the SAQA booth to help spread the word about this great organization. If you are going to Festival, plan on fighting the 50,000 other people who are there to see all the beautiful traditional and contemporary quilts (and, of course, to shop). We’ll be volunteering again in the SAQA booth and be giving three furoshiki demonstrations in the Craftsman’s Touch-Books booth. Here’s our schedule. See you there!

International Quilt Market

Sat., 10/27, noon – furoshiki demonstration at the C&T booth #144

International Quilt Festival

Thurs., 11/1, noon-1:30pm – furoshiki demonstration at the Craftsman’s Touch-Books booth #1110

Thurs., 11/1, 4-6 pm – furoshiki demonstration at the Craftsman’s Touch-Books booth #1110

Fri., 11/2, 10am-12 noon – furoshiki demonstration at the Craftsman’s Touch-Books booth #1110

Oct 9 2012

Photoshop Elements 11 Has Arrived!


All I can say is WOW!  Adobe has been listening.  The Photoshop Elements (PSE) desktop has been completely revamped in Version 11.


Photoshop Elements 11 Desktop

Photoshop Elements 11 Desktop

Here are some of the changes I’ve noticed:

  •  PSE has now gone back to the light gray desktop.  (Finally!!! People have been complaining about this since the change—was it around version 7?)  This is good for those of us who teach PSE and for those of us with older eyes. The little miniature icons are now larger and easier to see.
  • Tools are grouped and labeled by function.  What a concept!  Instead of trying to figure out which brush-looking tool is actually used for drawing, you can look under the heading “Draw” and choose the brush.  Or if you want the selection brush, you can look under the heading “Select.”
  • The options bar is now at the bottom of the desktop.  And there’s even text to describe what the little icons mean.
  • The panel bin works differently.  I’ve got to figure out how to dock the panels I usually work with, but I don’t think that will take too long.
  • Full edit is now called the Expert mode. Doesn’t it make you feel good to know that you are working in expert mode?!  And the Quick and Guided modes are clearly labeled, dead center, right below the menu bar.
  • The active layer is now blue.  You don’t have to try to figure out which shade of gray means active.
  • There are some new editing features that should allow us to create better selections with less hassle.  I have to play more with that feature to let you know what I really think.
  • The Organizer was  completely revamped for the first time in a million years.  Also, the Organizer is the same in Mac and PC. Prior to this, the Mac version of PSE, as well as both the Mac and PC versions of Photoshop CS, used Adobe Bridge, while the PC version of PSE used organizer.  Personally, I have always preferred Organizer to Bridge.  I think the interface is more intuitive.  The “Place” the photo was taken can be linked to a Google map that not only zooms but can give you the Earth/Satellite view and a choice of light or dark maps.  Being an Organizer devotee, it will take me a while to figure out if I like this this new interface.  I’m sure people who have not already organized 25,000 photos using the Category/Sub-category/Tag system will love it.  I think Adobe made this change so I will have empathy for my students who are trying to learn Photoshop Elements, and I’ll know what it feels like to be completely confused.

You can find a more complete review at: http://www.macworld.com/article/2010513/review-photoshop-elements-11-updates-interface-editing-tools.html

I think the reviewer said it best when she wrote, “the redesign will take veterans time to get used to.”  I guess that’s the nice way to say, “It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.”  If you’ve learned in a previous version of PSE, consider yourself a veteran.

If any of you want to try out PSE 11, Adobe has a 30-day free trial.  Right below the “Buy” button there’s a smaller “Try” button. Be patient, it’s a huge file.  If you do try it out, be sure to let us know what you think.

Deb’s bottom line: the Pixeladies have a lot of work ahead of them.  We will need to completely remake the videos and handouts for our online classes because of the changes in version 11. Kris’ bottom line: yikes! There goes our Christmas vacation!