Sources of Color Inspiration: The Fabric Store

My posts are going to be short and less frequent over the next few weeks as I move into a series of workshop/retreats that involve a lot of travel. Next week I’ll be at a mountain retreat center with many of my polymer clay friends. I’m excited to be leaving everything that has to do with kaleidoscope canes or bright colors at home with my husband while I work in 3-dimensions with wire and earth tones.  Shortly after that I’ll head to Minnesota and Wisconsin to teach two 6-day workshops.

Two weeks ago Nettonya Ryane brought this gorgeous fabric to my Snohomish workshop for her color inspiration. It reminded me why I love to walk through fabric stores even though I dislike sewing. I have to admit I own several boxes of fabrics just so I can look at them and touch them. I find fabrics extremely sensuous not only for their colors and designs but also how they drape, how they catch the light and how they feel in my hands.  Beautiful or interesting objects that awaken multiple senses are particularly inspirational for me.

This is the cane Nettonya constructed using her fabric for her inspiration. The Premo primaries she used were fuchsia, zinc yellow and ultramarine. She used ultramarine rather than cobalt blue in order to capture those deep, rich purples and violets. The only other colors she needed were black and white. Nettonya gave me some slices of her cane to make some kaleidoscope designs. I’ll have to wait until things slow down a bit to work with the actual clay. Meanwhile I satisfied myself by  scanning one of the slices and making kaleidoscope designs on my computer:I made these kaleidoscopes by a somewhat laborious process in Photoshop. If you would like to play with kaleidoscope images of your cane I suggest you download the trial Kaleider application from, which will allow you to do that and much  more. It has been one of my favorite toys for years. (Warning: The home page will drive you crazy.) Here is a Kaleider design made from a photo of Nettonya’s cane.Unfortunately, the Kaleider software is for PC’s only. It has lots of “bells and whistles” that take a while to get used to, but once you understand it, there is no end to what you can create. You can even take snapshots of your favorite designs.

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11 Responses to Sources of Color Inspiration: The Fabric Store

  1. Phyllis Freeman says:

    There is a Mac App for that! It’s called Image Tricks Lite and it’s FREE. It will make a kaleidoscope out of any image. It’s does a lot of other image manipulations, as well.

  2. Beverly Jane says:

    Oh, my word. Oh how I wish I could learn how to do your beautiful canes. These fabrics along with your blog give me the reason that I LOVE fabric and always have. You understand perfectly why I do. When even I could not explain it. Thank you so very much for sharing your site.

  3. Heather Pyle says:

    Congrats on being featured on PCD! Not only are these my favoirite colors but wow – love the kaleidoscope designs. I sew as well as play with clay so this was very inspirational!! I have used that program too it is fun.

  4. Sandra Davis says:

    Beautiful colors and work.

  5. Barbara says:

    Apparently Kaleider is no longer available (fairly recent as of 1/26/2020). Do you have another application you can recommend? I am taking your May workshop in the Midwest and I would love to play around with an app/pgm.


  6. Barbara says:

    Follow-up, I was able to install the Trial App from your link. Hopefully it will continue working.


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