Anna Hergert, Art & Design

Update from the Studio

abandonedNo, the image is not of my studio but rather of one of the many abandoned farmsteads within a short driving distance from where we live. I posted it today as I sometimes wish for such solitude and being cut off from the rest of the world. But this feeling never lasts long – reality sets in pretty fast.

When we moved to Saskatchewan the plan was to build the studio, and I would  spend most days in my creative place “fondling fabrics and threads” to create textile art. Little did I know that the prediction from a friend came true. She mentioned once or twice that once I pull a suitcase behind me I would be more in demand for my classes. This prediction has become true, last year was the busiest ever when it came to boarding airplanes, with supplies taking up the lion share of suitcase space.

2014 is nearly fully booked with workshops and lectures but just so I don’t get too complacent, it appears that this is also the year where classes and presentations are moved to different dates or cancelled altogether. One of my three day classes in Ontario was recently nixed and I am now trying to decide whether to fly or still drive. We are leaning toward driving and with that in mind, I thought I would publicize here that I am open to invitations by guilds to speak or teach a short workshop between May 30th and June 6th, 2014. I am teaching in Perth for the Lanark County Quilters Guild May 26th – 28th, 2014. I will then make my way to the Niagara region for Quilt Canada. If your group is interested in inviting me, contact me right away so we can hammer out details and cost. We will be camping along the way, so there is no need to provide accommodation. You can reach me via my email <>

Organizing and scheduling lectures and workshops are activities booked from my studio. What else has been going on in my creative space? I have had a few emails asking where the Kantha book stands and when it will be published. I am happy to report, that I am in the final stages of editing the book. I shared in an earlier post my intention to publish with iBooks. Some of you already know: It is never as easy as one expects. I am a Canadian and to publish with iBooks I have to obtain a tax exemption number from the US government to forgo taxes there. We looked into it but it is not a straight forward process at this time. It meant backtracking a bit.

The book was written and assembled in the iBooks Author app – a great app which allows me to import images without compromise, add and edit text without delay. I even had an interactive segment with step-by-step instructions for the outline stitch.  In addition I loved the way the glossary was linked throughout the text, and a quick touch on a word would bring up the definition. Slick! And then the realization hit that “The Ancient Art of Kantha” will not be an iBook. I returned to the drawing board have spent long hours editing and rearranging each page. This meant that the glossary will not be linked but will rather be located in the appendix without hotlinks. It will be a regular book in PDF format. Even ePub format was not possible because I have too many images and illustrations. Removing these would render the final product a very uninspiring book.

Back to the positive points. It has been a month of learning! I have obtained an ISBN. Living in Canada does have many advantages, one of these is that we can register with the ISBN Government office, and within ten days the author has an official ISBN account where one can request a number without a fee. In the US obtaining an ISBN can be costly, as one single number can run as high as $ 150. To reduce this cost ISBNs are often purchased in groups of ten for around $ 250. During my research I came across this fact and my first thought was “I don’t know if I will ever write another book – so why would I want to incur such an expense?” Luckily I checked into Canadian practices and found out what I needed to make this a more affordable publication.

Why am I just writing about the Kantha book at this point? I am still relying on my editors to provide feedback and help me correct grammatical errors and typos. Once this is complete I will convert the book and make it available on line. I am also researching the option to offer the book in print for those who love the feel of a real book. A word of warning: The cost for this option will be much higher as printed books are becoming less popular.

So much to do and think about. The book has taken  most of my time and energy lately. On another note: We belong to a couple camera clubs, and silly me put up her hand to confirm participation in a club challenge, due March 25th. I was sent eight images, four to be processed and the remaining four to be used in a composite. Have you ever watched well practiced Photoshop users – how easy it looks to create layers, skew, scale and distort single elements and subsequently combine them into a composite image? I was lured in… even took a seminar with Mike Roshuk a few weeks ago – only to be utterly frustrated every evening I tried my hand at working with the concepts. First I gave up, then I seriously contemplated withdrawing (not a good thing when it is so close to the submission deadline), and then I picked up a great book on how to navigate Photoshop to process and create composites. I persevered, began to question whether I was in the early stages of memory loss as I could not remember the steps I took less than an hour ago. I am relieved to share that I did finish my first composite. I have a long way to go – but am hopeful that this too shall become easier as I practice more.

Now I am looking forward to Wednesday when I fly to Winnipeg to judge the Manitoba Prairie Quilters Quilt Show. I will have an opportunity to practice my critiquing skills while working with the talented Marilyn Wiebe, and I will connect with friends. My judging kit is already in the carry on!

So much to do, so little time – a best get back to the day’s tasks. Enjoy your week and stay creative.

This entry was published on March 24, 2014 at 9:23 am. It’s filed under Creativity Update, In the News, Journaling, Special Project, Workshop Opportunity and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

10 thoughts on “Update from the Studio

  1. Judith KH on said:

    Good for you for persevering Anna. It is so encouraging to know that you too, encounter frustrations in taking on new learning projects and unexpected ‘ left curves’ and setbacks but do find a way around them eventually. This is a good reminder about re-strategizing. you will have every cause to celebrate when the book is truly born as a new arrival!.


  2. elinorburwashdesigns on said:

    Anna, thanks for sharing your feelings about using Photoshop. I too have seriously questioned my short term memory this winter while getting acquainted with my blog and Flickr. Frustration is my middle name today as I work on my March CDA’s. Your post reflects the “never give up” philosophy which is worth it simply because of the sense of accomplishment when you do complete what you started. I am looking also looking forward to the Kantha book.


    • Blogs, Flickr and all the other Social Media stuff are in the same category as Photoshop for me. This is why I persevered. I slowly learned my blog (still trying to get a handle on Flickr…) and I only got better through practice. Here is to understanding Photoshop soon…


  3. Congrats on creating your 1st composite! I know how frustrated you’d been. I’m also looking forward to your Kantha book. Enjoy Winnipeg.


  4. ekhaugli on said:

    Sounds exciting, challenging and very busy. Excited to see the book preview. Best of luck and enjoy the quilting show. Hope warmer weather has come your way. Klem


    • Thanks, Erica. Yes, busy and fragmented, but with cancellations in my teaching schedule I will be rewarded with unexpected studio time. Still winter here… I have been admiring your lovely images from the North Cape. Glorious!


  5. Millie on said:

    Dear Anna I read but don’t usually reply to your posts (or anyone else’s for that matter – too little time to quilt as it is) – however, I have loved kantha quilts ever since I had to make one as part of City and Guilds many years ago – I am very much looking forward to your book – print is my preference regardless of the cost – so I am glad you are persevering. Millie Cumming Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2014 15:24:00 +0000 To:


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