Introducing Takuo Hirata

[Takuo Hirata] Combining his love of photography with a passion for nature, Takuo Hirata enjoys seeing his photography enjoyed in creative ways. Adding to his line of image CDs, limited edition art cards, fabric prints, purses and scarves available on, we are pleased to make his collection available for our Nature Art Tiles series.

Hirata has his own special style combining composition and aesthetics, whether he is photographing insects or flowers, many from his own garden and his favorite public gardens around Kamakura, Japan. Hirata has the patience required to wait for just the right butterfly to land on that perfect flower. His ability to zoom in and capture the butterfly just as he lands, samples the nectar or leaves the flower is amazing.

To see a fun slide show featuring some of Hirata's yellow photos, check out his MySpace page. Be sure to click on the play button so you can hear the music that goes with the pictures.

Introducing Valerie Vavrik

[Valerie Vavrik] Val has been collecting antique books with beautiful art for over 25 years and has amassed a collection of thousands. A self employed graphic designerfor over 15 years (VV Graphics, LLC), Val soon began restoring images from her books and using them in jobs. A quilt shop owner customer suggested she sell her vintage images on CD for quilters to print on fabric, and VV's Victorian Prints began.

With over 800 restored antique images currently available on 30 image CDs on her website,, and individual images becoming available as they are restored, we are pleased to offer Val's growing collection of vintage images in our Vintage Art Tiles series. If there is something specific you are looking for, please contact us and we'll see if Val has it in one of her antique books.

Two quilts showcasing some of Hirata’s photography were on display at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX. The first entitled, “Pink Explosion, designed by Valerie Vavrik, featured photos printed on silk satin and chiffon fabric sheets crafted into a hanging art quilt by Maggie Backman. Pink Explosion was on display in the Silk Room. Takuo Hirata gave a fascinating lecture in the ballroom and autographed limited edition art cards and CDs at the show. Hirata was invited back for another lecture in 2007. His Beauty of a Rose wall hanging (also constructed by Valerie Vavrik and Maggie Backman) was on display in the Things Japanese booth throughout the show.

Hirata and Val are pleased to see their images being printed on tiles for display in many new ways.