Category Archives: General

Random musings, thoughts, and news

The Beaded Bug


Beads  add so much flair to a needlepoint piece.  They provide texture and pizzaz to pillows, ornaments, you name it. Now… imagine for a minute  beading an entire Volkswagen Beetle!  I’m talking about an actual car, not a needlepoint design of one. beedle This fantastic feat was accomplished by 8 artisans from two families of Huichol Indians of West Central Mexico. It took 2 years and more than 2 million beads to produce this stunning work of art. The, dare I say, “Beadle” has been exhibited at the Museo de Arte Popular in  Mexico City and other world-wide venues.

Here’s a video explaining the symbolism of some of the Huichol designs that are depicted on this amazing car.

And here’s a Flickr gallery from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian where the “Vochol” (this is the real Beetle’s name) was exhibited in 2012.


Beadle Interior


As you can see, even the interior is beaded! Now I’m left hoping that some enterprising needlepoint designer will create a needlepoint adaptation from this idea so that I can beadle away to my heart’s content!

¿Dónde está?

Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016

Purple Craze


Delray Beach artist Suzanne Overstreet is the founder of Purple Palm Designs.

Recently, Suzanne teamed up with West Palm artist Ellen Negley.

Primarily a water colorist, Ellen was delighted her art work could be adapted to needlepoint.

With exciting needlepoint designs that evoke the French Riviera and Key West, as well as other South Florida locales, Purple Palm Designs certainly appears to be poised to make waves in the needlepoint world.

By the way, Suzanne just became a member of the TNNA.

She’ll be attending her first show as an exhibitor, next month, in Indianapolis.

If you happen to be there, drop by booth #1307.

Tell her Erin sent you!



Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016

Fishy business


The Little Blue Heron (Egretra caerulea) is an unusually quiet bird.

Here’s one being fed at Twin Rivers Park in a section of Port Salerno known as Rocky Point.  The vid was taken on the boardwalk that you see top right in this aerial view.

And here’s a vid, taken in the same location, of a White Heron eating a piece of bait fed to him by a fisherman who was done for the day.

At first I thought it was a lesser Egret, also known as a yellow-billed Egret, but I would venture, after looking more closely, that it’s actually a Great Egret.

I added a snippet of Kamal’s Ripples to the audio track for dramatic effect.

Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016

Perfectly Polar

needlepoint penguin


I received this in the mail yesterday. It seems à-propos to post it today, given that the temps are in the upper 50s here in South Florida.  All the locals are walking around in Uggs, wool hats, layered clothing and down parkas.

Me — I’ve got my lined Zamalek Beer hoodie on.

This will be a wedding gift for a couple that loves penguins. Their initials will be stitched on the left and right side hearts with an ampersand in the middle.

A heart-warming canvas for a cold day!

Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016

The Genius of the Macabre

raven needlepoint canvas

Red Wine Nevermore

The Raven is a classic B movie by Roger Corman, but there’s nothing but A-List written all over this needlepoint design.

It’s on 18 mesh canvas, and is 5″ x 6.25″.

In addition to the red wine Nevermore canvas, there is also a martini version.  Between me and you and the NSA,  I have known a few people (no stitchers of course!) who just drop the “N” entirely, whether it’s shaken or stirred, or by the barrel.

Btw, I worked for many years not far from the house where Poe wrote his famous poem.  As they used to say in the Big Apple, that and 10 cents will buy you a cuppa caw-fee.

Edgar Allen Poe Street NYC

84th St Street Sign in Manhattan’s UWS, from Ephemeral New York

Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016

Snoopy from the Land of Down Under

needlepoint snoopy

Snoopy’s Tennis Lesson

I’ve made a miraculous recovery, after being laid up in traction yesterday from walking oodles of miles on the beach last week.

Glad Pete Carroll’s team won last night, btw (as some of you know from this post, I’m a semi-rabid American “footie” fan) … he was never given a proper chance to guide the Jetsonians.  Plus this manic Jim Harbaugh character always acts like he skipped his morning Zyprexa on game day.  What a headcase!

Anyway,  I’m off to play tennis this morning.

retro tennis racket

Woodie, at rest

I’m going to have to part with this fabulous wooden tennis racket, which I used recently as a prop on my blog, and return it to the tennis pro who usually lets me win a couple of games.  And, no, it’s not Fedberg.

Needlepoint tennis racket covers were big in the 70′s, and occasionally you will see them available on those auction web sites.  Now with squash rackets so big, perhaps you could house your squash racket in an old needlepoint cover.  People are big in Florida on stitching needlepoint socks for their golf clubs.  Don’t mind me:  I’m just free-associating at the comp, as I have my morning coffee before leaving!

Perfect tennis weather this morning:  brilliant sunshine in a cloudless sky; high 60s to low 70s — which is what draws the snowbies this time of year.  It’s like money in the bank.

Despite the pleasant weather, though, I seem to be  having be having strange and unusual Frank Dancevic-type Snoopy hallucinations.

Is it the subtropical latitude, or I am just obsessed with needlepoint stitching?!

Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016