Category Archives: Uncategorized

Oops! Editor’s Correction

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Remember that beautiful stocking that Maria stitched for Patrick?

Well, it is a Rebecca Wood design. Sometimes you just get it wrong and so now I am making it right.

Here’s that stocking again.

Maria's Awesome Xmas Stocking

Maria’s Awesome Xmas Stocking

Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016

The Sea of Tranquility

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The ocean was much calmer this morning at the wildlife refuge.  No-one around but a lone fisherman and some birds.

Took some snaps.  You can see Ozzie the Osprey flying in the distance, top left pic.

And here’s Ozzie’s new friend, a white egret.  I’ve never seen one on the beach before.

Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016

Birds in Paradise

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Photo by Mandy

Photo by Mandy

Mandy Russell is a mixed media artist who lives in Maine and whose delightful artwork I came across by chance recently.  I especially loved her funky TV and the happy robot dude.

When I noticed that part of her “staff” included a German Shepherd and a parrot, I just had to leave a comment on her Web site asking her for a pic of this cute looking bird so that I could put it up on my blog.

Now as most of you know, by now, I have a thing about parrots.   I was delighted when Mandy sent me a picture of Gogog, her impish green-cheeked conure.  So cute!

Winged Horus

Winged Horus

Parrots are a rather popular subject for needlepoint artists.  So is Horus, the ancient Egyptian falcon deity.

So I decided to do a quick vector doodle very loosely based on some clip art of a Thutmose III cartouche that flew in from the Internet.

Horace

Horace

You can call him Horace.

Think he’d make a great needlepoint? ;-)

white space

white space

white space

white space

white space

white space

white space

white space

Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016.

DIY Canvas Design V: Crudités & Image Redo

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Disclaimer: This tutorial series is intended for educational purposes only and is aimed at needlepoint hobbyists. If you make use of any information presented in this series, please do not infringe on any copyrights.

I have to say I’m really not that pleased with the way the design looks.  It’s pretty crude looking, if you ask me, so before I trace it out on canvas,  I’m going to try to improve it though vectorization.

All this means is that I’m going to try to have much smoother lines, instead of the pixelated business you see now (click on image to see the nasty of rasta images, when blown up). 

Rasta Axe

Rasta Axe

Now ultimately this may not matter in terms of the trace process by hand, but if I were, say, to inkjet the design onto canvas directly (ye gods!), instead of hand tracing, it might make a mega big diff.  Aesthetics are not everything, they are, ahem, the only thing.

Now this part is going to be a little more complex in term of skill, but it really is quite simple, once you get the hang of it.   A vector image is one that has smooth lines, not the choppy pixelated ones that look absolutely awful once you try to enlarge an image.  Vectorized images can be enlarged at will without having these little stairs and annoying boxes appear, ie, the pixels.

(Before I forget:  A good way to view or print SVG files — the format in which the vector images are saved to disk — is through Mozilla, and you can preview it, before outputting the image to paper or canvas.)

 So I decided to experiment to see if vectorization would make my Coat of Arms looks less crude.  So first I worked on the image using Gimp.  I started off only doing one quadrant this evening, just to test if vectorization actually improves the look of things.

Basically I created a new layer, then traced over the orignal Axe quadrant, and fixed it with the eraser and pencil tools (I fiddled with the settings to get the thickness of the brushes right).  I also fixed the ridiculous looking thumb.

Then I did bucket fill with some nice bright colors, got rid of the original layer, and saved the transparency in a PNG format.  I did all this with a mouse, since I don’t actually, ahem, own a $400 Wacom Pen Tablet.  No problemo.  It was just a little slower is all.  By the way, the more changes and improvements like this you make, the more you get into the area of creating your own design, instead of just tracing someone else’s work.

Then I imported the PNG file into Inkscape, and there went to the Path –> Trace Bitmap option, fiddled with the settings till I liked the result, and voila, the result is as you see below.

Axe

Vector Image

I like the look of this more:  it has less of a Monty Python and the Holy Grail vibe.  I’ll probably do the rest of it tomorrow (click on the image to see how clean the lines remain, even when bigger).  By the way, I had to use the Vista Sniping Tool to capture the SVG image off a Mozilla browser display, which is kind of brain-damaged, as this turned it back into PNG, but WP doesn’t allow anyone to upload SVG or fiddle with the function.php for your theme, so I had to do it this way.

Vectorized Antelope

Vectorized Antelope

Even when converted back to PNG I still like this look more.  And I think vectorization will greatly improved the Rearing Antelope, and maybe help me get rid of the fuzziness in the faces of the Three Lions.

Time To Do:

Not that quick, it depends on your experience with Gimp and Inkscape.  But once you have gone vector, you will never look back at rasta images quite the same way again.

Next Step:   Continue to Vectorize the Rest of the Design

Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016.

Summer in France

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In case you don’t quite have time to stitch anything else right now, but need to rest your head on something this summer, here’s a delightful pre-worked pillow from Jonathan Adler that will remind you of the days when BB ruled St. Tropez, and an espresso wasn’t 10 euros!

Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler

Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016.

Coming Soon…

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Needlepoint Land will stream an absolutely fantastic, spectacular, spectacular new video…

featuring  Pat Carsley’s amazing Key West Bungalow canvas…

as never seen before…

so exciting, you will have to stitch it now!!!

so inviting, you will have to ask me how!!!

Stay tuned.

Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016.

Extra! Extra! King Tut Needlepoint Canvas Revealed

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Informal portrait of Howard Carter (the archae...

Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever wondered how needlepoint stitching originated?

I have.

So I went to the ANG, to see what they had to say on the subject, and found this:

     Howard Carter, of Tutankhamen fame, found some Needlepoint in the Crave of a Pharaoh who had lived 1500 years before Christ.

Though King Tut actually lived more like 1300 years before Christ (approximately 1341 – 1323 BCE), and he was found in a tomb, not a “crave,” I had something to go on at last.

So naturally, I went to peruse Howard Carter’s actual field notes, and came upon this:

     Notes Robes Nos 367, i and j.
     Two official or state garments of the character of priestly robes, which recall the dalmatic vestment worn by deacons and bishops of the Christian Church and by kings and emperors at coronation. [...] They took the form of a long loose linen vestment, having down the sides richly ornamented tapestry woven borders and a broad hem at the bottom of similarly woven ornaments and with fringe. [...] One of the vestments with field plain, has narrow sleeves like the tunicle and needlework representing animals[...].

Then, as I was trying to integrate this crucial information into my ground-breaking Canvas of Waking Dreams feature, a collector (who wishes to remain anonymous) contacted me to reveal that she owns one of the needlepoints discovered with old Tut.

Unbelievable!

Click on the jump to see it.

Read the rest of this entry