Friday, October 29, 2010

Photoless Friday (03): The Needlepoint Museum (online)

All it took were the two magic words, "needlepoint" and "museum"...More......

and I fell hook, line and sinker (there ought to be a similar needlepoint related phrase!).

This is a really zany web site, not a "real" museum, which displays scanned needlepoint projects, sad and funny, bright and dull, ugly and...less ugly, collected by the dedicated web site owner:

The Needlepoint Museum (

It took someone a long time to make these "delights."

Go wild! Pick your favorite! Have fun!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Milan Monday (12): another lion

Lions are so much fun, here's another one for Milan Monday!

I uploaded it into my StitchPainter program, and then turned it into a BMP image just for you. (Once you get some practice with how the images look, once transferred into StitchPainter, you'll be able to snap images that require little, or no, retouching, more easily, like this one.)

If you want to know more about my original photograph, you can go to "My Milan (Italy)":

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A regal snarling lion

Had a moment of uncharacteristic crabbiness, and so felt like snarling together with you via a needlepoint design...More......

Found this perfect image for snarling (and giggling at oneself promptly shedding the crabbiness...mostly...) tucked away in my To Sort folders.

I uploaded it into my StitchPainter program, then saved it as a BMP file to share with you.

For more information about the object in my original photography, please see the entry in my blog on Milan, Italy: My Milan (Italy),

Friday, October 22, 2010

Photoless Friday (02): DMC, or not to DMC, that is the question

I admit, it was perfectly by chance that I got started with the Paternayan brand of yarns. It must have been Paternayan, or something exactly like it, that was in the kit of my very first needlepoint project. Even without realizing it at first, I found the Paternayan yarns perfectly adapted to what I wanted:...More...


soft, resistant, (mostly) consistent in quality, and just the right size (about as big as a "typical" knitting yarn). Smaller, and it would take even more than it already takes (and it takes a long time, believe me). Larger, and to get any acceptable level of detail, the piece would have to be much bigger, so the working time would be the same, anyway. Finally, there is a very good range of colors in acceptable prices, and all the nearby needlepoint stores carried a good selection.

That was then, this is now.

No nearby stores, heck, no stores not even within the country borders, and so to the cost of any purchase would have to be added any postal costs (never negligible) and sometimes even import taxes. Not to mention the long wait (and risk of the package being...lightened, or even disappearing...during transit).

Having run out of a color, but almost done with a project, I tried substituting knitting yarn. No good. Not resistant enough. After a few pulls through the canvas, it weakens and breaks.

A round of my now local handwork stores later, and my needlepoint future is dark, indeed.

DMC yarns reign.

Nothing wrong with them, mind you. I've felt their woolen yarns, and they seem as soft and reliable as the Paternayan yarns.

So, what's the hubbub?

The DMC woolen yarns are either three times as thick as the Paternayan yarns, resulting forcedly in the must-work-on-an-enormous-canvas-to-get-any-acceptable-level-of-detail situation, or three times as thin, resulting in stitches so tiny that even an ant would have to put on magnifying glasses to work it.

That is, if this latter DMC thread even still exists.

I just looked at their web site. Their "normal" (i.e., thick) size of woolen yarn is called "Colbert." The really thin woolen yarn used to be called "Medici," but I can't find it in their list of yarns, so maybe it's gone the way of the wooly mammoth, replaced by all the fancy schmantsy glittery cotton threads (which I don't like, but for a whole other reason...and blog post).

So, for this Photoless Friday, my wish is that DMC would develop and market a slenderer woolen yarn like Paternayan's.

Just for me.

They'll do it, don't you think?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Milan Monday (11): a door jamb from Chiaravalle

Another Milan Monday, the time sure flies!

Saturday, I went to the Chiaravalle monastery just outside of Milan, and snapped this gorgeous brick door jamb for you, then uploaded it into StitchPainter without retouching the shot. Turned into a BMP image for my blog, you should be able to trim it as desired to use as a repeating border design.

If you want to know more about the monastery, see my blog on Milan:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Photoless Friday (01)

Man, oh man, this week has flown! So here we are already at Friday, when it seems like only two days have passed since I posted on Monday. Thought it would be fun to be inspired by "Photoless Friday," but it might be a little difficult for a blog about needlepoint. Nevertheless, More......

...I can't share anything about my current project (another "Thank You" gift, remember?), either in word or pictures, 'til it's done and given, so it's the perfect candidate for Photoless Friday.

Designed satisfactorily (that, too, is a long process), the fear of the blank canvas struck.

Will it come out on canvas as nicely as it is in my head? Can I pull it off, again, or is it going to be horrible? The counting is so tedious sometimes, too; should I just trace it onto the canvas, and be done with it, or will some of the subtle proportions be ruined?

Stomach tight with anxiety, the first few counted stitches were fearsome, but I already can see that it just might turn out quite nicely, and might just be one of the best I've ever done.

You (and the recipient!) will be the final judges, but you'll have to be patient for a few months. I do work on 18-point, remember?!

(Posting this, again, as it doesn't come up clicking on the "label" Photoless Friday," and the count is off...hope this works, thanks for your patience!)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Milan Monday (10): a medieval dado

Like medieval stuff? Here's a dado border in relief from Milan's Duomo...More......

It could make a marvelous rectangular cushion, for example, or a wind-stopper for a window sill, a footstool (the design can be trimmed fairly easily on the ends), or a decorative strip (replicating it with lots of patience) for the center of a long festive table.

If you don't like the heavily cast shadow (which does add 3-D, however), just split the design down the center horizontally, and flip it.

198 w x 80 h = 11" x ca. 4 1/5" for 18-count

198 w x 80 h = 16 1/2" x 6 2/3" for 12-count

If you're interested in learning more about the image, go to my blog on Milan, "My Milan (Italy)":

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cats and Dogs

Are you a cat, or dog, or both, lover? I can't help but remember that very funny "Far side" cartoon in which, while the owner scolds, the dog hears something like, "Now, Ginger, if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, you're to stay out of the garbage, do you hear me, now the next time...," while just below, the same owner scolds his cat, who hears zippo...the text "balloon" is blank. Snic snic. Not that I really think that, though. They do understand. They just don't care.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Peace be upon you, and so it was

My dear friend, Cristina Donghi of Donghi Comunicazione, organized a workshop in Milan, Italy, for learning to speak more freely in public. Nothing new, there, she's a communication expert (with a Facebook page for which this image is her "portrait," so you'll know which of the Cristina Donghi's in FB she is). What DID surprise me was that she also created this peace emanating watercolor for the background of her poster, and for which she kindly gave me the permission...More......

to reproduce as an image and as a needlepoint design in my blog, Thanks, Cristina!

As usual, I uploaded the image into my StitchPainter program, and it came out beautifully as a needlepoint, or cross-stitch, diagram, which I then turned into a BMP image just for you.

It also gives me the opportunity to call to your attention the fact that the colors in the needlepoint diagram look darker because they are surrounded by the black of the lines of the squares.

If you are doing needlepoint designs in StitchPainter, and want to check the "true" color, it's possible to toggle off the diagram to check the colors, then toggle it back on before printing for the actual stitching. Just one more handy dandy feature of this (marvelous) program, of which I plan to speak more at of these days....

(Just a reminder, no, I get no payments, or kick-backs, of any kind from StitchPainter...just the satisfaction of sharing this marvelous program and my...hopefully marvelous!...designs and advice with you.)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Milan Monday (09): Now you CAN make a silk purse out of a sow's ear!

Needlepoint an ancient Roman basrelief of a furry wild sow using silk threads, then sew it up into a purse. I'm sure you've been yearning to do that! Any pig farmers out there? Any fans of ancient Roman sculpture? Here's today's Milan Monday design to help you out!...More......

For further information about this ancient Roman sculpture found in Milan, see my blog on Milan:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pavian Tribute

Had to go to Pavia on Wednesday for some bittersweet moments, and so wanted to record the day...More......

with, what else?, photographs.

This large rosette on the door of the Duomo would make a marvelous pillow.

I've created the diagram large enough for an 18" pillow on 18-count canvas, if the whole image is used. That means the center part should be about right for a 16" pillow, if you use just the circular area and the rosette.

I've imported the image into my StitchPainter program, then turned it into a BMP image for you.
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