Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another Christmas stocking: it's almost time for the "Befana"

One strike, and you're not out! In Italy, you have a second chance to get gifts. If you were naughty all year, and Santa brought you a piece of coal, be good for a few days and the "Befana" (an old crone witch riding a broom) just might fill your stocking the eve of the 6th of January, the day dedicated to the "Epiphany" of the visit and gifts of the Three Magi.

Here's a Christmas stocking for you, thanks, again, to the free clipart provided by Microsoft (this one is n. MC900245593, in case you want to hunt it down on their site). I turned it into a StitchPainter diagram and then a BMP to share with you for your personal, non-commerical use.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Milan Monday (18): Humility...with a crown

Milan Monday and humility...with a crown...that's good for a laugh....More......

"Humilitas" is the religious motto of the Borromeo family, and this version in Gothic script is on the fa├žade of their Milanese family church, about which you may learn more referring to my blog about Milan:

I copied a detail of my photo into my StitchPainter program, and turned it into a BMP image for your personal, non-commercial use.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas: panettone

Ahhhh, panettone. For those of you, who have not had the delectable privilege of eating (good) panettone, yet, here's an eye-opening Christmas surprise for you.

Here's a needlepoint/cross-stitch pattern of this typical Milanese Xmas treat, which I created by uploading a photo of "paola77" into StitchPainter, then turning it into a BMP for you.

To learn more about panettone and find the link to the recipe, please go to my blog on Milan:

Merry Christmas to every one!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas stockings on the brain

Here's another Christmas stocking. I designed it in 2004 for my dear sweet husband, Mario, so look for his name, the date and my initials to replace at will.

I captured my drawing, imported it into Stitchpainter, then turned it into a BMP just for your personal, non-commercial use.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Milan Monday (17): An Art Nouveau border

Break from Christmas stuff! It's Milan Monday, and since Milan's Xmas decorations are not terribly inspiring, here's something that is: a delightful Art Nouveau border on one of the many anonymous, but delightful late 19th century buildings scattered around town.

I snapped the shot on the 11th of December, at about 12:15, imported it into Stitch Painter, and turned it into a BMP for your personal, non-commercial uses.

If you want to see the original picture, or learn a bit more about the building, please go to my "My Milan (Italy)" blog:


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas tree

Here's a Christmas tree! Finally! The original free clip art image is on the Microsoft site, n. MC900439764. Thank you, Microsoft! There were a couple of others, too. Have to find something not just cute, but which translates well into the StitchPainter diagram, which I then turn into a BMP to share with you...for your personal, non-commercial uses, as usual! Enjoy!

(Today is a special know who you are...Much MUCH love, Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to you and to us all!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Photoless Friday (08): Italian Needlework

Photoless Friday, once again. For a blog dedicated to needlepoint, it's not always an easy challenge, but it wouldn't be a challenge if it were easy, would it? Hopefully, over the holidays, I'll have time to get back to my study of Owen Jones. Lots of others talk about Owen Jones and his book, Grammar of Ornament. I feel the urge...More...... share my observations about it with you. (I'm also so proud of myself for having resisted the banal turn of the phrase "pricked with curiousity," given that this is a blog dedicated to needlepoint....heh heh heh, now, wasn't that a sneaky way to both say it, and resist, at the same time?!)

In the meantime, here's a link to a delightful and informative blog called "Italian Needlework."

Alas and alack, not about needlepoint, but it is about other kinds of working with the needle, from very special kinds of embroidery to lace-making, all coming from Italy. The blog owner, Jeanine, is bi-lingual, so if you don't read Italian, this will be just the thing for you to explore this gorgeous and historic world, and many of the diagrams can be adapted for your needlepoint projects.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Angel clip art (01)

Here's the first of cute angel clip art uploaded from the free Microsoft clipart page (n. MC900199651), imported into StitchPainter, and turned into a bmp for your personal, non-commercial use.

Should be an easier image to needlepoint, or cross-stitch, than an image imported from a photograph, and the image is generic enough to serve all angel purposes.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Angels...what would Xmas be without them?

I just realized that I haven't posted an angel diagram in this Xmas series, yet, so here's the first one. If you're not into the religious thing, the long cross shape should be pretty easy to turn into a trumpet.

I took a picture I snapped in July 2005 of one of the Bernini angels on the Ponte S. Angelo in Rome, imported it into StitchPainter, and turned it into a BMP, just for you and your personal, non-commerical uses.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Photoless Friday (07): More on Paternayan, or...?

Am participating in an interesting exchange about needlepoint yarns on the Facebook page Discount Needlework: Which is your favorite wool needlepoint yarn?.

I've learned of a brand, new to me, of my preferred three-ply wool yarn that doesn't want to deal with web-only based companies (get with the program, folks!), so their products aren't available to me.

I'd need to see and feel a sample, anyway.

Let me tell you what happened....More......

A few years ago, having a chance to return to the States for a visit, one of the top things on the list--after "hug relatives"--was "buy Paternayan yarns," already having the great StitchPainter program up and happily running on my computer.

Not familiar with that part of of town, I even had done my "let your fingers do the walking for stores selling Paterayan yarn in the area" work on the internet, prior to departure (Cosmos bless the internet). Found the store pretty easily, was in 7th heaven once again surrounded by walls of variously colored yarns. So much choice, such availability.

"I'd like a good handful of the following Paternayan yarn numbers, please." Having no time to waste, I also had done a census of my stock at home, and made "Need" and "Want" lists before leaving (the distinction partially based on the state-o'-the-wallet-of-the-moment).

"Oh," (eyes lighting for the kachink-kachink-kachink of the cash register floating before her eyes), " here. That will be $XXX.XX, please, thank you, goodbye, do come again!"

And out the door I went, so happy to have guaranteed postage- and risk-of-loss-free stitching for the months to come.

Only that, when I got home thousands of miles away, and started pulling them out, feeling them, looking at them more closely (it is such a bother to have to pull out my reading glasses every other minute...the next time I have to renew them, I'm going to take the plunge, and try graduated lenses, despite everyone's horror stories about how hard it is to adapt), they weren't Paternayan.

I won't cite the company's name.

I'm sure it's a perfectly good brand.

It's just that their three-ply yarns are a bit thicker than Paternayan, but I could have put up with that.

What really really bugs me (gives me shivers of revulsion, even) is the very unpleasant slippery feel.

Like they're kinda slimey in a dry sort of way.

Maybe it helps the yarn slide through the small holes of the canvas, but...


So, web-based only yarn stores, beware. I want a free sample (even half of one strand will do) before buying something new.

P.S., since I talk about two brands in particular, StitchPainter and Paternayan, it's probably a good idea to remind everyone that I get no kickbacks, or payments, of any kind. Just speakin' my mind (oh, that feels good, doesn't it?!).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Candy Cane (without bow)

I had found a very cute candy cane with a bow on a free clip art web site (I underscore "free," because I do want to respect copyrights). "Oh, this will be a lovely needlepoint diagram for my needlepoint friends," I happily thought to myself. Well, the person putting the (I repeat, free) image on the net had figured out how to code it so it wouldn't cut and paste.

Too bad for you, Mr. Smarty Pants ClipArtist.

YOUR work is not being perpetuated.

Instead, here is a beautifully shaded candy cane--without a bow--courtesy of other free clipart pages...More......

I uploaded it into my StitchPainter program, then turned it into a bmp for you for your--as usual--personal, non-commercial use.

If you want to find the original, look up candy canes on the Microsoft free clip art pages. It's number MC900305465.

Credit happily cited.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas garland

Here's another free Microsoft clip art (MC900234187), a real cutie, turned first into a StitchPainter diagram, then into a BMP for you.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Santa checking his list

My kindergarten teacher was right. She told my mom that I and my little friend were her two "magpies"...couldn't stop talking. I have gotten better, I promise, and even find that it's so much easier to let others do the hard work of talking, especially at formal dinners, but Wordless Wednesday is turning out to be just about impossible for my needlepoint blog. It's already hard enough for my blog on Milan (, where I'd like to be able to say where and when I snapped the shot, but for the needlepoint blog, if the original design isn't mine--as in this case--it's impossible...More......

When it's not my original design, I want to cite the source, and so if you want to see the original free clipart of this santa and his list, go to the Microsoft clipart gallery, and look up "Santa Claus." This image's Microsoft file name is, by the way, MC900098091.

Let me take this opportunity to remind you that my designs are free to you for your personal non-commercial use Microsoft shouldn't worry about 'lil ol' me making Stitchpainter needlepoint and cross-stitch designs out of their free clip art.

More to come!
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