Monday, July 9, 2012

Sometimes a notion...

So I was looking at my Arhelon needlepoint project. I realized that I'm almost half done with it (not counting the solid border), and I'm not tired of needlepointing yet (nor have I learned how to do the basketweave stitch). I've been looking around on eBay and Etsy for my next project, but have not found one that spoke to me the way this one did.

So, I reverted to form- I made my own. Not by charting, which would be no different from charting a cross stitch design, or a Fair Isle sweater... I just didn't want to follow a chart- I've learned that I like having the lines drawn for me, and the color choices at least suggested (if not set in stone).

And I didn't draw on the canvas either, even though I bought a large set of colored Sharpies at Sam's Club in Sioux Falls a couple of weeks ago, just for that purpose.

Instead, I found an image online that I like a lot.
This one- it's a Mucha print. Mucha's beautiful beautiful beautiful Art Nouveau art has recently been added to the public domain, so it's all copyright free now. I love this image, and I love the colors.
Then I enlarged it, and removed the solid border (I can work that without having it on the canvas, and there was no point in wasting ink). I used PicMonkey to *sharpen* the image and *posterize* it, thereby reducing the colors. And then I printed it out just to see how it looked. It looked just fine.
And then I flipped the image in Paint and printed the flipped image on a printable iron-on transfer sheet.

And then I cut a 16" x 16" piece of 14ct blank needlepoint (which I just happened to buy in Aberdeen a couple of days ago) and pressed it flat. I trimmed all excess paper from the printed transfer sheet and let it dry for 30 minutes (that was a loooong 30 minutes).

And then following the manufacturer instructions, and after lining the transfer up carefully along the canvas grid, I pressed it. I was absolutely thrilled when I peeled the transfer backing off (and I'm pretty sure there's still enough *ink* on the transfer sheet to make an interesting t-shirt... if I ever feel like using it).

See how beautifully it transferred? I chose this image in part because the face was in profile. I am certain that my current needlepoint skills would not do a full-on face justice. And in truth, this mesh is still too big for this design- if the craft store had had 18ct mesh on hand, I would have bought that. But it didn't, so I'll have to simplify the design as I stitch. And it's very likely that I'll have to do some surface embroidery for the Zodiac signs. But we'll see how that goes as I work on it.

The transfer *stuck* only to the mesh- there are very few holes that will have to be poked (which won't be an issue anyway), and this is a washable transfer, so the colors won't run when the finished piece is blocked.

I am totally thrilled with how it came out, and will absolutely make more canvasses this way (I have more transfer sheets and some 18ct mesh ordered and on the way). But The New Me does not start many projects, leaving most of them unfinished. I will touch neither needle nor thread to the Mucha until I finish Arhelon, which luckily  is coming along pretty darn quickly...


Sharon Souter said...

I really enjoyed this post Kathleen. I hope you will show us how you progress with this - I'd love to see the finished results - Sharon

Melanie said...

Oh my gosh! You are The Queen of all things artistic. And by the way, have you noticed the resemblance between the queen on your needlepoint and me???

Lynne Phelps said...

What a great tip! Needlepoint canvases are so expensive, this is so clever! I love the design you chose and can't wait to see how it comes out!