Sunday, January 19, 2014

February notables

February is known for many things, but in my family, the most important is my brother's birthday.  This year I decided to stitch the February design for him from the Prairie Schooler 160 leaflet that features six February motifs.  There were two Valentine's motifs so in a moment of great ambition, I decided to substitute a stitched portrait of my brother instead. I would have loved to do it in the style of Washington and Lincoln that were two of the motifs,  but I know my limitations.

The final result doesn't really look that much like my brother, but I've stared at it so long, that the image I stitched has now replaced my brother's real face in my mind.  I had to stitch in my nickname for him so that he would know it was supposed to be him.  He will protest, but I imagine George and Abe wouldn't be completely satisfied with their images either.

I had planned to do my first flat fold as a finish, but I was scared I'd mess it up.  Better wait to practice that later.  So it's more like a 6" pinkeep.  Found a cute stand at A.C. Moore so it's easily displayed.  This is done on 32 count Lugana with a purchased braid trim.




And now for the process.  I settled on trying a simple back stitch style profile.  My backup plan was just to stitch his initials, but I really wanted this to work.  I planned to start with a profile head shot of my brother as a guide.  Unfortunately that didn't exist.  But no worries.. my brother is often mistaken for Larry David and a Google image search turned up tons of possible model photos.  I picked out one that most resembled my brother and was ready to start.  This is the starting photo:



I used MS-Paint to re-size and highlight the outline of the parts I wanted to stitch:
Next, I found several sites that would 'cartoonize'  a photo online.  All free and none required installing any software.  They all use slightly different algorithms to create the cartoon, so I tried several and picked the one I thought would work best.  Silly me has now forgotten which site I used, but I think it was http://kusocartoon.com.

My brother doesn't look exactly like Larry David and I needed to fit this image into the existing motif space, so back to MS-Paint for a little morphing:

Next, I printed it out and traced the outline on tracing paper.  I then laid the tracing paper on graph paper printed with a grid size of 16 squares per inch and Voilà!  I was ready to go.  Alas, that nose and jawline eluded me. At least it's done and well before his birthday.

23 comments:

Margaret said...

Oh my gosh, that is just brilliant! I love how it came out! I'd love to see a pic of your brother -- Larry David, huh? I'm going to imagine him as Larry David now. lol! Very cute! Lovely finish!!

Carol said...

I'm sure that is the most fun and creative birthday present your "Brudder" will ever receive, Annie! I love how you stitched him--think you may have to send one to Larry David, too :) It will be quite the conversation piece in his home--and I like the display on the easel, too.

Great job, Annie--really looking forward to hearing his reaction to your birthday gift :)

Anne said...

Your design is wonderful Annie! Such talent and imagination! Never thought of such as idea!! Hope your Brudder loves it!! It really is an honour!! Happy New Year too! and Happy Stitching for 2014! :)

Brigitte said...

Wow, Annie, what a fantastic idea this is. And it was interesting to read how you went through the different stages of creating your pattern. Absolutely gorgeous, the result. Your brother will be so pleased with his gift.

Jane Galley said...

I am sure your brother will be thrilled. What an original gift, and the stand is perfect

Vickie said...

I am so impressed with your work and determination. I know your brother will be too. What a loving gift.

Gina E. said...

Ditto to all the above comments - you are some kind of genius, Annie! Do tell us what your Brudder thought of your work!

Jackie said...

You are so smart and creative! Your brudder is going to LOVE this!

Mii Stitch said...

This has to be the best present, because you made it!!! :)

Annette said...

ow My, how cool was that what you doen with the face.. really awesome!!
perfectly!! BRAVO.
Your brother wll be so happy with it..
It looks awesome the flatfold/pinkeep really your very first???

Michelle said...

What a great idea and so well done, I'm sure your Brudder will love it! It looks perfect displayed on that lovely easel!

Kissy said...

That's so cool!!!
And thank's for the "how-to" I was going to ask. Fits in so perfectly into the PS design. The linestitching makes him stand out as the central figure.

♥ Nia said...

WOOOWW!! How nice is that? Really great work!! You had a wonderful idea and really made it como to life!!! :D
Great job sweetie! Props to you :D

ArchangelDecker said...

I love it! I think it turned out so pretty. I am sure he will love it. :)

The Inspired Stitcher said...

That is so cool! What a thoughtful gift. I'm sure he will love it.

stitchersanon said...

Oh wow..you clever thing you! It is amazing and Im sure it will be much loved xxx

Christine said...

That is ingenious, I'm sure he'll love it

Meari said...

I think it looks like your brother :)

What a cute gift.

Melanie said...

Simply brilliant! You are amazing. (This is where a very clever person would throw in a Larry David-ish phrase but I can't think of any at the moment, even though I've seen every episode of his HBO show. Grrr.)

Bernadett Rauski said...

A very lovely present dear Annie.:)
Happy birthday to your brother.:)

P.S:The TP Wear a smile is at Annette's Pieces,but she sent me a message that she can not send it farther...Do you know,who started the TP,to let her know about this problem...I forgot it ,who was the starter...Thank you in advance.

Nicky said...

Now that is so cool!! You are brilliant to come up with such a neat idea, bet he's going to be thrilled when he receives it....
Happy stitching... xx

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

That is just inspired! I love the way it has turned out. I'm sure your Brudder will be most impressed by it.

Shebafudge said...

Wow! What an amazing process you went through to create your brudder. I hope he likes it!