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

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.