Monthly Archives: October 2012

Hoot’s Here….


Remember Mr. Owl?  The winged one who took a big trip to the finisher?  Well, he flew back into town late last week, all dressed up and ready for his curtain call!

Isn’t he handsome?

His fringe is gorgeous:  each of the 8 different threads were hand-dyed to match the colors in the canvas, and the hand-twisted cording perfectly matches the colors in his head. The inset is decorator fabric and silk shantung.

The backing is also the same silk shantung.

Some stitchers like to micro manage the finishing process.  Me, I’m relaxed and breezy about this sort of thing.  Sometimes, I do have a definite vision for a finished piece.  Other times, it’s not that crucial for me to know in advance exactly how a piece is going to turn out in the end.

In the case of Mr. Owl, I was undecided as to the color and style of the border material and trim.  So I simply told the finisher to have fun and maybe even go to town a little with it. You can do this when you have a trusted finisher, and aren’t locked into color, size, shape or any other criteria.  Good finishers always add unique creative touches and skills to the final outcome.  Anyway, I was very pleased with the final result, particularly how the finisher selected colors that mesh well with the canvas I stitched.

By the way, Mr. Owl, has just informed me he is now retired and wishes to spend the rest of his days and nights relaxing on the couch.

Wise move.

© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.


Happy Hauntings!!!


It is a dark and stormy night here in south Florida, where meteorologists have dubbed this latest tropical storm, “Frankenstorm.” Anyway, Halloween has always been a favorite of mine and so in the spirit of this holiday season, here are some spooktacular needlepoints that I’ve stitched.

This is a little Halloween ornament with two ghosts, three Jack O’Lanterns and two black cats.  Pardon the cheesy backdrop, but, due to the freakish storm, outside photography was too harrowing to even contemplate. The cats were done in Petite Very Velvet. While it is fiendishly hard to see, most of the ornament is tricked up in metallic threads, which always makes things a little more fun.  The finisher put a little bat embellishment on the top, and a creepy spider is attached to the long hanger.

The backing material — I just love it when finishers go batty with my projects.

Sometimes I just let a finisher have carte blanche when putting together a needlepoint job.  All the decisions in finishing this ghoulish trick or treater were left solely in my finisher’s hands.  I really liked how Casper here was devilishly placed on a custom-crafted stand, with two little gold  balls to create a floating, ghostly effect.

Aren’t the backing and twist just perfect?

And finally… there’s this little witch in a big hat. Her smiling little face isn’t scary one bit, but that wand looks like it could be trouble!

That’s it!  I hope you enjoyed this little gallery of ghoulish delights.  Well…  off I go to do some more stitching.   Meanwhile, I’m keeping my needles crossed that the Evil Storm won’t ruin this Halloween.  As my grandmother used to tell me, on stormy nights like this one, life sometimes can seem to be nothing but one big cone of uncertainty.  Okay, bad joke.  Tooddle-do!

© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.

Heeeeerrrreee’s Freddy!


This absolute  fashion-plate of a frog by Nancy L. King and I go back aways.  By the time I became aware of this dapper big guy, he had been a long-discontinued kit by JCA.

Thus the search began, because I just had to get him. I monitored the auction websites for months:  alas, no sign of Freddy.  I was on the verge of purchasing a stitched model of the piece at a needlepoint shop,  when voilà, he appeared.  I bid, and won him.

Based on the two crowns that are on his vest, not to mention the circles under his eyes, my guess would be that on occasion he really enjoys a quaff or two of the King of Beers.

Anyway, when I went to NY this summer, Freddy came along for the ride. And since it was so hot up there, I spent a lot time stitching him.

Now, he’s  back from the finisher.  Doesn’t he look as spiffy as spiff can be!

Btw, I mostly stitched this frog as JCA instructed. I found some #32 braid black Kreinik in my stash, and used that for his eyes. For the whites, I used the new Kreinik color #5760.

One other thing. I can’t emphasize this enough:  finishers make the piece.

Note the dragonfly in Freddy’s hand, and the chain that attaches his  pocket watch to his waistcoat.

Also, the material my finisher chose for the backing works with all the colors of the canvas, and I’m thrilled with the result.

The thing is, I wonder if Freddy’s checking his pocket watch because he is late for a dinner date at  La Grenouille?

© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.