Monthly Archives: October 2013

Long Tail Tabby

needlepoint cat

Mr. Tabby

I love cats.

Some time ago, I saw a needlepoint canvas online that I really liked but couldn’t get.

Mr. Tabby had been sold, and there were no more to had.

So I made a really crappy photocopy, and mulled over what to do next.

Then I had this bright idea.

Why not have a needlepoint artist interpret Mr. Tabby?

So I asked two talented friends of mine — whose initials both happen to be A. C. — to come up with something, but changing it around sufficiently such as to not infringe on any copyrights.

The truth is, I figured only one of them would come through, particularly since I only had this really tiny, poor quality photocopy for them to work from.

Lo and behold, both ended up making me an original version of Mr. Tabby.  What beauties!

I took pics and decided to fool around on Gimp and create a second, Op Art-ish inverted image of each canvas.

And now… without further long-winded ados… here are four fantastic interpretations of Mr. Tabby….. tada!!!

needlepoint cat

Mr Tabby 1

needlepoint cat

Mr. Tabby 1 Op Art

needlepoint cat

Mr. Tabby 2

needlepoint cat

Mr. Tabby 2 Op Art

And here they are as an animation.

Mr. Tabby as Gulliver

Mr. Tabby zooming large and small

Goes well with Alabama Song.

And here’s stunned Mr. Tabby watching.

Mr. Tabby's Eyes Rolling

Mr. Tabby’s Eyes Rolling

Auf Wiedersehen.

Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016

Alabama Song (Brecht / Weil), recorded by Lotte Lenya.


I’m sorry, so sorry


Illo by 123rf

I misunderstood.

I was so insensitive.

I took it the wrong way.

I’m so sorry.

Will you forgive me?

Let me explain.

This weekend, I started kvetching about not getting that many comments on my blog.  Which is another way of saying not getting any comments.  And no Likes either.  No shares.  Nothing.

I thought it was because you were arrogant.

That you didn’t care about how hard I worked at this.

That all you wanted is for me to just keeping giving it away for free and expect nothing in return, not even one measly comment.

Then today, I saw the light.

I read this piece on the Internet, and I realized that I wasn’t alone.

That I wasn’t the only Internet blog slave out there who didn’t get her props.

Now I understand why.

It dawned on me about halfway through the 600-plus comments the NY Times article received.

You don’t comment because you respect me too much to provide free content to my WordPress digital overlords.

It’s not just a statement of sisterhood solidarity.  It’s one of complete and awesome artistic integrity on your part.  And maybe even of compassion, especially if you once were an Internet blog slave yourself.


I sat glued to my chair all day and watched the Feedjit Live Traffic window, and saw alll of you coming in from everywhere, the South, the West, the Midwest, the Northeast, and, yes, even overseas, literally hundreds of you, and tears of joy starting flowing down my mascara-streaked cheeks.

I realized, at long last, that my life has some meaning, after all, and that you really do have plenty to say to me, and would, if not for my digital overlords.

Thank you.


Maybe I should do the same.

Maybe I should never write another post.

You know, pull the silent routine bit for a while, maybe forever.  I used to be good at that with my father.

Until… until…  I lost it on the Internet.

And now I just can’t stop.

There is one thing, though.

Upper West Side t-shirt

Erin’s wrinkled UWS tee

I was really happy and all to get all the page views, even though it’s my WP digital overlords who are making all the big bucks with the ads you see on my site, and I don’t mean to sound like an obsessive, spoiled, ungrateful Upper West Sider, but how come no one came to visit from Manhattan?

Is it.. is it something I said?

Never mind.

What an existence.

Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016

The Consequences of Apathy


Image by Ms.


I shoehorned it in about 7am today on the sidebar.

Now everyone can see my limp biscuit traffic.

But the good news is, you can also see where ya’ll come from… you shy lurkers!

ps:  if you want me to get rid of the Feedjit widget, I’ll be happy to, just say the word.  But how, I wonder?  Oh yes, I know, there’s actually a comment area.

Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016

Paper airplanes


Marta Dahlig (aka Blackeri)

Today we are going to talk about blog envy, a sentiment I have of course never experienced.

The problem is this.

99 per cent of the people who read my blog unfortunately suffer from a rare condition known as advanced typephobia.

I mean, even though some days I get as many as five views a day, no exaggeration, and have 2 followers now, nobody says nothing to nobody in this drafty place.

It’s like dead, dead, dead.


Maybe they have it confused with an ashram.

No, this can’t be.

It clearly says Needlepoint Land not Needlepoint Library right up top. In big bold lettering.   I just checked.

This can only be typephobia.

So I went around to other blogs on WordPress to see if their readers also suffer from this blog kill condition.

First, I checked out this place.  It was easy to find. It’s advertised today on Freshly Pressed.  **choke**

Funny thing, that.

I mean, I’ve been doing this longer than I can remember, and I’ve never been on Freshly Pressed. I’ve tried everything: pretending to be hip, making original needlepoint movies, funny animated cartoons, adding music, original artwork, humor, tons of galleries, even deep think essays.

Nada; not a peep, or a keyboard peck.

After two years of self-imposed servitude ** teeth gnashing ** to the evil WordPress empire overlords, who are probably laughing their asses off as I type this.  I bet you those nerds spit on my blog every night before going to bed, after hissing “sucker!”.


Anyway, back to this Natalie person.  Not only is her post Freshly Pressed but she has 71 comments.

Let me repeat this.


Plus 154 Likes.

In two years, I have had, like, one Like.

No wait, I think it was two.

I thought, maybe the popularity of Natalie’s blog is because she’s 20 or something, and pretty.

Maybe all her comments are from sex-crazed trolls.

It can’t really be because the people who read her blog are edgy, young, and don’t suffer from typephobia.

It can’t be because she’s better than I.

So I decided to check out another blog that’s not written by a 20 year-old woman whom I bet is very nice in person but doesn’t ever have to worry about deteriorating eyesight, varicose veins or looming stitch arthritis.

I went here.


Now this was more like it: a blog by some dude who likes to write about depressing subjects.

Probably 0 comments.

Probably zilch Likes.

Probably…. wait.. wait… oh no…. it can’t be.

Over 1000 Followers!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAArrrrrrgh!!!!!

And his About page, alone, has 78 comments.

That’s it.

Typephobia or no typephobia, I’m not putting up with this anymore.

I’ve just disabled the comments section, as well as the Likes and Sharing buttons.

And I’m not adding any cutesy poo-poo needlepoint pics.

So there!

I win.

Don’t I….?


Just in case, I’ll un-disable the comments.

Now I really hate myself.  ** sigh **

12m 9" x 13" Charlie Brown - Needle Treasures Kit

12m 9″ x 13″

Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016

Last train to Needlepointville

Vintage canvas by Sunshine Design 18m 24" x 6.75"

Vintage canvas by Sunshine Design 18m 24″ x 6.75″

Sometimes I need a break from the beehive of frantic activity that is life in Florida, so I hop on the needlepoint rail train to see what else is going on.

Today, I did a basic Google search with just the key word “needlepoint.”  I decided to get off at the last stop in the line to see what’s out there.

Lionel Trains - R. L. PlummerGoogle’s very last search result (there were actually less than 400 entries, overall, which surprised me) was something about needlepoint bearings.

Clever Google or dumb Google?

My curiosity was piqued.  I had no idea what needlepoint bearings were.  I clicked on the search result.  It was a snippet of some book by R. L. Plummer about Lionel toy trains (see pic to the left).  I suddenly remembered a relative of mine owning a set back in the day, and felt, well, transported.

Thomas LocomotiveI quickly snapped out of it, then, just for kicks, looked up Lionel trains on the Google.   Yes, they were still around.  So I checked out their interesting back story, which I never knew, and idly leafed through their fancy-shmancy catalog. Isn’t this Thomas locomotive the cutest?

This got me thinking some more about needlepoint trains.  I was definitely on a roll now.  After all, I’d just had a train canvas finished this week, and have a few needlepoint train designs on hand, other than the one you see up top.

(I have a soft spot for old-fashioned, unsophisticated designs, such as the Sunnyland one.  To fill in the line drawings… all that’s needed is imagination and some fancy threads!!!)

Here’s one of those modern train designs.

4.25 " x 3.5"

4.25 ” x 3.5″

And here’s another.

2.5" x 3.75"

2.5″ x 3.75″

Then I got to thinking:  what about other needlepoint trains out there?  After all, this is a needlepoint day trip.


Well, there’s this pre-done children’s belt from Smathers and Branson.

Train Belt

And a nice Rebecca Wood design you can stitch yourself.

Christmas Train  - Rebecca Wood Design 16 by 6 18m

I was about to return home, when I came across an interesting train reference in Chilly Hollow, which is kind of the Grand Central of needlepoint. Bingo.

Much to my delight, it turned out to be the work of a talented needlepoint designer and stitcher par excellence, Jan from Thread Medley, who also blogs on WordPress!

So, as a final side trip, I decided to check it out.

Fabulous!  Love her stitching.

I’m definitely going to have to get in touch with Jan to find out how that big locomotive by Anne Cram is chugging along.

Hope you had an entertaining trip!

Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016

Needlepoint Wow

Sad Lion

Sad Lion

Earlier this week, I got back this poor Sad Lion figurine from the finisher.  I was fairly happy with him, although he could have used less batting and more weighting, if you get my drift.

I just won’t leave him by an open window.

Recently, I came across the work of Parisian artist Frédérique Morrel.

Morrel recycles vintage canvases to come up with some pretty astonishing creations.

Tony and Eva

Tony and Eva

It’s not all reindeer heads, hunting scenes and wild boars either. She does life-sized  humans too, in a series she calls Ghosts.

It’s a retro chic, hyper-realistic look, and it’s certainly different.  Stuff like this doesn’t come cheap.

Check it out at Bergdorf Goodman’s in NY, but have the smelling salts handy.

Morrel is not the only one to recycle stash to come up with a newish take on needlepoint.

Lindstén Form Studio is an independent design company based in Stockholm, Sweden. They use recycled canvases as backing for functional objects, such as chairs.

Pretty funky, as you can see below, although I have no idea what they were trying to say with their “many hours, many days, many weeks and years have women in older generations spent on embroidery to catch an idyll view.”  Must be a Swedish thing.

Can you imagine these in your kitchen?

Lindsten - Needlepoint Stools

Lindsten – Needlepoint Stools

Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016