Tag Archives: needlepoint belt

Vero Redux



Here’s a new JN belt taken under almost perfect conditions.

It’s sunny and clear out, so I set the digi cam to WB sunlight. I took the pic under direct sunlight, with a clean white foamboard backing.

As you can see, it still comes out grayish.  It really seems impossible to get rid of the blue grey even under ideal conditions without doing some additional fancy footwork with the camera.

My next experiment will be to do a reference white balance shot of the foam backing, then retake the pic.

If that does not work, then I will try to fiddle with some other setting, until I get it right: what I want is the dazzling color of the belt to come out, and the white canvas to appear, well, white, and not this soot grey color.

It seems simple enough — much of the problem seems to be all this color interpolation and extra stuff the digital camera is doing for you.  Maybe I should work with RAW digital files, but that seems to add another level of skill and complexity to what should be the simple matter of taking canvas belt snaps under normal sunlight and have the color of the canvas (which is white, not soot!) and the design come out looking as they do in real life.

This will all have to wait, as I am going back to Vero in a few minutes to pick up the rest of my DMC boxes from Mary Agnes.

It should be fun!

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016


Who’s Squawking Now?


Here’s a loooooong clip from this morning’s beach walk.

First you see a willet hanging out with what I’m reasonably convinced were a couple of noisy American Herring Gulls (Larus smithsonianus, for those into taxonomy).

The gulls are in their winter plumage.

One has a sand flea in his beak, and the other one is walking slightly ahead of it, but does not appear for some reason to be trying to snatch the morsel away.

Herring or Ring-bill

Herring or Ring-bill

You can’t really make out the red spot on their lower mandible, which is famously distinctive to the species. I wish I could spot it on this still frame of the vid, to be certain.  Looks awfully similar to the ring-bill, but there seem to be subtle differences, despite the similarity of the black subterminal mark on their bills.  I’ll just have to go back and get conclusive proof of that red spot.

At any rate, as one of them chows down the sand flea, the other makes a show of trying to shake out something edible in rotting sea weed.

Meanwhile, the willet realizes the gulls are not the sharing type, and turns back to the lapping waves to find his own brunch.

Suddenly the gull shrieking intensifies.  At first I think it has to do with their annoyance at my intruding on their territory. This is, after all, their home.

Mr. Thinks Himself

Normally, though, this does not happen. In fact there’s a ring-billed gull that follows me around from time to time.  He seems to like to strike poses and have his picture taken.  I’ve decided to name him Mr. Thinks Himself.

Just like that, a nearby flock of sandpipers fly off — a sure sign something’s up.

The seagull shrieking intensifies, and the seagulls split up.  I follow one of them around for a few seconds, and then I catch the shadow in the sky swooping over us.

Sure enough, it’s Ozzie (or perhaps one of his friends:  I actually saw five ospreys circling around each other today in a kind of graceful, slow-moving, aerial ballet.  Here’s a blurry screen grab of three doing a Vol de trois).

Ozzie quickly fades into the distance, but is soon followed by some other shore birds overhead:  a couple of large seagulls, another osprey, and then a frigate bird flying high above.

The putative herring gulls are not happy about any of this.

To top it all off, a helicopter puts in an unwelcome guest appearance; I guess there is no other way to get to Stuart airport through what  is largely empty airspace except to fly directly over a bird sanctuary and wildlife refuge.

And so it goes:  another mini beach drama just unfolded, almost unnoticed.

I’ll leave you with a picture of the herring gull bar code, which I found by chance on the Encyclopedia of Life’s website.

Wouldn’t it make a cool needlepoint belt?!

herring gull barcode

herring gull bar code

Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016

Add to the plaid


Ever find yourself stitching a belt and then your fat husband gains like a million pounds so you have to do this airplane seat extension thingie?

Anyway, I am working on this belt that is an absolutely gorgeous plaid. It was very carefully painted, thing is, whoever painted it obviously got tired of counting and left about two inches off on both ends.   So, I have been free stitching the two inches on the right side of the belt. My experience with counted cross stitch is paying big dividends on this one! This will be a birthday present that is about 3 years overdue at this point.

needlepoint belt 1

Everything to the right of  the big, red square is counted. The left side will be the same deal, only in reverse.

needlepoitn belt 2

Here is a close-up of the counted area.

Re the hubster intro, just kidding of course! 😉

Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016.

Beach Belt


This needlepoint cabana belt is from Julia’s Needleworks. I did a few little pattern stitches here and there, nothing fancy, just the Smryna cross. I used overdyed Gloriana silk for the sky and decided to continental stitch it, since overdyes can be stripey.

Susan, from Voila C’est Fini, came up with a great idea for, ahem, when your belts no longer fit (not that this ever happens, of course):  you can turn them into straps for tote bags!  Either way, they make for great Christmas present gifts.

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016.