Friday, 23 March 2012

winter embroidery

This is a design by Marjolein Bastin, one of a series of four of the four seasons. My mother received this as a kit many many years ago and sometimes I would find it at the back of the closet and ask if I could please have it, or if not, at least make it for her. I don't remember when she finally gave in, but it must have been right before I graduated from highschool. This was my first big embroidery project and I started working on it after I first moved to Germany. I loved the colours and the different small details of the design.

The matting was done in the Summer in 2001. Doug had a special ruler and a 45 degree knife for cutting matting and a few of us went to an art store to choose matting. Looking at colors and thinking through different combinations is one of my favorite things.

Two years ago when we were looking for a place for our wedding reception and for a place where guests could spend the night we found a small hotel/bed and breakfast in the middle of the Veluwe. We had been driving and looking at places all day and were pretty discouraged. We walked up to this place wondering if anyone was around and were promptly invited into the dining room and served coffee while the owner went to get his books to talk with us. As we sat there sipping our coffee I saw that the other three seasons were embroidered and hanging on the wall. It ended up being the place where our guests stayed, and I would have liked to as well!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Teapot fractals tutorial - using gimp and inkscape

Using gimp and inkscape I've been playing with this design. its far from finished, but here are the steps I've taken so far:

Step 1: Take a picture. This is one of Kerry's teapots. I liked the lighting but I should have taken this in front of a neutral background, which would have made the next step easier.

Step 2: Select the teapot. I zoomed in to 400% and used the free select tool. it takes a while tracing the teapot, but it gives better results than the scissors select tool. I also learned that you get better edges if you select feather edges (I moved the radius up to 22)

Step 3: Again in gimp, I desaturated the image (Colours - Desaturate) and then changed the threshold until I was getting a clear image. I inverted the colours and used the colour select tool to select the teapot and Ctrl-comma to change the colour. 

Step 4: The teapot in gimp doesn't have very smooth edges, so I opened the image in inkscape for this next step: Click on the image and then choose Path - trace bitmap. Then I could zoom in and use the edit path by nodes to smooth out the edges. 

Step 5: back in gimp I tiled the image (Filters - Map - Small tile) and played around with fractals (Filters - Map - Fractal trace).

Its not finished yet, but one can see the possibilities :-)

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


Recently I've been taking a lot of photos and learning some things about editing. We got a new camera for Christmas and its very exciting to learn more about using it, I still have a long way to go. I've also been learning about the GIMP, there are a lot of tutorials about using it and every day I learn something new. One thing I tried was choosing colours from a photo to make a colour scheme. I learned two other things in the process: how to make rounded corners and how to add a transparent watermark. This picture was taken looking out over lake Superior.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


We've been living here three weeks now, and today is our last day in this house. We're both flying away tomorrow for 1,5 weeks and after that we'll be living somewhere else. Yesterday I took some pictures of some of the houses around where we live. I love houses and I love looking at their lines and shapes and colours. Can you guess which one we live in? And which is your favourite?