My youngest is graduating from college this May and I want to make her an ornament. I’m not happy with the “normal” graduation ornaments I see, I’d like to make her something unique.
Sometimes when we want to make a needlepoint present for someone, there just aren’t commercial designs out there. At that point we need to create our own, which actually isn’t as hard as you might think.
Over the next few weeks I’ll show you how the ornament is progressing in a set of posts designed to help you make your own designs.
What Do I Make?
Before you start this process you need to do some thinking. First you need to decide what item you will be making. That will give you an overall size and also clue you into how much detail you can include.
If it will go into something for self-finishing, look for those measurements. For Anna I’m making an ornament so I’d like it to be about 4-5″ in the longest direction.
So your image searching will be easier, narrow down the possibilities by deciding on an item. Anna’s school, St. John’s College, has a mascot, the duck-billed platypus. They have very few interscholastic sports (up from none when I went there) and so the mascot mostly shows up on T shirts with the Greek question “ti esti?” (What is it?) on them.
I think a design of the phrase, a platypus, SJC and the year would be fun.
Now on to find the components.
Finding the Artwork
If you are looking for artwork for your own use (not to sell because of copyright protections), you can’t do better than Google’s image search. You can find it by clicking “Images” in the upper left corner of the Google home page or directly at: http://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en&tab=wi.
If you just put in the item “platypus” you’ll get a mixture of photos and drawings, few of them useful as the basis of needlepoint. It can be discouraging.
So you need to modify the item right from the beginning. I use “outline” or “coloring book.” Most of the time, I like the coloring book options better.
Google Images gives you a gallery view of many images. You can click on any of them to go to the page where it was found. Right click to save. The image I picked is at the top of this post.
What about Letters
As long as you are using the Latin alphabet, you’ll have no problem finding books or free alphabet charts. That takes care of the initials and date.
But I’ve got some Greek here, which does not use the same alphabet. And it’s hard to find.
Except that Greek capital letters are used for fraternities and sororities, so you CAN find them. So, by necessity I have the elements I need.
Tomorrow learn how to compose your design.