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Topic: Houdini x-stitch -- Tada!  (Read 10026 times)
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Makers Rule
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« on: April 08, 2009 02:20:41 PM »

I kinda doubt Houdini ever announced "tada!" at the completion of an illusion. But I like to. Sometimes randomly. Smiley

Here's my little tribute both to Houdini and to Teller, of Penn & Teller, for whom I made this piece.

Starting with a recognizable but relatively simple portrait of Houdini, I decided to go with six shades of grey plus white, which brought me to 7 colors. I wasn't even sure if I was going to be able to find six discrete greys, but that seemed to me to be enough differentiation without going totally overboard.

Harry Before and After

I spent a good hour or more combing through embroidery floss bins, hunting for six cool/neutral greys that looked like they belonged together. Then grabbed a roll of the finest resolution cross-stitch fabric I could find, which turned out to be 28-count.

For a frame, I had an idea that I might be able to use one side of a pair of handcuffs. Without actually having the cuffs on hand, I took some guesses about average wrist size ranges, did the math and decided on a 2.5" across portrait. Little.

Houdini Close-Up

When I was about half way finished, I was at TJ Maxx doing random shopping, and in their home dcor department stumbled across The. Perfect. Frame. I was so excited, I snatched it up without even registering how much it cost. Of course, this was TJ Maxx, so it turned out to be about $3. The little red frame was not only the perfect size, but look! Rope/knot detail!

Houdini Frame Detail

So that's it, the finished project. What I thought would take me about 2 weeks wound up taking closer to 6. When I think about how much time I put into it, I keep coming up with 80 hours, which just sounds impossible. A couple of friends who have seen it in person have said they'd have a hard time giving it up, and suggested maybe I should just keep it. It's a tempting thought, but I couldn't do that. As is always the case when I make things for people, I can't keep it because it was never mine to begin with.

However, I do still have this big ol'roll of 28-ct fabric... Maybe Poe next.


As usual, there is a slightly more blahblahblah version of this project on my blog.

Thanks for looking!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009 01:44:24 PM by jungrrl - Reason: edited to include specific blog link. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2009 02:25:07 PM »


It's really wonderful. I heart Houdini.

« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2009 02:35:05 PM »

This rocks! the frrame is perfect, I'm sure Penn will love it. Are you planning on giving it in person?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2009 02:48:57 PM »

You did a wonderful job!  Did you use a program like PC Stitch for the pattern or just wing it? 
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2009 03:01:55 PM »


Thats awesome!

Whats the message down the sides??? can see there is something there but cant see what!

Again.... WOW


Just remember if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off!

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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2009 03:05:28 PM »

You don't need me to tell you how awesome this is. Honestly, with a piece like this, you dont need anyone to!

That said: THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the frame, oh my, the frame. The frame is very cool on its own. The story of finding a neat frame for a project is a cool story. But to find that frame for that piece is just to much!

You mentioned that you made the piece for Teller. Are you a fan and sending it to him or did he commission the piece? It sounds like there may be another neat story there somewhere (especially if you can get a pic of him with the finished art).

There are two things you should never be mad at: Those you can change and those you can not - Plato.


please excuse her for the day, its just the way the medication makes her...
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2009 03:25:52 PM »

Amazing!  I admire your patience for such a complex project.

I think my cat is sending me subliminal messages...
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2009 03:33:51 PM »

This turned out really incredible. I love how things will sometimes fall into place when you are working on a neat project. All of your hard work was worth it, because the piece ended up being gorgeous!

I have many crochet and plastic canvas booklets/leaflets from the 70's, 80's, and 90's that I am interested in trading for a variety of items. PM me if you would like a list of what I have.
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2009 03:55:37 PM »

this is really fantastically done! And that you just eyeballed the shades in rummage bins to get them right - wow. You have an eye I envy.

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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2009 03:57:10 PM »

That's amazing, you did such a fantastic job. I was wondering how far just 7 shades of floss would take you, I'm so impressed with how well you managed to pull it all together. This rocks!

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