Photovisi, is a new free web based service that lets you create photo collages. 

It is easy to use. You first select a collage template, then add your photos and after dragging photos around you can download the collage. 

They have a print on demand service so you can get it printed out the top link allows you to down load the image and I thought printed out on a home printer they would make nice home made gift wrap for small gifts. I have mine currently used at a desktop. 

As you can see from the screenshot, it’s a fun toy anyway! 


Last night I spent far too long playing with a browser based free online drawing tool called Scribbler.

Basically you start a drawing in the white area and then click “Start Scribbler” and let the program run until you think it’s created something of interest. Stop the program by clicking “Pause” add more to the drawing and start the program up again. You can build up a drawing yet the computer also creates little serendipitous surprises.

It is great fun, particularly once you open the scribbler settings and start playing with them too!  I am sure particularly machine embroiderers will enjoy this as the built up linear marks that form net like structures lend themselves to be interpreted on one of the dissolvable materials. 

I thought particularly with the last colour image I could use the design and build up lace like fabric units that repeat. I am thinking of few units in a line to make a lacy scarf using water dissolvable material like Solvey.

So I would trace the pattern outline (or key elements of it) onto Solvey. Drop the feed dogs on the machine, let the needle roam free to embroider it using interesting threads, then wash out the Solvey being left with the net structure only.  

It is just an idea a this stage but I am thrilled to have Scribbler as a design tool.  


When you are done take a screen shot to keep the image as there is no way at the moment to export the drawing. 

I don’t use a PC but according to the site if you use the print screen key to place the image in your clip board which you can access from a graphic program

On a Mac use Command shift 3 and a picture file will land on your desk top.   You simply double click to open it. 

I know it is not a toy for Monday morning as it could prove to be a real time sink … but have fun! 


Wordle is one of those web toys that you can play with for hours. Currently I am fascinated with sayings, expressions and text on samplers so this toy for generating “word clouds” from text had me hooked. I am thinking it would be a very contemporary way to have text on a sampler.

You can paste in a block of text, enter a user name to see their tags or simply paste in a block of text to generate a cloud. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.

Once you have created some word clouds you can save to a gallery.

Wordle is a Java applet, and since Java applets can not write anything to your computer you will need to take a screen shot if you want to same a picture. If you are on a Mac if you hold down the apple key, the shift key and 3, all at once. A picture will appear on your desk top. Open the picture and you will see it is a screen shot!

Perhaps one of my readers can leave a comment and let PC owners know how to save a screen shot because I don’t know!

You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.

As you can see I had a lot of fun. Click on the images to go to larger sized versions of the screenshots.

The first two images are created by using a block of text from an article on samplers I wrote. The image above and below are both generated from the URL of my blog. I found it interesting that a very large word is people. I must use it all the time without realise it but I think it says something about me at another level too.

I have cross stitch software to take this into if I want to but like many of these things if I am given too many options I play all day with the design and don’t get to stitch it!

Treats online

Over on the Stitchin Fingers forum Dijanne Cevaal pointed to an article in the ABC site titled Sewing 2.0. It’s a very good article about the rise in the interest in crafts and the possible drivers for this cultural shift – or what is percieved as a cultural shift.

Personally I think the web has much to do with it as people see what others make and that encourages them to have a go too. This statement rang true for me “new technologies like web 2.0, which have helped to spread the enthusiasm by creating linked up communities who can share information”. It felt particularly relevant since I had just set up a community site Stitchin Fingers within the last 24 hours (do check it out) . I think the web is a big reason for the rise in people making their own clothing and domestic furnishings. What do you think?

On another note Jean Campbell has written a tutorial on Making the Perfect Bead Dangle for Beading Daily

I thought I had found absolutely every colour theory site online but no I had missed out the Colors on the Web site which Linn of the Embroideress pointed to. Don’t miss it as although the site is aimed at web designers the site houses lots of useful tools for textile designers.

Two areas that you will find useful are the color wizard, and the colour wheel. The color wheel spins three colors which are selected from 16 million colors so the combinations are endless.

I can see the Color Wizard being very useful to textile designers. You submit a base color, and the wizard produces matching colors. Variations are monocromatic, analogeous, triadic, tetradic, complimentary and split complimentary. When on the site if you look at the diagram of the colour wheel it illustrates what these terms mean.

Colors on the Web also houses articles on colour theory and the Color Contrast Analyzer is aimed at web designers as it helps them choose colour combinations that are readable and accessible.