so! i mentioned that i made a rather big purchase at the sewing machine/fabric store.... i bought PE Design Lite!
it was ridiculously expensive, and i totally couldn't afford it, and i totally shouldn't have bought it, but i did, and it's so much fun, so whatever. i borrowed the money to buy it, and i'll be paying it back over the next few months, and i think it's worth the smaller craft budget i'll have in the meantime.
i had to order it, and then wait impatiently for it to arrive (patience is not my strong suit!) i was just going to buy the PED Basic so that i could download patterns cause that was about $300 less, but it's been discontinued in canada, and the woman at my brother dealer totally convinced me that the PE Design Lite was worth it to be able to make my own simple designs. i was originally told that the PED Basic was discontinued, period, and was rather irritated to discover that it wasn't really, it was just discontinued in canada, but i don't think she was trying to lie to me, i think she just didn't know, because when i told her the price i was seeing from US sellers, she said it was because it was discontinued. but this is good anyway, it's way more fun than the PED Basic would have been!
it's really fun, and it'll do for now, and it's giving me an opportunity to experiment with the Brother software without buying the $1000 PE Design 8. i've been playing around with it a bit, and it definitely has some limitations, though i'm not sure if the limitations are due to my lack of knowledge, or the software itself - a combo of the two is most likely i think. i need to go back to the brother with my samples and see if they have any suggestions. i'm rather intrigued by Embird as well, as it's much less expensive than the PE Design 8, so i might try switching to that whenever i decide to upgrade (not going to be any time soon though!).
after playing around a bit, i used it to digitize Sublime Stitching patterns for machine embroidery, and while some of the results weren't as good as i'd hoped, some of them turned out awesome! i was getting really frustrated trying to get the images "good enough" for the software to process them (it seems rather temperamental), but a friend gave me some tips on how to adjust the images in photoshop (i found the "stroke" option, and my paint bucket isn't hiding anymore! wahoo!), so i'm getting a lot better results. (all of the coloured in designs were coloured in photoshop before digitizing) my first ones were MUCH worse than these!
from the black apple pattern set
(i obviously forgot to trim that thread before i scanned it!)
(there's entirely too much space between the outline and the colour, they should be butting up against each other. i don't know how to fix that. and i messed up and set the shirt and the hair to embroider in fill stitch, which i don't like as much as satin stitch, especially for the hair, because i think it looks like he has a buzz cut!)
(i don't feel like the colour is consistent - like it's not filled in enough. i don't know. i think there's a way to adjust that, i just haven't figured it out yet!)
from the forest friends pattern set
outline only hedgie
(i did this one before i figured out how to change the stroke size in photoshop, and i think the outline is a bit too narrow. he'd pop a lot more if the lines were a bit thicker i think)
outline only deer
deer with some colouring
(crappy scan, i'm sorry! the scanner hates the khaki brown i used. but the colour matches up with the outlines really good in this one!)
from the sexy librarians pattern set
(look at all that white space between the colour and the border! argh! and i cut one of the pink satin stitched threads while trimming the black threads! whoops! i'm going to go back and edit the pattern so that the keys of the typewriter are sewn first, then i can stop and cut all those threads BEFORE the body of the typewriter is embroidered!)
from the vital organs pattern set
(this one turned out SO GOOD! i love it!!)
and this one's not from a sublime stitching pattern, it was a freebie i downloaded online. it's designed to be embroidered with a much heavier thread, so it doesn't cover as well, but i like the design. i don't know anything at all about embroidering with wool, like this design called for, it's something else to look into!
so it's fun. super time consuming, but definitely fun! i need to find the rest of my sublime stitching patterns (there's a reason why these are all newer designs, that's all i could find!). from what i can see on the sublime stitching website, it's A-OK to do these, because they're based on patterns i've already purchased and these aren't for sale or anything like that. i've been trying to use clipart as well, but scanning the images seems to work better.