Sometimes an idea will swim around in my head for months before it’s ready to be released and sometimes ideas leap right out at me before I’m ready for them. There are several different ways that I approach bringing an image to life in a cross stitch chart. This design,”it’s nice to be me”, began life as a simple painted doodle which I did one day because I was feeling at peace with myself and wanted to capture the mood on paper:
At the time, I didn’t intend to convert it into cross stitch; in fact, it wasn’t until about 6 months after I painted it that I began to think of it in terms of a potential chart.
In order to translate the painted image into thread, I found it necessary to condense the design a bit. I began by hand drawing the image directly into my charting software, staying pretty close to the original. Once everything was on screen, I began to clean up the edges and consolidate the stitching area. At this point in the design process, I typically don’t worry about color selection and sometimes use just the symbol view, which is what I did here. ( I use a bold font for darker colors and a very light font for lighter colors- just to help with value proportions)
Once the design was charted, I chose the threads that I wanted to use, and then chose a fabric that would compliment the fibers. In this case, thread color was more important to me than background color… sometimes I feel the background color is more important to the feel of a piece and will chose fibers second. After I had gathered my thread & fabric, I sent it off to a model stitcher. I didn’t do a test patch of colors because I could just “see” this one in my mind very clearly. The end result:
So how’d the “me” wind up a “be”? Well, the original design was highly personal, and one I felt represented “me” at a particular point in time. I thought that in order to increase universal appeal, the “me” should be left off. However, I did want a single word that summed up the mood of the design, and I chose “be”. The title reflects the feeling and original intent of the piece (“it’s nice to be me”) and the statement on the back cover helps to tie it all together:
Life is a celebration! Every one of us has soared through some ups and struggled through some downs… it’s those unique experiences that make us who we are. As you stitch this design, take a few moments to reflect on where you have been and how far you’ve traveled in Life’s Journey. Focus on all those fantastic qualities you posess. Count your blessings. Embrace yourself. Be creative. Be proud. Be happy. Be who you are. Be.
Note: This is a recycled post from Feb. 2007, but the information is still good ;)