Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Art for the Masses

Owing to Philippa's comment about not knowing about cross-stitch programs, I thought I'd expand on that a little.

There are a number of computer programs written for cross-stitchers. Mine is called Stitch Crafts Gold. There's another called PC Stitch. You scan whatever you want into your computer, and the program has a "grab" utility that "grabs" your photo and converts it into cross stitch. Where you have to be careful is that some of the colors are so similar that you have two stitches in one color and one in a second, maybe three in a third -- over the whole piece. Those you would want to combine into a single color, whatever came closest to your original photo (or your idea of how the colors should blend).

You can crop unwanted details. You can decide on the symbols you want to use. If the computer-generated symbols are too confusing for you, you can "swap" symbols with an unused symbol. Stitch Crafts Gold allows up to 120 colors/symbols in any one picture, which frankly is way more than most of us would want to deal with -- the picture in my last post has 87 colors, and that's more than enough. ;-)

The picture above is a copy of my latest insanity. About a year ago, I thought it would be nice to do a cross-stitch of Something Russian to give to the Russian Dept. at the University, and I contacted a woman who specialized in converting Russian art to ask about this picture (Boyarina Morozova, by Surikov). Next thing I knew, she had converted the entire picture, and the cost was only $20 -- how could I say no? It uses, I think, 93 colors -- but consists of *73* pages of graph (my Train picture "only" has 15). I'm figuring on maybe the rest of my life to finish this one....

But the Russian Dept. has to share space with a lot of Classics snobs, and I figure, this image ought to give those Classics people something to think about. Or at least subdue them.