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ChicagoMay
11-06-2011, 01:44 AM
Hey everyone. I found this guild while looking for examples of original maps because I am hoping to one day write a novel or two. I have a feeling that I will likely be asking for help with making a map in the future, because I suck at this type of thing, but I wanted to browse the forums because cartography is something I've always had an interest in. There is this cross-stitching kit that is for a huge ancient looking map, and I really want it because it is so pretty!! But it's like... $100 for the kit. :(

Anyways, that was random. My name is Tynesha -- I go by May online because it is easier than trying to get people to call me Tynesha. Stupid parents giving me a complicated name... I am from Canada, eh! I am turning 25 soon. I like reading, cross stitching, and many other useless things. I love when the books I am reading have those maps in the front -- I probably spend the same amount of time looking at the map as I do reading the book. I really want to be a writer some day... but for now, I am in school for nursing (last year, yay!). At least I will have a pretty cool job when I am done, and I'll have more time to try and become a writer. In the mean time, I am plotting and outlining, and all that jazz, for the plot in my head right now. If anyone has heard of NaNoWriMo, I can tell you that I have failed every year since 2005 because I don't have time to write. November? Really?? Why would they do NaNoWriMo in the middle of a school semester? And the busiest month at that!

Anyways, this is my story, pretty boring. I hope that, even thought I am not actually a cartographer, you will allow me to hang out here. I have already started looking at the maps posted and holy carp (yes, the fish), you guys are amaze-balls. Look forward to becoming a lurker in your community ;)

Sincerely, the self appointed ruler of the world (or at least the fantasy one I am creating),
~May

jbgibson
11-06-2011, 01:17 AM
Welcome, May - glad to have you here. Some of the methods of creating digital maps can be gotten down to just a few hours, so all is not lost, with respect to your scant time. I can't think of a crosstitch map technique that's quick, though :-). A crosstitch pattern is "just" a slightly pixellated picture to "trace", yes? I bet if you devised a map you liked, then reduced it to a fixed palette, say one that just HAPPENED to match the DMC catalog :-)... Then if you rendered it in a very low-resolution format, you'd get all the little squares you need to fill in. I don't know if Gamerprinter here can print on cloth, but he's resourceful - I bet he could find a way :-). Ink that'll wash out, right? Or if you want totally blank canvas, a suitably big paper pattern might do you? I can't be the only one curious - is there a link to the map-stitch kit?

NaNoWriMo? Been there, failed that . One daughter's giving it I think her fifth try this month. For those not in the know - basically a one-month initiative to create a novel (50,000 words being novella, I guess). If you produce that many words, you win - simple as that. "No plot? No Problem." is one motto - goal is SoMeThInG down on paper (screen) that you later can revise. Kudos for even trying over and again - you get marks for persistence. Actually, if you're in Nursing school, it is already a certainty that you know all about stick-to-it-iveness - bravo!

So yeah - lurk all you like, participate when you can. If you're the Standard Poor Student (tm) there's free software that's top-notch, and we have tutorials galore that give you a boost in a wide variety of styles.

So - should we address you as Empress? CEO? She-who-must-be-obeyed (with a syringe in hand, fer pete's sake, not a scepter)?

rdanhenry
11-06-2011, 12:28 PM
Fourth year NaNoWriMo-er here. Failed the first year, as I had an awful November and when I got the chance to do catch-up there were other things I really had to do first. The last two years were successes, and currently, I'm just slightly behind quota. Remember, you can always do your own PersonalNoWriMo in whatever month is more convenient for you.

When you're ready to make a map, just start up a WIP (work-in-progress) thread in the appropriate subforum and the helpful map fairies of Cartographers' Guild will render aid.

NeonKnight
11-06-2011, 03:00 PM
Welcome to the Guild!

Lukc
11-06-2011, 03:24 PM
Welcome, welcome, May :)

ChicagoMay
11-07-2011, 11:26 AM
A crosstitch pattern is "just" a slightly pixellated picture to "trace", yes? ... I can't be the only one curious - is there a link to the map-stitch kit?

If you're the Standard Poor Student (tm) there's free software that's top-notch, and we have tutorials galore that give you a boost in a wide variety of styles.

So - should we address you as Empress? CEO? She-who-must-be-obeyed (with a syringe in hand, fer pete's sake, not a scepter)?

You may call me Empress May.

You're thinking of one type of cross stitching... I can't remember what it is called, but there is a pattern printed on the fabric. Stamped cross stitch maybe. I, being the Empress that I am, am far more advanced. I do counted cross stitch. Nothing is printed on my fabric but I used a printed guide to tell me what colour goes where and then I have to put the stitches in the right place. I can't find a link to the map I actually wanted but here is somethign similar: http://www.amazon.com/Cross-Stitch-Janlynn-Platinum-Collection/dp/B000BHZVOW Only difference was that the one I wanted wasn't so colourful, it was more sepia.

Here are some examples of my current WIPs in the cross stitch world:
http://www.crossstitchforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=12408
http://www.crossstitchforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10665
http://www.crossstitchforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10560

And I *am* a SPS (tm)! What is this free software you speak of?? I may be Empress, but I... am poor. Not all rulers have teh monies.



Remember, you can always do your own PersonalNoWriMo in whatever month is more convenient for you.

When you're ready to make a map, just start up a WIP (work-in-progress) thread in the appropriate subforum and the helpful map fairies of Cartographers' Guild will render aid.

A PersonalNoWriMo would work best for me right now I think. We will see ;) And thanks for the tips for the WIP thread. I will do so.


Thanks for all the welcomes! :D

Steel General
11-08-2011, 01:21 PM
Welcome Aboard!

jbgibson
11-09-2011, 04:59 PM
Your Highness -- Two kinds of free software you need to know of - that for making maps and that for translating into counted crosstitch charts.

For maps, the premier free graphics apps are probably http://inkscape.org/ Inkscape for vector drawing and http://www.gimp.org the GIMP for raster graphics. Both are very powerful, and to fully use take a bit of climbing up the learning curve. Another free choice is DrawPlus and PhotoPlus from http://freeserifsoftware.com Serif Software. That link is to the giveaway versions - typically the same functionality as the for-pay one, from about three versions back. I use a slightly old version of PhotoPlus and it meets all my needs. Serif stuff is way cheaper than the primo commercial graphics software, even when you buy the latest version. The top-of-the-line packages you'll see referred to are Illustrator and Photoshop - many $$, but much capability. Depending on your diplomatic staff's level of negotiating skills, student-discount copies of either of those might be available.

When you mentioned counted cross stitch I thought "cool - a tangible version of the .gif file standard" Gif is basically a list of "Color 1 for 16 pixels, then color2 for 2 pixels, then color3 for nine pixels, then color1 for 1 pixel" ... that sort of encoding. With a limit of 256 colors, much like you no doubt stick with one palette of floss manufacturer? Anyway, armed by a suspicion that the translation wouldn't be hard, I googled (if you're short on minions, my lady, do consider employing google often - they make quite capable lackeys!) and came up with several free apps to take a photo and gen a crosstitch chart. http://www.stoik.com/products/hobby/STOIK-Stitch-Creator Stoik has both a purchase and a download link on their site, so I'm not 100% sure it can be had for free. http://www.cross-stitch.szm.com/ the second link though lists several avowedly free apps. Other possibilities include http://www.iktsoft.net/kgchart-en/kgchart/ KG-Chart , http://cstitch.sourceforge.net/ CStitch, and http://schememaker.sourceforge.net/ Scheme Maker.

Ummmmm - is this a truly Imperial sized project, or closer to a couch pillow? 'Cause the lettering on most of our 1Mb or 2Mb maps here would be pretty illegible if you went with less than a baseball-diamond tapestry. I s'pose you could take one of the aforementioned free graphics apps and erase lettering from a favorite map, then translate to crosstitch, and later just embroider desired labels in place. Or are you a purist, requiring all stitching to be X's? For that matter, do you intend to fill all the base parchment color with stitching, or will that be bare canvas? My grandmother did needlepoint and I remember being aghast at the effort to get a solid color surrounding a design on a set of eight seat cushions <shudder>. If suitably requested, some of our cartographers might be willing to post a map version without lettering - most of us work with different features on different layers anyway.

Zowie - the map you link to is awesome. As are the works you have in progress - I see from the other links that you know all about photo-to-chart, even if you don't have the apps at hand to do that? Yet? Just how large are these three you are working on?

Is HAED a style, or a manufacturer, or what?

Mighty progressive of you, to be drawing only a modest stipend and letting the Empire use most of the treasury. Very commendable.

You realize if you write a novel and illustrate it with crosstitch you will be in a niche of exactly one, therefore standing out head, shoulders, and needles above the crowd? Can't hurt your eventual publication prospects.

Hai-Etlik
11-09-2011, 05:27 PM
When you mentioned counted cross stitch I thought "cool - a tangible version of the .gif file standard" Gif is basically a list of "Color 1 for 16 pixels, then color2 for 2 pixels, then color3 for nine pixels, then color1 for 1 pixel" ... that sort of encoding. With a limit of 256 colors,

Actually GIF uses a Dictionary compression system, not Run Length Encoding.

ChicagoMay
11-09-2011, 07:26 PM
If I were going to x-stitch a map, it would have to be a large piece, like up to movie poster size. In the meantime, I will probably just work on the map for my novel ideas. I now have photoshop, is that a good program to work with for making maps? :P I've never used it, I only know how to use Paint Shop Pro 7. Gonna learn that basics for this and work from there!

As for HAED - It is Heaven and Earth Designs. They create charts for cross stitchers by turning art into workable patterned charts. They're one of the best for larger projec

RobA
11-09-2011, 08:54 PM
Just FYI - if you use Gimp, there is a cross stitch python plugin for it http://registry.gimp.org/node/14919

Useful, I would think for converting images into cross-stitch patterns. Even does floss/palette mapping.

-Rob A>

ChicagoMay
11-10-2011, 11:51 PM
That sounds cool RobA! I'll check it out!

furiousuk
11-12-2011, 11:40 AM
I heard about NaNoWriMo a few days ago, I'm keen to give it a go next year (I felt missing 10 days was far far too much of an ask!), I hope you get through it this year!

ChicagoMay
11-12-2011, 10:18 PM
Thanks furiousuk! I'm not actually participating technically this year. I'm plotting and mapping and researching, all while trying to graduate from university :P Hopefully I'll have time to write next year.

furiousuk
11-13-2011, 05:30 AM
I've just finished a degree whilst working (I also got a married and had a daughter during this time too!) so I know how difficult it can be to juggle it all! Good luck with having time next year!!