It can be true travail to try and translate inspiration for a design into a chart that one would actually want to stitch. And creating something that I want to stitch is priority one, the whole reason for trying my hand at designing.
Taking that mental image and finding the motifs that convey it is a real challenge. I'm finding though that the most important thing I'm doing is editing. In order to say what I'm trying to say it is so easy to include too many 'things', so the wrestling begins. What is essential to communicating what one is trying to achieve and what can you do to simplify the design and make it one you can look at and say I think it would be fun to stitch and it would then either look great on my wall or make a wonderful gift for someone?
There are many terrific books full of antique and vintage motifs - I'm particularly drawn to those from the Edwardian publications - and also online sites that offer free older patterns. In reading one book full of some beautiful subjects, the author says 'but who would want to use such old patterns today?' - I Would!!! And now my motivation has become not only to make beautiful designs I want to stitch, but to show that fascinating and appealing symbols never go out of 'fashion'. I'm also enjoying combining very diverse styles that have the ability to capture my interest.
I've added the Antique Pattern Library under the Cross Stitch Links on the right of the page. You can spend hours looking at the vintage books they've uploaded and of course you can download them for free and make your own pattern library.
Next post I hope to review some of the pattern books I've purchased recently.