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Putting love in cross-stitching
Woman cross-stitches art from photographs
Cindy Snyder's cross-stitch works looks remarkably like the photographs that inspired them. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
    An artist working on a portrait might make thousands of brush strokes, but one Statesboro artist captures portraits in thread. Cindy Snyder makes thousands of tiny "x" stitches when she creates a picture in cross stitch.
    Snyder has been enjoying cross stitching since 1975, and it was 31 years ago when she first attempted to recreate a photograph in cross stitchery.
    "A friend of mine was doing one and I really loved it," she said. So, she decided to do one of her own.
    She sent a photo off  to a Massachusetts company that specialized in such, and they grafted the photo onto a cross stitch pattern, she said. The service can be done in black and white, color or sepia tones.
    Snyder's first attempts at cross stitch portraits were of her three sons — each portrait was done at age 2, she said.
     When one son married five years ago, Snyder stitched their wedding portrait in color. The project took four months and over 131,000 stitches to complete. "Sometimes I worked until one or two a.m., " she said. The portrait required 96 skeins of yarn.
    Currently Snyder is working on a special gift in anticipation of her youngest son's pending engagement. "He is dating seriously" and she hopes to finish the portrait of the couple as an engagement gift. The portrait will be done in sepia tones, and will be from a photo of the two walking along Georgia Southern University's Sweetheart Circle, looking back at the photographer.
    This project is taking over 123,000 stitches and 89 skeins of yarn, she said.
    Snyder created a work of love for her sister-in-law's granddaughter — a cross stitched version of a baby picture, which took over 108,000 stitches and 98 skeins of yarn — in 38 different colors, she said.
    "It's really neat," she said of  the craft." You're making little Xs, and then you lay it on  the couch and step back and you can see a hand or an eye. It's almost like a tile mosaic put together."
    Part of the fun of cross stitch is "you watch it develop into what it's going to be," Snyder said.
    She enjoys cross stitching because "It does relax me, and I'm somebody who likes to see results," she said. "I'm not someone who can sit and watch TV and not do anything."
    Her love of art, dedication to long, time-consuming projects and appreciation for the finished project has produced some treasured family heirlooms.
    It also gives Snyder a pleasant hobby and a sense of producing something worthwhile.
    "I love arts and  the artsy part of this," she said. "It is just amazing how it develops."

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