Friday, March 27, 2009

Set a Safari Table - animal skin napkin rings! (or bracelets)

My favorite - the leopard spots! I've been painting animal skin patterns for almost the entire 40 years I've been designing hand painted canvas. The classic, natural beauty of them never really goes "out."

I was looking at these two pieces this morning, and visualized a "Safari" table with animal skin napkin rings - including the leopard, zebra, cheetah, tiger, and giraffe. They could be stitched either subtly or really jazzed up with beads, etc., as the hat crown just under the mini-stocking.

You can see on the "hat" where I had stitched every other row in basketweave - and then inserted black Sundance hexagonal beads for some real glitter - plus the gold ones for the centers of the spots. Napkin rings made this way would be fun - as the other patterns could also be stitched with sparkling threads and beads. Even blue zebra!.

Several years ago, I made myself several pages of templates for the skin patterns in different sizes, so all I have to do is put a shape over one in the appropriate scale, and trace the pattern by moving the tracing paper around until it looks right. Then it may be traced onto the needlepoint canvas with the correct drawing pen, and painted if you wish. I am too lazy to paint them if I'm going to do them myself.

I'm very fond of Zebra also, with the drama of the pattern and the black and white. The drawings are made the correct size for you to print them out and trace your own onto canvas.

The leopard spot napkin ring is 5 1/2" long, and the pattern for the cuff bracelet is 7" long. I like to make the ends of the cuff bracelet rounded, as this is much more attractive than squared. Both are 1 1/2" wide.

If you want to make a bangle bracelet, you need to draw the shape about 8" long, as you will lose a bit in the finishing. Leave the ends square for this one. I have used 18 mesh canvas for these, as they get a bit "thick" on larger mesh.

For the cuff bracelet, just cut the canvas about 4" high x 10" long, mark two places 7" apart, and find the center with your thumbnail to make sure it comes out right. Then it's a very simple thing to do - just draw in the edges and place the canvas over a pattern of whichever animal skin you wish.

Try this for yourself - painted canvases are quite pricey these days, and there are many many things you can do for yourselves - and have more money to spend on fun threads and beads!! At the present time, I'm working on a "booklet" for my web store E-Patterns on the five animal skin patterns I enjoy most - in several sizes, along with patterns for stockings etc.. Stay tuned!

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