Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stitching the Scallop Shell and Fish

Be sure to see the jeweled fish and the scallop shell on the other blog (Possibilities, etc.) with stitching in progress, as they're coming alive now with color!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Another Scallop Shell

This shell is rather small - perfect for an ornament for a small tree, maybe at one's beach house (or in my case wishful imagining of being back in Tallahassee).

Anyway, I'm planning to stitch some of these and show progress on the other blog after I determine which threads to use. At the moment, I'm looking at one of my favorite combinations: RG Petite Very Velvet, Kreinik metallic braid (#12 for the 18 mesh canvas) and Renaissance Shimmer to make "pearls" and "coral."

Originally, I painted these little ones for a friend here in Austin, who wanted to do a small "nautical theme" tree, so this is only 3 1/4" high as is - but could easily be enlarged by either enlarging the tracing or by using the counted canvas version on larger than 18 mesh canvas.

This, again, is a tracing of an actual scallop shell from one of my books on the subject. It's easy to imagine and place "jewels" on them and change to colors to suit! Of course, many times, the actual colors are gorgeous.
The drawing on canvas is symmetric and counted, as this is a must for a small piece, especially. Also, this could be done in counted cross stitch by simply substituting the dots on canvas with an X on graph paper or fabric. Quite simple. Play with this one and see what color combinations you might devise!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Designing a Jeweled Fish (in Needlepoint or X-Stitch)

While looking at the painted canvas, I realized that this could also be done in counted cross-stitch on a colored fabric! The model is on 18 mesh canvas, so each little dot/stitch can be reproduced with a X-stitch on the fabric - on graph paper, this would appear as one square, so you might want to chart it that way first.
Anyway - this is a fish I traced from a book on tropical fish (can't remember the name of it right now), and then played with it a bit on doodle canvas to get an idea for embellishment - and voila! "jewels"!!

The jewels are on a 90 degree angle, which follows lines I drew first to get some ideas - and it worked! The jewels are in a setting of Kreinik metallic braid - #12 both in 002 gold and in silver for the little smyrna cross "beads." These are marked in blue on the canvas to easily distinguish from the gold settings.

To do your own, you might just follow what I did - or trace the outline of the fish (or find yourself a new one in a book or on the internet) and figure a wonderful and original pattern.
I'm planning to stitch several of these, as well as some shells I drew a number of years ago, on the other blog soon. On this fish, I'm seeing petite Very Velvet (Rainbow Gallery) with my favorite effect of the 002V metallic braid and lots of sparkle in the jewels. Also some DMC Satin Floss here and there for a great contrast in texture. I'll have some more shell freebies soon - I've been awfully busy lately, so am running behind.
ADDENDUM: For right now, I have the comments cut totally off, as a few nights ago, I had a horrendous spamming episode - and the only way I could stop it was to block and remove the entire comment section. I did this on the other blog also to take no chances. After this, I'll do the comment moderation thing, which I really didn't want to do. Oh well.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sea Shells for Needlepoint: With or Without Jewels

I promised a while back that I would provide some patterns for sea shells for putting onto canvas yourself.

I finally dug out two rather fat files labeled "Jeweled Critters" and "Small Sea Shells." I had forgotten about many of them, as that binge of designing for me came and went about 12 years ago. Since then, I have found many many new threads to use to really enhance these things, and make them much better than they were the first time.

The first picture is a simple scallop shell - the first one I did when I departed from painting realistic sea shells on needlepoint canvas. I had pulled out a lot of threads in what I call "Caribbean Colors," and it seemed only right to paint some shells in these colors - but what was lacking, was "pearls."

The second picture is in the actual colors of a scallop shell which is native, as I remember, to somewhere in the south Pacific. Later, I added pearls to it, and painted it in several different color combinations - my favorite, of course, the aquas and green.

Enough of that. My purpose here is to inspire you to create your own, and it's actually quite simple. I have had a love and fascination for sea shells since I saw my first real ones as a small child at Ft. Pierce in Florida, during WWII, just before my father went off to the south Pacific.

When I moved to Tallahassee in my early 40's, my favorite recreation was going to the beach "in season" and picking up shells, and going out onto the sand bars to pick up sand dollars with my toes. Of course I then had to put them onto canvas for stitching.

All of my fantasy "jeweled" shells are from actual shapes, most of which I traced from several wonderful books of shells I own - one of them is a gigantic "coffee table" book. (I'm back in Austin now)

You can do this - or look for shells on the internet. Mine are here for you, and my suggestion is that you print them out, size them as you wish, and draw them onto canvas. Then see what you can do with adding jewels and beautiful, unusual colors.

This shell is a green tree snail - it was in my giant book of shells, so I traced it and added the pearls. I'm already pulling out threads to see what I can use to really make it special. Maybe Petite Very Velvet with the pearly coral colored area in DMC Satin Floss. The gold outlining will, of course, be Kreinik 002V #12 braid, as this is on 18 mesh canvas.

This is not the color of the actual green tree snail, as the real ones are very very bright green - gorgeous things!! I"m giving you both the tracing, and also the scan of the actual canvas, marked for the addition of the "pearls."

As I don't like to paint the canvases I'm going to stitch unless I have to, I'll just mark the areas of color with the Sharpie ultra fine permanent drawing pen, so I'll know where to stitch each color. Thank heaven for colored drawing pens these days!!

To show the transition from sea shell book to painted canvas, I've photographed the two pictures together to give you an idea of what you can do. This is a "banded tulip" - one of my favorites.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's April Already - my Favorite Month!!

Diamonds and Sweet Peas - with a bit of rain. What more could one want, except hoping hot weather will delay another month or so.

I didn't finish this "Birthday Crazy Quilt" until June of last year, so it wasn't available for a Freebies header.