As promised, I have been busying myself with some much more colourful fabrics and threads, the result of which I can now share with everyone. Above is another sketchbook cover [A4], the theme of course being some sort of underwater fantasy world. I didn't really want to get into a lot of hand embroidery, so have tried to use 'stuff' for all the pretty things my mind saw on the ocean floor. I had some really large triangular shaped shell buttons which gave me the idea for the stingray, aka Mr. S. Ray. His 'head' is another little barrel bead, and his tail has been made with DMC memory thread twisted and couched down.
The full version can be seen here. The background fabrics are dyed silks in aquas and purples, as well as a softly printed cream to beige cotton for the seabed.
I tried to be really good and sketch something to work from. I took the advice given, and purchased a nice sketchbook, and a set of lovely pastel pencils, which I really love using. They blend so beautifully together. I was originally wanting to add the jellyfish, but in the end, the stingray/button idea seemed a little less intimidating time-wise.
For the seagrasses I used some crinkly silk throwsters' waste, laid out over the surface, covered with cream bridal tulle, and highlighted with free machine stitching. I added some random green beading to give a little more depth. I was given a licence to stitch beads how and where I wanted by a very good blogging friend who specializes in underwater scenes. Thank you so much to her for the encouragement. You can view her magnificent pieces here.
I really had to weigh up the time factor for this project, and decided that I was not going to add too much hand embroidery. Some of my 'coral' has grown from pieces of dyed/painted mulberry bark. I also added some very uneven and long running stitches in a multi-dyed thick purple thread, the source and brand escapes me I'm afraid!!
The base of this coral needed something to 'anchor' it to the seabed, so I finally found a use for this tyvek/silk/kunin felt bead I'd made some time ago, as well as some pieces of beautifully coloured paua shell, both echoing the purple theme.
My other textured seagrass was fashioned from some blue/lemon fuzzy yarn - you will notice it to the right in the photograph at the top. Of course, the base of it had to have something interesting, so again along came some handmade tyvek/kunin felt beads which I cut up and hopefully they resemble sea sponges. There are some painted paper beads, some rolled and twisted gold flexible netting, and a pearl button in a bead cap, all very busy, but nobody told me I had to stop, so I just kept going..............LOL.........
And, finally, to neaten the whole project off, I wanted just the right lining. I had purchased some lovely hand dyed fabrics last year from Vicki Welsh and they were just perfect in my opinion. The lining was fused to pelmet vilene, and then I fused the embroidered outer to the other side. That gave me a very crisp and firm edge for the machine satin stitching, which has been done in an aqua rayon thread.
The added extras have only been done on the front of the cover, as I felt it unnecessary to add things to the back. I think this has been a reasonable amount of work, more in terms of time looking for embellishments, but that was part of the fun.