Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mr. S. Ray at home!!

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.

Thank you all so much for your encouraging remarks on the gingko leaves project.  I always appreciate the time people make to add their comments. 


Iceni UK said...

Fantastic......everything about it is so beautiful.
Linda, you create the most wonderful designs,thank you for sharing them with us and for explaining how you make them.
Wishing you a very happy weekend

DIAN said...

Linda this is fantastic. Really amazing colours and embellishments. Mr S Ray is most impressive. It looks like it is his territory.

Thanks for explaining the process.

Oh I love the dyed fabric from Vicki Welsh too.

embracingitall said...

Looks gorgeous. You have put so much work into it. Jacinta

Juliettecherry said...

A great deal of thought and effort has clearly gone into designing and producing this beautiful piece. How nice though to be able to incorporate some of your little treasured pieces.I'm sure you will enjoy it every tie you use it.

Sandy said...

It's absolutely wonderful and has shown me ways to use all that "stuff" I keep buying, because it's so cool. Isn't it fun to exchange inspiration?

Pippa's quilts said...

I love how you have put all of this together, and your explanation is very interesting and informative. Thank you. Pippa

shirley said...

Reading your notes on how you put this wonderful piece together was great. Thank for that and for the link. Having had you describe it to me made it much more interesting. love Mr. S Ray that was very clever way to portray him, and an excellent choice, especially now I know the story of the button. You have really achieved a wonderful result Linda, and loved seeing the piece right across the back too.

Jen said...

Hello, Linda you are so very artistic with the fabrics and embelishments.
The sea grass coral and sponges look great how you sewed them. Mr S. Ray looks wonderful,Thanks for explaining how you designed the project.

Dianne said...

Gorgeous, Linda. All the different trims you used just seemed to be ideal for the subject. Well done!!! You must have quite a little (make that big) stash of arty farty bits and pieces. Di.

Radka said...

Oh, fantastic, Linda! I love it, all of it! Thank you for taking us on the whole journey through your project, how interesting! As always, you are a great inspiration :)