Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Still simple, just not sparse
The "Rose Beach" sailor's valentine is finished--really finished! And this project taught me a good lesson.
For someone who generally avoids beading like the plague, incorporating the pearls and sea glass chips into this design was a stretch for me. Had I realized I wasn't finished stitching, I never would have added these little trinkets when I did. I wound up playing dodge-em cars as I added a few more elements to make the design more in keeping with the spirit of a sailor's valentine. Moral of the story: stitch first, bead last!
So what elements did I actually add? Around the center circle, I worked a chain of French knots in DMC floss #224, with French knot rosettes in the same floss around the scalloped border. Flanking the rosettes, I added Smyrna crosses with Gold Rush XS--I found an almost-full card of this thread in my stash, and wondered why I hadn't used it before. Now I remember why! Finally I attached a few more pearls around the center circle, directly across from the original pearls at the points of the octagon.
At this point, I stepped back, gave the canvas a long, hard look, and said "No more!" The design was still simple, just not sparse, and the new elements were in balance with what I'd originally stitched. I also learned that different designs sometimes call for different treatments--I certainly wouldn't have attempted to go "over the top" working a lighthouse canvas. But interpreting a sailor's valentine in needlepoint required that I go "above and beyond" my usual inclination toward the KISS principle, and I'm quite happy with the result!