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!

7 comments:

Kareen said...

This is too cool. I love how you incorporated the seashells. I can't wait to see what's up next!

Cool City Stitcher said...

'Tis a thing of beauty..I love it!

Possibilities, Etc. said...

It is a beautiful thing - and without hearts and flowers!! No little cupids etc. I know it's difficult for an orderly/symmetric mind to add "goop" - but you did it well and tastefully.

Rachel said...

Gorgeous - well done!

Tapestry Fair Needlepoint News said...

This is a beautiful little piece. How did to attach the shell and sea glass - glue?

Anne Stradal said...

If I were making a true sailor's valentine, chock-a-block full of shells, I'd certainly use glue. But this is a needlepoint interpretation, so everything has been stitched on with two strands of floss.

LIZ said...

I love this one! It is definitely my favorite! I sympathize, however, about all the added embellishments & oh no! having to go back & stitch more after adding beads & stuff. But the result is just gorgeous!