Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Selecting a background color, or how not to lose an arm and a leg
DMC cotton floss is the backbone of my thread stash: I've used it in combination with Kreinik metallic threads for the backgrounds of all my ornaments to date in the Nutcracker series. But sometimes, as with the Waltz of the Flowers ornament, color choice of floss can be tricky. I wanted this ornament to look very feminine and in pastel colors of pink and green.
The choices of floss for skin tones are somewhat limited, which made my selection of a background color even more important. Had I used a pink background, I ran the risk of either watching the dancers' arms and legs disappear or switching to a flesh tone that made them look jaundiced. So I opted for a pale green--DMC floss #504--for my background and a healthy pink DMC floss #948 for the skin tone.
Now that half of the background has been stitched, I can see that the pink I used to paint the filigree pattern won't work--I'm looking for a twinkle but I don't want the finished ornament to look like a bonbon. Yet another instance where I'm glad I don't paint a master for a design until after I've stitched the model--I can work out any kinks as I go along!
I raided my stash for the "stem" section of the dancers' costumes and found Silk & Ivory "Willow," which blended well with the background. The loft of the S & I provided the high profile I was looking for, but I'm not quite satisfied with the overall effect. Being a 50/50 silk/wool blend, the S & I provided the sheen I was looking for, but it's looking a bit too "woolly" to me. I think a trip to my LNS is in order to see if there's a more appropriate thread for the costumes!