What a joy it is to stitch on a very small piece with such delightful colors and personality! Also a joy to be able to complete something worthwhile in a short period of time - a feeling of accomplishment without stress.
Gail had sent me, along with the fish, a photocopy in color to show where to re-place the beads after removing them for the stitching, but I decided not to remove them at all, as it's simple to just stitch around them.
Hopefully, in this detail picture, you can see the difference in the surface textures of the threads I chose to use. Silk would have been too smooth, so I chose to use perle cotton instead for the body of the fish. The floss, which is normally my preference, would have also been too smooth. (However, for a bit of contrast, I did use floss for the dark pink patch and the spots in the same color.) The perle cotton has a ropy twist, so makes the surface of the body appear a little bit rougher - kind of "pebbly."
The green spots and also the yellow are YLI Ribbon Floss. This was used because the color is great, and the shine is a nice contrast against the more matte look of the cotton. Gail painted the gold parts in metallic gold, but the Kreinik I usually use seemed a bit heavy - so I opted for the YLI ribbon floss in Honey/Copper - which has a bit of sparkle. In person it is beautiful!! I didn't want a lot of glitter/sparkle, etc., as I didn;t want any distraction from the gleam of those gorgeous "pearls."
It is always a good idea to stitch about three rows of basketweave around the ornament, as a few stitches would be lost in the seam allowance. A really competent finisher usually needs no more than this.
I have shown with arrows that I drew lines 3 threads out from the horizontal and vertical stitches - even when there were only two or three stitches. Then, just "connect the dots" on the diagonal, and you will have a smooth, even and consistent seam allowance outline.
The color was chosen to contrast with the body of the fish, and also to give the idea of the beautiful blue/green water in which this little fish lives and swims. It will provide a tiny outline around the shape when the finishing is done.
Next on my agenda is this gorgeous little multi-colored companion, and I can hardly wait to get started. It will take some serious "pondering" (and a whole box of stash threads dumped out) to select the right threads and colors, as one mustn't just pick threads to match each little segment - they must coordinate and look right as a whole.
Then comes the Sea Horse, which is one of my favorite critters of all - I have studied marine biology, and this animal is a fascinating one! Gail did a splended job of making him beautiful.
These canvases of hers are giving me a great relief from stitching on my own designs - as that gets really tiresome. (especially when deadlines are pushing.) It's good to have friends who are great designers, and who also know how to put a design on canvas properly!! These are easy and delightful to work.