Artists and artisans, since the beginning of time, have looked to the wonders and beauty of nature for inspiration. This has been so true for me, as things other designers do - like Santas and witches, etc., just "aren't in my head."
A number of years ago, I found in one of my antiques magazines, several pages of gorgeous "critters" in jewelery form - antiques, of course. The earliest form of using bugs for jewelry was in ancient Egypt, where the Scarab was developed - the dung beetle - to help one across the "river" into the next life.
Then during the Art Nouveau period, there was quite an explosion of beautiful bugs in jewelry. These have really appealed to me as inspiration for design - so I've done beetles and butterflies and also fish. I don't remember where I found the first picture - I don't think it's an antique, so is copyrighted and will not be available commercially as a needlepoint design - but I wanted to show it, as it's a splendid and simple piece for demonstrating how this is done. I'll do a tutorial on it later when I have more time - not tonight!
The idea has grabbed me again, so of course I ordered a book, which I look forward to receiving!!
I think a lot of the appeal for me has also been the new sparkling threads, which appeared during the ten years or so I was doing other things. When I re-joined the needlepoint world - there they were! In this picture, I'm seeing one of my favorite combinations, the turquoise, malachite, and lapis lazuli, which would be gorgeous stitched with the DMC Satin Floss - high sheen but without sparkle.
I have just posted a pattern for a "jeweled" ladybug and an enameled beetle on the other blog, Freebies, etc. I thought it timely, as Jake discovered this evening that his ladybugs have not left the homestead, but are busily munching pests on his mama's geraniums and Gerbera daisies.