The big "AHA!" is because I found the piece I started long ago for an evening bag - a pretty jazzy one! ( I was looking for something else, and stumbled upon it ). The swatch with this plaid is on my Freebies blog - and only shows it worked with silk threads.
This one was begun after I discovered the joy of the "beaded solid" effect due to a happy accident. It's stitched with DMC floss - and colored, sparkly beads from Sundance in the colors of the plaid.
This is adapted from an upholstery fabric I saw in a magazine - so easy to work with one.
The warp was stitched with the cotton first, and then the weft was begun with the beads. This was several years ago, so I have no idea in which layer in the "sparkly stuff" bin they might be found. I do remember that the two gold stripes were worked with YLI Ribbon Floss in the Honey/Copper blend - one of my favorites. It has a bit of sparkle on its own.
BTW: If you click on "beads with needlepoint" - the label - I have 68 posts about using beads on this blog - enjoy and learn! I find it rather addictive.
Here, I'm showing the "tools" of starting the new project. My mentor and instructor in this thing suggested that I use a compass (had the audacity to ask if I owned one), as it would be useful in drawing a series of concentric circles to trace onto canvas to start the shaded water on the droplet. She graphed two sides and sent them to me - the graph looks like a water drop with a toothache, but it worked beautifully to make two different drawings.
Next, of course, I checked the supply of DMC floss to choose just the right colors for water in a coral reef. Have you ever really thought about the shades of blues and greens of the ocean? Beautiful!! Creating or being aware of art really opens the eyes to the beauty around us. As Emily Dikinson said, "To live is so startling, it leaves little time for anything else."
Finally, I settled on a choice of color for the fat droplet - I made two of these, and just elongated the sides of one of them to give me more room.
On the other, I made three vertical lines (dots on the weft) to insert clear beads later that will resemble bubbles. I'll use the smooth ones rather than the hexagonal, as I don't want glitter here - just bubbles.I think at this point I may be practicing creative avoidance, as I'm terrified of beginning the surface enhancement (after stitching the backgrounds, of course) - the seaweed/branch coral /sea shells/starfish, etc. etc. - and sea fans made with Memory Thread and Satin Floss. Maybe even a tiny, colorful fish or two stitched on the surface with waste canvas. Oh My!!