This evening I am really feeling great about the accomplishment of making what actually looks like a little sea fan!! It's a very small swatch of stitching, but I labored industriously to achieve it, as I had failed before to get the effect I wanted with waste canvas.
This time, I started with a sketch on tracing paper of where I wanted the sea fan to be on the ornament (but didn't photograph that). This is just the first tracing of the shape.
The next step was to trace the shape onto the waste canvas, and then baste it onto the water drop where I wanted it to be.
I outlined the fan with pink Satin floss to make the edges neater, although in real life, sea fan edges are lacy and raggedy. I chose pink because I saw one in an underwater photo that was gorgeous!! It did have pink edges, and looked like lace.
The body of the fan is worked with skipped basketweave in pearl cotton.
If I were to do it again, I might use Satin floss instead - but this is acceptable. A chenille needle is necessary to make the stitching easier - as working through a stitched piece of needlepoint can be a bit "tough."
Next was to remove the waste canvas. It's sized with a water soluble glue, so needs to be slightly moistened - maybe just a shot from a steam iron, but I used a damp paper towel, and the threads were super easy to pull out with the help of needle nose pliers. Before I dampened them, they wouldn't budge.
As I said, I'm delighted with the effect of the sea fan being on the surface of the work - it wouldn't have been as effective if stitched along with the background as part of it. I looks like it's lying on top, which is what I wanted.
Next, and last, is the veining with DMC Memory thread - again from an underwater photo I'm very fond of. Two fly stitches and an extra "stitch." I used a #18 tapestry needle to make holes for poking the thread wrapped wire back and forth to make the stitches. It's easier to go from front to back, for some reason, than going from back to front. Oh well.
I'm going to put this away for a day or two and work some more backgrounds to embellish with sea critters, as this project has been very entertaining. One needs something different sometimes.