I'm working on another coral reef ornament - a bit different, in that I had the bright idea, after looking at many photographs taken by divers, that it needed some bubbles ascending from the ocean floor. Of course the logical thing to do is to use the Sundance #250 clear beads - the round ones, not the hexagonal.
My error in judgment was to not consider that the bubbles should have been placed at random distances apart, and not every weft stitch vertically in a line - you can see where I marked them, and have left them bare in the basketweave for later addition.
Also, I should use both sizes - the #14, and @11, as in this case, the two sizes would be more effective. Oh well. Another learning experience - for next time.
The first photo shows the five divisions I marked with a blue Sharpie drawing pen for needle blending the water. (Concentric circles were used as a pattern)
The 6th space at the bottom is there because I knew I would cover it with sand, which is marked with the light brown/gold pen. The stitching is finished through four layers, and now ready for the darkest shade - which will be 4 plies of the darker blue - only used two shades of blue on this.
Ordinarily, when using a textured stitch on an area, I would outline it first to make the edges look neat rather than messy and jagged - but in this case, the basketweave water does that job for me. Anyway, the sand doesn't need to be smooth.
I'm using Nobuko stitch, as it isn't directional, nor is it "busy" enough to interfere with embellishment on top in the form of all kinds of sea critters that live on and around a coral reef.
I was curious about the name "Nobuko," and decided to do a bit of research. It's a Japanese feminine name, meaning "girl of faith." The word also stands for truth and f idelity - a lovely name for a little girl who will hopefully grow into a woman with these characteristics.
This is a wonderful stitch, and I use it often for many things, where only a bit of subtle texture is needed. I'm showing it in two colors, simply to illustrate the "traveling" - as it begins on the right, working horizontally, and then returns (the blue row) horizontally from left back to right. Very easy.