Monday, April 19, 2010

More Background Paths

I worked a bit more skip tent background behind the Stuart Plaid Lion yesterday and also started back on Stars.  I'll report my progress on the Tony Minieri counted thread piece tomorrow.  Today let's just talk about the Dynasty Ornament.  As you can see in the photo above, I have the background 2/3 done and also worked crowns in the margins around the design.  Several folks had mentioned they liked the crowns in the background if they were muted, so I stitched a couple of crowns in my #8 silk perle (Elegance #E822 from Rainbow Gallery) and also a slightly smaller version in my red holographic Kreinik 1/16 inch ribbon.  It always helps me to compare things if I have the real thing to look at.

I also started playing around with the skip tent background, trying to see if I should put #8 braid in the empty spots (I used the holographic Kreinik again) or use crystal clear hex beads instead.  And if I used beads, should I use red floss or blue floss to attach them?  The next photo shows a close up of the background with all three variations.  I need to see this in good light (it was very overcast yesterday) to see what it looks like but so far I think I like the beads better than the holographic metallic. They are more subtle. I like the background but I do have to make sure it stays in the background and doesn't overwhelm the lion.  I think the red holographic Kreinik might make the background too overwhelming.  Of course I could stay with the tweedy look of just plain skip tent stitches.  Decisions, decisions!

Speaking of decisions, I made a color and a black and white copy of my design to use when I start stitching the lion.  I cut out the crowns I stitched in the margins of the canvas from my black and white copy, put double-sided tape on the back of each, and positioned them here and there on my color copy.  This helps me decide just how the crowns look if I scatter them different places.

First, you'll remember that Robin made us a mock up of the Stuart Lion Plaid with an all-crown background using Photoshop.  I think this is too busy, even when done in my silk perle instead of metallic.  It would work nicely if done on a cream colored background but since I want red, I've discarded this option.

I could use three crowns instead of an all crown background.  These seem too many to me.  What do you think?

I could use just two crowns on the right and omit the one near the fading stripes.  I think this moves the focal point too much to the right, however.  The lion is clearly looking at the fading stripes on the left.

I could drop one of the right hand crowns and have a more balanced background with a crown on each side.  I like this.  It adds weight to the  focal point on the left but fills the empty spot on the right side above the tail.

I could also use just one crown.  In this version it is located just above the lion's paw, adding to the left side focal point.  Does this make the other side of the ornament look bare to you?  If I do this, the crown has to be shrunk a bit to fit or I have to remove the fading stripes entirely and move the crown to the middle of where the blue stripe currently resides.  I do like the fading stripes but the lion reaching for the crown is a more symbolic background.

Finally, I could put the single crown on the right side above the tail, leaving the fading stripes without a crown.  This is a more symmetrical balancing of the ornament but it makes the fading stripes look a bit wimpy.

I'm going into such detail to explain the possibilities and point out that whatever you prefer, most of the options are equally valid.  To some of us, the all-crown background isn't too busy while it drives others of us nuts to have all those crowns.  It is a matter of personal taste which background you prefer.  The choice of threads matters greatly in deciding as well.  I like the holographic red crowns but adding holographic red tent stitches between the skip tent stitches seems too loud to me.  All a matter of taste....

I know a great many folks don't like to stitch painted canvases without a stitch guide because the huge number of possibilities seem overwhelming.  I find all the choices very interesting myself.  They make me think and plan and come up with ways to try out the possibilities without having to stitch and rip and stitch again.

After all this, I think I like the single tiny crown in red holographic Kreinik just above the lion's paw near the fading stripes.  But I'll have to decide about the skip tent background before I make a final decision.  Using beads or Kreinik metallic will definitely impact the crown....

Stay tuned.  This is better than the Perils of Pauline, right?  LOL

By the way, the poll seems to be broken.  No one can log in to vote, not even me, and I have to be logged in to post Blog entries! In the hope that this will be fixed today now that folks are back at work from the weekend, I'll leave the poll up until tomorrow.  You can always post your vote in the Comments or email me directly at chilly hollowat hotmaildotcom.  Thanks for your patience while I glare at Blogger.

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