Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Meet Rusty O'Toole

Here's the latest of my canvaswork characters: RUSTY O'TOOLE.

I wanted to stitch something for the fall - that could be displayed from September through November - and what better than a scarecrow, guarding the pumpkins and hanging out with his crow friends?

I used a bunch of fun stitches for his patchwork pants and shirt. And I've slightly padded the pumpkins and even the pitchfork a bit to give them a little more dimension... The crows are done in a simple basketweave stitch, with the wings added in long diagonal satin stitches on top, after the body stitching is done. Overall, this piece is a little more complex, with stitches being added on top of others (such as Rusty's straw hair and hands added last) and a true cornucopia of stitches used throughout the whole piece.

The rustic twig border overflows with a bounty of autumnal goodies: variegated falling leaves, lazy daisy sunflowers and dusty-colored chrysanthemums (with french knot centers), and shocks of Indian corn - using a terrific variegated thread (Waterlilies in "Cheyenne") that truly mimics the colors of Indian corn. Little pumpkins in the corners, of course....and for the finishing touch, a sprinkling of gold beads - for nuts or acorns.

I tried really hard to get Rusty's expression just right: friendly - not scary or silly - but eager to do his job of guarding the fall harvest. And I stitched this piece on 18 ct. vintage canvas - sandstone with brown marbling - to give it a hazy autumnal feel (plus, you don't have to stitch the background). I wanted the piece to say: "Celebrate the season...but be sure to have fun, too!"

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