Sunday, January 6, 2008

Snow on the Roof

I bought this Melissa Shirley Christmas house canvas several years ago, and have been inching my way along as the mood hits...and time permits....I expect this project will take me several years to complete, but the process is so fun, I don't mind the wait...

Anyway, I am determined to keep as much of the dimensional painting on the canvas interpreted with the stitching, so I'm proceeding very slowly, as I figure out how to create just the right effect with my thread and stitches.

The first area I tackled was the moon, because I could just "see" it as a big pale yellow, cratered moon. I didn't want anything too flashy or distracting, so I used a random pattern of "dimpled" squares - with the biggest squares in the middle (closest to earth) and smaller ones around the horizon edges. I also blended two hues of pale yellow, keeping the palest color in the center with the darker color fading around the moon's edges. Plus, I added tiny little tent stitches in the random spaces in-between the various squares, using a pale butter-yellow soft metallic ribbon (just to add a quiet bit of reflected light on the moon's surface.)

(Sorry about the fuzziness of the photos...I quickly shot them with my new phone, so it was hard to get really sharp shots - but you can still see what I'm talking about...)

The next area I wanted to tackle was the snow-covered roof. How was I going to create that soft blanket of snow on the roof yet STILL keep the blue shadows underneath?

Here's what I came up with: I padded the snow with several rows of long diagonal stitches - most of them white #8 pearl cotton, BUT the bottom row is made with long stitches of a soft, french blue ribbon floss, that follows the blue shadow line painted on the canvas (you can see a glimpse of it in the photo). Finally, I used a snow-like Ribbon Floss (144-10: white/opal) to make VERTICAL stitches over the padded roof areas. I decided to use vertical stitches because that's the direction snow comes down, right?

The effect was exactly what I had hoped for: you can JUST see the blue ribbon floss peeking thru the top layer of the semi-transparent snowy ribbon floss, creating a realistic blue shadow, just like the painted canvas! (You can also see the effect on the moon photo above - notice that faint blue shadow on the chimney and under the snowy roofline.)

Here's another shot of the top of the house, that shows the subtle color changes of the moon, and the faint blue shadows on the snowy rooftop....

Well, now that I've been talking about it, I'm eager to finish stitching the snow on the roof and move on to something else in this canvas.

There's still a LOT of the border to stitch -- a safe area to work while I ponder my next move...I've added a small padded border in dark green to frame the canvas...and there are plenty of little white border snowflakes to stitch, plus I'm putting a white/chrystal bead in the center of each snowflake, for a sparkly finishing touch.

And it took me a while to notice that the pattern on the wall of the house is actually little trees, so I'm carefully stitching them with very pale greens, in a herringbone variation that ends up looking like trees (although doing the compensating stitches on this pattern is not very fun)...

And oh...I want to mention that I'm working the gold edge of the roof's gingerbread trim with another Ribbon Floss color I'm crazy about: 148-54 - it's a cinnamon/gold that is very dull, yet has a very discrete sparkle to it. Perfect for areas you want to have some metallic, but not real bright or harsh.

Okay, enough talking about it...time to go stitch!


Itching To Stitch said...

What a gorgeous canvas. I am a huge Melissa Shirley fan. I have most of her Holiday Houses (but only one is stitched and finished into a house). I love the fibers and stitches you're using ;)

Bonnie said...

The blue peaking through the snow is so perfect - what a great idea!

Possibilities, Etc. said...

According to my art crazy quilt friends around the planet, this is a WISP - work in slow progress. It's gorgeous!! Glad I found you via Jane of Chilly Hollow - I shall watch with interest. I am aware of your work, but not your blog.

LovetoStitch99 said...

I love what you have done with it so far. I can't wait to see what stitches you will be using next :-)

Pierrette =^..^=