Well, here's one that's watching over me in my office now, and he's called THE SENTINEL, by Sandra Gilmore. I was asked by the owner of FLEUR DE PARIS, the distributor of Sandra Gilmore painted canvases, if I'd be interested in creating a stitch guide for this canvas. And of course I said, "YES, YOU BETCHA!"
Here's what the whole finished piece looks like:
The most daunting task with this piece was choosing the threads. I mean, look at all those greys -- Ai Yi Yi!!! It was tough deciding whether to go with cool greys or warm greys... and then making them match the soft merino wool Bella Lusso threads I used for the wolf's coat. I can't tell you how long it took me a while to narrow down my options, but once I did, I was able to start stitching. And in this case, I worked from the bottom up to the top: starting with the snowy ground (all done in sparkly Ribbon Floss ribbons); then working the birch trees (tent stitching the outlines and colored bits, then long stitching the remaining areas), which were tedious but not hard at all; and then tent stitching the background sky with diagonal stitched branches.
As you can imagine, I was a bit anxious to tackle all that fur, but again, I started at the bottom by the snow, and worked my way upwards, following the colors on the painted canvas and angling my longish diagonal stitches to follow the lines of the wolf's body. Here's an up-close look:
Actually, it was easier to do than I expected, and once I got going, working each color at a time, from darkest to lightest, I really enjoyed it. I left the face for last....and then carefully stitched each of the facial features. Also, before I started stitching I googled "wolf" to get some reference photos to work from, which helped a great deal.
All in all, I really enjoyed the challenge of figuring out this beautiful canvas and bringing THE SENTINEL to life (the finished size is 12" x 12" on an 18 ct. painted canvas). If you are a wolf lover, or just need your own guardian wolf, please check out my new stitch guide for THE SENTINEL by Sandra Gilmore on my website, or order it and the canvas from your favorite stitchery store!
P.S.: If any of you are going to the TNNA trade show in Columbus this week, you can see my model at the FLEUR DE PARIS booth. So please stop by and say hello to my furry SENTINEL!!