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Embellishment or Enhancement from Alice Hall

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These two words are interchangeable when discussing needlepoint.  Here is a brief Webster definition of each. Embellishment: to improve the appearance, to make beautiful, to improve by adding details. Enhancement: to increase or augment the appearance, to intensify or make greater. For this blog we will use the word embellishment. Embellishment can bring your canvas alive with texture, color, a focal point and a play of light. Decide what area you want to be the focal point, it may or may not be the center of the canvas. For example an underwater scene with a seahorse in pink coral to the left side of the canvas, swimming fish in the center and to the right and water movement in the background.  The seahorse and coral could be the focal point, which we will use for this blog. The seahorse and coral (focal point) should be more dominant than the other areas on the canvas.  This can be achieved through dimension, texture and color.  Bright colored thread will attract attention, but we cannot always use bright colors.  If  the area colors are soft or pastel we need to use textured threads and stitches with height, or pad areas or use attachments like charms, beads and buttons.  Some ideas for a seahorse would be wrapped spider in a twisted thread for his body, partial eyelet for the fin, oblique encroaching Gobelin for head and tail.  Maybe beads spaced evenly to outline the body with a sequin with bead for the eye. Coral could be done in chain or wrapped chain and french knots. Let's look at the rest of the canvas, in the middle distance we have swimming fish.   We could stitch them in threads and stitches that give a play of color and light.  Ideas would be metallic or rayon threads and stitches that can be reversed like slanted Gobelin for strips or serendipity  for a larger area. The light will reflect in all directions. Note not as textured as the seahorse. The background is painted to look like water moving.  We will want this area to recede.  This is a time to "let the artist do the work for us", by choosing a light weight thread.  The thread could be 1 strand of silk or cotton floss or a perle 8 or 12. For the stitch a darning pattern, Bargello or Byzantine pattern would work well.  This will let the painted canvas show through. When creating your piece of needle art, you can leave an area unstitched, don't feel every canvas thread needs to be covered. Trust yourself, you obtained the canvas because it appealed to you.  Was it the focal point, the colors, the theme? Let what attracted you guide your choice of color, threads and stitches.  Most of all have fun. Next time we will continue with which stitches are better for a different shapes and why. Happy Stitching. Alice alice_hall_bestitched_needlepoint_store  

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