Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Process: Hermit Crab

Remember, from this post, that I was trying to draw a hermit crab? He looked well enough, but kind of generic. I was finding it difficult to draw it when I wasn't sure what, exactly, a hermit crab looks like inside of that shell. Fortunately, during our last trip to the tide pools, this hermit crab helped me out by extending about as far from his shell as he could without falling out. (Did you know the last pair of appendages form a clamp, so it can stay in the shell? According to my excellent guidebook to critters in Narragansett Bay, pulling them out of the shell is likely to hurt or kill them. This guy flung himself out all on his own.)

I could have used this to draw a hermit crab the way you typically see them--with just those big front claws and eyes on stalks sticking out of the shell--but I like how he looks, all stretched out like that, so I drew him that way. The ultimate goal with this critter was to embroider him. I used what I had on hand--a blue cloth napkin.

So, there are a few problems here. The background is so dark, and I have this THING where I have a hard time embroidering real critters in crazy colors, so it's kind of hard to see all the lines--although my kids recognized it right away. (I anticipate fights over who gets the hermit crab napkin until I embroider a few more special napkins.) I think he'd look better on a lighter background with a purple-blue periwinkle shell. Because the background is so dark, I used tear-away stabilizer for the pattern transfer, and I spent nearly as much time picking out bits of stabilizer with the tweezers as I did stitching.

As for the drawing itself, I think there needs to be another line in there to show where the opening of the shell curves inward on the left-hand side. But otherwise, I'm pleased with him. I'd like a whole set of tide-pool critters, but I move pretty slowly around here. I have way more ideas than time, and I just have to be content with making slow but steady progress.

(Also, I'm doing more than just embroidery! I know it's been a glut of embroidery posts lately. I'm knitting, too, although slowly. And I have projects to sew, but we've had all these beautiful sunny days and school starts so ridiculously soon that I'm not likely to declare another mama-sews day again this summer.)


bells said...

what a great idea! Local tide pool critters in stitches - I think it's wonderful. I agree though, possibly another line where you suggest.

Donna Lee said...

The summer is slipping away very fast!

I like the napkin idea. My kids always liked using cloth napkins. It made them feel special and more grown up.

amy said...

That's all we use here! In packed lunches, too. I leave them at our places at the table and toss them in the wash when they need it, which is not every single meal, so it's not a lot of extra washing, but it's a whole heck of a lot less trash.