She Sells Sea Shells

It was my Embroiderers Guild meeting yesterday so over the weekend I embroidered a little piece for the Travelling Sketchbook. The theme of the book this time was the letter S. At first I thought she meant monograms, but no, you could stitch anything beginning with S! Initially (excuse the pun!!) I was still thinking of stitching a monogram, maybe with a flower beginning with S, at the last minute I had a bit of inspiration;

She sells sea shells on the sea shore, the shells she sells are seashells I’m sure…

The tongue twister of my childhood was full of ‘S’s, I decided to do a seaside theme and the idea grew pretty quickly and I was quite amazed how well it came out!

I started off with some sand coloured silk (sticking with the S theme!!) I put some calico behind it to give it some support. I found a scrap of blue fabric which had blurred lines across, perfect for the sea. I just started playing with different things, seeing what worked and what didn’t…

Seascape embroidery

I pulled out my boxes – textiles, lace, threads, embroidery flosses and beads and had a good rummage in them all, pulling out stuff that might work. At Guild meetings we have a raffle based on a colour, everyone brings a little something in and they are put into three boxes of goodies as prizes, it means you can end up with all sorts in your stash! I think both the blue fabric and the netting at the bottom with sparkly bits on both came from raffle wins! This is what my work table looked like…

Creativity in action!

I tried to stitch the various layers on with different embroidery stitches, such as fly stitch or just straight stitches within the lace design. I used two different laces, one of which is so old it’s probably classed as vintage! I also used two different textiles, I’ve no idea what they are called, it’s the sort of thing I fall for at a show and then wonder what on earth I’m going to do with it, well one of them was perfect for the breaking waves, the other made the wet sand.

Seascape embroidery

I embroidered feather stitch on the sand, trying to give it a bit of an organic shape. I followed the shape with some shell pink french knots. When I was little we used to have family holidays in Prestatyn in North Wales as my grandparents lived about five minutes from the beach. I used to collect dozens of tiny pale pink shells from the tide line. Another tide line is stitched with a variety of tiny beads.

To add a bit of sparkle to the sea I overlaid some silvery organza and stitched on some particularly sparkly beads.

Seascape embroidery

To finish it I stabilised everything with some vilene on the back and blanket stitched round the edge.

I’m really pleased with this one, I even like the sideways view, it just reminds me of the view when you’re sat on the beach wiggling your toes in the warm sand with the sea sparking in the sunshine…

Seascape embroidery

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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18 Responses to She Sells Sea Shells

  1. magpiesue says:

    Oh, this is fabulous! I have two questions: what size is this piece (or the sketchbook pages) and what is vilene? I’ve seen the word frequently but haven’t bothered to look it up or figure it out for myself. I’m guessing some sort of interfacing material.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. nanacathy2 says:

    I love sea inspired stitching and as always your work is wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. how lovely…. it all came together so beautifully… and there are so many s things in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Debbie says:

    Absolutely lovely 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laura says:

    Creative and pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. katechiconi says:

    I especially love how you found the fringy effect for the way the water foams on the sand at the ebb of the wave!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. MrsCraft says:

    It’s beautiful, it all works so well together!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Prue Batten says:

    Oh my gosh! This sings to me so loudly! I love it and would buy it if it was for sale!
    My whole house is decorated in blues and taupes, my favourite colours are blue and taupe, I actually live by the sea and on the sand!
    Of all my stitching and any artwork I’ve done, the favourites are in those colours. You’ve grabbed my attention and imagination with this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. kathyreeves says:

    I can tell you definitely have experienced the sea! This brings me visions of ocean beaches!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. claire93 says:

    love all the different layers & textures!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Catherine says:

    This is wonderful! So creative and fits both the ‘s’ theme and the sea theme perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You’ve captured the colours and textures of the waves and sand beautifully!


  13. mandycurrie says:

    Hello Margaret, this piece is gorgeous, you’ve made it look so realistic. I love the idea of travelling sketchbooks. Regards Mandy xx

    Liked by 1 person

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