Sunday, May 5, 2013

Blue Water


Hello there!  Recently Nicola was musing about how much stitching inspiration she takes from her walks by the sea .  Very well put Nicola, and I'm so right there with you.  It got me thinking that she and I can't be the only two who find inspiration in our surroundings.  Surely there must be other local stories, pictures and stitching connections to share.  So I'm really curious to ask this question of each of you  - "What is it in your home, your community or your location that influences your stitching choices?".  Perhaps it's the views, the scenery, the local history.  Or maybe it's the the general peacefulness and vibrancy that influences what and how you stitch.  If you're challenged by this thought, please take it to your own blog, tell you story and post your pictures, then challenge someone else to do the same.  We'll all be inspired!

So to get the ball rolling, let me tell you a bit about Egmost Key, which is a tiny smudge of an island at the mouth of Tampa Bay.  It's protected as a state park and a national bird sanctuary, only accessible by boat.


Now days, the only real activity going on there comes from the birds and beachcombers who find their way on shore.  But what's remaining is rich in the past, evidenced by the crumbling and overgrown Spanish American War forts.  A small military cemetery is testament to the ravages of 19th century yellow fever.  The center of the island is whisped with brick pathways, all that's left of a bustling community that supported the navigation and defense of Tampa Bay.  And from every point on the island, the lighthouse stands above it all.....


I love the history and the romance of these artifacts, but what influences my heart and my stitching every time we visit is simply the expanse of sand, sky and water....


Something about the brilliant water, the rasp of the palmettos and the subtlety of the sand and sea grass is expressed in my stitching.  I love every color. shape, pattern  and movement of them both.

As a very obvious example, here's progress today on Atoche.  Excited to have the end in sight!


You'll see that misguided gray whale has been replaced with these friends of Flipper, although it looks like one of them still needs an eye.  Much better, don't you think?


And that little gray seal, so far away from his natural habitat?  He's morphed into a cow-nosed ray.


So my next challenge is to figure out how to fill in that empty space at the top.  The original design has a cheesy verse about Columbus in the ocean blue, but I'm not feeling the love for a rhyme.  Perhaps I need more inspiration?

8 comments:

Margaret said...

How lovely! I loved learning about this island at the mouth of the bay. I had no clue it was there. I know a very little about Florida history, but what I know of it is fascinating. I love what you did with your piece!! You made the perfect substitutions! Now it reflects your area perfectly. Love it! As for what to put in that space, why don't you just write a dedication of the piece, explain its purpose, or put your name and date and stuff down? Put down some of that history. :D

Margaret said...

ps: my inspiration -- not sure what it is in terms of my surroundings. lol! But I do love the ocean.

krayolakris said...

Love your sampler! Maybe a gull for the empty space? This is a Florida light house I wasn't aware of. I'm close to the one in St Augustine which was operated by a woman prior to the War Between the States. Nothing beats blue Florida sky & sparkling ocean for inspiration!

P.J. said...

Thank you for sharing bits of the rich history if this beautiful sanctuary. Your personal touches make your piece very special. I agree with Margret you need to include a part of your history. I am inspired by colonial history, growing up in Virginia and thanks to my mother we explored all of the colonial landmarks. I am inspired by the determination and bravery of this countries founding colonies. The land of the FREE, home of the BRAVE.

Lois said...

Flipper's friends look fantastic. There I was thinking you could just change the colour of the whale but these pair look much better and I love the change to the cow nosed ray too. Beautiful pictures too, what a lovely part of the world you live in. I'm not sure what I take inspiration from when stitching, I do love just the peace and tranquility when I find some stitching time. My grown-up children all agree that one of their memories of me will always be coming in from school when they were young and seeing me through the window sitting and stitching!!!

Carol said...

I'm sure I would be very inspired by the sea, too, Mary, if I lived anywhere near it!! I'll have to settle for the pond in my backyard and all the wildlife that gathers there on a daily basis--everything from ducks, to herons, to deer, to groundhogs, to Canadian geese :)

I love what you're doing with your sampler and how you are making it your own with your changes! I'm sure you'll come up with the perfect wording for the top!

Anne said...

Wow! The photos of the sea are stunning! I couldn't imagine not living by water (we have the Pacific nearby). Lovely sampler and it captures the things of the sea perfectly!

Amanda said...

The Atoche piece is coming on strong! It's so appropriate that you're completing it on Florida's 500th anniversary (1513-2013). Since you've already got the name of the ship towards to bottom of the piece, may I suggest you put the name Ponce deLeon gave the place, "Pascua de Florida," (Feast of Flowers) along that strip at the top. That would tie in nicely with the Spanish galleons and the 1622 date, all of which reference the Spanish period.