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?