The picture of the birdhouse was to be part of the background, so I thought it should be fairly subdued. I turned it into a Sepia print in Photoshop Elements.
I cropped the image and enlarged parts of the image to make interesting design elements.
I wasn't concerned about direction, just wanted it for an interesting background.
All shapes and sizes were printed on fabric; I wanted lots of choices for designing.
I liked the nail and strong wood grain in the part below.
I had some wonderful "granite" patterned fabric that worked really well with this imagery.
I like that the background is interesting without being overpowering.
I had printed some monoprints on the purchased fabric; it seemed to work well with this imagery
and the pieced background.
At this point I thought it needed some "sparkling up" so I scoured my collection of couching threads and found this amazing little sparkle.
I set my machine for a narrow zig zag and threaded it with a monofilament on top. I laid the threads down along the narrow fabric strips and zig-zagged it in place.
The threadwork gives it a little more definition which I like.
A detail of the threadwork.
I had already decided on a "greenish-blue" for the flower and dyed some mercerized cotton using procion mx dyes. I used Marine blue and a Chino brown - the 2 together in the same fabric give it more movement.
Nice, but not enough definition, so what to do? The flower needed more movement so I divided the flower into sections and cut out each section taking into consideration a "light source". I also thought the use of a textile paint along the edges would make it "pop"! Think it pops and additional threadwork will help.
So here are the 2 flowers side by side - a before and after (after is first), so I guess it's after and before.
Next step was to pin everything in place, put on design wall and live with it for a while. This part is important, the everyone tasks that take me in and out of the room, looking at it, how often it takes on a new perspective. Sometimes, something will click that I don't like; I never saw it at first but after looking at it everyday, it's glaring! So for me, this "down time is time well spent.
I wanted a lot of movement so I added fabric swirls and curls. I also wanted the flowers to meander around the birdhouse to mimic the garden.