Wednesday, August 21, 2013

You Knew I Was Gonna Do This, Right?

After responding to various comments on my last post, saying that I had decided to just go with the flow & stitch the Frankenstein's Monster's Daughter Feeds the Geese Pinkeep using the DMC colors suggested by the designer, I sat down last night to start stitching her dress & just couldn't do it.  I just couldn't get past poor Beulah's green skin.  I just couldn't leave it alone.  The girl deserves to look healthy!  I got up & went to the dining room, took my floss boxes out of the pie safe (yes, I keep stitching stash in my dining room pie safe), & began looking for a floss color that would make for a nicer skin tone.  This was difficult.  The color of the linen I chose to use for the design is sort of a skin tone in itself.

While I was trying to find a nice skin tone, I noticed that there was something about the dress color I didn't like.  The designer chose DMC 844, Beaver Gray.  I thought the dress should have more of a blue cast to it.  Then I noticed that the suggested color to use for stitching the legs & feet of the geese was ... prepare yourself ... the same color suggested for Beulah's skin!  Geese with avocado green legs & feet.  I don't think so.

It occurred to me that perhaps there are some designer's, like Beulah's, who do their design work in the night.  This could explain their color choices.  I stood at my dining room table with my floss boxes in front of me, along with my DMC Needlework Threads Color Card, which is totally useless by the way (I'll explain why later), & under the light of the chandelier I went through baggie after baggie after baggie & pulled what I thought were the perfect flesh, dress, & goose leg/foot colors for the project.  I smiled the smile of a job well done, went to my stitching chair, turned on my daylight magnifying light, picked up my needle, took the skein of floss I chose for the dress color, & stared.  Where did this lovely shade of dark cornflower blue come from?  I did not pick this color of floss for Beulah's dress!  I picked a much more dirty, worn out looking gray/blue/brown shade!  This is when I realized that some designers must do their design work at night. I have always known that if you look at a color by lamplight, it can look totally different than it does in natural light.  This explained why the designer's choice of flesh color looked like a great skin color when I was filing it back into its baggie, but avocado green when I was stitching her face, neck, & chest area.  If I had wanted to display this project in nothing but lamplight, all would've been well with the world.  Once the light of day would shine upon it, however, it would be transformed into something no eye should see.

I knew what I had to do.  I called for John to bring me my floss boxes & I sat in my stitching chair, underneath my daylight magnifying light, & went through every baggie to find true flesh, dress, & goose leg/foot colors.  I think I have succeeded.  The flesh color is still iffy because of the linen color so I will stitch that last.  Hopefully I will have found just the perfect skin tone for Beulah.

Currently See-Through Beulah
Oh dear, the dress is looking rather prom like here, & deceptively light blue gray.  Beulah, Beulah, Beulah ... you are going to drive me to drink.

Regarding my comment about the total uselessness of my DMC Needlework Threads Color Card, the card I have simply consists of photographs of all the DMC floss colors available at the time of the card's production.  It is obvious that the photographer hired by DMC did not use natural light when taking these photographs. All the colors I tried to match from card to skein looked the same underneath the light of my dining room chandelier, but completely different underneath my daylight magnifying light.  As my second grade teacher, Sister Bernadette, would say when she became exasperated with a student, "God, give me strength!"  Looking back, I recall having a DMC Needlework Threads Color Card in my stitching life #2 that consisted of actual floss wound into it, not photographs of the floss.  I would have sold that when I mistakenly thought I would never cross stitch again.  I hope whoever has it values it as the treasure that it is.

Uh-oh ... the time seems to have gotten away from me.  Someone is trying to tell me she's hungry.  I had better go get breakfast on  : )

17 comments:

willmania said...

I am always amazed at how colors can look so different depending upon the surrounding light, the color of the fabric & the colors that surround said color. Even how many stitches there will be in an area: 1-3 stitches of a color look less intense than 3+ of that same color. (I think the girl in your project already looks better even though she technically has no head at this point, that green was weird.)

Vickie said...

The correct answer to your blog title question is Yes. Yes I did know this.
Have fun, I think.
Did you and Pearl try out the pumpkin oatmeal yet? Or maybe she doesn't like her oatmeal jazzed up?

cucki said...

Hmmm I think she is looking so lovely..and I love your material color so much too...very pretty.
Have fun.
Hugs x

gracie said...

We buy a pattern because we like it then make all sorts of changes! I agree how colors need to be adjusted to our likes.... I am sure you made all the right choices!

butterfly said...

Love your new work, hugs.

Catherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marly said...

That's a lot of work! Changing the colors sometimes takes longer than the stitch. Congratulations on sticking with it. I have two old sets of the DMC color cards with actual floss samples. Some colors are still true to today's skeins. I will hold on to these forever!

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Morning Shirlee.
Sometimes you just have to do what you think is right. No matter what color you choose it will turn out beautiful ~ if you coffee stain it will also turn out a different color.
Happy Stitchin'
Prim Blessings
Robin

Linda said...

Beulah will look great in whatever colors you chose Shirlee.

Linda

Shirley Hill said...

I rarely stick to what colors the chart says...go with the flow my dear. It'll all come out fine in the wash. :)

Catherine said...

Meant to say it looks better without the green!! Lol!

Marie said...

Pearl, my sweet, sweet Pearl! You made me smile as you sat there awaiting your bowl of delicious oatmeal. I would call that a "surprise ending" to this post! :-)


It is a shame that they do not sell the DMC color guides with the actual thread vs color photo. They use to and thankfully I still have mine. Phew!

I look forward to seeing your recent project completed.

Simply Victoria said...

Good choice imho to change her skin tone. I like her prom dress too.

Annette-California said...

I like the changes you made. And her dress is pretty:) love Annette

Peggy Lee said...

I was wondering how long it would take you to give in to the color change. I don't think I could have stuck with the green skin for very long either.
Oh Pearl! She's so cute. Polly wants her to come visit.

Maggee said...

You are TOO funny!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

You could make your own thread chart using little scraps?

Yes, I knew you would be changing the little green girl too. You may enjoy this story -
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/england/suffolk/folklore/the-green-children-of-woolpit.html