Emerald Treasures was created quite accidently. The backdrop was painted for another piece I was working on but when I finished it, I knew it was not the place for the blue jay, I had intended. Still, it was a nice background and it had such wonderful highlights. The piece reminded me of an ocean or lagoon type setting. Having returned from the Atlantic, I had some great pictures of turtles and so I set out to making a shell. The basic shape was made of commercial cotton with fused pieces to emulate the back of a turtle and layered with several layers of high loft batting to give dimension. Hand dyed cheesecloth and scrim along with roving were added to try and create an algae-like appearance and needle felted to the shell. It was cool but needed something more so I began adding glitter, textile paints, gel medium and beads for embellishment. When the large shell was done, I laid it on the background and immediately knew this was the mom and she needed a couple of babies to interact with her! The piece went together in such a hurry, I was amazed. Wish I could always be in that zone!!!! LOL Their heads and appendages were painted and machine stitched in a low relief trapunto style. A painted background shows the water stitched with metallic thread and the coral outlined with trilobal polyester thread and painted with 3 dimensional paint. My goal with design principles in mind was to create a pleasing composition that would draw the viewer in. And so that is how Emerald Treasures evolved. This weekend I went back to the studio to paint another home for my blue jay but still missed the mark. I created a forest scene with a field in the foreground, still not the right home but again, very cool. I think I've just started another series which I will call Evolution as these pieces seem to do just that, evolve!!! Eventually, my blue jay will find his home.