Second Place

This design was inspired by a family event. In September 2010 my son Jeff and his fiancée Colleen bought a second home at Rehoboth Beach and invited both immediate families to join them there for the holidays. The closing was December 15th and we came early to help them settle in and prepare for Christmas. It was a wonderful two weeks, as anticipated, and I was eager to do something special to commemorate a very happy time together for both families.

When Colleen turned 40 the year before, I created a small design called Beachcomber’s Booty as her birthday gift. Her passion is seashells and I mounted my sand dollar on a white box. At that time my sand castle design was already a work in progress so I worked hard to finish it in time to present it to them as a housewarming gift for the beach house. Last summer I borrowed the piece back in order to stitch the design again as I plan to use it as a teaching piece. I will return their example this Spring but I decided to enter it in the Exemplary because it is an original design rather than an adaptation like many of my other pieces.

All of the patterns in the castle itself are composite patterns that I created just for this piece because I wanted them to fit evenly inside each architectural element. I used the circle around the castle to imply that the viewer is seeing it in the distance through a telescope or a camera lens. The geometric couching pattern in the surrounding mat area is intended to suggest sand particles in a more detailed way than the simple dunes in front of the castle. The ecru Cushion units are combined with a two way diagonal laidwork pattern in Vatican gold metallic, and the light camel seed beads added with Brick tiedowns complete the glistening, granulated texture of the sand. The sky treatment is a random darning technique using a hand-dyed Soy Lustre thread to get a more naturalistic, shaded effect.

I loved creating my fantasy castle for the beach house and we look forward to many more pleasant times at my family’s “magic kingdom” in Rehoboth.