A Crafter’s Dilemma

How do you know when your project is finished?

A few weeks ago, I posted an article about painting woodcrafts. One of the featured items was a pair of seahorses painted in two different color schemes. Those of you who are passionate crafters will relate to the notion of having a vision of your finished work. It’s something that you feel, and inspires you to bring that vision to reality. Sometimes, after completing a project, you realize that something just doesn’t seem right. Could it be better, and if so, how?

That’s exactly what happened to me and is the reason for this new post. I walked past those seahorses for a few weeks. Finally, I had to act. My family thought I was crazy, but I had to follow my intuition.

Original Turquoise Seahorse

Original Wood Turquoise Seahorse

Above & below you will see photos of the Seahorses Before and After the changes. The original version has a flatter body with a matte finish. There’s some texture, especially in the spikes along the ridges on the seahorse’s back and tail. A subtle scale-like pattern extends across the body, but the outer edges remain smooth. Compared to the raw wood, the paint adds detail and some volume, but overall the body lacks depth and definition.

Turquoise Seahorse 3D Paints

Turquoise 3D Paints

Revised Turquoise Seahorse

Revised Wood Turquoise Seahorse

For the new (and I hope improved) versions, dimensional fabric paints were applied in a combination of dots and long strokes, creating thick layers of paint to form a 3-D effect. For each seahorse, three of the paints have shiny finishes, and the fourth has an iridescent metallic finish. The light blue spikes were applied last to ensure they are the highest points on the body.

The revised versions have much more texture and vibrant colors. The body is defined with fuller, rounded musculature. The nubby texture of the skin, which continues over the edges, is closer to the natural contours found on a live seahorse and begs to be touched. The shiny finish provides a wet look, which is perfect for this denizen of the ocean.

Original Purple Seahorse

Purple Seahorse 3D Paints

Purple 3D Paints

Revised Purple Seahorse

Update: These two seahorses became focal points in an ocean themed wreath.  For photos and instructions, please click here.

Getting back to my original question: How do you know when your project is complete? Maybe it’s when the last stitch is knotted, or the final stroke of the brush is made. Or perhaps, the answer depends upon the individual. Follow your heart. Be true to your intuition and inspiration. Nothing less will satisfy the dream. Just like us, our projects are works in progress. What will you be inspired to do today?

Happy Crafting!