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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Fish & Fighters
stocking with cichlid & Star Wars themes

I obviously started this stocking by November 2015 and completed it by December (though I didn't get a final photo till January ’16.) Since the recipient likes fish & is an avid aquarium keeper, I started the body of the piece with a cichlid in bright colours made with assorted yellow and pink felt scraps. For the kelp, however, I tried something a little different: cotton jersey (aka t-shirt material) and some old woven cotton (part of a pillowcase as I recall) which I ruched for the texture.

And yes, with the help of sweaters (and global warming, tbh) I do often manage to work outside pretty late into the season.[1]

20151103RX shot 2nov2015. I have sequins in assorted sizes and shapes sorted by colour and stored in 2" tins, which works pretty well for my approach to sequin embroidery, which I do pretty much exclusively on stockings.

I don't remember what I was originally thinking for the top, but the person getting this is also a huge star wars fan, so, despite the disparity of topics, I did that for the flap, shamelessly swiping the iconography of a person leading their pet walker from a bumper sticker, personalizing by putting said “owner” into the bobba fett costume ze'd worn to the latest SW opening (Rogue One). If you click on the image for the large version you can see this a little more easily, along with the silver metallicized (plastic) beads I added to the lead to make the fine line of silver stitching show a little better. Plus, beads. Everything is better with beads:)

I lucked out—the car and its bumper sticker, which I first spotted in the parking lot of a house where yesterday's recipient briefly lived, is still there, so I grabbed it.[2]

You can see I adjusted the scale & costuming of the figure considerably, which I think adds to the underlying humour of the scene; of course, my iconography is meant to be leisurely appreciated from a distance of face-to-hand, as opposed to glimpsed many feet away on a swiftly moving object. I also shifted the pose of the walker, and recall looking at a lot of images finally choosing one where the ‘head’ appears to be tracking its owner, again necessitated by the change in scale.


I used my cord winder to make the cording specifically for this piece, and also the colour-co-ordinated tassel on the shorter end; that purple and magenta one has probably been sitting around for 20 years.[3] Ten at the very least.

And yes, this is another in a long line of what I consider to be pretty successful stockings on a colour that didn't initially thrill me.

[1]Once again compelled to mention how the nearly throwaway plastic garden furniture, especially what is essential a card table and its accompanying side or drinks tables, which our neighbor gave us instead of pitching when she moved, is one of the most useful things ever. And even plastic acquires a patina of sorts once you do enough art projects on it:)

[2]It also amuses me that this person has the same make & colour as we do;)

[3]How time flies...