Fly, my pretty!

Sometimes, you write a comment on someone’s blog post and it leads you down a very interesting path… for example, I never expected that my comment on The Contented Crafter’s blog would result in me owning the picture that the post related to. I simply said, of her lovely creation,  that ‘I would have it on my wall in a heartbeat!’ In no time at all the picture was offered to me in exchange for a dragon. Inspired by the one that went to Narf in Tasmania to guard her plants:

A dragon for Tasmania

A dragon for Narf in Tasmania

this one, however, was to be a water dragon…

And so I started the hunt for appropriate wool… none to be had locally, but plenty of choice on the internet. I chose “aqua” as the main colour, with support from “oxygen”(lighter) and “peacock” (darker).

Colours for a water dragon

Colours for a water dragon

Originally, I had a vision of an undulating dragon, but somehow as I worked on it, I couldn’t create the shape I had envisaged and after some frogging I made a much straighter body. I then decided to make the spines down the back sinuous by creating two intertwined rows in different colours… like a meandering river. As a water dragon, he could not have feet like a terrestrial dragon, so I made him webs for improved swimming ability!

Adding the spines

Adding the spines

I made the wings in “oxygen” and edged them and then remembered that I had a few freshwater pearls that would provide some appropriate embellishment. In the same box as the pearls, however, I came across an old film canister containing pearlescent beads. As soon as I saw them, I knew that they, not the half-dozen pearls, were just the thing.

Working on the wings

Working on the wings

But what about the eyes…? I tried mother-of-pearl, but the poor creature looked dead. I tried black , like the Tasmanian dragon, but they were too stark, I went to every shop in the area that sells buttons and couldn’t find anything that spoke to me so I resorted to e-bay – the world’s biggest haberdashery shop. There I was tempted by all sorts of glass buttons and I ended up ordering a selection because I simply couldn’t decide which would look best. In the end, I used vintage Czechoslovakian turquoise glass buttons, but now I have quite a few other buttons that will make great eyes on dragons to come!

Blue glass eyes

Blue glass eyes

I decorated the wings and spines with the pearlescent beads, and added some darker beads to the edges of the wings. Had this dragon been going somewhere in the UK, I would have wired the wings to give them extra support to counter the weight of the beads and make them poseable, but I was concerned that an x-ray at customs revealing a network of fine wires might result in the untimely destruction of the dragon in a controlled explosion (and it is, after all, a water dragon not a fire dragon). The final touches involved some needle sculpting and silver tufts on ears and chin.

And then the dragon was flying off to New Zealand and a new life…

It turns out that bartering for art is very satisfying!

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32 Comments

  1. Perhaps we should rename it b’artering… That’s a gorgeous dragon, and for me, the silver whiskers are the finishing toubh!

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  2. ..er, touch!

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  3. OMGoodness how stunning… you made a dragon …. A DRAGON !!!! mega ❤ ❤ ❤

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  4. This is wonderful! I love the idea of bARTering! Your beautiful dragon will make a great addition to Pauline’s enchanting world.

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  5. JaneSuzanneCarroll

     /  April 20, 2015

    He’s super! I love the idea of putting beads in his wings…I bet he’s even more shimmery-shiny in real life 🙂
    (I don’t know why I think the dragon is ‘he’ but I do…)

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    • I try to send out my creations without gender, so that their new owner can decide!
      I don’t think the pictures really do him justice, even the ones with the dark background that were taken outside in good light.

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  6. This little dragon really does have the sparkle of the water! I love the beads and the silvery whiskers as well as the spines.

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  7. He is a very handsome dragon!

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  8. Jane Miller

     /  April 20, 2015

    Your dragon is simply AWESOME!! Each embellishment is perfect!

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  9. Beautiful dragon

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  10. I LOVE my dragon! It is definitely a ‘he’ – don’t ask me why, I was prepared for it to be a ‘she’, but apparently not! One daren’t meddle with the gender of a dragon! Your photos have come out much better than mine did, he is a little camera shy I think – plus it was dark and gloomy here when he arrived. May I crib some of your shots to share instead?

    When he is being admired I love to watch how people get pulled into the detail. Even not very crafty souls, look, blink and peer more closely. You have done such an amazing job of dressing him in all his finery, of making that double spine undulate and turn as if he is ready to dive beneath the waves at any moment – and those great paddle feet will certainly carry him at speed!

    Arthur is my new mascot. He is powerful because he was made with such love and care and magic is woven into his every stitch! Thank you Jan – I remain overwhelmed and more than a little in love with him! xoxo

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    • I will e-mail you the photos – please use them in whatever way you like. I have realised that I should have photographed him with your painting,, but I just didn’t think of it at the time.
      I am so glad that you like him… I thought of you as I worked every stitch!

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  11. Aw, he’s beautiful!

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  12. It’s extraordinary! What a lovely trade between the two of you as well. I can’t wait to see this little guy/gal in Pauline’s abode. She’ll have to keep it high and away from Siddy.

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  13. Love the dragon and love the idea of b’artering!

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  14. That dragon is beyond beautiful. I agree the eyes have to be just right or it doesn’t work. I think I might be a tiny bit in love with him too. I recognised the pattern but what you did with the pattern is just wonderful. The whiskers are a great touch and the eyes just lovely. ❤

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  15. You’ve made a masterpiece for Pauline! I love reading through the process!

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  16. Bartering for art is a wonderful things! I can see why you fell for the painting, and why the beautiful water dragon has found a welcoming home. He is wonderful, and made with such thoughtfulness.

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  17. He’s gorgeous.

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  18. It seems your dragons love the Southern Hemisphere Ms Snail. Sanctuary is waiting in my craft room as we are undertaking a complete re-design of Sanctuary for the next spring growing season. Lots of hard work but hopefully a whole lot less water use and getting up at 4.30am to water it in the summer. Sanctuary sends little puffs of joy and says he loves living with his new bestie, the tapestry pig 🙂

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  19. I love B-artering!! Pauline’s art is just the best. I was showing it off to another blogger that came to visit. She read Pauline’s blog too and knew exactly where it came from. I think before long you will both be famous for your wonderful work. Dragons do have a mind of their own and that one came out perfect. He’s adorable in every way. You’ve put a lot of heart and soul into him to carry on his journeys. You are one talented knitter! 🙂

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    • I’m really enjoying thinking of him with Pauline in NZ… I doubt I shall ever go there, but it’s nice to know a little part of me is on the other side of the world.

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      • It makes the world a bit more manageable to think of it as smaller and more accessible. It’s a thread of yarn that connects 2 people forever. 🙂

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  1. Friday Thoughts | The Contented Crafter
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