I remember the day well.
Jim and I were on the beach and noticed that it was littered with holes surrounded by small tracks in the sand.
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a small crab but it darted into one of the holes before I could catch his picture.
Time and again, I tried to snap a picture of one of the elusive crabs but they were too quick and would disappear into another hole, leaving me with nothing.
Trying to help, DH Jim engaged one of the little buggers in a scampering duel, eventually chasing the crab down toward the water's edge where he had little room for escape. Which gave me just enough time to snap this picture...
At first I thought this was a fiddler crab because of its pronounced eye stalks.
But upon further study, it turns out our feisty friend was a Caribbean Ghost Crab.
Evidently, the ghost crab can scamper about at speeds reaching 10 mph which make them the fastest crustaceans on earth. And those cute eyes, have great vision capable of seeing a full 360º. His vision is so acute, he can grab insects from mid-air!
To keep themselves safe from feasting shorebirds, the crabs are mostly nocturnal. Should they need to venture out in the day, they have the ability to change color to better camouflage themselves against the sand.
When the moon is full, the almost invisible ghost crab scuttles across the sand facing the moon hence the name "ghost crab".
So now that I've become more acquainted with this beach friend, I wanted to honor his memory by giving him a place on my shell block.
This will be the first time I'm actually trying to create something three-dimensional, wanting for my crab to scamper across the block much in the same way that it scampers across the sand.
So yesterday, I gathered pictures of ghost crabs from all different angles so I could begin to make a pattern...
They're kind of funny when threatened because they rotate the underside of their shell forward so that they almost stand straight up on their eight hairy legs.
I traced components from various pictures so that the actual pattern is a conglomeration of many images...
Next, I used the color picker in Photoshop to sample the various colors on the different parts of the crab so I could create a palette for my fabrics and threads...
Now comes the hard part.
I've not quite figured out the best way to make this three-dimensional guy so I'm going to have to try a number of different techniques to see what works best.
So now, I'm off to gather crab supplies and begin playing with my needles.
Happy day everyone!