Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Crab Scuffle

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 360ยบ.  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!

25 comments:

Laurel's Quill said...

love the "crabby" idea! is this crab going to be a new square??

Susan Elliott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Elliott said...

No, not on a new block Laurel.

He'll be starring opposite his friend, the nine-armed sea star, in the current shell block show.

gracie said...

this will be interesting!

Coeur de freesia said...

Thanks for sharing your colour & design process, this is very interesting (this is the moment I prefer !!)
Have a nice day !

Anonymous said...

I love how you share your journey to creating your lovely blocks. I always enjoy your blog, and I'm fascinated by your creativity. Thanks so much for sharing. Can't wait to see the crab. Suzie in Idaho

Heather M. said...

You've set a challenge for yourself, Susan. I'm looking forward to seeing how you do it. I assume you've considered wired stumpwork and/or a slip. How big will this be? You must be working on a fairly small scale.

Can't wait to see it.

FlowerLady said...

I can hardly wait to see what you do here with this guy. You are truly talented, I feel like a wimp.

This is exciting watching your creative efforts create great beauty.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

Crystal S. said...

That little guy is so cute!
We live in Ohio so we don't have those kinds of wonderful things here.
Thanks for sharing how you are going to bring him to life on your block.
Your work is always amazing.
I ran across this vintage silk robe on ebay while browsing silk threads.
I am wondering why it worth so much.
Click here: Antique Chinese Imperial Purple Silk Embroidery Robe w/ 9 Celestial Gold Dragons | eBay

I know your interested in fashion, so I thought I would share.

Crystal

Cari said...

Oh this is going to be fun !! Hugs

Rachel said...

This sounds like fun! I'm looking forward to reading about your experiments..

Wendy said...

I cannot wait to see what you come up with for this little creature! I know it will be awesome.

kaiteM said...

I wonder whether the crab thought it was such fun to be chased to the water's edge by a giant.

Teresa said...

I am so excited to see how the little crab dances across your piece.
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

LindaSchiffer said...

I remember the first time I ever saw Ghost Crabs - we had gone to the NC beaches (near Atlantic Beach) for my birthday in November. The weather was cool and pleasant and the evenings especially were fun on the beach. The little crabs came out to scamper around and the first time I saw them on the beach, I thought the sand was moving and my eyes were wonky. :) So utterly adorable. My kids were in elementary school and had a grand time chasing the little skitterers. :)

:) Linda

Createology said...

Susan Dear you are always the wealth of knowledge and information. Your little ghost crab will be divine. Happy gathering...

Sheila said...

Ooh! This will be great! Happy creating! :)

Nana said...

What happende to my comment? Did you delete it or did it get lost somewhere?

Nana

coral-seas said...

I cannot imagine how you are going to do this but I know that you will come up with a solution to stun us all!

I love the picture of Jim and the crab duelling :-)

Jen said...

ahh, i can't wait to see how it turns out!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see your crab. If you go to Assateague Island national park, you'll see lots of ghost crabs. It's about 3.5 hours from you on the Virginia shore.

underatopazsky said...

He is gorgeous and so full of attitude! Can't wait to see how you're going to create him three dimensionally on this already stunning block!

Ati. said...

This made a smile on my face this morning :) Can't wait to see him/her grow...

vicki said...

I'm getting excited--- can't wait to see him!!!
Vicki

Catherine said...

Can't wait to see how this guy turns out!!

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