Carol, I have been thinking about the next step for your Gold Fish. Right now we have the background color (a rich teal) and stitch (the twisted ribbon shape of the Swirl Stitch which you will customize so that you can alternate it with a row of tent stitches in your Cire nylon floss). You've also found tear-drop shaped beads for the seaweed that has those shapes and you plan to use Flair or Frosty Rays or another of the "panty hose" type threads there so you can put the beads inside the Flair, then use the same thread in another color for the stem and leaf caps (or whatever they are) for the teardrops. You also have a tentative plan to use twisted ribbon for the other two seaweed shapes. You still have to decide on colors of the Flair and ribbons and also ribbon width but at least you have ideas for these areas.
All this is pretty high profile stuff. It's dimensional or in shiny threads like silks and nylon. We have to come up with a plan for the body of the fish and its fins that can stand up to being surrounded by all this dimension and shine.
We've talked about perhaps using the hot fix Swarkowski crystals for the dots on the body of the fish. I think they would look nice but you might want to try beads there. Swarkowski also has regular crystal beads that are just as shiny as the hot fix flat-back crystals and you might prefer sewing on crystal beads rather than gluing them on. Perhaps you will want to wait until you actually have chosen threads and stitches for the fish before you decide whether you wants beads or crystals or hot fix crystals or bead crystals attached with needle and thread.
We also haven't talked about the bubbles. Personally I think you might want to get some of the new Kreinik holographic threads in size 16 or higher and couch some of the light blue and some of the purple in a circle, starting in the center and spiraling out, then finishing with a couched circle of black holographic thread. That will really stand out against the background.
Things like a Circular Rhodes stitch will also work. Here is what it looks like. It is easy to vary the size of this stitch to fill the round shapes of the various bubbles. If you go this route, I think I would stitch the bubbles before I did the background around them.
However, since you live in an area with lots of wonderful beads, you might want to look for pearly flat back beads that remind you of bubbles. You can also go a third route and cover circles of felt or cotton makeup removal pads with a pearl looking thread. Other colors of Flair (or some of the pink and blue Water N Ice shades) might look very nice and the padding will raise the circles up. You could finish them off by couching black holographic Kreinik around the perimeter. Many parts of your canvas have black outlines, and although I personally would ignore all the black lines around the fish except for the mid-line that bisects his body into an upper and lower half, I like the black lines around the bubbles. That will set off the bubbles a bit from the dark teal background. Here are the Water N Ice colors in case you haven't seen them. There isn't a purple but you could used their Rose pink instead or use silver and gold bubbles by switching to pearlized beads.
If you want your hearts to be romantic instead of geometric, Jane Aurich has created a series of 40 hearts, some of which you can see on her website. Think lace, chocolates, champagne and a cozy romantic dinner by the fire. http://janeaurich.com/JAhearts.html
Her sister Joy Juarez has also done romantic heart canvases perfect for that romantic fantasy about love birds, lilies of the valley, calla lilies, or one perfect rose. http://www.joyjuarez.net/heart.html
If painted canvases aren't your thing, don't worry. Laura Perin has created several free charted designs just for you to stitch for the person you'd like to gift with a hand made Valentine. http://laurajperindesigns.tripod.com/id30.htm
Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com