Well, I FINALLY got the piece finished!
It turned out to be more of a challenge than I thought it would be. Part of that is because I tend to overanalyze during the design process. It usually goes something like, "What about this? What about that? What if I flipped the whole thing around? What about this other thing? Or maybe the first thing instead? Oh hell, it all looks like crap..." Then I put it all away for another day.
It was also difficult for me to work from the background up. I'm a focal image kind of girl . I made this cool background, and then felt limited by it. In the end, I realized that the tree thing was not quite doing it for me, and that stripes offered more possibility. When I added the gauze, it actually ended up looking kind of like some sort of sea life. (That's some of the medical gauze that my sister gave me, from an old bomb shelter....)
Now to frame this puppy. I don't even have a place to hang it in my house. How sad is that???
Oh, and my grandfather is doing much better. Turned out to be an infection and the antibiotics are working well. He'll be in the hospital for another day or so, but he's out of the ICU. Thanks for all of your kind thoughts!