You know what, I've just taken the cowl out of the machine and it looks good but I have decided not to go with the mermaid theme but to go with something completely different.
I'm currently listening to Emily Loizeau's cd Pays Savauge (I recommend it simply for the photographs, you get a wonderful french boho collection with a bearded lady,dandies, silk and furs, long skirts and tousled curls, top hats and horns) and I fell in love with the mix of languages and troubadourish style that echos through the entire album.
She has a wonderful song on there called "The Princess And The Toad" and it made me totally change my plans for this cowl. I'll still be decorating it with muslin but this will be tea stained and ruffled with gold tulle, old lace, pearls and water lillies and the loop pull will have two gold balls on the end to represent the ball that the princess lost in the palace pond which lead to the story itself.
I'll post some images from the album so you can see what has inspired me so much