I think I am onto something here, but I need to start with a much much cleaner work surface. It is really just layers of white silk organza and black thread stitching. I had planned to add layers of organza until I couldn't see the first layer of stitching, or until a needle wouldn't go through it.
I'm very fond of organza. It is shiny, it is hardly there, it has a nice crunch to it, and I can put layers of it on top of each other and get really interesting effects. Black organza provides the base for most of my ponds, except the iced over one.