As you can see from the difference in backgrounds for the fish in the first and second images, the fish was made entirely separately from the blue fabric and then sewn on later when it was time for me to add all the elements to my book. The fish is about 12cm long. I was trying out a number of new things with it. First of all I used appliqué over which I embroidered the scales of the body. The scales were done using couching, which is also fairly new to me. For the gills I was trying out some needlelace technique and the little bar of stitching behind the mouth is Hungarian Braided Chain stitch.
On the left is my first attempt at a needle lace creature. It's a Xenopus laevis, with pop-studs embroidered with yellow thread for eyes.