During the past two weeks of my - self-imposed - vacation I had time to think, to learn new embroidery techniques, to improve on the old ones, and... to work on some projects. So -
First of all, Blackwork. It is totally awesome! This is the first time when the front and the back of the stitching came out exactly the same (except for a few knots on the back). The Pears project is the example of the Blackwork technique. - By the way, the pattern is taken from the Needlework Tips and Techniques site, by Carol Leather. I find her instructions very easy and helpful.
Second technique I had a chance to improve on was beading. I am getting addicted to it. Since I first tried it on the Mandala Garden project, I have been looking for opportunities to use beads again and again. So, here's a new completed project - a headband for my daughter's fairy Barbie doll. It was created from scraps of Aida cloth leftover from the Pears project and from beads leftover from the bird. My daughter said she liked it.
Hmmm... tomorrow I am going back to work. But, I still have a Sampler project in the works - hopefully, it will be completed within the next two to three weeks.