This is a triple report! First, I competed the backstitching on Athena. There wasn't much, but doesn't the owl look great? Now, there is only beading and I definitely want to to finish her this year.
Then I worked on Woodland Enchantress. About 2 weeks of work yielded a happy dance! I can't wait to get her framed and hanging on the walls of my house. I am planning on a framing binge sometime soon- I have four projects waiting, 2 from the 2012 WIPocalyse and two older ones.
Finally I picked up Royal Holiday. Back in 2007, the gold brocade skirt worked up easily, as well as the small corner of her cape to the left of the skirt. Then, I put this project away after having issues with the Wisper thread, which forms the cape's fur trim. Since getting some advice, I have begun working with shorter lengths, like 12-14". That keeps the thread from shredding so badly, but it doesn't get me far and Royal Holiday has a ton of it. Oh well, the effect is cool, I suppose. But it will take a while to finish this project, since it's slow going with the Wisper.
I am stitching on a fat quarter of Sparkling Forest opalescent belfast linen from Silkweaver. This is a gorgeous fabric and the colors pop on it, but it's a bit challenging to stitch. First, most of my stitching time is at night and it's rather hard to see the threads of the dark green fabric. The sparkles create further difficulty. I have ordered a Needlework Uplight, that is supposed to sit on one's lap to light dark fabric from underneath. There are a number of designs I'd like to stitch on dark fabric (like Teresa Wentzler's Unicorn, Magnificent Wizard, and Midsummer Night's Fairy) and hopefully this will help.