Here is midway progress on my starfish canvas:
One stitching tip I want to pass on about stitching with metallic ribbons and braids while the canvas is on a frame. I constantly run my fingers over the back of the stitches to catch any instances of the fibers knotting on the back. It doesn't show on the front and I hate constantly flipping my frame to look. I "let my fingers do the walking".
I've been thinking more about this idea and have carried it further to include doing dog bone shapes (or dog shapes) for a dog-related garland and fish shapes (or cat shapes) for a cat-related garland. In fact, that may be what I do for Vero Beach's annual Festival of Trees. I think I can entice some of my employees to stitch one or two each to assist in the process (she says in a calculating tone). More about this later.