And here she is in all her gilded glory:
I also added in the backstitched overlay to the skirt band before I started couching, but it's very subtle, and didn't show up well in the photographs. Some close-ups:
The top of her bodice (I may add some beads or something):
Her skirt sash (I really like the ribbony effect, though the tips were hard to curve!):
And her skirt band (which also has the lovely ribbony look):
Overall, I am very pleased with the outcome! There are a few spots where I should've curved the couching more, perhaps, and in the band above you can see a bit of blue there in the second underfold, but I was able to keep my stitches relatively small, and this is essential. Honestly, I don't think I would have been able to do such a neat job of it if I hadn't done my test piece, using the same gold thread, first; following the curves of the rose taught me how to follow the curves of the sash and band. And it was a bit awkward going in places, even with the practice piece experience, because the little curves and twists were quite small.
This is also the first time I've couched on Aida. I debated using Aida for my test piece, but went with cotton to get the feel of the technique first, and I am glad I did. Having done my Couched Rose as a true embrodiery, I was able to adapt the technique to Aida by doing the unthinkable - I went through threads randomly with my sharp "tacking" needle instead of just following the holes in the Aida! This is something I would never have done before, and the smooth look that I was able to attain would not have been possible if I had stuck to following the squares of the Aida (and my tacking stitches would've been a great deal larger and more visible!).
Once I had the outline couching finished, I considered couching the curliques on her skirt as well, and actually started out with that technique. However, I quickly realized that the colour called for (the 1 strand of yellow with 2 strands of gold, tacked with 1 strand of gold), which was used for all the couching work, just sort of vanished into the yellows of the skirt. Also, the extra three-dimensional work looked odd, and distracted from the outline couching I'd already done.
So, after some, er, "reverse stitching", I settled on using three strands of gold and using backstitch to follow the curliques on the pattern. A close-up of the area:
Where each loop-de-loop occurs (which are made with lazy daisy stitch, which I first worked in another test piece that I'll be writing about soon) there will be beads!
Here is my Angel, as she is now, all ready for embellishment:
So I'm very excited about the embellishment process! This will be the most heavily embellished design I've ever stitched, since there's seed beads (in various colours), sequins, and charms! And I have some interesting ideas that are a bit different than the kit suggestions. The instructions are only guidelines, after all! *wicked grin*