This was what the front looked like when I abandoned it. The first thing I did yesterday was to remove about 50% of the embellishments. I changed out the yellow flower beads for purple ones and did some lazy daisy stitches down either side of that panel in perle cotton (size 5 I think).
The stitches are a bit dorky looking to me but I pressed on, inspired by this bit of metal I found in a local bead shop recently.
This is how the whole cover looks today:
I used seed stitches in a variegated embroidery floss in that central panel. That's where the cover will fold so I wanted to avoid three dimensional embellishments in that area.
Here's a closer look at the upper left corner:
The owl and the branch on which he's sitting are two separate bits of brass. There are still two rather large areas I have to figure out how to decorate but I'm pleased to have made this much progress, especially when this project stalled so early in the process originally.
For those who are new to The Magpie's Nest, this is the first needlebook I made, the one in which I keep my hand sewing needles:
It's made of printed corduroy scraps. I wanted one that was a little less bulky and maybe more summer-like in color. Now I'm not sure I'll be keeping this one for myself. I hesitate to put a spider web and resident on a piece when someone else might be creeped out by it!