This is my progress so far.
The color of the piece is more like the 1st picture. I took this one in the dark! The piece is backed with some batting so I'll have to think about how/where I'm adding borders to the piece. I want it a tad larger. Hmmmmm I might resort to the QAYG method by Marianne. I love her method and think it will or should! work for what I want to do. Who knows!
My wrists have been killing me lately so the hand embroidery is a good switch from beading. I started to wear a brace while I bead or embroider, which is helping. I've also found it helps just to wear the brace while I'm doing laundry or working around the house. You just have to remember not to wash your hands while it's on! UGH...doesn't feel so good as it's drying!