and arms and the bottom left background are done. That leaves a halo, a wing, a fish and most of the background to go. I finished up the last part of the face while watching Northwestern (my alma mater) beat Indiana in basketball. Now Northwestern is great school, but it's not much known for athletics. If they were in a league they should play the University of Chicago, MIT, and Princeton. So when they are on a roll (every ten years or so), I will cheer them on. They even went to the Rose Bowl in 1996. Once every 50 years is about their average. After watching the University of Kentucky play basketball this year (we do not talk about last year), Northwestern looks like a high school basketball team. I'm glad they won, but I have no illusions about them all of a sudden reaching the Sweet Sixteen (or even winning one game) in the NCAA tournament.
One of the delights of needlepoint, as opposed to cross stitch, is the immense number of different threads that one can use. I have been using this canvas to experiment with a lot of different colors, textures, thicknesses and reflections. When I bought threads for this project there were so many different colors that I assumed that I would use the same thread for all the small pieces of color. I especially planned to use the Caron Snow in Red for ALL of the red, including the ribbon and the border. But seeing how my eye is drawn to the shiny red heart, I rethought the use of Snow for the ribbon and even for the border. For the ribbon I am using RG Petite Very Velvet, which I love. That is as long as you cut the pieces short, are not put off by the fact that it does shed, and that the velvet will wear down to the nylon core at the needle's eye. The soft and fuzzy effect may be hard to see in a picture, but it is very obvious in Real Life.
On the other hand, I am using three different blacks in this project. RG Tweedie 18 (100% wool) for the cat's outline, Gloriana silk for the wings outline and the interior details on the face, and RG Neon Rays for the cat's nose and the fish. There are also two matte black beads for the eyes. Frankly, even in Real Life, it would be hard to tell the difference. The Neon Rays is not as shiny in black as it is in pink (the paws) and maroon (bottom of the heart and tail). I will be using RG Neon Rays for most of the rest of the fish. I couldn't find a turquoise, so I am using DMC Rayon for the part around the fish eye. Probably the biggest difference, though, is the fact that I muted many of the colors drawn on the canvas -- soft silk pink for the cheeks and ears, softer shades of browns for the stripes. The only change I would make so far is the use of RG Splendor Ecru for the light parts of the cat's paws and face. I would rather have used a wool like the rest of the cat, but I couldn't find a wool that was darker than white, but not tan. The Splendor is just the tiniest bit shiny instead of the fuzzy texture of the wool on the rest of the cat. Overall, I am greatly pleased. Now I just have to get cracking on the background. Have a good week everyone.