Well, finally long and short stitch for Sharon's TAST - only a few weeks late! I've always been frightened of what I think of as real embroidery. I started out with needlepoint and cross stitch kits and they're easy because you have a hole for the needle and a pattern to follow whereas real embroidery involves deciding where to place your stitches, making them neat and even and is all together much trickier. This isn't the style of embroidery I want to achieve long term but I knew that being frightened of doing it was preventing me having a range of stitches at my disposal to get the look I do want. So when faced with long and short I realised that doing a small sample on aida fabric wasn't going to be enough so I pushed myself to complete a whole motif. I used a clip art image from Dover publications. The main sections are done in long and short and the ribs in the terracotta colour are stem stitch as is the border around the motif. So now I can get on with catching up on the other stitches!
Whilst mentioning Dover publications I don't know if people realise you can sign up for a Dover sampler - a weekly newsletter which provides links to copyright free clip art images which you can download for free. You get a few each week but over the couple of years that I have been collecting them I have built up a sizeable collection of images. They range from this shell to oriental images, art deco patterns, cute Victorian children, travel posters and even photos of film stars such as Cary Grant. I have used the images often in many different projects and find them invaluable.