I was reorganizing my art supplies and found some leftover cross-stitch/hand embroidery cloth from my undergrad project (which I should post sometime along with the rest of the pieces from the show!).
I sketched out a little corgi for my beau then colored it with watercolor to plan out the color combinations before choosing the strings/floss for an optical blend. Thankfully the local craft shop carries a pretty good selection of materials, including the 3″ hoop I’m working on. That said, I do split the floss since I find it too thick to make a blend and a bit of a waste in my projects.
Whenever I start to learn a new technique, I tend to look at how I can use the materials in others (ex. embroidery can crossover to bookbinding and cloth mending). That way I make sure I have only what I need and make the best use of my very limited budget and space!