While waiting for my next JE class next month, when I'll start on (deep breath) Antique Mirrors, I decided to work on a piece I got about 5 years ago as part of a GCC course - "Beginning" silk and metal class. I was not very interested initially, and didn't review the contents in detail until now. It came with a nice heavy piece of silk, already edge-hemmed and carefully packed. The instructions were well written, with a lot of information on the various silks and metals, history and their usage. I made some minor modifications, changing a leaf to a bud (which I'm very fond of), and using JE techniques in places. I used my Pilot frixion pen to draw the design on the fabric. Surprise! This is the first fabric I've encountered that the tracing remains quite obvious even when heat erased! I will have to keep this in mind.
The blue flat silk thread came from Japan, but felt slightly different than the silk from JEC- maybe sturdier and doesn't snag as much - but seems to be less shiny. Instead of using 6 strands of flat silk per the instructions, I used 3 strands and stitched them very close together; I also changed the angle of the stitching on the petals.
The motifs are small, making them quite difficult to do. I don't agree that this is a beginner's piece. This will be a (hopefully enjoyable) challenge.
The rough purl flower center was hard to do. A few of the spirals on the left side were ok, but the rest are not good. I will sit on it for a while, and see if I feel like re-doing them.