I haven't done a piece like this for a while, so I thought I'd give myself a break, as it requires no painting or designing. The first step is of course framing up. I have tried a number of ways to stretch the embroidery to be drum tight pre-stitching: from Evertite (too expensive, especially for large pieces); poor-man's Evertite (a term coined by Caela Tyler from a class I took - which involves using regular stretcher bars and then hammering and shimming the sides to spread them as the piece gets loose); to this technique from a class I took with Kay Stanis. Kay demonstrates this technique at her website, as well as on youtube. This last technique is the best, and is what I have been using since.
While I'm on the subject of framing up, I have been using this thumb tack kit from lacis, called "Corjac" Thumbtack Kit; it works so much better for putting in and removing thumb tacks than using my bare hands. Better still, it works with my existing clover thumb tacks.
I ordered the instructions for The Nestlings from Inspirations magazine a while ago - I was very captivated by the nest. Then when I seriously looked into stitching it, I found that the threads called for are from Australian manufacturers, and not available easily in the US. Fortunately, this is where the MC in color program becomes useful J!
The ground is cream Southern Belle.
Here are the DMC colors I've picked. I may replace some with silk later on.