Michelle of Little Orphan Skein made a great suggestion for my birdhouse! I loved the idea of adding a vine to the pole.
(I forgot to ask my incredibly honest hubby if the vine helped. He took one look at it the other day and told me it looked nothing like a birdhouse. He believed it looked more like a dog on a stick... At least I know when I show him my work that he will not sugar coat his opinion!)
Next, using the same green floss, I added fly-stitched leaves to both sides of the "vine," so the stems of the leaves met up with the green of the vine. (My leaves are far from perfect. I think I need more practice!)
You know what they say about necessity being the mother of invention? Well, I believe mistakes inspire (require?) creativity. On my first attempt of putting leaves on the vine, my thread knotted in the back, leaving a large messy mass of thread. I had to resort to my seam ripper and due to difficulties removing the tiny stitches, I had to start all over again. Unfortunately, my leaves did not match up at the same locations, and I could still see spots on the fabric where the thread had punched through. So, I added a few random fly stitches and some pink seed beads. These little pink "flowers" hid my flaws. They made a cute addition, too!
I also used a single strand of blue DMC #806 floss to add two small lazy daisy stitches to the top of the short green stitches along the seam-line. I chose this shade of blue because it matched the blue seed beads that I added to the center of each "flower."
So, this is how the front flap of the messenger bag looks at the moment.
I have also managed to make some progress on my CQJP 2013 blocks. I am seriously questioning my decision to use the short and long stitch on the block with the lightning storm. As a novice with this stitch, it is not turning out as I had hoped. I have even considered scrapping the block, but it received so much positive feedback that I cannot bring myself to toss it. On the bright side, my honest hubby seems to like it. Perhaps I am being too critical. Time will tell!