The foundation - tree trunk

At last!! I've managed to stitch the tree trunk .It took a while - would've been faster and better filled up had it been machine embroidered.

Before I started embroidering it, I was pretty sure of one thing - the trunk had to look rugged,uneven and strong - not smooth and uniform. So one stitch for outline would not work - it had to be a mix of all. Thus the outline has stem stitch,coral knots,blanket stitch,straight stitches and chain stitch used randomly. Click on the photograph for a better view and zoom .I've left it large enough for you to see clearly. If you're not sure of any of the above mentioned stitches,just check this post on outlining techniques.

The inside of the trunk is mainly double running stitch (Holbein stitch) ,split stitch and chain stitch using anchor stranded cotton.

Some time back, Meri had generously gifted me some art silk threads (vegetable silks).I used those for the outline.The napkin bag in the background is also from her :)

The brown one in the above pic is Meri's and the green is mine. Notice the difference in twist? The brown thread seems to be untwisted. In the green the twist is more visible .I could split the Portuguese silk to eight strands .It frayed a lot,but never twisted itself to tangles like rayon.

What do you think? Are these untwisted silks? Have you ever used them? Do you feel that it makes any difference to your embroidery?
This question is specially for Indians -Where do we get to buy them in India?

Coming back to the embroidery ,I've left out the branches,that'll be done along with the greenery. What do you think the top part is going to have? :)

hint...26 ;)

Luv,luck and sunshine,