I was able to get a peek at TAST 13 during work yesterday and after mulling over the organic, textured aspects of the stitch, I had an idea to work on last night. I guess I had cherry blossoms on my mind. I did do some test rows on a separate piece of aida cloth (which is the only way I can come close to stitching a straight line), and it seemed to me that 2 strands of floss just didn't give much texture, so I used 6 strands for the trunk and leaves and three stands of the pink with 2 strands of Krenick filament added - although the sparkle is hard to see in the photo.
Although this little tree isn't perfect, it does make me realize that there can be impressionistic needlework as well. I was able to move my watercolour painting to a new level with a teacher who showed me how to be looser with my forms and colours, and I see that the same can hold true for needlework. I have been concentrating on realism with my 3-D flowers and I really love them that way, but I can see doing a piece with looser stitching and a more Monet like feel. It will be something to note in my journal and come back to when I'm ready to do another framed piece.