This is a correspondence course which I began over a year ago in my EGA chapter. The course is called "Roses," designed by Carol Algie Higginbotham, and is done in blackwork. On the left, you'll see how I started off by following the instructions as given.
However, I decided to make some changes and consulted a couple of very good blackwork references, The Art of Blackwork Embroidery by Rosemary Drysdale, and Why Call It Blackwork? by Marion Scoular. Both books offer a variety of patterns, and I found some that I think work well in this design. In all, I changed 5 petals - the two already done on the smaller rose, and three big petals on the larger rose.
I'm enjoying this one a lot, and am planning to do more blackwork in the future. New Stitches Magazine has some blackwork designs that I've already kitted up for the future. They are both based on medieval artwork, and I'm looking forward to starting them.
I just finished Book 3 of Les Miserables, and I'm taking a short break from it to read Philippa Gregory's The White Queen. This is set during the War of the Roses and is the first in a series called "The Cousins Wars." The White Queen is Elizabeth Woodville, the first commoner to marry a king in England. She was also the mother of the two boys killed in the tower, possibly by Richard III. I don't know very much about this period, so I'll be consulting Wikipedia. I also want to read up on the July Revolution before I go back to Les Miserables.