I started ordered this project a year ago while I was vacationing in the US. It is the Magnolia pillow from Tapis Tree.
I started stitching it last fall at a stitching retreat with my guild. These leaves were the 'open cretan' stitch and were fun to do. I remember Barb suggesting I try out new stitches on a scrap piece. That was very good advice.
I really like the filled in look of the chain stitch (used in the blue flower above) and have been searching Pinterest for Huichol designs on which I could use this stitch. So far I really like this one:
You may also be familiar with the Huichol beading technique using similar designs and seed beads both in 2D pieces:
I would want my 'calavera' to look like it is grinning somewhat - going for a 'cute' look rather than a 'scary' one. Cultural appropriation aside, all the bright colours in textiles down here really makes ones mind whirl with creative ideas.