I finished the secret Santa bookmark! This is the second book mark that I've made and it was much easier this go round. The first time i made one i really struggled with holding it while i stitched since i couldn't put it in a hoop. I guess my hands are getting stronger because i didn't get crippling cramps this time from holding it at the awkward angle frequently required.
I used the long-short stitch on the cat's body. It turned out really nice and looks great for the animal fur. I had never used it before though and it was a bit of trial and error. I laid down all the blue of the body and then built the mouth, nose, cheeks, whiskers, and eyes on top. By the time i was getting to the end of that list the layers had gotten sooooooo thick that i couldn't even pull the needle through! I think the old proverb goes 'desperate times call for desperate measures' and that's what i resulted to addressing this issue. I used my teeth several times to pull the needle through, which worked great, but it was only a matter of time until i put an eye out with that method. I tried rubber bands on the needle, which was time consuming and totally pointless. Then finally i got the idea of using my rubber jar opener. Brilliant! It was a perfect gripper and cushioned my finger tips so that i could get the needle through the thick areas. i guess i should give in and invest in a good thimble, but if you're in a pinch give my style a go.