I worked on this a little bit last night and today as a break from "priorities." Never mind that the Holly looks somewhat like a climbing rose - I couldn't find any overdyed 2mm ribbon, (which would have made better holly berries), so I used the Caron Watercolours overdyed cotton - and they look more like roses than berries.
The leaves are made with 7mm silk ribbon, which was another great favor from Jean Krynicki at River Silks, as I asked her to send me something that looked like holly, and it's perfect! However, my aspirations of making little spiky looking edges failed - the leaves are small, as is the area, and all I made after an hour or so fooling with one leaf, was a big mess. When doing these things, I search the internet for images of the real plants and flowers rather than going to books on the silk ribbon version. I learned the stitches from my favorites - Judith Baker Montano's SILK RIBBON EMBROIDERY and ELEGANT STITCHES. After that, I prefer looking at pictures or at the real thing and making my own interpretations with the stitches I've learned. In this case, I failed miserably at spiky leaves. Oh well. It gives the impression, hopefully, of a spray of Holly - it IS green with red berries.
I used a burgundy color Kreinik Vintage metallic braid to make the chain stitch seam treatment, as I needed something close to red in this area, but not exactly bright red- too distracting. You can also see the beginning of a branch of mistletoe, but it will probably get lost in the leaves and berries. At least it gives me a placement direction.
As for beads, I used the glittering Sundance #250 hexagonals applied with white cotton floss - against the white Petite Very Velvet, they make an effect like sun sparkling on new snow. Notice in the close-up that the beads are NOT placed end to end, which would be crowded and not nearly as attractive.
The blue patch, which will have an overflow (hopefully) of narcissus, is beaded also with Sundance #250 beads - but in the plain finish and not the hexagonal. They are applied in this case with blue cotton floss about the same color as the Petite Very Velvet background. This is so much more subtle than using blue beads - much prettier, I think. Also, these clear beads have an iridescent finish that takes on the background color. The patch needed some texture, but not as in textured decorative stitches. I always have to cheat in that I want to see what the beads are going to look like - and this is O.K., as long as the beads won't intrude where silk ribbon embroidery will be placed. It would waste time, effort, and beads, and make it difficult for the ribbon to lie where it should.
Cheating is good for impatient people like me.