This is what they look like before painting - an entire day's work, and only two small canvases. (the figure is 7" high) It's the initial idea, then the drawing on paper - and then the hard part, which on things this small take a lot of stitch drawing to make it work. One could just smear the paint onto the canvas without regard, but then the poor stitcher would have to struggle with where to put the stitches. (There is a lot of this going on these days)
The first one is "July" of what I've called the "birthday guardians" - but it may not get past July and December (which has found another home). Trying to make the flowers stitchable, and coordinating the colors of jewels, flowers, and dress, hasn't come easily.
When I was a child, my mother explained to me that I have my own guardian angel that not only watches over me, but tries, usually in vain, to keep me out of mischief. I felt this entity sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear when I was about to make a good or naughty decision. (She's still there in those little twinges when I might be about to make a not-so-good decision.)
In Psalms 91:11, it says "He hath sent His angel to watch over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways." I feel this is my personal angel, and as such, needs to share a bit of personality with me in order to be comfortable as we travel this road together. This is what led to the next one, which actually suits me better than Miss July!.
She had to have earrings, of course, and flowers on her dress and in her hair. Now to go spend the day painting these ladies (angels in the Bible were men - but I am giving myself the liberty of turning them into pretty girls.)
There are actually not a lot of angels on the needlepoint market - and these are very Christmas oriented, from what I've seen. They are either ornaments to hang on the tree, or stockings to hold gifts - or tree toppers. My thought is that our guardians are with us all year, and also, it's a waste to do something pretty that then resides in a box in the closet for 11 months.
I thought it might be fun to have one sitting on my work table - with an easel on the back for standing. Mine will be beside St. Clare (Patron of embroiderers/needlework) when I get her finished - I lost my original pattern, so have to re-do her.