Yeah, I'm still here, slogging along. I may have some kind of news soon, but in the meantime, I've been stitching weeds under the pomegranate tree. French knots did not seem to be enough. This is a superficial stitch (feather stitch? can't remember the name) that does not go through to the back. I tried a single thread at first, which did not show up well so I went for a double thread, which seems to be working. I'm using several browns and a maroon. I think I'll add some small circles in there as well...and probably more French knots (groan).
The plot thickens!