It feels like I haven't posted an update on this project in ages, and yet I feel like I've been working on it like a maniac. The half stitch background is taking much longer than I had anticipated, but it's coming along. You can even kind of tell it's a forest now.
Since I intensely dislike doing backstitch, I decided I should do it as I go instead of waiting to do all of it at the end. I think I'd never finish it if I left it all. (That's what happened to my angel which is sitting and collecting dust at the moment. Stupid backstitching with metallic threads!) Anyway, no matter how much I hate doing backstitch, it certainly makes a profound difference on the piece. Look how much more the butterflies pop!
And close up: