I have finally finished the Blackwork Stitchalong project I started last October. Since I stitched it over 1 on 25 ct, I ended up having to adjust the pattern quite a bit in order to avoid having the fill patterns be too crowded. I decided not to do any beading on the central piece, and just kept the beading on the border. I also modified the border so it wouldn't be so heavy around such a small piece.
Words can't describe how glad I am that this project is finished. I won't say that I'll never do black work again, but it definitely won't be anytime soon. I certainly consider this a learning experience. I learned what I do and don't like about blackwork, and I will make very different fabric and pattern choices next time I try it.