I'm must happier with this version, and as you can see, I added Dr. Seuss-like flowers and embellishments for the bird.
I'm loving the chain stitch. I used it for the bird's tail feathers and kind of for its head and the dangling vines. Making big, open loops is a great way to cover a lot of real estate without spending a lot of time...great for someone who likes more immediate gratification like moi. Apparently the random stitches on the bird's wing are examples of a technique called "seeding"...who knew?
Here's are a couple of closeups of the chain stitching:
Now the question is what to do with my embroidery. Covering a pillow is the obvious choice, but given how my cats love to shed and drool on such things, I'm reluctant to give them another "toy" to play with...