Some time ago I purchased one of the "Needlework Nibbles" sold by Tricia Wilson Nguyen on her website Thistle Threads. She puts these little projects together so you can try out a new thread or a different embroidery stitch in a quick, little project.
I have only completed one project so far, Gilded Grapes. If you follow the link you can see how much nicer the sampler is than mine. This was a pretty interesting project as it used Gilt Sylke Twist in quite a few different colors to make the grapes. Gilt Sylke Twist, or GST, is a silk floss with gold thread wound around it. It was developed for the Plimoth Jacket project that Tricia is overseeing. You can read all about this fascinating project on her website. The leaves are made with an experimental run of Silver Sylke Twist, or SST, which has, of course, silver instead of gold wound around the floss. Both require a lot of patience and short lengths of threads. The metal does break fairly often but Tricia tells you how to rescue most of the broken thread in her directions. It is difficult to work with but the results are worth it. The finished embroidery has a very subtle sparkle to it that is quite appealing.
After I finished the embroidery I made it into a little pincushion, using a scrap of linen for the back, dyed with coffee to match the front. Isn't it darling? I've ordered several other of the kits, so I can't wait to work them.
Please visit Tricia's site to read about the Plimoth Jacket Project. It's a bit hard to find the chronology of the jacket, so you'll have to spend a bit of time wandering around the site.