I know exactly what you mean when you say a bunch of stitches suddenly look like something! I'm working on 'The Young Gardener', with ++ confetti stitches, and always move back after stitching a bit, and say, 'Wow, that is a hand, flower, or whatever'.
It's keeping me going to see what is the next thing that shows up.
I'm over 1/2 way done, and hope to finish it by the end of the year...I've been working on it for 2 years now.
I would post a picture, but it is on scroll bars, so the whole piece doesn't show.
Well I just got done with my second page of "Tea". It looks like my progress is a page and a half a month. Boy, i can sure see why they sell patterns minus the background. I got into a "small" part of the background and it was kinda boring. Its white paneling and it'll be neat when its done, but doing the skirt and tea pot was much more fun. One things for certain, there's no instant gratification!
But being a naturally nervous person, it does wonders on calming me down!
I'm really trying to get a hold of a digital camera to post my progress.
I was surfing around some other cross stitch websights and came across a different version of 'Tea'. It was much more expensive, and smaller. it also had a yellowish tinge throughout. I'm sure glad I stumbled onto this site first!