Here's how the samurai is shaping up. I have finished his right shoulder and face. I haven't as yet done any of the facial features or backstitch outlines.
From there I moved to the trees behind him - I wanted to finish as much of the top part of the work before shifting the fabric down in the hoop.
I found the trees really hard on my eyes - counting from the chart back to the aida was giving me serious focusing problem.
I have added some of the background texturing - and noticed that a bit I did on the lower part will need to come out as I made an error with colour.
Still, it is shaping up - and even though I have the bottom of his kimono, the backstitch outline and some lower foliage to go, I am hopeful of finishing in time for the birthday.