I had a homework assignment for university: to create a 3-minute videofilm, that is connected to my topic (trees) and my chosen craft (embroidery). So I came up with this idea: you take a very simple motif, like a tree, and draw a really simple line drawing. It dies not have to be anything pretty, you don´t need to be able to draw. Really. Believe me :)
You can then embroider this with different stitches, and then try to do different variations. A tree, or any other object from nature is good to start with because there is no need to be accurate, symmetrical, there is no correct or incorrect shape. Feel free to improvise, experiment, try out different stitches, different colours, materials - go wild!
Here is the little film I made (not very good, but I think you get the gist - and then this was my first film!). Then you can see the photos of the embroidered pieces I made for the film.
And then there comes some more variations of the cross stitched version. You will see that I did not really pay much attention where I put the apples/leaves/flowers on the tree. You can follow the pattern, but you can just make your own version and stitch them randomly.
I hope you will really enjoy the creating process. Please, post here if you stitch something based on this idea, I would love to see them.