I got all of my patterns from stencils or embroidery templates from the store. I practiced on 300 gsm water color paper and then, since I'm more of a mail artist, I cut another piece of paper into an envelope and embroidered that. I want to stitch together the envelope but think I need a hooked needle, so I'll have to wait for the art supply store to ship that.
All in all, I thought it turned out well. Still having difficulty with the French knots but it's different with paper than with fabric. I think I just need to add a few more twirls around the needle so the knot is larger than the hole. I'm going to try some more complex designs and envelopes.