First of all I want to thank everyone for you amazing embroidery tips/suggestions. Taking all of your advice into consideration I tried it again and it's much better than my first attempt although I know I still have LOTS of room for improvement.
I used a plain white cotton fabric this time and it turned out so much nicer than that other stuff I was using. I also reduced the number of strands I was using from 6 (as the booklet suggested) to 4. I think next time I'll try it with just 3 and see what happens.
I have a plan for my little cat and I'm hoping to get to it tonight. I'll post pictures IF it turns out the way I hope.
A while back I made a little mp3 player cozy. There's nothing much to it. I just sewed a button on one side and sewed a piece of ric rac into the seam on the opposite side for a closure. The ric rac just winds around the button. It's secure enough for the mp3 player mostly because it doesn't get much use anyway.