Do you have a special order that you stitch your designs?
I have found that designs that are not huge, I work from darkest thread to lightest thread, then the back and straight stitches, and then french knots. I also leave all the metallic threads to last. If it's a large design I usually stitch the main feature in the design from dark to light. Then I stitch the rest of the design and then all the specialty stitches.
The Nepean River
(Not too far from my house)