There are quite a few of these beautiful, cheeky little animals living in the garden. Lots of hidey-holes, ground cover and places to set up home, plus a never-ending supply of birdfood to pinch makes mouse heaven apparently!
This bold wee thing let me get so close that I needed my macro lense!
Just a few quick sketches so far, but I`d love to try some mousey embroideries.
A few months ago, a very good customer asked if I would consider making her a hedgehog brooch. I wasn`t sure at the time as I was still quite new to free machine embroidery and didn`t think I could do it justice. However last week (after a gentle reminder from the lovely, patient lady) I decided to give hedgehogs a go. Growing confidence, combined with my wonderful new Bernina machine, meant that the time was right to take my machine embroidery to a new level.
I began with drawings and then made three embroideries. These were really little paintings in thread and I really enjoyed drawing with the machine, mark making, and layering lots of different threads. I sort of fell in love with hedgehogs last week as I brought these little creatures to life. They`ve had a wonderful response on my Facebook page and all three embroideries were immediately spoken for, with orders for two more. It seems that everyone loves a hedgehog! Yesterday I started work on four hedgehog embroideries and I`m really looking forward to getting stuck into them today.
My sketchbook has been filling up with drawings of robins recently, which will be used as inspiration for some robin embroideries. This is my favourite way of working now- scribbly drawings first, then echo the colours, marks and line of the drawing in fabric and stitch. It was important to get the colours right- so many depictions of robins at Christmas time show them with dark brown backs and scarlet red breasts, but they are really more orange and grey than red and brown.
At this time of year, robins seem to be everywhere- as soon as you step outside, their song fills the air- little bright beads of sound. They look so cute but are actually tough little birds, and fiercely territorial. I`m sitting at the kitchen table while writing this and I can see a robin bossing the sparrows about on the bird table.
Here are a few of my favourite robin drawings so far:
This one is my favourite!
Hello again to my poor neglected blog! Here we are in October already, the summer flew past and now it`s Autumn with Christmas fast approaching. It has been a very busy Summer for me and a creatively satisfying one. I really feel happy with my work now and I`ve settled into a style that marries four things I love; sewing, drawing, nature and vintage fabrics. I also finally embraced the wonders of Facebook a few months ago and have built up a wonderful network of supportive people and customers. So although my blog posts have become rather few and far between, I post on Facebook daily with news, previews, sketches and finished work. My Etsy sales have become steady too, and having the Etsy shop has really helped me focus on the style and look of my work.
I`ve been setting little stitched pieces in embroidery hoops quite a lot recently. Customers like them because they can buy a little piece of textile art that is ready to hang, and I really enjoy working within a circle. There is something quite satisfying about a circle, and I like the way a motif from a piece of vintage fabric becomes focused and can frame a little stitched creature. They remind me a bit of vintage plates hanging on the wall, and have become quite popular, I`ve had lots of sales and a few commissions for them. These are some of my favourites:
I love blackbirds!
Bees and butterflies were very popular over the summer. I want to work on lots of more birds over Autumn and winter and maybe some mammals (I`ve had an order for a hedgehog!). My focus over the next couple of weeks will be robins, I`ve got some lovely old linens and muted furnishing fabrics for backgrounds and some tiny 4″ hoops that would be just the right size to hang on the Christmas tree… I`ve had lots of lovely comments for my drawings too, so my next few bird drawings won`t be in my sketchbook, but for sale in my Etsy shop!
Filed under bees, birds, butterflies, drawing, embroidery, embroidery hoops, ladybirds, machine embroidery, online shop, recycled fabrics, stitched birds, vintage fabric
I`ve started working on some little bird embroideries, inspired by my drawings in my sketchbook. So far I`ve finished a blackbird and a bluetit, and I plan on doing lots more. I`ve enjoyed the process of creating them, taking time to select fabrics and stitching them in layers to echo the scribbly marks, tones and colours in my drawings.
I set the first two into embroidery hoops, using vintage fabric for the backgrounds.
I was so pleased with this little blackbird when I finished it and it sold instantly in my Etsy shop. I think blackbirds must be my favourite garden birds, but I love them all and try to encourage as many as possible into the garden. I`m lucky to live quite near woodland so there are lots of birdy visitors and lots who live in the garden all the time, including a huge colony of sparrows who live in the hedge. There are always a few bluetits busy at the feeders hanging in my apple tree. At the moment there are lots of young ones which are much paler in colour than the adults.
I think I`ll try a little wren next, I`ve just spotted one flitting in and out of my plant pots looking for a meal. But the choice and variety is endless…
I treated myself to some lovely marguerittes for the garden this week and they instantly added a dash of cheerfulness and sunshine. There really is something about daisies that lift the spirits.
I felt inspired to try some daisy embroideries, taken from the sketches of ox-eye daisies I did last year.
My friend recently gave me a bolt of vintage white glazed cotton and this is perfect for daisy petals. So crisp, lovely to cut into and gives the daisies a lovely lustre. I chose some bright, fresh, yellowish-green for the background.
Really pleased with these, I tried to make them as realistic and ‘drawn’ looking as possible. I`ll put these in my Etsy shop, perhaps set in embroidery hoops. I`d like to do a bigger piece, perhaps a large cushion or wall hanging featuring a whole swathe of daisies.
I`ve been filling my sketchbook with drawings of garden birds this week. I really want to include birds in my work, especially the ones that fill my garden every day. I try to encourage as many birds as possible to the garden- my apple tree is like a bird cafe, hung with lots of feeders, and the first thing I do in the morning is go out (in my nightie) to feed the birds. They are quite partial to crushed digestive biscuits.
There is a beautiful thrush that can be seen hopping about on the grass most of the time. Thrushes are really welcome, hopefully they`ll keep the large numbers of slugs and snails down a bit. I love to listen to their amazing song on summer evenings too.
Blackbirds are probably my favourite garden birds. The glossy black males are so handsome (they seem to know it too!) and I really love their gorgeous, liquid song. There is a pair of blackbirds that have become quite tame, especially the female, which I have rather unimaginatively called Lady (well she is a ‘lady’ blackbird…). She`s never far away when I`m in the garden and always lets her presence known with a friendly soft clucking noise. She`s quite demanding too and always appears first thing in the morning for her breakfast. They have built their nest in the hedge again this year, as close as possible to the bird table!
Bluetits are so colourful and cute. There are always lots of them around the feeders on the apple tree.
I`m going to continue this week, there are lots more birds I want to try to draw, then hopefully the drawings will inspire some stitched pieces.
Inspired by my forsythia drawings, I made this little stitched sampler this week.
The forsythia twig is ‘drawn’ on some loose woven, vintage linen, framed by scraps of toning cottons, vintage lace, cotton tape and shell buttons, all sewn onto a small piece of pale yellow recycled furnishing fabric. I want to experiment with lots more botanical stitching, based on drawings, I`ll just play around with little samplers till I feel I`m getting it right.
I love seeing forsythia at this time of year. So bright and cheerful, and just so yellow! The forsythia in my garden is growing on the wall behind the greenhouse, so is unfortunately out of reach, but looks great against a blue sky, like the one we have this morning.
Yesterday I visited my Aunt`s new house and there was a lovely forsythia bush in the garden, like a burst of sunshine growing up the garden fence. I picked a few sprigs to bring home to draw and ended up with four small sketches which I`ll pop onto my Etsy shop.
Last week it was all about bees and butterflies again as I concentrated on finishing some more brooches and lavender hearts. I also had a commission for some bee sketches from a nice lady via my Etsy shop.
The drawings gave me a chance to look closely at bumble bees again and inspired a few more brooches.
Two new bumble bee lavender hearts. I chose pale vintage linen so that the bees really stood out.
I love the colours in this butterfly, my favourite brooch from the latest batch!