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.
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`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.
Frosty mornings this week- just perfect for a walk in the woods! I took these photos a couple of mornings ago on one of my favourite walks. All the thick mud and puddles from recent rains were frozen solid, great for walking on. There was nobody else about, just me out in the tingling cold and silvery light.
These felt poppies are probably my best sellers. I`ve been making them for two or three years now, but I always have to make a few every week to keep topped up.
The poppies are made from layers of felt and recycled tweed with a shiny black button at the centre. They have two padded leaves with hand-stitched details in wool.
These are a few that I made this week.
Red is the most popular colour, with bright pink the runner up, but I enjoy working with all the bright colours, especially when contrasted with grey and black.
My bee brooches have been selling well over the last few months.
These are a few that I made for the Lucie Fenton Gallery in Stockbridge, Edinburgh.
This one is my favourite, it was taken from a drawing I did of a bumble bee crawling over a dandelion.
When I made my first bee brooches I wasn`t sure if people would like them, I`m so glad they`ve proved to be a big hit!
I`ve been happily making more of these little stitched hearts all week and I`m so pleased with them! My first batch was delivered to Flux and the Lucie Fenton Gallery today and I was almost sorry to see them go! I really enjoy making them and they`ve been inspiring me for future projects. I like the subtle blend of the different colours and patterns and the way the stitching gives them an almost faded look. They`re quite delicate and much smaller than most of my brooches. I`ve enjoyed looking out my tiniest shell buttons and vintage pearls to finish them off.
I`ve been thinking of other ways of using this technique and in between sewing the hearts there`s been lots of doodling going on… Looking forward to starting some new work, but time for a few more hearts first!
These decoupage brooches are new to my range and I`ve really enjoyed making them.
I used to make papier mache vases and bowls many moons ago and it`s great to be playing around with papers again, though on a much tinier scale. I`m starting a new collection of papers, keeping interesting scraps of colours and patterns from magazines and gift wrap. I already have a folder full!
I`m really pleased with the way the brooches have turned out, the gloss varnish has transformed them into shiny, bright little pebbles. I`ve already started on a second batch and have been experimenting with making decoupage beads in the same style. It`s so much fun starting a new project! My first batch of butterfly brooches are already available in all my stockists.
What treasure! Here are some of my charity shop finds this week. I really love the gorgeous turquoise wool tweed, almost a two metre length.
I love a bargain and so it has always been natural to me to hunt for fabric in charity shops and jumble sales and recycle old clothes rather than buy new fabric off the roll. Nothing beats a good old rummage and unearthing an old jacket or skirt in gorgeous fabric.The jackpot for me at the moment is finding a 1970`s tweed or tartan maxi skirt, preferably in the largest size possible (more fabric!). I`m also using old ties in my work a lot just now. 1970`s kipper ties are best (again, more fabric) especially paisley patterns. Even quite psycadelic colour combinations can look great as a little covered button on a tweed brooch or fascinator.
I also love finding scraps of old crocheted lace or embroidered tray cloths. If they are a bit stained I don`t feel too bad about cutting them up and reusing them!
Absolutely nothing gets wasted in my workroom. I keep every scrap of fabric; even the tiniest piece of tweed can be used to cover a button or perhaps make a quilted leaf for a corsage.
These sweet little heart brooches are new to my collection. They are made from recycled tweed and scraps of fabric from old ties and embroidered tray cloths, then embellished with vintage buttons and tiny sead beads.
They are currently available in Miss Katie Cupcake and Flux, and I hope to have a small selection in all my stockists in time for Valentine`s day.