The birds are back part two.

One of my intentions this year is to use materials I already have, and although my stash is small compared to many, there’s still enough to make a lot of work. I did actually decide this late last year, and although I wasn’t supposed to be buying anything new, I had a notion to use felt for some new work ideas, so naturally I had to buy some, albeit far too much. After buying it I decided it wasn’t for me, or at least the ideas weren’t for me.

It turns out that I was quite wrong. I had started to plan and make some new work, and found myself choosing the felt as the background. It’s lovely heather wool felt, and of course doesn’t fray, which makes edging really easy. I hate thinking of solutions for edging, so felt may be the chosen way for quite a while.

I am a member of Eclectica Artists, and we have regular Zoom meetings. We decided a project of sorts would be a good idea to keep us going, share developments at meetings and eventually hopefully exhibit the results. Naturally we didn’t pick a theme of any kind, as we never do, we are fully into each of us going our individual ways; we just decided to use recently taken images to work from.

I chose some images of a rose I had photographed, and did a fair amount of collage work, and some drawn ideas for applique and needlepoint pieces. I love a stripy flower.


When I started to choose fabrics and felt, the palette reverted to was one that is basically more my normal toned down approach, except for the brighter pink I still wanted to include, below. I had wanted to use full on bright pink and acid green, but they are making a guest appearance rather than being the leading participants.

Then the subject matter veered away from roses and butterflies, and landed once again on birds. Here are three pieces, all laid down and ready to stitch. They are around 65 45 cm/26 x 18 inches.



So these pieces were distinctly unplanned, but I believe in making what comes naturally. It may be that the more vivid pieces happen at some point, I hope so.

The recent snow inspired me to take a few photographs, and print some images on some silk. The silk was fairly horrible, very stiff, shiny and bright white. I have no idea why I bought it, but I’m glad I did, as it produced some snowy lovely tree prints. The two small images of arches were a possible idea for inclusion, which didn’t happen, but like the pink and green, may do in another piece.

Inspired by the previous flying hoopoe I wanted to do another flying bird. They both seem to flying in the same direction, so they must know something. This time I chose a jay as we often have one or occasionally two in our garden during the winter. I wanted the pink, black and white against the winter colours, and I’ll use beads to introduce the bright blue on the wings.

Now I must stop putting pieces together and actually finish them, so let’s see if that’s what the next blog is about. I have five to finish in the queue, but I may need to lay down a nice tropical bird using some of those bright colours first…

17 thoughts on “The birds are back part two.

  1. I love seeing how your work progresses. I find it as fascinating reading about the choices you make and why you make them. Me? A bit slap dash really. I need to ‘feel’ the colours and shapes! Don’t ask me what I feel because I really don’t know…

    1. Thank you. I’m with you that respect, these choices we make defy explanation, as far as I’m concerned, it is simply what feels right to us as the makers. It’s not a formula that can be applied at every turn, it’s more of an expression of a moment of time.

  2. Hello Steph,
    Well it will soon be a year since our group met. All I have been doing is drawing designs. I noticed, walking into my shed/studio that I’m doing the same designs over again. Time and working will tell. Looking at your latest designs that are so inspiring, I must do a bit of Gelli printing and collage.
    A happy new year to you and all your followers.

    1. Some years ago I went to Egypt on holiday, and watched one at length in the hotel gardens. I think that’s why I like to use them in my work so much. It was startling and astonishing to see it land so close to me. I don’t think we’ll ever get one here in Birmingham though!

  3. I love the touches of pink that you’ve used – they add richness but don’t overpower. It’s fascinating to see your working process too. I reckon it’s teaching me a lot about how to create collages… 🙂

    1. Thanks Ann, I was determined to get some pink in. I hope you’ve got going with your collages, please post some if you do. I can imagine with your source material you could produce some wonderful personal work.

      1. To be honest, I’m still busy processing photos at the moment (or working outside). If we get some proper snow, it will keep me indoors long enough to make a start… 🙂

      2. Well, I’m happy you are working with your photography, since your images are so impressive and enjoyable. And if it snows you know you will be out there taking photographs of snow covered botanical subjects!

      3. Thanks Stephanie! I’m taking photos that will come in handy for printmaking inspiration and hopefully collage too. I have some ideas for combining ‘real’ collage and digital photos… 🙂

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