Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Birds, Real and Imagined

With the spring come the birds. Right now birds are nesting and laying their eggs all over the countryside, though I rarely take the time to seek them out. These blackbird's eggs (above) happen to be in a nest right outside of my studio, so it was dumb luck rather than good detective work that led me to them.
Still, I do take an interest in identifying local birds (sort of), and have been leafing through this old book of Henry's to see what I might spy while I'm out on a walk in the woods. I have learned to recognize a few of them by sight. I can't identify many by their call, apart from the onomatopoeiac cuckoo, whose call really does signify spring, or the cooing mourning dove.
I also recognize, of course, the hoot of the owl, which we can often hear at bedtime when our windows are open. I love this picture of a barn owl, which I'm using as a reference for a bird making project I'm in the middle of.
I recently bought a copy of "The Artful Bird" by Abigail Glassenberg, who also the authors the excellent blog While She Naps, which is about soft toy making and also how to run a creative business. I've since made a few birds, pictured below. 
Here is the first wren I made, which is the first project from Abby's book. It took me quite a long time to make-maybe six or seven hours. But the second one, below, took a good hour less than the first. I didn't quilt the wings like she suggests; if I had it would've added on close to another hour. 
This is my Liberty print wren. I love her. 
Here is the owl I'm working on. I haven't even clocked the hours I've spent working on this thing so far, but I'm guessing I'm into double digits already. I got stuck on a step early on in the process, and contacted Abby begging for help. She was super accommodating and encouraging and helped me work out my problem via email.
Above are the embroidered eyes for the owl, which I worked on yesterday while sitting in on the Greek Mythology class Jake is taking in Oxford.

Because I have so little free time these days (home education is not for the lady of leisure-or maybe it is and I'm just doing it totally the wrong way), I generally don't want to work on craft projects that take a long time, because I worry I'll never finish them. But bird making is feeling very satisfying right now, so I'll stick with it as long as it stays that way.

By the way, I'm Instagramming in earnest lately, so if you want to see more photos of this Cotswold spring or birds in the making, you can follow me @leslieastor

No comments:

Post a Comment