Friday, 19 June 2015

Craft Competition Time

 Last year I took part in the Hillarys Craft Competition and really enjoyed creating my project.  A fortnight ago I thought I would look to see if there was a competition this year.

I was pleased to find that not only was Hillarys running a competition this year but I had just made the deadline for applying for my fabric. 
 There were four beautiful fabrics to choose from DAISY PISTACHIO, SAFI TURQUOISE, HATTI RASPBERRY and RAYNA APPLE.
I decided on SAFI TURQUOISE, this is a lovely bluey grey with fern fronds.  It reminded me of tree fern fronds and as there is a family connection to New Zealand I thought I would try and make a kiwi cushion, the fern fronds sweeping towards the back of the bird to resemble feathers.
 I have seen pictures of Kiwis but I wasn't entirely sure how to get "the look".  An online search found a sketch and I used this for my base pattern.  A trial run on a small scale meant I wasn't going to spoil my one metre square of Hillarys fabric.
  Having cut all the fabric out I
 pinned the pieces together before tacking and finally machine sewing my seams.  A kiwi without its fluffy feathers resembles a mis-shapen pear so I pieced several gussets to shape the body and head.
turned right side out to see how things look.

Hillarys fabric is a joy to use, although this one does fray a little.
 For the feet and beak I used some very soft pale grey leather.  Rolling the pieces to get the right shape and putting florists wire in the beak to give it structure.
 Beads sewn onto the sides of the head gave my bird his finished character and we went into the garden for a photo shoot.

 My cat wasn't that impressed with the new arrival and kept trying to join in.  I am very pleased that I have enough fabric left after making my larger than life kiwi to make a medium sized clutch bag.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Inside the wildlife garden

 Early Friday morning I finally got into the wildlife garden in Ellington Park.  It has been an interesting wait, watching each new development.  Digging the pond, laying out paths, planting a hedge, the placing of the seats and bug  
hibernation boxes and the dogs.  

 There are several different dogs, the first one (see above) I had thought was made of wicker - it is iron, beautiful rusty iron and the breed of dog is on its collar.  There are a couple of stone dogs, a wooden one, one chasing a squirrel up a tree and two made from moss stuffed frames (see below).

 One of the many benches.  The Friends of Ellington Park have not made the mistake that other wildlife refuges have made - here there is plenty of seating essential for watching wildlife.
 The pond is already beginning to look very good.  I have often seen birds enjoying a drink and I was pleased to see lots of tadpoles swimming around this morning.

 Once off the slightly raised 'all weather' walkway the log edged grass paths meander about, past the dogs and the seats.


 As well as the bug cube and the other hideholes created for the creepycrawlies by one of the seats some pots of herbs have been planted - rosemary and lavendar should provide food for bees.

I cannot have been the only person who had struggled with the gates because by today there was a note on both gates explaining how to get through the child proof gates.
This squirrel was in the other side of the park.  He seemed almost determined to have his picture taken, remaining quiet close to the path letting me close enough to take lots of photos.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

STUMPWORK, a new addiction

After a longer than anticipated wait I am finally teaching myself STUMPWORK EMBROIDERY. 

 Armed with the RSN stumpwork essential stitch guide by Kate Sinton I am now roughly half way through my first piece of embroidery.
I love these RSN guide books because they are so easy to use.
 My way of achieving my design is a little different as it mostly consists of looking at the stitches in the book and picking the ones that appeal.
 I started my design by drawing two lines and stem stitched them, then satin stitched a couple of leaves.

 The blue bell flowers were stitched in single brussels stitch and the larger flower is turkey rug stitch

 Each stitch is so enjoyable, even if some take a little time to master.
 I used single brussels stitch for long leaves, attaching some to the fabric and stitching some of them detached so they began to form the three dimension effect I wanted.

A mix of straight stitch, satin stitch, stem and outline stitch to create the earth and grass.

The photo below shows a side view highlighting the three dimension leaves.


Detail of woven picots and detached woven picots being stitched.
 Next step is to embroider completely detached pieces to sew on to complete the work. At the moment I am undecided and have to choose a butterfly or dragonfly to sew

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Ellington Park Wildlife Pond

Today is the opening of the WILDLIFE GARDEN in Ellington Park, Ramsgate.  I have been watching the hard work of the FRIENDS OF ELLINGTON PARK for quite a while.  The area has been fenced off while the pond has been marked out, dug, lined, filled and planted.  Logs have been placed around the sides of the pond to provide homes for some of the creatures.

 Several dogs are patrolling the garden.
 Along the path information boards are placed.  The gates are locked as I walk through the park early in the morning. Sensible as there has been some vandalism.
 friends of ellington park 
the FRIENDS OF ELLINGTON PARK are doing so much to make the park an exciting place to go. 

 I will have to make a visit later in the day to get a closer look at everything.

Plenty of seats of all types to relax on and enjoy the garden.
 The story tellers seat. 
 A guardian for the garden?

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Carvings in the Wood

Ellington Park in Ramsgate is becoming a very interesting place to visit. 
The excellent work done by the Friends of Ellington Park is progressing well and detours are needed to ensure nothing gets missed. 


A couple of weeks ago I noticed this Jack Tar had joined the soldier, he is a over to the left as you come through the main entrance.


 I can only suppose that soon an airman will be joining his fellow servicemen as Manston Airfield is so close.



As I said it is important to keep eyes open while walking through the park.  I don't know how I missed this badger checking things out before leaving his den. 
He has been there for some time I think but the bird on the other side of the stump is fairly new.