Wednesday, August 3, 2011

FROM MY WINDOW

My new window allows me to watch the small wax-eyes birds. feeding on the calicarpa berries. Delightful to watch but most difficult to photograph as they move so quickly about the bush and any shadow of a movement will send them flying off.
Do you know the calicarpa berries ? ( think they are called Beauty Berries in America)  they are tiny and a rich purple shade, each year I allow myself to pick some branches to have in the house and also include some it the flower arrangement in the foyer at church so others might enjoy them too, however the rest are left for the enjoyment of the wax-eyes, and as the weather gets colder they strip the bush of the berries.

One year, the guild Challenge was "From my Window".  For my piece I chose to stitch the wax eye birds in the silver birch tree that  I use to watch from the window seat at our Coromandel home.

I stitched each piece separately on calico, it was the first time I had used this method, rather like the slips stitched in Elizabethan times, where pieces were stitched then cut out and added to the main piece, this also meant if one bird did not come up just right I had not ruined the whole piece of my work. These were more needlepainting pieces than stumpwork  I had several reference books showing the birds beside me as I stitched, It is not a good idea to rely on only one source as  colour can vary with different printing methods.For this piece I also had a dead bird to look at, it is amazing the different shading that makes up the feathers, I did not have enough different shades in my embroidery threads.
 Stitched with one thread of stranded thread many different shades and lots of tiny straight stitches. The branch is from the silver birch tree with a coat of varnish to help preserve it  and the tiny leaves once stitched were stiffened before being cut out. I did not buttonhole  the edge as I wanted to give it a natural look and the stiffener, I used  a liquid product "Stiffy"to make them very firm.  


As you can see I have been testing what I can do with the camera and then on the computor.

 Here is a close up shot to show the detail of the stitching on one bird. he is 7cm just under 3 inches 
I have taught this method and those doing the project- a bird of their choice found it was not as hard to do as they imagined. There are more of my birds in  the album on the right, as you can see I really do enjoy stitching them.


               Have a happy dayand hope you can find a quiet time to stitch..

18 comments:

Annie said...

Those berries are new to me, but the color is gorgeous! Your birds are absolutely amazing.. incredibly life-like.

butterfly said...

Your bird are just wonderful so real WOW.

Mouse said...

oh my goodness .. at first glance I thought it was real ... absolutely gorgeous stitching there Lee ... amazing bit of needle work .. wish you lived nearer then I could have a lesson :) love mouse xxx

Cindy's Stitching said...

the bird piece you did is amazing. The berries so pretty.

Catherine said...

I have those berries!! Your birds are stunning!

Nancy said...

Never seen those berries before but they are beautiful! Your birds are so life-like, beautiful stitching!

Rowyn said...

Your waxeyes are absolutely stunning, and life like. I just showed my nephew and husband, and they can't get over how real they look too. Wonderful!

Vickie Niggemann said...

WOW! Your birds! WOW! Amazing Lee! You are blessed with a true talent.

Hippywitch said...

The birds are incredible! I thought it was a photograph when I first looked! :-)

CyberJulka said...

Your birds are amazing!

Cyber Julka
http://cyberjulka.blogspot.com

Lilian Pilar said...

Lee, plis
colocate en contacto conmigo
lipiroca23@gmail.com,
he cambiado de dirección postal....
besos
lilian Pilar

poppylover said...

It`s so unbelivable, beautifull, awesome, great, realistic - i`m just shocked!!!!! i love the birds so much!!!

Carol said...

I am always so amazed when I see one of our birds, Lee! The detail is just wonderful. You are a true needle-artist :)

Cindy said...

beautiful, beautiful work!

MosaicMagpie said...

My friend Donna sent me over and I am so happy she did. What lovely work you do! There must be something in the New Zealand water that is good for growing excellent stitchers.
Deb

Mary Joan said...

Your birds are amazing. I just love them. It's great that you can click on the pictures and see them more closely. The legs and feet are so intricate. The colouring and shading is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing.

Mary Joan
http://maryjoanstitching.blogspot.com/

brigitte68 said...

congratulations..your birds are fabulous..so real...i love them

Anne said...

Your birds are stunning!! :)