Sunday, June 29, 2014

Foxy Feed

Some slightly better news than the last post I wrote. Twinkle an adorable Tabby  who has spent a long tme at PAWS Animal Sanctuary has finally found a new home. A couple came by this morning and fell in love with her.

Twinkle

 

She’s going to a home with a huge garden and a lot of love!

Below is a video I shot of a new little Fox cub who has just found his way to my door and the cats’ leftovers! He is so gorgeous, I love watching him trotting around and sizing up this new world of his. If you watch the video, please ignore soundtrack in background, I’m watching re-runs of 24. Jack Bauer and I are up to Season 5 now.

Beautiful Fox Cub in the Garden

Gully the Herring Gull is taking food from me now at very close range – we’re up to about 2 feet away now. Honestly I swear there is a queue of wildlife at my door every afternoon! My neighbours opposite me love watching all the different creatures turning up for their tea.

 

Gully2

 

And this is a skinny little adult fox which I’m trying to fatten up. There is a large dog Fox that comes round as well and if they both turn up at the same time he won’t let the little one feed.

 

Skinny Fox2

 

Craftwise I’ve been busy sewing, but I’ve taken time out to crochet this little cutie.

Crochet Duckling3

 

The pattern was free from DenDennis Amigurumist It doesn’t take much yarn and it’s quick to make. The head and body are made as one which is great as there is no fiddling about trying to sew a flopping head on!

A short post this time as I have to get back to Jack!

 

Slainte

 

 

Linda xxx

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hatches & Dispatches

It’s so hard to discipline yourself to sit down at the computer when all you want to do is to get outside and visit gardens, pubs and cafes with outside seating, the beach, quaint villages, animal homes, riverbanks, dig holes or just sit outside enjoying the sun while it’s here.

At least the sun is helping to dispel the blues after some sad news this week. Remember that little family of Robin chicks from my last post?

 

Robin chicks

And their proud mother?

Robin on Nest

Sadly the nest got predated by a Magpie and the little chicks are no more. Simon King captured on film the Magpie looking at the nest. Thankfully he didn’t publish the actual predation.

Magpie and Robins

So very sad, I had a real lump in my throat when I read the news. Simon did say that he had also witnessed a Crow taking Magpie chicks. It is the circle of life but a cruel one at times. I have a fondness for Magpies as well since I helped rear a nest of abandoned Magpie chicks to where they all fledged. This is one of the little characters sitting on my hand.

 

Magpie baby on hand

The second piece of news also refers to a previous post – little Button the black and white stray cat who got the all clear from Feline infectious peritonitis was finally rehomed to a very loving home, then sadly only after a couple of days in his new home he took a bad turn and had to be put to sleep. His new owners were devastated as so was I, but at least he did finally know what it was like to be in a home if only for a very short time.

 

paws cats

 

To cheer up the mood of this post, I think I’ve been adopted by a Herring Gull. He has cottoned on to where I put out the food for my foxes and has started getting there before them to grab it. This afternoon I had some left over cat food chunks from my cats’ breakfast which I threw to him one at a time outside the front door. He got closer and closer and more trusting too. My cats were out as well but they stay clear of the gulls. I know he has young so I’m pleased the cat food will be recycled and go to a good cause. Sort of evens the balance with the robin predation.

 

Now I have been busy with other animals too. Let me introduce Suarez (thanks to my friend Michael for the suggestion) the crocodile.

Crochet Crocodile Suarez 

I used the pattern from the book Super, Super Cute Crochet. Amazingly the instructions for the teeth were missing from the pattern and the publisher didn’t post errata for the book. So I improvised. I’m quite pleased with how Suarez has turned out. He’s currently sitting beside Eric and Ernie’s tank sizing them up.

Then in the absence of any British sports wins recently I decided to fly the flag myself and embroider this very British pouch.

Union Jack Mini

It reminds me of one of my favourite Michael Caine films, The Italian Job! You’d have a hard time blowing the b****y doors off this Mini, they’re firmly stitched on. And for the lining I turned up the Britishness of it and used this fabric.

Union Jack Mini_2

Union Jack Mini_3

 

I love it! The designer was inspired when they created this. It makes me smile every time I look at it!

Well that’s enough of smiling for the mo, I’m off to catch up with Keifer Sutherland in the latest episode of 24.

 

Slainte

 

Linda xxx

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

‘Every Little Helps’ or does it?

It seems to me that if you want to get a big company’s attention you need to Tweet them. I got mad the other day in Tesco as they’d hiked up the price of their Sunflower Spread from 75p to £1 in the space of one week. So I tweeted @Tesco and asked them if they were expecting a poor sunflower harvest this year hence the 33% price increase. I’ve previously emailed and snail mailed them about various things with no reply whatsoever. Tweeting seems to work as everyone can see the Tweet and send it on themselves to their group of followers and so on and so on. Having the grand total of 23 followers (@Elle_M_Kennedy) I didn’t think I’d get a reply but I did and this is it - “Hi Linda, our suppliers work hard to secure the best possible prices. I'll look into this & I'll be back in touch #ASAP” I am still waiting but at least it was an acknowledgement!

 

My days recently have been filled with watching the webcams on TV presenter Simon King’s site.

http://www.simonkingwildlife.com/page/live-cams/robin-nest-985

Fox cam

Fox cub on Badger & Fox Feeder Cam – pic by Simon King

kingfisher cam

Kingfisher on River cam – pic by Simon King

Badger cam

Badger and Fox Feeder Cam – pic by Simon King

Kestrelo cam

Kestrel Nest – Still from Simon King webcam

Robin on Nest

Little Robin on her nest – Still from Simon King webcam

Robin chicks

Baby Robins hatched today – Still from Simon King’s webcam

I’ve watched Blue Tits babies grow up and fledge, Woodpeckers being fed, Wren babies leave the nest, Badger cubs playing – the list is endless and also gives a fascinating insight into the private lives of these beautiful creatures.

 

I have been doing other things when I’ve managed to tear myself away from the laptop. I made this -

Badger Painting5

Badger Painting08

It sort of continues the wildlife theme and I adore Badgers! This is Picasso Badger, he’s on the front of a zippered pouch I made.

This little fellow got made too. As you can see from the pic below he was immediately adopted by my pair of Lovebirds!

Crocheted Teddy3

 

And some new labels to go with my Badger makes

 

Badger Tag2

 

An ex Writers’ Club member and friend Pam Weaver gave a talk in our local library this week about the books she has written.

pam weaver

They are set locally and together they form a saga. Pam read chapters from her books and explained how she got the inspiration for them. A real life gruesome murder in Eastbourne, East Sussex 20 years ago gave her an idea for one of her books and the excerpt she read really built up the tension. This is Pam’s website address if you’d like more info. She really is a very talented writer. 

http://www.pamweaver.co.uk/index.html

 

Slainte

 

Linda xxx

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Here, There and Africa

Embroidery Library a brilliant source for machine embroidery designs had a sale of African inspired designs last week, so I thought I’d treat myself to a Zebra, some Meerkats and half an Elephant.  I had some thick cream coloured canvas (which is a dream to embroider) and added the designs to a piece of it. I then found a lovely piece of Zebra print cotton (you see, sales are never cheap. When you have an idea you usually have to buy something else to complete it).

 

A bit of cutting and tutting later and sewing on my brilliant little Elna Sew Fun machine and voila a Safari bag has been born!

 

Bag for Wildlife2

Bag for Wildlife4

 

Bag for Wildlife

 

As we’ve just had confirmation in the UK that all plastic bags in shops will cost 5p each from next year, this is my answer to shopping without plastic. Not so much a Bag for Life but more a Bag for Wildlife.

 

Thinking of shops and stuff, how many of you fellow crafters out there with your own little shops are starting to gear up to make your Christmas stock soon? I think there’s something slightly rebellious about working on Christmas designs when the sun is shining down and the waves on the beach are lapping at your feet (Australians, you must be expert at this). I’m about to start on Rudolph Tea Cosy.

 

Rudolph Tea cosy

 

I only make one of these each year as there’s so much work involved in making the embellishments. Poor old Rudy, he’ll never get a friend at this rate.

 

I did my usual Sunday visit to PAWS Animal Sanctuary last Sunday. Dear little Button a black and white stray who was thought to have Feline infectious peritonitis has got the all clear.

 

paws cats

(On the right one up from the bottom) picture by PAWS

 

The vet thinks he has just got an intolerance to certain types of food. A while back he could hardly raise his head from his bed but now he gets out of his bed and does his best to head butt your knees. I hope he gets a good home, he has struggled for so long he deserves one.

Stacey also took in one cat who was dumped by the side of a road in a cat basket and one who was dumped in a box. Both were starving and in an unkempt condition.

 

Silver Tabby

Dumped by the side of the road - picture by PAWS

 

Longhaired stray

Dumped in a cat basket – picture by PAWS

 

I am constantly amazed by the fact that most animals no matter how badly treated they are by us are still capable of giving us affection. I was there when the longhaired cat above came in and I spent some time petting it. The dear little thing purred and purred in between frequent trips to his food bowl. Again they both deserve some love in their lives and they’ve both definitely landed on their paws by being in Stacey’s care.

 

Slainte

 

 

Linda xxx

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Origins

Do you ever pick up a secondhand book and find an inscription inside and wonder about the first owner of the book? I came across this book the other day

 

C E Tunnicliffe Book2

 

with this inscription inside

 

C E Tunnicliffe Book1

 

It’s dated 1979 which is the year of publication of the book, so it must have been a brand new book bought for Colin for Christmas. Did Colin grow up to be an artist? Who were Denis and Lindsay? Why was Colin’s book in a charity shop? Did he donate it or did someone else donate it. Maybe it has done the rounds and I’m the fourth or fifth owner even! Hopefully Colin did have a happy Christmas and Denis and Lindsay’s gift was put to good use. I love reading things like this and imagining all sorts about the owner and although I love ebooks, you can’t add a piece of history like this to a downloaded book. BTW the book itself is wonderful, the bird sketches are breathtaking. I always envy artists who with a just few strokes of a pen or pencil can create life on paper.  Note to self – Keep practicing!

 

Now remember my new found love for machine applique? I had so much fun with my Flamingo design that I made it into a little zippered pouch.

 

Flamingo pouch2

and added the flamingo fabric as a lining. I might put a couple of embroidered pouches in my shop. There are so many gorgeous/cute/funny/clever embroidery designs available these days that I could spend the rest of my days sewing them or at least until my machine wears out.

Flamingo pouch lining1

 

I’ve also been making a few of these. Can you guess what it is yet?

Crochet pentagons7

 

No prizes but my recent addictions should give you the answer!

 

Slainte

 

 

Linda xxx

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pen and Ink

This is a picture of three of my favourite things – a bottle of coloured ink, a beautiful fountain pen and a sheet of writing paper.

Pen and Ink5

I also have bottles of orange, fuchsia, lavender and green ink! Alas I don’t have a fountain pen for each ink colour, but it puts me in a happy place when I write with any of these colours. Sad that not many people use fountain pens these days and the only ink colours you seem to be able to buy in the shops are blue or black or even blue/black! I buy my inks from The Writing Desk. I’m like a kid in a sweet shop when I go onto this site. You can even get scented ink – reminds me of handwritten love notes sly exchanged by Jane Austen’s characters. I never buy Fountain pens over the net as I think they are something you have to try in person, a bit like shoes!

While on the subject of ink, here is a rubber stamp I carved at the weekend.

Handcarved Goldfish Stamp2

Handcarved Goldfish Stamp1
I’m rather pleased with this one as I’ve just started learning how to handcarve stamps. I also have this brilliant book on how to make your own stamps.

stamp-making-book
The author Geninne D. Zlatkis has also posted a video tutorial on her blog on how she carves stamps. Very talented lady.
More makes -
 Flamingos Applique4
I’m getting a bit addicted to machine applique now I’ve figured out how to use the files. I downloaded this design from Cherry Stitch Design as a single Flamingo and then using SewArt software I copied it, pasted and flipped the copy and merged it with the original one to make a pair of Flamingos. Hours of fun!

Also over the weekend i had to feed my addiction for crocheted Birdies. This is the newly hatched Patriotic Birdie!!

Patriotic Birdie1

Patriotic Birdie6

I’m resting from Birdie crocheting at the moment – well at least until I can think up another colour combination! Most of the crocheting was done while watching the wonderful birdie and animal web cams that the rather wonderful Simon King has put up around his home. Well worth a look. Along with hundreds of others I’ve spent the last few weeks watching a Bluetit family grow up and was almost tearful as the last one left the nest this morning. I hope they have a wonderful life.

Slainte

PS Simon King has found a second Blue Tit family for us all to watch over


Linda xxx Pin It

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Universe

My interpretation of ‘Universe’ for this week’s Illustration Friday.

 

Universe Glodfish Bowl

 

Also as well as chucking paint around I’ve been feeding my addiction for crocheting Birdies. This is Lemon Birdie making friends with my Bluebird of ‘Appiness.

 

Crocheted Lemon Birdie2

 

I also knitted a toadstool to act as a prop for when I photographed Harry Hedgehog Tea Cosy.

 

Knitted Toadstool5

 

I hired a stylist for the shoot!

 

Tabikat and Toadstool2

 

Harry and Toadstool04

 

This is what happens when you attempt machine applique for the first time without a clue what you’re doing.

 

Applique1

 

And this is what you get when the penny drops!

 

Good Birdie Applique1

 

Slainte

 

Linda xxx

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