“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” (Jim Bishop).
Savouring those last warm days, enjoying the crisp coolness of early mornings and evenings, the beautiful colours of nature, sightings of squirrels and robins and the lighting of an open fire all add up to why autumn is by far my favourite season.
New items for autumn, like this squirrel brooch in mustard felt and little hanging artwork in sunflower yellow, have been inspired by the changing colours of nature. Endeavouring to be a little more adventurous with my mixed media style, I’m enjoying combining different colours and patterns of fabrics and embellishments to build a boho style piece, with a hint of vintage.
Did you know the Italian translation for “twit twoo” is “I love you”?
There are many things that define country life – a graceful flying owl is certainly one of them – and it is always a joy to experience him in action or sitting upon a fence post or tree stump, waiting patiently for his next meal.
When the children were growing up, one home education activity that they’d get to grips with was dissecting owl pellets to reassemble the tiny bones of a mouse or shrew that had been previously digested and regurgitated. It may sound a bit gruesome, but it was always so fascinating!
As Westerners we often think of the owl as a wise bird, with Greek and Roman mythology associating him with education, as well as magic. Think of the illustrations that depict the owl in a studious theme, wearing specs and a mortar board, and also the use of owls in the well known magical Harry Potter books. In fact, the brain of an owl is small in comparison to the size of its body and apparently harder to train than other birds like hawks or parrots, but it seems they are thinkers and planners when it comes to hunting their prey, so to me, they are shrewd and intelligent.
Thought I’d give a little insight into how my items begin life and evolve to become a finished product. This journey can take several weeks, especially once I reach embellishment stage (my own quote, “an artist can’t art unless they feel artistic” rings true many times!).
Although I’m not a night bird, never have been and most probably never will be, I do find my brain gets a spurt of energy around 9:30 in the evening and it starts to fill with new ideas, colour schemes and what not. It’s a little annoying to be honest as there’s no way the rest of my body can start to put these thoughts into practise as I’m physically too tired. Before hitting the sack I’ll jot down any light bulb ideas and perhaps pull out a couple of fabric squares or embellishments to remind me to pick up the inspiration the next day.
Sometimes a new product will come from something I’ve seen or heard that day, or perhaps from a client with an idea for a commission. My first port of call is either the felt colour or the fabric choice, or perhaps the combination of both. I have a colourful selection of felts to choose from and an even bigger collection of fabric, many of which have been donated or ready to be repurposed.
Once the initial colour scheme has been decided and the charm or main feature has been picked, then it’s down to finding embellishments and having a good old play around to get a feel for how I’d like my new piece to look. This will include ribbons, lace, buttons and seed beads, perhaps with printed words too, but I’m toying with idea of including other media in my work in the near future – building up the confidence for this one.
Neatly sewing everything in its right place is the final stage, often with additional stitching or further decoration as I move things along. I love the process and how everything gradually comes together, producing a totally unique item with many hours of love and attention given to it.