Feathered Friends

 Ian thinks I've let the side down {a bit harsh? Ed} because of a distinct lack of articles referring to music/art/craft . So I'm going to try and make up for that by looking back through my photographic record of ‘Things wot I made’ during the pandemic. You may notice a strong 'bird' theme - not in the least surprising since we are both members of the RSPB and the Herefordshire Ornithological Club.

One of my first pandemic projects was knitted birds displayed in an old guitar; see here and here.

A little while later, the RSPB sent a Peregrine falcon cut-out kit. I enjoyed making it and here is the result:

Photo 1: Peregrine Falcon (RSPB card kit)

 Having got the bug I looked online for anything similar and found Johann Scherft's website.

Johann is an amazing artist who designs, assembles and paints models of life-sized birds. It can take him 2 weeks to produce each model.  He generously puts some models on his website for free. You can print off a sheet that contains all the parts you need. If you don’t like fiddly things or cutting out tiny bits of paper then this isn’t for you. But, if you are like me, you will enjoy making these models. Here are some of the birds I made - I've attached them to twigs/pine cones for a more natural effect. My attempts are not as perfectly finished as Johann’s but I really enjoyed making them.

Photo 2: Hummingbird

Photo 3: Kingfisher

Photo 4: Goldcrest and Firecrest

Photo 5: Wren

The smallest was a hummingbird in mid-flight so, of course, I had to make a flower for him to suck the nectar from.

Why don’t you give them a try?

You will need a small pair of sharp scissors, some glue and the downloaded pdfs from Johann's website printed onto A4 paper.

Here are all the birds as a group:

Photo 6: Feathered Friends

The stands for the birds came from an overgrown elder tree (Sambucus nigra - Black Lacewe had to take down at the bottom of the garden - a beautiful variety with dark leaves and pink flowers. The stump sat there for a while then surprisingly (or not) regrew so we can enjoy it again but keeping it under control this time.

Later still, I came across some more birds in the Bustle and Sew magazine. It’s an online magazine which comes out monthly and contains lots of stitching, recipes, articles on country subjects - and no adverts!

Eventually, I subscribed to the magazine and do my best to tackle at least one of the 6 embroidery projects that come out each month. In June 2022, these little birds appeared attached to wooden bobbin reels. I had used my reels on another project. Fortunately, we have an unruly hedge at the bottom of the garden from which I could cut some hazel stems for the bases. The legs were made from copper wire recovered from an earlier project. The time-consuming part was the embroidery but the overall effect was pleasing. And the fact that I took this project on our holiday to the seaside seemed appropriate. Here are the finished birds - oystercatcher, gull, and puffin.

Photo 7: Embroided Oystercatcher, Gull and Puffin

Having had all three birds displayed on the mantlepiece for some time, I decided to make one for Ian’s birthday; well who doesn’t want an embroidered bird with copper legs??

Goldfinches are a favourite of Ian's, especially the real thing but also stuff with goldfinches on such as his camping mug and coaster.

Photo 8: Embroided Goldfinch

This might be the start of a garden bird collection ...


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