Yesterday evening was so beautiful, I tried to capture the subtle, misty colours and the flight of the birds across the landscape with my Christmas camera. The longer lense creates more potential for blur in low light, but I like the effect. As I watch them, crows, seagulls, the very occasional sparrowhawk, I wonder about their perception of the space they occupy. To me, because I have human perception and understanding, they appear to be winging their way across a great bowl of green, with a ribbon of road running through it. I wonder what they see and feel as the wind ruffles their feathers. Sometimes great shoals of them flow across the landscape, crows or starlings, raucous in flight.
The longer zoom also allows me to bring closer to view, those things which draw my eyes as I look out of the upstairs windows. These pylons, about 2 1/2 miles away with, below them, the wonderful delta shapes of the unclad trees, seem ripe for expression in some form of cloth and stitch, if only I could work out how!
Meanwhile, I am still stitching for my City and Guilds, though I have been judged to have passed with merit, which brings great pleasure.
My final two bits of stitch have been part of the counted threadwork bit of the syllabus. The blackwork design was part of this too. When I presented my work, I included the planning for these two bits, one cross stitch, one needlepoint as well. They are both inspired by this lovely quilt I saw in York when I last visited Jen. When viewed for real, the repetition of stripes and strips, with quite restrained colours, creates a sense of almost shimmering movement.
I did some sketches on the spot,
worked up the design by focusing on a select part of the quilt, and drawing out a rough design on graph paper.
The first bit of stitching, which is cross stitch, evolved into this teeny piece. paring all down to simple colour and concept.
Then, on the same piece of canvas, I have broadened out again, allowing myself space to try out a variety of needlepoint stitches. So far I've done this much
and am loving the opportunity to try out differing scales, patterns, textures and types of thread, whilst remaining true to the original quilt in terms of colour and movement.
We were so pleased to see this beautiful chap feeding in the bird tree this morning. The tree is near enough to the house to be able to watch in comfort without scaring the birds off. I've been deliberately putting high fat food out in this very cold weather to give the birds some energy, and hoped he'd realise it was there. And this morning there he was, peck peck pecking away, first on the tray of food, then on this block, kindly posing long enough for us to admire his lovely colours before swooping off over the fence to some other part of the world. We assume he is the same woodpecker who perches at the very top of the spruce, shouting at the crows!
She has the power of the air above her head, the power of water beneath her, that of earth and fire at her hands, the dreadlocks of her hair fly out in shamanic ecstasy as power radiates from her while the birds and fish dance about her.
For now she will have to be somehow constrained into a frame that "presents" her properly to the examining powers that be, but she may well have more work done when I've been given marks out of ten.
This morning our conservatory roof was covered in these delicate wintry blooms, so beautiful
Then we had a visitor, up high in the spruce where the crows usually sit and survey and sulk. I'm hoping he will come and visit the feed tree where succulent fat blocks are waiting to provide him with some extra winter insulation.