Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Birds And Blossoms....

Dreaming of Spring.....

I have Finally Embarked on one of the Tiny petit-point pillow kits I bought years ago, Dear Readers, and I am determined to actually Learn the correct stitching methods for these tiny projects! This is a kit I bought from Janet Granger and it comes with everything you need to make the pillow (except Time and Patience!). I thought it would be easier if I started with something quite small so that finishing it would not take forever! Well, in spite of the very good instructions and diagrams that came with the kit, once I had placed the first ten stitches in dark red, I panicked! I had no idea  how to move from one direction to another, up, down or over or diagonally, or how far you could "jump" without starting a new knotted thread! So I put it aside because I knew I really needed to master the basic stitches first! So I pulled out a scrap of needlepoint canvas, and just started Sewing! I practiced the tent stitch and the basket stitch until I felt comfortable with them. Then I added in a piece of pattern, just to try working around different colors, and after a while I felt that I understood the basic stitching techniques well enough to try the pillow again! As you can see from the above picture, I am figuring it out!

Here you can see I have added the leaves and the border too...
All it needs now is the background filled in!
And the best part is that I am Enjoying it So much!
I have always loved to sew....
But I am loving this More than I thought I would!!!

But that is not All I have been doing Dear Readers, 
I have also been making Great Progress with the painted murals 
in the bedroom of Hardwick Hall!

Here you can see I have added two Blue Jays
to the trees on the front and side walls.
You might recall that I have not yet glued 
the outer or inside wall in place, 
just so I can still paint these small details on the front wall!
(I apologize for the blurry picture, It is really difficult to get the focus just right!)
I thought that if I can just get All the birds painted, 
I can at least glue the inner wall in place.

Here I have added the American Goldfinch
as well as a Red Breasted Nuthatch...
(The one climbing head down on the trunk....)
Their mates are on the opposite tree with the Blue Jays.

Then I painted a pair of tiny Wrens on the big tree beside the fireplace....

And a pair of Tree Sparrows in the lilac shrubs.....
Can you see them there... just under the sconce?

Then I added a pair of Rose Breasted Grosbeaks.....
the female is quite plain...

Here is a larger view of this wall.... the hearth fills the empty spot.

And you can just see the Sparrows when the hearth is in place!
(Yes, it was very dark and late by now....)
But I continued painting more birds the following day!
I added a pair of Baltimore Orioles to the outside wall....

And since I decided that the inner wall was ready.....
I GLUED it in place!!

The front wall was a little bit warped, 
so I had to turn the house on its side 
and add the weight (a paint can) 
to ensure a good glue connection.

But meanwhile I continued to paint birds 
on the outside, unattached wall...

I added a pair of Chickadees and a pair of Indigo Buntings.....
(The female Indigo Bunting is a plain drab brown.)

Here I have added a pair of Mockingbirds.....
He is on the tree top at right, 
while she is in the Quince shrub at lower left.

And once the Glue had dried sufficiently, 
I righted the house and glued the baseboards 
along the inner wall and the front wall!

But I still was not done adding birds....

A pair of Barn Swallows swooped in.....

And a pair of Hermit Thrushes joined the choir.....
He is in the lilac at lower left while 
She is scratching in the dandelions down below....
(Yes, it is a trifle hard to see them... it is getting late again!)
I am nearly done adding the Birds!
And as for the needlepoint....
I got started on the background.....

I am really so pleased with my progress, Dear Readers!

It didn't take me long at all to finish the background!
(And there were only one or two mistakes!)
It might still be Wild Winter 
in my RL World, Dear Readers,
But in my Mini World, 
it is all Birds and Blossoms 
And I am Dreaming of Spring!


  1. I was in the same boat with my pillows! In case you're interested for the future (when you forget the stitches again) I found some great YouTube clips on the correct stitches. http://kittyandkatminiatures.blogspot.ca/2016/01/sew-sew-sew-your-boat-gently-down-stream.html

    Those pillows are addictive. I got even more of them and crank them out now in a day! Instead of the suffing supplied, try seed beads, it looks more squishy.

  2. Your stitching looks great! That kind of attention to detail really makes a difference in the finished pillow. The hand painted mural is beautiful, so perfect for the room and theme you've chosen...love the colors!

  3. The mural is fantastic! Wish I had that talent

  4. I love the painted tree beside the fireplace. Very beautiful. :) The birds are lovely too. How you painted them so accurately in that tiny scale is beyond me. :)

  5. Vos peintures murales sont une merveille. Et en effet tous ces oiseaux et touts ces arbres fleuris sentent bon le printemps ;-)

  6. Hello Betsy,
    Firstly, the pillow will be wonderful! In the picture your stitches look very even and well done. It is a lovely pattern.
    Secondly, that mural is amazing. The colors are beautiful, the trees and flowers are beautiful, the birds are beautiful. No word of a lie, I stared at them for a while with a big smile on my face, imagining I was 6 inches tall sitting in that room, surrounded by such beauty. I am always blown away by your painting Betsy...in fact by everything you do...but I must say, for me, this is one of your best, a real masterpiece.
    Big hug

  7. That is so pretty stiching! I probably would not try stiching in miniature ever. I am not good at sewing and not that patient.:) But this is sooo pretty! And so are tiny birds! The walls are fantastic!

  8. The mural is amazing and the stiching so pertty.

  9. Hello.
    WOW . Your mural is incredible . I love birds too, but you have a
    very good knowledge of birds ,and you paint incredibly .

  10. Hi Betsy, I applaud you for picking up needlepoint and it's so nice to read you enjoy it so much! Smart to practice on a testpiece, I wouldn't know how to do it either and that way you know what to do and to expect. It's looking beautiful! Your birds are just lovely and I'm so happy you could finally glue the wall in place, something you've wanted to do for so long, jay!!! Congrats on this milestone and let's have that spring now :D

  11. I think your embroidered test piece for the cushion looks wonderful, Betsy, I love the pattern!
    As usual your murals are amazing and they're so beautifully done, it's an artwork of so many different birds :D!!
    Hugs, Ilona

  12. I'm so happy to see the needlepoint! How lovely. A whole new world opens up! And the birds - the peaceful aviary. Hard to actually imagine all those birds getting along together; birds can be really quite warlike. But not your birds. Here it IS spring - temps in the hi 60s & lo 70s, birds chorusing in the bushes, elm buds swelling. Soon the fruit trees will begin to think about flowering, and then sometime in late April there will be a frost & all thoughts of apricots will be dashed.
    Lots of love,

  13. Wonderful work on the tiny stitching... looks like you've got natural skills. ;O) Talking about skills - do I even have to point out how much I love your murals with all these beautiful birds??? It looks totally awesome!!!


  14. Ohhhh those murals are so beautiful. I love trees and greenery, these are just perfect! The detail on the birds and shrubs are wonderful!

    The pillow is going to be a wonderful piece and the style fits in with your lovely decor!

  15. Pretty projects and great idea,Thank you for the tutorial and for sharing !


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