Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The story that ended in a bird box.

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to have a winter break in the fabulous village of Portmeirion, North Wales.

The whole place is inspirational,delight after delight. As often as we could, we walked up in the enchanted woods above the village.

I think there is spell on the place because the birds there are so tame. They would take crumbs from your hand  and fly along your walk with you.

I expect, like you, I always return from holiday with bits and pieces that I find, and this  break was no exception.The major trophy this time were some wonderfully huge leaves discovered under trees in that enchanted place. I knew I would use them one day!

They've remained as I found them just like a piece of suede, waiting for their time. Their chance came a few months later when I enrolled on a course at South Worcester College, introducing me to the delights of dyeing and printing fabric.
I did have a wonderful time that year although I missed stitching. It seemed alien to be working with cloth and not sewing it! However by the end of that year I had produced piles of stuff which  could use in further
That  big leaf became inspiration for a print block. I hand dyed some washed linen and dip dyed parts of  it to add visual interest. Then I printed the leaf in two ways, once as a leaf shape and once as a skeleton using fine string for the veins. The colours I chose were partly to match the interior of my garden room with a nod to the muted colours of Portmeirion.

This piece of linen has been waiting and waiting......I had intended it for a screen,,,but the moment passed.
So, now, the perfect thing...a bird box! ( I'm thinking of those tame birds in the enchanted wood.)
I've made the structure... ( I say 'I', you know I mean the resident architect ...yes, I know it's cheating)..out of foam board.

Now I'm stitching the sides, using the simplest of stitches so as to let the fabric tell it's story.

It's funny how the leaf has now taken on the role of tree of that enchanted wood to tell it's story on my bird box.
Haven't finished it yet, too busy blogging, but will update soon I hope.

( This story has been updated... see 'Bird 'des res' ready for Spring'. March 20th 2013.)


  1. that fabric is so beautiful Anni, I keep wishing I was the kind of person that could float around in light summer frocks...and that the frock was this pattern

  2. Super story Anni & superb use of your finds! x

  3. Many thanks both, most kind! It's funny how projects start and end.

  4. Ooooo, I can't wait to see the finished bird box. Anni D, you are just brimming with talent! Xxx

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog sand the lovely comment :) I love your photo's of Portmeirion I've always wanted to visit there. I also love your printed fabric, love the colours. Best wishes Janice

  6. Just beautiful... And very inspiring