Sunday, 20 August 2017

Brilliant Birds Prepare to Migrate!

A selection of Brilliant Birds

The Brilliant Birds Yarnstorm has been enjoyed in Rowntree Park, York. Since then, the birds have flown out and had a bird bath.  They are now preparing to migrate for the winter (or the rest of the summer and autumn etc.)  The #BrilliantBirds are flying into the St Leonard's Hospice Shop at 5, Scarcroft Road, York, YO23 1ND and from Saturday 26 August 2017 will be looking for new homes.  They will be on sale and there are over 500 to choose from.  Let's have a little look at some of them...

St Leonard’s Hospice is an independent charity, providing specialist palliative care and support for local people with life limiting illnesses. Whilst their care is free of charge to patients and their families it is not free to provide.  So, the birds are being sold to raise funds for their services.  

Please go along and #buyabird to support the Hospice.  You could stock up on robins for (dare I say it?) Christmas, make a brilliant birds mobile or bunting, have one perch on a shelf or let one roost on the sofa!  You could even post a picture on social media of your brilliant bird in its new habitat using the hashtags #buyabird and #brilliantbirds

Do spread the word.  We can't do this without you - thanks so much for your support!

Monday, 14 August 2017

How to Wash a Tree in the Bath...

Extreme knitted tree with some very large brilliant birds

You may remember the extreme knitted tree from the Brilliant Birds Installation in Rowntree Park, York.  Once it came down it really needed a wash.  Unfortunately, it wouldn't fit in the washing machine.  However it did fit in the bath...

Tree in the bath

I managed to carry a very heavy, very wet but clean tree from the bathroom and with some assistance got it on the line...

Tree goes on line

It didn't manage to get dry outside and had to spend a week hanging around the house till it was finally dry.  I have to admit it was nice to pack it away when it was dry - it's amazing how much space a soggy tree takes up indoors!

Big birds on the drying rack

The big birds, leaves, finger knitting, flowers and information notices went in the washing machine and dried quite quickly indoors.  Now they have all been tidied away for another time and order at my house is at least on the way to being restored!

If you want to read more about the #BrilliantBirds project click here.  And don't forget, the small birds...

A small selction of the Brilliant Birds

go on sale on Saturday 26 August 2017 at the St Leonard's Hospice Shop, 5 Scarcroft Road, York, YO23 1ND.  Go on, #buyabird and support St Leonard's Hospice - it's a great charity.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

New in at Olive's Nest, York

Liberty print fabric necklaces

This week I have delivered some new stock to Olive's Nest on Scarcroft Road, York.  It's a fab gift shop run by the lovely Gaynor Parr-Manley.  If you haven't had a chance to take a look, you should go.

Button hairclips

Bike bags

Gaynor now stocks flowers too.  Here's some I bought this week...

Lovely flowers from Olive's Nest

And Olive's Nest also run workshops.  I did one recently with Jo Coupland.  You can read about it here.  This is what I made...


Go take a look.  And when you're exhausted from looking at all the gorgeous things you can nip round the corner to the Pig & Pastry on Bishopthorpe Road (Bishy Road) for some refreshments.  Perfect!

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Brilliant Birds take a Bird Bath

Post bird bath Brilliant Birds

Once the Brilliant Birds Yarnstorm came down from it's spot in Rowntree Park, York, it seemed like a good idea for the birds to take a bird bath.  After that, they'd be ready for their flight to the St Leonard's Hospice Shop, Scarcroft Road, York for sale.

Finally, there seemed to be a good drying day - so five washloads later, they were all on the line...

Thanks go to Pie, Sue and Kate for the extra peg capacity.  Hundreds of pegs were needed!  And thanks to Lily too, for helping peg them out.

These chaps are tiddly so I kept them separate so they didn't get lost...

and these ones got the handwash treatment indoors...

Don't forget to put the sale date in your diary - Saturday 26 August 2017 and #buyabird at the St Leonard's Hospice Shop at 5, Scarcroft Road, York, YO23 1ND.  It would be great if the birds can raise lots of money for this great charity!

If you want to read more about the #BrilliantBirds project click here.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Creating Beautiful Birds with Joanna Coupland at Olive's Nest

Bird by Joanna Coupland

On Saturday I went to a workshop at Olive's Nest (great for cards and gifts) run by Joanna Coupland. Jo, inspired by nature, makes fabulous quirky sculptures out of wire and paper.  She has a whole range of beautiful birds, animals and fabulous fairy lights - all handmade, with no two the same!  We were making birds.  Julie & Kate made crows, Lily made an owl and Jeanette and I made birds of a less specific sort!   

Olive's Nest on Scarcroft Road, York

We started off making a wire structure which was the bird's body.  Jo helped us all sort out the shape and showed us how to make it 3D.  Here's mine...

Wire armature

Next we covered it in paper - no pics - I was too engrossed in getting it done.  This was the bit I found most tricky.  Although, as this part took me longer than anyone else, I think it was only me who thought that!

More birds by Joanna Coupland

Then we got down to painting.  Jo had lots of lovely inks, dyes and paints for us to use.  I went for blues and greens...

My bird

Lily favoured pinks and oranges (and rather liked the sequins)...

Lily's owl - spot those sequins!

Kate's had a very regal pose...

Kate's crow

Jeanette & Julie gave theirs proper eyes with eyelids!

Jeanette's bird - check out those eyelids

Julie's crow

It was a fab day which I really enjoyed.  Gaynor, who owns Olive's Nest, kept us topped up with tea and coffee and things to munch while we worked on our creations.  This was definitely a fun thing to do - check out the other workshops on offer at Olive's Nest here.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Brilliant Birds Fly Out of Rowntree Park

A selection of #BrilliantBirds

The Brilliant Birds in the Yarnstorm in Rowntree Park, York, really were brilliant and we had loads of positive feedback about them.  However, all good things come to an end so on Monday, Deborah New & I, with Lily's help, took them all down.

It went from this....

Brilliant Birds Yarnstorm in Rowntree Park, York

Brilliant Birds Yarnstorm in Rowntree Park, York

Brilliant Birds Yarnstorm in Rowntree Park, York

Brilliant Birds Yarnstorm in Rowntree Park, York
via this...

down comes that finger knitted text
Deborah takes down the final info sign
all packed up again!

to this...

the tennis court fence no longer has a tree growing up it...
and the birds have flown

in a few hours with not nearly as much rain as when we put them up!

The Brilliant Birds go on sale on Saturday 26 August 2017 at the St Leonards Hospice Shop, 5 Scarcroft Road, York, YO23 1ND - do go and buy some - it's a great charity to support.  If you can't re-home a bird but still want to support the project you can donate online to St Leonard's Hospice here - please mention Brilliant Birds.

You can still check out the #brilliantbirds on social media (twitter, facebook or instagram).

If you want to read more about the project, the details are here.  Click on the links for information about the workshops we held at Olive's Nest, Rowntree Park Cafe, The Golden Ball and The Winning Post. Or if you want to see our mention in Craft & Design Magazine click here.  However if your interest is more craft based you may want to check out the Brilliant Bird Patterns, read about the hula hoop woven birds, the big knitted owl or even extreme knitting a tree. You may also be inclined to read about the exploits of the Fairfax Court Yarnstormers - they have been great supporters of our yarnstorming projects since we began! And finally you may want to hear about the yarnstorm being installed on a very wet day in June - that's here.

Now don't forget that date for your diary - Saturday 26 August 2017 - #buyabird and support St Leonard's Hospice!

Friday, 14 July 2017

Valerie Wartelle at City of York Embroiderers' Guild

Valerie Wartelle

Valerie Wartelle, a textile artist from West Yorkshire, came to the City of York Embroiderers' Guild recently to tell us about her work.  Trained in textile design, Valerie has moved on from knitwear design through teaching herself felting and making felted products to creating felt pictures.  
Valerie Wartelle - early work

Valerie now works in layers with prefelt, photo transfers and screen printing, wool and other fibres and machine stitch to build up her pictures and add texture.  She adopts a wet felting process rather than using needle felting...

Valerie Wartelle

Valerie Wartelle

Valerie Wartelle

Valerie Wartelle

Valerie Wartelle

Valerie Wartelle

Valerie Wartelle

Valerie Wartelle

A new development - some wool and cashmere scarves with her designs printed on...

Valerie Wartelle - Scarves

You can find out more about Valerie here.