Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Halcyon, stitched

When I was thinking about what to name this blog, I considered lots of different bird names.  I have so many favourite birds and was really keen to reflect my avian admirings in the blog name.  In the end I chose the "halcyon", or kingfisher.  Sadly, since my writings have started I have not had the pleasure of seeing one of these bright flashes of blue, but I have finally got around to stitching one...
Sat upon a vintage sewing reel and gripping a needle and thread in his beak.  Not as tasty as a fish but a good logo for Halcyon Threads I think, combining my love of birds with my love of sewing!

Kate x

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Birding pretty

Last weekend my bro and his girlfriend Charlotte came to stay.  I strongly suspect that many of our visitors now come to hang out with the boy rather than PLH and me, but with this pair we have the added pull of some great coastal birdy places.  Birds are an interest that really binds my side of our family together; I have great memories of walks in the countryside with my grandparents, peppered with stops to look at our feathered friends.  Like the rest of us, Tom and Charlotte love a spot of birdwatching but they hadn't,until last weekend, sampled the hidey, reedy, woody, meadowy, rivery goodness of Titchfield Haven.  The recent appearance of the avocets on the reserve was just another reason to spend a day there together last weekend.
Avocet at Titchfield Haven, photo courtesy of Pete's Photoworld (click for link to more amazing birdy pictures)
It was a perfect birdy day - sun shining, toddler napping (then running along the boardwalks and eating mud), a hide picnic and a whole host of birds, including the most amazing close-up view of Britain's smallest bird, the goldcrest.  All topped off by cake in the tearooms - can a day be perfect without cake?!!
The boy enjoying a hide picnic with Aunty Charlotte 
Now, on to the stitchy stuff...

For a while now Charlotte has been admiring the prettiness of my bino strap, so on Sunday morning we took out the scraps jar and set about making her one for her own binoculars.  Having never really sewed before, Charlotte took to the machine like a duck to water...
...And with a pretty palette of roses, transformed her binocular strap into one fit for a vintage-loving birder...
We used the same method as I used before, with scraps of fabric and a fleece lining to give a little padding.  
Happy birdwatching Charlotte!

Kate x

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Save the bees

A few days ago I had a little twitty banter with one of my nature-loving friends on the subject of bees.  I was inspired to undertake a little apian stitchery in her honour...
With shiny wings thanks to some new metallic thread, a little bee, buzzing around happily...
Sadly not all our bees are so happy.  In fact there has been a frightening drop in our bee populations in recent years, with two species becoming extinct.  Most of us have been the victim of a bee sting at some point, but the decline in bee numbers is nothing to be celebrated; bees are responsible for pollinating a significant proportion of the food we eat.  Regardless of how much honey you eat, without bees in our lives we would be heading for starvation.

There is much that can be done to protect our apian friends - last year's EU restrictions on certain chemicals is good news, and we can even plant bee-friendly plants in our gardens.  I'll be trying to do this soon (we've just found out we'll be staying here for the time being, so no more excuses for ignoring the gardening!).  More information is available at the Bumblbee Conservation Trust.

As for my bee - he's winging his way to my friend in the form of a bee-lated birthday card...
Kate x