Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Female Purple Finch

This is a female purple finch, at least as close as I can make her. Her mate is vibrant with fuschia on his head and chest and rump. (You can see a photo of him on my Feb. 9 post.) I'd like to complain about that difference, but I have to admit that God's design is more intelligent than I am - it's for her protection, and the survival of the species. I still like to make the females, because they are beautiful, just in a more subtle way. I also see it as education when folks come by my booth and can see both the male and female of the species.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Eastern Screech Owl

I've been working at building up my inventory for the market season, and on my mental list of things to felt is: big birds, woodpeckers, owls. And I've been procrastinating. Don't ask me why, it wouldn't make any sense. Anyway, I started one last night, and immediately asked myself why I've been putting it off. I really enjoyed making him! And I was amazed to find that the process was easier, more intuitive, and gave me better results than I had last year when I made owls. Practice really does make progress!

I like the way this shot came out. Photography is not my forte, and it often surprises me like this shot did. I have no idea why it came out darker than all the others, but it fits for the owl; it looks like a night shot, with the moon shining on the owl's face. At least to me it does!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Here's a female for the showy male ruby throated hummer. She's dull in comparison, but taken on her own, she's pretty. She's probably the one I've seen most at feeders.
I used mohair for her belly, and it gave just the sheen I wanted. I need to remember that in future!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rufous Hummingbird

Here's another in the series of hummingbirds I'm doing. I made hummers last year, but with wings closed, and I didn't have any sparkly fiber. These are a lot more fun.

He is tiny and comes complete with the iridescence hummers are known for. "Rufous" is a word used to describe the orangey-red color.

Today is the first spring-feeling day in a bit. I went out to the gardens and pulled some old broccoli and kale plants and composted them. The chives are up! It won't be long before I start nibbling at them. We have a couple of crocuses in bloom out front. Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Here's another in the series of hummingbirds I'm doing. I made hummers last year, but with wings closed, and I didn't have any sparkly fiber. These are a lot more fun. I have to credit the boy, because he kept telling me that I needed to make hummers with open wings. It works with hummers because they are so small; with a larger bird I'd probably have to use an armature for the wing. I've done it, but I don't love armatures (wire framework). So, anyway, I like them this way, and I've pleased the boy, which counts for something!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Birds on the Brain

I recently got a batch of new wool, and my girlfriend who connected me and the farmer who sold me the wool (gorgeous white roving from Mary Alice in Coventry) gave me some bits of a fiber called Glitz. It's shiny, iridescent stuff, good for creating the iridescent sheen on hummingbirds. So here's the first in a series I plan to do. He's a Black-Chinned Hummingbird.

This is a cinnamon cockatiel that I made for a person who requested it on Etsy.

I have birds on the brain lately because I am getting ready for the Audubon Society Earth Fair and I want to have a really good tree full of birds. I've been having fun playing with the sweaters I bought and not doing much needle felting and I feel like a college kid with papers hanging over my head! I have a month, so we'll see what I start turning out. Waiting till the last minute worked with papers; I don't think it works that way with the creative process!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Song Sparrow

I love the song of the song sparrow, usually sung at sunrise from the top of the nearest tree. I watched one flit from branch to branch one morning, singing his song from each one!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sea Horse

The reason this kind of work appeals to me is that it is always different; I make a lot of different things, and when I get tired of something I can generally set it aside and go on to something else. I made this sea horse because someone on Etsy asked if I ever made them. I'd never considered it, but the challenge was interesting and I had fun felting him!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Eggs on the Nest

We had a warm weekend. It was lovely, and very muddy! The neighborhood kids had a great time; they had a snowball fight wearing shorts and t-shirts. I got a real kick out of that!

I've been waiting to see my first robin. My daughter, at school in the Berkshires, has already seen some, but not me. I don't think I've even heard them yet. So here's a nest with some robin eggs, another felted wish. Let's see how long it takes to come true.

Now the snow banks are gone, I've been out to inspect the garden. The garlic and other bulbs are sprouting, which always lifts the heart. But the heart sank when I looked at the blueberries I planted last spring - someone feasted on them over the winter. They've been cut off as neatly as if I went out and pruned them. Two of them are pretty tall still, so I think it must be deer, but I never figured deer would come to my back yard! It's mostly fenced in and the entrances are pretty narrow. Ah well, I hope it helped the critter survive the winter!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Female Goldfinch

At the end of last week, I saw a male goldfinch. I was amazed and thrilled to see that he is starting to turn yellow. Their winter plumage is a very dull olivey green-yellow. The guy I saw had a distinct yellow tinge to his head. You would've thought I was daft to see how happy that made me! In spite of the wintry look of things these days, spring really is coming.

Here is a female in summer plumage. They are much duller than the males, so that they won't be noticed when on the nest.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mountain Blue Bird

This bird has been calling to me from the pages of my bird guide. He is right under the eastern blue bird, and in the photo his colors are so clear and bright. I know I haven't done him justice, but I just had to make him! He can be seen in the Rockies and to the west of them.