A Bird in the Hand..

I’ve got two embroidery projects on the go at the moment, well actually I’ve got three, but one is my new stitch-a-long piece so you’ll have to wait til tomorrow to see that one.

At one of the big shows last year I saw a stall selling embroidery kits for mandalas, luckily they had samples stitched on display as I must admit if I had only seen the image on the packet I wouldn’t have bought it. It’s a french company called Chat Dans l’Aiguille and both the colours and the designs are beautiful.

I popped it in my bag a couple of weeks ago when I was going to Embroiders Guild, just in case I had chance to start it, I did!


It’s lovely to stitch, the transfer is printed in pink on the fabric and so far I’ve used stem, chain, buttonhole stitch and french knots. The diagram telling me which stitch and colour to use is nice and clear, I’m finding it a really relaxing stitching project, the word mindfullness comes to mind! I’m tempted to do some more as I remembered I already have a book of mandala designs, I’m just hesitating as I’m not sure what you can do with them apart from hoop art or maybe a cushion.

Embroidered Mandala

I hope no one is offended by my next project, there is a bit of a trend in cross-stitch at the moment called subversive cross-stitch. It’s not my cup of tea at all as it’s basically stitching phrases with swear words. I’m not saying that the occasional expletive doesn’t pass my lips at times, but there’s something about reading the words that I really don’t like, whether it’s in books, memes or cross-stitch. However…this one made me smile and actually it’s more double meanings rather than blatant profanities!

It’s our twelfth wedding anniversary in March and over the last couple of years I’ve started a bit of a tradition of stitching a card. I’ve done hearts etc, I wanted something a bit different. I saw a design on Etsy of two birds, but it was only available as a kit and I think it will have been a little big for a card. I found a similar pattern on Etsy from a different designer of a smaller bird which conveniently she provided in reverse too, perfect for my plan…

Here in the UK we have lots of little garden birds called tits, bluetits, coaltits, long tailed tits and great tits. They visit our garden most days and regularly nest in our bird boxes too.

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Blue tits in our garden

My OH grew up in Australia and I think has only really learnt to identify British birds since meeting me. I’m not sure if it’s the school boy in him or what but I’m sure I still detect a slight smirk every time we see great tits in the garden!

I started stitching this in the clinic at the local hospital waiting for a mammogram (nothing to worry about by the way) which I couldn’t decide was apt or inappropriate! I positioned one bird a couple of stitches higher than the other and also made his ‘beard’ a bit longer, I think the males have a longer beard than the females. All I had to do then was join the two branches together, I also added a couple of tiny black beads to give their eyes a bit of a sparkle.

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I finished the stitching a couple of evenings later, I just need to make it up now so it can be on the front of a card and used as an ornament later. I think it’ll make him laugh!

I’ll be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, please follow the link for more hand-stitching.

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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28 Responses to A Bird in the Hand..

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    The mandala is going to be very pretty. I love the card/ornament you are making for your husband. We have Chickadees here that look very similar to your tits. I have always found that word a little funny too. The Blue Tit of your area is my favorite. I am always surprised when I see those blue legs and toes. A handsome bird.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The mandala is beautiful and the birds are very cute. Such tiny stitches! Iā€™m impressed!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The mandala is lovely, as is your hare thread organiser. Can you tell me where it came from, please?. I used to embroider a lot but quilting has taken over. I have several small kits ready to be started (and plenty already started but not finished!) and you have inspired me to start another.!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. nanacathy2 says:

    Beautiful great tits. The mandala looks very pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aw your projects are beautiful, I’ve only done cross stitch so your mandala looks way beyond my skills, so pretty and such delicate colours. I’m sure your hubby will appreciate your anniversary card too lol x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That is a cute card. I think he’ll love it.


  7. Laura says:

    What a pretty little bird! I think the card that you are stitching is perfect for your hubby! šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. claire93 says:

    I”m now having a good chuckle at you and your Great Tits ^^
    Your husband is going to love his card.
    And you embroidery is gorgeous – a lovely combination of colours.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. katechiconi says:

    Oh, like Australia doesn’t have snigger-worthy bird names. I think Brown Booby is pretty good, especially if you’ve been on your holidays. Or perhaps Red-Capped Flowerpecker (now THERE’s an idea for Valentine’s Day), or Imperial Shag, or the Southern Boobook… I could go on.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. prue batten says:

    Speaking as an Australian, I think the Great Tits is hilarious and barely subversive at all. Good humour! The mandala is actually quite lovely – I was surprised, and meditative and mindful encapsulates all embroidery for me – soothing and calming to the spirit and soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. kathyreeves says:

    Your little birds are so pretty, and your hubby will love that card and smile every time he looks at it šŸ˜‰ The mandala is a beautiful piece of embroidery, and it does look mighty relaxing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. LaNelle says:

    Such a beautiful stitch your husband will treasure it!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This brought me a little giggle this morning šŸ˜‰ Both beautiful pieces and I agree with you a bit on the subversive cross-stitching. Maybe it’s better stress relief than working on other things? The mandala is really lovely and your stitching accessories are also very cute! I love that scissor keep.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mandalas in embroidery – how cool! I am fascinated by them and watched a time lapsed videos of like the Tibetan (?) monks making one. The bird piece is awesome too!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. CathieJ says:

    Your mandala is gorgeous. Such a great variety of pretty stitches and colors. I really do like those little birds you’ve stitched. They look so much like the photo. I think the stitched card idea is wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Deanna says:

    snicker snicker…haha love the birds!! Your mandala is beautiful. You could also frame it and display it on a wall in your sewing/stitching room.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Gail says:

    Your cross stitch card for your husband made me smile! LOL! A perfect gift for him! Beautiful new embroidery project too.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ivani says:

    Gorgeous mandalas and little birds owo I love birds.ā™„

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Shasta says:

    These are both great projects. I really like the intricate mandala.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Christina says:

    First of all, I love the wooden bunny floss keep! Such a lovely embroidery design. Secondly, I love tits! LOL! In my area we get the Tufted Titmouse. I love seeing them come to our bird feeder.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. magpiesue says:

    I’m playing catch-up on your blog. Love the mandala embroidery. Wonder if I could find it via Etsy and get it here in the US? The blue tit is a cutie; love your prospective card!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Catherine says:

    I love your mandala! The colours are lovely. And your card is just perfect! Iā€™m sure it will get a few giggles!

    Liked by 1 person

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