Wednesday, 31 August 2016

It's All About the Birds

A couple of weeks ago I went to Anglesey Abbey where there is, to my delight, a secondhand book shop and where I found this lovely book titled "The Charm of Birds" by Viscount Grey of Fallodon, Edward Grey, first published in 1927.  It has been written from the point of view of an amateur bird watcher who has had great pleasure observing birds - it reminded me of my friend Lynne who is very good at recognised birds and bird songs when we are out walking.

Well, of course, having bought the book I felt I had to cover it as it had a rather dowdy beige cover but this time I have not altered the pages.  I hope it will now have a new lease of life rescued from the shelf of the secondhand book shop.  As you can see, the new cover is not yet finished - the image may seem a little fuzzy as I have put a layer of net over the collage of fabrics and papers.

Then last weekend whilst in Saffron Walden my friend Rene and I came across the new bookshop called Hart's Books and whilst peering in the window I noticed a book titled "Grief is the thing with feathers" by Max Porter which instantly reminded me of the poem by Emily Dickinson - Hope is the thing with feathers.  I sat and read it from cover to cover on Sunday morning - it'a an easy read about a man whose wife has died and the crow that visits him. 

This in turn spurred me on to finish the altered book I have been making about Emily Dickinson and her life - I had already embroidered the poem "Hope is the thing with feathers" on the cover and I have been applying a little fabric bird to some of the pages.  She wrote a lot of poems about birds and, as such, I tend to associate birds with her.
One thing I learnt in my research was that she very much admired the Bronte sisters and especially the novel "Jane Eyre" and what a wonderful surprise when my friend Corinne gave me a postage stamp with a picture of Charlotte Bronte on it.  I thought it was just perfect for this page - on the opposite page is an unusual shaped envelope that I made with little snippets on - maybe one of her many letters to Susan. 

After the section on the Herbarium that Emily kept, I embroidered a poem by Emily on silk organza.  It is about how the daisy follow the sun - she often referred to herself as Daisy and the sun is thought to be Samuel Bowles.

Below is a closer image so hopefully you can see the stitching more clearly.

This is one of my favourite pages - a bodice pattern, half in tissue and half in parcel paper with a line from one of Emily's poem around the neckline and some liberty bodice buttons.

These are not all the pages but I will add more when I can get outside to take photographs in natural light.

My last bird event happened yesterday when I was walking at Mark Hall Gardens - I love walking there, it is so peaceful and I didn't see a single person in the gardens.  However, I did come across the peacock and I took this photo that really made me smile.  I wondered if he was lost!! sitting on the sign post.  He was very good and turned his head so that I could take this lovely photograph of him against the foliage - it's funny how the leaves have come out a bluish green as if he is reflecting his colour all around him. 


  1. What a lovely assorted bird-related post Libby! Your book cover in progress is beautiful, although makes me feel a tad guilty as my garden book cover hasn't really progressed xx

  2. Such a lovely assorted bird-related post Libby! Your book cover in the making is beautiful, although makes me feel a little bit guilty as my garden book cover hasn't progressed very far xx

    1. Thanks Gill, lovely to hear from you - hope goes well with you. I was really pleased with the peacock picture which was just a chance when I came across him sitting there. Thinking of putting it in for the Coountryfile Calendar competition!!