Well it’s been an extremely long winter. Lennoxtown was cited as an example of snowed-in communities in the ‘red zone’ of central Scotland during the snowstorms of early March, and I had certainly never seen anything like that amount of snow in all my life. The dogs enjoyed it rather more than the hens did.
It’s taken the ground and the wildlife a while to recover, but in the last week it’s finally felt like spring is here. In the garden, the garlic planted in frozen earth in December is looking good, the apple trees are starting to bud, I’ve planted out several woad and a couple of madder seedlings, and young broad bean plants are thriving. We have lots of daffodils (some I planted myself in the autumn) and the primroses and even some muscari are starting to flower.
Most importantly, the hens are flourishing – such a difference from when we got them nearly a year ago.
So at last it feels appropriate to share this daffodil picture, needlefelt on tweed from wool dyed with chamomile, onion skins and woad.
Around the same time I also made a felt picture of one of the late winter visitors I most cherished – a gang of spirited, tiny long-tailed tits.
Sadly I’ve not seen them in the garden lately, although I have in the local area. I suspect this might be something to do with the new gang who first appeared a couple of weeks ago – sparrows! Perhaps not exciting birds to most people, but as we’d never had any in the 16 months since we moved in, I’m delighted.
The spring-themed piece that I’m most pleased with (and perhaps more so than anything I’ve ever felted) is this hare, a Mothers Day gift for my mum.
S/he just seemed to come alive while I was finishing the face, and makes me think that I ought to do more relief-on-tweed animal ‘portraits’.
I’ve not had much time or mental energy for developing my craft lately, what with conferences, writing deadlines, post-strike flurry of marking, and interviews at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. It seems like my creative energy is directed into my research at the moment (which is good news), but I’m starting to feel more like making things again.