Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Kitty Cat Biscornu

I stitched this Kitty Cat biscornu over the last couple of days.
The original pattern had the cats all facing into the centre. I thought it made more sense to have them facing outwards.
Each one only took about an hour to stitch.
The design is 45 x 45 stitches. I used 28 count white linen fabric with two plies over two threads.
I stitched the white bits even though the fabric was white. I thought it looked better that way.
The bottom is footprints.
A footprint is visible under each corner.
Top view.
 This might be the cutest one yet.

I am having so much fun stitching these biscornus. They're quick to stitch and I'm getting the hang of stitching them together. There are so many cute patterns available for almost any subject. I still have a couple more I want to do.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Birding at Hugh Ramsey Park in Harlingen, February 27

Skip and I visited the Arroyo Colorado/Hugh Ramsey Park in Harlingen today. It is newly renovated and has a shiny new sign.
On a cactus in the parking lot, was this huge spider which appeared to be caught in this web. Its leg span measured almost 3".
At the bird blind, we first spotted this brown thrasher.
Then a green jay flew in. This corn cob had been rammed onto a nail on the tree. There were many bare cobs on the ground below.
Then a golden-fronted woodpecker flew in.
Then it was joined by two others. I believe the holes get filled with something to attract the birds. Peanut butter maybe?
We heard, then saw this cardinal fly in.
There are tons of cacti in this park. This one has been chewed but in spite of that, there is new growth. One of the birders we encountered speculated that javelinas probably eat the cactus.
We saw lots of scat (poop) on the trail. It looked like dog owners hadn't stooped to scoop but it was probably coyote or cougar poop.
 There was a bug on this delicate, white poppy. I haven't been able to identify it yet.
Other birders alerted us to a snoozing common pauraque. See it?
There it is! They blend in SO well with their environment - usually near a bunch of sticks or twigs.
Here's a side view.
Along the arroyo, we spotted this raptor in a far off tree.
This was the best I could do zooming in for a shot. At first, I thought it was an aplomado falcon but the habitat wasn't right. When I could zoom in more on my photo editing program, I now believe it is a peregrine falcon because of the dark cheeks and white 'bib'.

Beyond it, was Harris hawk high on an electric pole.
The huisache are just starting to bloom - round, fuzzy, yellow flowers -
as are the honey mesquite trees.
There were lots of butterflies. This one landed near us on the ground. I think it is an Outis skipper.
Then this brown longtail skipper landed nearby.  They're hard to photograph with my point-and-shoot camera as they don't usually stay still for very long.
This one is a Texas Crescent butterfly. Possibly a southwest one.
This tenaza tree has really pretty bark.
... smooth patches of grey and green.
Close up, there are sharp thorns. I didn't even notice them until I zoomed on with my camera.
These are the flowers of a Texas olive tree.
We also spotted white-tipped doves, house sparrows, and a curve-billed thrasher. And this bird which I haven't identified yet.
This Thursday our birding group, the Bay Area Birders, is going up to Port Mansfield - a first for us. It's about an hour and a quarter from here so that will take most of the day.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Another Pink and Green Biscornu

I finished another biscornu using pink and green.
It's a design by UK City Crafter. This is the top. There were a couple of mistakes on the chart that I was able to fix.
and this is the bottom.  My attempt at blackwork seems to have worked as I don't see a lot of stray coloured threads showing through.
The needle gives an idea of how small this one is. One side was 35 x 35 stitches and the other was 36 x 36.
Here it is beside the other pink and green one I did.
The way the bottom is oriented, one can see the bottom flower under the corner.
Little ones like this stitch up pretty quickly. This is 28 count linen with two plies over two threads.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Tree Pillow Cover

I found this easy embroidery kit on Amazon.
It was pretty fun to stitch. There were several stitch patterns to practice.

This one uses the chain stitch for the orange, buttonhole stitch for the blue. The red was supposed to be backstitching but stem stitch made it stand out more. The centre was supposed to be the pinwheel stitch but I had done that on several other 'flowers' so I did some type of wagonwheel weaving stitch. It probably has a name but I don't know what it is.
The beige centre of the yellow flower is a woven pinwheel technique that I also improvised. The very centre has red double-wrapped French knots.
The blue of the smaller flower is another example of chain stitch. Inside that is the stem stitch and the orange is more stem stitch.
The blue double-wrapped French knots made a nice delineation between the pale orange chain stitch and the beige stem stitch.
The top two flowers show the pinwheel stitch in beige. The satin stitch is also featured.
The piece needs to be blocked but that will have to wait 'til I get home.
I have ordered another kit which will arrive soon in the mail.