I was watching the BBC breakfast news this morning and the cheery Carol Kirkwood was talking about the launch of #30dayswild, an initiative organised by the Wildlife Trust to promote the natural beauty that surrounds us that goes unnoticed. The idea of making time in the day to appreciate the natural world really appealed to me so I went online and ordered the #30dayswild pack and checked out the Wildlife Trust website for some ideas. I’ve also downloaded the app that contains ‘Random Act of Wildness’ prompts, I like the fact that these are as simple as drawing a wildlife map to going sea kayaking (think that’s a bit much for us!)so I’m really looking forward to the month ahead.
My aim for taking up this challenge and creating this blog is to document what me and my 20 month old daughter discover over the coming month. . we started the challenge by stocking up the bird feeders for the hungry starlings and sparrows that visit our garden,they are costing me a fortune in bird food at the moment!
Later, when I was doing the dishes, I noticed this handsome butterfly/ moth on my window frame. A quick google search later and I learn that it is a Magpie Moth. I love the bright patches of orangy yellow on the wings.
Looking more closely at the pattern on the wings I had the idea of creating an artwork as part of the #30dayswild challenge. My aim is to do an ‘inchie’ of embroidery every day based on something I have seen, I thought this would be a great way to get my stitching mojo back as I’ve been struggling to motivate myself of late!
Here’s square 1 -detail of a Magpie Moth:
Back in June I took part in the #30dayswild challenge by stitching an inch square everyday to represent the nature in my local area:
I actually finished and framed this back in September and it is now hanging in my dining room acting as a lovely reminder of the summer, which is extremely welcome as we head into the darkest days of winter!
Here’s a close up of the first 12 days:
And the next 18 days::
I do have individual posts queued up for each of the squares so I will post these at some point as well.
I really enjoyed the #30dayswild challenge, it made me more appreciative of the nature that is on my doorstep and it was a great way to introduce my little one to the natural world around her. We’ll definitely take part again next year and I’m planning to do some Random Acts of Wildness through the winter season which has its own delights to explore. I’m also thinking of doing an embroidery for each season so we’ll see how that idea develops.
On my way home from work I pass the Writers Museum in Edinburgh,there are quotes from a variety of Scottish writers and this one caught my eye today.
My plant species of the day is Scotch Broom which grows in abundance along the ‘new road’ that I cycle along. I stopped to get some photos and to pick up a branch of it that had been knocked off when I saw these fellows stuck to the branches:
I used one of the seed pods in my embroidery today, I read that the pods ‘pop’ when they release their seeds so I’m listening out for this as I keep my embroidery at the side of the bed!
We came to Orchard Wood in Rosyth for our walk today. This is a lovely spot just on the edge of Rosyth sandwiched between two main roads.About 2 minutes after this photo was taken I spotted a deer in the trees! It must have been watching us for a bit,no sooner had I made eye contact with it and gasped ‘niamh there’s a deer!’ It was off into the bushes. No photo I’m afraid but a moment that I’ll remember of my #30dayswild time.
Niamh with her gathering bag!
I realised that I’ve put loads of photos of niamh and the dog up and none of myself so here we are under a canopy of trees.
We found a pile of broken snail shells on the ground next to this rock, so I must investigate what bird prepares its food this way!
Loved the dappled light coming through the leaves
I thought this bark looked like braille, Ive got it in mind to do some more embroidery based on the woods so I’ll return to this tree.
Ive been reading about natural dyes so I started with something simple – red onion skin. I followed the instructions provided by http://www.folkfibers.com/blogs/news/6579481-natural-dyes-red-onion-skins Here’s the results,I like how each fabric has gone a different shade. I wasn’t impressed with the white thread but the rather grotty green yarn that I have a massive skein of (a random charity shop purchase) is now a rich brown.
Today’s embroidery uses 2 pieces of my dyeing experiments. It looks very sombre compared to the other bright squares but the day was filled with news of the horrific tower block fire in London so it reflects the mood of the day.
Another roadside find on the way home from work. This flower caught my eye a couple of days back so I slowed my pace, scouring the bushes for a glimpse of white petal that wasn’t elder flower or what I think is cow parsley.
Looking at the photo of the white champion again I need to add a touch of green to the centre of the stamen on my square of the day:
I’m also very excited to have completed another row!
When I was identifying this flower I originally thought it was called ‘Devil’s Bit Scabious’ which has to be one of the best plant names I’ve ever heard. After a bit more research I found that its a Scorpion Flower which is still an impressive name but not as good as Devils bit Scabious!
I planted these seeds earlier in the year, they were a mystery packet that I got via a link on the campaigners 38degrees website. I had no idea what would sprout so these purple blooms are a real treat.
I think this is one of my favourite squares so far,I’d originally intended to use beads for the stamens but they were too small to get the needle through so it was back to the old faithful French Knot!
We didn’t go out today due to the sudden downpours of rain that occurred throughout the day so to get our nature fix I collected some leaves that had fallen from the cherry tree in my neighbours garden to use for a bit of printing.
I’d planned to use some printed fabric for todays square but it didn’t come out as clear as I would have liked so I just used some bright variegated thread to mimic the leaves:
Hooray its the weekend! We headed over to the big field behind the house to walk the dog, we picked up a pine tree branch and elder branch to wave in the wind on the way.
Child and dog let loose on the field!
The grass is just left to grow here and at the moment it’s filled with buttercups and cow parsley. If its possible to zoom into this photo you’ll see about 30 starlings performing a mini murmuration!
I love the open sky at the field, there are lots of swallows/swifts/housemartins (they move too quickly for me to identify!) so we spend some time watching their aerial acrobatics. We also spotted one of my favourite birds – an oystercatcher – flying over us. They’ve got such a recognisable cry and it makes me feel like a proper birdwatcher when I know that one is in the vicinity!
Today’s embroidery is a sketch of the field: