Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Handmade Bird Pillow and the Audubon Society

Western Tanager Hankie Pillow, © 2011 Georgianne Holland
I have on my calendar "Go to movies" almost every month, which hasn't been a date I've kept with myself in a while. I'm excited to say that The Big Year starring Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and my favorite, Steve Martin, is coming to theaters! I will not wait for this movie to come to my pay-per-view. The Big Year is about birding and while thumbing through my beloved Audubon magazine, David Yarnold reminds us that like in the movie, birders (and the Audubon Society) are a very social group. That works for me!

I have been working to make the birds I depict in my handmade bird pillows more easily recognizable, as I know that true birders know their species! Often in the past, the birds I depict are figments of my imagination, and when I see a photo of an unusual bird found in the wild, I think that they are so varied in color and shape, my imaginary bird is like a rare species. Will the Audubon Society let me get away with this? I hope so, because I'm having so much fun!

The Hankie Pillows series that I began in September of this year is a good example of my work to capture well known bird species in a fiber folk art manner. They are called Hankie Pillows because I begin the exercise with a pristine vintage hankie that was created by an unknown woman sometime in the 1940s. Collecting these vintage hankies has been part of the fun of this series! Often these hankies have embroidered flowers stitched as decoration, and I always choose hankies that have tatted lace on the edges...a fine needle art I've never learned to create. I place a vintage hankie on my work table and then decide what species of bird I'd like to needle felt: today's example is the Western Tanager in bright yellow, orange and brown. I'm very fond of creating birds with big, round bellies. I also like creating tree branches for my birds to perch on. Jacques Deval reminds us that "God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages." I love birds in trees and I also love birds recreated onto pillows. Sometime next week, I plan to love birds in funny movies...would you care to join me?

Thanks for stopping by,

You can visit my website to see more of my handmade bird pillows at www.nestleandsoar.com


FreeFlyingBoutique said...

I loved this blog! Both for the wonderful author, and for the wonderful subject of birds! I love Western Tanagers. They have the sunset colors I'm so crazy about. I think the Hankie idea is a double win. Not only being able to come up with your own art, but to huint for the hankies themselves. I think hunting for the right supplies is just as fun as the crafting. Hunting is also when I get in trouble, because I usually find other items for 10 new projects in the process

Georgianne Holland said...

Thanks FreeFlyingBoutique! It is good to know I have such good company in my hunting for treasures activities. A proper artistic stash is a lifetime project! I find it inspirational. Thanks for stopping by.