Happy New Year


For the purpose of this post, 'Three French Hens'
For the purpose of this post, 'Three French Hens'


So, my New Year’s Resolution last year was to start a blog, which I did, and I think this is my 140th post.  Thanks to everyone who has read it and commented, either via the blog or in person.  It is lovely to think that it is a way for former students to keep in touch and for my colleagues in various countries to see new work, and sometimes get a bit of a preview of the conference season.

A quick post this year as it is New Year’s Day and still officially a holiday.

For about the last six or seven years I have made a doll on New Year’s Day.  I set myself the condition that it had to be doable in a day, and the idea was that it had a secret pocket or a bag or something which had a wish for the coming year.  Every year they became more sophisticated, until last year when they were very quick pipe cleaner dolls with big plastic beads.  Well, this year, My Grate Frend Ceri has invited me to lunch and frankly Ceri comes first so I thought I would cheat a bit this year and finish off the birds we started making before Christmas.  They were all cut out and ready to go, and I had made the legs, which was definitely the trickiest part.  So, I have ended up with what I have decided are three french hens on my mantlepiece.  They are nothing like hens, but we have to use our imagination.

Here they are in construction yesterday:


This is a very quick shot, taken with my phone and again the quality isn’t wonderful, but I rather like the way that the cutting mat in the background makes it look a bit like an identity parade or mug shot.

That photo was taken before the wings or eyes went on, which is when they really take on their personality.  Yesterday I used a heavy variegated machine quilting thread to zig zag round the wings and this gave them a gentle curve outwards which I really think adds to their character and ‘birdiness’.


Quite a commonplace thing struck me again in making this ‘series’ of three birds which is that using the same materials and the same pattern produced three such different birds.  The tail piece fitted on two out of three but one of them has a tail at least a centimetre shorter than the others.  And the first bird I made seems to be dashing forwards whereas the others are quite happy to stand upright.

Anyway, I shall have to find a cardboard box for them on 12th Night and put them away until Easter, probably.  But, as I said when I posted about making the first one, I am astounded at how tasteful they are and how much I enjoyed working with this elegant linen and finishing it properly.  I’m also happy that the fabric was salvaged for some faintly useful purpose and didn’t go straight into landfill.  So, on that happy note, from my and my new friend, Happy New Year:






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