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Playing with Fabric Samples

I ordered some fabrics from Fashion Formula with a few of my patterns on, I ordered three in little samples and the hedgehog print and a squirrel secondary in fat quarters.

As per a little aim on my brief, I wanted to add some stitch to a couple of them to see how this would look.

I loved how vibrant the hedgehog print came out, and I thought I would love to make that into a proper cushion cover to see how that would look.

On the leaf print I outlined the green leaves with a single line of stitch, which I think is pretty and makes it stand out a little more. Then on the mushroom print I tried completely blocking out a yellow and green mushroom to see how this would look. Overall I think the outline worked better but I do think they work nicely as purely printed designs, which could be added to a little depending on product if it was suitable. The small scale of the print and the actual sample meant the blocked out ones did not look as neat as they could of. I think to improve the outlining I could have tried quilting to raise the shapes off of it a little.

The cushion also worked out well and I think the scale looks pretty perfect for the size of it, I would love to do some more of these to put onto Etsy or something too. Overall I think getting them printed onto fabric was a good idea because it helps to show the colours even better than the paper printouts did, and how the colours behave on the various fabrics. This was just a poly panama as I wanted something quite light and airy, which I think was effective here.


Wildlife Camera: Success Finally

I have been consisting putting this wildlife camera out around the garden since the start of lockdown, so around 4 months now I think? I have been changing around locations, positions, height of the camera, looking across the grass, looking down the paths, going inside sheds and little hedgehog houses ive built around the garden, and there was no activity that I wanted for so long. I would get cats, mice, squirrels, birds, which was amusing to see and quite interesting sometimes about what was in the garden that I did not really know about. Last week I started putting dog biscuits out in a hedgehog house, and even though I would not get any videos, the food would be gone and the bowls pushed around, so I checked the camera and the battery was so low that the night vision had stopped working.

I replaced the batteries over the weekend and put it back into the hedgehog house with some more food last night.

I was so thrilled to find the hedgehog last night eating away on some biscuits, proving I have been able to encourage them in the garden and can continue to provide it with food and water now and see if I can keep him and any more. I notice that the biscuits seem a little big for him and he struggled to keep it in his mouth, so I could look at crushing them a little, although I do not want to make it too easy for the mice to eat all of it, as they did seem to finish it off between 1 and 2 after the hedgehog had been in twice, the hedgehog then returned at around 4:11 and you can see it sniffing around and looking for food, whether this is the same one or different I am not sure. I can continue now to see if the hedgehog coming in and out looks different, and maybe trace where it comes from using the camera outside of the house too.

Fashion Formula Printing

I wanted to get my animal portraits printed on fabric so I could have a go at adding some embellishment in stitch over the top and adding texture to the fur, I thought this could also be done with felting fluff which could work quite nicely.

My problem with the portraits were the rough endings and the points that cut off due to the size on the page, I used some foliage to cover this up for the sake of it looking like a proper placement design. I think I could do this better with more thought out motifs here but this is something I can work on as I create more foliage motifs. For now, I wanted to get these printed to work on, as I think this will be a nice effect and start the early experiments in adding stitch to my final designs and this is a good practice. I thought too if I kept putting this job off it might be something that I just never got done, taking into account the printing time and dispatching time as well.

Encouraging Hedgehogs in the Garden

So I have been putting out some biscuits for the hedgehogs regularly for the last couple of nights, I finish my car phonecall with my boyfriend at around 11:30 to midnight then creep down the garden with my torch, hoping to catch a hedgehog in the act of eating from the bowl.

I was taking photos at midnight when I went out, and then in the morning as well, even at midnight something was missing, so it seems the more of the food was being eaten after this in the early hours. I thought about rats, but I thought more likely they would eat it all, bite the carton, or take it back to their nest. The biscuits are just neatly eaten, sometimes with a few remaining, the fuller amount is taking about two days to go down too so hopefully I will encourage a little habitat here. I am going to look into building a little hotel for them as well, a little place they can settle in during the daytime. My method of sneaking down the garden every night was not working, so I started researching into a wildlife camera.

Today it came! I wasn’t actually expecting it for at least another week, with the restrictions and buying it from Ebay, I thought it was going to be a lot longer. I set it up anyway around a nearby tree, making sure it had a good view of the food tray. I’ve set it to record 15 seconds of footage when it is triggered by motion, this means with the wind it could take a little grass moving as enough to record, I am concerned that hedgehogs move so slowly that it might not be enough, but if I do not get anything tonight, I,ll try putting the camera right on the floor near the bowl, and concealing it with rocks or something.

An update as soon as I have any luck!

Animal Portraits

I started doing some portraits last year, but I did the animals that I ended up not choosing for the final collection this year, but it did teach me a lot about drawing fur and getting eyes to look realistic, so I thought as a good starting point, I would like to do this portraits, as I feel like if I left them any later, I would talk myself out of using the amount of time needed for them.


I began with a hedgehog, which I was enjoying doing until I got to the spikes, looking at my reference pictures realising they are very white. I managed to get a method to doing this, drawing a white line then coming in with the dark around it, then adding a gradient below it into the white end of the spike. I think these turned out okay, I would probably make them thinner next time, they look a little chunky at the ends, but I think this could be fixed digitally as well. I like the face, I think I got a lot of life into ht eyes and movement in the fur, I followed a reference picture carefully when looking at the direction of the fur.

Red Squirrel

I next tried a Red Squirrel, obviously the colouring was important in this one and I like again the movement of the fur in the tail. I forgot to add the whiskers and the ear tufts before taking the photo, but these will be added before I do anything else to them.

European Hare

The hare was quite difficult, the view I choose I thought would work well for a portrait, however it is a strange view to see a hare at, so maybe looking more into angles and things I could do a better one of these. The end does cut off quite suddenly too, so I think I would like to add some florals and leaves to hide this, probably digitally, to make it quite a pretty arrangement that would look good as a placement print. I want to get these printed with fashion formula, so this will be important to get done soon as I think the delivery times will be increased with the restrictions at the moment.


Finally the Hazel Dormouse, just known as the Dormouse in the UK as it is the only native species, done here with one of its young. I used prismacolours to complete all of these and watercolour behind some of them if there was going to be a lot of dark colours in one place, so I was not working directly onto white. The pencils are lovely because they soften and produce quite a thick result, which is great for getting solid colour and blending them together nicely. I also produced a video time-lapse of some of this drawing, showing the way I build up colour and blend to get a more realistic effect to the work.

Time-lapse of the Dormouse drawing

I am happy with the result of these and the plan is to print them onto fabric and add some stitching to them, I think this could make them more of a graphic outcome on fabric, but I do need to take it digital first and edit it. Like adding some plants to hide cut off lines and avoid just a floating animal, and in the case of the dormice here, making sure the leaf hanging here is complete so it works as a placement piece.