Photographing the peeling bark and ivy was easy. As the tree is opposite my bedroom window, I was elevated to the right height and close enough to use a standard zoom lens. Capturing an image of the Tree Creeper proved far more difficult. I spent a long time with the camera trained on a spot that he visited frequently – except when I had the camera set up. Even when he did come into frame, he moved so quickly that by the time I had taken the shot he was gone! Eventually I did get a photograph I could work with and managed to cut the bird from that and position him on the piece of tree trunk that I had photographed previously.
My picture was good enough for me to trace the outline of my design but I will be using better pictures that I have found on the web as a guide when it comes to colour placement and stitching the details. Armed with a printout of one of these and a list of the DMC threads in my stash I set off to a purchase more threads, especially browns, and some linen. I wanted a high count linen; the highest that my LNS had was 34 count. I purchased some anyway but latter decided that it was not what I wanted for this project. I sourced some 55 count Kingston linen on the web and ordered two small pieces in white and cream. I decided to use the white for this project.
I printed the merged photograph larger than the finished design and knocked back the colours so it was very pale. I drew an outline directly onto this copy, leaving out any parts I did not want and slightly altering a few of the ivy leaves. I then transferred this onto tracing paper and used the photocopier to reduce the tracing to the required size. Because I had traced the outline with a strong black line the reduced image was still clear enough to show through the fabric without the aid of a light box. I traced the design onto the fabric with a Micron archival pen. I was pleased with the tracing except for a slight bleed at the end of his beak – probably the worst place for it to happen. I may have to extend his beak slightly to cover the outline.
© Carol-Anne Conway
I have set the fabric up in my seat frame. I backed it with a light weight calico and placed a piece of cling film over the fabric before inserting it into the frame. I am very lazy about taking embroidery out of the hoop – I try to make it extremely tight which is quite hard work, once it is done I like it to stay put! I will tear back the cling film where I plan to stitch and hope that the remaining film will protect the ground fabric.
© Carol-Anne Conway