Friday 4 November 2016

Winter Drawers On. . . ;-) Birds, Beads and more Stickiness


Winter Drawers. . .

Well, we had the first bit of what passes for cold weather here in the Eastern bit of the South East of England. The winter visitors told me it was going to be a cold day. We had a flock of about 40 Fieldfares come through.
Fieldfares are large thrushes that come over from Northern Europe when the weather gets cold there. They overwinter here, as do some smaller thrushes called Redwing, (due to the red patches under their wings). I am pretty sure there were a bunch of them at the end of the garden, but as I have yet to find my binoculars after the move I have to make an assumption based on the fact that there were several of them, they weren't blackbirds and you don't get flocks of song thrushes, which is the nearest native bird to them.
Identifying birds is a process of elimination based on knowledge and experience generally.

As the colder weather is starting, I have put out bird feeders and have been agreeably surprised by the amount of interest they got. Being further out in the country we don't usually get many of the common garden birds we used to get at our last house, which was at the edge of a large village. I assume that there aren't enough gardens out here, and that the natural supply of food in the hedges etc means wild birds don't frequent gardens very much. They like the bird feeders though. I sat at the kitchen table and watched a Great Spotted Woodpecker on the peanut feeder. Magic ;-) Except I now realise that I need to wear my TV/driving glasses to focus at that distance. . . sigh. . . Getting old . . . ish. . .

DIY stuff has taken a lot of my would be beading time this last week or two. I've been ripping out an old sink in the kitchen that was fitted in about 1977 and was situated at the opposite end of the room to the cooker. No idea why it was sited there, but it was seriously impractical as well as seriously grotty. All gone now, and the new, I mean 'reclaimed' ceramic 'butler' sink we got really cheap from the local reclamation yard is in, near the cooker, and functioning perfectly despite my plumbing ;-)

But enough boring house stuff, here's some boring bead stuff.

Spottines beats stickiness every time. .

I have been exploring the stickiness I mentioned in my previous post, and have worked out a few things. One being that, yes, it does depend which ink and paper your prints are on. The photocopier at my local library makes copies that don't get sticky. I printed the same images that have gone sticky in the past from other machines, and they don't get sticky, so it's not the colours or the amount of black or any of the other vague possibilities I had wondered about. I have also worked out a process to stop the stickiness. I'm not going to tell you what that is, but it does mean that I can finally get going on a tutorial for my image wrapped beads, now I can get consistent results. All will be revealed therein in due course.

Non stickiness from the library photocopier. Comparatively expensive though. . .

The thing that worries me slightly, is that my images are the major part of those beads, and I'm not teaching how to make those images, just how to transfer successfully and wrap successfully too. I wonder if people will feel misled in some way. Ay well, we shall see.

The result of an interesting variation of the transfer technique. More possibilities. . .

Next time, if you are good, I shall tell you about the jackdaw that got trapped down the chimney. The other chimney to the bees, luckily, otherwise things might have got far too interesting. . .
J x


  1. Looking forward to the tutorial!

  2. I love my birds Jon!! I have 5 feeders out in the yard and about 7 houses....all used regularly in the spring so lots of fledging going on with great attention by me. There's something really special about birds....

    We just renovated the kitchen here last year at this time. What a horrible mess it was! I don't envy you what you've gone through as it truly is a hard task.

    As for the tutorial.

    Don't worry about your own images. Keep those to yourself and make clear that they are your own and not to be used by others (although you can't help that no matter what you say -- unfortunately)

    May I make a small suggestion? Make up some images that you wouldn't use yourself for your tutorial or that you just don't care about....that way people have something to look at and get ideas from.

    It's really hard to put out a tutorial and then see your exact same pieces everywhere after that.

    You know I'm looking forward to your tute no matter what!!

    1. Thanks, the birds are going to have to get used to just being fed in the cold weather, or, judging by the rate they get through bird seed etc I'll be spending ore on them than us! ;-)
      Our kitchen is a gradual work in progress, like the rest of the house. . . but we aren't in a hurry so we'll try to keep it slow and steady.

      Not quite sure what you mean re images. I hadn't intended to give any images away with the tut, though it might be an idea, and an added extra incentive, I dunno. I will use a fairly generic image for the pics of the beads being made, so it is clear that the tut is how to make beads and not my images.
      I need to set up the camera and do some experiments in how best to photograph it all.
      My task for tomorrow I think.