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Turning Wheel of Colour

Each summer as I spend hours hand snipping lavender, I also think of new ways to develop my Herby Birdies. I constantly source new wool, either on the merit of colour or a quirky aspect. One of my favourite wools has been unavailable for over a year, but now it is back I wanted to create a whole new range of daring coloured birdies!

Over the years I have designed over 100 different coloured birdies, with just 3-5 made of each colour to keep them unique. Looking through the birdies I have made, I noticed they seemed to have become quite bland, with none of the daring combinations I had used in the past, again due to wool shortages. I therefore decided to design 12 new birds, one for each month of the year once I had found some suitable wool. By doing this I thought about the colours that I associate with each month forcing me to creatively blend and combine colours I hadn't tried before. I am so happy with how they have all come out, I thought each month needed an explanation as to why I used the colours I did.


Living on the Lincolnshire Fens you get to see some amazing, big rolling skies and misty flatlands. January is all about sage green hedgerows shrouded with grey shadows; soft, watery blues of chilly skies and steely blues of spired evergreens standing guard over the land.


Wandering through rural Lincolnshire on a cold February morning the landscape is pretty void of colour. Muddy roads from ploughing tractors wheel deep in soft, fertile earth tend to give everything an even spray of grey. But on a careful closer look, little spots of colour become apparent, from the flash of a bird on the wing to a cluster of unwanted berries or hips!


As early flowering bulbs start to bloom in the garden it's a great place to look for colour! Anemone, hyacinth and muscari in blues and purples stand watch amidst pink, cream and burgundy hellebores. These true troopers bring really rich colour to an otherwise grey and dull palette, always winning out against snows and frosts!


As forget-me-knots give way to bluebells and the nights start to lengthen, the blues of April stand beside all the colours of the wheel creating a paint box palette. After April there isn't much blooming blue once early summer starts, which is why I chose fresh purple blues and soft turquoise blues for the April bird.


With fruit blossoms filling the orchard and lupin, aquilegia and sweet william in the garden, this bird is made up of chic lilacs and vintage pinks with fresh sage greens. Pink and green to me always conjures up images of Victorian rose gardens, warm early summers and elegant afternoon teas in the garden!


When you stand on the Wolds and look over the Fens you can see miles of meadows and crops patchworked with hedges, At the height of summer heat haze shimmers and blends colours, softening edges in blue and green shades, with darker purple shadows. Although blues are 'cool' colours, they yell hot, hot, hot in June!


At the height of summer I always see oranges and yellows. The garden is full of sunflower, nasturtium and rudbekia as the soil turns dusty and the grass starts to brown on well trodden paths. Beautiful orange sunsets lead to close, sultry nights and just a few hours later, orange sunrises send an apricot kiss over field and farm!


Lincolnshire summers in the East of England are usually dry and warm. Crops of wheat and barley patchwork the fens in all colours of gold, apricot and bronze. There's not the slightest of blue in the hues, even shadows seem to disappear in the hot white heat of the mid-day sun!


As we wait for the classic colours of Autumn to explode into being, there is a period during the end of summer that seems to go dark reds and purples. Plums and apples in the orchard with dappled blue skies through the fruit trees bring dark, deep shadows, a sure sign the summer is coming to an end!


This predominantly deep sage green birdie is representing the final throes of summer, just as the leaves start to turn yellow and brown. The colours at the end of the year are deeper and richer than in spring with this birdie acutely blending the last of summer with the start of autumn!


As the last of leaves fall from trees the Lincolnshire landscape bears wooded hedgerows, squash patches and berried bushes. The dusty back lanes of summer turn slippery and slick as brassica and root farms hurry to bring in their crops.


Having extensively researched robin colours and concluding they have 'orangey rust' breasts, I couldn't think of better colours than fir green and rusty oranges to finish off the year. Though this birdie is not classical Christmas colours, it does accurately represent December, offering an alternative, rustic Christmas appeal.

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