Birds of a Feather

23 Mar

About 3 months ago, my Gram gave me a bushel (is this the right word?) of peacock feathers. These feathers she gathered from my dad and aunt’s teacher in the 1960s. [Writer’s note: my father would like to remind everyone that he was a mere child of 5 or 6 when this happened. Age clarification is an important attribute to the Bernard clan. Not to mention you all now know he reads my blog religiously.] She’s had them for decades, and when I saw them out on her marble bar, she asked if I would like to have them. Being one to not pass up a potential crafting/decor opportunity, I quickly said yes.

There are about 20 more where these came from.

To clarify why my Gram would keep something as peacock feathers, she is the woman who held onto her tax returns every year since 1945. She displayed her complete collection of World Books from 1962 in her and my grandfather’s den, until we convinced her a lot has happened in history since the Cuban Missile Crisis, so they aren’t very relevant anymore. In conclusion, her having these feathers on hand didn’t surprise me in the least.

Anyway, I brought them home with some (but not a lot) of damage, and set them out hoping an inspiring idea of what to do with them. I figured, beautiful colors, fun fact that they are so old, and a nice grouping of feathers, how can I not come up with an idea?

Nothing came to me.

So I put them in the closet.

Which apparently doesn’t help the creative juices either.

The closet is a dark, lonely place.

In sheer coincidence, three weeks ago I bought a stitching instructional book (from Sublime Stitching, of course!) so I could learn different stitch styles and get inspired for future embroidery projects.

As I was flipping through the book learning how to (FINALLY) stitch a French Knot, learning the Lazy-Fern Stitch and that my style of stitching is called “Stabbing.” Morbid, but delightfully me all at the same time. But I digress.

In the back of the book, in the iron-on patterns the author provided, she had a pattern of two peacocks, standing back-to-back with their fan of feathers down and tucked away.

I had an epiphany.

I bought a flour towel, which is a really large, stitch-able fabric that people usually use to make kitchen towels or other decor items. Wanting to age the fabric, I dyed it in a bowl full of tea that had steeped for quite some time.I wished I had documented this very scientific process. Let’s just say it involved about 4 tea bags, a mixing bowl and hot water.

From here, I’m embarking on stitching these birds (with my newly learned stem stitch) as wall decor.


What now looks like a colorful quail will hopefully become a vibrant peacock.

Once complete, I will purchase vintage gold frames – one for the embroidered birds, and two for the feathers. I imagine it will work well on my wall. Of course, imagination isn’t everything, so stay tuned to see if this ends up working out!

4 Responses to “Birds of a Feather”

  1. Jess March 31, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    I am so excited to see the finished product! You are amazing Erin!

  2. Heather March 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    I can’t wait to see your project up close and personally! I love that peacock design.

    Also, I’m thinking that the feathers could look AMAZING thrown into a bouquet… with teal and orange… you know… for a wedding…

  3. Jackie March 23, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    I have a feeling your project will turn out delightfully. Since I can’t even sew on a button, I am always amazed at people who are skilled in crafty projects. I have discovered I can only do 2-dimensional artistic things. It saddens me but allows me to enjoy the eye candy of a cute project!

    I like how your dad needs us to know his age during the 1960’s. My mom was born in 1951 and my dad in 1948. They are vintage!


  1. Let’s Flock Together « teal and tulle - April 11, 2011

    […] and the corresponding peacock embroidery project? Of course you do. Either way, here’s the link to my prior post, Birds of a Feather, to refresh that […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: