Nature all Around us

by Helen on November 14, 2012

Today is a glorious day – there’s real warmth in the sun and the sky is a wonderful shade of blue, with just a few white fluffy clouds dotted here and there – it’s hard to believe that we’re in mid-November and Christmas is just around the corner.  Ben is snoozing outside in the courtyard, and as soon as I’ve finished this post I’m off to take him for a walk through the woods behind our village.  It’s at this time of year that I become more aware of the animals around us – deer and fox tracks are visible in the mud (yes, the mud has returned!), and often I glimpse a flash of movement in the corner of one eye as a rabbit or pheasant makes good its escape into the undergrowth.  I was thrilled to see two large brown hares chasing across a field of stubble when I last dropped Ben at his favourite kennels a couple of weeks ago – I don’t see hares close up very often. 

Fantastic Fox Applique

One animal that is regarded with very mixed feelings in our village is the fox.  Clever, crafty – and the sworn enemy of chicken-keepers everywhere!  But undeniably a very handsome fellow who features in the first pattern for the December issue of my Bustle & Sew e-zine.  

Fantastic Fox Applique

I’ve tried to reflect his cunning and curious nature in my applique – I didn’t want him to be too cute – and I hope I’ve managed to achieve the right balance.  He’s appliqued in felt and wool on a wool-blend felt background and here I’ve chosen to make him into a cushion cover.   When we lived in Hampshire many years ago (when Rosie was a very little girl), a hedgehog used to visit our garden from time to time.  I don’t see many hedgehogs here, apart from my very own Hodge and Podge – and I don’t really know why that should be as we have so much other wildlife around us. 

Hodge and Podge

Anyway, thinking about Podge, I know that sometimes it can be time-consuming to collect all the ingredients to make a softie like Podge, so I’ve assembled two “Make your Own Podge” kits and listed them in my Etsy Shop.  The vintage linen pouches contain everything you (or a crafty friend) need to make your Podge – including the premium item of ……

Ben at Strete Gate

….  a smooth, round beach pebble carefully selected by my canine assistant for its shape, size and general overall appeal!  (well, it’s about time he did something useful.)  If you’d like a Podge kit, then you will find them in my Etsy shop – just the two at the moment sorry both sold , as I don’t know if I have any more suitable fabric for her prickles – if these two sell out, then I’ll have a rummage around my cupboard! 

Make your own Podge Kit


PS the pebble was washed before it was added to the kit!


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda November 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm

You’re right, it’s a perfect autumn day. Ruby’s snoozing in a shaft of sunlight in the lounge, unfortunately it keeps moving and she has to keep moving. It’s a tough life for a dog! I like the look of the fox. Everyone’s getting cushions for their birthdays next year, so this is another pattern to remember.


Penny November 14, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Oh my goodness! You are such an incredible artist! That fox is amazing!
Please don’t stop!


Linda B November 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I love your fox! A handsome fellow indeed! And another reason to look forward to the next issue of your e-zine…!
X Linda


Jackie November 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm

It has indeed been a beautiful day today, Max (our dog) and I had a lovely walk in Epping Forrest this morning and he has spent the rest of the day snoozing in the sunshine.
I love this fox cushion cover I think you have got him just right

Jackie x


Jan G. November 14, 2012 at 8:53 pm

I love the fox and I think you hit him spot on. I did pop over to you Esty Shop and I bought 1 of your little Podge Kits. I couldn’t resist her, and your lovely vintage fabrics!! Thank you Helen, and I am looking forward to the Dec. ezine as always!

Jan G.


Helen November 14, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Hi Jan, thanks for your purchase, I’ll post your kit tomorrow – hope you like it!


Maribel November 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm

What’s the rock for?


Helen November 14, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Hi Maribel, the pebble is positioned in the base so Podge sits nice and steady.


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