Australian Wildlife – Introduction



My life and personal circumstances are not often relevant to my embroidery, but in this case…

My husband is Australian, so we try to go to Australia to visit his family as often as we can, which is usually about every two years.

To someone brought up in Northern Europe, among the Oak and Ash and Thorn of Puck’s England (do you know “Puck of Pook’s Hill“?), the blue-green foliage of the Eucalyptus is a strange sight, and strolling through a reserve amid the smell of eucalypt and tea tree, spotting kookaburras, koalas and kangaroos, is an experience which never becomes over-familiar.

In addition, the Australian embroidery magazines have a completely different focus to those in the UK, and a huge variety of styles and projects, like nothing I see at home.

So perhaps it is not surprising that, although I haven’t yet worked an Australian project, I have a huge collection of photos I’ve taken as inspiration, and magazines I’ve bought to read, and re-read, and – frankly – gloat over. I’ve a book about working Australian flowers in Stumpwork, and one of these days I intend to work a bouquet of them…

In particular – being accustomed to rather more dun-coloured  birds – I’ve been rather taken by the idea of working something depicting, or inspired by, a Rosella.  I took a lot of photos on one of our visits a few years ago, and, as with all of my projects, I’ve been thinking about it on and off ever since.

During our visit at the beginning of this year (we had New Year’s Eve on the beach!), some of the ideas began to crystallise out a little more, and I have been writing them down to make sure I don’t lose them.

Watch this space!


  1. karen says:

    definitely write them down. These birds would look amazing with a little ”treatment” from you, can’t wait!

  2. Susan says:

    Oh Rachel! That bird is beautiful. Keep your eye open for feathers on your walk. You never know what you might find.

    I can just imagine the sights and smells…eucalyptus, tea tree….I would love to see them growong naturally in the wild.

  3. What wonderful birds! Yes, marrying a foreigner and going home with them has some definite perks! My DH is German and so I’ve seen all over that country now, including some really lovely scenery.=)

    I love Aussie mags as well, esp. ‘Inspirations’ and ‘Embroidery and Cross Stitch’. I could get the latter freely in Taiwan, but you rarely see it here. I think The London Bead Co stock it, but that’s about it!

  4. Janice says:

    Yes, I agree, those colours will be beautiful in one of your embroideries. I used to get Inspirations every issue and have a box full of them. I also had one issue of Embroidery and Cross Stitch, and some Smocking magazines too (which isn’t a lot of use unless you have little girls to make for). The Australians are definitely ‘heirloom’ in their needelework outlook!

  5. I look forward to seeing these birds. I always think that a non native brings a special perspective.

  6. Lady Fi says:

    I adore the sights and sounds of Australian birds!