Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Design Release - Superb Fairywren

Today I am pleased to release a new design of one of Australia's cutest little birds - the Superb Fairywren - sometimes also known as the Superb Blue-wren or Blue Wren. Commonly found across south-eastern Australia, there are six sub-species groups recognised with three larger and darker forms from Tasmania, Flinders and King Island and three smaller and paler forms from mainland Australia and Kangaroo Island.  Their habitat consists of dense undergrowth for shelter in grasslands, woodlands, heaths and moderately thick forests but have, however, adapted to urban environments and can also be found in domestic gardens across Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

What is most spectacular about this pretty little bird is the male's bright blue almost iridescent blue plumage during mating season in order to attract a partner for breeding.  All other non-breeding males and females have brown/grey colouring.  Their height is approximately 14cm (5 1/2") from tip of claw to tip of tail with the tail alone being approximately 5.9cm (2 1/3").  With the Superb Fairywren's food source of mainly insects and seeds on the ground making them vulnerable to larger and more aggressive birds as their predators, they tend to forage in small groups under cover for protection and in winter when their food source is scare, ants make up the most of their diet.

My cross stitch design consists of eleven (11) colours with the finished sewn size being 40 x 85mm (1.6 x 3.4in) or 22 x 47 stitches and is available through my website in kit, chart or PDF format.  It would be an ideal design for any fauna enthusiast.

I really can't finish this entry without a story which 'tickled my fancy' a couple of years ago. My family and I were in Hobart at the famous Salamanca Markets in Salamanca Place. This view below is looking back up Salamanca Place with Mt. Wellington in the background.

Amongst all the craft stalls there I came across one of an Australian graphic artist featuring her beautiful work on postcards, greeting cards, magnets, etc.  At that particular time, the artist was absent from the stall and her husband was 'holding the fort'.  Her work really interested me and after checking what might be suitable to buy I came across a couple of small-sized flat compact/purse mirrors that featured artwork on the front and the mirror on the back.  But I had to decide which one (always an issue for a Libran!) and it was only when her husband mentioned that they lived at the base of Mt. Wellington and had little Superb Fairywrens in their backyard that I knew that that was the design I would choose. But then went on to say - in typical male Aussie style - that '...well they look a little bit scruffy right now but they'll soon get their act together when they need to look for a breeding partner'.  It just made me realise that all male Aussies - no matter what species - are all the same!!!

Anyhow, here is the compact/purse mirror which incidentally I use a lot.  By placing a couple of skeins of thread it gives an indication of how small the mirror is and how neat the artist's work is.


'Life if really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.' - Confucius

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