A recent trip to Chester Zoo reignited my love for elephants. There was not one but TWO tiny additions to the endangered Asian elephant herd, with two newborns in the space of just a month. A male calf is an important boost to the zoo, a leading conservation charity, and to big sisters Indali and Nandita. Find out more here or keep up to date with their gorgeous instagram.
I’m still discovering my embroidery style, but one thing was for sure: an animal as majestic as the elephant deserves colour, and lots of it.
So far I have created varied and small pieces, including flowers, landscapes and small animals but this piece was one of the most enjoyable. It was a complete breath of fresh air to work without a plan, picking out colours that caught my eye with frequent lucky dips into the box of beads. It also gave me the opportunity to include lazy daisy stitch to create delicate petals across the elephant, adding to the carefree nature of flowers, stems and beads criss-crossing eachother.
I used a mixture of imagination and personal photos for the basic outline,tracing this shape onto cardboard cut outs I could then draw around onto the fabric – here I used an empty teabag box (who says embroidery is an expensive hobby to keep?!).
Unfortunately the elephant did lose his shape slightly beneath all the foliage and I will bear this in mind next time.
If you love elephants as much as I do, check out Shared Earth, a fairtrade, eco-friendly shop that has an elephant themed section online or you can pop into one of their York or Liverpool stores. Most of their items are handmade, often featuring crafts such as embroidery or wood work, vital in keeping traditional skills alive. Their creators also get a fair price for their products which are imported from places such as India and Bali, and profits go towards funding projects that help the disadvantaged in developing countries.
Whether it’s a super squirrel or a fluffy fox, let me know what you would like to see next by commenting below.
Thanks for reading! Stay posted for more creatures scampering their way onto the blog.
Pun of the day: Eleafants are herbivores