Monday, 26 November 2012

Two wise birds

I am often asked how I find the ideas for my mug rugs.  Some just come to me and I make them straight away (Winter Birdhouse Mug Rug is one such pattern).  Others take hold a little more slowly and that is exactly what happened with my Two Owls Mug Rug.
I live in the Hampshire countryside in England and I drive home from work through a beautiful little village, called Southwick (pronounced Suth-ick).  One dusk at the beginning of summer I was on my way home - I had just passed the little thatched cottages on the corner of the village and was driving down towards Creech Woods when a large bird flew across my car and up into the bough of a tree a short way ahead. 
(picture courtesy of the Barn Owl Trust)
I slowed down and could make out the outline of a very large bird sat on a branch.  I wasn’t sure if it was an owl or an evejar but it seemed to be watching me make my way home.  That was the first encounter this year with an owl and it made an impression.  So much so that I searched the boughs at the edge of Creech Wood for the rest of the week.  I never saw the bird again. 
The next encounter came whilst I was in the Lake District this summer.  If you recall from my earlier blog about the Red Poppy cafe in Hawkshead you may remember that it also sold little trinkets.  It was here that I picked up a packet of paper handkerchiefs which were adorned with owls. 
These were for my daughter as she has asked me to buy some her some tissues.  Before I gave her the pack I took one out and placed it in my Zakka sew-along book with my little elephant book mark.  I didn’t think anything of it and don’t even know why I kept it – just because it looked pretty I guess.
The final encounter was in the supermarket three weeks ago doing my weekly shop.  I strolled down the greetings card aisle looking for a Thanksgiving Card (not a hope in England!).  A card caught my eye – two owls perched on a branch looking at one another. And then further along I spotted a little 2013 handbag diary decorated with owls. 
It was at that very moment that I remembered the owl tissue and then the bird on the bough of the tree.  I purchased the card and diary and knew instantly I would have to immortalise that dusk memory in a little mug rug. But where had I put the tissue with the owls on?  I searched high and low but couldn’t find it.  It wasn’t in the Zakka book with the elephant and it wasn’t in my idea’s folder.  The following day at work, my eyes were sore and I reached into my Brad Pitt attraction pouch (remember that?) and what should I find in amongst the breath mints and eye drops – yes, you guessed it – the little owl tissue.
So my latest pattern began as a brief encounter and resulted in a whimsical mug rug that is suitable for grown-ups and children alike.   I hope you like the end result as much as I do.


  1. What a lovely story about how you got inspired by the owls. Especially seeing one in real and watching you. Funny how you don't find them again.
    Sweet, how the two owls are watching each others.

  2. I loved reading about your inspiration! And I love your owl design.

  3. Such a darling pair of owls. I especially love the dark night backdrop!

  4. I just love your mug rug! It's so cute.

  5. Your owls are sweet, and it is fun to see what "triggers your inspiration", besides old Brad!
    I love the little one in his nest....