Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Weekend Stitching: A Wee Tiny Bird in Bead Embroidery


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I have not been a very good girl! This past weekend, I fell behind on my List of a Great Many Things to Do.

Falling behind – it can be such a Frustrating Thing.

But in this case, you know what? I had a lot of fun falling behind! You see, I had a distraction…

Last week, I received in the mail a very kind anonymous gift from a very kind reader. Inside the box were two charming kits from Ann’s Orchard, the website of Emma Pavier, who designs very delicate, pretty, fun bead embroidery kits. One of those kits, I’ll review in depth later, once I get started on it.

The other, this little Blue Tit mini bead kit, I’ll show you now, in the interest of justifying why I fell behind this weekend. I think you’ll understand!

Blue Tit Bird Mini Bead Embroidery Kit

The mini bead kits at Ann’s Orchard are adorable. They feature birds, flowers, animals (really cute animals!) and fruit, all in a tiny little space, and all worked out with seed beads on a tent-stitched background.

Blue Tit Bird Mini Bead Embroidery Kit

The kits come with everything you need to complete the tiny design, including an amazing array of seed beads, considering the size of the project. There are no less than 10 colors of beads in this wee, tiny bird!

Inside the kit, you’ll find a chart, instructions, a piece of canvas, all the beads, white thread for stitching the beads into place, a good hank of floss for the background stitching, and needles. All you have to supply are some nice, sharp scissors!

There’s also a three-fold blank card that you can mount your finished little canvas in to use as a greeting card, along with a matching envelope.

Blue Tit Bird Mini Bead Embroidery Kit

The design finishes at slightly less than 3″ square. And the whole thing takes only a few hours or so to stitch up – making it an Extremely Satisfactory Little Project!

Blue Tit Bird Mini Bead Embroidery Kit

For weekend stitching, there’s nothing I like better than a tiny little needlework kit like this! I started this one around 7:00 am on Sunday morning, while the birds were going crazy outside with their Spring shenanigans. It was a quiet, peaceful morning, full of bird song, and a perfect time to break out this little beauty.

Before I knew it, the little Blue Tit had appeared before me in all its tiny beaded glory. After that, it was just a matter of stitching in the background – the perfect type of stitching to do while enjoying a favorite old movie. And that’s just what I did later Sunday afternoon!

About 3 – 3.5 hours of stitching went into the whole piece. They were very welcome hours of pleasure and relaxation! So, thanks to Emma for including the extra little bead kit, and thanks to my friend out there, whoever you are, who sent the gift in the first place! I love the kits!

If you haven’t had a chance yet to browse through Ann’s Orchard, trust me – you don’t know what you’re missing! So many pretty little kits! And they’re all thoroughly well supplied and packaged beautifully.

For US readers, remember that prices are in British Pounds, so you might want to use an online currency converter to figure out the equivalent US price. Shipping is super fast – my package arrived in less than a week from the time it was mailed.

And now, I’m off to catch up on that Ever Lengthening To-Do List.

Or maybe….maybe I’ll just indulge in a few more stitchy distractions.

If the latter, I’ll never tell.


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(18) Comments

  1. Mary,

    Glad to hear you had a fun diversion. Cute bird!

    Once in a while I manage a ‘lost weekend’, really getting into a project. That’s about as much of a vacation as I can manage lately, and there are times I really need that. It’s so much fun to be able to see a project take shape in a short time.

    Ann’s Orchard looks like a good site to add to my list of interesting places. I wish shipping from the UK were a bit cheaper. Maybe one day….

    1. Hi, Joanne – speaking of the shipping, just out of curiosity, I went through the site and added three of the larger bead kits and two small ones to a cart, to check shipping to the US. It worked out to £7, which is approximately $10. I didn’t think that was bad at all – and the packages arrive pretty quickly (mine arrived in fewer than seven days).

    2. I too am pleased you were able to goof off, so to speak, and have some fun for a change. I will never work this particular kit because of the subject matter but I agree that these little things can be a whole lot of simple fun.

      On the subject of shipping, I am afraid that there may be a collapse in the American economy (again) since postage costs have increased so dramatically that I can no longer afford to shop there. At the moment Britain is a better option although their prices are skyrocketing too. Hopefully I will be able to source what I want here at home, she said, crossing fingers, toes and everything else.

  2. Isn’t it good to be bad sometimes! The little mini blue tit bird is delightful! I had to go look and I’m in LOVE with the blue daisy clutch. I’m trying to talk myself out of it…..we’ll see! Will be inquiring on the dimensions.

    1. Hi, Mary! That’s exactly the other kit I have – the blue clutch. It is gorgeous! And it’s a nice size. I can’t wait to start it! I’m trying to decide if I’ll stick with the white on blue, or if I might change to a color scheme. We shall see!

  3. The website has really nice items. I’m thinking of getting something. BTW, what will you do with the finished piece? Will it become a brooch or ?

  4. Dear Mary,

    What a pretty little bird! The shop certainly is full of beautiful projects, too. I’m putting bead work on my “List of Delightful Projects That I Will Enjoy Someday”.

    I’m so glad you received such a joyous gift. 🙂


  5. Oh, I do adore beads. It looks like you used 2 strands of floss to attach them. I don’t see the thread coming up and around each bead the other direction. I may not be making sense. But I go through the bead one way, come up from the other corner (like in cross stitch), split the 2 strands and put one on each side of the bead, pull down to snug up the bead against the fabric. That seems to keep it more stable, not wobbling out of alignment when touched.

    Sometimes I do beads in different directions too depending on the effect I want. I often do it on a diagonal like you’ve done, especially on trees so they look like they’re blowing in the wind. Sometimes straight up and down if I want to give a neat coverage of an area. Always fun to work with beads.

  6. Hi Mary,

    Wow! I just finish ordering from one site you mention and then I’m on to the next … Your very ‘bad’ for my embroidery addiction-hoarding problem.

    Glad you had a fun weekend and keeping you in my prayers.

  7. Dear Mary

    Missed this post yesterday, I’ve been really busy finishing off another fabric journal for my Great Niece who will be 18 in May. I’m so glad you had a fun project to do over the weekend it sounded so relaxing and what a lovely gift for you. I say indulge away and enjoy yourself. Thanks for sharing your lovely gift with us and for showing the completed bird so pretty. Ann Orchard has some lovely kits I am tempted.

    Regards Anita Simmance

    1. Hi, Anita! Wow – May 18th is just around the corner! Can’t wait to see the finished fabric journal! Send pictures! Yes, the kits at Ann’s Orchard are a lot of fun and Very Tempting. I’m hoping to set up the other kit this weekend, if I can get my act together. :-/

    2. Dear Mary

      Thanks for the reply will definitely send photos to you. Look forward to seeing the other completed kit.

      Regards Anita Simmance

  8. very darling bird…what do you do with all these little things? I am remembering the little basket, and the small tree…

    hope you are feeling well and that your docs are doing their job!

    1. Well, this little thing will be framed in a tiny frame for a gift. Other little samples, I either frame and give away, or I make them into a needlebook (instructions are in my Lavender Honey ebook), or I save them in folders to use as samples. It just depends!

  9. I too have some of these lovely kits. The small duck picture was fun and easy. I also purchased the Antique Rose picture, but am struggling!
    As you have far more experience of this type of sewing than me, any help would be greatly accepted.
    Thanks in anticipation.

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