"...SWEET SINGING IN THE CHOIR..." Nature's choir, that is!
Here we have the nightingale and the wood warbler, two of the woodland's most eloquent choristers!
What with all this discussion of Christmas carols, Mitty is declaring Christmas, too!
"... THE PLAYING OF THE MERRY ORGAN..."
The organ is playing in the church! Just in case you wondered...
This detail of a larger picture is worked entirely in long and short stitches (not in long and short stitch which is something entirely different!) It just goes to prove what I say in my e-book, ONE SIMPLE STITCH, "If you can take the needle out of the fabric and put it in again, you can embroider"!
"AND THE RUNNING OF THE DEER..."
This, by the way, is based on the deer park at Ickworth House near Bury St Edmunds, where I have been fortunate enough to have exhibitions in the past.
"OH, THE RISING OF THE SUN ..."
"... THE HOLLY BEARS THE CROWN." (As spotted by the Mouse King - apologies to Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, sort of mixing my musical metaphors, here!")
"...OF ALL THE TREES THAT ARE IN THE WOOD..."
OK, so it's just a week to Christmas Eve: NOW we can go festive, if you like!!
"THE HOLLY AND THE IVY,
WHEN THEY ARE BOTH FULL GROWN ..."
One of the smallest subjects I ever capture is the "fruit fly", or, indeed, gnat... very easy if you know how! Everyone remembers being taught how to work lazy-daisy stitch, don't they? So... two lazy-daisy stitches for wings, a few tiny short stitches to suggest legs and voila!
Although the long tail feathers make the long-tailed tit appear one of the larger of his family, the body of this tiny bird is actually the smallest! The tail feathers here are worked in very long stitches, running the length of the black feathers with shorter while stitches angled inward at the outer edges. Never be afraid to mimic nature to create a realistic effect!
As winter begins to bite, predators find it harder and harder to seek out their prey ... the little owl is the smallest of British owls, and often hunts during the daytime, giving him a better chance of keeping a full tummy! So why does he always look so cross?
Small tortoiseshells (centre and bottom) are the smallest of the "aristocrat" butterflies ... you can actually see them quite often at this time of the year as they can easily accidentally be disturbed from their hibernation - often by rummaging in the attic for the Christmas decorations! Try to pop them carefully into a nook where there will be cool (but not too cold) and they may well go back to sleep ready to wake up in the spring - so remember to check your attic again when the warm weather arrives. Usually, they hibernate with their wings closed, which gives you an opportunity to see the very different texture of the undersides of the wings. I always work these in mat or twisted silk, to contrast with the shiny floss used on their upper surfaces.
OK, so you want Christmassy? Which are the smallest choirboys in the world? Aconites! I always think they look like little golden haired choirboys with frilly ruffs around their necks! Getting ready to sing their carols for Christmas. They are some of the simplest flowers to work, but, oh, so effective on a black background.
Here's Mr. Fishy in more detail ... his belly is in laddering - needleweaving with one shade of silk darker than the other, this is then overlaid with straight stitching to give a slippery, fishscale back, with fins and spines in single strands of metallic thread - in this case, silver. Voiding picks out the gills, and the all important highlight in the eye brings him to life.
Sticklebacks are the smallest freshwater fish in England - this fellow is the three-spined variety... along with the tiny flowers of the water violet and water forget-me-not, a delicate design can sweep us back to summer on the river bank! I wish!