Birds of a Feather

The 29th – 31st of January is the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. This annual event which began in 1979 is claimed by the RSPB to be the ‘world’s biggest wildlife survey’. During these three days the RSPB are encouraging us all to look out of our windows and record the birds we see. This valuable birdwatching data is used to record the population of different bird species in order to track their numbers, and aid in the preservation of some of our most loved garden visitors.

Birds are inspiration for many artists and makers. Here we take a look at some of our feathered friends found nesting on the shelves and in the print racks at Of Cabbages and Kings. And you might just learn a few fascinating facts along the way!

British Birds by Caitlin Parks – £35.00

Caitlin Parks takes a look at some of the more characterful small birds in this graphic black and white screen print reminiscent of traditional woodcut illustration.

  • The Blackbird (top right) adult male has sleek jet black plumage which is instantly recognisable. Usually nesting in bushes or hedgerows, they feed on insects and earthworms pulled from the ground.
  • The Bullfinch (bottom right) is a secretive bird who hides amongst dense branches. With a short beak it feeds on seeds and buds of fruit trees. It will also feed from seed feeders and suet balls hung in gardens.

Gold Top by Anna Marrow – £80.00

A vibrant screen print by Anna Marrow featuring a glitter covered gold topped bottle of milk. Showing a more mischievous side to this little garden bird.

  • The Blue Tit is a small familiar friend in the garden. Feeding on aphids, beetles and caterpillars, it is one of the most agile and acrobatic birds and well suited to hanging upside down from feeders. It nests in boxes or holes in trees.

The Owl And The Butterfly by Lauren Mortimer – £95.00

This ornate owl giclée print by Lauren Mortimer is taken from one of her highly detailed graphite drawings. The bird’s wings camouflage a mass of butterflies or perhaps moths flocking to the moon.

  • The Barn Owl with its iconic heart-shaped face is mainly nocturnal and many will only ever see a fleeting glimpse. Probably more familiar are its blood-curdling night time screeches. Feeding on rodents it hunts over open countryside.

Common Kingfisher by Melissa North – £50.00

This bright and colourful screen print by Melissa North depicts the elusive Common Kingfisher, waiting amongst the reeds to make his move.

  • The Kingfisher, with is famous bright orange and blue plumage, can be seen darting alongside waterways, eating fresh water fish, and nesting in tunnels dug into the river bank.

Chaffinch by Freya Cumming – £60.00

This pretty screen print by Freya Cumming in pastel shades shows a proud Chaffinch sat on a blossom filled spring branch.

  • The Chaffinch is the UK’s most common finch, with a pink breast and white wing bars. It feeds on seeds and insects and is more likely to be seen on the ground scratching for fallen seeds rather than from hanging feeders themselves.

Crow of Winter: White by 57 Design – £80.00

Steve Mitchell of FiftySeven Design creates heavily ornate and detailed screen prints. This two colour silver and black screen print captures a crow in flight.

  • The Carrion Crow has black plumage, black beak and legs, and has a wingspan of between 84 – 100cm. They are also one of the smartest birds. With a noisy call and solitary lifestyle they are often cautious when entering gardens. The crow feeds on carrion, insects, worms and also forages for scraps.

Green Woodpecker by Chris Andrews – £60

Chris Andrews’ series of vintage inspired bird screen prints feature characterful illustrations of some much loved birds like this Green Woodpecker.

  • The Green Woodpecker is the largest of the woodpeckers found in Britain. Its favourite food are ants, which it digs up from the ground rather than pecking at trees. Vibrant green with with bright red on the top of its head, it nests in the hollows of trees.

These abstract bird shapes are inspired by Doves, the symbols of peace and love. Designed by Pivot these pieces are produced by homeless people. Pivot provide coaching, financial support and guidance to create swifter pathways out of temporary accommodation.

  • A common Dove found in the UK is the Collared Dove, named after the black band that sits at the back of their necks. Their familiar monotonous cooing can be heard in gardens and towns and they are frequent visitors to garden bird tables, picking at the seeds knocked to the ground from bird feeders by other birds.

Dove Earrings – Steel by Pivot – £17.00

Dove Pendant by Pivot – £32.00

Birdcase – Exclusive Edition by Adam Bartlett- £95.00

A mass of brightly coloured birds, perhaps Starlings chatter amongst the branches in this giclée print by Adam Bartlett. This print is taken from one of Adam Bartlett’s paintings in which he uses acrylic, emulsion, enamel and spray paint to build up multiple layers and textures.

  • Starlings are noisy little speckled birds and spend most of their time in large flocks. They are common visitors to gardens and famous for their murmurations – Acrobatic displays of large flocks, that form in autumn evenings before taking roost in the trees.

Spice Gulls by Mister Peebles – £18.00

Helen McGinley, aka Mister Peebles creates fun animal pun prints from her original watercolour illustrations. Like these Spics Gulls – A humorous depiction of the famous ‘girl power’ pop group.

  • The Herring Gull is the iconic sound of the seaside. Large noisy and over confident. Eating almost anything it won’t say no to plucking an ice cream from the hands of a distracted tourist.

Ring Necked Parakeet by Julio Guerra – £80.00

Julio Guerra creates coloured brightly coloured giclée prints of tropical birds. This Ring Necked Parakeet has found a new home in the South East of England and can be seen flying in noisy flocks.

  • Ring Necked Parakeets are the UK’s only naturalised parrot. Bright green with a red beak and a black ring around its neck which gives it its name. They visit gardens in the South East of England where they will eat seeds and berries.

Cormorant And Fish by Factory Press – £120.00

Liz Loveless of Factory Press creates beautifully illustrative and expressive prints in a variety of mediums. This impressive, large Cormorant stands proudly. Its out stretched wings made of screen printed feathers and other mark making. 

  • The Cormorant can be seen along rivers and costal areas, usually with wings outstretched, drying them in the sun. It is also an expert fisher.

We have some stylish ways you can encourage British birds into your garden.

The Birdball Seed Feeder by Green&Blue is designed to provide garden birds with a varied and reliable source of food. Made in the UK from slipcast clay, this simple and stylish design is frost resistant and offers safe, year-round feeding for birds such as tits, sparrows, finches, woodpeckers and nuthatches.

The Birdball Belle Feeder has been designed to hold both large and small fat balls, fruit and kitchen scraps, it can also be used to hold nesting material such as wool. The feeder allows small birds such as tits, sparrows, nuthatches and finches to feed while deterring larger birds.

Birdball Seed Feeder by Green & Blue – £59.95

Birdball Belle Feeder by Green & Blue – £29.00

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Creamore Mill

Welcome to the world of Creamore Mill, creators of beautiful wooden products. With their traditional skills and timeless designs, we take a look behind the scenes at this family owned woodturning workshop.

image – @creamoremill

Creamore Mill is located in rural Shropshire. From design and production to dispatch, they create a range of quality woodturned products, all under one roof. Their design ethos is one of function and longevity. Drawing inspiration from traditional tools and using combination of mechanised and hand finished skills, they transform carefully selected timber into simple, dependable pieces that are made to last.

Established in 1981 by John Buckland it was initially a much smaller operation, starting in a ten foot square former wash house with a handful of tools and a wood lathe. But it was here that many of the designs were developed that went on to become the focus of the business.

As it grew, the workshop needed more space. The business relocated to a former corn and wood mill called Creamore Mill. With a long history connected with woodturning it proved to be a fitting home. The mill was restored from a state of disrepair and its past association with woodworking and turning could once again continue.

Creamore Mill during renovations / Image – @creamoremill

The building had been a mill since 1851. It was established as a steam powered corn mill by Thomas Jebb, the son of a Whitchurch miller. Later it was taken over by former employee Henry Hinton and contained three pairs of French mill stones driven by a 12-horse power steam engine. During this time it not only milled flour, but was also used to machine timber. The milling probably continued into the 1960s, with the factory building being extended in 1961. Sometime after it became run down, until the 1980s when Creamore Mill was revived into the business we see today.

Creamore Mill Branding on the back of ledges / Image – @creamoremill

The mill sources seasoned or kilned timber from UK sawmills. The most common species in production are oak, beech and redwood. They are careful to select only species of timber that are widely available from sustainable sources, originating in well managed forests across Scandinavia, North America and Europe. Creamore Mill conforms to EUTR (EU timber regulations) and our suppliers are FSC and PEFC accredited.

Image – @creamoremill
Image – @creamoremill

Everything happens at the mill and this allows full control over the making process from start to finish. Woodturning is used to transform rough blocks of wood into its final form. Some pieces then go on to be hand finished, sanded or tumbled. Creamore Mill’s design and production is about celebrating wood and all these methods are sympathetic to the natural qualities of the timber.

We stock a variety of Creamore Mill products at Of Cabbages and Kings including Picture Hangers, Seed Collecting Kits, Paper Pot Presses and Oak Picture Ledges. Simple, functional and timeless designs for your home and garden.

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source – creamore.co.uk

OC&K Curates: Nurturing Nature

An air of optimism is needed when times are hard, and that optimism can be found in the smallest of places. Be it a windowsill or an expanse of lawn, it’s important to connect with nature wherever we can. Bright flowers blooming around us, or insects flying past our window are reasons to bring joy into our life and we can encourage this joy for us and others around us.

With this blog post we bring you the garden. Here at Of Cabbages and Kings with have a variety of gifts and garden themed ideas from prints and garden accessories to ways of encouraging wildlife into your backyard.

We all know that bees are important for our ecosystem. So let’s help with the pollination of plants and crops. But did you know that there are over 200 species of solitary bees? A great way to provide a home for the these vital insects are Bee Bricks from Green&Blue. Coming in a variety of sizes they are perfect for a patio, garden wall or balcony. Solitary bees use the small nooks and crannies to lay their eggs. A perfectly designed contemporary home for bees in a modern, clean-cut world where their natural habitats are dwindling.

Small Bee Block by Green&Blue – £18.75

Bee Brick by Green&Blue – £30.00

This attractive Bee Friendly Tea Towel is sure to become a gardener’s best friend. A collaboration with Friends of the Earth and homewares designer Stuart Gardiner, it contains a guide to essential flowers that encourage bees and pollinating insects into your garden.

Bee Friendly Tea Towel by Stuart Gardiner – £12

Kew is one of the world’s greatest gardens. It houses the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections, while providing scientific research into conservation. Caitlin Parks has produced this multi layered screen print in a colourful collage style of the tropical plants and grand greenhouses. A cheerful print celebrating one of the most established and visited collections of plants from across the globe.

Kew Gardens by Caitlin Parks – £120

Being organised in the garden is a must when it comes to seeds. You don’t want to mix up your courgettes with your cornflowers! This seed collecting kit from Creamore Mill has everything you need to collect, store, plant and record your seeds. Envelopes and a pencil for keeping a record, dibber for planting seeds and wooden labels for marking what you have planted and where. If you are conscious to reduce plastic use in the garden, with this Paper Pot Press you can make recyclable and biodegradable newspaper pots for starting seedlings. These pots can be planted straight into the ground minimising damage to the roots of young plants.

Seed Collecting Kit by Creamore Mill – £14.50

Paper Pot Press by Creamore Mill – £12.50

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This innovative bird feeder by Green&Blue is a stylish way to complete a modern garden. Its clean and simple design adds a contemporary feature to any out door space, while also offering year-round feeding for birds such as tits, sparrows, finches, woodpeckers and nuthatches.

Birdball Seed Feeder by Green&Blue – £55

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This second print by Caitlin Parks is perfect for amateur twitchers. A limited edition screen print, British Birds is in a wood-cut style and illustrates some of our most popular garden visitors.

British Birds by Caitlin Parks – £35

Maybe your little bit of green space are the houseplants that decorate your home. These 3D printed mid-century modern style planters from Studio Nilli are made from bioplastic. Tall legged pots are perfect for plants that grow and trail like vines, devils ivy and string of pearls.

Tall White Legged Planter by Studio Nilli – £35

These Houseplant Care Cards are the ultimate guide to growing happy plants – you can’t fail! A boxed gift set containing 35 cards packed full of advice and tips for botanical success indoors.

House Plant Care Cards by Another Studio – £12.95

And what better way to celebrate your green fingered achievements than with these Plant Awards! Featuring: Dream Plant, Surviving and Still Alive rosettes.

Plant Award – Dream Plant Ornament – £5.75

Plant Award – Surviving Plant Ornament – £5.75

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This peaceful image of a gardener, captures a sense of meditation at work. Garden Man is a 7 colour screen print by artist Tom Berry and forms part of Tom Berry’s Daily Rites Series which explores the ritual of daily activities.

Garden Man by Tom Berry – £75

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