What A Time To Run Out of Fat Balls!


We have just had about 3 days of  snowfall which, coupled with a strong wind causing it to drift, made for some deep snow in places and the birds were frantically feeding on our balcony.


We usually get lots of blue tits, great tits and the occasional marsh tit but, this time, we got some more unusual visitors.


This goldfinch and a few of his mates became regular visitors – they have never been before so it was really good to see them.  Note the fat balls getting low.

siskinA Siskin at the sunflower seeds.

DSC_0055A chaffinch in the ‘waiting room’ as I call the gingko bilbao tree in our front garden, where the birds watch our balcony to make sure it’s safe before feeding.

hawfinchThe most exciting visitor – a Hawfinch.  Apparently very shy and usually hidden but willing to emerge for some grub.

DSC_0011Salem enjoying some cat telly or some may call it cat torture.

DSC_0002Salem and a goldfinch pretending not to see each other.  Note the fat balls now completely gone and we are snowed in so I can’t get more.

We’ve been cooking up some rice for them but it’s difficult to feed some of the birds who usually take worms and things although, even they have been braving the balcony to forage.   I feel I am compensating (just a bit) for my 4 cats.  I suppose , out at the back of the house, the birds have been taking more risks than usual to search for food and  the Ginger beast, Henry,who would make Garfield look skinny, killed two birds recently.  Lord knows how – I think he must sit on them, I can’t imagine him running.  The cats can’t get out on the balcony so I feel I’m providing a safe haven.

Quilting with Cotton Perlé

The 18th Birthday came and went and I am still hand quilting.  Not entirely my fault this time as I had to wait for supplies to arrive.  Well, I suppose if I’d ordered them earlier they would have arrived in time but I am good at shifting the blame.  I am quite enjoying this quilting with cotton perlé no. 8 (get me being all technical), not least because it is allowed to do big stitches as they are supposed to be visible plus you can choose from some lovely colours.  I’ve quilted 5 stars –  only another 20 to go.


On the knickers front, I have made a toile for the retro 1940s big pants which is fine but my 4-way stretch jersey hasn’t arrived from the U.K. yet and I’m beginning to think it has got lost.  So, in the meantime, as I haven’t got enough other things to do, I sent for another pattern which is for more ‘normal’ size knickers with cute ruffles which you could wear as sleepwear or perhaps under a voluminous skirt or dress unless you want a somewhat bizarre panty line. For these it is possible to cut the fabric on the bias which enables you to use lots of lovely cottons.   I haven’t finished them yet but here’s a sneaky peak.  Yes, thank you, they are supposed to have that frayed effect – you tear the strips of fabric instead of cutting them but the jury is out on what I think about it.   Next time, I might make neater ruffles.  I’ll see how they look when I’ve got the other leg hole done and the elastic put in.  Cute polka dots though, aren’t they?

By the way, in case any of you have any trepidation about the modelling of finished knickers, fear not.  I will employ (or coerce) a younger, fitter, smoother, leaner version or use a mannequin.  Or, I might just decide not to show you my knickers at all.

I hope, what with the title of this post, the names of certain birds and now tantalising glimpses of knickers, I am not attracting the wrong sort of visitor.  However, if you have arrived here by way of  certain Google searches, I do apologise for any false hopes I may have raised.

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  1. #1 by Rose H on February 28, 2013 - 14:49

    What a glorious selection of birds Lynn, it gladdens the heart to see them – the cats too I guess!
    Don’t know if the recipe on here for bird butter may help you out as it depends what you have in the larder…
    I’m looking forward to ‘seeing’ your finished knickers if you know what I mean ;o)
    In the mean time keep safe and warm.
    Rose H

  2. #2 by tialys on February 28, 2013 - 15:10

    Thanks Rose – I am out of peanut butter but have everything else. Off to tell Mr. Tialys who, fortuitously, is out chopping logs at the moment, to look out for one that will suit being turned into a bark butter feeder. I apologise for the photos but the bird feeders hang on the rails of my balcony one floor up, outside my kitchen and, if I open the windows it could scare them away, especially if one of the cats were quick to seize such an opportunity. So, I stand patiently with my telescopic lens, trying not to let the glass of wine from the night before cause my hands to be unsteady, and take the photos through the window. I am sometimes amazed they come out as well as they do as I am not known to be that handy with the Windolene and sometimes it’s more than one glass! I should set up my tripod really but it never occurs to me until it’s too late. Anyway – off to source some peanut butter. I’ll try for the crunchy but it might have to be the smooth as it’s not that freely available here. Thanks again for the link.

  3. #3 by UniqueNique on February 28, 2013 - 17:32

    Oh boy I love your blog posts beautiful pictures and entertaining writing what more could a person want 😀

    • #4 by tialys on February 28, 2013 - 20:21

      Thanks Nique – I’m so pleased you can find the time to drop by now & then.

  4. #5 by Wendz on March 2, 2013 - 09:53

    I shudder to think of anyone googling fat balls. Yuk. 🙂

    The birds are beautiful….I am quite keen to do something to attract nicer tweeties to our garden, instead of just crows, seagulls, magpies and pigeons. Looking at your bird pics, my mind started figuring out how to turn them ( or one of them) into an applique design…..hmmmm. Nature is hugely inspiring.

    Love your hand quilting. Cor, the patience you have!

  5. #6 by tialys on March 2, 2013 - 10:58

    Have you got somewhere you can hang feeders where they are not close to any adjoining ‘perches’? From my observations (that’s me coming over all scientific), I have found that the larger birds can’t cling on to the feeders so you end up with just the smaller ones. We have a pair of doves and some blackbirds that came to the balcony during the worst of the snow but they hung around underneath the feeders to take whatever fell out which I don’t mind as blackbirds are my most favourite birds.. Although there are quite a few magpies around here they don’t come up onto the balcony – perhaps it’s too close to the house. Mind you, I’m always telling my mum off for going out to her bird feeder and shooing the big birds away as she claims she only puts food out for the little birds.
    I look forward to seeing your new appliqué design – it will be the nearest I have ever been to being an artist’s ‘muse’

  6. #7 by Jan Marriott on March 5, 2013 - 15:32

    I always think the wee birds look so smart with their colours.

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