The project of making a bag for the youngest son, to keep his waterbottle and such in at events, was a challenge until I decided to go for free embroidery instead of a counted border. My main inspiration for doodle embroidery is this wonderful shirt/shift from the 17th C:
With this in mind I searched for animals to draw on a square piece of linen hemp, and then I draw some outlines in pencil. Then I embroidered one little animal per night, using a dark ambercoloured silk and using stemstitch for the outlines and stabstitch for effect. This is the result:
The only animal I haven´t found an example of in period art, embroidery or manuscript illuminations was the polar bear, but the youngling insisted on having one since it is his favourite animal. They were of course known in period and friendly people have pointed out that there even was one living in the court of Henry III and it was allowed to swim in the river Thames to catch fish.
Now my next project is a similar piece for the eldest son, who has decided on having only flying animals on his. So far I have drawn a collection of birds, a fly, a dragonfly, a butterfly and of course a bat and a dragon. This is so much fun spending my nights doodeling in front of the telly.