A balmy minus-7C this morning and it feels much warmer than yesterday, as the vicious wind has dropped. Today’s heart commemorates the flowers on the parrotia persica tree, which is growing in an old cider press directly outside our front door. I planted this for winter colour and to be frank, it doesn’t give much: though a relative of the witch hazel, with near-identical leaves that take colour in autumn, the flowers are mere tiny red fronds, tipped with yellow, nestled in brown velvet calyxes lined with green. The is the kind of winter jewellery that has to be sought out to be appreciated.
Today’s threads are dark brown Cartier-Bresson perlé no 5, soft brown Anchor six-strand embroidery thread mixed with two strands of green DMC retors d’Alsace, red Cartier-Bresson coton à broder no 16 and yellow Peri-Lusta Convent Cotton no 35. The stitches are Palestrina knot for the outline, coral stitch for the stems, detached chain stitches filled with satin stitch for the calyxes and satin stitch for the flowers. As you can see, the embroidery is not far short of life-size today.