The flamingo crisis

I do love me a flamboyance of flamingoes. The colours. The endless legs. That almost ridiculous neck. And they just scream tropical vintage. How could I not love them?

2040577615_d11399de53_bPhoto: Pedro Szekely via Flickr

I encountered a flamboyance of flamingoes (don’t you love that term!) in the wild when I was in Kenya and they were just as stunning as I had imagined.flamingos2

As far as I’m aware the world does not have a sock flamingo pattern, a travesty of justice that needs to be remedied. I set about designing my very own on a crafting weekend recently. Socks love to curve and the shape was travelling well, I created wings from felt in shades of pink that I instantly loved. But when it all came together the flamingo just wasn’t right. It was gawky. Kinda cool. But also pretty ugly. Nothing I tried with the beak helped. My kids stared at it in disgust. My sister said… “ooooh yeah…. I see what you mean”.

I had hit upon a flamingo crisis.


This kind of thing isn’t foreign to me. Ever since design school I’ve experienced the highs and lows of creativity. There’s always that moment of having to stop and figure out what isn’t working, undo some of your design and re-work it until you’re happy. This is true of graphic design, advertising campaigns, writing and, yes, even softie design. So I did what any creative would do in the same situation – I completely ignored it. The flamingo was shelved.

Fear not. The flamingo is back. Last night I spent an hour drawing with the big kid and in the midst of monsters, robots and a sketch of me wearing a tracksuit that is joined into a dress at the waist (flattering), I solved my dilemma. It’s all about the head size. Not the beak after all. The flamingo is going to be OK.

So tonight I’ll be re-stitching the flamingo and hopefully over the weekend you’ll see the end result. Fingers crossed.




3 thoughts on “The flamingo crisis

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