the sudden appearance of a third toe and a workshop in brooklyn

The truth is I thought birds had two toes. Some birds anyway. I was aware that many birds had 3 toes but, for reasons I don’t fully understand, I thought that there were also lots of birds with two toes. The actual number is much closer to zero…

I stand by my two toes. I think two is exactly the right number of toes for birds who go camping and put on plays and get married in the forest.  Exactly the right number of toes for ballerina birds and pirates.

bird foot made from paper and wire

And I have lately decided that 3 toes is the appropriate number of toes for my more realistic songbirds. How to add the third toe was a puzzle though. I failed again and again, rejecting methods that were too complicated or unreliable.  Last Sunday I landed on a simple and elegant solution, a method and a realistic three toed bird foot I am thoroughly pleased with. It’s going in the pattern. PS – I haven’t given up on the cast foot – it is in the works – more on that soon.

hand stitched birds

handmade fabric bird

And I’ll teach the three toed method at my next songbird workshop, my first ever in NYC, and right down the street from my place! Come to Brooklyn for a two day songbird workshop on June 2nd and 3rd at Brooklyn General.

find all the details and register here

And if you’ve got questions send me an email, I’m happy to help.


  1. Patricia Smith

    Love your humour and work. Thank you.

  2. Love the look of the third toe. And now they can have a good scratch when they need it.

  3. Hope you’ll share that 3-toe method with us here sometime. I’ve tried and tried too, but no success, and I’d really love my birds to have all their toes!

  4. Claire Dean

    I’d like to add to Lois’ plea for you to please reveal your method to us! I live in England so it is not really possible for me to attend one of your workshops! I do have a method but it is lacking in either consistency or structure!

  5. Majena Mafe

    Three toes all the better to stand up? I’m making lots of lovely bird bodies but cannot get my version of bird legs to stand the darlings up … any advice gratefully appreciated … love your work Ann I love having birds on my mind … I’ve recently moved from Australia to France and am missing my bird companions … I’m trying magpie and parrots but all are just plump little bodies at this stage.

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