Sunday, 4 December 2011

Magic And Frozen Gardens

"Many a winter's night she flies through the streets of the town, and peeps in at the windows; and they then freeze in so wondrous a manner that they look like flowers."

Since writing about Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen here two weeks ago 
her icy presence has been felt in our home.
 "The flake of snow grew larger and larger; and at last it was like a young lady, dressed in the finest white gauze, made of a million little flakes like stars. She was so beautiful and delicate, but she was of ice, of dazzling, sparkling ice; yet she lived; her eyes gazed fixedly, like two stars; but there was neither quiet nor repose in them. She nodded towards the window, and beckoned with her hand."

 As part of my treasured birthday gifts I received this book
and this one too.
 Both have inspired me in many ways. The ball of "Silver Fox" Madelinetosh Sock Yarn in the first picture and the ivory silk left from Angélique's christening in the second are being crafted into two surprises which I will reveal soon, very soon...
There is no denying that the magic of winter is seductive. Thank goodness for I must confess I have been feeling bereft recently. I have lost my voice a little on this blog and the reason for this, I believe, is simply because gardens are frozen or - as the text on the page below implies - suspended in time and place. I must look for my inspiration elsewhere.
"Kay and Gerda's parents had large wooden boxes, in which vegetables for the kitchen were planted, and little rose-trees besides: there was a rose in each box, and they grew splendidly. They now thought of placing the boxes across the gutter, so that they nearly reached from one window to the other, and looked just like two walls of flowers. The tendrils of the peas hung down over the boxes; and the rose-trees shot up long branches, twined round the windows, and then bent towards each other: it was almost like a triumphant arch of foliage and flowers. The boxes were very high, and the children knew that they must not creep over them; so they often obtained permission to get out of the windows to each other, and to sit on their little stools among the roses, where they could play delight fully."

If you would like to discover more about this illustrator you can see more of her work here and here.  Let me know if you like her art, won't you please?  I have a good reason for asking ;-)
The Lady Who Understood Magic In Her Flower Garden
Whilst it is normal to yield to the charms of reds and gold with the approaching festive season I still hanker after pinks and greens.

 Inspired by the remaining trailing roses (in December?) which I peek at over lofty garden walls in our glorious village and Amanda Soule's hasty knitting up of these delights
I decided to follow in her footsteps.
 Here is my Dried Rose Petals cardigan.
The pattern is Kelly's "In Threes" 
The yarn is Malabrigo Worsted Merino in "Dusty Pink".
To quote Amanda it's a beautiful breeze of a pattern. 
And what of magic?
A few weeks ago (too many to mention, I'm afraid) I won my FiRsT giveaway from Robin's adorable blog. 
 This keychain has brought me so much luck! A few days later I won AnOtHeR gift this time from Emma's blog Mimi and Tilly which arrived on my birthday!
 Pink paper and purple ribbon...
 And inside.... Just look at those magical topaz earrings!

I couldn't be happier with these two gifts.  Pop over and visit these lovely ladies, won't you, please? Emma is doing a feature on Coco Rose right now!

This is really beginning to sound like a fairytale for BoTh these presents have doubled my luck because THIS week on the same DAY I won a fabulous giveaway at Annie's aNd at Sue's!

Can you believe my luck?  I promise to show you the two splendidly generous books when I receive them. 

Annie has added the final cherry on my GoOd FoRtUnE cake by bestowing a Versatile Blogger Award to Millefeuilles which (and this is really getting embarrassing) has followed one awarded by sweet Trish. I am so LUCKY!
There are wintery, frosty creatures being stitched up right now amonst other treasures and I will reveal all on the week of the 12th December for Making Winter Week at Silverpebble.
Ha!  Somebody cannot wait to get her hands on that soft cardigan!
A bientôt!


  1. Such beautiful illustrations! I completely adore them! Your cardigan is perfect to warm a winter's day. The colour is fantastic. Thank you for sharing the earrings I made for you. I love the little box, and have bought some more to put Christmas gifts in! It's lovely ot thear how lucky you've been winning giveaways, it's put a smile on my face today. Well done you! Em xx

  2. Oops, I meant "to hear" not "ot thear"!

  3. Wow- Congratulations on all that amazing luck!!!
    And yes, I like those illustrations very much- beautiful

  4. I have seen Miss Clara before and I am so in love with this post. Your books are so magical and you have totally inspired me ith this post. I love your blog. I will be popping back laer today to swoon again. Your posts are alays magical.
    Happy birthday, belatedly dearie. Well done on your very well deserved luck. xxx

  5. Beautiful books, beautiful words, beautiful post and knitwear.......magical!

  6. So beautiful Stephanie. These illustrations are incredibly inspiring, particularly in the dark depths of winter, which we are experiencing in spades! I am really looking forward to your reveal over at Making Winter Week. And how wonderful you’ve been winning and winning and winning again! Congratulations!

  7. Pure winter wonderland magic x

  8. Hello Stephanie...I am having a wonderfully relaxing Sunday afternoon here and it has been lovely to drift into your enchanting world if only for a short while!...
    Beautiful illustrations....I am going to visit this lovely blog shortly....a chance to practice my rusty French too!... Your little cardigan is so pretty....I will always love pink and green at any time of year...
    Oh my...you have been on such a lucky run with the giveaways my friend and all so wonderful too... but so well deserved!
    Hope you have a lovely week,
    Susan x

  9. Gosh, you have been lucky! And very well deserved it all is too. I know just what you mean when you say you feel a little as if you've lost your blogging way, as I feel rather the same, but please keep doing just what you do as your posts are always enchanting and often erudite. I'll get that book in the post to you very soon I promise, and perhaps the photographs of glorious flowers within will lift your winter blues a little. Although I have to say that for me a sleeping winter garden has a very special atmosphere, and without the dull grey days and the bright frosty ones would we really appreciate the glories of summer?

    The illustrations I adore and am curious to know why you ask.

  10. Lady luck is shining on you, you lovely lady.
    The illustrations are magical, I love them, and the dried rose petals cardigan is so adorable.
    Winter is magical, as are your beautiful posts.
    Stay warm.x

  11. A lovely wintry post,just perfect for today. The illustrations are beautiful, and how pretty the little cardigan is in that dried rose petal pink. I am so glad you have won lots of wonderful gifts, especially around your birthday, how lovely and what timing! Wishing you a very happy belated birthday, Stephanie, and a wonderful year ahead.
    Helen x

  12. Dearest one,

    You have just featured my favorite paper artist, EVER, the divine MISS CLARA. I have corresponded with her and what a delightful woman. Her art and vision is what I am made of...I can only look at her world and be inspired but CHALLENGED to not imitate but create my own version. Your lovely wares always connote a sense of whimsy, magic and an ethereal word, as they are suspended on gentle branches. Oh what wonder is here....thank you for being my friend! Anita

  13. Your postings are always magical and this one just sparkles...with good fortune for you and such a lovely knitted cardigan...the color looks good enough to eat!
    Beautiful work.

    Our gardens are also frozen and covered with a fresh blanket of snow...it is now the dream time and quilting becomes the flowers I pick.

  14. Fortune is definitely favouring you at the moment Stephanie!
    Thoses illustrations (especially the first one) are so beautiful as is your Dried Rose Petals cardigan, no wonder the little one wants it. :)
    I love the idea that the garden is 'suspended in time and place', very romantic!
    Vivienne x

  15. Stephanie I am in awe of your knitting, particularly since I remember you saying you haven't been doing it for very long. I have finally picked up my needles again but it is a very slow process so don't hold your breath for any imminent announcement!
    You truly have been lucky .. for goodness sake, buy a lottery ticket before it changes!
    Kate x

  16. Dear Stephanie, such a magical and lucky post! I love both your books and indeed after spending way too much time reading French blogs I can report that they are filled with enchanting creations from Astrid's book sewn at home ...
    and that dear little cardigan is surely being worn right now ...
    Barbara x

  17. The Snow Queen is so captivating. The illustrations are beautiful. Well done on your win,

  18. The illustrations are lovely. I too hanker after pink and green - at all times of the year.

    Congratulations on winning all those giveaways! (I mailed your package yesterday and hope it arrives safely and quickly.)

    Looking forward to what you have to reveal next week. The little cardigan is beautiful, and the buttons exquisite.

  19. Wow!!! Those illustrations are amazing - so eautiful and delicate!!! And those kids' costumes..... Why aren't any of them is my size?!?! ;-)

  20. Stephanie, such a magical post AGAIN, thank you and I love the cardigans! Congratulations of all your good luck!

  21. OH MY GOODNESS, OH MY GOODNESS! 1) This book is unbelievably lovely, thank you so much for letting me know!! 2) I WILL be getting it. Barefoot Books has divine books. So happy to see I can get it in English! 3) I WILL be blogging about this one, to try and let people know about this magical creation! xo, Melissa

  22. I love the Snow Queen story - one of my favourites since childhood, and I was so pleased when it became a favourite of my children's. We had it on a story tape in the car, so now, rather oddly, it reminds me of summer holidays together!

    Pomona x

  23. Ahh,could you not just fall into the book and live amongst the beautiful artwork. I cannot believe she cuts them out of paper too. I had a look at her web site, even the music was enchanting.
    Oh how wonderful to win all the lovely give aways, so deserved, your blog has a little magic in it :)
    x Sandi

  24. Those illustrations! They are just so beautiful and capture the magic of the scenes perfectly. Gorgeous knitting too. Have a lovely week lovely lady xx

  25. dear stephanie,
    i am so happy to have finally been able to acess your blog, i kept running into permission denied. but where there's a will, there is a way!

    first, happy birthday! and books! that would be my happiest gift, along with wool to knit. i do love the illustrations in your book, the colors are so soft and pretty.

    congratulations on all your wins, how very exciting! and i agree, what fun timing, all around your birthday, wonderful!

    i love your knitting, the in threes looks lovely in that color. have you a ravelry account then? we could be friends! if you were on the in threes pattern page, you may have seen a dark haired pink cheeked wee babe wearing a yellow in threes, that would be from my page! i am lorix5.

    well, i am glad to finally have made my way here, and now i'm looking forward to seeing what your making with the gorgeous m.t.
    xxoo lori

  26. I do understand that feeling of having lost your way with the blog. I have been feeling a little of that lately. I had not associated it with turning away from the garden but I think you are right. I absolutely love the illustrations. Why do you want to know? And thank you for adding me to your blogroll. I am honoured to be in such company!

  27. Lady Luck is smiling on you Stephanie, because you deserve to be smiled upon. The illustrations are beautiful, so wintry and evocative. I sympathise with you over the cold weather, it makes me want to curl up and hibernate, perhaps it's having the same effect on you? Congratulations on winning those giveaways, they couldn't have gone to a nicer person. Love Vanessa xxx

  28. Lovely birthday gifts, Stephanie, wonderful books !
    I've already found Miss Clara's blog recently, her art works are amazing !
    Congratulations on winning those giveaways, you're very lucky :-)
    Enjoy !

  29. I like that picture of the lady in the garden! I looked at the artist site, the top nav took a bit of chasing after. Her work seems to be mixed media. Wonderful stuff. The book of the Snow Queen is a real work of art. Thank you for sharing these magical finds.

    HUGS Lorraine

  30. What amazing luck :) I love the illustrations and I think I've seen an animated film maybe??? Gorgeous knitting too.

  31. wonderful post, thanks for sharing i sooo adore the illustrations, costumes...magical xx
    Absolutely delightful knit wear- love it!!!! and the childrens outfits, sooo sweet xx

  32. Ooooo, such lovely giveaway winnings! Congratulations Stephanie...and Happy, Belated Birthday to you!
    The lovely illustrations draw me into a magical fairyland indeed...an enchantment surely.
    I do lovely your new knits...they are absolutely luscious! And a perfect colour to give a bit of cheer to a snowy Winters day.

    Wishing you a cozy,weekend...

    Warmly, Judy

  33. What a wonderful book! So lovely in every way. Beautiul sweater , i do love that color in winter, seems to just add a glow to the holidays...

  34. Lucky girl winning all those giveaways! If you wander over to my blog in a couple of days I'm having a new giveaway to celebrate hitting 50 followers, see if your luck holds out :-)
    Love the cardigan, what a pretty colour.

  35. Malabrigo makes everything better!

  36. What a beautiful post, the illustrations are so magical. I love the cardigan, such a gorgeous colour x
    Sophie x

  37. You are an excellent knitter (and writer!) Your books are beautiful, and now I must run and search out my old book to find the story of The Snow Queen. The illustrations are enchanting and magical. I love art. I also like your color choices for this time of year. Happy Birthday! My birthday is 3 days before Christmas!

  38. Bravo pour ton blog!! Et surtout, merci pour ce contenu qui me fait toujours plaisir!!
    voyance gratuite en ligne


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