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Sunday, 25 March 2012

Spring Introductions

Dear readers,
I am full of joy to be here with you today on this glorious day.
Please indulge my childlike enthusiasm here. 
I have succumbed to spring folly.  Whilst March is usually the month of hares I have been busy dreaming about rabbits.
Let me introduce you to:

Mademoiselle Potager,
Mademoiselle Myosotis (Forget Me Not),
Mademoiselle Viola,
and finally, Mademoiselle Jardin anglais and Mademoiselle Primavera.
These two have become good friends.
I started making these five -and it has been such a pleasure - a few weeks ago for a very special couple - Sylvie and Xavier - who have brought happiness into our family's life.  When we first arrived in Touraine in July 2009 I spent a year wandering like a lost soul looking for the perfect resting place.  I found plenty of gardens of course.  What a multitude of Edens there are nestled in the idyllic countryside on both the north and south banks of the Loire river.  (Can you imagine how excited I am that the garden season is soon upon us?  I cannot wait to share some of its magic with you.)  The kind of place I am referring to here  however is a special café or tea room to which you are drawn.  A place with the best quality products, beautiful, comfortable surroundings and warm people.
We found it in June 2010.  A newly built little corner of heaven most aptly built opposite the eleventh-century village church (how did they get planning permission for that, you might ask yourselves) just down the hill from our house.
This is Xavier hanging up the freshly concoted menu for lunch and his wife Sylvie is preparing blinis.
A perfect mix of restaurant, café and grocery shop which is also a space for exhibitions.
Most fortuitous indeed.
Wouldn't you love to come here for a drink and a chat?  I wish you could!  You would immediately understand my fondness for this lovingly crafted place which has become a success over the past two years.
Sylvie (pictured above) asked me if I could create a few rabbits for their shop to bring a bit of spring fever into the place.  A sort of pre-Easter exhibition with a garden theme.  I was delighted and so set to work often late in the evenings after the children were in bed and during quiet moments carved out of our busy lives thanks to Mickaël, my dear, patient husband.  These rabbits of mine are a little strange looking but their long, slender bodies lend themselves well to carefully stitched clothes and a little ornamentation.
There is also a beautiful walled garden arround this sunlit terrace with a large, gnarled apple tree which casts shade on this otherwise hot place in summer.  Sylvie and Xavier are passionate about gardening as well as food and art.  They really are the most wonderful of people.  I thank them both for giving me the chance to make some spring creatures for La Part Belle - which translates roughly into English as "The Best Portion" or "The Choice Slice" - and look forward to spending many, many happy moments in their company.

Thank you all so very, very much for your sweetly worded comments on my last post.  I still feel a need a little more time but I shall be back soonish.  In the meantime I will continue to visit your little corners of pleasure and I am so grateful you take the time to visit me here.

A bientôt,

Stephanie



87 comments:

  1. Gorgeous bunnies!
    What a fabulous looking place. I feel I could waste hours tucked away in there.
    Ellie
    x

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  2. I would love to join you for a drink and a chat Stephanie, it looks wonderful!!! :)
    Oh my your rabbits, I love them all, you're a very clever lady!!
    Each one of them is so beautifully made, the embroidery and knitting and I love their names and little stories!
    Enjoy your Sunday,
    Vivienne x

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  3. You write so warmly of your friends and their shop that I'm sure we would all pop in there now if we could!

    Your rabbits are beautiful, I love the little knitted clothes and embroidered embellishments, just perfect. I bet they will be much admired in their new home.

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  4. Your little rabbits are adorable, Stephanie! Every tiny little detail gives them each a very special personality! :)
    The tea house looks wonderful, and I can't wait to see more of your spring posts!
    Hope you all have a lovely weekend!
    ~ Zuzu

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  5. HAPPY SPRING MISS STEPHANIE! This makes my day to see this post. Those rabbits! You are a magician! I'm so impressed by people who can make such wonderful things. Oh, you might have missed it but you need to come over to my site and see the Spring Cherry Blossom Origami Lantern Tree that Julia and I made! Just go look in my archive for March, it's on the March List -- you'll love it!

    This shop! Divine. How I wish I could come see it! It looks just like the type of cafe that I would ADORE.

    Happy Day to you!!! xoxoxo

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  6. Oh Stephanie, my heart is singing with joy with YOU as I read and view every word and photo.

    I just got home from going to the printers to produce some cards with my illustrations for an order. The day is bright, my white studio is the perfect backdrop for the sun to come in and cause an explosion of LIGHT that dances with the spring colors of fabrics I have strewn here to use for my next idea.

    I AM SO HAPPY to see your comment come in. Speaking of rabbits, we have WILD RABBITS that come every year. Some years we have at least 3 rabbits that live in our garden,and this year, there is one particular bunny that has taken up residence in our boxwood garden. It is our mini version of LES JARDINS DE MARQUEYSSAC! So I have a fondness for these dear creatures that I see have inspired you with some WONDERFUL ART!!!! I AM IN LOVE with every one of your rabbits and I am so happy for you. When we are creating the child within us, I believe that many of us are the most happy. Leaving all adult responsibilities aside with WORK, this is my happy place, TO CREATE WHAT I WANT.

    I am well my dear, thank you for asking. I am entering into a new phase of my life that will require some risks, but I am up to it. Many changes are on the horizon, or at least in the planning stages. I WISH YOU THE MOST WONDERFUL season of creativity and progress, success and future planning! How is your thesis coming along?

    LOVE AND GREETINGS from Minnesota to FRANCE for you, ma chère amie!! Anita

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  7. Love the bunnies Stephanie! The little details like the embroidery make them extra special. They will be right at home in that lovely shop. Happy Spring to you!!! Lynne

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  8. Hello sweet lady :o)
    your little friends are divine...i just love their little cross stitch tatoos...just gorgeous and what a place!!!.... that looks perfect, somewhere special to visit.
    love jooles x

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  9. Oh what a beautiful place...how I would like to meet and chat with you there lovely Stephanie.
    Your rabbits are delightful, I love them.x

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  10. Bonjour les lapins, trop mignon! It looks lovely where you are and I can't wait to see the lovely places you visit xxx

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  11. Dear Stephanie,

    This is such a happy post! Your cheerful looking rabbits bring a huge smile to my face. Your friends of the café will be delighted with them. They are truly unique! I fell in love with mademoiselle Jardin Anglais the moment I saw her. She looks very sophisticated in her light blue dress covered with roses. The matching cardigan and floral socks make her perfect to me! You should start an Etsy shop. You will have me as your first customer!!!

    Like you I am happy the gardening season has started again. You can see changes in the garden almost every day. The sun speeds things up! I spent a whole day painting the inside of our garden house. The ceilings are all white now, so pretty! Still have to give it one more layer of paint and after that I can start on my cupboard :-)!

    The café of your friends looks like the sort of place I enjoy going to as well. Bright, cheerful & lots of fresh food!

    Wish you a lovely new week. Enjoy the sun!

    Love, Madelief x

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  12. What beautiful bunnies, so lovingly crafted and so much attention to detail. The cafe looks lovely too, wouldn't it be great if we could get together for a coffee with all our blog friends :)

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  13. Thank you for sharing your truly delightful bunny rabbits with us Stephanie, they are absolutely STUNNING and have been made with such love and care and attention to detail, I think you need to open up an etsy shop with these beauties in! As for the cafe well it ticks all my boxes and I too would have been over the moon with such a place opening near me. So uplifting and special, wishing you a wonderous week ahead xox Penelope

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  14. Hello! I had been to visit before your plug, which was nice to know you miss me. I meant to pop over before. I don't know what has happened, but there seems to be no time! I am still doing your dolly, so sorry it is taking so long. Everything is taking ages and I am having sgiht everything I do is rubbish wobbles.
    I love love love the rabbits. They are so exceedingly special and beautiful. I love the embroidery, especially the flowery one. Their clothes are lovely, they are such beauties. I think they will be much coveted in the shop. The details are amazing.
    I wish we had something similar close to us. The city centre is much more interesting. Things are a bit less so out in the sticks where we live, although I found a lovely little shop the other day. I am happy that you found kindred souls. It is so important and something I do miss here.
    LOVE your blog header too. You are so talented. I wish I could sit with you in the sun and chat away. Big hugs to you. xxx

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  15. de toute beauté ces lapinous!
    et tous les détails sont plus beaux les uns que les autres!

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  16. They are lovely Stephanie, truly lovely x

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  17. Your new Easter buddies are unbelievably cute! I LOVE all the little, extra details you've put on them!!! You're so clever!!! :-)
    Carly
    x

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  18. Your rabbits are absolutely beautiful - I love them all. They're little works of art.
    Emily x

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  19. What exquisite creatures, Stephanie, and I can imagine that it wasn't easy to find the time to work on them amid the rush of family life. Charming on their own, they are all the more so displayed as an ensemble as you depict them here, and will make many new friends in the café. Lucky you to live near to such an attractive place!

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  20. your rabbits are stunning, such gorgeous details and lovely materials.

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  21. Dear Stephanie, how do you do it ?? Making these little works of art, with such detail, the cross stitched little paws.....and still manage to be a source of support and encouragement to your dear friends ....and look after your family!! Your heart is full...and it shows! A generous heart Stephanie is a beautiful thing....have a most happy Spring and Easter season, N.xoxo

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  22. That is the kind of store we dream about here...lucky, lucky you! (And lucky Xavier and Sylvie to have you for a customer and friend.)

    The bunnies are delightful, and I love their little cardigans, their flowery ears, and their embroidered bunny tattoos. (Un peu d'audace.)

    Happy spring, dear Stephanie!

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  23. P.S. What a beautiful new header.

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  24. Quel endroit magique !
    ET bravo pour ces beaux lapins, soignés jusque dans les moindres détails ..
    Je découvre ton blog avec ce beau post .. je reviendrai !

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  25. Ils sont tellement "mimi", j'aime beaucoup

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  26. I just ADORE your sweet embroidered rabbits Stephanie!
    They will bring a wonderful Spring feel to La Part Belle!!!!
    How you fit sewing into your very busy life caring for your children, I can't imagine!

    I would love to meet you at this cafe to spend an hour or so chatting over coffee and a delectable pastry!!!
    Wishing you a wonderfully joyous SPRING with many happy surprises appearing in your garden!
    xo
    Shane

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  27. I love visiting here, it's like walking into a sunlit garden. :) Your rabbits look to me as though they each have their own character, so beautifully made and those cardigans - I love it all!
    Jess xx

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  28. What a lovely Blog full of love... Delightful Bunnies and what a interesting and welcoming Cafe my sort of place!!

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  29. Oh my, I think you must live in paradise Stephanie..and how I would like to visit Sylvie and Xavier's café for a drink and a chat!...They must be so delighted with your treasures...Your bunnies are exquisite...each one so unique...and I love the beautiful embroidered details...so much work my friend...enchanting!
    Hope you have a wonderful, happy week and the sun shines brightly for you..it's such a beautiful morning here today...
    Susan x
    P.S Love you new header too!

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  30. the photos of the epicerie make me homesick-what a wonderful looking place :)
    love the bunnies-the details are wonderful!

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  31. When I see places like this I cannot think that mine is absolutely dull one.(( Great rabbits, great shop)

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  32. I adore your spring friends! they have spirit, personality, and very funky wardrobes--so now we see what those tempting little sweaters were destined for! How lucky you are to have such special people friends--how lucky they are to have you as a supporter--and how extra lucky we are that you share it all with us!!!!
    Have a wonderful, happy week, Stephanie!!

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  33. What beautiful bunnies, I just adore their little cardigans, what a treat knitting such little clothes.

    I recently enjoyed knitting and sewing an outfit for my daughter's favourite bear, you can take a peak on my blog if you have the time.

    Have a lovely week,
    Fleur xx

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  34. Your bunnies are so delightful and have so much character packed into all the little details you have given them.....and I'm so glad to finally meet another Mad Men fan and especially D.D. he is so......perfect!
    I have waited years to find another fan out in blog land......I'm your newest follower.......I'm off to read some more, Have a wonderful week!

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  35. Your sweet little rabbits would be more than welcomed in my own garden and no doubt they could teach my wild ones some much needed manners! Mademoiselle Potager is just the dearest with that little radish on her foot...

    Celebrate Spring!

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  36. Oh the bunnies are just so special, so beautifully made and i love how you have stitched all the little veggies and flowers on them..truly wonderful......i do love bunnies so much, but foxes too, oh and badgers, well, any woodland creature is wondeful to me.

    Hugs Pixie x

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  37. Wondeful rabbits all with individual embellishments. you are so lucky to have that fabulous cafe near. It sounds a special place and I do wish I could drop in there.

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  38. I like your herbalist in the earthy green! And Stephanie, that is a glorious spot! Lively and happy, I can almost smell it. How lucky you are to have it so close, but you know that I can see clearly.
    Happy Spring!
    xx
    julie

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  39. Oh you are lucky to have such a marvellous place on your doorstop, with friends as well!! I adore your rabbits with the cross-stitched embellishments and their lovely clothes and cardi's, so charming. Have a lovely week, love Linda x

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  40. Your rabbits are so very precious. Truly made with love for dear friends. They will be so much appreciated I'm sure. Love how you gave each rabbit its own name and with that its very own character.
    Bye,
    Marian

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  41. yoru rabbits are absolutely wonderful. it looks so difficult to make... they look amazing.

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  42. Mademoiselle Myosotis is my absolute favorite bunny with her flowery ears and pink outfit ... but truly I love them all
    and I would love to visit them in situ ...
    take care Stephanie,
    Barbara x

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  43. They are delightful Stephanie and exquisitely made. I cannot choose a favourite although I'm rather drawn to Mademoiselle Potager:-)

    Your friends' cafe looks wonderful, just the type of place we seek out on our travels. Isn't it great when you meet people and immediately feel like old friends. They must be overjoyed with the bunnies.

    Have a lovely week Stephanie.

    Jeanne
    x

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  44. What adorable little bunnies, they're so cute. I can see that so much thought has gone in to making each one. What a wonderful cafe too, how I wish there was something like that near me.

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  45. Your bunnies are so beautiful! How gorgeous they look all together :-)

    That shop/cafe looks so lovely too, I could sit outside there and drink coffee all day!

    love Lori xxx

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  46. Lovely blog.
    http://xtheperfectmess.blogspot.com.au

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  47. So beautiful, your bunnies are an inspiration with their various embellishments. Thank you for sharing them along with photos of your charming community!

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  48. Those bunnies are just adorable! I love their little outfits and the touches of cross-stitch added to them :)
    The cafe looks/sounds like a lovely place to go and visit. If I lived close by, I would defiantly pop in for a cup of tea and a little treat..
    Have a nice day..
    Magie

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  49. Stephanie,
    Your bunnies are delightful with their attractive outfits and little stitched details. I imagine they'll be quite at home in La Part Belle. It must be a treat to have such a place so near your home. Enjoy your spring.
    -Karen

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  50. What a joy to see a post from you & your beautiful rabbits! I wish I could move to France, that looks like my kind of tea shop. I hope you’re enjoying your time out.
    Take care Stephanie X

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  51. Oh! Your bunnies are just the sweetest! Those little faces and all that beautiful detail...they are just perfect for spring. And what an absolutely fantastic little shop and cafe! Count yourself lucky to have such a wonderful place within walking distance. We have nothing like that around here....

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  52. What a beautiful community you live in. I adore your bunnies they are so cute! Thank you for sharing, I am so glad to meet you. I am so excited to find and follow new special places. I will follow on my way out because I am sure I will enjoy engaging and supporting your special place now I have found you. I hope you will find some time to come visit me soon. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

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  53. Oh Stephanie, these are heavenly! I cannot get over all the tiny details... I love how you combined several skills - sewing, embroidery and knitting, to create truly unique pieces. You have such a gift!

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  54. The rabbits are beautiful and so detailed and made with love. I am sure they would sell like hot cross buns!!! x

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  55. The rabbits are beautiful and so detailed and made with love. I am sure they would sell like hot cross buns!!! x

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  56. Just catching up on my blog reading... your bunnies are absolutely gorgeous Stephanie, with all the little details you've incorporated - especially the cross stitch details one each one, they are just beautiful. It looks like a lovely place to while away a Spring morning, lucky you having such a place on your doorstop. Hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend, Jenny xx

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  57. i'm catching up too stephanie, and what a charming post to find here. love your little rabbits, they will surely grace the shop they are intended for. so much beauty and detail and of course love are in each one. beautiful work. and i would LOVE to meet you for a coffee there! enjoy your time away. xxoo

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  58. Hi, My daughter told me about your blog and I'm so glad as it is just a breath of fresh air! I am just starting blogging and looking at the blogs by the "big girls" is rather overwhelming!
    Thank you for your natural joy. Joan x

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  59. OOh I'd love to come & have a cup of tea with you at the tea room Stephanie! Isn't it funny to notice that cabbages are cabbages & carrots are just carrots be they French or English or Kiwi?! Such a great combination with the art & groceries & cafe all in together. Delightful basket of adorable bunnies...Potager..perfect : ) Much love Catherine x0x0x

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  60. LINDO BLOG....
    LOS CONEJOS SON PRECIOSOS.
    SALUDITOS

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  61. Your wonderful little bunnies brought such a great smile to my face! How pleasant and precious they look! Do you sell these? They would make the most wonderful little presents.

    The shop you've showcased looks like just the sort of place I am constantly hunting-- a virtual extension of my own casual dining room where we can have fun while we eat delicious food and there's nothing too precious that can be spoiled by my 2-year-old. There was a little restaurant in my town with a rooftop dining area where we used to love to eat and catch the summer breezes, but sadly, it has gone the way of the economy and closed up. ::sigh::

    Enjoy the rest of your week!!

    Keri

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  62. What a lovely place, and sweet bunnies. Happy Spring.

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  63. These are really sweet and lovely! Your embroidery is beautiful!

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  64. Hello Stephanie...Just called back to wish you and your family a wonderful Easter!
    Susan x

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  65. Hi Stephanie- Just stopping by to wish you a Happy Easter!

    Keri

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  66. Hello Stephanie , just popped over for a peek at your Rabbits after you left me such compliments about my hares . Well goodness me your Rabbits and my Hares could be related !! I can tell you've put a lot of love into making your beautiful Rabbits as I have my Hares.I absolutely adore the embroidered touches and how sweet are those little cardigans .Each Rabbit has it's own personality . I will be sure to pop by again to see more of your wonderful makes .
    Happy Easter Tracy x

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  67. Hi Stephanie, I am returning the compliment by visiting your blog and I adore your rabbits. They are so beautiful. I am not a gardener but I do appreciate the skill of people who create them and of course I love to sit in and wander around such beautiful places. I am going to add myself as a follower and I shall look forward to many more visits. Shirley.

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  68. Hope you had a wonderful Easter Stephanie. I am away in London for the next few days and may miss your next post ...??? but will be back and popping over by the end of the week!

    Jeanne
    x

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  69. Hello thankyou for your lovely comments on my blog ,im now a follower of yours,your rabbits are sooo sweet ,lovely pictures and blog xxx

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  70. Wow! Just popped over from Patchwork Chickens to have a look at your blog - it's lovely. I adore your rabbits. Mademoiselle Primavera is gorgeous! Do you sell your work? I have just become a follower so look forward to keeping in touch xx

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    Replies
    1. Let me know if she doesn't sell - i would love to buy her xx

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  71. Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting - your rabbits are divine - I love them! PS I teach French xx

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  72. Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting - your rabbits are divine - I love them! PS I teach French xx

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  73. Your rabbits are so lovely, beautifully made!

    Best wishes

    Denise

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  74. What beautiful rabbits you have made and what a love ly blog you have. I think I will follow along

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  75. Wonderful! They all look like they're at sea in a beautiful pea green boat, happily bobbing on the waters of destiny. They'll all go to loving homes, I have a picture in my head of them being clutched feverishly in some tiny hands and being kissed! Hope you're well Stephanie? I'm so glad I'm not the only one who has crept away from blogging for a couple of weeks to do what we have to do. Lots of love, Vanessa xxx

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  76. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. I love all your rabbits so much but I must say that Mlle Myosotis should be renamed or she should have a new dress of Forget Me Not Blue!!! LOL! I am on holiday here in Cromer, Norfolk and everywhere in the fields I see hares with their long ears bobbing along and in all the art shops they are the focus of paintings and sculpture... I love them!
    Today I bought beautiful French Le Bergere knitting wool from a lovely little shop in Holt called Les Tricoteuse and then come to your message about my blog from your home in France. Coincidences on a theme!
    Your blog is a joy to read, lovely photographs and your friends' shop is fantastic so I'll just have to return to read more soon,
    JoZarty x

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  77. Hi Stephanie. Sorry to contact you via the post but I couldn't get your email contact to work either! I would love to buy her - let me know how you would like me to deal with the payment. My email address is lorrainebunning@hotmail.com. Speak soon
    Love Lorraine xx

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  78. That does look like a lovely place! And I bet your March Hares sold right quick! I just love the stitched flowers and their pretty fabric ears, and of course the wonderful clothes that you knit for them. So sweet!

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  79. Hello there! Thank you for your kind comment on my blog. I'm glad you left it so I could find my way here.

    Your rabbits are amazing. Every time I look at them I notice another detail! The cross stitched flowers and knitted sweaters make me very happy. You are very talented. :) Mademoiselle Jardin anglais is my favorite, but they are all wonderful.

    There is something about handmade bunnies. They are so fun to make and see. I just finished up another knitted bunny this week for my sister's birthday. She was thrilled and promptly named her Aria and requested a gray dress for her. I've got another bunny on my needles now for a baby that is due in June.

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  80. Hi Stephanie, thanks for popping by my blog.......your bunnies are truly beautiful.
    lily x

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  81. Beautiful, good post. I just came across your blog and I wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your blog posts.

    voyance gratuite mail

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  82. An excellent congratulations for an excellent subject and an excellent blog !!!

    voyance gratuite

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