Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Thank You Inspiration

Dear readers,

When writing my last post over three weeks ago it slipped my mind that Millefeuilles had been around for a year.  A few weeks ago Annie over at Knitsofacto asked us to choose one word which captured the essence of blogging.  Her's was conversation.   Others chose camaraderie, community, and beauty.  Mine, on reflection, would be inspiration.  In the same post Valerie, the illustrator and designer from Acornmoon, wrote: 'I think blogging is like having a pen pal without the stamp'.  True!  I could add, however, that my comments page comes adorned with a patchwork of brightly hued and intricate stamps; each one represents every single blog which has inspired me over the past twelve months.  The inspiration you all generously share is as potent as my morning coffee and I am hugely grateful to so many of you for kickstarting my creativity most days.

I should add that whilst I stitch away busily my Millefeuilles Hares are patiently waiting to take centre stage.  They are getting a little crotchety about being behind the scenes for so long.  I have assured them that their moment of glory will come soon - hopefully in my next post - when I intend to put some up for sale. I cannot help but write that one Hare, for example, has been inspired by Madelief's beautiful garden. A few have secretly been sent off with a kiss, wrapped in silk paper and velvet ribbon, halfway across the globe.  Each will have a story to tell and I have promised to share their tales when the right time comes.  In the meantime please consider this present post to be a stage curtain of sorts made up of the rich fabric of blog inspiration and generosity you all provide.
First on the list, Jennifer Casa's delightul pattern, Neighborly.  It is simple and can be downloaded for free. Perhaps, the designer writes, this little knit could inspire us to be neighbourly too: either by digging into our yarn stash and making something pretty for a local charity or donating a small amount to a good cause. It's a lovely idea.
Here's mine: Linden Flower And Rose.
Perched up high on our local church wall - I hope that is not disrespectul? - under the heady, sweet scent of the linden trees in bloom.
I love the iridescence of this vintage nacre button, the Rooster Almerino Aran in Strawberry Cream and Gooseberry, and this simple pattern.
I'm still having fun deciding how I can be neighborly!

Incidentally have you had a chance to read the recently penned thought-provoking article written by Kate Davies?  It is the story of her owl  sweater which launched her career out of academia and into the world of knitwear design.   If you haven't seen it yet you can find it here.  I'd be curious to read your reactions.
 Next up, a truly inspiration gift from Penelope at L Is For Love. 
When I wrote to Penelope letting her know that her colourful parcel had safely arrived I told her that I intended to leave the package unopened for a few days just to let the anticipation linger.  I opened it on the first day of Tristan and Héloïse's summer holidays with my three hippety hoppity children around me.  It felt like digging deep into a big Christmas stocking and we all took turns to unearth each little treasure.  Every gift was wrapped in exquisite paper and comes with a story and a little creative magic.  Just look at that Manos Silk Blend yarn with its rich, plummy tones.  What a treat!  Around the same time Julie from Little Cotton Rabbits posted her Midsummer's Day Mittens.  They were so exquisite that I promptly wound a big, fat ball of the Manos Silk Blend and turned it into the very same pattern.
Mine are called Rainy Summer Mittens and whilst my technique falls short of Julie's beautiful work, I have enjoyed knitting every stitch of the Churchmouse Yarns And Teas mittens pattern with my gifted yarn. 
Thank you so much Penelope for your gift and your inspiring blog.
Finally for now, I am showing you a plate of buttons embroidered during the last Saturday of May at the delectable Loop where I attended a course organised by one of my greatest sources of inspiration; Cécile Franconie.
For those who are not familiar with this textile artist I urge you to go visit her little corner of paradise.  She is an exceptional person.  After the birth of her fourth child she decided to step away from her nursing job and try her luck at making a career using her hands.  Twelve years later she is writing up her fifth book and her husband has been forced to eat his hat; he was a little dubious of her decision!  Her eye for colour is astounding as is her feverish desire to produce and create. Cécile is about this, this  and that.  She is renowned for her embroidery, often inspired by garden-related themes, and her latest book is a dream.  Don't let the fact it is written in French put you off.  It is selling like hot cakes in Loop, London.  Take a peek at this and this.  I could go on and on but I will finish up here by giving you the name of her other site where she shares video tutorials of some of her designs.  Click here.

Before I sign off please go vist Olallieberry to get a glimpse of THE most adorable handmade birthday candles.

A très bientôt,


ps For those kind souls who emailed me about our test in patience we have been informed that the judge's verdict will fall on September 6th; two months later than anticipated.  We are determined to enjoy our summer nevertheless!


  1. Inspiration is a good word :D And you have been inspiring us for only a year? Your blog is so much part of the wonderful landscape of Blogtopia that I feel as though I have been visiting here for ever.

    All the other blogs you name are among my favourites too. Including Cécile who kindly lists me in her knitting blog favourites. Her gift with colour is incredible.

    I now have an image in my mind of a group of giggly hares peeping from behind the stage curtains at the gathered audience. The hares slightly nervous before curtain up, the audience waiting to be amazed :D

  2. "pen pal without a stamp" is exactly how I feel, blogging and the crafting community is amazing - thank you for your inspiration xx

  3. Bonjour ma belle,

    I am so rich. I am filled with beauty every day when I make the CONNECTION with all of your beautiful artists, teachers, wives, mothers, whatever you all do to make a living. WE ALL LIVE to create something inspiring and I AGREE with you my dear, that over the past four years, GOING ON FIVE in January, that my life has changed.

    Your BEAUTIFUL Linden and Rose creation is simply stunning. I so love how you display them, almost as little phantoms through which the wind blows gently. The colors are spectacular and your choices for embellishments such as these darling buttons are always spot on.

    Oh Stephanie, thank you for this beautiful share today. To see the lovely novelties that were sent to you also give me the urge to go into my "Bloggers" curio cabinet that I have in my front room. There I have lovingly stored some of the most heartfelt handmade gifts ever.

    Be well my sweet friend, Anita

  4. Just a year Stephanie?? I feel this beautiful place has been around for much longer than that!!!
    You have provided lots of inspiration in this post, your beautiful little dress (which I admired on Ravelry) and delicious mitts are very inspiring !! :) I'm also in love with those buttons.
    Looking forward to seeing those patiently waiting hares. ;)
    Enjoy your summer with your children,
    Vivienne x

  5. your "neighborly" is beautiful.i love the colors you've chosen....
    thanks for sharing the links to ceciles work~i'll have to read through her site when i have a bit more time....beautiful buttons :)

  6. Oh Stephanie, what inspiration YOU have provided over the last year....

    I just love your embroidered buttons ...and your little knit is beautiful...I really love the way you photograph your knits outside.

    I read Kate's post earlier in the week and felt very saddened by it ... but i think it's inevitable that it will happen and we all have to realise that as soon as we post a picture of a make/design there will always be someone who wants to copy what we've done ....in this case it seems more shocking as it's been done by such a big company, the copy is such a poor imitation ( I certainly wouldn't buy it) and because of Kate's personal story we (her blog followers) all feel protective of her. We await Kate's next post to see what happens?

    Hope you have a lovely week - really looking forward to seeing your hares.
    Fleur xx

  7. Our thanks to you too for sharing your beautiful creations and inspirations with the rest of us.

    and now, I have a terrible urge to make buttons!

  8. I love your mittens! Such a gorgeous coloured yarn! And sweet star buttons!
    Victoria xx

  9. those buttons/brooches and that knitting....you know ive just fallen into heaven and im so inspired!!!! such lovelies you have created!!!!! xx

  10. I'm back again after reading your link about the owl sweater. The copy is a poor one, mean spirited too and very, very upsetting. It is almost impossible to copyright an idea but I know that A.C.I.D. have fought and won many similar cases.

  11. That plum wool is beyond gorgeous! I bet it is even better in person. I love the pattern you chose, it does the yarn justice. The little sweater is adorable and you do have a gift of pairing different color yarns :)

  12. ooooh Stephanie those Rainy Summer Mittens are just gorgeous - a perfect use of that stunning yarn. Am also loving the pink and green combined in your Neighborly - such a pretty knit and your buttons, well words fail me so I'll have to fall back on simply beautiful (which feels a bit inadequate). Enjoy your hare making x

  13. I'm so pleased when I see that you have a new post and enjoy reading about your creative projects so artfully displayed. Creativity just seems to ooze from your fingertips, Stephanie.

  14. Stephanie, this post is so wonderfully inspiring, with your own beautiful creations and all those links to other very creative and generous folks.

    I very much appreciate your introduction to Kate Davies, and of course, the mention of Mme Cecile. Those embroidered buttons are jewels indeed, and I long to see more of what took place at the Loop workshop.

    I also long to see those rabbits of yours come out from under cover very soon.

    Meanwhile, thank you again for the pleasure of seeing your posts. xo

  15. Such pretty wool and your creations are beautiful. So enjoyed reading this post!

  16. Oh, Stephanie, as usual YOU have provided so much inspiration in one post that I can't adequately comment!

    Happy bloggy birthday, and thank you for sharing your corner of Blogtopia with us. And those mittens are delicious. I'm off now to check out all the fascinating links you've provided.

    P.S. I'm sure the church wall doesn't mind a bit if you hang your lovely sweaters on it - beauty adorning beauty.

  17. Happy 1 year birthday! I have been planning to knit a neighbourly and seeing your lovely one makes me think I really should. Juliex

  18. Inspiration is exactly what you provide Stephanie, each and every time I visit your beautiful blog, including this post as you share your version of such lovely projects. Imagine my surprise and delight to come to the end of the post and see humble little Olallieberry mentioned amongst such wonderful creativity.

    Thank you dear Stephanie, and Happy First Birthday!

    Janine xox

  19. All mouth wateringly yummy as usual and some great links. If only there were more hours in a day!

  20. Those buttons look like tiny cookies too beautiful to eat! Happy Anniversary!

  21. Those buttons look like tiny cookies too beautiful to eat! Happy Anniversary!

  22. Lovely Stephanie
    Hooray, we are back on line eventually! I am so pleased you and your children took delight in your give away parcel and as for the mittens you ahve knitted, too beautiful in that manos yarn. Your knitting is so neat and I love your neighborly too, such gorgeous colour combinations indeed.
    Here's wishing you a wonderful happy 1st year anniversary and to many more to come, your blogging is such a beautiful inspiration to so many of us.
    xox Penelope
    ps. Thanks for all your links in this post, now I wile away on the net again....

  23. Hello Stephanie
    This post made me a bit emotional - I think it's because I so strongly identify with what you're saying - isn't the crafty blog world such a brilliant place to be? We're so lucky to be a part of it.
    The top you have made is just lovely - and as for those buttons.... Will you be selling any? I wonder if I could persuade you to put one in my daughter's secret parcel? (am still all excited about that!)
    I think it's so funny what you said in your comment to me about the weather being rubbish where you are too - only yesterday I was showing a friend your blog and we were gazing enviously at all your lovely, sunny photos! Sorry to hear it's not like that at the moment.
    Sending you sunny thoughts
    Emily x

  24. PS - happy birthdays to your beautiful, inspirational blog x

  25. Dear Stephanie,

    Happy blogiversary :-)! To me it feels like you have been blogging for much longer. I am so glad I met you. You are such a sweet lady! I find it difficult to believe that my simple allotment garden inspired you to make one of your lovely hares. Will you please keep her/him for me? I would love to be your first customer :-)! I can already envisage the hare in the garden house, watching over the flowers and my china collection :-) I still cherish the little work of embroidery you sent with the book.

    Hope you are enjoying your holiday so far? We still have two more weeks to go at work, before we are off to The Cotswolds. I am looking forward to it very much!

    Have a lovely evening!

    Madelief x

    * The little spencer looks very sweet. Your home made cardigans ans sweaters always makes me wish my daughters were still small.

  26. A lovely, lovely inspired and inspiring post. I have read Kate's story and fallen in love with so much of her work in the past - how could I have missed her o w ls?? So thanks for pointing those out. Off to follow your other pointers now with much excited anticipation...those buttons look absolutely gorgeous.

    Thanks Stephanie. Axxx

  27. The color combination on your sweater is lucious and the button reflects it perfectly. And I always enjoy the way you photograph out of doors, in the garden and this ancient wall is another brilliant idea!

  28. Dear Stephanie,

    Happy first year blog anniversary! and I feel so lucky that I have been able to find you and your gorgeous blog.
    I agree, there is so much inspiration out there and so neat to see what everyone is creating.Thanks for all the inspiration you share, love the beautiful sweet hand knits and buttons, you have been busy.
    Enjoy your summer holidays


  29. Hello Stephanie, thank you so much for visiting and commenting on my blog, which has given me the opportunity to discover yours - what a great thing this blogging is, indeed!

    I shall bepoppping back often, love what you are doing here.

  30. Oh, I agree with the word you chose, Stephanie! Inspiration. Which is why I visit you. :)

  31. I read about the owl thing on Ravelry earlier and someone posted this:
    which is a talk about why copyright on utilitarian items such as sweaters exists only in a limited form and how it encourages creativity which is only good for everyone.

    Myself, I hate the 'ownership' of ideas, I find it petty, greedy, and driven by ego and the desire for money. I like people who openly share. I think the rewards they receive (and they do) are far better and they are much nicer people. I don't expect everything for free and regularly purchase patterns but I do note attitude and don't buy from certain people because of it. There are some people who could exploit their popularity but don't, I think highly of them for it, and were they to have something to sell in the future I would willingly and happily purchase as a way of saying thank you for all they have already done for lots of people with a genuine generosity of spirit.

  32. A gorgeous post. I feel inspired myself!!! I am off to look at some of the links you have posted. I look forward to seeing your etsy shop come to life! x

  33. Hello Stephanie! Thank you for your very kind and generous words on my blog today - they warmed my heart and brighten up my rainy afternoon. I am rather pleased to have found your blog too, I think you are definitely my cup of tea!

    The knitted dress is very beautiful. I love the soft colours and the nacre (is that french for mother of pearl?) button. I agree with you that inspiration is the best thing about blogging. I love to see what others have made and how they have made it. But conversation is very important too!

    Gillian x

  34. This was such an inspiring post! Thank you for sharing!

    Xoxo Sarah

  35. Thankyou so much for your lovely comments over at my blog ,your very kindxx
    Love the knitted dress its gorgeous,love the colours and happy anniversary too xx

  36. Hello Stephanie...It's Saturday morning and I'm just getting myself into decorating mode but first I am enjoying my latest little trip to the enchanting world of Millefeuilles!
    Your latest knits are beautiful. I haven't tried the Rooster Almerino yarn but it looks to be a beautifully smooth knit...definitely my kind of yarn. I do love your colour combination too....
    Your buttons are truly exquisite and I will certainly follow your links to read more about Cécile and her work...
    Congratulations on your first anniversary of blogging lovely lady...it's always such a treat to visit you...
    Happy hare making,
    Susan x

  37. Happy Bastille day, dear Stephanie, to you and your family.
    Hope you are enjoying the weekend and many thanks for visiting me.


  38. Dear Stephanie...It has been delight to visit with you over such a little time. It seems as though you are simply "just down the lane," rather than half a world away! And with each visit to your wee corner, I find that you graciously share lovely handmades, interesting places, fascinating books, and splendid inspirations. I so look forward to, and am most grateful for, your "neighbourlyness."
    Wishing you bliss...
    Most warmly,
    Judy x

  39. Les couleurs sont si belles et les créations si romantiques ! Quel joli moment passé sur ce billet créatif !

  40. Dear Stephanie, your posts are always so charming and totally inspiring - there's that word again - as my knitting skills are incredibly limited! The little knit above is pure bliss!

    Sorry to hear about your husband's tribulations with those pesky legal cases. Hope the Hearing goes completely in your favour on September 6th, in the meantime forget all for the summer, and enjoy!

    Congratulations on your first blog anniversary and thank YOU for sharing such inspiring posts and for your lovely words and comments.


  41. I'm looking forward to seeing your gorgeous hares take centre stage :-) They are so exquisite!
    Gorgeous knitting that strawberry yarn is such a pretty colour and the gloves are gorgeous.
    Oooo I see mushrooms on those gorgeous buttons, so beautiful you are very talented to make those :-)

    Hope you have a wonderful summer and don't worry about the judge's decision, it's out of your hands and you can't do anything so have fun!

    Lori xxx

  42. Your buttons are beautiful! As is everything you make! And I can't wait to see what the Hares are up to! :-)

  43. dear stephanie, i read this post late one evening and didn't comment as i was half asleep, but i dreamed of beautiful knits with shimmery buttons and gorgeous mitts in the perfect shade of deep plum, and i dreamed of buttons, the most amazing buttons i've ever seen. you made those? and at loop? they are so lovely i think you should take more photos of them and share again. i am green with envy. will you share more of what it was like, your time there? i'm off to visit all your links, because i defintely didn't do that the night i was falling asleep, thank you for sharing this beautiful post dear. xo lori

  44. Hello,
    Your creations are fabulous as ever. I had a wee disaster with the dolly and spillage, so got a bit behind with her, but she will be done soon. I am sorry, I know it has been ages. I hope she will make up for the time lapse when finished. I will put her little face on here this week so you can have a peek.
    Hope you all have a nice summer and things turn out for the best. xxx

  45. Hello and thank you for visiting my blog and for your nice comments about my blog and garden. I am delighted to meet you and follow your charming blog. Your knitting is beautiful and your Hares are oh so fabulous and I can't wait to see your new collection.

    I have traveled throuhout France and am so inspired by Monet and the French Impressionist painters and the beautiful country, people, and gardens. I look forward to following your lovely and inspirational posts.

    Have a wonderful day.

  46. Hello,
    Have just stumbled upon you via the Hattatts and very glad to have done so. Have done a little catch up through your previous posts. It is evident that your life is beautiful, despite the hills you have had to climb. Those trying times are all part of life's rich tapestry. Your daughter is beautiful modelling mums creations.

    I shall follow with interest from, what is an unusually sunny Wales.
    Great to meet you.

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