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Saturday, 9 November 2013

Stitching Lovebirds And Flowers

 
Dear readers,

Whilst sending e-mails back and forth to my online Fairy Godmother this week, she and I both expressed a heartfelt gratitude for the precious friendships blogging has generated for us.  I am sure this sentiment is shared by many of you.  Shortly after my cautious foray into the world of blogging two summers ago, I came across the artist Celia's Purple Podded Peas which rapidly became one of my favourite visiting places.  I found she struck the perfect balance between chatting informatively about her garden (and beloved hens) and sharing beautfully written posts about exhibitions she had visited which would include intriguing snippets of cultural history.  And her artwork?  Well, as many of you will know, it's quite simply stunning.  It didn't take me long to purchase her famous linocut print The Birds' Wedding Day for my son Tristan's Valentine's Day birthday.  He loves it almost as much as I do!

Late this summer I received an e-mail from Celia explaining how, after years of dreaming of adapting her block print designs for a repeat pattern for fabric, she had launched her first fabric collection.  She went on to ask whether I would be interested in receiving some samples of these natural fibre materials and turning them into something special. Needless to say, I jumped at this golden opportunity.  This collection, which is based on The Birds" Wedding Day, comes in three colourways; Ruby, Sea, and Stone.  I eagerly awaited my parcel, wrapped in white tissue paper, which bore the tantalising label SEW ME. Those fabrics provoked many a daydream - what would I make with them? - and a little frustration too! I knew that I would have to wait a while before I could start snipping and sewing them as I had a fair amount of hare and mice orders to attend to first.  My frustration grew as I saw the beautiful work performed by three ladies: Gina, Tracy, and Sue with their special material bundles over the course of October.


And then my wonderful husband took our three children away to his parents' home in Brittany for the weekend and I put my hares and mice aside and got busy!  The best thing about this project was slipping out of my aesthetics and trying to slip into Celia's.  I wanted to respect her colour schemes and themes: hearts, lovebirds, flowers, and butterflies.

I started with a simple needle case, stitched from Celia's sea small sprigs in Retired Kona Cotton, which I padded with natural cotton batting and trimmed with 6mm glass beads gifted to me by the French author and artist, Facile Cécile.  I added a sprinkling of 1930s lace flowers.  I can see myself making dozens of these and adding embroidered embellishments, trimmings and beads: they are delightfully addictive.

And then I moved onto making a fabric basket - perfect for holding one of my many knitting or embroidery projects -  using, this time, Sea Hearts in linen/cotton canvas.  Celia's beautiful heart motifs beg, I believe, a squarish construction to show them off.  This could not have been more simple to create with cotton batting to keep the sides sturdy.  The satin ribbon ties provided a touch of red.  I wanted to add a finishing touch to honour Celia's style.  I chose to cross stitch one of the panels with a red heart, flower and bird pattern from the Italian designer Renato Parolin. (His work is exquisite and I have a particular fondness for his large scale monochrome intricate tree designs.)
If you would like to take a peek at Celia's fabrics (I think the Ruby collection is simply perfect for Christmas gifts; it's so festive) you can find the entire range in her Spoonflower shop.  Her artwork may be found here.
 
Thank you Celia for giving me this golden opportunity to have so much fun!
 
A bientôt,
 
Stéphanie
 
 
ps I have been thinking long and hard about this blog of mine.  My créations are keeping me very busy at the moment but I feel the need to make a few changes here, for the best I hope!  Suffice to say I have a lot of dreams and creative ideas in the pipeline.

pps I wish I could have taken these pictures in natural daylight but the weather has been very dismal and soggy these past few days.

42 comments:

  1. A perfect combination of talents! How lovely.

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  2. My dear and very precious blog friend,

    The gorgeous art you share today is a wonderful example of a true artist's mission. Detail, a lot of talent and love are what make these designs stand out amongst my own attempts. I think that it has been a wonderful experience during these almost 6 years of blogging for me to discover what I really want to put my "talent", detail and love into, and the limited success I had with my art and other circumstances showed me this was not meant for me. But I am at peace with it! The journey truly is an essential experience to help us refine our goals and dreams in order to power our next move. I hope as you continue to create that you will never forget those of us who adore not only your creations, but your presence in Blogland. I will always cherish the FEELING I would get coming here and seeing your comments on my page.

    CREATE ON! Love, Anita

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  3. What precious fabric that is Stephanie and you have made the perfect fabric yarn holder and pin/needle case. I love those birds, they are so gorgeous and endearing. I love this wonderful collaboration you have going on here xox Penny

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  4. Dear Stephanie,

    Such a sweet and talented friend you have! The print which you bought for your son is beautiful and the things you made from the fabric she sent you too. Love the basket. Your needlework finishes it off perfectly!

    Thank you for your sweet words on my blog too. I haven't been able to say thank you before, but your words meant a lot to me. Life is still unreal, and it feels as if we have no more 'happiness' inside, but I am confident better times will come.

    Wishing you a happy weekend!

    Madelief x

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  5. Lovely work. It's wonderful to get crafty in peace and quiet and end up with beautiful FOs.

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  6. What a lovely opportunity to create something special with fabrics designed by a friend. I hope you will still keep blogging, I love your writing style, your creations and of course the garden and flower posts. Thank you also for introducing me to new blogs via your links - none of my friends are really readers, creators or gardens so through blogs I have met like-minded people, hopefully some of these will develop into friendships as you have done.

    Have a fabulous weekend.

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  7. What very, very beautiful fabric ... and your projects set it off perfectly. What a talented designer, and how lucky you are to have been sent this lovely stuff! :)

    I hope your dreams and creative ideas will include blogging ... we would miss you very much if you went away.

    Off now to see what the other ladies have done with this wonderful fabric.

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  8. Beautiful creations Stephanie, made with amazing fabric! Your fabric basket is gorgeous and your brilliant embroidery just adds the finishing touch.
    I was very, very fortunate to win Gina's lovely pouch made with Celia's fabric. :)
    Happy hare making,
    V xxx

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  9. Stephanie...how lucky you are to 'test' this delightful fabric...I am adoring what you have made..."Sea hearts" even the name is inspirational...bestest to you this weekend
    from daisy j x

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  10. This is a beautiful story, It warmed my heart. I too have found this amazing kind of connection through a shared sense of creating and reflecting and it is such nourishing joy, thank you for sharing your magical experiences
    with warmest wishes
    Sylwyn

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  11. Such beautiful things that you have made ... you've done Celia and her fabulous fabrics proud :)

    I have made so many friends through blogging ... isn't it a wonderful place, this bloggy world of ours :)

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  12. Stephanie, as you perhaps know I've had the wonderful opportunity to see Celia's beautiful fabric range up close for myself. I knew that you were going to be doing some of your truly lovely interpretations of these designs, and have been patiently waiting to see the results.

    And now we have the Voila! Your designs mesh so very well with Celia's textiles...each item is a wonderful collaboration.

    I completely agree about the particular seasonal charms of the red colorway, but love each part of the collection very much. Bravo to both of you talented ladies.

    xo

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  13. Dear Stephanie,

    Beautiful fabrics and love the lino-cut print with the sweet birds you gave to Tristan.
    You have made such gorgeous things with the lovely fabric - many thanks for showing us.
    Blogging is such fun when we can meet beautiful friends from all around the world.
    Thanks for your friendship and all your share
    happy weekend
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  14. What lovely things you have made the fabric into.

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  15. How lovely and inspiring, dear Stephanie! The colors and patterns are so fresh and happy....the two of you have really made beautiful music together....brava....you are so talented.
    And I thank you so much for the sweet message you left....it is always a joy to hear from you....your blog is truly a gem...
    Be well and I hope sunshine is in the forecast!
    A bientot!
    xoxo,
    - Irina

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  16. thank you so much for sharing, I had not heard of celias beautiful work and her fabrics....well i am in love!! i fear this could be dangerous on the purse strings , thank you xx

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  17. Love this! I like the little pin book, but i love the square basket, the red detail is so well done, just the perfect balance.

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  18. Well done Stephanie. I just love to visit with you to see what your creativeness has achieved and as usual it all looks wonderful. Xxx

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  19. What a beautiful card, I can completely see your attractions to this very talented lady and what an honor to be able to sample her fabric. You've done it proud Stephanie. I love the yarn bag, which will make the perfect storage solution for so many things. I can't wait to go and look at this gorgeous fabric. Thank you for sharing all the links with us. Before I go I wanted to say that for years now, well ever since I bought my son a hare when he was a baby (eek 6 yea ago), I've wanted to have a go at making some and I have finally gotten around to doing it. I have been so inspired by yours too and I just wanted to let you know. I will hopefully post about mine at some point this or next week. Much love xoxo

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  20. It was worth waiting to see what you did with the fabrics Stephanie - both the needlecase and your basket are exquisite and I adore your cross stitch embellishment. Thanks for the link too!

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  21. Lovely fabric! I like that it comes in different weights. I adore your fabric basket with cross stitch panel (and the Quince& Co yarn inside!). Thank you for posting the links too, that was fun to have a look at the other projects.

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  22. Your projects look beautiful in whatever light you have shown them in. The fabrics are gorgeous, how nice to be asked to test them out. You did a fantastic job. And as for your blog, we will all be here anxiously anticipating all of your wonderful changes.
    Hugs,
    MEredith

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  23. love celia's stunning art and fabric and your exquisite sewing. oh how i love your little needle case and basket. well done dear stephanie. xxxxx lori

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  24. Hello Stephanie, I am thrilled to have discovered your blog. I often visit your Facebook page to admire your gorgeous hare's. Your use of this stunning fabric is wonderful and I shall look forward to visiting you here often. Sarah xo

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  25. Thank you so much for taking up some of your precious time to sew for me. I'm thrilled with everything all my Secret Sewers have stitched - everyone different. I wonder what I'll next see made from my fabric .... if anyone does make something I'd love you to share it with me so I can put it on the Pinterest 'Sew Me!' board.
    xx

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  26. Good morning Stephanie...It's a such a treat to start my new week by reading your wonderful post this morning! Celia's fabrics are simply beautiful and I'm looking forward to following all your links this evening.
    Your little pincushion is so pretty and the combination of the fabric and stitching on your basket make it such a treasure....Millefeuilles is always a most special and magical place to visit...x
    Wishing you a lovely new week Stephanie,
    Susan x

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  27. What a wonderful, cheery post! Blogging friends truly are wonderful, aren't they!?!
    Wishing you a super week.....
    Carly
    x

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  28. Dear Madame Stephanie,

    I have been rather the prodigal blogger for weeks on end now, but I have missed reading yours dreadfully. I also feel obliged to mention that your post has once again made me bemoan my lack of sewing skills. These projects are so pretty to look at!

    Slan abhaile,
    Giselle

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  29. I know exactly what you mean, I too have made some wonderful blogging friends who enrich my life and fill me with joy, so very lucky are we.
    What beautiful fabrics and delightful makes!
    off to have have a look at your friends blog now.
    love jooles xxx

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  30. Stephanie, you've done such a beautiful job with Celia's fabrics.That dear little needle case is so adorable. I love how disciplined you are with your crafting. I know I tend to wait until I have a decent block of time when the kids are out with Daniel to get stuck into crafty projects - much better than a minute here and a minute there, although sometimes I have to be content with that. I read your last paragraphs and for a second thought you were about to close the blog. Thank goodness you are not! I always love coming over here to read your beautiful words. Blogging has brought all kinds of joy to my life too. Have a wonderful rest of the week :-) Mel x

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  31. Oh Stephanie, I do so love your creations made from Celia's beautiful fabrics and your spotty knitting needles are rather lovely too! Blogging friendships are very special, forged from a love of similar things they bring those far apart close together x

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  32. Dear Stephanie,
    What a beautiful blogging friendship story. Reading your words is always a pleasure. You're a really talented writer ... no need to say sewer! I am in awe with your creation with Celia's fabrics (which I love all, indeed very inspiring for Xmas gifts). Ravissant !

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  33. Stephanie! What lovely use of this beautiful fabric!! (I adore all your creations!!) ....I also love that our boys share a Valentine's Day birthday !!

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  34. Wundervoll, liebe Stephanie! Diese herrlichen Stoffe und die schönen Dinge, die Du daraus gemacht hast! Der Stoff ist perfekt für diesen Wollkorb!
    Ich wollte mich eigentlich bereits zu Deinem letzten Post melden...der Schal, den Du für Deine Tochter gestrickt hast, ist so schön! Mein erster Gedanke war, denn muss ich auch haben! Das passiert mir so oft, wenn ich hier auf Deinem Blog bin, Du kannst Dir gar nicht vorstellen, wie viele Deiner Links zu Ravelry ich bereits verfolgt und abgespeichert habe! Ach, hätte der Tag doch mehr Stunden...

    Ich bin auch sehr dankbar für die Freundschaften, die mir das Bloggen in den letzten Jahren gebracht hat, und ich bin so froh, dass wir beide uns in den Weiten des Netzes gefunden haben. :-)

    Ganz liebe Grüße, Bärbel

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  35. My darling friend! HOW HAPPY I AM to see your comment on my blog post! I am coming via email....Anita

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  36. What a beautiful post. The fabrics are lucious and so freshly unique.

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  37. I will be sure to keep an eye out for the changes you intend to make on your blog. It's such a lovely thing already, Stephanie.

    Your work has such attention to detail. I can see why your friend trusted you to make beautiful treasures with her fabrics.

    -Karen

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  38. What a gift Celia has. I love the way you've matched your talents to hers by choosing patterns which suit her work so well.

    Thank you for your kind comments on my blog. Regarding time, I am currently at home full time with two kids in school. This is temporary but I'm making the most of this free time which I've never had before, and will choose creative pursuits over housework every day! I watch very lttle tv and sew/knit/crochet in the evenings. Blogging is hugely time consuming and I have to strictly limit the time I spend writing and reading posts, which is a shame, but the way it has to be in order for me to have a life and get anything done.

    It's a balance. I do hope you continue to blog as - even if you spend only an hour a week on it - I feel sure it will reward you in so many ways.

    Gillian x

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  39. Wonderful fabric, and you have really done it justice. I know what you mean about blogging friends. I only started mine in March, but I've met some lovely friends already.

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  40. Hello, lovely Stephanie, I have found nothing but kindness in blog world too..the nicest of peeps most certainly dwell on here....Signing deeply at your beautiful, fabric and the kindness shown in this....It's always such a pleasure to visit you Stephanie, please continue with your beautiful work and delightful blog,
    Hugs and twinkles **** Maria x

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