Monday, 23 July 2012

Shy Summer Hares

Dear readers,

Summer is idyllic at present.  Most mornings I find it soothing to stroll through the vineyards or around our garden choosing this plant or that flower to grace our collection of handmade milk jugs.  To still the moment, I repeat what I suppose is a mantra as I regard the garden or countryside around me.  "Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful," I repeat under my breath.  I smile and breathe deeply as I say it.  I am in awe of the sense-tingling beauty surrounding me.  I am grateful.
Yesterday evening Gaspard, our puppy, took us out for a walk.  It is an enticing moment to watch the sun dip after a hot day.  It is a moment to be shared. Héloïse made sweet pancakes which we carried in a basket along with a simple bottle of water.  The tall grasses along the path leading to the vineyards, fluttering like graceful dancers, are growing heavy and tall.  After weeks of rain the vines grow lush.  We marvelled at the chlorophyll brillance and the acid-green nascent grapes.  I prised one off and bit into it.  My face winced at the intense sourness.  It was wonderful.
These are happy times.  Tristan and Héloïse are back full of precious memories from their stay with my parents in Tunbridge Wells.  We are together again.  I have so much to share with you but I will gently force myself to keep things simple and short today.  To be honest I am feeling a little shy and nervous as I introduce you to two summer hares I have just finished stitching and am putting up for sale as limited editions.  To still my fluttering heart Héloïse drew the picture I displayed at the top of this post.  I love the fact that at sixteen she can still produce childlike illustrations such as those sweet rabbits frolicking in a garden.

So, without further ado, here is Mademoiselle Tea In The Rose Garden
She is enjoying the sunset perched amongst the leafy vines.
When I made her my thoughts turned to blissful summer afternoons spent in the garden watching the shadows lengthen whilst sipping tea - or something stronger, perhaps!
Mademoiselle Tea In The Rose Garden is the first of a series of hares I am creating in honour of Madelief's garden in Holland.  The second will be revealed here this coming weekend and will also be available to buy.  Madelief has sweetly written to tell me she would like to purchase one.  Incidentally, she will be spending her summer holidays in the Cotswolds so, if you have any suggestion of delightful places to visit, please visit her and leave her a comment.
This sweet hare has been inspired by one of Madelief's garden tea parties which you can enjoy here and her Late June Garden where roses reign supreme.    On her right ankle grows a beautiful pink rose and on her left ear there is a lilac coloured teacup.
  If you would like to make this Mademoiselle blissfully happy spend a little time out in the garden sharing your love of roses. Perhaps you could give her a doll-sized cup of tea to sip too?

Mademoiselle Bloom (Where You Are Planted) is my second hare for today.
Mademoiselle Bloom would be at her happiest living with garden and nature lovers who would, perhaps, take her out for the occasional walk and read books about gardening to her in the evenings.
Her right ankle and one of her ears display the green vine leaves and flowers which represent our tranquil Vouvray region renowned for its sparkling white wine.  Like her friend featured above her pantaloons are trimmed with early twentieth-century ivory coloured lace.

If you feel compelled to purchase one of these ladies or even just to take a peek at the other limited edition hares which are available for the time being, please click here.  I will be adding small groups of hares to the shop regulary inspired by the passing seasons. 
I am most grateful to you all for taking the time to visit today.  My nerves are feeling a little less jittery now! You all make me happy and I find your input so enriching.
Story Book

I am leaving you for now with the exquisite work of Sue Fenlon which I had the joy of seeing for the first time over at the  compelling blog Sew Sweet Violet.  Sue Fenlon's work is pure heaven for me.  I should warn you that her website is like the call of the sirens and you are unlikely to leave it empty-handed! 

I will be visiting you all this week.  Ahh, wonderful summer holidays!
A bientôt,

Edit: Oh my goodness gracious me.  I have just sold my first second, third, fourth hare on Etsy!  I promise to make some more!

Tuesday morning edit: they have all gone.  I cannot believe it!


  1. Hello Stephanie:
    What a charming way to capture the essence of summer delights and the enchantments of Madelief's garden. The mademoiselles are truly delightful and will surely capture the hearts of their owners in an instant.

  2. oh how pretty these little hares are so cute and lovely madelief should be very pleast about this ode to her beautiful rose garden the are so sweet and cute also mademmoiselle bloom is sweet like them a lot
    greetings leon10

  3. Stephanie, your hares are, as ever, just the most perfect, magical creatures. And you put so much painstaking detail into each one! And each is more than its whole, an ode to something seasonal and floral. Inspiring :D

  4. congrats on selling your first bunny! i will be taking a look at your shop-they are so cute!!

  5. Woohoo I have waited for this moment for so long, Stephanie! I am so happy to say Mademoiselle Bloom is coming to live with me, there will be gardens and nature aplenty for her here. :)
    Also if Héloïse turns her beautiful drawing into cards, I'll buy one of those too!!
    Your beautiful countryside and your amazing description of it makes me want to be there. :)
    Happy new week and best wishes for your shop,
    Vivienne xxxxxxx

  6. Stephanie, ma BELLE!

    My dearest friend, I spent all of last week away from the computer as I entertained a dear old friend that flew in to my city from San Antonio, Texas. We reconnected after 37 years and it was sweet. But I am now back to my world of creativity, and I am loving it.

    As I walk through the vineyards with you, I can feel the gentle hush of the wind, smell le parfum of the local plants and imagine the joy in your heart as you share your DARLING creations with us. THANK YOU!!! And I am so happy that you are going to be putting them up for sale!!! I am experiencing the joy of selling my art and all we need to do is trust that others will enjoy our work. KEEP GOING! AND let me ask you this.....do you make mademoiselle in a smaller version?????

    I am now off to spend the day planning my next art project. I wish you well my sweet friend and BISOUS! Anita

  7. Your little hares look right at home among the vines! Beautiful!
    Victoria xx

  8. Bonjour Madame Millefeuilles!
    Beautiful, stunning work Stephanie...Your hares are destined to have a very short stay on your pretty ETSY shelves. I am so happy that you have opened your shop my friend which is going to be a wonderful success...and I am off to find you right now!!
    Wishing you a happy, crafty week,
    Susan x
    P.S Thank you for visiting me today Stephanie!

  9. Stephanie, your daughter's drawing is charming, as are your hares and the little stories that go with them. Each one certainly seems to have her own personality. Best wishes with your shop.

  10. They are Charming and lolling among the grapevines look very at home, the second one's colors are so in harmony with the green vines. The embroidery touches are beautiful. Congratulations on your sales!

  11. Dear Stephanie,
    What a pleasure it is to visit this beautiful blog and take a step into summer in France. Your words made me long to be there but I am happy to say that summer has finally arrived here in England :)
    I fell in love with mademoiselle Tea, what a gorgeous creation!!! congratulations on selling her so fast. It is no suprise to me as your work is divine and imbued with your loveliness and the special connection you have to nature.
    Thank you so much for sharing Sue Fenlon's work, I love it and I'm off to visit her now. I'm also going to add your Etsy shop to my favourite so I can keep an eye on those hares :)
    Please tell Heloise that I adore her drawing, she should make greeting cards with her beautiful drawings they have something special about them.
    vicky xxxx

  12. I am not at all surprised your hares have sold like the proverbial hotcakes ... they are so gorgeous. M x

  13. What a gorgeous, gorgeous post Stephanie!!!
    And congratulations on your Etsy sales!!! :-)

  14. I'm not suprised your hares sell so fast. They are really beautiful.

  15. Your hares are exquisite works of art. I know how much work and skill you put into each one, all those hours!

    Beautiful, just like your location.

  16. Dear Stephanie,

    Just read your comments on my blog. I feel honoured that you made those beautiful hares inspired on my garden. They all look so very pretty! Mademoiselle tea in the rose garden is my favourite one. She looks very sweet with her green trousers and her pink and white floral shirt. I can already envisage her in the garden. She would fit in perfectly. Is she in your Etsy shop too? I would love to take her over from you :-).

    The painting by Heloise looks very sweet. Although they look quite grown up, sixteen year olds still have a little bit of the child inside :-)

    Have a lovely evening,

    Madelief x

    (I can pay through Paypal)

  17. Oh I do love your posts Stephanie. Thank you for your comments on my blog and now, hopefully, Madamoiselle Fruit Rouge will be coming to Suffolk to live! xx

  18. You are so talented and I love how you photograph your creative endeavors :)

  19. I am yet to visit your shop and the hares are already bounding out of the door! Wishing you lots of luck and success with your shop Stephanie. I am sure you will have a summer of much hare making such the demand will be for them!!! x

  20. Your hares shouldn't have been shy they are lovely and already are very popular! I love the way you have taken inspiration from Madelief's garden and her blog and such a wonderful setting in which to photograph them.
    Sarah x

  21. Hi Stephanie - I am back again. Thanks for your message and it is me who has bought Madamoiselle Fruit Rouge - you probably don't recognise the name as it is my real name, but I have the receipt from Etsy so pretty sure the transaction went though okay xx

  22. Stephanie, these hares are so perfect! I adore them. The attention to detail is breathtaking, especially the little cross stitch on their ankles. Gorgeous.

  23. Hello dear Stephanie
    I want a hare! It doesn't seem right to call these beautiful works of art..hares.....in Spanish it sounds more exciting Liebres and I think its very similar in french Lievres...makes them sound special...but anyhow I love the names you have given them.
    Back to I want a hare business and unfortunately its not for me but for my sister whose birthday is on 5th September...and its to go to the UK not to Spain where I live. I understand of course I have to go into Etsy to buy it but I wasn't sure if this would be sufficient time for you to make one as you have several orders. I don't know which one yet...it is going to be so difficult for me to choose!!
    Interesting ,dreamy post .... you write what I want to hear :-)

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

    1. me again
      I've been browsing some more and drooling!!!
      I rather like
      Mademoiselle Tea In The Rose Garden :-)


  24. Hello Stephanie,

    Oh fabulous news and congratulations on selling the hares. They are so charming and your attention to detail is lovely. Heloise's painting of Hares is equally charming.
    Thank you for sharing Madelief's wonderful garden - I just visited her garden and signed up to follow .
    Have a wonderful day.

  25. I love the fact that your daughter drew the illustration at the top of your blog. It is perfect. I know just what you mean about walking and being aware of and thankful for the beauty of the place you live in. I am feeling much the same up here (when I am not overwhelmed by the amount which needs to be done in my garden!)

  26. Congratulations on your etsy sales, it is no wonder they have sold so fast, they are simply beautiful.

  27. Such lovely art work and sewing, must be a talented lot in your family.

  28. You see Stephanie, I have just come and had a look and they are all gone. So I shall have to try my luck next time. May the sun still be shining.

  29. Well I just visited your shop and saw they'd all gone! They are so pretty and look very much at one with nature in the photos! I love the joyful drawing of the hare picnic, I thought it was done by an adult actually. :)
    Jess xx

  30. Stephanie, I am not at all surprised your lovely summer hares were so quickly adopted; each one is simply beautiful. I think you will have a difficult time keeping your pretty Etsy shelves filled!

  31. Dear Stephanie...I have, once again, so enjoyed my visit to your wee spot in the world. You always offer such an enchanting journey, filled with lovely vistas and magical creatures! Your hares are ever so special...each having their own story to tell. I do love the fanciful way they peep out of their vine-covered hiding places, and feel certain that each has found a most loving, and forever home.
    Wishing you much joy!
    Ever warmly,

  32. what is so especially charming is that you are so surprised. congratulations dear stephaine, sending champagne and antique variety roses for your great and continued sucess!! xxx lori

  33. Bonjour Stephanie,
    Mignon lapin!!! :O) MAGNIFIQUE TABLEAUX !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! J`adore lire votre blog!!! Il est tujour magnifique et interesent!!!!
    Bonne journee!!!
    xxx Maria xxx

  34. Hello Stephanie! I just love reading you....your writing makes me slow down and smell the roses or taste the grapes or some other soothing and settling thing. In a hectic world you are a wonderful treat :) congratulations on selling all your hares. You need not have been jittery at all. Mademoiselle Chocolat is getting rather antsy at not being paired with her new owner. Like I said, hectic is the word around here. I promise to update. (I wonder if my subconscious is preventing me from giving her...truly, I love her dearly myself!)

  35. Hello lovely Stephanie...i think congratulations are in order! i am not suprised your beautiful hares hopped off your shop shelves so quickly...they are stunning x
    I am so happy that you share my love for Sue Fenlons work...it is just heavenly...love your new artwork, just so pretty.
    thank you for the sweet mention.
    enjoy your summer hols
    love jooles x

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. Oh wow, so much prettiness(is that a word?) from your world again. It's like taking a plunge into a totally different world without worries but with kindness, softness, piece and beauty. Thank you so much.

  38. Oh my - so very utterly gorgeous.

    Nina x

  39. Your family is blessed with so much artistic talent. :) The illustration is wonderful - I especially like the bunnies' long, dancer-like legs.

    What a lovely shot of the slanting sunlight on that small building. And your bunnies are exquisite as always - I'm not a bit surprised to hear they sold out! You are creating heirlooms to be treasured and passed down with love from one generation to the next.

    Have a wonderful week.

  40. Dear Stephanie,

    Beautiful post and how wonderful the work is from you and Heloise, you are a talented family. First the sweet illustration 'Special Hare Garden party painting, so lovely.
    Then your darling hares and can see why they have hopped on out of your shop.
    I enjoyed seeing your beautiful photos of the French country side and the vineyards, must have been beautiful watching the sun dip down, after a hot day.

    have a happy week

  41. What a lovely, lovely summer you've been having! It looks so idealic and beautiful! Your bunnies are also so precious, what detail! And many, many congrats on your shop and selling out of your items! That is terrific! Well done :)

  42. Dear Stephanie, isn't it just lovely at the moment. Blue skies and sunshine - such a recipe for happy carefree days and your beautifully crafted hares enjoying the vineyards - blissful!

    Glad to see you are all together again and the children enjoyed their stay with their grandparents in Kent. Heloise's drawing is delightful, I see she has inherited her mother's talent for form and detail.

    I've quite fallen for Mademoiselle Bloom ....


  43. Hello Stephanie, it's me again. I tried to send you an email via your blog just now but my PC is having none of it! When you have a moment please could you drop me an email via my blog so I may respond to that instead.


  44. Oh Stephanie, your little hares just keep getting better and better! I am not surprised at all that they are selling so fast.
    Thank you for taking us on a walk with you. It reminded me of when I used to live in Napa, and the sunlight would look just like that in the vineyards.
    A beautiful post as always.
    Lynne xx

  45. What a little treasure your blog is! Ada :)

  46. Your daughters drawings are amazing, and I just love the hares, congratulations n selling them so quickly

  47. YOU ARE SO CLEVER!!!! And SO talented! Hope you didn't mind me internet shouting at you just now, you know how I get when I get excited!! Really, it just amazes me that you made these darling bunnies with your own hands. SO DELIGHTFUL!!

    When you get more in stock, please let me know so I can let my readers know about your amazing work!! xoxo

  48. Moi ça ne m'étonne pas qu'ils soient tous vendus !! Trop mimis tes lapins et trés raffinés.
    Tu vis dans un environnement superbe..les photos de la balade du soir...hmmm

    Bon été
    Vero M... Loop Button session..Lol

  49. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!!

  50. Congratulations on your beautiful hares Stephanie. I'm not at all surprised that they sold so quickly, they are wonderful. Thanks for the beautiful pictures too, isn't it lovely to see the sunshine again? I do hope it stays around for a while. By the way, you've obviously passed on your talents to your daughter - the drawing is fantastic!

  51. Beautiful post! Congratulations on your new shop and your fast sales. Your hares are wonderful. Your daughter's drawing is great, too! She included so many cute details.

  52. Your hares are fabulous, i am not surprised they found new homes and your daughter's illustration is wonderful. It as a joy to visit today. Catherine x

  53. Stephanie, I must complain that you are making me spend too much money! Firstly I ordered Cécile Franconie's book on your recommendation and I am now practicing the stitches (with French dictionary to hand...). Then yesterday I ordered a canvas print from the talented Sue Fenlon, again on your recommendation ;-)
    You have equisite taste and I trust your judgement!

    1. Dear Nicola,

      This is a truly delightful comment; one which has compelled me to leave a comment on my own comments page for the first time. Thank you so much! I am marvelling at the thought of you working your way through Cécile's embroidery tutorials. She is a remarkable lady, as is Sue Fenlon, and it is a joy and honour to share their talent with others. It would be great to see what you have been working on...

  54. Well done on the fabulous etsy shop and the selling out of your gorgeous hares, it doesn't surprise me though as they are stunning! :-)

    I love the drawing by Helouise, that's a very sweet picture and captures your hares beautifully!

    Have a great week and I'll be watching to see the new arrivals on etsy.

    hugs Lori xx

  55. See? I am not a bit surprised that these sweet little bunnies are finding homes. They are wonderful!!! :)
    I always enjoy your posts, Stephanie. They brighten my day and have me whispering "beautiful, beautiful, beautiful" as I scroll down the page.
    Wishing you & yours a lovely day... I'm off to visit your shop.

  56. Dearest Stephanie, I am a little tardy to this lovely party!! Beautiful, beautiful...Miss Tea Rose in the Garden has touched my heart...you must continue this lovely work, Stephanie at all cost! It is of no surprise that they have all sold in an instant! Your latest post of your return to Brittany is of particular interest...a dear friend of mine is house sitting there for 3 months, they just arrived this weekend...I will have to find out the exact location....they are so thrilled, it is a new adventure for them...I understand she will have to feed the resident piggies as well! Visiting you is always a pleasure, and I too am off to visit your etsy shop, N.xo

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  59. Merci pour ces bons moments sur votre blog. Je suis souvent au poste pour regarder (encore et toujours) ces merveilleux articles que vous partagé. Vraiment très intéressant. Bonne continuation à vous !

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