Sunday, 26 March 2017

🍓 Strawberries

Before spring arrives, I am already busy celebrating juicy fragrant strawberries. This placemat is inspired by the colourful happy book of Atsuko Matsuyama and although the recipe is changed a little bit, I used her design for the appliquéd strawberries and turned them into a mini place mat - big enough to serve well my little one for her lunches at school.

HAORI is the fabric I use for canvas on which I needle drew these succulent fruits. The weight of the yarn-dyed cottons of Haori is perfect for placemats. Although it has been quilted, it is still pretty structured and stable.

The quilting print cottons are from LECIEN, "Retro 30's child smile" collection, Spring 2016.

Bunnies are so cute! I couldn't resist including them in this projects.

For a chocolate lover like me, the combination of strawberries and chocolate is irresistible. Please, forgive the load of deliciousness in the next picture! You could find the recipe though in my culinary blog here.

Have a sweet and delicious life, dear friends, and thanks for sharing this moment with me!

Yours truly,
Ivelina 🍓

Monday, 20 March 2017

'Happy Spring' Messenger

When I was a child, I was visiting my grandmother in the village almost every Sunday. It was kind of annoying for most of the visits. I used to find it boring being there and sooo much work to do all the time - work, I was never fond of, since it wasn't anything joyful. 

The most exciting thing, or better said - the least annoying, was sweeping the porch, which I was imagining was more like playing with the vine leaves. The porch was covered with vines - old, proud, very delicious fruit giving vines that threw the most interesting, playful shade over. I have to admit, I loved sitting under the vines, feeling hugged and protected. I even had a swing - a sailor's rope, tightly tied around the two of the strongest arms of the vine. 

The only thing I could think of in the car on our way there, was how fast the sun could travel his way towards the sunset, so I could leave this village. Before I was even there, I was eager to go back to my tiny room in the small flat on the first floor of the five story building I grew up in. This miserable  feeling only lasted until I reached to the squeaky green front door of my grandmother's house. After I climbed up the three stairs, after I made the door sing its pitchy but happy song, the cleanest, whitest and most purely innocent snowdrops used to welcome all of us, delicately swinging their bell heads, waltzing in rhythm with the spring song of the wind. 

Grandma had them planted all along the path, leading towards the house, and I can promise you, I was feeling blessed to witness this Beauty.

A snowdrop is a child's innocence! Since it is a messenger, a "town cryer", firstly announcing the arrival of the spring, the new beginning and the awakening of all the flowers, I have decided to start my botanical book with this particular plant.

So... page one of my Botanical book is


Materials used:

Haori yarn dyed fabric
DMC embroidery floss
"Clover" appliqué needle No. 8
"Clover" embroidery needle No. 3
"Clover" sharp needle No.8 for backstitching

Techniques used:

hand-stitch appliqué
hand embroidery

I love vintage botanical drawings of plants. With great attention to details, the plant anatomy is such clearly presented, so everyone could be inspired to learn more.

I consulted with German botanical book "Flora von Deutschland in Abbildungen nach der Natur" from 1906.

HAORI fabrics with their earthy tones and textures are perfect for recreating this beautiful drawings, keeping the vintage look. HAORI designs are unique. Even a plain looking design is never totally plain. The creator Lina Yang always leaves her signature in the texture, if there is no colour pattern. It is like in Nature - nothing is absolutely flat, there is always some print, a tiny scar and texture.

I am so thrilled to have a chance to work with HAORI fabrics! I don't believe good inspiration comes from random things. I always look for uniqueness, for designs that inspire me to create uniqueness,  for things that keep me grounded and closer to Nature. I dream big about simple things and minimize my needs in maximizing the joy of life.

My recreation of the anatomy and the "circle of life" of this beautiful snowdrop is missing few stages: e, f and g. The tiny features of the pistil are too delicate, even for the most elegant needle and thinner thread I could find. I couldn't  'dishonour' the heart of a flower in a unsuccessful attempt to embroider it. Maybe in a bigger scale later in my botanical book, I would be able to recreate the three missing stages.

The anatomy of the flower in close-up :

Before it even blooms, the leaves of the flower grow long and half-closed, to protect the delicate blossom. And they keep guarding it until the very end of its life and until the flower develops the seeds for new life beginning.

Today is the first day of spring. It feels gloomy and sad with the clouds, grey and plain, but the colours of Earth are alive, and that is enough reason for me to celebrate the spring arrival.

Happy spring, dear friends! Thank you for sharing you precious time with me!
Have a flowery day!


Sunday, 5 March 2017

Breakfast for Two

It is not St. Valentine. Today is not our anniversary. It is no one's birthday. It is not one of these days that are special, because so many years ago we kissed for the first time, or we looked at each other and sparked the love. It is not the day of the first love letter received, nor the first surprise. 

It is a very ordinary Sunday - one of the not so many Sundays, that happened rarely - when we have nothing else to do, but plan for a light breakfast. 

The beautiful box full with dark chocolates and now these matching place mats make this Sunday very happy and loving.

The placemats I made, using the beautiful light pink striped HAORI fabric. To accent the cross-stitched design, I framed it with the matching green  using  technic of reversed appliqué, and afterwords appliquéd the heart to the main fabric. I lined the placemats, using the same red yarn-dyed fabric, I used for quilting the box of chocolates. From the green, I made a bias tape to finish the placemats with nice contrast.

The rose-buds cold tea is just amazing in aroma. It reminds me of the rose fields in my country. So beautiful and fragrant.

On the menu: light honey rose water Madeleines and dark chocolate.

Happy Sunday, everyone! And have a great start of the week!

Thank you for being my guest!
♥ Ivelina