Things that make me happy


I have a weakness for books, for plants and gardens and for embroidery so to discover a book that brings all these together makes me very very happy indeed.


I came across a review of this book, The Embroidered Garden by Kazuko Aoki,  in the latest edition of Stitch magazine and of course it was too late to ask for it for Christmas so, well.. I just ordered it for myself as an early Christmas present and I am thrilled with it.

I think my embroidery style is quite traditional.  I see a lot of very contemporary embroidery, mainly machine embroidery, which doesn’t inspire me very often but there is something, to my mind, very special about some ‘simple’ traditional hand embroidery.  However, this book seems to move it just a little along the path towards modernity because if you look very carefully at the front cover you will see that the hatching at the base of the arrangement is actually tulle which has been applied.


I also love this project which is a modern take on the Victorian obsession with collecting and displaying butterflies but in this case no butterflies will be harmed in the process.  I think it would be fun to do this based on British butterflies and get it framed in a Victorian style frame and I love the butterfly brooch.

So I am a very happy bunny flicking through the pages and pondering what to have a go at first; in the meantime I must finish the cross stitch Christmas cards.



9 Comments Add yours

  1. Winterbourne House and Garden says:

    Glad to see the Arts and Crafts ethic is still going strong! Much of our garden was inspired by Jekyll so we have a particular interest in the relationship between artist and gardener; Hope you enjoy our blog as much as we enjoy yours.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi winterbourne
      Are you the garden linked to Birmingham University? Not visited but keep meaning to

  2. Winterbourne House and Garden says:

    That’s us. We’re only moments from the University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus. Let us know if you plan on popping in to see us, we’d love to say hello.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I certainly will, thanks

  3. It does look like a lovely book. Much inspiration!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Much indeed

  4. Brian Skeys says:

    The illustrations from the book look lovely Helen, an ideal find for you at this time of year.

  5. Those are the things that warm my heart, such wonderful craft and art.

  6. Cathy says:

    Looks a delightful book – good to treat yourself sometimes!

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s