Nothing delights me more than beautiful needlework books and I have a truly inspiring French book in my collection to share with you, though I expect some of you will have it already amongst your treasured possessions also. If you don't have a copy, then click here to reach Amazon France to purchase a copy. Nathalie Bresson's La Broderie au Point de Croix comes with a tour of cross stitch history followed by an amazing catalogue of works from France's best designers - and, yes! there is a men's corner too. (A corner? I hope that is not the naughty corner!) Many of you will already know some of the designeres such as Regine Desforges and Sylvie Castellano, but others are less well known outside of France and their work is stunning.
Look at this antique linen chemise entitled A Smile for Mr Mustapha. It is covered entirely in cross stitch by actress and stitcher Michèle Glezier. What is there not to be passionate about in this piece. It is mirobolant! It was given its title, because in order to work the all over design the chemise was unpicked and once finished had to be stitched together again and the person who did that was Mr Mustapha. Asked how much she owed him for the work, Michele was told - a smile.
This second piece is an evocative installation by Marie-France Dubromel entitled Stories Lived. Yvonne Verdier creates invented lives - and on a blouse belonging to one of her creations, Marie Paressant, worn during her pregnancy, Yvonne has embroidered white on white: Little angel, little nothing who is growing, are you growing well? Never forget simple joys.
The final item was a group effort stitched by 22 members of the Club Yvelines - to a design by Christian Lacroix. Now is this enough inspiration and passion for one day? A life time, at least, I hope. Aux aiguilles! Stitch away!