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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Blue

 
Dear readers,
 
Outside my window I see out-of-reach cherries glistening red and a flurry of bird wing beneath ample foliage.  The cuckoo is making its presence known most audibly but after six springs in this house I am aware that as June rolls in the horse chestnuts trees will cease to ring with its rhythmic song.  The month of May has been about strawberries - marinated in sugar and Balsamic vinegar and relished with a hearty dollop of vanilla-infused Mascarpone - fresh peas, artichokes, asparagus and fennel.  It has also been about adapting to our family's new configuration now that my husband has fled the nest.  I expected a rollercoaster of heightened emotions but instead I have found collective serenity to be the norm.  Thank Goodness.  Quiet happiness fills my days together with the long list of to-dos, fat files of paperwork and frequent scrambles to run errands.  There are orange-tinged roses from our garden on our table, guitar music and a lot outdoor play and reading.  And there is laughter.  Again, thank goodness.  If I look ahead I could become overwhelmed by the financial uncertainty which clouds my horizon (I'm tightening my belt until a judge compels my husband to provide for his children) but instead I see mostly blue skies and hope.
 
Blues have become increasingly precious to me during this family upheaval.  Héloïse asked for a patchwork tunic, in the same style as her little sister's, for her nineteenth birthday and it had to be in blue and off-white with a touch of mauve.  As I snipped and stitched I saw an array of Delft tiles dancing before my eyes as the squares and rows came together (this Liberty fabric was possibly my favourite).  I used a firm favourite for Héloïse and Angélique - Suzanne by the French designer Citronille which exists for girls and women and is available both in French and English.
 
I subscribed to Selvedge Magazine for 2015 (a Christmas present from my parents) and have been delighted by its thematic approach, rich diversity in the domain of textiles and its undeniable quality.  Lastly, I started reading Jessie Burton's first novel, The Miniaturist, set in seventeenth-century Amsterdam, on my mother's recommendation.  She had been enthralled by its opening chapters but disappointed by the ending and I confess I tore through the pages, my curiosity piqued by her opinion of the closing pages, wondering what I would find there.  If you too have read it I would love to hear what you think of it.
 
I'm so happy to be slowly resurfacing into a happier world and will fortunately be able to visit your blogs with enthusiasm once again.  Hurrah!
 
Stephanie x


67 comments:

  1. So happy to hear you have joy again.
    Blessings and love for a sweet Summer and a peaceful start on your new path.
    Go gently, be soft lovely Stephanie.
    Much love
    Jen xxx

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  2. Dear Stephanie So very glad to hear you are smiling again! Beautiful,beautiful photographs of your girls!
    Wishing happiness and laughter will fill your days from now
    Amanda xx

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  3. Lovely to hear a happier and more positive note in your post.

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  4. I wish you and your children all the best in the world with this new start! You are such a colorful, creative woman, so I hope you will warm your familylife with colors and joy. I hope that there will be rest and peace in your house again! Warm greetings from a dutch instafollower, fleur indepolder

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  5. lovely to read about your new life journey….
    all the best and a lot of happiness to come!
    xxxxx Ale

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  6. Beautiful post - very evocative and makes me feel as if I'm peeping out of your window! Wishing you a speedy resolution to the financial uncertainty

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  7. Beautiful post - very evocative and makes me feel as if I'm peeping out of your window! Wishing you a speedy resolution to the financial uncertainty

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  8. What a gorgeous post. Wishing you days of sunshine, happiness and exciting times ahead xx

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  9. I sense a contentment from your words Stephanie which is so good!
    You will be fine...just look at those gorgoeus girls, how could you not be!
    V x

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  10. You are one of my favorite people.

    Though I had declared I'd be gone from posting, I have decided to come back but on a monthly basis because having connected with a world of like minds and also with myself, I can't stay away.

    This is why we blog, create, reach out: EACH OTHER. I am so relieved to learn that you are finding peace in the middle of a situation that unraveled with almost no warning. You have done all you could to find what is yours: YOUR PEACE of mind, your childrens' love and laughter.

    The girls look marvelous! And your blues and creams, mauves and natural settings chère Stephanie, are a welcome to me on this lovely Sunday morning. I am so happy to see you here. I know that goodness will follow you all the days of your life. I just know it.

    I will be back. Are you on Instagram? I have been posting my own photos there (practicing my photography) and I'm loving it. See you there my friend? Anita

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  11. Hello, hello! How lovely to find a post from you, and a happier one at that. Wishing you and your children only good things this summer ... and strawberries, cherries, and pretty frocks sound like the best kind of start :)

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  12. Such lovely images (words and pictures) of your two girls and your daily life. I'm so pleased things are moving on for you in a better way. Wishing you a summer of blessings amidst everything.

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  13. Your daughters are beautiful in their new smocks and smiles that express their happiness.
    I am sorry to read of your dilemma but you are the lucky one, having those you love to comfort you and
    fill your days with joy. Over time the heart shall heal...
    Susan x

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  14. so tickled to find your post this morning.....and such a lovely one it is!!! And so good to see you have been so creatively busy.....those tunics (and your girls!!!) are beautiful; the tunics obviously loved and appreciated! I've been gifted a couple copies of Selvedge and really do need to simply subscribe....one of the best publications I've ever seen!! You showed just enough to grab me (again!). So happy you are happily back in your space. You've been missed.

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  15. Good morning Stephanie and thank you for sharing all this blue-themed soft beauty with us.

    Your descriptive words and excellent photographs really convey an atmosphere of generous love and creativity flourishing amongst you and your children. This is a strong and supple fabric to take you all into the future.

    I am another Selvedge fan and particularly like this current issue with its "aging" theme. There is always something in each issue that seems to call out to me. It's a unique publication.

    Those two patchworked tunics look marvelous on your daughters. Each colorway gives each girl an individual take on the silhouette. Yes, that Liberty tea party fabric is amazing...no wonder it is sold out now!

    I know of The Miniaturist, but have not read it. There are many books stacked nearby waiting to be read, but I will also look for this one at the library.

    Fresh local strawberries are just beginning to appear in our farmers markets. I want to follow your lead with a new way to serve them. Thank you for that idea.

    Sending you all lots of love. xo

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  16. Dear sweet Stephanie, I am so happy to read that there is peace and laughter in your life once more.
    I hope all goes well for the future and all of the uncertainty for your finances will be gone.
    Beautiful shifts you have made for your daughters, the fabrics are lovely.
    Sending you lots of good wishes and love.
    xoxoxo ♡

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  17. It's lovely to read of your optimism for the summer, one step towards a happier future for you and your children. Love the fabrics in the patchwork and of course your beautiful photos xx

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  18. So glad to hear that things are coming back into focus. Adorable makes as always and I'm a little envious of the Selvedge subscription - it is on my wish list for next Christmas!

    I've read (or rather listened via audible, which I always have on when working in my studio) The Miniaturist and I loved it - particularly the gentle humour throughout, although I agree with your Mother that it did feel incomplete. The optimist in me is hoping for a sequel :D

    Much love.

    x

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  19. Dear Stephanie,
    I've been thinking of you lately, and worrying of course. I'm happy to read your words here today (I hope the financial issues will be solved very soon so that you can relax about it). It is a pleasure to see your two daughters smiling together. They're so beautiful. And no need to say I'm in love with their tunics. These lights and colours are so typical of this period of the year for me. We've just had bluebells and forget-me-not in the garden.
    Much love
    Amélie

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  20. Felicidades me alegro que te vaya todo estupendo un abrazo desde España

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  21. glad you are finding some peace and creativity, it's a very healing place to be. X

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  22. Hello Stephanie, how lovely are the sew-with-love blouses for your adorable daughters! What a good mother you are! I'm so glad that you are finding the serenity you seek now.. I do hope you are supported the way you are supposed to be by "him". I read that book and although I found it very creative, a lot of it just mystified me. I thought it was a good first book, though. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  23. Diane (in Ireland)1 June 2015 at 01:41

    I LOVE these pictures! Stunningly beautiful, these lovely daughters of yours, and of course their made-with-love garments...Have been thinking of you, wondering how you are. So happy to read your words here again and know that you are coping -- more than coping -- living, again! Fondest wishes xx

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  24. Oh my friend I am so happy you are finding some peace. It is something we all are in need of and I know there has been so much turmoil in your life lately. Sending you a big hug,
    Meredith

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  25. SO glad to hear that your blues are happy ones! My word, that little Angélique is growing up quickly. I hope that the financial worries will smooth themselves out and that the peace of your home will only increase.

    What a very sweet photo is the last one. :)

    Selvedge is a truly gorgeous magazine - enjoy that subscription!

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  26. I am glad your post emits happiness and more peaceful days. Your girls are gorgeous! Love them in these sweet tunics.

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  27. Good to hear you sounding more positive Stephanie. I've had Selvedge since the first copy and love the style of the whole magazine. I enjoyed The Miniaturist although never really understood the role that the miniaturist played in the overall story.

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  28. I am glad your husband has gone and left you a more peaceful home. Lots of men having those mid life crisis's it seems. Well, I am afraid they ultimately lose out. I have been on my own since my daughter was 3 and is now on her late twenties. Give or take a romance here or there. It has left me space to take the best care of my daughter and now myself. To do the things I like and to look out for and be responsible for my own piece of mind. To chart my own waters so to speak.

    I am most unlikely to remarry. All the single unmarried women I know (most of whom never have) are balanced and happy and fulfilled. You will be fine whatever happens in the next turning of your life's journey. Just remember to look out for yourself and to think of your own needs and be proud of your lovely children. Depression is an illness for sure, but it can be a very selfish one and there is no reason why you should be sucked under too. The person has to be responsible for their own recovery.

    Love both your daughter's tops. It reminds me of the one here that India is wearing (scroll down). http://foxslane.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/taking-stock.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+FoxsLane+(Foxs+Lane)#.VWxUoyzbKP0

    I think that children are our true joy in life. They are always our children too, no matter their ages. Not men. Wishing you much happiness and strength to move forward. I know this must be a frightening time for you in many ways. Peace of mind can not be under-rated though. I hope the practical side of things is ironed out soon. xx

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  29. Ahhh, I'm so happy to hear that the fog is slowly clearing Stephanie. Life just takes time, doesn't it? The dresses are adorable, and your daughters are beautiful. It sounds like a lovely summer is just waiting for you and your little family! XO

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  30. Hi Stephanie! Not sure if my previous commernt went thru, but so thrilled to see you are well! My flower crowns look so fitting on your sweet daughters! Best wishes ~~ Michele

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  31. Dear Stephanie,

    I am so glad to read you see blue skies and your days are once more filled with happiness, despite your sadness. You are a very strong and positive woman to be the way you are with all the uncertainties ahead. Hope all will be well for you Stephanie. I think about you often. Isn't it strange how you can have a perfect life and then suddenly it all changes.....It's good that you are full of gratitude and faith. I try to be like that as well. That, your children and sweet family and friends keep you going. And one day all will be will again. I am sure of it!

    Sending you love!

    Madelief xox

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  32. Forgot to mention that the tops you made for your daughters look lovely :-)

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  33. I,m so glad your feeling stronger ,and you sound more positive,your children are beautiful and will help you through this chapter in your life.I read the "Miniturist " and thought as you the end was dissapointing ,i enjoyed the rest of the book though ,the girls tunics are gorgous and i think i may just make myself one stephanie .take care of yourself x

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  34. Another amazing blog post dear Stephanie. Yours is the only one I really stop to read every word. I'm so pleased you are beginning to find some calmness and life has a way of showing the next steps when we are clear and ready. Keep faith in the life path and you're going to be just fine I know it! Happy reading! Susannah xx

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  35. I'm so glad to know that you are doing well, Stephanie. The blue in your photos is beautiful, as are your lovely girls. I really like their tunics, they look great in them. Take care and be well. I hope that every day gets better and better for you.

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  36. Dear Stephanie, I was quite shocked to read this post. I tend to think of you and your family as leading the most idyllic lifestyle. I am sorry that things have been trying for you all, but feel sure that you will not only survive but flourish.Your children are so beautiful and I am sure a great source of joy for you.Your little tunics are so pretty, made with such love and attention to detail. I hope you can find a way to stay strong.Wishing you lots of love, Linda xx

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  37. Oops forgot to say that I loved The Miniaturist, it was a little disappointing at the end, but I found it enthralling. Love Linda x

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  38. You sound tranquil and happy, and like your head is sorted. I'm glad you see hope and blue skies ahead. Your girls are beautiful. Xx

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  39. you sound in a very good place, the judge will sort everything out. Hang in there and believe!!

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  40. I indeed came back, and THERE YOU WERE.

    Going full circle is the only way to learn what you need to be doing. The journey is always far more interesting than the destiny. Dearest friend, you mean so much to me!

    Creativity keeps us sane. I trust you are continuing to shine your BRIGHT LIGHT where you are! Anita

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  41. I was so glad to find you here again and even happier to read of your peaceful, determined and contented state of mind. It is very hard to build a new life like this but it can be done and what is made can be infinitely better than what went before. Xx

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  42. I also meant to add that I found the miniaturist gripping in the reading but a little disappointing in the end. The evocation of the Netherlands was marvellous but the central conceit of the miniaturist did not fully work for me. Still I am pleased to have read it and it has lingered long in the mind.

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  43. My dear Stephanie, the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be shining bright as early summer sunshine! Your daughters look beautiful and loved. I will keep this comment short and sweet, because I hope we can continue in an email exchange - I read The Miniaturist, and unlike everyone else, it seems, I actually liked the ending, and to top it all, I heard Jessie Burton speak at the Hay Literary Festival last week, so I can give you some insider tidbits! 😉 Speak soon, Chrissie xxx

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  44. I wish you nothing but the best. Things can only get better from here. Hopefully all your paperwork and legal meetings will be over and done with soon.
    Rosie

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  45. I am so happy you are finding joy again. I like your optimistic view of "blue skies". Hopefully you will get all the legal stuff finalized and out of the way and you and your little family can move on and make your own memories. Hugs to you!
    Sharon

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  46. It's been lovely to read this post Stephanie, full of happiness and contentment. I hope that life from now on brings only good things to you and your girls, who look lovely in their tops. Jane xx

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  47. I've been meaning to read The Minaturist! Is it any good?

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  48. I just love your sewing and am happy to have come across your beautiful blog.

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  49. I love the way you write - I think you could rewrite the closing of 'The Minaturist.' Beautiful sewing and another beautiful post. Wonderful to feel your present contentment. Be happy x

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  50. I love your lovely blog.. I like your optimistic view of "blue skies". Hugs for you. Congratulations.

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  51. I've got the Miniaturist on my kindle to read, it might be my next book after Stephen Kings 'Mr Mercedes'. Its so good to hear your words my friend, and those girls of yours are a real treat for the eys, I cant believe how A is all grown up! I hope the sky is always blue for you from now on my love, <3 p.s. I love the tops, its very much my style xx

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  52. Hello dear Stephanie! You are such a wonderful mother.. sewing for your daughters is the ultimate "good mom' thing! I'm sorry you are having to go through this difficult time, but you will get stronger every day and realize that the joy and laughter in your home is more important than your ex. I read The Miniaturist and was amazed at the clever writing. To be honest so much of it left me wondering "what the heck???" But I did feel it was a good read. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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