Nimue Creation Step by Step

A few months ago, more than a year ago, I realized that Nimue, although having an Arthurian name, had not yet created embroidery subjects from the Arturian Legend. What?
It seemed incredible that after more than 17 years of being called Nimue(The Lady of the Lake),nothing, no character, transmitted this culture that is the breeding ground of my inspiration.
An opportunity would allow me to embark on the realization of this Arthurian pantheon: an invitation to Moscow, as guest of honor of a fair art of the thread – crafts, Formula Rukodiela in February 2020.
The first cross-stitch subjects were Guinevere,then Arthur,the Royal Couple.
Now it is the turn of the beings of the Other World, the Enchanter and Enchantress: Merlin and Viviane.

Become an Embroidery Designer

Part 1: How do you know it's THE right idea.

How do you become independent? How do you create your business and how do you know it’s THE right idea.
One can legitimately ask oneself what makes one day oneself a creator of embroidery?
Under this question there are others:
  • Why make it a profession?
  • Why not stay salaried and keep it for leisure?
  • Why cross-stitch embroidery?
  • How did this idea come about?
  • When did this become obvious?
  • How do we know that this is it and not something else?
  • Am I able to?
  • Do I have talent?
  • etc… etc…
  • Why me?
And then more questions:
  • Can we make a living from it?
  • How to make a living from it?
  • Do I need to start a business?
  • How do you create a business?
  • What kind of company?
  • With whom?
  • Alone?
  • Where?
  • Who already does this and how?
  • Is there a market for this?
  • Do I need a lot of money to get started?
  • Am I able to run a business?
  • Do I have this talent?
  • etc… etc..
The questions are almost endless… for a path opens up to the unknown.

It's a path to the unknown

A few days ago a long-time friend came to me with this question in mind: How do you become independent? How do you create your business and how do you know it’s THE right idea.
These are questions that I have been asked dozens of times with more or less time to answer.
As you know Nimuë is advancing in his twentieth year. 20 years of embroidery and independence.
(It went by so fast!)
But I remember very well how THE IDEE sprang up and imposed itself and I can even understand in hindsight what led to this.
It’s 2001 and I’m looking for work.
I have been working as director of a cultural site(Château de Comper)for almost ten years and I feel like I’ve been around it.
I want to set sail but no door opens, quite the contrary. I row.
It must be said that in my job most positions are site management positions and boys always come before girls. It’s depressing.
The posts are also depressing!
I’m a super creative person with a lot of energy and everything I find seems very poor compared to what I’ve been through for the past 10 years when I had almost carte blanche to invent.

I remember very well how the idea came up.

I know that most people like to split their lives between private and professional. That was never my case.
It’s been very clear in my head since adolescence: no borders, my professional life IS my hobby.
I never understood why you had to do a job that was not enjoyable all the time. My job is my hobby, my hobby is my job.
This is what makes me 200% invested in everything I do because it starts from a deep desire.
But back to 2001. By a combination of circumstances I discovered cross stitch recently.
In 1999, with a colleague, we were on a trip to the heart of Rennes and had to wait to pick up a delivery of books for our bookstore. We stopped in a haberdashery and I walked illico towards the canvases. It’s summer and since my childhood has been rhymed with canvas. With my best friends we spent hours embroidering under a large walnut tree. For me, canvas equals happiness. There’s just one small concern: I’ve never liked the patterns of the canvases. I chose my canvases according to their sizes (bigger and bigger) and not subjects because anyway they would never be exposed. What I liked was embroidering quickly quickly and sharing this with my friends.
That day in Rennes, seeing my disappointment at the proposed models, my colleague said to me: “But why don’t you do cross-stitch? The models are much more beautiful!”
I confess, I had never heard of cross-stitch.

My job is my hobby, my hobby is my job.

A few days later, here I am in a very large haberdashery that I love Ecolaines at the exit of Rennes towards Vannes. I find the cross-stitch ray, I search, and I come across a leaflet representing four castles. Ah! that is a theme that suits me. On the advice of the saleswoman I buy a coupon of white aida and skeins and I launch myself into my corner. Bam! Electroshock. I embroider I embroider I embroider I embroider. The Mass is said, here I am addicted from the first model. Then I only embroidered characters from William Morris, Lavender & Lace and Mirabilia. But here the source dries up almost immediately because I am missing something without knowing what exactly.
I think I embroidered 3 or 4 models of each brand before I realized that I needed more.

What I liked was embroidering quickly quickly and sharing this with my friends.

In September 2001, I had to create a forest scene in the entrance of the Palais des Arts in Vannes with two characters Merlin and Viviane.
When I discover the place I understand my struggle. There is a huge radiator, fire extinguisher, light panels, door, floor and walls that have lived. We will have to hide all this because we have never been so far from poetry and enchantment. I need at least ten meters of green fabric to make a background. I go to the city in search of this fabric and I arrive at Philomène that I discover. For those who do not remember Philomène was at the time one of the major craftsmen of cross-stitch embroidery. I enter the shop and shock! I see on the walls dozens of cross-stitch paintings all more beautiful than the others. I talk to the owner who explains to me that it is a job that you can live from, that there are specific software to work on your bosses.
I show him pictures of paintings that I would like to embroider including The Key by Sandrine Gestin. She says, “If you do that, if you’re able to create a model like that, I’ll be your first customer.”
I can tell you that my brain started kicking in at that point.

See you for the rest: Become an Embroidery Designer Part 2…

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Annaïck Chauvel

Annaïck Chauvel

Welcome to the story of Nimue’s Creations. Here I share with you the How and Why of these creations.

Table of Materials

Parade finishes, episode 2

Mysterious “less” grid As I said in the previous episode (Episode 1) I considerably re-enhanced the colors. What is subtle and charming in paper printing

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Victoria is a really important subject in the history of Nimuë. Originally I created it on a purple marbled canvas from Zweigart on Cashel or

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Why do I embroider?

Why do I embroider… When I embroider what matters to me is to feel emotions, to be in the gesture. One wonders how a gesture

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