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Nimue Creation Step by Step

A few months ago I wanted to write about the creative process either in general or the particularities related to a specific topic in progress. And as these articles are acclaimed by many of you, I continue…

In this part of the site you will therefore find articles that tell how a creation is developed step by step, mixing technical, economic and poetic questions.
And above all, do not hesitate to leave your comments at the end of the article. Good reading !

Parade finishes, episode 1

Parade Féerique

Mystery Grid?

Almost a year ago I was in the middle of a creative cogitation for the 20th anniversary of Nimuë and I was about to launch the SAL (mystery chart), which was to occupy us for 5 to 6 months.
But here we are 12 months later and the embroidery is still not completed. The cross stitch part yes but not the finishes.
Because of supplies that are slow to arrive… first disturbances before a host of others.
If I had created something usual I would have found a solution a long time ago , but I got some details in my head and I didn’t want to give them up.
1- Tenacity and stubbornness are responsible for this delay.
But I can also say from a reliable source that these are the ingredients necessary for the development of any creation. Because you have to hang on.
If you have ever tried to create an embroidery chart yourself, you know how stressful, sometimes frustrating it is, and how long the answers can come. When this is the case and the page remains blank, when you are there not knowing how to associate the colors, then you may be tempted to give up. Because we are overwhelmed by the challenge.

Tenacity and stubbornness ingredients necessary for the development of any creation

I cling on like a barnacle. Until I find the solution I stay at the post.
I am tenacious tenacious tenacious.
( Let’s say it’s valid for embroidery but not for everything. )
2- Changes to the image:
Most of the time I do not modify or very little the original images. This time I changed a lot of things:
  • Changed the size of some characters
  • Deleted,
  • Moved,
  • Dressed others, Etc.
because I had a message to deliver and I needed space.
I also changed the light: the colors are enhanced.
This necessarily impacts the cross stitch but also strongly the finishes.
Parade Féerique 2
3- What do we see? :
It is a parade, a procession, made up of three musicians and three carriers. Then, at the front on the stretcher, stands a fairy with butterfly wings brandishing a banner on which is inscribed the subject that prompted the statement: nimue’s birth and her birthday. At the end of the procession an elf/warrior on a baby mouse and an ephemeral bearing a yellow flower, perhaps a buttercup. Higher flies a tiny delicate fairy. (We’ll talk about that in the next episode.) That’s 10 characters!
As I already wrote in a previous article called Le Commencement , I started by asking permission from the illustrator Erlé ferronnière to modify the image.
Then I travel from one character to another and decide what will be highlighted for each.

This is a procession, a parade, or 10 characters!

4- To put forward means to decide.
To decide is in a way to put depth into one’s creation. Depth in what we say.
For each character there will be a more important detail that will give it value. To do this , it is necessary to determine what is essential or touching in this character and how embroidery can give him thanks.
This is played out on several levels.
For some, the musical instrument itself will be the major asset and the materials chosen will be decisive.
5- The characters:
The central character, for example, plays the bagpipes. Around the drones of the instrument (i.e. the black tubes) there is fabric in the spirit pompoms. At the end of the work it will be necessary to find how to render this effect. But in the meantime you have to embroider the base while keeping in mind what you are going towards: an addition of material perhaps other than cotton with fancy stitches .
The second character is a little behind, but it is his very expressive face that catches the eye. So I’m going to put more light on this face by choosing brighter colors.
broderie 20 ans
The third character blows in a bombard. It’s a very beautiful character with movement, a pretty frock coat with pretty pleats, a three-cornered hat, bragoú (trousers) there too with a lot of pleats, really not easy to represent but it’s magnificent. I love her beautiful plump cheeks and her beautiful redhead pigmentation. There are really a lot of beautiful things to represent. As for the bombarde, I would like her to magnify it, so I’m saving it for the end with something a little scintillating in mind, even if bombards are usually made of ebony wood, it seems to me. But our friend Erlé chose a lighter material than black, so it will be a special yarn found in a haberdashery by chance that will be perfect.
At least that’s what I imagine at this stage but obviously I can still change my mind. What matters is deciding to leave something blank for later.
Fourth character : butterfly fairy. I reduced it a lot because I thought it would be disproportionate with the other modifications I wanted to make to stick to my subject of 20 years. From the outset, I have an obligation: to dress her. She will now wear a discreet little dress. Likewise I see points of light in the wings, flowers in the hair. I know that at the end of the book there will probably be stitches made in a special thread, perhaps mohair to recall some famous subjects from the sepia collection . In her hands she holds the handle of the standard. I need a very original idea to figure it out. Could be an object?
Fee papillon
At this point, I have therefore decided:
  • that the dressing of the bagpipe would be done at the very end after having embroidered all the crosses,
  • that certain skin colors would be enhanced,
  • that particular attention would be put on the 3rd character almost at all levels such as the folds, the pigmentation, the bombarde,
  • that the fairy would be dressed, would have points of light and an object in her hands.
6- Another question: what do most of the characters have in common?
Socks & Shoes.
Socks :
To accentuate the disproportion between the body and the legs of the Leprechauns (elves), I decide that the socks will be stylized, that is to say without specifically following the original image but by creating a pattern, and this in small stitches, i.e. 1 thread on 1 thread. By opting for small dots, I follow the idea of “little people” right to the end.
For the shoe buckles, it seemed to me that it would be tedious to make small crosses with a shiny thread. So I opted for a vacant space while waiting for the final phase.
I could have embroidered the whole shoe and made the loops over it. Which in itself is very logical. But by leaving a void, it already draws the object. This will facilitate the work of the embroiderer who will only have to fill in the gaps instead of counting the stitches to achieve loops of good proportions.
In this half of the book, I have already collected a lot of information. I defined the main axes by studying the image and analyzing the characters and their particularities. But we’re only halfway there… Or rather a third if we count the characters!
I’ll give you an appointment in the next episode for the rest of the analysis that was done before embroidering the first point.
It is therefore a hearty creative journey that awaits us, of which you can already see a little of the result before finishing.

See you for the rest: Parade Finishes: Episode 2…

Don’t forget to sign up in the right insert to follow all the episodes

Don’t hesitate to leave your comments below!

Picture of 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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