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French Style Top 5

Apologies all for a lengthy absence, due to illness and then a lovely holiday to recover!
I spent part of my holiday, as the heading may lead you to guess, in La Belle France…  A lovely few days in Dieppe with my parents was just what I needed, not only to be feeling a bit perkier but also to give me another creative jolt.
So I thought I’d start off with a quick top 10 of French style inspirations which I have and will incorporate in crafty projects!
1. La Tricolore 


OK, so the colours are the same as our beloved Union Flag, but it’s very simple and stylish.  I use these colours quite a lot – and wear a lot of red and navy.  I’ve brought this into my craft in several pieces including these elegant cedar bags for protecting your woollens…

2. Art Nouveau

The first exhibition was held in Paris and from there we get the name.  Two of my favourite artists come from this movement – Charles Rennie Mackintosh (he warrants a post all of his own!) and Theophile Steinlen, a Swiss artist famous for his portraits of Paris life and also of animals.  One of his most famous works are the immensely chic Chat Noir series of posters.  Every member of my family has a copy of this somewhere in their houses…
Steinlen had a knack for painting animals, particularly cats, this is one of my favourites – a poster for a veterinary clinic.  Again it is done with such panache.

Being a little cat mad myself, I do use a lot of animals in my pieces and have a lot of fun with them, like these Easter Bunny bags (with added carrot, it helps you to see in the dark!) and these quilted Kitty Cat bags which I think are so sweet.

3. Linen

We found a wonderful little haberdashery in Varengeville-Sur-Mer near Dieppe called Lin et L’Autre – a play on words of l’un et l’autre (one and the other).  What a beautiful shop with some fabulous linens, trimmings and a shelf of delightful locally produced yarn (I had to shield my eyes from this to avoid adding to already massive stash!  They had these lovely decorative linen panels which quite took my fancy!

4. Shells and buttons

Another wonderful addition to Lin et L’Autre were the exquisite mother of pearl buttons and beads which they sold – Mum and I were very tempted to take some back with us, but managed to resist!  This is a close-up of the shell decorations on the above linen panels, so simple but very attractive!

5. Embroidery

As a formerly keen cross-stitcher (which I have little time or tolerance for now I’ve discovered crochet and knitting!) I have really enjoyed working on linen but I don’t often find the British style of embroidery very inspiring. 
I have treated myself to this gorgeous new book – Made in France which may redress the balance – can’t wait to get started on it!
Happy crafting!
Lou 

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