Do you remember the brambly Hedge children’s books, from the 1990’s? They were cute little story books, similar in style to Beatrix Potter. I used to work in a public library around the time they were originally published, and I well remember the stir they created when they were first brought out.
Recently, I came across a lovely full set of the eight titles in a slip case on Amazon – and it was priced at just one penny! I couldn’t believe my luck, so I bought them before anyone else beat me to it!
When the set arrived, I was quite shocked to see that the original price for the set of eight had been £55!!!
The images in these little books are just magical. They are full of detail, and really well drawn.
The reason I wanted to get the books is that I am also interested in the embroidery kits that were brought out at around the same time (that is, the early 1990s). Then, surface embroidery was much more popular than it is these days. I have managed to get two so far, on Ebay. Both of them have never been opened! There’s this one, which is four little mice looking out of a night-time window at the snow falling:
The kit has the outlines printed on a beige fabric with a slight sheen to it, Anchor full skeins of thread, a key to the stitches, and even a flexi-hoop.
The other design is of several mice sitting round a table drinking mint tea.
This one didn’t have a flexi-hoop in the kit, strangely, but the rest of the contents are similar. I think I’ll get a flexi-hoop to match the first one, so that I can display them together.
The embroideries are very well designed – similar to the pictures from the books, despite using only about half a dozen stitches (mainly stem stitch and satin stitch). The colours have been deliberately kept muted, like the watercolours from the books.
The instructions that you actually stitch from can seem a bit daunting at first sight, but anyone who stitched surface embroidery kits in the eighties and nineties will be familiar with this – a really detailed image, with each line having a different pattern, so that you can refer from it to the key, which tells you which stitch you should do, in which colour. It’s like painting by numbers, but with thread. It’s easier to do than to explain, really!
There are several other kits in the range, but I have been outbid on Ebay several times now when I’ve tried to get those. I’m still after these two, in particular:
Cute, aren’t they?