Small World by Rose Andreeva
31st May 2019
We are usually enchanted by miniature things. One can’t help but be delighted by the perfection of tiny cups and saucers found in the kitchen of an antique doll’s house. Or exclaim in joy when we see the perfectly scaled passengers waiting patiently for the perfectly scaled Lilliputian steam engine to pull in at a tiny toy station platform.
As embroiderers, we often work in miniature, perfecting tiny stitches on finely woven ground, or searching for miniscule holes and hair-width threads, endeavouring to count just right.
But perhaps more magical than any of these things is the tiny world of nature down at our feet. Remember back when you used to lie in the grass on a summer’s day, your face at the level of the ground, trying to get a view of what the world would be like if you were an ant or a snail?
Down there, even the doll’s house cups would seem large. A ladybird exploring a leaf the size of a village green, or an ant cowering beneath a dandelion seed larger than a parachute puts our own world into perspective and serves to remind us that this amazing scene exists all around us if we’re willing to take the time to look at it.
There are hundreds of thousands of insect species in the world, with each individual species playing a vital role in the planet’s ecosystem. However, from our height it is easy to forget or ignore these little creatures or worse, simply view them as pests. Rose Andreeva’s exquisite piece ‘Small World’ from Inspirations issue #102, invites us to get down on the grass and take another look at our tiny neighbours.
What sets this piece apart is the texture which Rose has achieved. French knots in a careful array of shades and colours faithfully creates the moss of the ground and the skin of the elegant snail. The addition of beads represents the soil and the plump raspberry that the snail looks up at, weighing up if he could reach it for his next meal. Finished off with mischievous ladybirds and delicate, gossamer like dandelions and spider webs, this is a tiny world captured perfectly.
It is easy to get caught up in the fast pace of life, moving here and there, our eyes glued straight ahead (or straight at our smart phones) and we forget the delight we once experienced lifting the tiny teacup, lowering the tiny railway crossing or watching the ladybird scale the tiny blade of grass as if it were Mount Everest.
By working Rose’s design, you are stopping and letting your eyes drift down. Every knot and stitch encourages you to really look at the insects on the fabric and, by extension, the insects around you on which they are based. They may be small, but they are as much a part of this beautiful world as you or I.
Becoming One with Nature
While it’s easy to take the miniature creatures in our world for granted, it’s equally as easy to overlook the amazing efforts of the Inspirations creative team when it comes to capturing the photos for the magazine we all enjoy.
Working in miniature is incredibly challenging for both the stylist and photographer at the best of times, but when we called for a well-trained snail to slither in front of the Small World project on cue, it really upped the level of difficulty to a whole new level!
Our star snail admiring his likeness in stitched form.
Believe it or not, the snail who stars in these photos was actually hired talent with the wrangler able to entice it out of its shell right on cue in front of the camera as requested. We won’t disclose the magic trick to wrangling a snail, but it was surprisingly logical and simple and worked perfectly every time.
Special shout out to our photographer Mike whose willingness to get up close and personal with the snails by laying in the grass with them, really paid off!
DISCLAIMER – No snails or needlework were harmed in the making of this publication.
Make Your Own Small World
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Small World by Rose Andreeva is a delightful miniature garden scene with a handsome snail approaching a strawberry plant.
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Small World includes everything you need to re-create this charming scene: Fabrics (unprinted), wool felts, interfacing, beads, embroidery threads and needles.