An embroidery very dear to my heart that I did a while ago — as a wedding gift for my dear friend Gael and her hubby Mike.
Before I came up with the idea of the gift, I knew that I wanted to embroider something. And I knew that I wanted the gift to have elements of Russian culture and folklore. I started researching illustrations for Russian fairytales as inspiration.
At the same time, I did a profound read on habitual gifts for weddings back in the day in Russia. I learned that often, it would be objects of home decor, passed from generation to generation, with hand-made embroidery that would have symbols of prosperity and wealth. The symbols were, for instance, fruit like apples and animals, among which I came across the Fire-Bird—the moment I found that I got my idea.
I decided to make a table runner and napkins and decorate them with the embroidery of the Fire Bird carrying two apples as a wish of multiplying whatever this lovely couple would wish to multiply. I started sketching, and after a few hours of research and sketching, I finally created the right design for my Fire-Bird.
I will skip the long story of how I was searching for fabric, figuring out the sizes and getting the table runner and napkins made. I planned well ahead and had plenty of time to do everything right, make mistakes, re-embroider parts where I didn’t like the colours, and finally get it to my liking.
The embroidery travelled with me to places — I embroidered in Vietnam, on aeroplanes, in Bali, and Moscow, and finally, it was ready.
I missed the wedding, unfortunately. But I gave it to Gael several months later when we met in Europe — and it was a truly special moment ✨💖.